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Old 08-03-2015, 08:47 PM   #1
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1974 27' Overlander
Ventura , California
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Thumbs up Can I replace the 'Guts' of my original water heater? 1974 Overlander

Hello all .. I am in the middle of an extensive restoration .. next project is the water heater .. I am on a budget and Im wondering if I can just replace the parts of the water heater and leave the tank in place? Any Help is appreciated!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
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Been there, done that. You're better off biting the bullet and buying a new replacement. The time and effort finding parts and then cobbling it all together would make a new unit look like a bargain. Also, even if you did replace the parts, there's no guarantee how much longer the tank will last. It's an easy and straight swap with a new Atwood to replace the old. You also have the option to stick with straight propane, or add options like electric ignition as well as electric heat (very handy when shore power is available).
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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hey Thanks for the fast response!! I posted that question like 5 minutes ago!! Ok Ill go ahead and have it replaced .. Can you recommend an exact model thats a perfect swap and possibly the cheapest? Im flipping this RV .. It needs to work and be reliable but I dont need top of the line .. Thanks again!!
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:04 PM   #4
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Oh and to ad to my repspone .. yes I would like a both gas and electric model preferably with a control switched wired inside the trailer to avoid having to go outside
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:07 PM   #5
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1974 27' Overlander
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Just found this on eBay:


RV Atwood Water Heater - G6A-7 Six Gallon LP Gas Pilot Light , NEW for $209

will that one work?
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:29 PM   #6
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The Atwood is a straight swap. I can't remember if the overlander came with a six or ten gallon heater. My tradewind had a six and the new Atwood six gallon was an easy swap.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:21 PM   #7
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Measure, I believe the Overlander for that year it would be a ten gallon. I agree with the electric/propane dual fuel option. When you are camping with electric, you are not burning your propane. You can also use both fuels at once for fast recovery, which is great if multiple people are showering.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:38 PM   #8
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I always go for a 10gal when I can. and dream of having a tankless someday!
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:55 PM   #9
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Not ideal

Quote:
Originally Posted by mewdswing View Post
Just found this on eBay:


RV Atwood Water Heater - G6A-7 Six Gallon LP Gas Pilot Light , NEW for $209

will that one work?
Pretty sure that model cannot be remotely activated.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #10
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Hello mewdswing

The advice you a receiving is sound. That is an Atwood water heater, and new Atwood water heaters of the same capacity (6 or 10 gallons as the case may be) would be a drop-in fit.

The ebay listing is for a pilot light unit. That is what you have now. While it would work, you might want to consider installing a spark-ignition replacement. Doing so would require running a 12v electric line and installing a switch inside, but would be far more convenient to use. The pilot light units have to be lit manually from outside the trailer after arriving at the campground, and can blow out in windy conditions.

Whether to upgrade to a combination gas/electric unit is mostly a matter of whether you're willing and able to install the wiring for it. Yes they will allow you to use less propane but that's ordinarily not a big deal, unless you plan on spending many nights a year in the trailer (say, more than 20), or have an unusually serious problem with propane cost or availability.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:04 PM   #11
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I did the parts replacement when I did our '75 Overlander as the tank itself was watertight. We have been using it now for 4 months and more than happy plus it's much cheaper
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:13 PM   #12
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The 12 volt ignition is worth whatever the cost. If the trailer has a bath tub as does my Overlander, the water heater is supposed to be 10 gal.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:08 AM   #13
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1971 31' Excella 500
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Got a 71 excella 500 31' RB with tub. The PO replaced the WH about 6yrs ago was wondering if one can add electric ignition aftermarket? Can you do a duel fuel retro? Also has any one got a handle on the cost to have are gal re-plumbed in pex? Got a quote for 5-6 hundred and 6 hrs to complete.


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Old 08-25-2015, 07:48 AM   #14
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If you can install it yourself you can get a gas-electric direct ignition Atwood for 400 to 500 on the internet. I did mine and it was pretty easy. I rarely use the electric. I would suggest just getting a direct ignition gas heater. I think the gas only is quite a bit cheaper. We run the gas and usually the heater is only on for about an hour in the morning and at night. The PEX is pretty straightfoward to work with and if you are just changing the heater there is not much of it to do.
There are aftermarket electric add ons but the one that the PO had put on my old WH was a dangerous piece of junk. I would not go that route.
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