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Old 08-02-2008, 04:37 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Lowell , Indiana
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New Water Heater problems

Hi
I need some advise. I am trying to replace the Water Heater in my 1966 Overlander. I got the old one out with out much trouble. Its getting the new 6 Gal atwood in thats got me frustrated. I seem to have way to mush empty space around the heater and cant seem to figure out how to finish this installation off. I am hoping the pics will post and be helpful. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:08 PM   #2
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Appears you took out a 9 or 10 gal.1 Upgrade to larger heater,checking dimensions first before buying. 2 put in patch panel. I would prefer to do #1 if it was my trailer.Dave
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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I, too, replaced my old water heater with a new 6 gallon model. Now have more than enough hot water. I attached 040 aluminum with stainless screws and butyl tape to fill out the hole and resized the opening to fit the new heater. I also resized the inside to fit the new heater the same way. Another option is to replace an entire panel on the trailer and cut a new hole to match the heater.
Others may not like the look, but I have no problem with it. My trailer and I are both getting older and have a few scars.
Sam
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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Call and see if they will take it back - you clearly need a 10 gallon. Even if you ordered online they may take it back if you didn't destroy the packaging or scratch the unit up.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advise. I have thought of getting the 10 gal but seems like even its demensions are not much different in the flange area hight and width?
So I'll mull this over after rechecking the demensions on the 10gal.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:43 AM   #6
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1962 26' Overlander
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I have lost all my photos due to a hard drive failure, back up those photos and music....
Anyway. I did just like Sam and created a patch that I buck riveted into place. I will suggest if you do the patch, create some kind of frame for the screws to bite into. I used spanish cedar which is a natural anti bug/ rot wood. Western red cedar or pressure treated could also be used, or you could bend some .040 aluminum into ribs. seating the screws into just the skin seems kind of flimsy to me and the frame behind it makes it very stout.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:37 AM   #7
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What brand did you take out of the unit? Do you have the model number off of it? Atwood is pretty much a direct replacement for a Bowen unit (presumed that's what you had before). I replaced a Bowen 10 with an Atwood 10 - it just took a little encouraging to get it to slide right into place. Looking at your opening you are right - the 10 Atwood may not be large enough either.

The Atwood 6 Gallon Water Heater measures:

Door is 18" Wide and 14 1/2" High
Water Heater Flange is 17 3/4" Wide and 14 1/8" High
Cut-Out is 16" Wide and 12 1/2" High

The Atwood 10 Gallon Water Heater measures:
Door is 18" Wide and 17 3/4" High
Water Heater Flange is 17 1/2" Wide and 17 1/4" High
Cut-Out is 16" Wide and 15 1/2" High

I looked at Suburban's web site - nothing there at a glance looked any larger. Was the tank you had "flanged larger" by the previous owner in some way. What a pain.... good luck with it.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:17 PM   #8
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Well I think I have a plan. I am going to do something similar to what samb did. I have found a shop with some 040 aluminum that is going to have the correct opening cut. Going to rivet the patch on and reinforce behind it for good measure.
Hope to have pictures after this week end.
Thanks for the tips and advice.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:51 PM   #9
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Will this help?

I used the surround panels from the old WH. Hopefully, at sometime I'll even revamp and re-install the old door to maintain the vintage look.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f445...ood-36653.html
Neil.
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