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Old 03-25-2011, 10:53 AM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
hartsville , Tennessee
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What type of water heater do I need?

I am renovating a 72' Overlander. The camper was pre-wired for an electric water heater. Can anyone tell me what type of water heater I need to check on?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Electric? We replaced the original water heater in our '67 Overlander with an Atwood. It runs on LP. Andy R can probably tell you what the OEM water heater was. My question would be, why not use propane?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #3
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Well, when your trailer was new it got a Bowen at the factory, but they were bought by Atwood a long time ago.

Atwood 6 or 10 gallon ones are the prominent ones discussed here. They make LP gas only or LP/120V electric.

Least expensive version are manually lit from outside, more money gets you a switch inside the trailer.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:24 PM   #4
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I've a '72 Tradewind and it came equipped with a 6 gallon Bowen propane water heater. The owners manual indicates that yours was originally equipped with the 10 gallon version. You can replace the Bowen 10 gallon with a new Atwood 10 gallon (or 6 gallon, if you prefer). You have a choice of propane with manual or electric start. You can also get one that operates on both propane and 110 volt shore power.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:16 PM   #5
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1972 27' Overlander
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Thanks for the replys. When I bought the camper, all the gas lines were gone and it had been wired for an electric water heater. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on what type of water heater to go with.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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No big deal to replace the gas lines, in fact, it's probably a good idea to, since they are almost 40 years old.

Maybe I'm not understanding your question, but you can use probably any of the 6 or 10 gallon Atwood RV water heaters, in either gas or gas/electric,and either of those, with or without the remote piezoelectric start option.

Those heaters start at about $400 and go up from there.

Does that answer your question?
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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1972 27' Overlander
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Thanks for the response. Is there a water heater that is only electric or should I go ahead and run the gas line and go for a gas water heater? The gas lines on my camper have been stipped completely out and now everything is wired to run off of electricity.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:12 PM   #8
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I highly recommend that you install the gas/electric model. If you are stopping overnight at a spot without electricity, then the propane will get you through the night. Most RV Parks and campgrounds include electricity with their site rates, so you might as well use the electricity you have paid for to heat your water.

I think you will regret not have both options if you intend to travel with your Airstream.

BTW..... an added benefit of gas/elect water heater is faster recovery. You can use both simultaneously.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:00 PM   #9
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1972 27' Overlander
red rock , Texas
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precision temp 500

i am restoring a 1972 overlander the original heater was gone and replaced with an electric water heater. i replaced the electric with a precision temp 500 on demand heater. i love it. never any issues unlimited and instant hot water.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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at the Florida state rally in Sarasota there was a vintage airstream that had been rebuilt to be electric only. He had a aluminium box/cage up front where the LP bottles used to be with a 3000 generator in it. Electric heat, stove, and I assume water heater. I would think any very small electric water heater would work. I personally would not use the tankless on demand heater. If you have a insulated water heater water will stay warm all day and you can heat it when you plug in at night or start the generator.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doglickfarms View Post
Thanks for the response. Is there a water heater that is only electric or should I go ahead and run the gas line and go for a gas water heater? The gas lines on my camper have been stipped completely out and now everything is wired to run off of electricity.
Anything called an RV water heater is very likely to run on gas. Maybe gas AND electricity,too.

Like Grand Master said, it really depends on your use. If it's going to sit on a plot of land and never go anywhere, then why bother with gas. But if you do want to travel, I don't see any need for electric.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:26 PM   #12
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I have an electric only water heater that was installed by the PO. It is actually a small apartment water heater. It has worked very well since we never boondock. You must decide how you plan to use the camper.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:36 AM   #13
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63Silver, what type of water heater do you have and where is it positioned in your camper?
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