What a Truma is, and Why You Want One!

James and Stef Adinaro James and Stef Adinaro  |  01.04.2016

If you’ve followed WinnebagoLife for a while, you know the bloggers here get excited about innovations and new technologies in the RV world.  Many of the latest innovations come from Europe.  Recently, our own GoLife editor even traveled to the  Caravan Salon Show in Europe show to check things out first-hand.

Winnebago has been in the lead in incorporating these new technologies and designs into their RVs.  Our own Travato shows its European roots, from the name, to the cabinetry, right down to the plumbing fixtures.  And the plumbing leads us to today’s topic, “Truma.” Chances are you’ve heard the term, and wondered what all the hype is about.

Photo 02 - Truma BoothThere was plenty of Truma hype at this year’s RVIA show

Truma is a German manufacturer of comfort heating and water heating appliances.  They’ve been a staple in European RVs for years, and the company itself dates back to the 1940s.  They’ve recently started producing appliances for the North American RV market:  both on-demand water heaters, and furnace/water heater combination units.

In general, their products are highly efficient (over 90%), compact, and equipped with numerous safety features.   They even have a design aesthetic to them.  I don’t know if it’s appropriate to say that a water heater is “attractive”, but I’ll admit to thinking so.

Photo 03 - Truma CombiThe Truma Combi on display in Pomona – Guess theRV in the background!

But besides the company, the word “Truma” is also used to refer to the appliances themselves, particularly amongst those who have them.  As in, “Honey I’m cold, can we please turn on the Truma?”  The Truma appliances currently available in North America come in two flavors.

The Truma Combi 

This is the unit we have in our Travato.  It’s a combination water heater and furnace.  Take a moment and soak that in.  You’ve probably seen your RV water heater.  And it probably looks about like this:

Photo 04 - Standard Water HeaterNot attractive.

And you’ve probably seen your RV’s furnace at some point, and it looks about like this:

Photo 05 - Standard FurnaceEqually not attractive.

The Truma Combi performs both of these functions, while taking up about the space of only one of the two appliances it replaces.

But besides looking good and being compact, there are other things that make the Truma Combi unique in the RV appliance world.  Allow me to list just a few of the reasons why you want one.

  • Depending on the model, the Truma Combi has either a 2 or 3 stage burner.   In other words, the Truma can adjust the size of its flame.  This is important because the unit is only going to use as much fuel as the situation calls for.  This makes the Combi more efficient, provides more even temperatures, saves you money, and most importantly – keeps you from having to fill your propane tank as often.   As an example, we’ve only filled our propane tank twice since June!
  • The Truma Combi is designed so that the heating elements are not in the water tank.  If you’ve ever pulled a corroded anode out of a traditional water heater, you’ll appreciate this.  There are no elements of any kind in the water tank, so draining the unit is a simple flip of a switch.

Photo 06 - Combi CutawayThe concentric layout of components is what enables them to keep the heating elements out of the tank.

  • The Truma Combi is nearly silent.  We’ve all been awakened at some point by the “click-ROARRRRR” of a traditional RV furnace.  You’ll get none of that with the Truma Combi.  In fact, the only way we even know ours is on is if we stick a hand in front of one of the vents.
  • The Truma Combi can run on Propane, electric, or both.  This includes heating the air with just electric.  No more noisy heat pump, and no heat strip on an air conditioner.  You can keep comfortable on the campground’s dime, and it’ll be nearly silent.  We’ve heated our coach using only electric down to 20 degrees!  And the Truma Combi doesn’t need to have water in the tank to heat the air, either.
  • Those of us who like to save money have probably investigated a programmable thermostat for our homes.  The Truma Combi has one!  In addition, it will soon be available with internet controllable capabilities.  Imagine turning on the heat or hot water from your phone while you’re out, and you’ll understand why we’re excited.

Winnebago was the first to include the Truma Combi in a North American RV, and they continue to lead the way with this new technology.  Today, the Truma Combi is standard on the Travato and Era 70x and 70a.

