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Old 10-27-2016, 01:51 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
Warner Robins , Georgia
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New water heater recommendations

We have a 1964 Overlander LY getting totally rebuilt. I'm looking for recommendations for the water heater. Do you have a tank or tankless heater? What do you like/dislike about your heater? Size? Brand? Features??


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Old 10-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #2
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I like the automatic electric ignition, dual gas/electric option with a tank.
Save propane while connected to power. No hassles starting pilot. I just leave mine in the on position for electric and never have to deal with it as long as I'm hooking up at a campground.

ATWOOD GC6AA-10E 6 Gallon Gas/Electric Is nice.

I don't like tankless water heaters unless used in conjunction with a water heater with a tank.
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Old 10-27-2016, 04:25 PM   #3
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I ripped out a perfectly good Atwood 6 gallon for a PrecisionTemp. I'm glad I did. Saves weight, endless hot water, happy wife. Priceless


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Old 10-28-2016, 09:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiJoeSilver View Post
I like the automatic electric ignition, dual gas/electric option with a tank.
Save propane while connected to power. No hassles starting pilot. I just leave mine in the on position for electric and never have to deal with it as long as I'm hooking up at a campground.

ATWOOD GC6AA-10E 6 Gallon Gas/Electric Is nice.

I don't like tankless water heaters unless used in conjunction with a water heater with a tank.
Thanks �� do you find that six gallons is enough for two showers? How long to recover?
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I ripped out a perfectly good Atwood 6 gallon for a PrecisionTemp. I'm glad I did. Saves weight, endless hot water, happy wife. Priceless


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Tankless... is the temperature even? I've read that it fluctuates, making showers a bit iffy. Any issues? May I ask which model and cost?
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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Thanks �� do you find that six gallons is enough for two showers? How long to recover?
As long as they are camping showers then shouldn't be a problem. It keeps the hot water very hot so you can mix it quite a bit of cold to get warm. You can turn on the electric and propane at the same time before hand or after to maintain more or recover quicker.
The tankless are very nice if you'll always have full hookups and not much boondocking where you may be really trying to conserve water. They generally need 1-1.5 gpm flow to light, so if you're boondocking and trying to dribble water to conserve you may have a hard time getting hot water. If you have full hookups then it's great.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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I just went through this decision making process for my 73 Safari and decided to go with the precision temp tankless. We will be camping with hook ups most of the time and compared to a 6 gallon water heater, I like the idea of not having to worry about running out of hot water. Installed fairly easily with some slight modifications. Have not tried it yet as my trailer is still gutted.
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Old 10-28-2016, 01:18 PM   #8
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I'd go with the Atwood 6-gallon with standing pilot ignition. This is the cheapest option, will fit the original opening, and plumbing connections will be in the right spot. Add a bypass valve of course to bring the system up to date.

That is what I used when I replaced my original Bowen. I transplanted the outside cover and the flue grille from the old Bowen for an original look.

I had considered a gas/electric model, or just a gas with electronic ignition but the cost was way too much and there was no easy place to tie in either 12 volt DC or 120 volt AC power.

Just my two cents, I have never understood tankless water heaters in an RV. They cost a lot and burn a lot of propane when the burner fires up. Unless you were washing multiple sink loads of dishes, or had a large family where everyone needed to take showers in a row...
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:38 PM   #9
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My 2016 Classis was upgraded with the Truma tankless water heater. We love love the endless hot water! No more waiting for the water to heat up after each shower. We have not had a malfunction with the unit. My only regret it that Truma does not make a stainless steel wasp screen to prevent those little stinkers from entering the door vent in and effort to build a nest.
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Old 10-28-2016, 03:45 PM   #10
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We just went with precisiontemp 550. Was tough to make the door fit. I ended up cutting a portion of the trim off and it hurt my feelers to do so but there was no other way w that door. After that I realized that the water mixing valve in the bath/shower won't work for it. I'm currently only getting hot water in the sinks as a result so Bathtub is having to come out and YEAH that's a fair bit of work. Just something to consider.
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:18 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone. For those that have/like tank heaters, I'm hearing y'all say Atwood. Is there a problem with Suburban?
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:04 PM   #12
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I would go with easiest fit. Also our gas/electric works very well. it is the stock unit in our 03 Classic and is kind of the best of both worlds.
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Old 10-28-2016, 07:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroyl View Post
Thanks everyone. For those that have/like tank heaters, I'm hearing y'all say Atwood. Is there a problem with Suburban?
Think most came original with Atwood so the holes match making it easier to replace with another Atwood. Don't think there's anything wrong with suburban. They actually porcelain line their tanks for corrosion resistance which is nice.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:29 AM   #14
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The main difference I have noticed between Atwood and Suburban is how they are installed and fit.

Picture the water heater as a 6 gallon plastic bucket tipped over on its side. Suburban has the burner at the end (bottom of the tipped over bucket) and requires a square opening from the outside. The depth it requires from the outside is greater than the Atwood since it goes in long-ways.

In comparison, the Atwood, as envisioned as that same tipped over bucket, has the burner on the side, and goes in a rectangular opening, taking up more width but not as much depth.

I doubt there is much difference in quality. Changing to Suburban, and making it look good, would require some body work, and changes to cabinets inside that surround the heater.
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
The main difference I have noticed between Atwood and Suburban is how they are installed and fit.

Picture the water heater as a 6 gallon plastic bucket tipped over on its side. Suburban has the burner at the end (bottom of the tipped over bucket) and requires a square opening from the outside. The depth it requires from the outside is greater than the Atwood since it goes in long-ways.

In comparison, the Atwood, as envisioned as that same tipped over bucket, has the burner on the side, and goes in a rectangular opening, taking up more width but not as much depth.

I doubt there is much difference in quality. Changing to Suburban, and making it look good, would require some body work, and changes to cabinets inside that surround the heater.
Thanks for the explanation of difference between brands. In our case shape isn't a big issue. While doing a total gut, the old heater location was closed up as it will be moved anyhow. I much prefer the bathroom floor plan in the 1963, so we have factored that into the design and we're adding a gray tank and new, above floor black tank. I think the water heater will likely go into the bottom of the wardrobe. No cabinets have been built yet. Anyone know where it was located in the '63 Overlander?
One other question... what do folks do about the door? Seems like they only come in shades of white. Spray paint it gray or fabricate one from aluminum?
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:52 PM   #16
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PrecisionTemp tankless units can be ordered with an unpainted aluminum door.

Looks great on my AS. I do need to clean and spray a clear coat of some sort over it one of these days.


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Old 11-01-2016, 10:50 PM   #17
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Truma. The only and the best water heater I have ever found. Expensive but works awesome. Works like a tank but runs like a tankless.
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