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Old 01-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Anyone install new Atwood Tankless Hot Water?

Hi folks - been searching high and low but can't find a lot of info on the new Atwood tankless/on-demand hot water heater. I think that I've seen some people say they were going to get one but I have not been able to find any first hand accounts of anyone having yet installed them.

I've read that they were made in partnership with Precision Temp and so they may be using the same technology. There are two models - 45K and 50K BTU units. The price difference isn't much at all. One post I read said that the larger has cold weather freeze protection. But again, I can't figure much out as Atwood's product info is lacking.

From what I can gather, the "pros" of the Atwood for me are that they may be a better fit for my existing opening. My 77 Excella 500 seems to have the original Bowen (Atwood) G6-10B with an opening roughly 12.5" high and 16.5" wide".

For the Atwood, one note on a merchant website says it is setup for 12.5" high by up to 16" wide... so close but maybe not on the money. Though it sounds close enough that maybe it is going to be a perfect fit.

On the other hand, installation instructions say the rough opening for the theRV500 should be 13.75” wide x 14.625” high. I have not been able to find out if it comes with flanges that would fill my wider opening, and if the door would be big enough to cover that extra 1.5 inches or so on the left and right sides.

So, the Atwood sounds like a better fit though people on the forums have been able to make the RV500 work in a lot of trailers. In my trailer, however, I have a heater duct immediately on top of the hot water heater running through my middle bath. It might be a pain to adjust the duct to make the RV500 fit (the ductwork is already funky enough in its routing).

The biggest drawback to the Atwood is that I think it only comes with a painted white door. Perhaps I could repurpose my existing door for the unit?

The Atwood is a few hundred bucks cheaper, and even more inexpensive if the larger unit has cold weather features compared to the Precision Temp unit with the cold weather package.

Can anyone provide any advice on these units, and confirm if they are indeed using the Precision Temp technology with similar features?
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CA_Tallguy View Post
Hi folks - been searching high and low but can't find a lot of info on the new Atwood tankless/on-demand hot water heater. I think that I've seen some people say they were going to get one but I have not been able to find any first hand accounts of anyone having yet installed them.

I've read that they were made in partnership with Precision Temp and so they may be using the same technology. There are two models - 45K and 50K BTU units. The price difference isn't much at all. One post I read said that the larger has cold weather freeze protection. But again, I can't figure much out as Atwood's product info is lacking.

From what I can gather, the "pros" of the Atwood for me are that they may be a better fit for my existing opening. My 77 Excella 500 seems to have the original Bowen (Atwood) G6-10B with an opening roughly 12.5" high and 16.5" wide".

For the Atwood, one note on a merchant website says it is setup for 12.5" high by up to 16" wide... so close but maybe not on the money. Though it sounds close enough that maybe it is going to be a perfect fit.

On the other hand, installation instructions say the rough opening for the theRV500 should be 13.75” wide x 14.625” high. I have not been able to find out if it comes with flanges that would fill my wider opening, and if the door would be big enough to cover that extra 1.5 inches or so on the left and right sides.

So, the Atwood sounds like a better fit though people on the forums have been able to make the RV500 work in a lot of trailers. In my trailer, however, I have a heater duct immediately on top of the hot water heater running through my middle bath. It might be a pain to adjust the duct to make the RV500 fit (the ductwork is already funky enough in its routing).

The biggest drawback to the Atwood is that I think it only comes with a painted white door. Perhaps I could repurpose my existing door for the unit?

The Atwood is a few hundred bucks cheaper, and even more inexpensive if the larger unit has cold weather features compared to the Precision Temp unit with the cold weather package.

Can anyone provide any advice on these units, and confirm if they are indeed using the Precision Temp technology with similar features?
Hi,
I just finished installing mine today and took a very long glorious hot shower (after 2 weeks with just cold water brrrrrrr).
If you have a mid bath you probably have a 6 gallon tank, the 4500 is the replacement for the 6, the 5000 is for the 10 gallon, at least that's how I understood it. The hole dimensions are different depending on the model as well. I think the freeze protection was an add on, that's what I read in the manual that came with mine. It will probably fit, those dimensions are pretty close. Regarding the white door I plan on getting some silver spray paint to paint it. The old door doesn't appear that it is going to fit. The new door is an pretty exact fit so it does not stick out very far on either side. The unit itself it smaller than the older water heater and has flanges that come out so it gives you some room to fit and wiggle things around. On the furnace hose, I just bungied it up out of the way while I was working, that worked well. I took some pictures during the install and can post them later on if you are interested. Very happy with the purchase and the installation.
Patrick
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for the info! Would love to see photos and know more details. Did you get the smaller unit then? All the specs I've seen say the dimensions are the same for both. If I could trouble you to measure the depth of your installed unit I would be very grateful. I'm leaning towards getting of these myself but info is hard to come by since they are new.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:02 AM   #4
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Hi had a long talk with a teck eng at atwood, my take is the cold weather is worth the extra money. if weather goes frezeing valve off feed water and drain water in heat exchanger, just to be safe
Some day they may stamp some covers in Al just for air stream's, in the mean time try an auto paint store that can match paint and put in spray can.
I will wait about a year for mine, no round fuzzy ears on me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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Is the white door steel or aluminum??

