OK, what Rick posted tells me alot. I have the same stove hood, in black, but my level indicators, and the water pump switch are on the wall next to the stove hood, partially obscured by the hood itself.
What follows is a slightly abbreviated version with less text and fewer pics than is contained in two different threads I posted on the Bigfoot
Owners Club forum. I have noticed a lot of older BF owners have not opted to join the club and are missing out on some good stuff, and we are missing out on what you might have to offer also, so I thought I would bring this information over here.
My trailer was delivered with a combination gas/electric water heater. The stove hood has switches for the fan and light
for the hood, and a generator
start stop switch, and a water heater switch (for the gas) and the fault light is a LED behind a little clear window in the overlay, but the opening is actually a rectangular switch cutout. The switch for the electric side of the water heater..... is..... about five feet away at the far end of the kitchen counter, on the top of the storage compartment. I have a 25B21RB which has a front dinette and a storage compartment on the LH side behind the seat back of the dinette. The water heater is down underneath.
This huge spread in distance of the switches really baffled me. The water heater is the one that was delivered new, going by the dates on it, and is the one listed in the original appliance equipment list in the wardrobe, on the back of the door.
The first pic is not of my trailer but the exact same model, much newer showing the current location of the water heater switches (circled in red) and the location of my switches on the stove hood and the top of the storage compartment, circled in orange and connected by a line. The storage compartment location sucks as the switch is light to touch and twice I accidently activated it with no water in the water heater tank. Thankfully i found it quickly and switched it off. Once I threw a jacket on top of it, another time I bumped it leaning over digging into the compartment. That switch had to go.
I bought a Dometic/Atwood water heater switch panel that has both switches and the fault light in it, and while mounting the 12v charging port/USB charging unit, I installed the new water heater switch panel in the very front of the top of the storage compartment. This is right in the forward LH corner of the trailer and takes some effort to get to it to turn the switches on. I had to extend the four wires on the water heater, but that was easy, and I bundled the wires in split wire loom you can buy at auto parts places (or Harbor Freight). The new switch panel required power and ground so I simply used jumpers from the USB and power socket I mounted next to it. In the stove hood the water heater switches use the same power and ground that supply the fan and light, hourmeter ground, etc. The loads are not that heavy, and I changed the stove light to an LED plate light from M4 Products.
The original wires from the stove hood and the ground were capped off and looped and tied with wire ties on the floor next to the water heater. I knew that someday I would do something different, but for now, I had resolved the accidental activation problem.
The new switch panel is OK but there is no indication that the switches are on or off and you have to remember to check them. I never leave the water heater on, I turn it on to use it and turn it off when done.
One day, messing around in the trailer discovered by feeling the overlay on the stove vent hood that there was an additional switch knockout next to the fault light. I figured out how to remove the front panel on the stove vent hood, and I removed the switch to get a brand and measurements for the switch and opening. It is a Sigma Switches (Elkhart Indiana) Type 2 configuration.
As I suspected, the switches were also made with illuminated rockers of various colors. I called Sigma and later sent an email, and have never received a response, but did find an Ebay seller (search for Bupps Cards) who carries many of the switches, so I bought two red and two blue switches. (p/n RED 20A-23 and BLUE 20A-25) These switches require a ground to the third terminal on them for the illumination to work, and the terminals are not common spade connections, but rather a smaller .187” wide spade, so I ended up on Amazon ordering these special spade connections.
I won’t get too deep into the technical details of this, but if anyone wants to know, I might make a short video showing what I did.
The big issue here is that I needed to run an additional wire for the new switch. BF could have easily done this when the trailer was built but they took the more difficult and expensive way, not sure why.
My pictures tell most of the story, but basically I had to remove the forward side wall of the wardrobe closet, the microwave
and the panel below the microwave
, and in the end I actually removed the vent hood also. In addition I removed the back wall of the storage below the sink and the bottom of this compartment and disconnected some of the heat ducts and pulled them out of the way. I also removed several drawers and emptied the compartment below the wardrobe, and opened up the LH dinette seat bottom panel (which I have done about a zillion times already). After removing these panels I removed all of the fine brads that held them in, and predrilled pilot holes and used #4 x Ĺ inch long oval head stainless screws and stainless finish washers to reinstall the panels.
I used 14 gauge primary wire in red, and routed it from the front thru the clamps following the existing wire bundle. In some cases I removed the electrical
tape wrapping the bundle and reinstalled Ty-wraps to secure the bundle. In the double wall bottom under the microwave
I found all of the wires passed thru a multi-pin Molex connector, so I measured the pin size (.093”) and ordered pins (I have a Molex pin crimping tool) and routed the wire thru an unused position in the connector.
I removed all of the extra wire I had installed on the water heater, and left the original Atwood supplied wires, and added a new four pin Molex connector. The two existing wires from the harness, plus the new wire, plus the ground were all bundled together and the other half of the Molex connector was installed on them.
I will be adding to this thread with a how to add LED indicator lights
to the Dometic switch panel, as that is what is used on the newer campers and trailers, and it would be nice to have a visual light indication of the switch being on. This is an easy modification.
Now I am not suggesting that anyone do what I did, unless they are game for a lot of work. This took me a week of days, working 8 to 10 hours, resting to cool off, dealing with feeding cats, etc. It is not easy, but it is doable. You have to lay down flat on the floor and stretch to reach thru openings to get to the wire harness, manipulate Ty-wraps one handed, and contort your body in strange ways to reach into some places.
The second pic shows the new Dometic switch panel I installed in the same storage compartment on the left side, but at the very front with a USB plug i installed, in a difficult place to accidently hit, and with switches that are more difficult to operate accidently.
The third pic shows my final result of running that new wire and cutting out the overlay over the unused switch hole in the hood, and installing the lighted switches so I can see if they are on or off.
Ain't it purdy? Took a lot of work to get to this point. In case you are wondering, I added the labeling "Gas", "Electric" above the switches, and the words "Water Heater" beneath the red switch. The remaining legends were already printed onto the overlay. I used a Brother labeler using TZ tapes, white on clear. Ariel Bold font, 10 point, with -10 line spacing on the "Water Heater".
If you correctly connect the wires to the switches, the lights
are illuminated ONLY when switched ON, get the power and load wires reversed and the switches are on 24/7 no matter the switch position, which you do not want. The fault light will only be illuminated when the heater does not start after the third try, which is how I got it on for the pic.
The fourth pic shows how I connected the wires to the water heater using a 4 pin Molex connector. Had I used individual connectors, and something became disconnected, it would be tricky to figure out what color went with what. Connector makes that foolproof.