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Old 11-26-2006, 09:03 PM   #1
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1965 Bowen Water Heater Need Parts

Hello, last trip the tip of the thermocoupler broke off on my 1965 Bowen 10 gallon water heater. I can't seem to find the part. Some new parts look like I could make them work but the are made to fit into a new gas control valve. Any ideas for parts? (new or old)
Dave
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:39 AM   #2
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Hello Dave ,check the 68 safari thread by soldiermedic ,he may have his old
bowen for parts ,recent thread ,also alot of Rv places that are mom and pop
type can have alot of older parts available ,others probably will add to this thread as well .

good parts hunting ,

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:07 AM   #3
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Post a picture of the water heater . I have a '76 with a 10 gal Bowen that I was able to find generic parts for , don't know if they are the same.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:14 AM   #4
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Sandia Park , New Mexico
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Have you contacted this place?

http://www.ducktec.com/bowen-waterheaters.htm
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:59 AM   #5
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Thought

I am not a restorer... however I admire the persistence and sense of style of those people who do restore vintage units.

My first response when I see someone trying to repair a vintage water heater or furnace is "WHY?"

Nothing lasts forever. Even the pyramids are showing a lot of wear. Water heaters and furnaces get a lot of wear and tear just from heat expansion and contraction... and then there are the lime deposits, rust, etc.

I look at one of these two old appliances and think two things
  1. carbon monoxide poisoning
  2. fire hazard
About a year ago a member left her "vintage" furnace on in the A/S while she made a quick run to the store - and came back to find her Airstream burned and totalled in her own driveway.

A new heater with the convenience of an electronic ignition might be the best money you ever spend on your Airstream.

I live near Williamsburg Virginia and there are lots of people who re-enact the lifestyle of colonial times... Did you know that during that time the average woman lived to be only 37 years old? Childbirth and infection following childbirth killed 3 out of 10 women; hearth fires (women catching their clothing on fire while cooking on an open hearth) caused nearly as many deaths among women. Point? Sometimes progress is GOOD.

Be safe and see you down the road.

Paula Ford
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:55 PM   #6
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Im going with paula on this also ,the old bowen may be a pile possibly.
Id unscrew the control assembly if you can and get a look ,(small opening)
and see if its all crudded up with calcium deposits and aluminum corrosion
(not good ) .Our 60 trdwnd bowen was junk for the exact reasons .
Im not really for colonial times myself ,but restoring and using a beautiful
piece of american history and vintage amenities is very appealing .compared
to the disposable lifestyle of today and the consumer products that don't hold up or last long .I also would go with the furnace as in rebuilt proffesionally or replaced ,they can be hazardouse to your health .

Scott
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:39 PM   #7
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Hey guys and gals,
I am not into keeping the old water heater just because it's old. It did actually work well before the part broke. I am looking for a easy fix. If that won't work, I will have to buy a new one. That would require some work as I do want to keep the distinctive shroud from the old unit. Putting a new shroud on a vintage trailer is like putting a 2006 bumper on a 1965 car. It just don't look right.
Thanks for the advice. I bought a generic pilot/thermocoupler tonight and I think it will work with some slight modification. I will let you know.
Dave
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:59 PM   #8
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Hi Dave,
I just replaced my water heater because of a leak - sometimes you just have to.
You have a different situation, possibly an easy fix on an otherwise good water heater. If you can find the part, go for it.
Dave
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:20 AM   #9
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After looking at some pictures I can see that our Bowen HWH are not the same model . I had no leaks so I replaced all the gas parts , control valve , thermocoupler , pilot , etc. It's been working great for 10 years now . Good luck
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Old 12-17-2006, 11:16 PM   #10
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Hello,
After going to two older RV repair places, I realized I was on my own. They just shook their head's and said we don't carry any parts for WH, too old". I was able to cobble a generic thermocoupler and pilot to my existing burner and tested everything yesterday. TC and pilot was $30 and I spent $20 on high temp anti rust paint. It took about 4 hours if I add all the time up. Anyway, it should be good to go for another several years! Thanks for all the pointers.
Dave
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