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Old 04-02-2024, 09:52 AM   #1
OlympicRange
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Water heater access.

Hi everyone. We have a 2017 Passport Ultralite, model 199 MWLE. The water heater is located on the right side of the rear panel. Last winter I looked everywhere to gain access to the rear of the unit to bypass the tank for winterization. The bottom of the trailer is insulated and sealed; inside the trailer is where the bathroom is, and it looks like I would darn near have to dismantle the cabinetry to gain access. Has anyone, with this, or a similar model, run into the same issue? This is just the first of several access issues I have run into. Thanks to all in advance.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:15 AM   #2
NH_Bulldog
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I think you might find that the right side panel in either the wardrobe base cabinet or the left side of the vanity is removable to access the back of the water heater (I would lean towards the panel being inside the wardrobe base).

On mine (different model, but water heater in a similar location), there is a panel in the rear of the under bunk storage area that can be removed, but I am not a contortionist, so I just pull back my lower bunk mattress, lift the plywood bunk base and access the back of the water heater from above.
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:19 AM   #3
OlympicRange
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Thanks for the tips! I’ll give those spots a little more scrutiny. ����
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Old 04-02-2024, 10:20 AM   #4
wiredgeorge
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Originally Posted by OlympicRange View Post
Hi everyone. We have a 2017 Passport Ultralite, model 199 MWLE. The water heater is located on the right side of the rear panel. Last winter I looked everywhere to gain access to the rear of the unit to bypass the tank for winterization. The bottom of the trailer is insulated and sealed; inside the trailer is where the bathroom is, and it looks like I would darn near have to dismantle the cabinetry to gain access. Has anyone, with this, or a similar model, run into the same issue? This is just the first of several access issues I have run into. Thanks to all in advance.
It appears that they designed this trailer for a contortionist. You will have to remove the outside/bottom panel on you wardrobe in the bathroom. It is likely held in place by four screws. Then get as much of yourself in that area of the wardrobe with a flashlight and there may be a panel over the water heater rear or it may be exposed. That has to be about the only way to get to the back to winterize.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:19 AM   #5
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Mine is like this too, despite not being a keystone product. I only have 2 screws to contend with, but you have to leave them partially in the panel like a hook of sorts to get the panel out, and then you can get to the valves. Not sure what you have to do to get the water heater out if it needs replacing.

Which reminds me...i need a new anode rod, but not sure what type of heater i have lol.
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Old 04-02-2024, 11:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by wiredgeorge View Post
It appears that they designed this trailer for a contortionist. You will have to remove the outside/bottom panel on you wardrobe in the bathroom. It is likely held in place by four screws. Then get as much of yourself in that area of the wardrobe with a flashlight and there may be a panel over the water heater rear or it may be exposed. That has to be about the only way to get to the back to winterize.
George: From what I've experienced with these RVs and trailers, being a contortionist is a prerequisite for maintaining and working on them!
Either that or have a very skilled small grandchild that is mechanically inclined.
To get to the winterizing valve on the back of our water heater, it is only possible with one arm in the drivers side pass thru (the small one) and facing aft with your left arm extended in and around the heater, then play touch and feel until your fingers locate the valve!
Bob
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Old 04-02-2024, 12:27 PM   #7
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My Passport is a 2014 245RB and although a couple of years older I believe the access to the back of the water heater is similar. On mine it's behind a panel below the shelf in the wardrobe. On yours it may be behind a panel on the bottom of the vanity. The pics below may help give you an idea, sorry they posted sideways.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:39 PM   #8
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Mine is like this too, despite not being a keystone product. I only have 2 screws to contend with, but you have to leave them partially in the panel like a hook of sorts to get the panel out, and then you can get to the valves. Not sure what you have to do to get the water heater out if it needs replacing.

Which reminds me...i need a new anode rod, but not sure what type of heater i have lol.
Open the outside access and there will be a sticker inside there that tells you make/model. I have a Suburban and it uses an anode rod to attract stuff that would otherwise rot the inside of the steel tank. Other brands don't use an anode rod to the best of my knowledge and Suburban may have been subsumed by some other RV parts maker so check the label.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:42 PM   #9
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My Passport is a 2014 245RB and although a couple of years older I believe the access to the back of the water heater is similar. On mine it's behind a panel below the shelf in the wardrobe. On yours it may be behind a panel on the bottom of the vanity. The pics below may help give you an idea, sorry they posted sideways.
The OP has his bathroom sink butted up against the part of the wardrobe. you show in your picture. He will either get in from inside the bottom of the sink or the forward panel on the wardrobe.
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Old 04-02-2024, 03:48 PM   #10
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George: From what I've experienced with these RVs and trailers, being a contortionist is a prerequisite for maintaining and working on them!
Either that or have a very skilled small grandchild that is mechanically inclined.
To get to the winterizing valve on the back of our water heater, it is only possible with one arm in the drivers side pass thru (the small one) and facing aft with your left arm extended in and around the heater, then play touch and feel until your fingers locate the valve!
Bob
Please restrain your urge to laugh at me when I tell you I got stuck crawling in my 5th wheel's pass through storage area. I went in there with stuff to seal around pipes to keep mice out and then once in, turned on my back to work and then tried to slide out. I got stuck on the ridge where the compartment door seals. I am NOT skinny... or to be more accurate, a tad rotund. My wife came by and laughed for what felt like a half hour before giving my feet a pull out. To this day she complains that it was so funny that she forgot to take evidence pictures.

This past Saturday, I replaced the water valve in my Dometic 320 toilet and there is NOT enough room to get a forearm between the toilet and bath tub. I had to put my belly on the toilet (unfortunately, the tall Dometic 320) and work back in that dark corner by feel. I don't recall replacing that thing in the past on this trailer but it only had one of the two retaining screws installed. I did manage to install with both supplied screws. That been of effort reminded me that I am going on a diet as soon as I finish the pecan pie my sis gave me for Easter!
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Old 04-04-2024, 12:48 PM   #11
OlympicRange
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You are right about the sink cabinet being butted up against the wardrobe. There is only one floor level panel on the wardrobe, and it has a heating duct coming out of it, but it iscrewed into place, so I may pull that off and see if I can contort my way to the rear of the hoy water tank. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-14-2024, 07:32 AM   #12
jayhart
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199ML Water Heater Bypass

My 199ML Ultralite has a water heater bypass in place but I had no idea it was there. I discovered the panel at floor level under the wardrobe closet when researching the installation of a demand-type unit.
Very poor delivery by the dealer I purchased from.
Alternately, but more complex, one can remove the outdoor ‘shower’ assembly and gain excellent access to the area behind the water heater. This makes it almost easy to work in that area. Replacing the shower assembly is simple enough with proper consideration for sealing and caulking, once the water lines’ connections have been tested for leaks.
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Old 04-15-2024, 05:45 PM   #13
OlympicRange
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Removing the outdoor shower sounds like the best of a list of not-great options. At least in our trailer, the only accessible panel at floor level has a heater duct in it.
Thanks a bunch for the tip!
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