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Old 09-14-2006, 02:04 PM   #1
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1969 18' Caravel
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best water heater?

Looks like we have to replace our original Bowen water heater in our 69 Caravel. Does anyone have a recommendation about a particular model, or any specifications we should shop for, oh and best prices might help too!

thanks, Krista
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:56 PM   #2
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A 6 gallon DSI heater from Atwood or Saburban are about the same cost. Look for a sale. Fall and winter are slow sales months should be able to get a deal. As for quality they are also about the same.
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KHarris
Looks like we have to replace our original Bowen water heater in our 69 Caravel. Does anyone have a recommendation about a particular model, or any specifications we should shop for, oh and best prices might help too!

thanks, Krista
Krista,

The most popular units are made by either Suburban or Atwood, as Gary already quoted.
Having installed both, it is really hard to say which is better. My RV parts supplier claims that he is sold on the Suburban models, so I bought a 10gal Suburban for my 63 Overlander rehab project. It is functionally identical to the Atwood that I bought 2 years prior for my 1971 Tradewind. It's flush mount door is aliitle less obtrusive than the Atwood door.
You might take a look at the existing water heater cutout and decide which one might fit the application a little better, and base your choice on that.
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:45 PM   #4
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No Tanks

Have you considered a "tankless" water heater?
If you did a search for tankless and lewster you might find it interesting.
We have a tankless Riunni at home and love it.

R
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:15 PM   #5
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Depends on your budget

Go tankless if you have the bucks! I have the RV-500 in my 19CCD. It is especially gratifying when on the road to be able to pull into a rest area and get a HOT shower instantly, without running the water heater while driving or waiting for the tank to heat.

When hooked-up, you can take a shower until your propane runs out ( a VERY long time ).

Other than that, the main difference in the conventional heaters is the tank. The Atwood uses an aluminum clad tank that they say never corrodes thru and Suburban uses a replaceable sacrificial anode to keep the tank from corroding. It's a toss-up, but I have replaced a couple of Atwood tankd and NEVER a Suburban.
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:25 PM   #6
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The suburban 10 gallon in our 60 i installed works great .It is supposed to
be a porcelin coated or lined steel tank .the bowen was an alumium tank and
I did not want the corrosion with aluminum ,so no atwood . Many do use both
brands that work well .

Scott
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:36 PM   #7
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lewster. I was wondering how long should a atwood live? my 86 excella has the original atwood dsi unit. Things are getting pretty rusty and I've started research on new products. Ant comment on the Atwood XT models? Thanks in advance Tim
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYONE'S SUPPORT AND ADVICE. I COULDN'T GET ALONG WITHOUT IT ON THIS PROJECT.

We are researching the tankless, both for home and RV, but cost may be the deciding factor.

Krista
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by doorgunner
lewster. I was wondering how long should a atwood live? my 86 excella has the original atwood dsi unit. Things are getting pretty rusty and I've started research on new products. Ant comment on the Atwood XT models? Thanks in advance Tim
tim,

Haven't seen any XT's yet, but I'll do a little research when I get a minute. I just got off the road from a cross-country trip and I have a 'few' things to do .
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Old 09-15-2006, 09:52 PM   #10
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Hi,

I would agree with a couple of others... go "tankless" aka, "on demand" hot water heater. I think they are quite small, and give you more storage room around your heater. Spendy, yes. Less weight, not lugging around the extra water, not using as much propane to keep the water hot. Longer "navy" showers.... or if hooked up.... luxurious showers!

Good luck on your quest. Let us know what you decide and why! We are all interested!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:43 AM   #11
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Tankless for AS & Home

Would love to replace our 23 yr. old WH in our International with a tankless.
Considerations have been cost and actual benefit of "unlimited" hot water they produce. Food for thought: If you (a) do a lot of camping (no city water hook-up), (b) take water conserving style showers due to capacity of the fresh water tank; the tankless may be the cake you can't eat.
Our 40 gal. supply would eliminate the long, luxury hot showers that the tankless affords only with the appropriate supply of water.
On the other hand, if most of your trips involve a city water connection a small tankless will provide 3 or 4 gpm continuously and give you those great showers.
Water supply / availability will be a big factor in our decision to go back with something close to the original 6 gal. unit.

PS: We have recently installed a 6.9 gpm Noritz in our home and it is wonderful. Looks like a standard carry-on size piece of luggage hanging on the wall. Reclaiming the basement space used by the old 40 gal. gas guzzling water heater was an added benefit. Try to select a model that qualifies for a $300 tax credit. For Georgia we had a Sept. 15 deadline to apply for a $500 rebate from GA. Natural Gas. That almost paid for the $850 cost for the heater (not including $150 for the correct exhaust kit)
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:20 PM   #12
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For not much extra, you can get propane heaters that also have a 120v element that can run concurrently. This hastens the rise time if you have the 120v supply.

Of course, tankless is always nice!
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:10 PM   #13
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If you go with a standard tank, there are some websites that can save you a lot off of the retail dealer price.

I would also suggest upgrading to an electric ignition version. No more running out in the AM to relight the pilot after a little wind, and then waiting for it to heat up again. Very easy upgrade.
Dave

On edit - I see now that this was an old thread. Oh well - the info may help someone....
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:30 AM   #14
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If you get the tankless, is the time limit then only the water supply? Where do I find these tankless heaters, any names or sites???
It really sounds like the way to go!
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