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Old 02-02-2007, 09:18 PM   #1
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acton
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Bowen water heater door with newer suburban water heater

Has anyone had success using a newer water heater but still keeping the bowen door on your trailer? Did you have to fabricate a lot? Can someone post a pic??? Im about to go down that road and would love to have a better idea on how to go about this.
Thanks
Its going in a 63 tradewind.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:14 PM   #2
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Haven't done it yet but the Atwood looks to be a close copy of the old Bowen. So maybe not much fabrication would be required.

see: Wacky Water Heater

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Old 02-02-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
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Link shows up as an email address
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:52 AM   #4
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hello durans54 ,

I installed a suburban unit 10 gallon in my 60 trdwnd .I did use the original
bowen outer shroud assembly. The atwood water heater closely matches
the original bowen heater in regards to the exhaust outlet and so forth .I went to O.S.H. and picked up a few furnace ducting pieces ,and fabricated them to fit .they have to direct the exhaust of the suburban heater to flow out of the original shroud.it takes some work to fit up the new pieces.
It worked out great .so then ,I have no pics of the work unfortunately as I did it before being on the forums ,but I could take some for you if you like .
The gap from the old unit to the new at the opening needs to be filled also ,so you can devise a way to deal with that ,say some scrap type thin aluminum pieces to fill the space. and the outer rivited portion that the shroud all connects to remain in place .It is worth it to do this if your wanting the original look .

Scott
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
hello durans54 ,

I installed a suburban unit 10 gallon in my 60 trdwnd .I did use the original
bowen outer shroud assembly. The atwood water heater closely matches
the original bowen heater in regards to the exhaust outlet and so forth .I went to O.S.H. and picked up a few furnace ducting pieces ,and fabricated them to fit .they have to direct the exhaust of the suburban heater to flow out of the original shroud.it takes some work to fit up the new pieces.
It worked out great .so then ,I have no pics of the work unfortunately as I did it before being on the forums ,but I could take some for you if you like .
The gap from the old unit to the new at the opening needs to be filled also ,so you can devise a way to deal with that ,say some scrap type thin aluminum pieces to fill the space. and the outer rivited portion that the shroud all connects to remain in place .It is worth it to do this if your wanting the original look .

Scott
Hi Scott

I almost PM'd you earlier today, saw you posted something along these lines last year. Yeah, if it isnt too much trouble I would appreciate a pic, it would give me a point of reference.
Mitch
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:18 AM   #6
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Mitch ,I will get some pics tomorrow on Saturday and get them posted .
Im sure they will be a help and its no trouble at all .

Scott
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durans54
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I fixed the link above. That looks to be part of TheVAP's Tim Shephard's homepage (Safari Tim) -- good place!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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Thanks Scott, look forward to it.
Thank you Canoe stream, works now.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:44 PM   #9
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suburban water heater /bowen shroud

Durans 54 ,here is the first pics ,Im sure only 3 or so will load at a time
seems to be the case most of the time.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:46 PM   #10
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another few pics

Well ,thats 4 so better than average ,Ill go for more.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:49 PM   #11
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A few more to post

Doing good ,so Im going for the rest now.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:07 PM   #12
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Ok then .thats them ,I did this install a few years ago so the cover and pieces do show some weathering on the back side and all ..The one pic with the oval cutout ,was where the old bowen exhaust went ,and I just pop rivited a piece in at the bottom (small shiny square piece)to bridge the cutout
there to strengthen it so its not flimsy.The fabric type matt you can see at the
top of the exhaust vent (square section )is high heat material for racing ,it
can withstand temps of 2000 degrees they say ,but It keeps the heat off the aluminum behind the exhaust .The shroud actually goes over that square
exhaust chiminy and goes down over it and behind it .i also fitted small
aluminum sections (thin sheet angle leftover from the bowen sectioned out )
to fill the openings and gaps between the sides and top of the heater and opening.I did not modify the original opening in any way ,but did install
stainless slotted pan head screws for the vintage look all around the existing
outer perimeter piece .The bottom section of shroud is not changed or cut.
also I used new copper where needed to connect it all up and brass compression fittings as well ,NO leaks ,there is only one small section of the grey plastic type tubing in there from the PO ,it will be replaced at some point with a new copper line ,I did caulk around the outer perimeter of the heater
just inside the outer perimeter piece to prevent outside leaks .I also was able
to hook up the gas line easily (its close to the Bowen hookup ) and it has a
shutoff manual valve inside on the floor in the pic with the copper lines by the wall .You will want to put in a drain tube just in the bottom of the inner
heater surround from the outside ,so water can drain out from rain or the pop
off valve letting hot water out when needed.The drain can be drilled down into the belly from that inner area .Id install a tube ,epoxy it in place so water cannot get to the floor in some way .hope this can help you out.
I need to put in a drain myself ,you can see some corrosion (now cleaned)
marks when looking down into the lower part of the heater from the outside
Scott of scottanlily
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:31 AM   #13
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Thanks for the pics Scott, these will help tremediously. Looks like I will have to do some metal work. Now that I look at yours it looks as though the PO may have cut the hole bigger but left the factory door in. I will have to fabricate some metal but that shouldnt be a problem. Was the opening pretty much the size of the new Water heater?
These should give me a good start to fit mine in, Thanks again, I will let you know how I do.
Mitch
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Old 02-04-2007, 10:17 AM   #14
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Thanks...

Mitch for asking the question that has been on my mind...

and to Scott for the great photos and detailed explanation.

I also want to keep the vintage look.

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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?
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