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Old 09-16-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
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Replacing gas HW heater with Electric???

I need to replace the original hot water heater. Was wondering if anyone has had luck or advice about replacing with an electric model. My camper is an '85 21.5 T-2101

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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You might be able to replace it with a gas/electric one....have you checked that option out?
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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I looked at prices and reviews of other RV owners that have replaced gas with electric. Just not sure do to age of my camper if its worth the risk. I'm a little dumb when it comes to things like this. Not sure the electrical system can handle it. Was curious if other older sunline owners have tried it before I invest money or if its even worth switching over. I need to replace at least my current tank but figure I'd replace the whole thing since its the original 1985 HWH
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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First consideration. If you do not have the electric option now you may not have the wiring for the high amperage draw you'll need. Most of those 6 gallon electric models require 12.5 amps (15 amp circuit probably on 120v). That's 1500 watts. Probably more than most microwaves require. If you don't have A/C then you probably don't have the overall capacity for it. See what the overall capacity of your electrical system is and determine if you can add a 15 amp circuit for the HWH if one isn't there.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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Thanks I'll look into that
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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Just curious...why don't you want to just replace what was in there? Those heaters work well and if it's the gas line that scares you, there is only the one connection, and if you shut off the gas, there is no danger.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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That's likely what I will do. The gas does make me nervous but I think because of of its age electric prob wouldn't work out anyway.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:39 PM   #8
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Buy some yellow gas line thread tape to seal the threads to the gas connection when you reinstall ( just wrap the tape around the threads of the gas line threaded connection). That heater slides out pretty easy after you disconnect the gas line from the outside and the water lines from the inside...I'm assuming that you don't have an electric ignition heater due to the age of your trailer, so electricity is not an issue. Look at it as a project for learning...there is a learning curve...but it is not too great to overcome. Tackle it!
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Buy some yellow gas line thread tape to seal the threads to the gas connection when you reinstall ( just wrap the tape around the threads of the gas line threaded connection).
Drake is right that the removal and replacement of your HWH should be straightforward. However, be careful about using yellow Teflon tape on the gas line connection. Whether or not you use yellow tape (or any tape for that matter) depends on the type of fittings that Sunline used for the gas system. If they are ordinary screw-type fittings, then using yellow Teflon is just what you want to do. However, if they used flare fittings, do NOT use tape on the male threads of the fittings. Flare fittings are identifiable by their unique shape. The end of the copper line of a flare fitting is distinctive; it looks like the bell of a trumpet. No tape or thread sealant of any sort is ever used to make up a flare fitting joint. The integrity of the joint derives from the interference (i.e., very close and tight) fit of the flared copper line with the corresponding brass male fitting.

I'm only saying 'If' with regard to this because I don't know what sort of set-up Sunline used on your vintage trailer.

Hope this helps.

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:12 PM   #10
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Matthew...quite correct on the flare fittings. Mine is same year and model as theirs ...so unless someone modified it....it does not have flare fittings.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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Some thing else to think about. recovery time. The electric one will be slow.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:14 AM   #12
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The hwh. Are very easy to replace. I am in the process of changing mine now. I am just waiting on my new tank to get here. Once you hook the gas line back up with which ever method you choose, the system can be charged with air to make sure there is no leak.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:41 AM   #13
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The power cord for the camper is a #10 wire it is rated for 30 amps. That being said it would mean you would have to plug it into a 30 amp outlet if you are going to use any thing other than the water heater like a microwave or A/C or you will be pushing the limits of a standard 15 or 20 outlet. The breaker box in the camper is a 60 amp 240 volt box it has 4 breaker slots so there should be an open slot to add a breaker. OK that being said it may not work because it is a 240 volt box! You may have to install a jumper wire to make it a 120 volt box because every other breaker is on a different leg. Confused yet? To make matters worse it is also wired as a sub panel and must be done correctly (it's not like house wiring) for safety purposes.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:56 AM   #14
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electric is way to go with gas/electric combo. especially if you dry camp you sure you have gas only heater.Check back side of heater to see if 120 v wiring attached to heating element or if you have heating element. Possible camper prewired.
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Old 02-24-2015, 09:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb01 View Post
First consideration. If you do not have the electric option now you may not have the wiring for the high amperage draw you'll need. Most of those 6 gallon electric models require 12.5 amps (15 amp circuit probably on 120v). That's 1500 watts. Probably more than most microwaves require. If you don't have A/C then you probably don't have the overall capacity for it. See what the overall capacity of your electrical system is and determine if you can add a 15 amp circuit for the HWH if one isn't there.
The breaker box is a 60 amp box. the camper power cord is a #10 wire capable of 30 amps (3600 watts) so yes the power arrangement will work but the only time you will have hot water is when you are plugged in.
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