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Old 01-16-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by adonh View Post
I installed the RV 500 from Precision Temp in my 1976 31' Sovereign to replace the old Bowen 10 gal heater a few years back. Looking at some of the pictures of the Atwood the inside works look very similar to the RV 500. On the RV 500 the cold weather or freeze protection only works when the unit is operational with gas, power and the water turned on. It works on the basis that as the temp gets closer to freezing it heats the water in the lines just enough to keep them freezing. The main part that is subject to freezing is the plastic flow meter. The flow meter controls the operation of the heater. When it senses water flowing it turns on the gas and lights the burner to heat the water. It stays on as long as water is flowing, When the water turns off it turns everything off. When the water flow starts again it turns back on. You have hot water in a matter of seconds. For dry storage they recommend draining the water lines and using RV antifreeze. As I said the plastic flow meter is subject to freezing and cracking. You may want to check the flow meter setup in the Atwood. I have attached some pictures of installation I did on the RV 500 which should be about the same for the Atwood. I will be interested in see how this works out for you.

Don
Atwood licensed the technology from Precision Temp.......hence the similarities......
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:08 PM   #16
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Flow Meter

The flow meter that I mentioned above can be seen in picture # 12 of the attachment to my previous post. It right in the middle in the back and has a clear cover that looks like it has spokes but these are just ridges in the cover and a white molded plastic housing. How does this compare to the Atwood.

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:18 PM   #17
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Thanks for posting your install photos Don. I thought at first that I was going to do the same install but my unit is only 6 gallons and I think you had a 10. Otherwise, I also have a similar mid bath layout. On mine, a heater vent lays directly across the top of the unit at 12.5 inches high which made the Atwood unit attractive as it should fit exactly the same space. I suppose that raising the vent an inch wouldn't be insurmountable. Almost tempting since the aluminum door on the precisiontemp is far more attractive than what I am getting with the atwood. I'm going to probably paint mine for now and hope that aluminum doors become available in the near future.

I can't speak to the differences yet between units but I surely will be comparing photos closely when mine arrives and will update this thread with detailed pics. I am hoping that this is essentially a precision temp unit in a different form factor.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:23 PM   #18
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I sure do wish that these manufacturers would allow for some flexibility in where the power and water line hook ups came out of the units! These rear attachments encroach into my bathroom space and I'd much rather be able to run things in from the side, perhaps connecting up in the main cavity. Oh well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #19
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Just found out my unit is out for delivery with UPS less than 24 hours after I placed the order! I seem to be near the distribution center. So I should be installing and posting detailed pics of the unit tomorrow.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:25 AM   #20
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The atwood arrived today... 25 hours after I pressed a button to buy it on the web. Wish all my deliveries came that fast! Looks very interesting and I will post a bunch of pics. Strange things here and there, like a warning label on the outside door that is entirely in French.

I've been gathering materials, gearing up to dig into the install in the morning. The hardest part may be removing the old vulkem as it looks rather straightforward. Just little things to do like extend the gas line to reach the back as it now is routed to the front/outer part of the cabinet. I will probably plumb it without a bypass as I don't think it needs one. But I am already set up with it so may not hurt to leave it that way. The other thing is it needs power, and I may just hack into the 12 volt I can find nearby for the time being. I double checked with atwood and they said 18 gauge is fine for the run - even with the winter heat blocks/pad on it.

As I brought up in another thread, I will also likely put in a recirculating line so that I can take navy showers, which normally you wouldn't be able to do with tankless type heaters. This will be a simple valve I can crack under the sink to let water return to the fresh tank from the water heater. So if I am concerned about conserving water more than propane, I will run that to pre heat the water in the line and to keep enough water flowing during the shower to keep the heater on even if I stop the flow in the shower. Seems simple enough to plumb so I figure ... Why not?

I'm also hoping this unit will encroach into the bathroom less than I was thinking it would. I knew the depth of the cabinet was 13.5 inches plus plumbing on the back. But that is from the outer skin and I had been mistakenly calculating from the inner skin. My current unit encroaches about 14 inches plus plumbing from the inner. And looking over the atwood, it might be possible to hack and reroute the plumbing to come out of the heater cabinet from the sides instead of the back. Should be no problem at all for the gas and cold water inlet. Not sure yet abut the hot outlet. May not hack it until I install it first normally for a bit just to make sure it functions well before I void the warranty with modifications.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:32 AM   #21
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One other note - the unit didn't come with a remote switch although one was pictured in the manual. Just a heads up to anyone else who gets one that one is needed. Also, an LED for a warning light.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:31 AM   #22
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Another plus with the recirculating line is you could probably use it to fill the fresh water tank when using city water (just turn off the water heater and remove the fill cap to allow plenty of venting and in-case you over fill).
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #23
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Another plus with the recirculating line is you could probably use it to fill the fresh water tank when using city water (just turn off the water heater and remove the fill cap to allow plenty of venting and in-case you over fill).
Great idea! That could save some hassle of dragging around the hose or repositioning to do that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:24 PM   #24
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Here come some pics...



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First some pics of the old Bowen before ripping it out. This actually took a lot longer than expected as it wouldn't just slide out from the outside. In the end, I think the gobs of caulk/vulkem were holding it in quite a bit. On the inner walls, there were strips of aluminum framing it in and it felt like those had to come off too before we could get it out.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:33 PM   #25
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Fortunately, we had already disassembled most of the bathroom making it easy to work both inside and out. We are in the process of rebuilding the whole thing which is one reason we decided to do this project now.



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Used goofoff pro per forum recommendation to clean up the goop. Worked pretty well. Still not completely finished.

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Here is where the gas line was coming up in the front and getting in the way with a test fit of the new unit. Drilled a hole and moved or about an inch or so to the side. The main part of this new unit is narrower than the old so plenty of room on the side to route it up and around back.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #26
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Here is a pic of the guts of the new unit as I know a lot of people want to look at this closely to see how much matches with the precision temp. This is the 50k unit and as per earlier posts in this thread it has some winter protection heating elements.

That's all the pics for today as we ran out of light and are going to finish in the morning.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:54 PM   #27
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One little hitch we ran into today is trying to get a right angle off the 3/8 inch flare gas line fitting poking out the back of the new unit. Trying to keep things from encroaching into the toilet area any more than is necessary. Looks like a "swivel elbow" is what would help but they don't sell them at Home Depot. Vintage Trailer has them though. Can be found cheaper I think. http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/..._p/vts-360.htm
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:57 AM   #28
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Update

How is the hot water project going.

Don
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