• rsullivan25
    We have a 30' Class A and our water heater did not survive the winter. We have an Atwood GCH6A-9E water heater, and have done some research and it looks like It's relatively easy to replace the split tank. I've ordered one and have it on it's way but I have a couple questions I was hoping someone can answer:

    1) Has anyone done this? If so is it that difficult? I consider myself pretty handy. Are there any special tools I should keep in mind?

    2) It appears that our tank also has a 120V element in it - and based on my research it looks like it is a propane/electric tank. Is this the case? It seems strange that the switch to the element is on a small box on the heater, and not a switch somewhere else. Is this truly a hot water element that can heat the water? If so why isn't there a switch that's easier to reach? Should I install a secondary switch to make it easier to turn on and off this element? IE when we're plugged into shore power, can I not just turn on the element and leave it on to save some propane and have hot water on demand?

    Thanks in advance for any help!!
  • Ray

    I replaced our Suburban WH two years ago, wasn't too hard - https://www.loveyourrv.com/leaking-rv-water-heater-replacement/

    Ours has the electric switch on the outside and none on the inside unless you count the breaker.
    I think the reasoning for it is to help prevent someone from accidentally turning it on when there is no water in the tank ie. when drained for winter or on display at the RV dealer.
    If switched on without water in the tank the element fails almost immediately.
  • rsullivan25
    That's about what I figured. Thanks @Ray
  • RichardM
    The breaker is convenient enough on the inside for the number of times you need to switch it on/off. When I winterize the rig, I’ll flip and pin the outside switch. Pin, meaning lock the outside switch off.
  • Randy Vallis
    I prefer using gas as it seems to me when you use electricity is precipitates out minerals in the water causing deposit problems and taste. In my Titanium I have a switch to turn it on and another switch to turn off the microwave so as to prevent both coming on at the same time, good idea but a pain if you have to doing this each time you use the microwave.
  • Ray
    Interesting I hadn't heard there was a difference between gas and electric before when it comes to that, though I don't drink out of the hot water.
    We use ours on electric mostly in the summer when at the RV Park in BC, luckily we have super soft water coming off rain and snow-fed lakes so no mineral issues. LP Gas runs near 30 bucks USD for a 30lb tank up there and electric in the campground is included free so WH stays on electric all summer.
    Our microwave and WH can be on at the same time no problem we just have to watch when AC is also on to not run the AC and the microwave at the same time. Cheers, Ray
  • Randy Vallis
    I don't drink it either but I do get it in my mouth when showering, LOL. Rv
  • Greg F
    I have been kicking around the idea of removing the hot water heater and replacing it with 2 electric heaters. These are available in different sizes. One for the shower and one for the kitchen sink. These are 120v and would be powered through our inverter. I haven't seen any "on demand" units that work well without 240v. So they have a tank just like the stock unit but can be mounted right where they are needed. We already use our stock suburban 6 gallon water through the battery/inverter and that works fine although these units look quite a bit more efficient. Having 2 smaller units only being used when needed for specific tasks should use less battery.

    One little pet peeve I have with the shower is it takes a while for the water to get hot and unless we capture it to use somewhere else it is just wasted. (too much of a wimp to get in while the water is 40 degrees) :o Water is precious when off the grid for long periods.

    120v hot water heater
  • Rick
    The switch located on the water heater in my trailer is stuck in the ON position. I just use the main breaker switch.
  • Columbus
    We switch it off every time we use the microwave when we are on 30 amp power. The water heater sw is easy to reach in our kitchen. No problem. Try not to use the microwave when boondocking.
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