Plenty of Hot Water
We weren't sure how much hot water was too much, but 20 gallons
may be close to it. The system has two ten gallon water heaters.
They are both from Atwood Mobile. Each unit has three sources of heat.
The first method is the vehicle's engine. It generates
excess heat so we use that as a pre-heating. The radiator/cooling system
is tapped and the fluid that runs through the engine, radiator and cab heater is
also routed to the rear of the body and connected to heat exchangers in the
water heaters. There are no controls on this flow.
The primary method of heating water is LP gas. The heaters
also have a 1500 watt electric heating element. These can be used for
quick heating or heating when the LP tank runs empty.
Each heater has a small control panel with two switches; one to
enable gas heat, the other to enable the electric element. Both of these
heating methods are controlled by the unit's thermostat. The electric
elements are connected to circuits run directly from the generator.
The heaters mount through the vehicle body, taking
combustion air and exhausting to the outside. The photos below
show the internal supports, made from steel strut, and the body cutouts.
Empty, the heaters are quite light. Filled they will weigh about
The units mount securely in the recessed, framed,
opening. The body of the heater, where the mass of the water is,
did not have any obvious points for attachment. The tank is
enclosed in a Styrofoam insulating jacket. The entire unit is
secured to the supporting shelf with packing bands.
||Strapping Tools - There are two tools. The
red/white device is a tensioner that holds one end of the
strap while the other end routes through a
ratcheting/cutting mechanism. The larg silver tool is
a crimper used to bind the two ends of the strap for a
permanent connection. It was difficult to use the
crimper in the available space.
||This shows two black straps securing the heater tank to
the platform. The face of the heater assembly is
secured with sixteen screws in the frame and trim.
This photo also shows the LP supply line.
||Here is a side view of the installation after applying
an insulation blanket. This is a one inch fiberglass
pad with foil facings. It is sold precut for a typical
residential water heater.
The most likely area to feel force seemed to be the
forward motion of the units when braking. The space between the
heater body and wall of the equipment compartment is filled with
polyurethane foam, enclosed in plastic bags, to provide a custom formed
One thing not mentioned in the manual is which water
connection is the inlet and which is the outlet. Water goes in the
lower opening, and out the upper. The connections for the engine
heater lines don't manner.
The heater has two electrical connections, 110 VAC
and the dual switch control connections.