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Old 11-07-2014, 07:19 AM   #1
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1979 25' Tradewind
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1979 Tradewind Water Heater

Any recommendations on a new water heater for my 1979 Tradewind? The existing water heater needs to be replaced, which new unit would be best to replace it with? Thanks......
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:40 AM   #2
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Pecision Temp 500 series...

Tankless is the way to go, IMHO. I got a Precision Temp 550 and Atwood also makes a similar one. The 550 comes with a freeze prevention kit built in.

I got a 550 that fit nicely (with some enlarging) into the existing Atwood 6 gallon hole. You can get it with an unpainted cover that matches the sidewall when polished and then clear coated as desired.

Performance is amazing, wife loves it.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:07 AM   #3
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We went with the Precision Temp. Gotta love long, hot showers.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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And there is nothing wrong with a conventional water heater either, the exact same size unit you have now is made today (both 6 and 10 gal ones, not sure which you have). You can upgrade to electronic ignition easily, and even put a unit in which has an electric heating element. I would put the electronic ignition in for sure, nice to be able to turn the water heater on with a switch from inside rather than a match from the outside.

The gas inlet on the new heaters is in a slightly different location, but the modification is fairly easy. You will have to drill a new hole and may need a new piece of gas pipe to accommodate the change.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Tankless us thereby to go. Less weight, easy retrofit, more efficient and uses less prop
ane.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gusthomasson View Post
Tankless us thereby to go. Less weight, easy retrofit, more efficient and uses less prop
ane.
Heating a given amount of water, to a given temperature, takes so many BTU's.

Therefore, which ever water heater system you use, should pretty much take the same amount of BTU's of propane.

Less weight doesn't really matter since the water is already on board the trailer, when your running self contained.

The water heating systems a person uses, is a matter of personal choice.

Andy
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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I dunno, Andy. Sometimes weight distribution can be helped with a tankless. My International seems to be heavy on the street side with the stove, bath, toilet, sinks, fridge, and the closet storage on that side. Loosing a few dozen pounds of water can't but help...


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Old 11-10-2014, 12:40 PM   #8
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Thanks guys! Looks like the winner is Precision Temp 500. Does anyone have any installation pearls of wisdom for these for a newbie?
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mdyer99 View Post
Thanks guys! Looks like the winner is Precision Temp 500. Does anyone have any installation pearls of wisdom for these for a newbie?
It's rather difficult to help when the owner buys a non Airstream part.

What does it look like?

What is it's capacity?

What are it's dimensions?

Where exactly are the water connections?

Where exactly is the LPG line connection?

Knowing those things, makes it very easy to help someone.

Andy
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #10
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Go to the Precision Temp site and download the manual. It gives all the details. I had to trim the top side of the opening a bit taller, and reroute the existing gas line a tiny bit. It can be ordered with an unpainted aluminum door that matches the AS skin. The only thing I noticed was that the surge tank effect of the Atwood went away, and I should add one so my cheap pump won't pulse on and off so much on tank water. In city supply no issue. Just be sure to hVe good propane pressure and water flow for those long hot showers!


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Old 11-10-2014, 04:54 PM   #11
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Oh, it also needs a support block at the back end like an Atwood. Other than that, easy.


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Old 11-11-2014, 10:11 AM   #12
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I recommend converting to PEX rather than copper on both the cold and hit water side. The increased flexibility of the tubing will allow for easier placement of the unit. Also pay particular attention to the external door. Get the right one not only for the unit but one to match your Airstream also. This is not as easy as may seem. Good Luck. Oh yes. Don't turn the Hester up to its highest position. About 1/2 way on the thermostat. Otherwise it will blow it's internal temp circuit breaker.
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