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Old 02-22-2004, 12:27 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
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New Water Heater- Suburban vs Atwood

I am about to purchase a new 10 gal water heater for my '72 Overlander and am curious about the Suburban. Every post I've read so far has seemed to favor the Atwood, but I haven't heard from anyone who has used the Suburban.

The Suburban has a porcelin-lined steel tank which has a three year warranty and an aluminum annode. The Atwood has an aluminum tank which I'm told eventually gathers corrosion from the exposure to water and the heating process. (My original Bowen 10 gal was full of stuff.)

My wife, who reads a lot about nutrition and stuff, doesn't like the idea of aluminum, and if what she's read is true, I agree with her. I don't mind enlarging the opening a bit (about 3/4" taller) or modifying/fabricating a door, but I don't want to get into major retrofitting either.

I plan to purchase the LP/110v version of either one and might spring for the pilot ignitor also.

I've heard mostly positive about the Atwood but have heard nothing (positive or negative) about the Suburban.

Any thoughts out there?

Ron Kaes
Psalm 112
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Old 02-22-2004, 12:39 PM   #2
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1967 26' Overlander
Lisle , Illinois
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Cool Inquiring minds want to know.....

I'll be listening too. I have not water heater and will need to get one. Thanks for asking.

Tedd Ill
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Yes, four kids and two adults in the thing.
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Old 02-22-2004, 01:34 PM   #3
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I just installed the Atwood 10 Gallon LP/110V in my Overlander. Very simple. No major modifications necessary. I did however use the new door, as the original one would not work.

The electric is a nice feature since it saves LP when hooked to shore power, and the recovery rate is supposed to be faster with electric.

I believe (really don't want to remember) that I paid $338 with shipping from I have purchased a few things from them, and they got here very quickly.
My 77 Sovereign Renovation
Out in the woods, or in the city, It's all the same to me.
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Old 02-22-2004, 04:02 PM   #4
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The Atwood will fit and look like the old heater The Suburban is a flush mount unit and will require additional modification to install.

I understand your wife's health concerns about the Aluminum tank, but you should not be ingesting water that has been heated in a tank anyhow. I do not think there is a way for external application (shower, hand washing) to hurt you.
Brett G
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:17 PM   #5
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I wouldn't get the auto-ignition if I were you.
I avoid anything like that with a electronics board because that part usually fails and is high $ to replace.
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:48 AM   #6
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Ordered Atwood 10 gl LP/110v

Well, I couldn't argue with the fact that we wouldn't be drinking the hot water and I didn't feel like making any additional modifications (I'm already replacing the entire bathroom floor-uggh).

I chose not to order the electronic ignition as I felt like lighting the pilot light wasn't that big of a deal, and I agree with the notion that sometimes with more bells and whistles, the more expensive and complicated it is to repair.

Thanks all for your helpful input. Now if I can just get the bathroom floor back together. (I feel like an NTSB investigator with it put back together to serve as a template. What a mess!)

Ron Kaes
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