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Old 03-24-2015, 10:24 AM   #1
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Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Hot water is important for showers, since getting outback and sweaty is the lifestyle and returning to a reliable outside shower is sooooo nice...We have for years enjoyed our earlier Sportsmobile with propane hot water, flip the switch, wait 8 minutes, and go.

New to us van, so:
Am considering how to add propane hot water in the standard rider side rear of an EB. There is an existing furnace in that area, and for floor space it would be pretty nice if one could practically stack the lighter furnace on the water tank. You would have to support the furnace with a cabinet style permanent shelf, but it looks do-able.

Looked at propane instant on portable options, but so far all generate too much heat out the top to be installed inside the van...

Also looking at other options. Van currently has electric water heater under sink. That is prime food storage space, and not sure how practical the electric (tripp inverter) is since the design is new to us. Heater is 2 cu ft and will have to experiment on heating time (some have reported less than 10min), but the electric appears to draw an amazing amount of battery current..

Any comments or thoughts on stacking?
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

I don't see any reason not to stack as long as you have the space. Seems like a few cabinet modifications and re-routing some LP, plumbing and wiring and you will have what you are looking for.

Unless you are hooked to shorepower or have a ridiculous battery bank and solar system, I would probably write off using the electric hot water heater. Too much battery draw for my personal liking.

Do a search for some of Brent's (username haywoodphotomaccom) hot water solution. I believe he has used some LP instant hot water units in the rear of his van.

My current plan is to mount an LP instant hot water tank on the back door, so that when you open the door for use the unit can easily vent out the top.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
Unless you are hooked to shorepower or have a ridiculous battery bank and solar system, I would probably write off using the electric hot water heater. Too much battery draw for my personal liking.

Do a search for some of Brent's (username haywoodphotomaccom) hot water solution. I believe he has used some LP instant hot water units in the rear of his van.

My current plan is to mount an LP instant hot water tank on the back door, so that when you open the door for use the unit can easily vent out the top.
Thx for the response;
Agree on electrical consumption. I think I want to go the lp route (already have gas furnace and stove). It would be very nice not to have the 6gal suburban weight and volume. I did look up Brent, and saw the thread, very helpful - viewtopic.php?f=40&t=14785&hilit=haywoodphotomacco m
Do you have an LP unit you are looking at? I have looked at a few, all exhaust out the top with outdoor mounting. Brents has very little clearance, and he doesn't seem to have char marks.....Is this to mount to the inside or adjacent to the door (use when door open)?
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

I don't know if the Truma Combi is available here yet, but it may be, and it looks interesting. Basically, it's a combination furnace and water heater that fits in the space of a Suburban 6-gallon water heater (IIRC). Might be something to check out.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moorefc
Do you have an (LP back door) unit you are looking at? I have looked at a few, all exhaust out the top with outdoor mounting. Is this to mount to the inside of the door (use when door open)?
I got a Triton 5L instant hot water heater - it was about $120 or so. I plan on making an aluminum door panel on the inside of my rear door and mounting it to that. Depending on how much heat comes out the top, I may make a deflector to steer heat away from the window/door seals, etc.

By having it in this location I will have the ability to pull water out of my tank or easily switch over to a hose if I am at a campsite that has a water hook up for washing dishes, kids, etc.

That is the plan in theory, anyway! I'll give an update once I get it executed... give me a few months.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Suburban has a new on demand water heater that only requires on small vent hole in the van. It is in my Camping World book, but can't find it online. It seems perfect for a SMB.

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Old 03-24-2015, 04:56 PM   #7
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexGX
Suburban has a new on demand water heater that only requires on small vent hole in the van. It is in my Camping World book, but can't find it online. It seems perfect for a SMB.

TexGX
I'd love to know more if you find out anything.

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Old 03-24-2015, 05:02 PM   #8
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?



Here is a picture of the add. It seems like a great option.

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Heater.jpg  
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Have to look for the suburban tankless some more. Searches lead to 404 error or other items. There is a Girard one that fits in a suburban 10gal door rather pricey, but interesting 12x12x15.5"...Not sure why it is that deep.
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-w ... heater.htm
Edit: Thx for the pic. Guess the $500 Girard may not be so pricey comparitively...same product?
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:39 PM   #10
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Re: Stack propane furnace on water heater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva
I don't know if the Truma Combi is available here yet, but it may be, and it looks interesting. Basically, it's a combination furnace and water heater that fits in the space of a Suburban 6-gallon water heater (IIRC). Might be something to check out.
That is interesting. It does not appear to be available in US to public, but some RV manufactures seem to be including it in their designs...35# total http://www.truma.net/us/en/press-events/truma-combi.php
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