Welcome to the Sunline Owners Club and congrats on your new coach.
I’m going out on a limb here but… unhooked line to a hot water heater is not normal and make me things something is suspect, maybe.
By adding the hot rod heater I’m assuming it is screwed into the drain plug port. That could also be why the lines are unhooked as there is no place to drain it any more.
The Atwood heaters have an aluminum tank. The drain plug is high temp nylon so that it does not create a corrosion reaction with the aluminum and not likley to cross thread the tank. The hot rod may be corroded in place, maybe this why the need was to unhook the lines. If they used lots of Teflon tape on the threads it may have prevented the corrosion.
Is a hot rod a good thing? Well electric elements are common in the newer heaters but they are installed in their own port leaving the drain plug to be pulled to drain the heater. The electric feature is handy. I’m not against the hot rod but at the sacrifice of not having a drain plug and possibly cross threading it in and out as a drain plug, I myself would not use it.
The heater does not use a lot of LP gas. If you flip the heater on gas 20 minutes before you need it, it is hot and then shut it off when your done. We do this ours even if we use the electric. We only use hot water at meal time for dishes and evening showers. So there is not a lot of inconvenience for us.
The hooking and unhooking of the water lines as a drain, I would really discourage this. Odds are sooner or later a fitting will get disturbed and then a leak comes. That is if that was what the prior owner was doing. OR the tank has a leak in it and they drained it. Once you hook up the lines, if you use 30psi compressed air you can leak check and not use water. Put air into the fresh water connection outside. They sell adapters for this. Looks like a tire valve and then has hose threads on the other end. If the air check comes up clean then use water. If there is a hole/crack in the HW tank, then you found it with air instead of water. Dealing with a water leak is a real challenge sopping up the mess.
If you have the hard PEX style tubing that uses the copper crimp rings, that tubing is very stiff and using a worm drive hose clamp, odds are it will strip out trying to get it to compress the tubing and not leak. The PEX fittings are smaller then the hose ID on purpose so you can slide them into the hard tubing. The heavy pressure PEX crimp closes that up. A worm gear clamp works well on barbed fittings where the hose is flexible to swell out over the fitting and then the clamp holds it tight.
Since your hose is kinked, if it is blocking the flow, well it should be cut out and a new piece put in. The big PEX crimpers are expensive. Mine cost me $60 on clearance sale. However they now have a small hand one that is pretty cheap OR they sell Sharp bite fittings that are like a big compression fitting that work on the PEX tubing. Lowes or Home Depot has the shark bite, I can’t remember which. While it might be a $5 fitting, it is cheaper then buying a PEX crimper.
Hope this all helps.
Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC
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