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tammeling

Replace Atwood water heater with Suburban? Cutouts are different

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I have an old (2008) Atwood GC6AA that is not working. Not sure what's wrong with it - the previous owner didn't quite know, but it looks like it wasn't maintained. Given its age I figured that I'd replace it.

However, Atwood no longer makes the GC6AA and they don't seem to have a great replacement. Hence, I figured I'd replace it with a Suburban. 

Trouble is, the cutout dimension between the two are quite different.

Atwood GC6AA: 12 5/8"h x 16 1/4"w

Suburban SW6DEL: 12.75"h x 12.75"w

Suburban SW10DEL: 16.38"h x 16.38"w

The Suburban 6-gallon unit is quite a bit more narrow. Are there conversion kits for this? Or would it be better to upgrade to the 10-gallon version and enlarge the opening?

Thoughts?

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tammeling, welcome to the FMCA Forums! 

We use a lot of how water, if I had adequate space behind the heater I would upgrade. I had to enlarge an opening on our last coach to accommodate a tankless water heater. Opening the hole was easy, rerouting all of the wires and plumbing behind it so it would fit was not terrible, but took a little more time than expected. 

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As you noted everything is different, I would go with the 10G unit if there is room.. FWIW the Atwood 10G heater while using both LP and electric has a recovery rate of 14.5G per hr.

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Welcome to the forum. Bigger is better. Try this ask your wife if she would prefer more or less hot water for her shower.:D

Bill

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Hmmm... I did find a conversion door (Suburban 520787) that is specifically made for changing an Atwood GC6AA to a 6-gallon Suburban.

However, given all the feedback on upgrading to a 10-gallon unit I'm wondering if I shouldn't go that route. Are there any how-to-articles or videos on enlarging the hole?

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I just found out that Suburban makes a direct-fit replacement (SAW6DEL) for the old Atwood. Not sure what the best option would be with that in mind, as this would make it very easy to do the replacement.

If we're boondocking it may be better to have less hot water given the limit on fresh water and the capacity of the gray water tank...

Wouldn't the 16 gallon/hour recovery rate if we have shore power make up for the smaller tank?

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Yes, but even when boon docking you can run generator for that short period to have quicker recovery. 
 

 

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True, but the more hot water is available the higher the likelihood more water is used - depleting fresh water and filling up the gray tank.

On a separate note, the direct-fit Suburban is on backorder everywhere... Trip coming up in two weeks so that's not an option.

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4 hours ago, tammeling said:

If we're boondocking it may be better to have less hot water given the limit on fresh water and the capacity of the gray water tank...

What about all the time you are not  boondocking? Water management is a personal goal.

Bill

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2 hours ago, wildebill308 said:

What about all the time you are not  boondocking? Water management is a personal goal.

Bill

In that case I image (hope?) that the advertised recovery rate of 16 gallons an hour would suffice. Either way, we generally don't take long showers even when we're home since we're on a septic system. 

Occasionally we might visit a campground that has showers - it'll feel like a resort! 😄

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8 hours ago, tammeling said:

Occasionally we might visit a campground that has showers - it'll feel like a resort!

Go tankless for that feeling. My DW loves our tankless, cant get her out of the shower becomes the issue...

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tammeling,

I am a bit confused. You asked for advice and have had an objection to all. If you practice Water Conservation it won't mater if you have a 6 gallon, 10 gallon or tankless water heater.

Suggestions have been offered, use them or not.

Sorry,

Herman

Edited by hermanmullins

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