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Old 01-27-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 139
6501 Water Heater Bypass

Given the low numbers of 6500 series Vibes this may not affect many people, but it may save someone time and headaches. We are planning a spring trip to places that will still be experiencing freezing temps, so I was thinking through what needed to be done to protect the Vibe's water system. Since we cannot depend on having electric service the i-web recommendation is to winterize the unit for the trip and use water from containers and antifreeze in the waste tanks. In our 6501 the water heater is located under the port side dinette bench which is screwed together. I unscrewed and removed the bench top (incredibly thin luan-but that is why the unit is so light) and was delighted to find a water heater bypass system in place. I plan to cut an access opening in the bench to make reaching the valves for winterizing an easy process.
This camper has some really logical engineering. It is a shame the poor execution and cost cutting cancel out so much of the functionality.

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Old 03-01-2015, 05:14 PM   #2
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Access door completed-
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,098
6501 Water Heater Bypass

For me taking 5 screws out once a year ( I don't put them back in during the winter) is not that much to do. I have had mine for 4 winters now. One thing to watch for is the cross pieces of the seats coming loss. They only used straight staples to put the seat frame together so with the weight of someone sitting on it I've had them come loss, luckily I was sitting on the edge so I did not go through.

Vibe 6501
1 Prospector Canoe
2 Mtn. Bikes
4 Hiking Boots
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:38 PM   #4
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Posts: 139
That's logical. We are located in central Florida and try to camp year round in the southeastern states. We have had the weather change and needed to clear our water lines quickly.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: middle Tn
Posts: 92
We have the 6503 with the front dinette being similar to the 6501. I changed a lot of the construction and as same with you the seats fell through the staples did not hold much. I replaced the framing with cypress and covered with 1/4 Baltic birch on the sides and 3/8 on top for the seats. The 1/8" plywood was not very strong and with the framing with soft white wood cracked and split with knots falling out it did not have enough strength to support 50 lbs. The table and kitchen counter tops I replaced with 3/4 " Baltic birch. Our table is supported on the front wall similar to yours with on folding leg supporting the other end. We paid 10,000 new for our camper so the time and money was worth it and it included the stronger 4,400 lb. axle with 15" wheels. We have spent about $1,000 and 80 hours fixing it up but has turned out much better from the way be bought it, we are very happy with it. Love the large storage compartment.
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bypass, heater, water, water heater

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