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We are saddened to announce the passing of Gary Bunzer on April 17, 2020. We hope the RV Doctor website will continue to provide helpful information for you. Thank you for your interest and support for the RV Doctor - Debbie, Heather and Gretchen

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Swap RV Water Heator for Electric-Only

I will have to change my water heater on my RV because it is leaking. My question is: Can I replace it with an electric water heater only. I am not doing dry camping anymore so I was wondering if it was alright to have only an electric heater tank instead. Awaiting your reply and I thank you. Reinelde L.

 Reindelde, are you 100% sure your current water heater does not have an AC electrical heating element in it already? Many RV water heaters are equipped with an electric option along with the propane burner. I could tell from the model number or a photo of the data plate. If yours does, it may be less expensive to simply replace the inner tank that is leaking. If yours does not, the only drawback to installing an electric only heater, besides the labor costs, is when considering resale or trade-in value. Most RVers would certainly want an RV water heater so unless you plan on keeping that RV forever, I’d stick with an RV heater with an electric element.

But can you install an electric water heater? Sure, as long as the wiring and heater are installed properly by a certified RV technician. There are codes and standards that must be maintained for both the fresh water plumbing and the electrical circuit concerning those modifications. But if an aftermarket electric water heater fits in the same space, go for it!


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