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Old 09-11-2021, 10:14 PM   #1
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1966 17' Caravel
Auburn , CA
Join Date: Sep 2021
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1966 Caravel - Water Heater

Hi there! I'm a proud new owner of a 1966 Caravel. It's all original and in great working condition. The only piece I haven't been able to find info on is how to get the water heater going. It looks pretty old and the previous owners said they never tried to use it.

Here's a picture of what it looks like. I understand the dial and temp controls. I'm just not sure where to actually place a lighter to get the pilot lit. I have low faith that this will even work, but I've got to at least try .

If anyone has any info it would be much appreciated. I'm trying to do research before attempting to lite the pilot. I'm a newbie so any and all info is appreciated!
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:33 PM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
1968 17' Caravel
1967 22' Safari
Leawood , Kansas
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Looks original to the trailer. I have a '67 Safari that has it's original water heater, or so it seems. I had the original Hydro-Flame gravity heater in my Caravel, and took it apart and rebuilt it outside the trailer. Your water heater may be workable, but from a value standpoint, I think it's the exterior cover that has value, and a newer modern water heater might be what you want to do. I'd un-install it and go through the device. The Hydro-Flame gravity heaters have asbestos inside, so I'd be prepared for something similar if you tackle a refurb/rebuild. My interest in preserving my Hydro-Flame against Ralph Nader's better recommendations were to be able to heat without any electrical power, AC or DC. Knowing if you have an intact combustion chamber which won't leave CO inside the trailer might be difficult to ascertain. Your controller also has Mercury inside, though if all tubes are intact shouldn't pose an environmental hazard to you. Jerry
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:48 AM   #3
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1966 17' Caravel
Pine Plains , NY
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1966 Caravel Water Heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bri_Bill View Post
Hi there! I'm a proud new owner of a 1966 Caravel. It's all original and in great working condition. The only piece I haven't been able to find info on is how to get the water heater going. It looks pretty old and the previous owners said they never tried to use it.

Here's a picture of what it looks like. I understand the dial and temp controls. I'm just not sure where to actually place a lighter to get the pilot lit. I have low faith that this will even work, but I've got to at least try .

If anyone has any info it would be much appreciated. I'm trying to do research before attempting to lite the pilot. I'm a newbie so any and all info is appreciated!
Hi Bri Bill - first of all, congratulations on your acquisition of a 1966 Caravel. I am about 2 years ahead of you in the process and I can say that I love this little trailer (though I am ready for the resto and trouble-shooting to end!). I did replace the water heater because of fear that the galvanized tank could spring a leak if jostled enough while going down the road. I do though have a pdf of the original owners manual which gives you a step by step of how to turn the heater on and off - all from the outside. If you will PM me with your email address, I will email you a copy - it might come in handy in any event. Flostream66
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