Should I leave my RV water heater on all the time?
Ever asked yourself, “should I leave my RV water heater on all the time?’. Access to hot water on road trips comes at a cost. The water heater must be on. Without it, you are reduced to cold water only. While this may sound not too bad if it’s in the middle of summer, what about winter in the mountains. This article will explore the pros and cons of leaving the water heater. Therefore, give you the information to decide if you want to leave it on your road trips.
An introduction to water heaters
- Water heaters are smaller than the residential heaters in a house. Therefore they can generally heat water faster as there is a smaller volume of it to warm up. Contrary to this, you are likely to get less use out of a tank, such as fewer showers.
- Never let the tank get empty while they are running. The heating elements are designed to be submerged in water. That’s how they warm them up., Without the water, they can burn and damage the water tank. Before using the water tank, always check that it has water in it.
- If you have a gas water heater, make sure it’s turned off whilst you are on the road. It’s of no use when driving anyway, but it could pose safety threats. For example,e if there is an issue, you won’t notice or be able to rectify the problem when driving.
- Contrary to the previous point, ensure if you have an electric water heater that it is turned on. Primarily to save battery power and ensure it doesn’t get damaged by heating the water until there isn’t any and the elements get damaged.
- Water heaters need regular maintenance. Particularly if you have a campervan that only gets used in the summer, with long periods of inactivity, they can begin to develop problems. Therefore regular servicing is recommended
Pros on leaving the water heater on
The most obvious benefit of leaving the water heater on is the convenience of it. The shower can be used whenever you feel like it. You don’t have to plan. The same goes for cooking, as you will have access to boiling water in an instance. There’s no lag from deciding you need hot water, turning the water heater on and then waiting to use it. It’s just one less thing to worry about when you are on the road. If you choose to do this, it’s just like being at home really with hot water available the instant you need it.
Cons of leaving the water heater on
An obvious con of leaving a water heater on constant is cost. Particularly when it is a gas water tank, it will slowly deplete the gas, and LPG isn’t cheap. Furthermore, you could actually end up running out of gas, leaving you with no access to hot water whatsoever. Electric heaters generally are cheaper to run as they will only drain a battery that will be recharged, and if you have solar, the hot water is as good as free. Likewise, engine heat exchange heaters are free as they use the heat generated by running an engine so you can have a shower as you arrive.
Looking after your water heater
Water heaters are generally not cheap; therefore, the last thing you want to do is damage it, forcing you to get it replaced. Below is a list of things you can do to keep your rt water tank functioning to the best of its ability
- Drain the water tank when you aren’t using it. Stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for germs. Imagine leaving a tank in storage stagnant for months. You don’t want to be using it for the likes of cooking or showers. In addition to this, sediment can build up, which will also be used in the water. Of course, the critical thing to remember is to fill it with after you use it again, not to damage the elements. An additional benefit to this is it will stop pipes and the tank from cracking in the winter should the water freeze. There is a range of methods to stop pipes cracking but having no water is the best solution.
- Regular servicing. As the previous point highlight, there is a lot you can personally to upkeep your water tank. Simply put, the water tank will wear over time and will need parts. Additions such as anode rods will deal with the corrosion produced in the tank. Filaments need to change every so often. Sometimes even the tank needs changing or removing to have a deep clean.
- Never try and work on it when it is on. This is an obvious thing to say, but you don’t want to be messing with boiling water. Make sure it is off and has cooled down before you do any maintenance work.
Should I leave my RV water heater on all the time conclusion?
Like any decisions regarding hitting the road in an RV, it’s all about preference. If you value convenience and showers, by all means, leave it on. However, if you are more frugal and mentally conscious, you may be inclined to only power up the water tank when you need it. Regardless of your decision, water tanks are a wonderful addition to life on the road giving you home facilities anywhere you go and your adventures!