Hello All,  My 85 Dodge Motorhome has an Atwood 6 gallon propane water heater in it that a previous owner let freeze, which cracked the tank.  I'm thinking that I'd like to replace it with an electric/propane unit.  Does anyone have installation advice?  The water heater is next to the coach battery, so can I connect directly to that, or to another hot wire running through the coach?  Thanks for any assistance.

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The Atwood gas/electric water heater will need both 12 volt for ignition of the propane plus a 110 volt source for the electric heater to work. So you will need to run wires from the main fuse panel for the 110 volts capable of handling at least 13 amps. If your old water heater was a pilot light model instead of an electronic ignition model then you will need to run wires for the 12 volts also from the fuse panel, sorry I do not know what amperage that part takes. But both sources of power need to be fuse protected to prevent a short from causing an electrical fire. I replaced our old water heater with just a regular Atwood propane electronic ignition system that was like what was in it and it functions very well. We do not take long showers so have never had a problem with running out of hot water.  The problem with running 110 volt wires is what prevented me from putting in a gas/electric Atwood model in our motorhome. Ours is so sealed up and far (about 10 feet) from the fuse panel it was just not practical for me to attempt such an install.  Hope this helps in your decision making. Going with a gas/electric heat is a great idea if you can get the wiring done easily.

Terry: Same thing happened to me when I started going through our systems after our purchase. I pulled the tank and took it to a good welder in town. He welded the crack beutifully. It was aluminum and he charged me $35. I took it home and did a pressure test before installing it back in the rig. It certainly was worth a try. With new insulation our little 6 gallon hot water heater works like a champ 3 years later. It gives us luxurious short showers and plenty of hot water for dishes. What more could you ask for! P

Thanks for the response, everybody.  Russ is correct, my old unit is a pilot light model.  I also have the heat exchanger which I'd like to try to keep.  I've been searching on-line for a replacement, and the only ones with a heat exchanger are, naturally, the more expensive gas/electric units.  I think I could live with the pilot light if I could find one with the heat exchanger.




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