By Jim Twamley
We have a standard RV six-gallon electric/propane water heater in our motorhome. It works great and we use it most of the time on the electric setting. The only time we run it on propane is when we overnight at a Walmart or at a boondocking campsite. The six-gallon capacity is not large enough for two people to take a shower in quick succession unless you take a “Navy shower.” Forget about washing dishes just before or after taking a shower because the hot water is gone.
If you primarily camp with electric hookups and don’t mind running your generator during your shower while dry camping, then an Ariston mini-tank electric point-of-use water heater may be just right for you.
The guy parked next to me has a Titanium 5th wheel and he did this replacement on his RV. He says it was easy to install and now he never runs out of hot water when he takes a long shower. You can purchase these units at Home Depot for around $200.00, which is much cheaper than a standard RV water heater.
These units are small and will fit nicely where your current RV water heater is located. Since the water lines are already there, it makes for an easy installation. My friend put his unit inside a plastic bucket in the event the pressure valve were to open, allowing water to escape. He insulated the exterior heater access compartment door and sealed it with silicon caulking.
If you hook the unit into your generator system, you can easily use it while boondocking.