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Old 03-12-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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1966 Bowen Water Heater R.I.P.

Hey Gang-

Well all good things come to an end and the original 1966 Bowen Water Heater on my Safari Double finally corroded through. 43.5 years-- the last ten of heavy use...

I have been reading old posts and am unclear which fits the original hole better. A ten or 6 gallon?? Suburban or Atwood?

I have all the original exterior sheet metal cover parts for the Bowen in good shape and want to "dress out" the new water heater with the assembly in some way, most likely non functional. Does any one have photos of what can be done?

Thanks in advance for any help...

The Prof.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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Hi Prof, It is not the size of the opening the is a problem. It's the depth of the new water heater that is. I had to go with a 6-gallon in my Safari. The 10-gallon would have stuck out in the living area. Get the tape measure out your results may vary. Atwood and Suburban are good at giving the dimensions and don't forget room for the water connectors.

Scott (goransons) did a nice job on his cover for the new W/H. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f150...tml#post744489. I did something similar, but not as nice IMO.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverleeper View Post
Hi Prof, It is not the size of the opening the is a problem. It's the depth of the new water heater that is. I had to go with a 6-gallon in my Safari. The 10-gallon would have stuck out in the living area. Get the tape measure out your results may vary. Atwood and Suburban are good at giving the dimensions and don't forget room for the water connectors.

Scott (goransons) did a nice job on his cover for the new W/H. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f150...tml#post744489. I did something similar, but not as nice IMO.
Those photos weren't my work, but a shop. I'm in the process of replicating their work, but need to get my floor and black tank installed, then save up for the new WH. Hopefully when I get my version done you can claim I did a good job
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProfessor View Post
Hey Gang-

Well all good things come to an end and the original 1966 Bowen Water Heater on my Safari Double finally corroded through. 43.5 years-- the last ten of heavy use...

I have been reading old posts and am unclear which fits the original hole better. A ten or 6 gallon?? Suburban or Atwood?

I have all the original exterior sheet metal cover parts for the Bowen in good shape and want to "dress out" the new water heater with the assembly in some way, most likely non functional. Does any one have photos of what can be done?

Thanks in advance for any help...

The Prof.
Check the thread"Heat Vent on Skin" for a modification.I just puled my 65 Bowen tank in perfect shape.Going tankless. Steve
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by goransons View Post
Those photos weren't my work, but a shop. I'm in the process of replicating their work, but need to get my floor and black tank installed, then save up for the new WH. Hopefully when I get my version done you can claim I did a good job
Common Scott, Go just go with it.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Here is my experience 3 years ago. Love the Atwood. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f445...-in-36653.html
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #7
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Suburban heater

I just went through this. I chose the 6 gal Suburban heater since the burner and exhaust is configured like the Bowen was. We have one week of camping now using the smaller tank and can say we saw no difference from the smaller tank. But we use the button on the shower wand. I chose the manual light Suburban to keep out the added complications of eletronic ignition.

I also saved the old Bowen cover. Attached is a pix showing the mods I made. The Bowen chimney isn't on in this pix.

I had to:

1. cut a hole in the cover to get to the valve
2. add an extension to the Suburban exhaust to ensure the exhaust goes into the Bowen chimney.
3. patch the old gap (under the new vent)

I then installed a piano hinge ( pix tomorrow) on the front side of the chimney so as to easily gain access to the gas valve when lighting the heater.

The second pix shows how much smaller the Suburban is. I patched the open space with aluminum. All the connections gas, hot and cold water are in new places so I had to redo the plumbing. This was the harder part of the install.

We gained space in the closet which is nice in a small trailer.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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Looks good herb, how did you get the textured aluminum so shiny? never had much luck polishing that type of stuff.
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:32 AM   #9
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Brilliant work Herb- But that's what you do! I am inspired. Yesterday afternoon was a long one when I realized my situation. We're courtesy camped with very good friends. Debating whether to wear out my welcome here or try this at Mystic Springs, about an hour away.

Thanks Every one for the great photos! It helps and is an inspiration.

Alexander-
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Boy! I didn't have to go to that much work. I removed a 6 gallon Bowen and replaced it with a 6 gallon Atwood. Even used the same door. It took about 2 hrs.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:41 AM   #11
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Boy! I didn't have to go to that much work. I removed a 6 gallon Bowen and replaced it with a 6 gallon Atwood. Even used the same door. It took about 2 hrs.
As of many years ago, Atwood is the new name for Bowen.

Same company.

Andy
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:53 PM   #12
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I did the same thing as Herb in my '58 Flying Cloud. I had to buy a couple of flare fittings for the hot/cold piping, but not a ton of modifications required beyond a couple of pieces of copper tubing. The old Bowen external door/vent should be reused! The new hatchcovers are really ugly. Simple to modify with tinsnips. I used Home Despot alum flashing (roll) to remake the "inner wall." A few strips and some pop rivets to hold the wall insulation in place.

(6 gallon Suburban purchased from Kearby RV Center - best price at the time.)
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:49 AM   #13
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Got the old water heater out with no problem and purchased a 6 gallon suburban off the shelf. Wanted a 10 gallon but the lead time is too long and shipping was prohibitive. Looks like good weather for the project.... as if I needed another one.... Thanks for the help gang!
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:14 AM   #14
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Got the old water heater out with no problem and purchased a 6 gallon suburban off the shelf. Wanted a 10 gallon but the lead time is too long and shipping was prohibitive. Looks like good weather for the project.... as if I needed another one.... Thanks for the help gang!
I put a 10 gallon Suburban in my Safari but learned 6 gallon would work fine as the water heats up so quickly. If it is ON it is hot. and that is 4 gallons less to carry around also.

One huge improvement is the DSI option. I also got the model with an electric element but have never used it.

Also revented and used old cover.
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