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Old 02-03-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
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Water Heater Issue

I'm looking to buy an Airstream here soon but, there is one concern that I'm having, their is no water heater. Is there a specific type of water heater I need or can I just go buy one at my local Lowes/hardware store?

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BronYAur View Post
I'm looking to buy an Airstream here soon but, there is one concern that I'm having, their is no water heater. Is there a specific type of water heater I need or can I just go buy one at my local Lowes/hardware store?
If you're starting with no water heater at all, first find out what kind normally comes with the trailer. Most likely Suburban or Atwood, in either a 6-gallon or 10-gallon size. Unless the trailer has been completely gutted and you're starting from scratch, it will be easier to do an in-kind replacement.

You'll also have a choice of propane-only or combination propane-electric. I'm a big fan of propane-electric. More capabilities, more options. If I have a campsite with 30-amp electric, I can save propane. If I'm boondocking, I can save my batteries. If I want hot water faster, I can use propane and electric at the same time to heat the water more quickly.

By the way, welcome to the AirForums. We're glad to have you with us.

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
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Protagonist offers accurate info, but didn't answer one part of your question.

The correct water heater won't be available at Home Depot or Lowe's. Depending on the model, they're available at most RV supply businesses (both brick-and-mortar and online stores). If your Airstream is old enough, an exact replacement may not be available and it may change the look of the exterior part of the unit, but a replacement that will work with a little tweaking is out there.

What year and model is the Airstream you're looking at?

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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And then there is this

How are you going to use your Airstream? I don't plan on boon docking so I use a 10 gallon electric (small) heater. It is 115v. I have used it for several years with no problems and never out of water when I want it. I recently bought, and installing, a tankless water heater in another Airstream. That is a work in progress. If you are looking at an Airstream without a water heater chances are it is vintage. So, you will need a supporting electrical system and propane and water system if you go the Suburban/Dometic route.
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