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Old 10-20-2019, 11:08 AM   #1
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2108DS Hot water issues

While dry camping our gas hot water heater quit on us. Called dealer and they had us try a few things but to no avail. We were told need to bring it in - circuit board issue that has been happening to a lot of units.
So we moved to a powered site and used electric hot water heater. But now that is not working!! Worked fine for couple of days. Now nothing.
Itís not on demand, itís a tank. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:29 PM   #2
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The first thing that comes to mind is that you have either blown the thermal cutoff or blown a fuse or circuit breaker.

What brand of WH do you have? Atwood or Suburban? Most Winnebagos I've seen have always used Atwood for the past number of years.

Also most gas/electric WH's have a push button reset located either inside the WH door or on the back of the WH (hard to get to).

If the gas side stopped working AND the electric side stopped working at the same time then I'd say it's the thermal cut off. But if the electric worked for a while and quit too, then it's something else.

Yes there were a large number of Atwood WH with bad circuit boards for 3 or so years on the market. Atwood replaces them all the time for free. However, there was a lot of dealer stock spread out all around the country and they were still the bad circuit boards. So, some folks have had to have this part replaced multiple times. Before getting one without the problem.

You can bypass the thermal cut off and see if that workaround fixes it for a little while.

Here's a video and I've cue'd it up to 1:23 and you'll see the Thermal Cutoff and how to test to see if this is the problem. If it is you can simply remove the cutoff and use the heater on electric only. The thermal cut off is a safety for gas operation only, so if bypassed should only be used on electric. Any RV parts store will have new Thermal Cutoff "fuses" in stock for not much money.

https://youtu.be/u29Sl9j0TM4?t=83
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:48 PM   #3
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We also have a 2108DS, and we have just finished our second season and have really enjoyed our camper.


Unfortunately, on our first trip this season down to Cape Cod our water heater also stopped working, both propane and electric, on the morning that we were leaving.


As creativepart had mentioned, I went through the diagnostics that morning, including the thermal cutoff and determined the issue was the ignition board. After I was done we had to pack up and leave so was a little disappointed not having a shower that morning.


Since we purchased our 2108DS out of state and I perform all service on the unit myself, I started to look into getting a board from Atwood under warranty or purchasing one. As creativepart also has mentioned, I found out that Atwood had a lot of bad circuit boards with some of them having to be replaced multiple times by some individuals. When I investigated further trying to find the latest part number / revision and some reassurance that the problem was solved I found several part numbers with not a lot of rhyme or reason what was changed or if the problem was solved.


During my research I came across Dinosaur Electronics that manufactures high quality replacement boards for the RV service industry. The replacement for our Atwood water heater is Dinosaur Electronics UIB 64 Ignition Board. The best price I found was on Amazon and I noticed that the price has gone down since I purchased it this spring.


The Dinosaur board is a bit different, but I did not have any issues installing it and has worked flawlessly this season with very positive / quick ignitions in the propane mode.


I did call Atwood and they did send me out, very quickly, a new board that I have as a spare now.


Brian
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:48 AM   #4
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Since the control board on my Atwood water heater is one that is prone to going out I proactively bought a Dinosaur Electronics UIB64 board from Amazon. I hate cold showers. The change out took less than 5 minutes. The old board, which is fine, is now my spare. I did have to use my Dremel tool to notch the cover so that it would fit over the cable.
https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaur-Elec...0838086&sr=8-2





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Old 10-25-2019, 03:27 PM   #5
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Ken,

Your posts are always very informative and the pictures and diagrams are great!

Our original water heater board lasted only six trips which averaged around four nights each so I believe that you saved yourself some inconvenience proactively replacing the Atwood board with the one from Dinosaur.

Camping this season at Schoodic Woods, which is part of Acadia National Park on the Maine coast, I had peace of mind knowing that I installed the Dinosaur board instead of installing the warranty board from Atwood. Even though Schoodic Woods is a relatively new campground the facilities do not include showers and like yourself I am not a big fan of cold showers.

Brian
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:49 PM   #6
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Ken,

Your posts are always very informative and the pictures and diagrams are great!

Our original water heater board lasted only six trips which averaged around four nights each so I believe that you saved yourself some inconvenience proactively replacing the Atwood board with the one from Dinosaur.

