Some like it hot

I like it hot…

Hot water that is.  Living in a small mobile space has limitations, and one major limitation compared to living normal is limited hot water.  Our Airstream came with a whopping 6 gallon water heater.  Just about enough for one normal shower.  I know eventually we’ll have to learn serious water conservation, if we ever want to spend more than a day or two off grid.  But in the meantime, it sure would be nice if we didn’t have to wait 20 minutes between showers.

Enter the magic of continuous hot water heaters.  Rather than heating a big bucket of water, these little heaters give you continuous hot water on demand.  Turn on the hot water, wait a moment, you got it.  Any time, for as long as you need it (or until you run out).  Since you’re not heating a big container of hot water, you’re also not using nearly as much propane.

There are cons

atwood-ondemand-water-heaterThe Atwood On Demand water heater we got detects water flow and turns on the heat when 0.5 gpm flow is occurring.  Beth and I find this to be a bit much, always having to have water almost full flow to get the heater to kick in.  If only that were adjustable and we could tune it to how we use water, it would be great if it would turn on at 0.25 gpm.  You also tend to let the water run until you get hot water.  This would not be ideal if you’re living off the fresh water tank.

A word of warning

Be sure to purchase from an authorized dealer.  We purchased ours online and when it was received it was broken.  This was only discovered after it had been installed.  It turned out, Atwood had no record of the serial number on that unit.  Apparently there is an off-the-truck gray market going on.  In the end it worked out, we got a refund from the online store, and purchased a (much more expensive) unit from a local dealer.

Happy Ending

In the end, I no longer have to wait to take a shower after Beth is done.  I’m happy.

Leave a Reply