You can probably get an RV water heater element at a big box store, too. But remember most home water heaters run on 240-VAC, so you need a 120-VAC element.
Suburban uses a 1440-Watt 120-VAC element. I think Atwood chose more line 1000-Watt. Doesn't heat as fast, but it conserves a little of your precious 30-Amp total from the campground pedestal and your main coach breaker. I put a 1000 in our Suburban and based on my test at home, I think I'm good with a little slower recovery to save 4-Amps of current draw.
You need a 1-1/2" Socket for Water Heater Elements, Home or RV. I used an old (VERY) heavy duty mechanic's socket and could barely get it onto the hex for the sheet metal around it. The cheap sheet metal socket slips in better. Element seals with an O-Ring and comes with a new one.
That dripping P/T Valve...
I'm told some folk test them periodically, and doing so keeps it from dripping.
I've found that they don't drip till somebody tests them.
So I don't test them, and when they drip, I don't expect that popping it open and letting it spring shut, will cure the dripping.
I go get a new one. They're inexpensive, the big box stores have them, and you don't need an "RV" part for an RV Water Heater. Just remove it, go match it up. Install the New One with Teflon Tape.
just not per the original knob.
I replaced the Oven Control (the one with the Temp Knob) on an RV range, and it came with a knob that was marked differently. Differences in the way the old and new actually worked, required different labeling.
This problem sounds a little more severe, but I'm just tossing this in.
Regarding 4. above: Will not ignite... What won't ignite? The Gas Flame should not burn in Electric Mode. Or do you mean there's an Indicator Light and it doesn't glow in Electric Mode?
The only Atwood water heater I've had or worked on, was a simple Standing Pilot one, similar to the old home Gas Water Heater. It had an electric element that was a simple circuit. Power to Switch to Thermostat to Element.
OB's info above says there's a relay and he's The Man when it comes to looking this stuff up. I didn't see a Model Number so I haven't tried to look up a manual...
But, at the end of the day, the 12-VDC side has to have what the phone company used to call "battery and ground." And Drew would say 120-VAC has to have "hot and neutral." Always be sure that Both have Both. Sometimes we spent all out time on the hot/positive side and don't consider the neutral/ground side.
That just happened to me. Water heater, 120-VAC side out. I was sure I'd burned the element out. Installed a new one, thing still didn't work. Turned out it was a failed junction box connection on the Neutral side. See if your Element has continuity. Power off, connections off, 10-15 Ohms on your DVOM. Re-connect, then Power ON, see if you have 120-VAC at the Element. If you have continuity in the Element, and 120-VAC on ONE side of it, the thing should heat. If you have NONE, it's trouble in power source, from Breaker to Controls, Thermostat, Relay, Wiring, Termal Safety. If you have 120-VAC on BOTH element terminals, then you have what just happened to me: Open HEUTRAL, that White 120-VAC wire.
That failure-in-the-junction-box thing didn't occur to me. Chris Bryant had to bail me out. But thinking of it, Water Heater's a heavy, persistent, load on wiring and connections. A long steady draw, not like making toast or a pot of coffee. Makes sense it can burn out those cheesy punch-down terminals.
Prices sound high, even for the 2016. I think you should investigate other dealers and/or a new Sunseeker/Forester.
The Holiday, based on what Tom said, and the little I saw from the 2011 brochures, there's nothing all that special about Alumalite. There used to be: The low-line Ambassador Class C had the same basic construction as the high-line Imperial and of course the mid-line Presidential. But the Alumalite seems to be a lesser build type than Augusta.
I think others here will bear me out, my opinion is that more RV's are crippled by dis-use than worn out from over-use. I'd rather more miles on the 2011 than what it has.
The 2016? That 32600 is high... Was it a Rental? Even if it was, that's not fatal. Many of us have ex-rentals and are very pleased with them. Those rental companies don't want their vehicles breaking down on customers, replacing units, sending road service, etc. etc.
Just from the pictures, two observations as I think of our 2003 Jayco 31A:
1. Interior pic is all but identical! Same floor plan, cabinets, dinette design, pretty much anything I could see.
2. I like your exterior layout a little better. You have the upgrade mirrors. Ours are the tripod type like most rental trucks. We've had window leaks in the little cabover side windows that your FW doesn't have. And, looks like a deep compartment at the very rear. I'd rather have that, outside, than what not having it allows me to have inside.
What Model Year is the Chassis? Might not be a "2000 Ford" because of the cycle the RV builders buy their chassis on. The "bucking" makes me think it's not flopping back to 3rd gear (direct/High) out of 4th gear (overdrive/OD) when it sees increased load. That's a full 180-degree opposite of what most of these do. They generally downshift when there's enough grunt left to torque over a rise in the road. I ask about Chassis Year because 2000 brought out a different iteration of the V10 than 1997-8-9 had. In any of those years the transmission should be the 4R100,all the way through 2004 or so.
