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Old 02-24-2009, 08:53 AM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Need New Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater in our 72 Tradewind is an Bowen. What is a good replacement? Is there one that will fit pretty well in the space with a cover that will work on the outside? All new to this, any help and suggestions much appreciated.

Annette
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by bullydogsmom View Post
The hot water heater in our 72 Tradewind is an Bowen. What is a good replacement? Is there one that will fit pretty well in the space with a cover that will work on the outside? All new to this, any help and suggestions much appreciated.

Annette
The proper sized Atwood water heater, will fit perfectly.

Atwood is the new name for Bowen.

Do you have a 6 or 10 gallon water heater?

Andy
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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I replaced the 6 gal. Bowen in our '66 Trade Wind with a gas/electric (110) Atwood 2 years ago. The switch was easy albeit I took the time to also replace some copper pipe for Pex. Also I made some changes so that I could retain the vintage outside panel and door. We love the Atwood. 6 gallons is very adequate for the 2 of us. I found it interesting and advantageous that once the water is heated just the pilot will keep the 120 degree temperature between uses.
Neil
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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The six gallon Atwood is a direct swap for the six gallon water heater in your unit (assuming you are equipped with the origianal 6gal unit). You have several optionss from propane with manual pilot to the combination 110volt/propane with electric start (12volt). I installed the latter in my 1972 Tradewind.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if I'd call it a direct swap.

I pulled my 10 gallon Bowen out, and put in a new Atwood 10 gallon. It took me and my Paw three and a half days, and a dozen trips to Lowe's. PITA, but it works great now.

The old unit got caught on the F-channel and had to be kicked out of place. Luckily, no damage was done to the skin or belly pan.

The water in and water out connections probably won't line up exactly to your old plumbing, so be prepared to modify your plumbing. If you have the original copper, now is a good time to make the switch to PEX.

The gas line coming in had to be re-routed as well, luckily I had a beat up old 24" ship auger bit that would do the job of drilling a new hole thru the floor and belly pan. (It's bent worse now.)

The new unit is a bit shorter, and we had to put an additional sheet of 1/2" plywood under the WH to get it to line up properly.

I opted for the electric start and had to run an additional 12vdc circuit to the new WH. Not difficult, but time consuming. A switch plate also has to be mounted somewhere to control the new unit. I also opted for the the gas/electric model, and had to run a new circuit for the 110vac element. Both my battery and main breaker panel were close, and that made it easier.

I also took the time to put two coats of polyurethane on the subfloor before the new unit went in.

For some reason, the thing quit working about a week after I put it in. I did a bunch of diagnostics, and couldn't find anything wrong. Put it all back together, and it worked again. Go figure!!! But I did put some heat transfer grease on the back side of the thermostat, and that should help get a better reading.

Hope this helps,

Woody
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Check out E-bay. Just picked me up a new 6 gallon Atwood fairly cheap.

Been using E-bay a lot these days!!!
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:38 AM   #7
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I would recomend suburban!
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody.303 View Post
I'm not sure if I'd call it a direct swap.

Mine is a 1972 Tradewind, just like the original poster. I relayed the fact, that in my case, it was a very easy and direct swap. I have no reason to believe it wouldn't be the case for the OP as well.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CrzyCorpsman View Post
Check out E-bay. Just picked me up a new 6 gallon Atwood fairly cheap.

Been using E-bay a lot these days!!!
I got mine on e-bay as well for a very good price. I was going to order from Palomino, but they use UPS for shipping. We get fleeced for duty charges in Canada by UPS, so I won't give them my business.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
Mine is a 1972 Tradewind, just like the original poster. I relayed the fact, that in my case, it was a very easy and direct swap. I have no reason to believe it wouldn't be the case for the OP as well.

I wish I could have your luck. Everything I do on my AS tends to be extremely difficult and time consuming.

Woody
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
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I did the Bowen to Atwood replacement (10gal) on my 74 Overlander 10 years ago. I remember it took some coaxing to get the old unit out and the new unit in. The inlet and outlet water connections matched up perfectly, and I had to shorten and flare the gas line (I bought a flaring tool for this). I removed the exhaust vent cover and door from my original unit and installed them on the new unit. That took some time... matching, drilling, etc. I also had to reconfigure the camloc (latch) attachments. I also remember that the heater was expensive, and I vowed not to let water in my trailer to freeze again!
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:10 PM   #12
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Water heater switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody.303 View Post
I'm not sure if I'd call it a direct swap.

I pulled my 10 gallon Bowen out, and put in a new Atwood 10 gallon. It took me and my Paw three and a half days, and a dozen trips to Lowe's. PITA, but it works great now.

The old unit got caught on the F-channel and had to be kicked out of place. Luckily, no damage was done to the skin or belly pan.

The water in and water out connections probably won't line up exactly to your old plumbing, so be prepared to modify your plumbing. If you have the original copper, now is a good time to make the switch to PEX.

The gas line coming in had to be re-routed as well, luckily I had a beat up old 24" ship auger bit that would do the job of drilling a new hole thru the floor and belly pan. (It's bent worse now.)

The new unit is a bit shorter, and we had to put an additional sheet of 1/2" plywood under the WH to get it to line up properly.

I opted for the electric start and had to run an additional 12vdc circuit to the new WH. Not difficult, but time consuming. A switch plate also has to be mounted somewhere to control the new unit. I also opted for the the gas/electric model, and had to run a new circuit for the 110vac element. Both my battery and main breaker panel were close, and that made it easier.

I also took the time to put two coats of polyurethane on the subfloor before the new unit went in.

For some reason, the thing quit working about a week after I put it in. I did a bunch of diagnostics, and couldn't find anything wrong. Put it all back together, and it worked again. Go figure!!! But I did put some heat transfer grease on the back side of the thermostat, and that should help get a better reading.

Hope this helps,

Woody
Hey Woody,
I replaced my water heater with Suburban SW6DE Elec/Propane/Picolight 6 gallon. It was price and the pizo that got me to do it.
Anyway; what switch did you use for your W/Htr ? Also; you see in the one photo a exterior riser for the heat exhaust. Do you know where to find one of these? I am afraid I will burn the sides of the camper without it.
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