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Old 08-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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1977 27' Overlander
Malibu , California
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 7
Is Atwood only choice for water heater replacement 1977

I have had a number of Atwood G6A-7 pilot ignition water heaters over the years replaced in our 1977 Overlander REAR BATH 27 foot. The most recent tank has leaked after only 2 yrs (1 yr total usage). Is there another brand/mfg that will fit?

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Posts: 2,257
Smile Try a Tankless...

Assuming a 6-gallon or bigger Atwood, look into the PrecisionTemp tankless replacement heater. I'm in process of installing a PrecisionTemp, Atwood has come out with a licensed clone as well. Admittedly neither of them is 'cheap'.

Verify ALL dimensions and connection locations, since the tankless is a little narrower and a little taller than the usual 6 gallon Atwood. I have to trim a bit of skin off the top of the trailer opening to get it in, but the flange is wide enough to cover the width. The tankless is not as deep as the Atwood conventional heater, and is supposed to be more reliable in the long run.

The upside is that my wife loves long, hot showers, and for us, a tankless is the only way to go. We don't boondock much, so lots of water for her pleasure is no issue.

There is another thread running--search for tankless water heaters in the forums if you need more data.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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1975 Argosy 24
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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Interesting. I wonder if something else is going on... unusual water chemistry where you camp or fill your fresh tank, some electrolysis issue, etc.

I have a 6- or 7-year-old pilot-light Atwood that it still working.

That said, people are using Girard and PrecisionTemp "tankless" units and with some modification I think you can use a Suburban with a porcelain-lined tank.
— David

Il Carriaggio — 1975 Argosy 24 | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:30 AM   #4
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Precision Temp RV 550. It has replaced my old Bowen 10 gallon. I had to build a pedestal to get the final fit to be above the exterior trip piece (don't know the proper term for that). Centering the unit on the previous ones (left to right)location guarantees perfect coverage of the door. Yes the flanges are pretty large but I still felt conflicted to make the rough opening a 1/4" larger than the actual unit all the way around. The bottom flanges' lip is the seat for the door that gets screwed to the top flange.

Precision Temp also offers a couple of door finishes which sold me. I think it goes perfectly with my existing AS finish.

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Old 10-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #5
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Precision Temp Installed--finally.

Last long trip precluded this install, so we had to use the original Atwood 6 gallon. Worked, but was not that nice, IMHO. Finally had down time to pull trailer apart and install the shiny new PrecisionTemp 550 I ordered several months ago

Went into a 22' 2007 FB International CCD. Pulling the old Atwood was a bit of a beast, because it was literally glued in place with TONS of caulk on the inside, apparently from the factory. Lots of blue tape to protect the aluminum, and gentle pry and cuss to get it out.

Had to enlarge the top of the opening quite a bit to get the heater in--took two passes to get the hole just barely 1/8 taller than the heater. Its now in sealed with a layer of wide butyl tape covered at the edges with silver caulk.

Some comments, issues and cautions to note during this learning experience:

1. Had to relocate the original Atwood propane supply line, but with a bit of work was able to connect it up using original parts.

2. Crimping PEX in the tight confines of the closet was interesting--I'm sure the neighbors did not appreciate my language and body English whilst I tried to get the huge crimper in there.

3. Start the heater up without propane turned on the first time--the exhaust vent was full of styrofoam pellets chafed from the packing material, and they went everywhere, and a few melted to the screen. Better to blow them out cold.

4. It is much, much quieter than the Atwood, and puts out nice reasonably hot water. Better and more constant temperature control than we got from the Atwood as well.

5. The aluminum (bare) door I got with it is just about 1/4 inch or so WIDER than the Atwood door, so I had the joy of disassembling the lower rub rail, shortening it in place with a hacksaw and a block of wood to protect the side, and putting it all back together.

6. Door is really just BARE aluminum--I get to clear coat it with something to protect it. Any suggestions?

7. Original heater support block on the closet floor needed modifying to support this heater properly. Flipped one way, its too short, the other was too tall.

8. Miracle of miracles, the hinged cover in the bottom of the closet STILL fits properly even though this new heater is a bit taller...

9. No obvious leaks, either...

It was a longish day in the (unusual for SO CAL) rain, of course, but it worked out and should be quite nice for hotel showers on our next 5K mile trip...

Pics look similar to the previous Post. Anyone need a perfectly usable 6 gallon Atwood with lots of caulk on it and low usage hours?--send me a PM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Smile After a few thousand miles on a PrecisionTemp heater

Took the installed heater cross country on a trip to Alabama from California.

Learned a few things:

1. You MUST have adequate fresh water flow to make it work properly. I finally took off the cheap pressure regulator on the hose campground connection end and just rely on the Airstream's internal pressure regulator. Now I get enough flow to get it to heat in a stable manner.

2. Propane pressure is ABSOLUTELY critical. A lowish tank gas level drops pressure and causes the heater to not work right at all.

3. You need a water pressure accumulator tank when running on pump. The atwood heater acts as a surge tank to some extent, and without an accumulator tank the pump on my rig pulses on and off too fast--which is not good for the pump.

4. If items 1 and 2 are good, it works great. Item 3 is needed if you run on the pump more than I do.

Today, it is 37 degrees outside, and windy as hell in West Texas. We had a lovely warm shower this morning in spite of the outside air temperature. Had to mix in a fair amount of cold water to keep the shower temp reasonable.

Now I'm a happy camper!

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