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Old 04-03-2010, 07:30 AM   #15
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1966 22' Safari
Weatherford , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Compound snips, such as Wiss, will be easier on your hand. Most hardware stores sell them these days, and I think I've seen them at Lowe's. They make three. One is for straight cuts, one for left turns, and one for right turns.

If you cut with snips, don't let the blades close completely in the middle of the cut. It will leave a mark, or maybe a small crack, in the metal. In T3 (heat treated) condition, this metal is more brittle than ordinary aluminum--and almost as strong as steel.

Use a file to take the sharp edges off newly cut metal, even the edges left where the supplier cuts it with a metal shear. A few minutes just running a flat file down each edge will save a box of Band Aids.

Please post pictures as you go. We're doing the exact same conversion on our Safari.

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Old 04-14-2010, 05:35 PM   #16
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1960 26' Overlander
Everett , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Question Next Little Challenge

Ok, I have my aluminum, my nibblers and shears and have cut a nice patch for the opening. Thanks to everyone for their help.

Just when I thought I was on my way, reality set in. If any of you are still there, especially adonh who also installed an RV-500, I could use some more advice. When I place the heater unit in the opening and flat on the floor, the top flange is in contact with the hull skin, but the bottom flange is nearly two inches from the opening due to the curvature of the trailer hull (see pic). Yikes! I don't see a way to get both flanges in contact AND keep the unit level. Am I missing something or is this getting more complicated than I bargained for? Thanks again for the advice and the hand holding!
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:38 AM   #17
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1976 31' Sovereign
Missouri City , Texas
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You might try raising the RV 500 up off the floor a couple of inches and see if the A/S side has a little less curve. If you notice in the pictures of my install I actually built an insert to level my floor where the heater sits. You should also check with Precision Temp and get their input as well.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:00 PM   #18
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1960 26' Overlander
Everett , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 24
I saw that you had built a level platform due to existing floor damage. Your suggestion to raise the unit is a good one, and by doing that as high as possible in the existing cutout I can get the bottom flange to about an inch from the hull of the trailer. I don't want to enlarge the existing opening and I'm limited anyway because it is under the bed so it won't fit going any higher.

I'm kind of stumped because this was supposed to be a direct replacement for an Atwood, which fits the old Bowen space. If I gave up on the tankless idea and went to an Atwood heater, I can't imagine I wouldn't have the same problem. Anyone else have an idea?

I do have an inquiry into Precision Temp and will post their response when received. Thanks again.

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bowen, cutout, size

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