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Old 02-09-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
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Waterheater replacement '68 Trade Wind

I asked most of this in the main restoration thread for the Trade Wind but didn't get much in the way of response. I am considering replacing the old, non functioning water heater in the Trade Wind with something from this century. Atwood seems to be the manufacture of choice. Options I need help on are:

1) Six or ten gallon? I would think six would be sufficient output wise, but would installation be easier with the ten? Wasn't the original water heater ten gallon?

2) Propane only or propane/electric power? Is it worth the extra cost?

3) Electronic ignition or pilot? Is it that much more work to light? Is one more reliable than the other? Is the electronic ignition type more likely to fail?

Are there other considerations I should know about before hand?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hi Rodney, The original was a ten gallon tank. For the replacement in the Safari I went with the six gallon only because the ten gallon would not fit in the space the old tank come out of. Went with the electronic ignition and have not regretted getting out to light a pilot light. The only thing I would change is not adding the 120VAC heating option. Slow recovery and not worth the extra money(IMO).
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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My 1972 Tradewind had a 6 gallon heater, so i replaced it with a new Atwood 6 gallon. Easy swap with minimal fuss. The electronic ignition is, in my mind, brilliant. No need to leave the trailer to light the heater. I did go with the electric heat option as well, only because I was camped in the back yard for the better part of a year while my house was being built. This let me reserve propane for cooking and the furnace. I found the 6 gallon to be just fine for me to shower in the morning.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
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water heater

I have a 1963 Tradewind with the side gaucho. I replaced my original Bowen water heater with a 6 gal. Suburban because the Atwood was 1" too tall to fit under the gaucho. The Suburban also has a lined tank.

I originally installed a gas only water heater because that was what the original was, and how hard could it be to light it manually? Well, after a short time, I realized that I had made a mistake to save about $100.00. This initial savings cost me about $350.00 to remedy.

I bought another Suburban water heater, but this time I bought an auto ignition gas/electric model. I find that it produces plenty of hot water for my needs. It is quiet, and I can use electric only when on the grid.

I would highly recommend that you consider the long term convenience of the dual mode models with auto ignition vs. the small savings of a manual gas only.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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According to this brochure:

http://service.airstream.com/files/l...73d453df75.pdf

...yours would have a ten gallon tank, so I think replacing it with the same size would be easier.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:01 AM   #6
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Our TW had the original 6 gal. I replaced it with the 6 gal Atwood gas/electric and it has met our needs. The water heater recovers very quickly so hot water isn't a problem. The pilot alone keeps the water hot in the times of non needed use. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f445...-in-36653.html
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:24 AM   #7
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Atwood vs Suburban

I am curious why there appears to be a bias in favor of Atwood water heaters.

When I researched water heaters 2 years ago I concluded that there was little difference in technology or reliability between the two brands. In my case the Suburban fit better under the gaucho which broke the tie for me. Suburbans also have lined tanks and a cathode rod to deminish corrosion. However, did I miss something?

I did install an Atwood furnace to replace the original International furnace. That decision was based on the fact that Airstream now installs the Atwood furnace, and they are serviceable from the outside.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Master View Post
I am curious why there appears to be a bias in favor of Atwood water heaters.
I think I read somewhere that they fit better most the time
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I am curious why there appears to be a bias in favor of Atwood water heaters.
In my case it's because the Atwood was a direct fit with no need to make any alterations to the surrounding millwork or the skin.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #10
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Rodney, I reworked the original cover to work with the new style vent on the W/H to keep the vintage look. I'd post picks but it is not as nice as what Scott did here. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f150...tml#post744489. On second thought you might have the flat Atwood cover. There has to be a way to still use that cover to keep the vintage look.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #11
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I just measured the opening for the water heater. Its 20 1/2 X 15 1/2. If I am reading the spec sheet right, either one will fit.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:20 PM   #12
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The opening was not the problem for me, it was the depth.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:24 PM   #13
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After a lot of thinking and talking, I went with a 10 gallon Atwood electric/propane for my 68 TW. I did make one BIG mistake. When I trashed the old heater, an Atwood, last summer I tossed the cover. Problem was it was a two piece deal with a small door and a bigger cover. Well, the new heater's door is smaller than the opening in my trailer. I am going to have to make a panel to fill in around opening. No big deal, just another item on the punch list.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
After a lot of thinking and talking, I went with a 10 gallon Atwood electric/propane for my 68 TW. I did make one BIG mistake. When I trashed the old heater, an Atwood, last summer I tossed the cover. Problem was it was a two piece deal with a small door and a bigger cover. Well, the new heater's door is smaller than the opening in my trailer. I am going to have to make a panel to fill in around opening. No big deal, just another item on the punch list.
If you follow the thread that I posted for you a few back you will see that I used the orginal outer panel to fill the space up to the new door. You should be able to easily adapt an aluminum panel to do the same thing. I was my intention to refit/adapt the original door to keep the original vintage 'look'.......someday
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