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Old 02-04-2007, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S C Streamer

Does anybody have an opinion as to whether I should keep the old Bowen water heater or install a new modern one during the restoration?
It depends, How well does the old one work ? Do you want to be able to light from inside the trailer with a switch ? Does the old one need a lot of parts ?

Mine only needed a burner tube and pressure relief valve. A few of the parts on the Bowen are obsolete, keep that in mind. The burner tube is one of them. The pilot light assy. is another. It is possible to dissassemble the pilot light if it is clogged and clean it.

You can still buy new, thermostat, pressure relief valve, thermocouple.

I did a minor refurb on mine. Painted housing, new pressure valve, new burner tube and cleaned out the tank. It works great now and I suspect it will for quite some time.

I believe that your WH is very close to my model on my Caravel.

Don (Norcalbambi) rebuilt his. You can PM on it. I bet he would be glad to tell you about how he did it.

Oh yea, I vote keep the original - unless it is toast then get new and use the old shoud as discussed previously.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #16
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Agree with C Johnson ,

you can refurbish the bowen ,but it depends on its condition .In my case
the Bowen was really corroded inside .the control unit unscrews from the tank and corrosion had eaten away at those threads from the inside of the tank ,looking in with a borascope automotive tool ,it was a terrible mess.
lots of heavy corrosion .If you take it apart like Norcal Bambi did and
refit the tank (if its in good shape) it can work Im sure .The artisan in him
allows that kind of dedication ,he cut the tank apart and restored it. A first
rate job. I figured a new unit was in order in my case for sure. Many have not
had any issues as mine had ,Im thinking mine had heavy use for many years.

Scott
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:27 PM   #17
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Durans54,

The original opening is close to the same size ,a little larger requiring you to
add some (filler) pieces to close up the gaps .I installed it so Id have a little
bit of room on the wall side (inside pics) .All in all it went in good. The bowen
just sat right on the floor ,and the suburban required me to add 2 ,2x1"
wood strips on each side of the tank to have it sit on the floor correctly.I
then used plumbers strap over the top of the tank to secure it down .You
might find a different approach to secure it .The main idea is to get the best fit in the opening .I also screwed the front inner metal section in place with
screws also .Once you get going on the install ,you'll see what you need to
do .you may find another way works well too .Im not sure how the Atwood
will fit ,but it should be similar.

Scott
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
It depends, How well does the old one work ? Do you want to be able to light from inside the trailer with a switch ? Does the old one need a lot of parts ?
After sitting unused for 17 years, to my amazement it fired right up (after some cleaning of the burner area) and ran very well with all controls working.
I was unable to run it too long because there is/was no water in the tank, because the plumbing is incomplete.

I'm stripping the interior right now in prepartions for a FULL MONTY. Once the cabinets are out, I'll fill with water and check it out to see if it holds water, heats water and that the inside of the tank is clean.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:54 PM   #19
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The more I look at the great pics Scott to the more I think Im missing the shroud in the second shot fromt the top. More metal work
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:27 AM   #20
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durans54 ,

do you mean the upper cross piece that remains on the trailer held on by
the slotteds screws? its polished up on mine.or the the main piece that
goes on first before the actual shroud itself ? take some pics of what you have so we can see whats up there if you don't mind.

Scott
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #21
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I'll take some pics tomorrow and post them so you know what I mean.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:56 PM   #22
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pics

2 days later I finally got the pics
I took some of the panels from the front and the rear so you can see someone had attached some metal to seal it. Also took one of the opening so you can see what Im missing.
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:59 PM   #23
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more pics

of the back
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:01 PM   #24
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pic

and the opening
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:25 AM   #25
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hello durans54 ,

it looks like someone put 2 patches on the opening of the lower piece
which you want to remove ,so air can get in ,the furnace needs air for the flame obviousely.both of those on the rear of the lower section need to be removed.The upper section is right and the shroud is right also .there are only three sections ,and you have them.The top cross piece is still on the trailer.
The upper piece (in your first pic to the left)goes up under the lip of the part on the trailer ,screws down .It too has an added filler patch.That can be changed to go around the exhaust outlet,you can see how mine is cut out
for that ,and i left in the old curved cutout,my pic shows it held up to the trailer yet Im holding it down so you can see the square cutout i made that
goes up close to the exhaust when its installed.looking at your opening your
new heater will fit up snug to the inner wall , and that lower lip (outer lower)
will stay as it is shown in your picture.your not missing anything .The opening
is just like mine.I installed my heater so the heater "surround " lines up with the rearward part of the opening (less metal added there minimal)and most of the added filler metal is added at the front gap that will be there.
Look carefully at my photo ,you will see added screws and filler metal .It
just looks like it has more to it cause I added it in .It is suppose to appear
like its does once installed and finished .Id get your heater of choice and
slide it in place to get the idea .Youve got all the parts you need ,the extra added metal is easy to do ,mainly right angle sheet aluminum pieces ,you can
use galvanized pieces from the home store.The square boxy thing in the top
off center is the exhaust ducting I added to the heaters exhaust duct to
direct the hot air up into the shroud ,its just rivited on with pop rivits..So then the heater fits lined up at the rear (towards the rear of trailer)as I said .When you get yours placed in you'll see the photos make sense.
With the sealer caulked in and all it looks original as much as i could get it anyway . The shroud and covers had to be correct though visually.

Scott
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:16 AM   #26
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Thanks Scott, I'll use your info to unravel this puzzle. Thanks again for your help.
Mitch
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:30 PM   #27
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DSI vs electric igniton

I am shopping for a new water heater and so far have not found a merchant who can explain the difference between DSI and regular electric ignition. I realize mostly they just take orders and don't have the stuff in front of them to look at or compare. Manufacturer websites and info listings don't have much detail either.

The only thing I can tell for sure is it makes a difference in the price, not a whole lot but DSI is higher, so would appreciate input from those of you out there who may have already done this and could help explain, lists pro and cons, etc.

Specifically, I am looking at a 6 gal. gas/electric with DSI.

Thanks in advance,
TinB
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:26 AM   #28
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I'm not a merchant, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinbender
... and so far have not found a merchant who can explain the difference between DSI and regular electric ignition...
DSI stands for "Direct Spark Ignition." With a DSI water heater, you can turn the water heater on or off from the monitor panel inside the Airstream instead of from the outside water heater compartment. Temperature control is automatic.

I think you are paying more for convenience.

Tom
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