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Old 04-21-2015, 08:11 PM   #11
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i just saw a pic of a 5118A suburban water heater. it has the old robert shaw control that was soooooooo trouble free. I was aware of the control still being available for aftermarket, at twice the price of the china control. if this water heater indeed comes with the robert shaw then this is the only one to buy in pilot model.

edit: it does indeed look like they are ditching that black knob valve
red knob good....black knob bad
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:15 PM   #12
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Thank you all for these responses.

I have decided to junk the water heater and replace with a new Suburban SW6P. I got it for $250. We went cheap since we aren't sure how much longer we will keep this popup.

Interesting conversation about a water heater option with the 12 volt direct spark. Even after reading it, I'm not convinced I would have wanted the feature. Perhaps if we did more boondocking and I had to ration our propane.

Crockett, if I get motivated, I will post a photo of the anode rod. It is completely rotten with just a thin 'clothes hanger thick' wire remaining.

Again, all of these comments were appreciated! What a generous forum this is!

Gordon
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:21 PM   #13
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yeah...thats toast...no pic needed. the 5118A is identical to the sw6p except for the control i mentioned earlier. thats why the fire sale on the sw6p. suburban is most likely bailing on a dismal product. hope she lasts the duration of your ownership. changed one of those valves on a service call. lasted one day. 2 trips to the sticks for no pay. no warranty from surburban. you can understand my animosity...
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:42 PM   #14
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I'm hoping it will last 4 years max.

Most online vendors want and extra $200 for the 'red knob!'

Crossing my fingers.

Gordon
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:01 PM   #15
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4 years?...do the toes too
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:17 AM   #16
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Update: The water heater was a breeze to install. This is an easy fix for anyone considering it, and, a water heater is nice to have on a camping trip. Mostly, we like the hot water for dishes (no more having to heat water on the stove) and a quick 'sponge-bath' is nice before bed or after a long hike.

The water heater I did end up buying does NOT have the red-dial control that Crockett refers to. He has be worried about this newer/cheaper/Chinese gas control unit. Time will tell.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:29 PM   #17
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99.9% of the stuff I worry about never manifests itself. I will continue to worry about this so you will have years of trouble free operation.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:47 AM   #18
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