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Old 06-19-2022, 01:29 PM   #1
Rincon Schooner
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Default 04 Sun Voyager 8379 Water Heater Question

Hello All, I have a leaking water heater that I am swapping out…. a Suburban 10 gallon (SW10DE). The cabinet box that GulfStream designed has NO access to the rear of the water heater where the water lines are connected. I was able to break away the styrofoam that surrounds the tank and remove the pieces. There was barely room to reach to the back of the tank and disconnect the over-stretched lines. Once removed, I confirmed that the cabinet/box has NO hidden access door… Nothing! So, there is no way to pull the two water lines out far enough for hook-up to the new unit. There is about a 1/4 inch clearance around the unit and it needs to be pushed in almost entirely for the hoses to be connected. Hard to believe there is NO door in the back that allows access. I could cut one in from underneath, but GulfStream applied a foam undercoating that is 2 inches thick. What a hassle. I could purchase some Pex pipe, and fittings, and extend the rigid water lines for easier connection, but I am concerned there is no space behind the unit to accommodate the additional rigid hose, and I won’t be able to see if there are any kinks. What a drag!… anybody want to chime in? Still trying to figure the best approach. Rob in Ojai
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Old 06-19-2022, 11:16 PM   #2
NavyLCDR
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What i s above the WH compartment? Looks like maybe the furnace. Can you remove the furnace? Can you get into it from above?
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Old 06-20-2022, 12:35 AM   #3
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Hello. I would recommend a tankless they take up no space and you never run out of hot water and use very little lp gas and no energy when not in use. Look into them I have them and install them for a living and they are fabulous!!
Now you will hear controversy as others disagree wanting to have the 2 options and recovery time. For ones who live full time in their coach.
Even boondocking the units only need a 12v to operate so low draw on the batteries.And the gas consumption is very low way less then a conventional water heater.I have installed many over the years and have never had a complaint. And also converted many non believers..
If it's just you and one other a bulky leaky slow recovery tank is fine but if many are in line for showers endless hot water is the ticket
In any case good luck I hope this helped! And happy camping!
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Old 06-20-2022, 12:31 PM   #4
Rincon Schooner
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Hi Commander… thanks for your reply… The compartment has no access from the back, the bottom, or the sides….. and, above the water heater, GulfStream placed the 40 gallon fresh water tank. It sits horizontally (5 feet long) and is under the furnace that you mentioned, as it spans the width of the rig. Looking at possibly using my Sawzall to cut an access hole from underneath…. My concern is getting it back in place with a good seal so a mouse can’t get in… It’s hard for me to believe that GulfStream didn’t provide an easier access… In my picture you can see the two water lines, but they cannot be pulled out any further. If I use similar hose (Pex), that is very rigid, to extend the water lines length, I’m concerned the water heater won’t push in all the way. There is hardly any space behind the unit when pushed in. WTF?…. I might look into a “more flexible” type of hose, but then there is a kink factor….. Not sure what to do…. Meanwhile, a new unit will arrive tomorrow…��������
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Old 06-22-2022, 01:07 AM   #5
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Can I ask if it can be accessed from behind? The water heater is in the storage compartments basically so in my unit I can crawl in behind the entry steps and gain access to the Rear of the heater! I understand you don't have an access but can you cut one in from there? What is directly behind the wall on the other side? I'd hate to see you have to cut a hole in the floor under the furnace. ouch!
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:01 PM   #6
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RV MFGs are notorious for building with no access to areas. Then, when needed, access to that area must be accessed by cutting thru walls, flooring, or cabinets. You will figure out a way and then will have access if ever needed later. Make it work for you.
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:22 PM   #7
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I have a 08 8330 and had to remove the water heater, there is a panel in the rear covered with 2 inch's of insulation foam. I had to break the water fitting to fine the out.
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:59 PM   #8
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Suspicion would be that factory installed PEX to Tank first, extra long, route PEX and drop into box, THEN cut to length and crimp the PEX to the fittings on the OTHER end? Good Luck. (Mine) has a cabinet flat panel w/ x4 very small brass screws that give me access to 6-gallon.
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