Skip to content

Van Build

Close this search box.

Can I Run My RV Water Heater On Gas And Electric At The Same Time?

    Updated December 11, 2022

    The age-old debate over whether to power specific components of your camper with gas or electricity, such as your water heater, has probably crossed your mind if you are a new RV owner. Running both at the same time is something you might not have thought of. Although it is rarely discussed, this is a fantastic option if you are in a bind. Although owners have done this for extended periods of time without incident, it is still only advised that you do this for a few hours at a time. If you want to take a quick shower or wash some dishes, running both gas and electricity at once will help your water heat up considerably more quickly.

    Can a Water Heater Be Both Gas and Electric?

    That is true for recreational vehicles. You might or might not want both heat sources, but if you don’t, you can get them fueled either by electricity or by gas. But why would you do that if you can have the best of both worlds plus a backup heat source in case the primary one fails you? You can convert to electric and still have a hot shower if the propane tank runs out.

    When boondocking, you may switch the water heater to gas and still have a hot, pleasant shower whenever you want while conserving battery power for other necessities. RVing wisely means having a backup plan in place. Turn on both systems to heat your water more quickly when you don’t have much time left before check-out and you don’t want to drive about smelling like the place. This will enable you to leave the campground on schedule.

    Your showers are only one application for a dual water heating system. Using one or both of these devices, you can prepare food, clean up after yourself, and even give the dog a wash. When your water heater is linked to both gas and electricity, there are no delays to deal with.

    Can You Use RV Water Heater Gas and Electric at the Same Time?

    Yes, you can, and either intentionally or unintentionally, this is done. Those who have turned both systems on simultaneously have found that their water heats up quickly and without any negative effects.

    Those who have been aware of this trick for some time might make some preparations and employ this option to its maximum advantage. It’s a wonderful scenario to be in and one that offers the backup you need when you need to quickly heat your water. The only precaution you should take is to make sure your hot water tank is filled with water before turning on the electricity. If you don’t, you risk frying your electrical system and incurring high repair costs.

    As some individuals forget to turn the electrical switch off after using the hot water, make sure the tank is full of water to ensure there won’t be any issues. This means that if you are not diligent and remember to turn the switch off, there could be some issues. There shouldn’t be any additional dangers when both systems are running.

    Do Both Heating Elements Work at the Same Time in a Hot Water Heater?

    No, they usually don’t. If your RV hot water heater or other hot water tank has two electric elements, they do not operate simultaneously. The priority mechanism, which is in the upper element, activates first. The lower element will turn on and heat the lower water once the upper portion of the water supply has reached the temperature set by the thermostat. An example of this is a flip-flop system.

    Cold water typically enters the water heater through the bottom when the hot water is being used. When it occurs, the lower element engages and begins to warm the water. However, if a lot of hot water has been used, the higher element will activate and continue to heat the water. merely stopping when the water reaches the predetermined temperature. The system will then move on as the lower one has its turn.

    In water heaters using this design, a fail-safe or high limit control switch is installed. The potency of both elements is destroyed by very hot water. When you press the red reset button next to the top thermostat, the electricity turns back on.