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Old 11-25-2002, 03:14 PM   #1
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Jabba's Avatar
1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
Wayne County , Michigan
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Bowen W/H burner retrofit

Hi All,

First a Happy Thanksgiving to all! Has anyone heard of retrofitting a burner onto a '64 Bowen H/W heater? The trailer I'm getting has a rusted burner and it was suggested to try and retrofit a burner as the heater works, just too much flame. Any suggestions or is it time to replace the whole unit? Thanks in advance!
Jason & Veronica J.
S.E. Michigan
1955 Commodore Vanderbilt 30'
TAC Member MI-6
2008 Chevy Silverado Ext. Z71 w3.73
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Old 11-25-2002, 03:33 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Bowen W/H burner retrofit

Greetings Jason!

I am not certain whether you will locate a burner suitable for retrofitting, but I don't know whether it would prove out in the long-run. The burner gave out on my Bowen water heater in the '64 Overlander in 1998 - - at that time my dealer was able to find the part, but it was about 1/2 the price of a new tank and there was evidence of corrosion around the tank pointing toward the possibility of pinhole leaks - - long story short, replaced the water heater with a new atwood and am quite pleased.

The only down-side to replacing the water heater is that the new unit will be smaller requiring some patch panels be installed, and you will need to make a decision whether to maintain the '64 esthetic and modify the original water heater shroud or go with the new one that comes with the water heater. Since my original furnace shroud had already been damaged and removed, I chose to go with the new water heater and its door - - I am still trying to get around to painting it aluminum so it doesn't contrast so much with the side of the trailer - - one of the advantages of my Minuet - - its new water heater doesn't shout that it is new.

The following is a photo of the completed installation before the exterior was polished and plasticoated:

There is another photo in my album that shows the front half of the door after restoration, but none that really show the installation well after restoration.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC #7864
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Old 11-26-2002, 05:27 AM   #3
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1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
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When you say Burner, what part are you talking about?
The whole unit or just the venturi tube?

I replaced my tube with a new one made of stainless steel because my original had "pinholes" all in the bend. This was allowing to much air to be drawn to the flame and my flame was very yellow and erratic.

I had all components including the "target", (the shield that is on the end of the Venturi tube) and the "collar" that provides air adjustment.

I had the tube bent a little more than 90 degrees, like the original. I tapped a hole in the tube to mount both the "target" and the "collar"

The control box is cast metal so it should not have rusted.

Do you still have the bracket that holds the Thermocouple?

This is an easy fix if you have all of the components.

Mine works great!

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