Camping this season at Schoodic Woods, which is part of Acadia National Park on the Maine coast, I had peace of mind knowing that I installed the Dinosaur board instead of installing the warranty board from Atwood. Even though Schoodic Woods is a relatively new campground the facilities do not include showers and like yourself I am not a big fan of cold showers.

Brian
Thanks very much for the complement Brian. I am very allergic to cold showers but not nearly so much as my wife. Dinosaur Electronics makes other replacement circuit boards and if I ever have trouble with my refrigerator control board I will certainly get one of theirs. Fortunately I haven't heard of many problems with the Dometic refrigerator control board. I'm really happy that Dinosaur chose to make these upgraded boards. I wish other US electronics companies would do the same thing.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:30 PM   #7
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BigBird65 I nominate you for MacGyver award. The industry should recognize your contributions as should we the users of the products they make!


Bravo.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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BigBird65 I nominate you for MacGyver award. The industry should recognize your contributions as should we the users of the products they make!


Bravo.
Hey, thanks but I really don't deserve it. I just like to pass on some things that I have learned in case it might help other campers.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:53 PM   #9
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Thank you so much - I’m definitely going to look into this. You wonder why Winnebego is still using the defective Atwood boards. Why do they not use these Dinosaur boards?
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:48 AM   #10
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WBGO buys thousands of Atwood water heaters at a time at wholesale. The heaters come with control boards installed from the Atwood factory. They purchase them far in advance of when they install them on the line. So a RV built in 2018 may have a WH installed that was manufactured in 2016.

Certainly newer Atwood heaters have the revised control boards. But older stock may not. Same with repair parts at dealers and part stores. The replacement part control boards in stock may be a mixture of new ones and old stock. So it’s a crap shoot witch version you are going to get when you buy a replacement control board too.

Dinosaur Boards aren’t Atwood products or even recognized by WBGO as a valid part so you’re never going to get a WBGO dealer or the factory installing a Dinosaur control board.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:22 AM   #11
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Sneakyp,

To answer your question - Winnebago is a builder / integrator that uses suppliers’ components that are installed by them and other RV manufactures. Design, manufacturing and warranty is generally provided by the supplier and the RV manufactures generally do not want to get involved. Atwood has changed their vendor and offered updated boards to address the problem and I am sure that they have communicated this to Winnebago as well as the other RV manufactures that have resold the water heaters in their units to reassure them that they have a handle on the problem. If the water heaters still prove to be problematic the RV manufactures would probably search for another vendor that would meet the price point they require. Maybe in the future Winnebago might start using a Truma water heater in the towables as it appears that they have started to supply in some of their motorhomes.

Dinosaur Electronics supplies this particular board as an “aftermarket” component vs the “OEM” or factory specified component. Advantages to aftermarket parts can be value (low cost) or increased performance or a replacement for a discontinued OEM part. Disadvantages are that they were not directly designed / specified by the factory and may void the warranty of the equipment they are being installed in. Generally, I gravitate to using OEM parts, in this case, after my research and speaking with Atwood customer service, I believe that the durability of the aftermarket Dinosaur Electronics board will most likely exceed the durability of the revised Atwood OEM board.

If you want to go with the Atwood warranty board, it does not have to be a “crap shoot” of what you get, either you or your dealer calls Atwood and asks what the latest part number / revision ignitor board for your water heater is and order that under warranty.

Brian
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #12
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Cool

