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Old 09-17-2009, 12:52 AM   #1
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Question No water heater - was there ever one?

Hi all, I'm new to the forum... and I don't have an Airstream. Actually, I'm not sure what the dang thing is cause I can't find any information on it at all. I bought it from the owner of a storage locker facility as the previous owner of the trailer had abandoned it.

So... here's what it is:

Star Trailerized Homes, a Division of Mid-States Corp. (roughly 1952ish)
37' Dual axle, two door, one bedroom, full bath with tub, corrugated aluminum skin, porthole windows on doors. Looks a whole lot like a Spartan.

My question is (among many others that I'm still working on) is this:

The trailer has hot water lines connecting the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower all together. Cold water the same. However, there is NO place that I can see where a water heater would have been originally installed, nor a place where a later owner may have put one. Both sets of water lines (cold and hot) run out under the trailer close to the wheels, but the fittings (for connecting to an external water source?) have been snapped off.

So - has anyone ever heard of places where you can hook up to existing hot water? Was this the norm at the date of manufacture? And what would be the best option for installing a water heater?

This is my first trailer and I'm doing a semi-ground up restoration on it, but I don't know too much about the plumbing and electrical aspects of these beasts.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:08 AM   #2
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1998 34' Limited
ont , Ontario
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can we see pictures?

does it look like this?
1954 Star nov02

or like this?
1955 Star 091103

I found these Star trailers listed on this website:
Atlas Mobile Home Museum

and I found that website on another thread in this forum -- by typing the following into google search:

star trailers site:www.airforums.com
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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almost, but not quite

You found the right brand... I don't know how I missed it. But not the right trailer. I'm not sure if it's a travel trailer or a mobile home.... it looks like it's set up more for towing. But I'm not sure. I can't find a model or VIN # on the dang thing, so finding information on it has been really hard. Mostly I've been using information from the older Spartans, but it seems my luck has run out.

I don't have a camera, just the camera on my phone, I'll try and take a few pictures and post them up today.

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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It probably had an external, oversize water heater mounted in a small enclosure next to the trailer. That's why you can't find the spot it went.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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It probably had an external, oversize water heater mounted in a small enclosure next to the trailer. That's why you can't find the spot it went.
So would that have been standard or an aftermarket type of thing? And would that be a decent alternative to trying to put a water heater in a cabinet or whatnot?

Money is a bit of an object here, I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible but still have everything working well.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
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Sounds to me like it was modified at some point in its long history. I would put the plumbing together in a way that make sense for you intended use of the trailer.

Carol
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Years ago I had a 1950 30' Spartanette, it had a 6 gallon electric water heater under the kitchen cabinets. I suspect yours probably did too.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:56 AM   #8
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There is a possibility that at one point in time there was a water heater under the sink, as there is a bundle of wires that somebody has capped off, and they have no other apparent use. But I see no place where a gas line would have been routed.

What would you guys recommend in the way of water heaters? I'm going to have to rip out the old propane lines, refit and reinstall them anyways, so I could hook up a branch for the water heater while I'm at it.

The idea of an external, large-capacity water heater is intriguing, as the primary use for this trailer will most likely be as a mobile home. But I would still like to be able to haul it around, and disconnecting and moving a big water heater every time isn't too appealing.

Suggestions?
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by alamojack View Post
There is a possibility that at one point in time there was a water heater under the sink, as there is a bundle of wires that somebody has capped off, and they have no other apparent use. But I see no place where a gas line would have been routed.

What would you guys recommend in the way of water heaters? I'm going to have to rip out the old propane lines, refit and reinstall them anyways, so I could hook up a branch for the water heater while I'm at it.

The idea of an external, large-capacity water heater is intriguing, as the primary use for this trailer will most likely be as a mobile home. But I would still like to be able to haul it around, and disconnecting and moving a big water heater every time isn't too appealing.

Suggestions?
You can put a 10 gallon LP/electric unit under the sink, you'll just need to cut a hole in the skin of the trailer for the water heater. Run an LP line from the feed to the water heater. If you want to get real hi-tech, you can get one that's DSI as well, then you won't even have to go outdoors to light it.

You do have some kind of 12 volt system in it, don't you? If not, you'll have to have a standing pilot unit with electric.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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No, it doesn't have any sort of 12v system, just the trailering lights. Although I was wondering how difficult it would be to wire in a couple 12v hookups in the house anyways.

Would 12v give me a better range of options?
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #11
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If you intend to use this as a travel trailer then 12 volt & propane will give simply you the option of being without an electric hook up. If you intend to have electricity any location you move -then you don't need either.

Carol
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Ok, I finally got around to taking some pictures. And really, it's not as bad as it looks. I'm kind of a messy demolition guy - when I start to tear things apart I just keep going until I'm satisfied that all the crappy stuff is out - and then I clean up the mess. I'm a little bit neater when it comes to putting stuff back together. It also hasn't helped that I haven't had a chance to make a run to the dump.

Pics:
Pictures by alamojack - Photobucket
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