Although I covet your mirrors, that design, from Velvac, is known to break at the pivot on the body end where the arm swings. I figured out how to fix those, so if it happens, get back with us before you spend $200 or so. Some of us fold the mirrors back whenever we're parked someplace that a child might want to swing on them...
Put a Big Red Bow on it under that cover. Then it'll be Christmas all over again when you unwrap it!
I only need the base plate which is $400 new, and a braking system which will cost about $1000. I plan on installing base plate myself...
I've done five baseplates and a few more trailer hitches. From that, a few suggestions:
1. Consider every available Base Plate since you can tow BlueOx with RoadMaster, etc. Study the Installation Instructions. Then choose the one that looks best, installs easiest, and connects at the best height. Instructions usually include a photo of an installed plate. You can use that for Look, Height, and how much Fascia you need to cut.
2. Don't skimp on your drill bits!!! If you have automotive steel to drill, it may be thin, but it's TOUGH! Oil the spot as you drill, and a low-speed, high-torque drill motor is better than one that has to rev to get any power.
3. Don't cut the Fascia till you have the plate in place. You may find you need to cut much less out than what they show in the instructions. Just set the fascia in place and mark it with sharpie or tape.
When you replaced the Board, you got a set of clean edge contacts. What about the multi-contact connector that slips onto it? With power OFF, look at the contacts and see if they're all "springy." Just thinking you might not be getting full functionality. Probably a long shot, but I know the connector causes problems with Atwood water heaters not lighting. Don't know if it can cause your specific issue.
Awful! How can we help salvage this situation?
You can remove the towing equipment, of course. There are websites that feature towing components.
Would you switch to a dolly and keep the Malibu?
How long have you had the Premier? Perhaps a dealer would do a helpful trade... Lady in our church bought a CR-V. Her mother looked at the Accord while they were at the shop and bought one. Got it home and found the garage door wouldn't close. I don't know how long it was "home" but they worked out a deal for a second CR-V.
Chris and BB, you nailed it. And shame on me, I usually read all the tech stuff.
Pulled breaker box cover, every Hot and Neutral was tight, but I tweaked them all
Pulled Water Heater Switch from Control Panel - It's a residential switch and again every SCREW terminal was tight
Looked in under-sink cabinet where he water heater is. No less than FOUR junction boxes under there! Fortunately for me, the inaccessible junction box on the water heater itself was wired to the most easily accessible box in the cabinet, screwed to the floor. Unfortunately for me, it was one of those sorry Mobile Home/RV punch down boxes. Soon's I had it open I could see the White Neutral was Loose and Scorched. There was enough cable for me to trim, strip, twist together with pliers, the Hot, Neutral and Ground. Then Wire Nuts. Gutted the punch down box, cut the inner plastic structure out, and reinstalled as a Splice Box. DONE!
I don't regret the time I spent on this. Never a good time to spend a day on a simple project, but still: I've been able to deep clean the water heater, reduce its wattage demand from 12A to 8A, prevent future problems with the junction box, and...
...improve troubleshooting skills...
All the ones I've looked at, were on the order of extension ladders - little round rungs. My go-to for this is a hardware store step ladder. Modify to work. Maybe wooden. Easier to cut and you can staple carpet to the rungs. Last one I needed was a five-footer, unavailable in Big Box stores. Bought it at Ace. Our floor was carpeted. Between that, rubber feet on the ladder, and leaning against fabric, the ladder worked just as it came, leaning on the bunk closed.
Probably won't fit in your OEM space. I just left ours in the overhead bunk.
Found the HR Brochures for 2011!
Historically, the Alumalite was their entry level brand. They used various names for the higher line(s). Alumalite shows a "rubber" roof, where Augusta shows "one piece" which could well be fiberglass. ROOF STILL REQUIRES MAINTENANCE, but Fiberglass (or Aluminum) is the more durable choice.
When you look at any RV: FLOOR PLAN RULES!!!
It can be technologically exquisite, but if the flow doesn't go your way, you won't be happy with it.
I wish I could find the construction details on the HR coach. I found the floor plan for the 2011 HR Augusta 29PBD and there was a lot to like. I saw full front and rear fiberglass end caps and that's a premium feature. Why? Less parts is less seams so less leaks. An aluminum or fiberglass roof would round that out. PBD was listed as "B+" which doesn't officially exist. It's really a C, but without the cabover bed, and B+ units are often 8-ft wide instead of 8-1/2 ft, sometimes also lower.
They seem to be on Ford E450, and comparing the 2011 to 2016 chassis, you don't get much on a 2016 that the 2011 doesn't have. In 2007, Ford made big changes, so THAT chassis is nicer than 2006.
