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Old 02-23-2018, 08:53 AM   #1
wado66
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Water Heater Replacement

I am looking to replace the hot water heater in my 2000 Montana. Been looking around on options of replacement heaters.
I currently have a 6 gallon and would like to get a larger one. It looks like I have plenty of depth for a larger one.
My question is should I go with 10, 12 or 16 gallon tanks? The price differential is around, 10 gal. $430 - 12 gal. $460 - 16 gal. $640.
Typically larger is better for most things just curious if too large a tank can cause any issues? And is a 16 gallon even worth the price jump?
Has anyone replaced their heaters with larger ones? If so, were there any screw hole pattern issues or any concerns I should be looking for?
I appreciate any input. Just want to make this as smooth as possible.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:15 AM   #2
sourdough
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When I replaced our 6 gal. I went back with the same thing. The enclosure was about maxed out with that size.

My thoughts/concerns would be the added weight first. At almost 3 times the weight of a 6 gal. ( 16 gal.) would the supports for the existing tank hold the additional weight without problems considering all the bouncing and beating an RV takes. Secondly, if you have a dual heating system (propane/electric) I'm not sure the 16 gal. would be needed. We don't run out with a 6 gal. but there's just the 2 of us. Either way IMO the increased cost of the 16 gal. along with other possible issues would sway me away from it.

As for the 10 or 12, I'm assuming you want larger because you ARE having problems with the quantity of water provided. If so, I guess I would go with the biggest that would fit in the enclosure and not damage the construction (not 16 gal.). JMO
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
chuckster57
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You will have to cut the opening in your sidewall to fit the bigger tank. I would look at whatís mounted there first. Iíve seen the water heater and furnace next to each other, not leaving a bunch of room to cut.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:21 PM   #4
wado66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckster57 View Post
You will have to cut the opening in your sidewall to fit the bigger tank. I would look at whatís mounted there first. Iíve seen the water heater and furnace next to each other, not leaving a bunch of room to cut.
It is pretty much wide open under the bed where it is mounted.
I was hoping the larger tanks were just longer and not wider.
If that is the case then I will go back with a direct replacement. Not willing to do any cutting for a little longer shower....
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:53 PM   #5
travelin texans
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We're fulltiming with a 12 gallon heater, washing machine, dishwasher & 2 of us & have never ran out of hot water.
If the 10 or 12 would be a fairly direct fit either would be an improvement over the 6 gallon.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
JRTJH
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In the Atwood line, here's the frame hole measurements:

6 GALLON W H 16˝ 12.5˝ 18.5˝ Weight 25 lbs
10 GALLON W H 16˝ 15.5˝ 21.8˝ Weight 32 lbs


In the Suburban line:
MODEL GAL BTU WIDTH HEIGHT LENGTH WEIGHT
SW6DE 6 12,000 12-11/16” 12-11/16” 19-3/16” 37
SW10DE 10 12,000 16-7/32” 16-7/32” 20-1/2” 50
SW12DE 12 12,000 16-7/32” 16-7/32” 22-1/4” 52
SW16DE 16 12,000 16-7/32” 16-7/32” 27” 53

As you can see, the frame opening size is the same for the 10, 12 and 16 gallon Suburban heaters, but the 6 gallon size is significantly smaller.

Remember that the framework in your trailer is aluminum, so you'll need to not only cut the frame, but reweld (or screw/bolt) the new frame back into the opening. With 50+ pounds, you'll need a substantial frame around the new water heater to support it during towing.

The newer "high recovery" water heaters, when used on electric and propane do a pretty good job of keeping up with the demand for hot water. With a recovery rate of 16 gal/hr, that's 22 gallons of hot water counting the 6 gallons in the tank. Mixed 50/50, that's 44 gallons of "shower temp water", mixed 25/75, you'll still get over 35 gallons of "shower temp water"...
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:12 PM   #7
jertour
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Water heater

We replaced a 6 gallon heater in our Cougar 28RKS with a tankless, a little more money but as long as you have propane and 12 volts you can stay in the shower as long as you want. No added weight.
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