The Truma AquaGo

The AquaGo is Truma’s tankless water heater.  It’s an instant, on-demand system.  Many manufacturers offer tankless water heaters these days, but the Truma is different.  It’s what they call a “hybrid” tankless water heater – which means, it has a small tank.

Photo 07 - Aqua Go TankAt first, a tank in a tankless water heater might seem like a contradiction.  But it actually makes perfect sense, and addresses the biggest complaint I’ve heard about tankless water heaters in an RV – uneven water temperature.  Here’s how it does that:

Tankless water heaters turn themselves on once they detect a faucet’s been turned on.  But until the water heater is up to speed and running at full clip, the water coming out is less than fully hot (dare we say, even cold).

Now think about how you shower in your RV.  Most of us will turn on the water, get wet, turn off the water, soap up, turn on the water, and rinse.  Now imagine standing in your shower covered with soap, and turning on the water.  In this situation, a regular tankless water heater will deliver a blast of cold water until it gets up to speed.  Yikes!

The small tank in the Truma AquaGo addresses this problem by holding the heated water in a tank before sending it on its way.  The tank mixes the water to even out the temperature.  So that cold blast of water never makes it to the tap – it gets mixed in with hot water and you get a nice even temperature in your shower (instead of momentarily going “polar bear”).  Brilliant.

Photo 08 - Aqua Go MountedHere’s another one.  How many times have you wanted to wash your hands with warm water, but you didn’t because you knew it would take 30 seconds for the warm water to get to the tap and you didn’t want to waste that much water.  For me, the answer to that question is “pretty much every time”.

Truma, with their AquaGo “Comfort Plus” has an answer to this problem as well.  The Comfort Plus can circulate hot water through your RV’s plumbing system so that the water at your tap is always hot.  I don’t know about you, but this is better than what I currently have in my “regular” home!

The AquaGo Comfort Plus has to be designed into your coach when it’s built (due to the extra water lines required).  But again, Winnebago has options for you.  The Aqua Go with the recirculation feature is currently available as an option on the 2016 Winnebago View and Navion J and V floor plans, and will be expanded to all View/Navion floor plans and some other models in 2017.

But even if you didn’t get an AquaGo with your RV, you’re still not out of the Truma game.  The Aqua Go can be retrofitted into the opening left by a standard 6 or 10 gallon water heater.  Just talk to your dealer to ask about that.

Photo 09 - Winnebago ViewThe Aqua Go – as shown in the new Winnebago View 24G

So there you go.  Now you know that “Truma” can refer to either the company, or the products themselves.  You know a little bit about why they’re such a big deal.  And if you’re in the market for a new coach, you know which Winnebago products will help you get one.

James


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13 Comments

  1. Lisa D Posted on 01.06.2016

    How did I miss this? I ordered the new Truma option (AquaGo) (and I believe highest of the 3 tiers) for my new View. I’m very excited about it. I do hope they paint the cover though! :)

  2. Janet P. Posted on 01.15.2016

    I looked into putting the Aquago into our 2015 View after reading this article. It is cost prohibitive. The unit costs $3600, plus the cost of 23 parts needed to install it, plus 10 hours of labor costs. It would cost over $5000! i have no idea what the cost of either unit is when done at the factory. We would love to have the combi unit in our next RV, perhaps they will become the standard in a few years.

  3. Peter N Posted on 01.16.2016

    Very informative article about practical, efficient technology. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. Bob Duthie Posted on 01.16.2016

    I am all in favor of the tankless water heater as it saves weight rather than carrying a storage tank full of water, and gives unlimited hot water. There is a learning curve to having a tankless water heater and most of the complaints I hear are due to people not reading the manual. We have the Girard unit on our 2016 Trend 23B. The Truma scheme to keep hot water circulating all the time seems like a waste of energy. What I would like to see is automatic controls to keep the hot water temperature constant regardless of flow volume and water supply temperature.

