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Old 03-20-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
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1980 25' International
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new water heater?

Hi, First time here, first airstream. In the midst of renovating, don't want to wait for the Atwood tankless water heater. Rather upgrade than put in another tank heater. The RV 500 is slightly larger, has anybody put one in, I'm replacing a Bowen (Atwood now?) 6 gallon. Do I need to cut out on the outside of trailer or just modify inside space. Loath to cut away skin, inside not a problem. Ordering new furnace too. Thanks
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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If you had a 6 gallon Bowen as original equipment, the 6 gallon Atwood will slip right in. Mine did. I even used the original cover or door.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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My husband was able to put the new water tank into the old water tank housing and use the original cover.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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Kristi, did he replace it with a RV 500 tankless heater or another tank heater?
I don't want to have to modify the outside of trailer, inside not a problem. I may just get an Atwood 6 gallon and wait a while to upgrade to a tankless Atwood after they get the bugs out. thanks
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Your are correct , you don't want to change the outside if you don't have to. I had to do some modes to the outside on my 68 when I installed a new Atwood (old heater was bigger than the new ones). I would suggest you get the DSI model 120/propane version. They cost more but to be well worth the difference in price. Being able to just flip a switch to light the heater is worth the extra money. If you need hot water fast when you get to a full service camp site you can use the electric and gas at the same time. When the water is hot, just flip the gas switch off and the heater will use only electricity, saves your propane. IF you need a quick recovery after a shower then just flip the gas switch and you get really fast heating.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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He replaced the old 6 Gallon Bowen hot water tank with a new 6 Gallon Atwood tank. He saved the housing from the original hot water tank, and with a few adjustments, was able to put the Atwood tank into the Bowen housing allowing for the original outer access door to still fit.

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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If you send a private message to Lewster, who is a commercial member here, he'll be able to tell if the RV500 is a straight fit or not. He's installed them and has first hand knowledge about the unit in question.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #8
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Awesome, thanks for the info everyone. Going with electric/gas Atwood for now, will upgrade to tankless later, capable of cutting skin but a bit of a purist. Restoration coming along well.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristi Foster View Post
He replaced the old 6 Gallon Bowen hot water tank with a new 6 Gallon Atwood tank. He saved the housing from the original hot water tank.
Now that's some great thinking & an awesome tip!
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:59 PM   #10
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The Atwood that I installed has a styrofoam cover. It fit right in where the old Bowen unit was. Did not use any part of the old Bowen for the new installation.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:13 AM   #11
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My water heater on both the 2009 & 2011 utilize styrofoam as the outside so might be easier to install other heaters and still utilize the thermal cover...
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