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Old 04-01-2008, 09:04 AM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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'72 Bowen Water Heater in Tradewind

Does anyone know if the water heaters for this year used any electricity in their operation? The reason I ask, is that I'd like to replace the existing heater with an electric start Atwood or an RV-500 and I'm wondering if there is wiring already in place for the new unit. If not, I'll have to plan for running a new circuit and switch for the new heater. Is this a difficult thing to do?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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On the 71 at least the breaker box is next to the tank in the bath closet. Our box had one open leg so I just hooked it up there without any problems.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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The breaker box is right above the water heater in mine. Both are in the streetside wardrobe, so getting a new circuit wired shouldn't be too difficult now that I think about it.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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The electric start Atwood uses 12v DC for the electronic ignition, right?
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:13 AM   #5
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electronic ignition

You are correct, DPeakMD, the electronic ignition Atwood requires only 12 V DC to be hooked up to it. Atwood supplies a nice switch for the ignition and the instructions are pretty clear and straightforward.

In our rear bath model, I just used the DC circuit that went to the small exhaust fan in the water heater closet (which I had removed).

The supplies required to install the water heater include some 16 ga wire (forget Lowes and HD and go to NAPA), some wire nuts or butt connectors, screws, and caulk or butyl tape.

On the 6 gallon Atwood we installed, the gas connection was sufficiently different from the old Bowen that I had to run a new supply line. That required a flaring tool, copper tubing, and teflon tape (the yellow color). Since I could not budge the old valve, I replaced it as well.
Atwoods are built for rectangular SOB's, so you need to decide whether to shim up the bottom of the heater or live with a variable thickness caulk joint on the outside of the trailer. At least there was enough inward taper on the side of our '74 to require that choice. Different years/models may have straighter sides at the water heater.

I would not say it's a very difficult job to put one in, but it will take some time and patience. Good luck either way.

Laird
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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Thank you for that, Laird.
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