If aluminum just strip the paint of and polish it if need be.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:06 AM   #6
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Hi had a long talk with a teck eng at atwood, my take is the cold weather is worth the extra money. if weather goes frezeing valve off feed water and drain water in heat exchanger, just to be safe
So is the 50k btu unit indeed the one with cold weather package? I have not seen anything in official marketing materials or merchant websites that says that, just a random post somewhere on the web. Price difference between the two units is small so I would get that if it is.
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for the info! Would love to see photos and know more details. Did you get the smaller unit then? All the specs I've seen say the dimensions are the same for both. If I could trouble you to measure the depth of your installed unit I would be very grateful. I'm leaning towards getting of these myself but info is hard to come by since they are new.

13 1/2 as measured from the back to the back of the flange. The gas and water nipples do stick out another 1 inch and maybe 2 inches once you put your pipe hookups on. Yes, I went with the 4500, figured the other 5k will not make a difference.

Here is the link to the brochure, your right the dimensions are the same, I must have been thinking about the 6 and 10 gallon. http://www.atwoodmobile.com/images/ODWH.pdf

The incoming water temp 72 or so here, so this until heats it up no problem. There is also a adjustment from summer mode to winter mode, I have it on summer right now and it's almost too warm to shower.

patrick
1983 31' Sovereign "Beatrice"
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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13 1/2 as measured from the back to the back of the flange. The gas and water nipples do stick out another 1 inch and maybe 2 inches once you put your pipe hookups on. Yes, I went with the 4500, figured the other 5k will not make a difference.
Thanks for the measurements. I agree, the 5k btu difference seems like so little it would make no difference to most people... So why would they bother with two models so similar? That is one reason I wonder if it has the extra winter freeze protection that some have referenced in forum posts. But I can't see any marketing info talking about such a feature. I am going to call Atwood to try to get to the bottom of it.

Maybe the 5000 extra simply means it will work in lower temperatures since these basically work by increasing the temp a certain amount over incoming.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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Just got off the phone with atwood - tech support people are having a meeting on friday to educate them more on these units. Person I spoke with asked the one person who knows a bit about them and they said that the larger unit does indeed have some kind of winterizing or cold weather kit preinstalled. I hope it is a cold weather kit as these units don't need much for winterizing from what I understand. I asked them to email me the manual. I may just order the 50k btu as it is only $50 more.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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I got the manual and it talks about an OPTIONAL cold weather package. Guess I'm not convinced that if I order the 50k unit that it will be installed. I don't care very much about 5k btu but I do rather want the cold weather stuff just as a precaution. S not sure where that leaves me. Maybe I'll just order the 50k and see or maybe I'm going to be calling atwood again to really press the question.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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Ok so I talked to atwood again and although they do still sound unfamiliar with it as it is new, I asked her to triple check about the winter kit being installed in the 50k unit and she put me on hold and came back sounding confident that it had it. And she said it is much better to get it preinstalled on the 50 than to get the optional kit for the 45k. I should have asked what it included but forgot. I'm going to just order the 50k now.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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Take a look at this page in the manual, that might help. I'm hoping to not be camping in -15 anytime soon.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 PM   #13
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Take a look at this page in the manual, that might help. I'm hoping to not be camping in -15 anytime soon.
Ha! Well thanks so much for posting that page as it clears EVERYTHING up. I did order the 50k unit as I recently had a scare when I unexpectedly drove through some freezing weather. Some lines did freeze but thankfully nothing burst or was damaged that I know of.

Unfortunately, the freeze protection uses some battery juice but of course it would. I also see there is a blower in these units so it looks like that is also an added drain on the battery bank over the standard tank water heaters.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Rv 500

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
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