Holiday (as Tom tactfully pointed out) at least WAS a premium brand. The Forester is an upgraded version of Sunseeker, an entry level brand, both from Forest River. That does NOT make them a bad machine! We have many many members here with Sunseekers and Foresters. HR is a much lower volume outfit, but every once in awhile, one shows up, and the pictures/features are really nice.
I'd like to know the Length and Wheelbase of coaches you consider. If wheelbase is too short relative to length, rear axle can be overloaded with inadequate weight on the front axle.
If you get to the tire-kicking stage, look at the Weight Sticker (usually inside a cabinet) and see if it'll allow you to carry Who and What you want to take on your trips. Coaches with slides are inherently heavier than those without or one slide vs. three.
But DRIVE it! Ideally in a variety of conditions. Go far enough to get to a Travel Center (politically correct for Truck Stop). Pay the $10 to have it WEIGHED. Bring Michelin's RV Tire Pressure Chart with you. Adjust Tire Pressure to the numbers on the Chart. See how it handles and tracks on the road. Obviously you want the two or four tires front and rear inflated to the same pressure. But Ford chassis is sensitive to FRONT tire pressure. It'll drive far better within a few PSI of the chart.
That 29PBD I found, has "opposing" front slides. That'll make the coach feel like it has a "great room" forward, but brings weight forward. The wheelbase has to allow for that. Coach is beautiful, but watch the weight factor. Winnebago has a 29B, design I love, but it's as heavy as most 31-footers. The empty weight of the coach from the CAT Scale, plus everything/everybody traveling, has to come out to less than 14500-lb. 5000-front and 9500-rear, max.
..loose neutral wire in the junction box on the back of the water heater...
Squares with Chris' diagnosis, too. I made a test cable from an old heater cord:
OEM 1440W element, heating at 11.8 Amps
NEW 1000W element, heating at 7.8 Amps
Tomorrow is another day, will be getting into those connection areas. Oh, well, once I get it running again, I think I'll like having knocked 4 amps off my water heater draw. Will help on those 30 amp power poles!
Thanks, Friends! I'll report back.
This quit heating on electric on a trip a couple months ago. I thought we might have run it with the tank not full and burned the element out. I removed the element cover and wiring, showed OPEN. So I ordered a new element and set about installing it today. A thin wall socket would be better than the 50-year-or-more-old 3/4" drive, 1-1/2" socket I had on hand, but the element came out easily. Calcified but not visibly damaged. Flushed tank, installed new element, installed anode, filled tank and turned on.
NO HEAT!!! Element tests with resistance. OEM is 10-ohm for 1440-watt. I bought a lower wattage element to help with power consumption, 1000-watt and it tests 15-ohm.
The circuit is:
15A Dedicated Breaker, then Residential Wall Switch with Indicator Light - From there it's the wiring shown in the Suburban Manual on Chris Bryant's site
Small Rocker Switch on Water Heater itself
Thermostat and ECO with Black Wiring, left side of the two assemblies
The Element (all wiring so far is Black/Hot
White Neutral from Element back into Coach Wiring
Every bit of this shows HOT with my non-contact pocket tester
Shows 120VAC with a meter wherever I can access
Shows continuity on Ohm Scale. Switch on Heater, all Thermostats, and Element shows 15 ohms
Power ON and both sides of the Element (black and white wires) show HOT
All this and Zero Amp Draw on my clamp-on AC Ammeter. Left system ON thinking meter might have failed, but NO Hot Water after an Hour
What am I missing here? Seems like I have Volts that can't deliver Amps to produce Watts and get me some hot water.
Now I wonder if I was freaked out from the get-go: The element I took OUT shows, today, 10 ohms, the factory spec!
Here's the 4000-lb spring at SD Truck Springs. A number of us have used that vendor for various parts.
Please post your Axle Ratings. From your OP, 12000-lb, I'm taking rear at about 8000 and front at about 4000. Our 1983 E350 was rated a little less, 11000-something, but that's from memory. I didn't keep any of the old information.
Our 1983 E350 was right at max weight, both ends, under a 24-ft Holiday Rambler. Springs were sagged and I added a "Repair Leaf" to each side. BUT the two springs matched! Would not try that with a spring set that's mismatched, which I think yours is. Look at RockAuto.com and you'll see a 3200-lb (per side) and a 4000-lb spring. If I had to guess, it calls for 4000 and somebody replaced one side with 3200, but your GAWR-Rear should confirm that.
Shop "might" be able to weigh it, but I think you'd be better to get your own weights. Then you'll know how to take what they tell you. It may be tricky finding a scale that does sides/corners. The CAT scales at truck stops do Axles. The ones at scrap yards do the whole vehicle. You could get ends/axles but I don't know about sides.