Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

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Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby marko » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:29 pm

Hi Team,

I'm having difficulty replacing the water heater in my Ford E350 Airstream conversion 1989 -

It currently has a 6 gallon water heater in of unknown make/model etc.

I bought a new Suburban 6 Gallon LP Pilot RV Camper Water Heater SW6P

Main issue is that the old heater has WINGS on and around it where screws hold it to the frame of the van.

The new heater is smaller than the hole by half an inch or so - and with no wings where to screw it to the van frame -

Also there is no way to attached the old door to the front so I bought a flashing and door specifically for this model heater which also doesn't seem to have holes in where it can be screwed to frame - whats more It doesn't seem to fit around the heater front entirely?

I'm really struggling here not sure what I can do!?

Anyone?
marko
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Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby Kentuckian » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:03 pm

Marko,
It might be easier for us to help if you could post some photos of the old installation and point out the problem areas.

Off the top of my head, it seems like you might try to use the old door since you know it covers the hole. As for the new water heater, it sounds like you have to form an adapter plate secured to the old hole that bridges the gap from the old to new size hole? Does the manufacturer make an installation kit that might help?

Tomorrow, I'll look at my water heater and see if I can better understand the problems that you are describing.
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Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby skater » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:05 am

The original is probably an Atwood. The Suburban is slightly different, so you may have to do some rigging.
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Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby marko » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:24 pm

Thanks ,

I have found a sticker in the van telling me it was a MORFLO DSI 6 - but a google search for this reveals nothing

Attached is my old heater and now new one I bought -regretting it! :(

As you can see one comes with a lip around for screwing in and the other (like all 6 g models I've seen) doesn't have metal lip - I I supposed to pull up the small metal fold around the new heater to try to create a lip?

thanks
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marko
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B190 Year: 1989

Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby weekender » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:43 pm

Any chance you can return the new water heater? Beyond the installation issues, it looks like your new heater operates with a pilot light, not electronic ignition. Given the already limited size of our propane tanks, I would think that a pilot light would not be ideal.
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Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby marko » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:51 pm

i'm trying but seller is not keen
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Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby skater » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:52 pm

Wow, yours really is different - I haven’t seen one like that. But the new one you bought would work, it’ll just require more fabrication.

Moreflo owns Atwood, or the other way around...they’re definitely tied together somehow.

I doubt you’re supposed to create a lip. Do a search for retrofit suburban for Atwood or something like that and see if there’s a kit or something. Surely you aren’t the first person to want to do this.
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1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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Re: Replacing Water Heater from 1989 Model

Postby Kentuckian » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:37 pm

Marko,
Thank you for posting the photo. That made it very easy to understand your mounting issue.

I haven't looked around so I don't know if its possible to find a drop in replacement for your old water heater. But if you wind up keeping it, the following would be one way to deal with it.

Do you still have your original door? It seems like you need to use the old door since the old hole is going to be bigger than the size of the new water heater. Fortunately, the heater exhaust is in the same location for each heater.

As for how to install, I read through the suburban installation instructions. It seems they are thinking one would fabricate a box frame and then screw their water heater into that frame.

I am thinking that you will need to get a piece of sheet metal that would be welded or pop riveted into the existing hole of the body of the B190. Then that piece of sheet metal would have a hole where each side of the hole is folded in to allow you to pop rivet or screw the sides of the new water heater to the folded in flanges of the sheet metal that you would install to the body. You might even be able to saw off the mounting flange of the old water heater and then modify it slightly so that it lines up with the walls of your new water heater. Be sure to make a water tight and air tight seal. You don't want any of those propane fumes coming back inside the camper.
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