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Old 07-10-2007, 12:48 PM   #1
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Atwood to Suburban Water Heater

My 1973 has an Atwood heater that is leaking so I am guessing it's not repairable and needs to be replaced.

I am interested in the Suburban but I see that the rough opening requirements are only 12.75" x 12.75" which looks quite a bit smaller than the Atwood in the trailer now.

Has anyone retrofitted these?? Or am I stuck with replacing with another Atwood??
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
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Just curious - is there some reason you don't want to use Atwood....?
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:40 PM   #3
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Atwood-- Airstream uses them on current models

As a tech, I have worked on many water heaters. I prefer the simplicity of the Atwood. It is most near a perfect replacement and will not have to be rigged in like a Suburban model would.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:47 PM   #4
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Yeah, what HE said

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin
Just curious - is there some reason you don't want to use Atwood....?
One of these days my 40 year-old Atwood will wear out, and I am also curious as to why I might not want to purchase a new Atwood.

Thanks,
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:30 PM   #5
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I replaced my Bowen with a Suburban rather than an Atwood. I just think aluminum should go on the outside, not the inside.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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Please - tell me more

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I replaced my Bowen with a Suburban rather than an Atwood. I just think aluminum should go on the outside, not the inside.
Please elaborate.

What do you feel is wrong with an aluminum interior in a water heater? I see a "plus" in that it will not rust out like iron.

A "minus" would be the shore water leaching out aluminum products from the tank which could contribute to early Alzheimers disease.

A "minus" would be the shore water leaching out aluminum products from the tank which could contribute to early Alzheimers disease.

I'm sure there's a "minus", but I can't think of one.

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Old 07-10-2007, 05:48 PM   #7
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I can get a deal on a Suburban DSI Electric/Propane. Like $200 less than a comparable Atwood.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:45 PM   #8
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A "minus" would be the shore water leaching out aluminum products from the tank which could contribute to early Alzheimers disease.

Tom
That's my main concern. Why take the risk if it's avoidable.

I'm not recommending people rip out their Atwood water heaters. Just drink bottled water.

Keep the aluminum on the outside.

When I ordered my new water heater, Jevin gave me a choice; same price for either the Atwood or the Suburban. He recommended the Suburban because of fewer warranty claims. I liked the slightly faster recovery rate also.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:30 PM   #9
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The faster recovery rate is substantial 7 gallons to 10 gallons per hour.

But back to my original question..........

Has anyone retrofit a Suburban into an Atwood hole?? If so, How did you fill in the opening?
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
That's my main concern. Why take the risk if it's avoidable.

I'm not recommending people rip out their Atwood water heaters. Just drink bottled water.
How often do people drink hot water from the tap?

Having grown up with a water softener, it's not something I ever consider doing.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance
The faster recovery rate is substantial 7 gallons to 10 gallons per hour.

But back to my original question..........

Has anyone retrofit a Suburban into an Atwood hole?? If so, How did you fill in the opening?
You can check with any RV parts supplier that sells Suburban. There should be a retro-fit kit that will allow you to fill in the gap at the sides due to the different shape. You also might have to trim the top to allow space for the taller Suburban.

If you're worried about the aluminum tank, why don't you forgoe the tank completely and go tankless! The RV-500, while a bit pricey, is the ultimate solution to Alzheimers(no aluminum tank), low hot water recovery rates (endless instant hot water) AND wasted propane (only on when there is a hot water demand) to keep the water tank heated.

I have one in my CCD and have been using one in a MoHo since 2000.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:40 AM   #12
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I have zero worries about the aluminum tank. As said above........ Its for hot water and I don't drink or cook with it.

I'll check on the retro fit kit and if it gets too wild I'll have to run with an Atwood.
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