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PT & WB (Twin Axle Pusher Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your PT or WB model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it....list your PT Parts here too.

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Old 09-28-2014
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GreenBird GreenBird is offline
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Default PT Water Heater Replacement

Thought I'd post this to help any poor soul that found themselves in this situation. I'm in the process of replacing the water heater in my 1986 PT40 with twin beds and Cruisairs. I can't imagine doing it without removing the driver's side half of the rear wall. That's what this first post is about. Will continue posting as the siege continues but don't look for any speed records.

After removing all the doors, screws, brackets, and electrical - the rear wall still didn't want to come out.

Screws alone were not enough to secure the plywood plate straddling the bottom joint in the wall sections - it was also glued to the vinyl cover which only made it a pain to pry off. In 20-20 hindsight I would suggest running a knife around it to cut the vinyl - I used a sawzall which was less than pretty.

The other holdup was the vertical dividers between the compartments - they are glued, screwed, and nailed before the vinyl was put on. Miraculously I managed to pry them off without destroying them - good thing because the door hinges screw into them.

My plan is to replace the WH with an Atwood 94550 10.5 gal stainless unit which looks as close as you can get to the obsolete original American Appliance unit. Bought one from Amazon for $450 plus another $50 for shipping. Also plan to replace the Versa valve with a new one though it's tempting to eliminate it. I plan on using PEX for hookups because it's easy to work with and I've had good luck with it at home. And yes of course the floor boards around the WH are a nasty mess from leaking God knows how long so I plan to replace them with marine plywood.

To be continued ...
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Leonard Campbell
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Old 09-28-2014
k1100lt k1100lt is offline
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Default Pex

Good idea with the Pex but I believe you have to use copper from the HWH to 12" or 18" from the HWH before you add the Pex. Good Luck.
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Old 09-28-2014
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Ooh - good point - thank you! At home I used braided stainless made for that purpose coming from the water heater - was required by code not to be PEX for (I think) 12". Will probably do that for the Versa valve also.
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Old 09-28-2014
Don Meyer Don Meyer is online now
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Replaced my water heater in our 86 PT38 and only had to remove the door to that compartment. Had it done in about an hour. We do not have cruise air in the next compartment. So perhaps that was the difference.
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Old 09-28-2014
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I read a couple posts where changing the WH was no big deal. I gotta think without the Cruisair there's a lot more room.
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Old 09-28-2014
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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I took my heater out & repaired it. I had to remove the entire road side access door, wall, and replace part of the water damaged, rotten plywood. I did cut the vinyl with a knife so I could glue it back when I got done. Everything went back in place but I still don't have the door latch mounted and latching correctly. The original latch was mounted on a small (1" x 1/2") piece of plywood doubled up. Very fragile. After I get my new shop setup I will make something better.

The whole job was a bear!

TOM
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Old 09-29-2014
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Thanks for posting so I know I'm not the only one. I'm green with envy of those who have an easier to replace setup. Currently researching Versa valve - is an obsolete model which is good because you can find New Old Stock cheap.
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Old 09-29-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenBird View Post
Thanks for posting so I know I'm not the only one. I'm green with envy of those who have an easier to replace setup. Currently researching Versa valve - is an obsolete model which is good because you can find New Old Stock cheap.
may be able to clean & lube it, or a rebuild kit was once availabel
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Old 09-29-2014
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Leonard,

Here's a post from my HWH/versa valve replacement on my 84. I ended up getting an upgraded version of the versa valve (see page 2 for details).

http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...?t=5966&page=2

Also as you may or may not know there is a lot of discussion to versa valve or not. Not at the level of fuel additives or tires, but...

BTW, it's more 'challenging' to replace the HWH with the bed still in place.

Good Luck,
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Old 10-12-2014
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The good guys have scored a significant victory in their siege against the rogue water heater. Although the enemy was deeply entrenched we have managed to extricate him. This photo-log is for anyone unfortunate as I to look at without the need for exploratory surgery.

Things look a lot better now that I've cut out the bad plywood (with the help of a Dremel Saw-Max) and cleaned up the area. Was very nasty - obviously this thing has been leaking for a long time. Old unit was much heavier than new one so is probably full of scale and yuck.

The road side wall of the Cruisair compartment fell down when I removed the front panel. I put in a temporary shim to hold it up and plan to fasten it to the ceiling with a small piece of angle iron. Can't believe BB didn't do this - they went nuts everywhere else. The closet must have been assembled as a unit and then installed around the water heater and lower part of the Cruisair which is ducted to the upper box. Finally the closet liners would have been installed - my guess.

I included a couple of pics of the Cruisair showing a newly discovered filter which was not in the least bit dirty. You can see it sitting vertically on the left of the air box. It's not ducted so must use the entire closet enclosure as a plenum. Also shows the condensate drain on the upper unit - heretofore a mystery to me.

There's a 4x4 box on the wall holding a safety relay energized by a water level sensor in the hot water outlet. This would prevent the heating element from being energized if the tank wasn't full of water. It's been bypassed confirming my suspicion that someone has been in here besides me. I'm not sure if I want to replace/fix it - have to see what's available.

The new water heater has cold water inlet and drain fittings so I plan to ditch the Versa valve. Thinking about putting in a 120V solenoid valve on the drain and hook it up where the Versa valve drained which I believe takes you back to the fresh water tank. Also found a check valve on the inlet to the Versa valve which is a common item so will be replaced for sure.

Next step is to install 3/4" marine plywood - not sure I'll get that far this year. There was an 1/8" layer of pressboard (?) under the plywood - probably to seal against the irregularities in the engine cover. I want to replace it but not sure with what - cushioned linoleum maybe.

Will keep posting as we go.
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