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davidz71 09-20-2002 01:23 PM

Inside hot water heater cover
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My Atwood hot water heater seems to be missing a screen, grill or whatever on the upper left hand side. The outside cover has louvers on that side but diagrams show some type of grill also. Anyone know if it is supposed to have one and/or where I can pick one up from a trashed unit?

Craig 09-20-2002 03:03 PM

Mine has the screen. As I wrote about earlier, I need to replace my water heater, so I should have an extra screen from the old unit when I replace it. I'd be glad to send that to you. I'm not sure how it's connected. I'll need to check that out when I get home.
Is your water heater the original? I'm trying to decide whether to replace mine with an LP, or LP/electric.


uwe 09-20-2002 03:42 PM

I just looked at mine, and it is brand new but does not have the screen on the unit, but rather on the door. When opened, it looks exactly like yours. When closed, then a pop in screen covers the hot air exhaust section.
My old water heater, which went to water heater heaven a while back, had the screen attached to the hot air vent, and the door went over it when closed. Both of my water heaters were Atwoods, by the way.
Other Craig:
If I had known more about Airstreams, then i would have gotten the gas/electric unit, because my unit is only 6 gal, and it empties with one shower, and I believe the gas/electric re-heats quicker. I wonder ifyou can use campground power alone instead of gas to run it. There is more work to be done, getting 120V to it etc, but I think it's worth it. I should have opted also for the Electronic ignition at that time. I was looking for economy when I replaced my water heater.

RoadKingMoe 09-20-2002 04:01 PM


Originally posted by Craig
I'm trying to decide whether to replace mine with an LP, or LP/electric.


I really like having both... save the LP when in a campground with 120V. That could be important with winter camping when the furnace is using bottles as fast as you can replace 'em. I'd have to look at the spec sheet at home, but I think running both gas and electric together doubles the gallons per hour of hot water.

davidz71 09-20-2002 04:18 PM

I read somewhere that you can use both elec. and LP at the same time to rapidly heat water if you are using a bunch of it. I think the HottRod add-on units specifically mention that. If most of my stays were at campgrounds, I would go with the LP/Elec. to save the LP. After all, when you stay at a campground, you have already paid for all the elec. you can use.

Craig, I'm not sure if my Atwood is original or not. I see a bunch of caulking around the edge but that could have been done by the previous owner to prevent leaks. Let me know when you get your new unit in and what you want for your screen plus shipping.

hex 09-20-2002 04:37 PM

Suds and Buds
Uwe how long's a guy got for a 6 gal shower?


I know I know... it depends on how dirty the girls are! :D
and when the Mrs is due back...

Seriously though, how long did you have hot water? and is it for the duration and then Bang it is all cold? or does the hot give you any warning such as a cooling down?

Do yall leave the HWHeater burning on the road? or would the highway draft surely extinguish it? I would think 6 gallons would not take that long to heat from scratch, even in the winter. Am I wrong?

Lastly do RV parks ever meter and charge you for electricity used, or is there a flat fee or is it always included in space fee? and approx how long could you run on twin 30 LPG tanks using them for HWHeater, Refer, Furnace, and occasional cooktop, say at 45degrees outside?

uwe 09-20-2002 04:55 PM

Hi Hex,

It's a decent shower, even after getting really dirty - know what i mean? But you got to conserve, like turn off the water while lathering. My shower is so small, it's not exactly a hangout anyways. I'd say you can squeeze 5 or so minutes of nice water out of it.
It gets cold in a hurry - not much warning.
I never run it while travelling, mine heats up in 45 min to boiling hot. But, if someone is using the sink in the galley, and you want to shower shortly thereafter, then it's a bummer. Shower first, do dishes later, i guess.
I am not sure how long the propane lasts witht eh furnace going etc.
I am still on my first fill.
RV parks charge usually a flat fee, it's all you can use in a day or so. I have heard of some parks metering it, but I'm not sure if this is true. Never ran across it.
I know that the reefer and cooktop, with normal hit water usage last you a few weeks. I read in this forum that once you use the furnace, things change in propane world. I guess the furnace has a huge appetite for fuel. Better to use a and electric space heater with the furnace on low to protect the plumbing from freezing.

Craig 09-20-2002 05:00 PM

Is anyone familiar with the proceedure to "upgrade" from LP to LP/Electric? How is the wiring done?

I'm leaning toward just going with LP, since the install would be easier, but would really like LP/electric.


53flyingcloud 09-20-2002 06:01 PM

Forever hot
From the sound of it, some of you might wanta look at a product called 'RV 500', it gives you unlimited hot water...
Here's a link to info abt same.

niftypkg 09-20-2002 06:22 PM

Hot water heater???
The heater I have is 10g. I would opt for the 10g as a first criteria. LP is cheaper than electric for extended stays, if metered. The electric end is only an auxillary to give the LP a boost for faster warm ups and to keep the water warm. There is available a unit to turn the el. off if unwanted and to indicate if the unit is on el. I get a good shower with ten gallons. I would also opt for the manual rather than the circuit board.

Craig 09-20-2002 06:45 PM

I was under the impression that with an LP/electric tank that you could use either LP, electric, or both. Are you saying that you can't use it with just electric?

niftypkg 09-21-2002 06:51 PM

Gas/electric Hot Water Heaters
Craig, The late Summer Cat. Camper World 2002. p. 40 ....'the 6 &10g Suburban WHs have a recovery rate of 10.2 g/hour... an optional electric element will provide an additional 6g/hour at campsite'........
For Atwood heaters the 6g models are 7.4 gas and13.5 g/hour with el. and the 10g models are 8.4 gas and 14.6 g/hour with el.
What is the recovery rate on el. only?? Will they operate well on el. only . Sounds to me like the el. are aux. and will not provide sufficient HW for use. The Suburban heaters provide an additional 6g/hour is that enough on el. only ???? For Atwood 10g heaters the difference is 6.4 gal/hour with el. . The big if is :will the rate actually be 6g/hour without gas or is that some fudge figure inc. gas??? The cost using el. only would be high ?????? for extended stays on metered electric. On another thread they think it will work.
Tom :cool:

Pariscope 03-24-2008 09:11 PM

I have a 63Blobe Trotter and just asked these same questions so in all honesty I think the more hot water the better. It isn't that much more in cost or water weight.
This is Safari62's reply(below) I am sending to you..
I also went with a Suburban 10 gal. gas and elec with electric spark pilot option. I think if I had a do over I could have gone with the 6 gallon size as you will not really use that much hot water all at once. Even with two showers and dish washing there is plenty of hot water. Remember, you are mixing hal fhot and half cold as you use it.

the water only takes about ten minutes to get hot in the morning. I just reach over and click the switch, listen for the gas to ignite (under the bed!) and the hum of the exhaust out the side of the trailer and thank myself every morning for spending the extra for the dsi option. (direct spark ignition)

I like the original vents and reworked the panel to stay as it was.

The old heater is very heavy. The new models are lighter weight.
I think the six gal. is smaller in total size also.

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