Adding an Electric Heating Element to Your RV’s Hot Water Heater

Adding an Electric Heating Element to Your RV’s Hot Water Heater

Aka a “lightning rod” in the hot water heater of your RV is not that difficult. I will take you through every step needed to complete the project. I am well qualified for the task at hand considering the fact that I was a full-time RV’er for over nine years and worked at a very large RV repair center.RV park rockport - Coastal Breeze RV Resort

When my wife and I started out full time in our RV, we had to learn to take showers over again. That’s right we couldn’t just stand in there and let the water run as we did in our regular home. Most RV’s are equipped with a shut-off button at the neck of the showerhead. Basically, you get wet, turn the water off with the button at the showerhead. Get the shampoo and wash your hair. Turn the water on and rinse your hair, turn the water off. Scrub up with soap, turn the water on and rinse off. That would be about the end of the hot water. I was used to a long hot shower, something had to change and fast.

I learned very soon about the lightning rod. An electric heating element screws right in your RV’s hot water heater. I couldn’t wait to get to Camping World and purchase one. It was a warm sunny July morning when I started the installation. The package is not very big and the instructions are on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper all folded up and neatly tucked behind the element.

The installation is as follows. Make sure the water heater is turned off and water has cooled, next turn the water supply off, drain the water tank. Unscrew the drain petcock from the unit. Use Teflon tape if recommended by the manufacture. It screws right in the drain hole, very carefully tighten with the proper size wrench. Hook up wiring into the 12-volt system as the instructions indicate. Your propane bill will be lower and you can now take a longer shower. Oh, happy day! This is a very basic look at how the installation process is performed. Please read the instructions supplied by the manufacture. Enjoy more hot water, lower propane bills, and be a happy camper!



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