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Old 05-31-2016, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Replacing a Water Heater - 85 Hilo

I recently acquired a 1985 or 1986 Hilo after my 2010 burned up in a freak fire. The 30 year old unit has a few more creaks and glitches than then newer unit I used to own. It looks like the Water Heater is going to have to be replaced. Does anyone have any ideas on what model I should look at? The unit has only a propane system with a pilot light starter. It does not have an electronic ignition and I just want to put the same unit in to avoid having to rewire or configure the area.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:46 PM   #2
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I am secretly hoping my water heater goes out so I can replace it with a tankless unit. I put one in my house and it is the best thing I ever did. Endless supply of hot water! In the camper I would get and under the counter unit. I think they're around $200. All you would have to do to hook up is: water in/out, gas, and 120V electric to run display. Ignition is all internal. Oh yeah and you can set the temperature you want it to heat to! I keep mine in house around 120. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:20 PM   #3
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As a long time user of tankless I must ask.
Where and how do you intend to vent the unit. this is crucial!
I assume it will not work without 120v for the controls.
NO camping with hot water.

I did replace my gas original design but have only used it once in 4 years.
Get the 6 gal cheap-o on ebay($220 +/-). You can re-use the flange on the outside if you are careful.
There is no re-wiring needed for an electronic ignition. need turns it on.

Why replace? As a plumber, there are many ways to not have to replace unless leaking from tank

I also have a 1985 and love it.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:09 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, my tank is leaking so it needs to be replaced. I fired it up this weekend and even though it was holding when the water when the water was cold, the water was gushing out once it heated up. I think someone else tried to repair a tank and the repair did not hold.

I have installed an small invertor on the trailer as I had to replace the fridge and went with a 120 Volt system dorm fridge. So tankless could be an option but I am not sure about the venting issue.

Renoites, did you install the Atwood or the Surburban. They are both 6 gallon and about the same price but I wasn't sure which would fit better in the hole in teh 1985 HiLo.

Here are the links that I find on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...f_rd_i=desktop

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...f_rd_i=desktop
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:23 AM   #5
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My trailer has the Atwood g6a-7.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:47 PM   #6
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from your description replace is the option.

how-ever. Since you have converted to 120v you could put in a small tankless electric/ on demand.
It, tankless, will still need to be vented due to the heat....but no carbon monoxide...so the vent can be in proximity to the fixture and mounted through the lower half of our trlrs.
On demand would be the cheapest but also the least volume and no panel upgrade.

tankless will most likely necessitate the upgrading of the electric panel and fuse. but you may still be below the 30 amp rating .

We don't bath in our trlr, we heat up cooking water on the gas stove.

you don't bath when boon docking, you spritz. I live in the desert and water is a VERY valuable commodity.

I also have the atwood 6 gal

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Old 06-01-2016, 06:56 PM   #7
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Default Think I will stick to the Atwood

While Tankless sounds intriguing, I also don't bathe in my trailer as it is the smallest model and if I need to wash down I have an outside shower set up. I want hot water mainly to wash my hands, take an occasional spit bath and have water on hand to do dishes. I loved being able to have warm water to clean up with on a cold camping morning. It looks like Atwood it is.

I will double check the hole on the trailer to make sure the Atwood will fit and then it should be minimum rewiring and plumbing.
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