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Old 05-14-2008, 08:04 PM   #29
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Try a store that sells window glass, if your local hardware store doesn't carry it.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #30
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Butyl tape

I picked my roll up at the local Airstream dealership. I would think most RV dealership / service centers would have this. Good luck and post pics!
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:49 AM   #31
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Thanks guys. My local Airstream dealer is 2.5 hours away

There is an RV shop in the next town I can call. They might have it. If not, I'll get it online.

I'll get some pics up when I start the surgery
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:21 AM   #32
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I got the new Atwood last night. Same tyoe as I had before 6 gall ,gas only. Suits our purposes fine. I am hopeful to get it in there today, just wondering about that same gas line that comes thru the bottom, will I need a new one and then have to flare it and put on a fitting?
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:25 AM   #33
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Going Down The Same Road

Sunset,
I am probably going down the same road you did. I think I may get one more season out of the water heater on my '87, but it will need to be replaced. Since yours is a very close model year and from your pictures your set up / layout / location of the water heater is very similar to mine.

My questions are how hard was the old one to un-plumb and remove? Do you have any pictures of that or pointers you can provide? Like what is the minumum amount of connections that have to be un-done to remove the old unit? Did you have to use new connections or did you salvage the old one?

The gas line on mine comes up from pretty much directly beneath the water heater and at the factory they must have drilled an extra hole to get the gas line to come up from directly underneath the water heater. The factory hole is plugged with some kind of putty / caulk. How much gas line re-work did you have to do to get the line to come through the factory hole in the water heater?

The electrical work is pretty straight forward and I like your sub-panel idea and will most likely use your idea.

Thanks
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:28 AM   #34
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I just removed mine yesterday. It took 20 minutes. The gas line, cold and hot water lines diconnected easily. The hardest part was separating the heater from the skin, which involved cutting through the sealant applied at the perimeter of the opening. I used a sharpened popsicle stick as a scraper to do this, as a metal blade would scratch the skin. Today I'll be reconnecting the gas and water lines and will let you know if there are any bumps in the raod.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #35
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so far the gas line went on ok, but the way it bends thru the floor it blockes the heater from going in far enough. I have about an inch of it sticking out.
I was advised to swap to a flex gas line and that might be just what it takes. The new Atwood has the entry for the line toward the back and up, th eold one had it thru the bottom. Almost there.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:27 AM   #36
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More info on my installation

DEITZ645, Here is a picture before I removed the old heater. The PO had retrofitted a By-Pass valve, so it was a bit jury-rigged (first pic). After I removed that mess I was left with just the cold and hot water lines to connect to (2nd pic). Then I built up a new By-Pass arrangement with a new valve and check valve (3rd pic). This was a mix of Menard's quick connect elbows and Flair-It components (Check Valve, Adapters, and 3-way valve).
Pex Connection : Flair-It Three Way Valves : Three Way Valve 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2"

As far as the gas line entry point goes, I had the same problem (lower corner for the entry point - pic #4). This could be a little tricky for you. Since I was also replacing the exterior bottom corner wrap below the water heater I was able to reroute the gas line through a new hole in the floor and into the factory hole in the new heater pic #5). Hope this helps.
Doug
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #37
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Good progress

cameront120 ... sounds like you're just about there. Here is a picture of the MASSIVE amount of Vulkem that was on the inside that I needed to cut through to remove the old heater

ALANSD, I think you made a good choice to go with the flexible gas line. Hopefully, you can post some pictures of your installation.

Good luck, Doug
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #38
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Fortunately I didn't have massive amounts of Vulkem to remove. What there was came off fairly easily. What is the flexible gas line you speak of? Is there a material other than copper that can be used? Mind you, I've got the tools for working with copper, so I think I'd better stick with that!
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #39
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Exactly What I Needed

Sunset,
Thanks, that is exactly what I needed. I do not think the old bypass valve was a PO alteration, becuase our '87 has the EXACT same bypass valve setup!

The washer in the plastic to brass connection to the right of the bypass valve in picture #1 is what let go in my trailer two weeks ago and SOAKED the compartment.

I will tackle this project in the fall, it will give me something to do in my "spare" time.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:19 PM   #40
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I should have rerouted the line, but I ended up cutting the hole in the heater a bit larger and was able to get everything to fit. It is working like a charm right now, and no leaks. The new unit fired up, pilot stayed on and the water was heated to a noticeable point in under 10 minutes.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:25 PM   #41
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My old one out

Hey guys,

I took my old Atwood out on Sunday. It was very easy. The 34-X Avion has a huge bedroom closet and the water heater is in the bottom of it in its own little chamber. I say little...I could fit a second one in there. I'm thinking I should have upgraded to a ten gallon...it'd easily have fit. But anyway, the worst part was scraping off the old putty tape. I used a red devil scraper, took it easy, and got most of it off.

Then I did an old trick using WD-40. It's good for removing road tar from car fenders. I shot some WD onto a rag and the residue wiped right off. I got her clean as a whistle. I then vacuumed out the compartment and got a soapy sponge and cleaned the linoleum floor off (all Avions have linoleum floors where the linoleum wraps around the floor and staples on the bottom to protect the edges of the 1.5" thick floor {floor is 3 layers and is insulated}. Carpet then lays atop the linoleum). What a great design!

This weekend I'll start working on the new install. I'm going to replace the zinc screws with stainless. I'll be reusing my original silver door. We're going to pull 10 wire through to feed the 120V side. The plumbing was no problem; the wiring may be a slight challenge, but the biggest deal seems to be where to put the sub panel. I've no extra room in the main panel for another breaker. I'd thought of running the 10 wire to the closet and putting the sub panel there. Then run from the breaker to the switch and then to the heater. I'll have to check the manual...not sure what kind of amp draw this thing uses. I have some 12-2 wire on hand too from wiring my house.

I'd like to do a bypass to, so I'll need to get some valves and stuff. My old one had it, but one of the valves has the handle broken off...

I'm taking lots of pictures, but need to photoshop them to make the size managable. Will post a whole bunch when it's done.

Take care,
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:43 PM   #42
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Question on the Heat Shield....

Hi Everyone!

I got my new Atwood in place. The worst part of all was running the new wire for the 110V. I'll document all of this once I get the pictures photoshopped...I've been taking bunches.

I have a question: The heat shield on the new Atwood appears to be about a half inch wider than the plenum. So how do you attach it?

On my old one, the heat shield had larger tabs on the sides and it just fit over the plenum. You then used sheet metal screws to attach the shield to the plenum. When you closed the door, the hole in the door aligned with the plenum and heat shield and it looked good.

Ok, so I've kept my old door and even polished it up. But I can't see how to attach this new heat shield to the new plenum.

Does the new one hook to the door somehow?

I don't see how to attach this new heat shield.

Help!!!!!!!!!!!
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