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Old 04-11-2014, 08:43 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1973 23' Safari
sequim , Washington
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 10
new w/h.. Attwood or Suburban?

We're replacing the water heater. Six gallon. Which of the two brands is favored for any particular reason? '73/23' Safari

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Old 04-11-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
They are different size, so get the one which is essentially the original one, the Atwood. It will fit right into the original hole. The gas line location will need to be changed, as the new Atwood has the gas line coming through the side, not the floor like your original one. Most just drill a new hole in the case for the floor installation, but if you wish to use the side location on the new heater, you will need to change some gas piping around.

You can get an original pilot light one, an electronic ignition one (DSI) or one which also has an electric heating element plus the DSI. I recommend the DSI unit, much nicer to turn the water heater on and off with a switch than go outside and light it. You will need 12 volt power for the DSI unit. If you go the full woot with an electric heating element, you will need to do both 12 volt wiring and 120 volt wiring with a new 120 volt circuit.

I hope that helps some.

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:30 AM   #3
Well Preserved

1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,362
The Suburban requires a lot of work in order to cobble it in an Airstream. Also, the initial price of a Suburban does not include the door assembly. By the time you buy the door assembly, the cost is almost the same, and you are still stuck with trying to make it fit in your trailer.
Stick with the Atwood.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:23 AM   #4
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1980 24' Caravelle
corpus christi , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 266
Easiest is to replace with same brand that was already there. I used the stainless door from my 34 year old Atwood because the new one is white. Bolted right on no problem was even able to use the vent screen from the new one on the old door.
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