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Old 10-20-2014, 04:06 PM   #1
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Newbie with Questions - Part 1 of ?

Hi all,

My wife and I just purchased and received our 1964 Bambi II. Before we take it on the road I like to understand how some of the functions work.

First question I have is on the water heater. Attached is a picture I took which I think is the water heater.

Question 1:
What is the large uncovered hole to the bottom right of the water heater?

Question 2:

Where do I light the pilot light for the water heater.

I have read the manual for the 1964 airstream and because most items covered are generic and not exactly for the Bambi II, it was hard for me as a newbie to follow. Any directions on how I can learn more about my Bambi II would be appreciated.

Thx in advance,

Huan and Kelly
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
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That is the original Bowen water heater. I removed mine and replaced it with a modern (electronic ignition) Atwood. No more pilot light for me :-)
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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There should be a sheet metal cover over that hole. Attaches with winged bolt thingys. Pilot light is inside that opening.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:50 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your comment/advice:

Is the sheet metal cover and wing bolt nuts available for sale anywhere or do I need to rig my own?

Can someone take a picture for me to see what it is I am looking for?

"Pilot light is inside that opening." - Does this mean that I put a flame in that hole to start the pilot light if I need to light the water heater?

"That is the original Bowen water heater. I removed mine and replaced it with a modern (electronic ignition) Atwood. No more pilot light for me :-)" Besides the obvious cost and original equipment, what are the pros vs cons on replacing this and do most owners replace the original water the heater?
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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Missing are the entire burner assembly, pilot light, thermocouple, copper lines from the LP tank. What you have there is a water tank incapable of heating water.

Note: Although the photos are dark, you can see the burner fits in the 2.5" dia. hole (burner missing on your unit). With copper tubing running between the gas valve and the burner (gas lines missing on you unit).

Greg Anderson
Wisconsin
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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Given that I have a water tank incapable of heating water by missing the items below, it seems that I have two options 1). Replace missing parts to make current water heater operable or 2) Replace it with new unit. What are the cost for each option:

1). Entire burner assembly,
2). Pilot light,
3). Thermocouple,
4). Copper lines from the LP tank

Also to ask a dumb question, how often do you use the water heater? Just trying to prioritize on the importance of getting this fix.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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I wanted to stay original and simple as I could, so replaced everything on your list (Amazon.com) and it works great. We use the water heater every other day when we are out. Google your water heater by make and model, then you can print a parts and service manual. Test the heater tank with water pressure before investing money in gas parts. If it leaks, well, you know-


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Old 10-22-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
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Water heater

I opted to replace mine without testing it because I wanted a modern tank. Total cost was about $350. I was able to keep most of the exterior looking original. See attached pic.
I probably had the parts you needed but finally got rid of it
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