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Old 06-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 22
1975 31' Sovereign
Okotoks , Alberta
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Trying to replace water heater. Help

My old hot water heater was badly rusted through and just generally garbage.
I ordered a new suburban 10 gallon which dimensional was a good fit to my existing opening .
The problem is there is no flange to the outside of the trailer, the water heater is just a square box and when I call the RV dealer they have no idea what I am talking about .
The installation/owners manual shows the piece as the door frame but there is no part number and again the RV dealer can't help me, they called around to their suppliers and get the same answer" we have never sold one, it Dosent exist or it should be on the trailer already.

I'm sure someone out there in airstream world has installed a new hot water heater. What can you tell me?

Trailer is a 1975 31ft Sov rear bath.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Okotoks View Post
My old hot water heater was badly rusted through and just generally garbage.
I ordered a new suburban 10 gallon which dimensional was a good fit to my existing opening .
The problem is there is no flange to the outside of the trailer, the water heater is just a square box and when I call the RV dealer they have no idea what I am talking about .
The installation/owners manual shows the piece as the door frame but there is no part number and again the RV dealer can't help me, they called around to their suppliers and get the same answer" we have never sold one, it Dosent exist or it should be on the trailer already.

I'm sure someone out there in airstream world has installed a new hot water heater. What can you tell me?

Trailer is a 1975 31ft Sov rear bath.
Here is a picture of my old HWH in my 1976 31" Sovereign, I am sure just like your old one. It is installed and attaches to the trailer by the flange along the sides and top with screws. Your new HWD should also have a similar flange to attach to the trailer. I am also including another picture of the Precision Temp RV 100 HWH that I installed for reference to show the flange set up that it had. Your Suburban HWD should have some type of flange if the unit is designed to attach to the side of the trailer.

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Old 06-24-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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1976 Argosy 22
1975 31' Sovereign
Okotoks , Alberta
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O I know there should be a flange on the new one to attach it with screws to the outside of the trailer but there isn't and the dealer doesn't understand . I need this hole filled by Thursday and I am supposed to be going to Ontario . Any other suburban or Atwood models that will fit?
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Okotoks View Post
The problem is there is no flange to the outside of the trailer, the water heater is just a square box and when I call the RV dealer they have no idea what I am talking about .
Your trailer is set up for an Atwood water heater which has the flange as part of the water heater.

Suburban water heaters have a flange as part of the door assembly. You are probably better off using a 6 gallon Atwood since it will fit without changing everything. If you are bound and determined to put in a 10 gallon suburban then you'll have to get a suburban door, and also figure out how to hold the water heater in place since the suburban way of doing things is different.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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I recently replaced my WH. The flange on my Atwood 6 Gallon was alreadt attached to the outward facing section. Once I got the WH in place, I had to bend up the 4 flange to the exterior of the trailer and then add Butyl Tape and screw into side of trailer. The 4 sections of flange were already premade to bend so it was easy... Check the exterior side of the WH and look to see if it looks like there are sections that are meant to bend...
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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Jammer is correct!

Atwood water heaters come with an integrated flange that bends over the outer wall of the RV and is screwed in place to (after the inside wall of the flange is lined with butyl tape).

Suburban water heaters have no such integrated flange. You have to place the heater where you want it and screw it into a plywood floor or retaining block. The flange is part of the outer door assembly and attaches to the body of the water heater by 4 screws; one at each corner of the flange. Butyl tape is also recommended to be places behind the door flange.

If the Suburban heater that you ordered fits into your space in the sidewall of the trailer and you want to use it, you will need to order the appropriate door and flange assembly. If the dealer you bought it from has no idea what you are talking about, perhaps you should find a dealer that is more familiar with the products that you want to use.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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1976 Argosy 22
1975 31' Sovereign
Okotoks , Alberta
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I have it installed now, made a flange with aluminum L brackets . Reinforced the opening and then used Vulkem 116 beteween the flange and body then installed a flush mount door and door flange, it isint "perfect" but will do the job well.
The Suburban flange you speak of is not available separately and is part of the trailer according to the dealer. They also said they can't find any suppliers that list one with a flange as part of the unit.
I would have chosen another dealer but I don't have time and they did give much better pricing than the 3 other places we spoke to.

I guess this is what you get for dealing with a place that only does things by the book and have no idea how to retro fit or modify beyond manufacturers spec!

Apologies to any dealers associated with the forum, I didn't not have time to do a cross
border purchase .
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