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Comments for How to save every drop of “get warm” water

  • I like this idea, but with our fully enclosed tanks I’m not sure how I could access the fresh water tank. I guess I’m one of the “faint of heart”. Ha.

  • I agree with the cap requirement – soap/body backspatter would get in, and girls with long hair splash shampoo everywhere it seems.

    Otherwise, awesome writeup!

  • Saw a system with same results don with a return valve on the hot side of the sink back down to the tank, ie it was a closed system, just turned the valve one way and the hot water ran into the bath sink and the other way it was returned to the fresh water tank, count 18 seconds and turn the valve back to the sink and you have saved the “warmish” water. I saw this in a 1978 Newell that was owned by the most innovative full timers I had ever met. He had used the bath sink as his valve placement as it was after the hot water “T” for the shower, at the furthest point from his water heater and only a few feet past the shower “T”. A fully closed system so no shower water contamination!

  • Speaking of warm water … we had for a brief time a 1978 Execurive that used a hot water hose tapped from the engine heater hose to wrap around the hot water heater tank … thus heating the water in the tank through convection. Looked like a factory install and worked great! … Hot water available as soon as you parked. Has anyone seen this setup available aftermarket?

    • I had a hot water heater in my Xplorer that had an engine water heat exchanger ( coil ) in the HWH er . It worked great but was seldom needed. Given its age ( 17 ) , the cost of replacing such a unit , and the condition of the approx 50 feet of old heater hose running to and from the heater I abandoned this feature while changing all the other vehicle hoses.

      • Brian, I’m with you.
        I’m perplexed at why anyone thought it was such a great idea. It adds cost to the design (anathema to RV manufacturers), and is really only useful for the first 20 minutes or so after you stop. Who jumps into the shower then? Or is it supposed to be for when you stop and have lunch and need hot water to wash dishes?
        I don’t know, but they sure could get rid of some cost and reliability issues as far as I’m concerned.

  • Bill, my coach had that setup “stock”, with a special water heater (Suburban) that had extra fittings for the hot engine water.

    After several years age, all the engine lines going to the rear of the coach (where the water heater was) started to corrode and leak. It was a big orange mess. I finally stripped it all out and capped the fittings, hours and hours of work. I”m living without it just fine. We don’t use the hot water for several hours after we stop anyway, plenty of time to heat up.

  • Brilliant. Love this. I often dry camp…and my small camper tank I save every drop. I don’t use my tap water for cooking or drinking. I carry water separately for these purposes.

  • This article reminds me of our campfire chats where we exchange Rv ideas to better our rigs. Ideas are offered, some good, some not applicable to our particular rig, but, they start me thinking, what if. Keep these how to articles coming! Good ideas.

  • David,

    Thanks for reading and thinking. Sometimes I feel like the rvtravel “web” is one big giant campfire conversation — I appreciate you pointing it out.


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