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Old 12-13-2005, 03:55 PM   #1
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1962 16' Bambi
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Water Heater Replacement - '62 Bambi.

Hi all, first post. Led here by a friend from thelincolnforum.net.

I have a '62 Bambi and the water heater has been giving me fits. I can ignite the burner, but it doesn't cycle, just burns constantly. Then I smelled gas leaking from the control. Also blew a fuse plug. My Bambi is pretty well unmolested and still has it's original Bowen unit.

I am leaning toward replacing the entire unit, but the Atwood people were not very helpful. They could not give me any information as to what unit would interchange or anything. I'm not sure what are the right questions to ask, but I'm sure you guys can give me the right answers.

From what I've gathered, I need a 6 Gallon G6A-7 replacement unit. Did all Bambi's use the same unit? I can't find a part number.

Also, will all the fittings align so it's a "plug and play" type application or am I in for some major refitting?

Any unsolicited advice is welcome as well. I'm a machinist and mechanic on pre-war cars, but new to travel trailers and their architecture.

Regards,

Walter.
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W. Higgins
Hi all, first post. Led here by a friend from thelincolnforum.net.

...

Walter.
Walter,

First, welcome to the forums, second, I am also a member of the Lincoln Forum, third, can't help you with your water heater problem.

Bill
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:19 PM   #3
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Walt.

You will need to do some copper tubing changes.

Andy
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Old 12-13-2005, 05:20 PM   #4
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Walter,
Sounds like all you may need is a new control valve, thermocouple and possibly a burner assembly. All are available at your RV dealer. Unless the water heater is leaking water, it is repairable. This would be a minor project compared to replacing the water heater itself and would preserve the look of the old heater cover and vent. Good luck.

Mark
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:09 PM   #5
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I have a question in keeping with this topic of switching from a Bowen to an Atwood water heater.
Has anyone ever managed to adapt the original Bowen vent panels to work with the Atwood, rather than using the one-piece door? That would go a long way in keeping the original appearance if it can be done.
Walter, I hope you'll be able to repair the original heater, but if you do replace it, don't discard the original cover panels. They're very hard to come by.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:32 PM   #6
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1962 16' Bambi
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Hiya Bill, what's your handle on the Lincoln Forum? Mine is the same as here. It was "Action" who led me to this point in my repair. And thanks for the welcome.

Andy, I'm not bothered by the copper tubing changes, but have I pinpointed the correct model of Atwood heater (G6A-7), or is there a better substitute?

Mark, do you know how to remove the control? That is my biggest beef. Also, Atwood tells me the control is not avaliable, of course, they want to sell me a new water heater, too. If replacing the unit is a major deal I will gladly effect repairs in place. I had convinced myself that I had to remove the entire unit to remove the control. Seems as though there's something holding it on from the other side. And are the fuse plugs still avaliable?

And Rog, no worries on discarding the old panels. I keep everything, . I'm also too much of a purist. Even have vinyl roof scraps off one of my cars cataloged away awaiting future work.

Thanks everybody.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:47 PM   #7
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Walter,

Same as here wkerfoot, I mostly lurk there, not much to contribute. I guessed that it was Action who referred you here. Have fun. We use the 1977 Lincoln to tow our 1979 Safari and will use it for the 1954 Double Door Liner also. Good luck on your water heater problems.

Bill
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:00 PM   #8
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Walt.

Changing the copper tubing around is not a big deal.

The original Atwood-Bowen, is now just Atwood.

Modifying the vent system, by guess work, is not a good idea. Should it not be correct, then what could or might happen, becomes a safety issue.

The other part of the design change in the exhaust system, is that people were forever ripping those vent systems off by getting to close to something. That encouraged the flush design, as it is used today.

Andy
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Old 12-13-2005, 09:59 PM   #9
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Hi again Andy,

I guess I don't quite follow. I didn't know there were any issues with the vent system and I have no intention of changing it. What I want to know is whether or not the G6A-7 is the proper application for my Bambi?
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:12 AM   #10
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W. Higgins

Sure is.

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Old 12-14-2005, 04:26 PM   #11
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Walter,
The control valve is threaded, and screws into the water heater. You must first disconnect the pilot tube, burner tube and thermocouple from the control valve, then un-screw it in a counter clockwise direction. A large pipe wrench placed on the flat sides of the valve will facilitate this. When installing the new valve, I screw it in as tight as I can by hand, and then carefully bring it to the correct position with a wrench and check for leaks.

Mark
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:18 PM   #12
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I replaced the Bowen heater on my '63 Globtrotter with an Atwood and yes you can keep the exterior venting and do it so that it functions properly but it does take some work to do it. The Bowen vented to the right of the exterior opening on my trailer and the Atwood vented to the left, however the size was just right . The old Bowen was attached to the floor via a pin that slides into a metal bracket attached to the trailer floor. My old heater could only come out through the exterior. There was no attachment for the Atwood other than using the flanges on it so I built a three sided plywood enclosure attached it to the floor of the trailer slid in the heater and screwed the flanges to it making sure it would be flush with the exterior wall when the door was replaced. I took the door apart and reversed it (the front became the back). Did have to install new camlocs (from Aircraft Spruce) and cut out part of one piece on the vent ( It doesn't show when reassembled). Made sure everything was sealed on the interior using aluminum strips and HVAC tape so nothing will vent inside. CO very very bad for the health. Put in new gas and water lines . Everything works fine and looks original. Lots of time and trips to the store but it was worth it. Next one will be a snap.
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Old 01-01-2006, 09:52 AM   #13
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Walt, I agree with what you are saying, I have a 65 Caravel and will be replacing the hot water tank with a Atwood, my question to you, can you get a alum. flush cover that will fully cover the old Bowen vent panels.
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Old 01-01-2006, 10:15 AM   #14
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It can be changed out with the newer Atwood heater system..(I've seen it done for a mid-60's Airstream unit from Maine.)
You'd just take your time to do the job right..
Professionals do it all the time..
send me a PM for additional info..
ciao
53FC
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