  5. Robert F. Thomas Posted on 01.16.2016

    If you drive a auto/truck/rv you need gas and there is one just a few mile up the road…if you need apart or service on the very new tec. is there one in stock just up the road or is it across the country or “pond”. Does that W dealer have someone who knows how to fix them…at how much a hour after a 90 day warrenty? Lifetime warrenty? How far do I have to go? What is the track record? Sounds like a visit to a hotel or motel would be cheaper. A lot of iffff’s. Is this camping? How many can do this? What will this do to the cost of my insurance? That cost is bases on repair/replacement cost… Boondocking we use the sink, a wash cloth and a half sink or less of water.
    Once a carrier sailor was reasigned to a sub and he used a whole bowl to wash up and was given 5 hours extra duty…next day he used a half bowl and got 5 more for washing up two days in a row. Boondocking ( fulltimers) fill their tanks when FREE water is available. Surly this is NOT going to work for the masses. Time will tell but I do like to see new ways to try. Industry standard? I thnk not!

  6. bruce Posted on 01.16.2016

    I ordered a tankless hot water system on a new Navion. I hope it is the Truma.

  7. Cary Posted on 01.20.2016

    We have a new 2015 ERA 170C, with the Alde tankless, hydronic system. yes, it has a + – 2 gal. tank somewhere. seems to work but don’t know enough, it also heats the air. Manual devotes one page. really need documentation, still trying to talk to the company. Anybody else have this system?

  8. william s west Posted on 07.08.2016

    looks great how much are they

  9. Patt Posted on 12.31.2016

    On a totally different subject, although I think tankless systems are the way to go. We have one in our home and love it!
    However, we have a 2016 W. Aspect, love the rig, and the convection microwave but hit a rough patch of road and the microwave door flew open and the plate flew out and shattered! So first I want to know why you would put anything in the coach that would not latch properly and second, why doesn’t anyone seem concerned. I asked Winnebago customer service about it and they said it was a Whirlpool problem. When I asked Whirlpool about they said sorry, we can get someone to fix it but it will cost you and you have to go to our service dealers. Now I have only had this coach a year but I really expect better from big companies like Winnebago and Whirlpool!!

  10. Jemison bowers Posted on 12.31.2016

    We got a new 2016 navion J late August 2016, with the new trauma instant hot water heater. On our third trip a LP gas leak (inadequate crimp on fitting at LP regulator said camping world repair people) depleted our LP; thence no LP stove cooking, no LP generator, no LP furance, and no hot water for sink or shower. If we had the standard hot water heater which heats on LP and shore 30 amp current we would have had sink and shower hot water for the rest of our weekly long distance trip, plus a lesser cost RV. With our previous Winnebago View we always plugged in to shore power on CG arrival and turned on the electric hot water heating element and had hot water very soon. I would not get the truma again.

  11. Chuck Barnow Posted on 12.31.2016

    Are the new top end units equipped with the Infinity 12V Wiring system along with the Truma system?

  12. Phil Posted on 12.31.2016

    I am methodically searching for a RV to live full time ( more or less ) through my 60s ( kinda – since I am already 62 ). I have spent the last 2 years researching EvErY thing about small Class C and B+ coaches. I am vexed by how ahead of the curve European “Caravans” are. What happened? I mean why can’t the American Motorhome industry wake from its 1980s slumber of “good enough”? Most still are not built to last, most are definitely not built as true 4 season RVs and NONE are built for “Living In” – their warranties all tell you that. Just look at what is being made in Australia, Germany, Spain. It really bums me out. Such a shame. So —
    To the U.S. Manufacturers of small Class C and B+ Coaches:
    WAKE UP!

  13. Scott Posted on 12.31.2016

    Interesting article. But this is hardly something new. ITR has produced an “all in one” furnace/water heater for over 30 years. Have one in our 2003 Ultimate Freedom and love it.