:anyone
Finally got an appointment to get the trailer looked at. They say circuit board is shorted out and needs to be replaced. It is a Dometic hot water heater so they will be replacing it under warranty. I’m being told that water might have gotten in and shorted it out. They say sometimes when trailer gets washed the water gets where it should not...trailer is brand new and we have never washed it ourselves.
It’s going to be replaced with the same kind of circuit board. So what happens when it rains? ��. I’m hopeful that it was just a defective board and replacing it will fix the issues.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:01 PM   #13
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Just completed a 1,400 mile trip using the Dinosaur UIB64 control board in our Atwood water heater and it was flawless.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:40 PM   #14
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Fabulous! But if I were to replace mine with the Dinosaur as you did, wouldn’t that affect our warranty on the trailer? If anything else went wrong, they won’t cover it because it’s after market. It’s a 2019 trailer so still under warranty for quite some time. And it’s not something we would be comfortable installing ourselves - an electrician or mechanic be best?
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:00 AM   #15
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Fabulous! But if I were to replace mine with the Dinosaur as you did, wouldn’t that affect our warranty on the trailer? If anything else went wrong, they won’t cover it because it’s after market. It’s a 2019 trailer so still under warranty for quite some time. And it’s not something we would be comfortable installing ourselves - an electrician or mechanic be best?
The Atwood water heater is a Dometic product and is warranted by Dometic. I think Dometic has a 2 year warranty. My WH control board never failed and I keep it as a spare. However, these Chinese made boards have a history of failures. When on the road I detest a cold shower so I bought the USA built Dinosaur board to ward this off and glad I did. It has a 3 year warranty and can be bought here: https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaur-Elec...0838086&sr=8-2
You don't need any electrical or mechanical knowledge to replace it. It can be done in under 5 minutes if you are slow. Just make sure the propane and electric switches are turned off on the WH control panel. Here is a photo of my original control board.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:07 AM   #16
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Hi Sneakyp,

The Atwood boards are “potted” meaning that the circuit board is mounted in a tray or “pot” and submerged in a resin or polymer material which hardens and protects the circuit board from moisture, corrosion as well as vibration.

So, it is highly unlikely that the water heater circuit board would be affected by rain or washing the outside of your new camper.

Atwood has stated that the boards are defective, and It appears that your service tech is not aware of this and “guessing” about the failure. As I mentioned previously, either you or the tech call Atwood and get the updated board under warranty to install. If you install the same board it will most likely be defective and fail as others have reported multiple failures. The boards that appear to be defective are the ones that are manufactured by Zhongding.

Speaking about warranty, as I had mentioned before, the Atwood water heater warranty is separate from your Winnebago warranty. In other words, if you have a “leaky” window Winnebago is not going to deny the warranty claim because the water heater has a different circuit board in it. If you have an issue with the water heater and make a warranty claim, the question will arise if the aftermarket circuit board is the issue or caused the issue and if so will not be covered by the Atwood warranty.

By the way the Dinosaur board has a 3-year warranty which is significantly longer than the OEM board. If you do not want to have your RV service tech install a Dinosaur replacement board, you can call Dinosaur Electronics to find a RV service center that does install their product.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.

Brian
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:28 AM   #17
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Hi Ken,

You wrote your reply just before mine so I apologize if I repeated some of your points.

Looking at your picture of your old board, it appears to be a Zhongding 91436 that many people have replaced multiple times. I seem to remember my board, that failed, was a different number, which I thought was an earlier board and that the 91436 was a replacement. When I read about all of the continuing issues is when I bought the Dinosaur board.

I am sure going forward we will be able to measure the life of these boards in years instead of days with no cold showers going forward.

Brian
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:48 AM   #18
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Hi Ken,

You wrote your reply just before mine so I apologize if I repeated some of your points.

Looking at your picture of your old board, it appears to be a Zhongding 91436 that many people have replaced multiple times. I seem to remember my board, that failed, was a different number, which I thought was an earlier board and that the 91436 was a replacement. When I read about all of the continuing issues is when I bought the Dinosaur board.

I am sure going forward we will be able to measure the life of these boards in years instead of days with no cold showers going forward.

Brian
Brian we are thinking along the same lines. The board shown in the photo is a 91346. I would think that if you had a leaky window that needed to be fixed under warranty, I really can't imagine the WB technician looking to see if you had changed your WH board to a Dinosaur. Surely the leaky window would be covered since it had nothing to do with the water heater. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #19
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Ken,

I guess it is true that great minds do think alike.

Glad to hear that you were able to get out for a long trip! Unfortunately our season has ended and Maggie's Micro Minnie has been winterized and covered for a while now, we will start planning for next season after the New Year.

Brian
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #20
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Ken,

I guess it is true that great minds do think alike.

Glad to hear that you were able to get out for a long trip! Unfortunately our season has ended and Maggie's Micro Minnie has been winterized and covered for a while now, we will start planning for next season after the New Year.

Brian
I winterized mine yesterday using the air compressor method. Quick and easy.
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