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  #1  
Old 10-12-2017
rrueckwald's Avatar
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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Default Water Distribution Panels

Blue Bird got cute and started installing water distribution panels in the late 90's. Why? Marketing, I guess. We certainly don't need them. But they look kind of Prevosty.

The downside is they installed some right over the Aqua-Hot. The heat made the plastic valves take a set, and embrittled them, so they usually break if you try to use them. Having worked this project to the limit, I hereby offer this advice.

1. If your valves won't completely shut off or are about to break in trying to do so, stop. You don't need them. Cover the panel with a picture of a blank bay wall, or anything to make you forget it is there, and enjoy your bus.

2. If you are like me and must have it working if it is there, take it apart and rebuild using the same size parts. Don't get artistic. It will be just fine.

3. If you are nutsy like me, and must also improve it, get un-nutsy. If you persist, then plan on a lot of time and many issues to solve. I planned brass valves and fittings. Whoops, cost over $600 for parts. Back to plastic, but make them dis-connectable, unlike BB who PEXed them into place so you have to cut them out. Next, shrink it so the front panel does not have to be removed to take off the Aqua-Hot cover. Next replace the painted aluminum with blingy stainless. Next, make another cover to fill the void, and make it so it comes off quickly with one thumbscrew. If you succeed, here is what it might look like.
(Had I known how many hours this was going to take, it would not have been started.)
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2017
Tim M. Tim M. is offline
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Let's talk about that last picture. What is with all the hose connections? You could have sold all of them for scrap and covered the cost of the brass PEX valves
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2017
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Default Another RR Masterpiece!

Like - stainless bling, panel size reduced, accessibility to Aquahot and all those very interesting brass hose fittings on display
Don't like - plastic valves that must still be cutout of the new manifold, if one fails

One project getting closer to the top for me is adding the Atwood electric water heater that's been sitting in the shop for ages. It will be placed just below the Hurricane (Aquahot) where the coach batteries used to be. Would also like to add a most distant hot-side-back-to-tank water recirculation option with a thermostat/switch. Has always bothered me that when boondocking, one must waste so much water to get the kitchen/shower/lav hot sides Hot. Pex is so easy, will likely stay with it when doing those upgrades. On the M380, the water manifold isn't strategically located on top of the Hurricane so all valves are accessible & mine seem to be working fine. Though the bling value of "nutsy" Option #3 is enticing, imagining all the work you went through to get there dictates Option #1

PS - if anyone has done a water recirculating mod I'd love hearing about it!
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Last edited by NoGas; 10-13-2017 at 04:38 AM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 10-13-2017
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nice work Ron!
now if you notch the left lower corner the aquahot cover can come right off,without removing the manobloc cover.
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Old 10-13-2017
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rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
nice work Ron!
now if you notch the left lower corner the aquahot cover can come right off,without removing the manobloc cover.
Randy, bite your tongue! Notch a nice, new, blingy stainless steel panel???? Heresy!!!!

Actually, the way it is designed, one thumbscrew removes the top left panel, and then the A-H cover comes right out.
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Old 10-13-2017
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
Would also like to add a most distant hot-side-back-to-tank water re-circulation option with a thermostat/switch.
Some folks on the bus board have done that but use a push button momentary switch to actuate it, not a thermostat. Saves the battery by only running the recirc pump when you need hot water. Make sure to put switches in both the kitchen and bath.

TOM
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2017
UNCLEROD UNCLEROD is offline
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Nice job. Isn't it amazing how projects take three times as long as you expect, even when you think you have planned every detail. Something to be proud of though
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Old 10-13-2017
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"I CALL DIBS ON RON'S BIRD!" ...

Nice work Ron!
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Old 10-13-2017
Alan Alan is offline
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A man with much more patience than I.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2017
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Second pic looks like John Finns coronary bypass surgery or was that mine...
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