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Old 11-03-2003, 09:18 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help please with Propane heaters

Hello everyone,

I am a real newbie to this motorhome stuff. Just sold my sailboat to buy a 1987 345. Love it!

I have a few technical installation manuals and have been reading a lot about each component. I am still confused as to where everything is located and what each switch goes to/does though.

One question I have tonight is about the heaters. I read there are two switches that can be flipped to determine less or more air blowing from the fan. The manual indicated more air meant less heat and less air equalled more heat. Where might I find these toggle switches? I have looked on the units themselves and can't see them.

BTW, as a way of introduction I will tell you I am a 5' female and have no trouble driving my new Airstream. (read the comments about length already). I plan to travel extensively in this unit as I produce multimedia and travle to film nature a lot.
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:06 PM   #2
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welcome aboard

I have a 310 mh and can not find anything similar to your question on my unit so am unable to help.

As a outdoor photography fella am very glad to welcome you to the forum and as there are several active 345 folks on here, I exspect they will chime in soon.....lol...jem
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:09 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

I, also, have an '87 345.

I've pretty much had both of the furnaces apart, short of removal from the coach, and there are no toggle switches controlling fan speed installed.

At least on my unit........

You will find that just about every unit is "unique" in some form or fashion.

Suggest you search the threads for "spare parts" and "roadside repair".

Don't know how long you've been RV'ing, but, in my opinion, a membership in a good RV roadside assistance - towing club is important.

Towing these specialized units is NOT for the run of the mill wrecker service, and groups offering MH specific roadside assistance (such as Good Sam's and others) are knowledgeable of the qualified service providers in various parts of the country.

Good Luck and Be Safe.
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:36 AM   #4
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Welcome!

Welcome fellow former sailboat owner! While your sailboat was a fiberglass hole in the water into which you poured money, your 345 will become an above ground moving cave made of aluminum into which you will pour the same!!!! Ya gotta love 'em tho! I recently sold my 325 motorhome and returned to the ranks of the trailer towing with the Behemoth.

FWIW, the only two-speed heater fan switch in my 325 wasn't part of the propane furnace system. The propane furnaces use wall thermostats and you just set the temp like any home furnace and the furnace does it's thing. The fans are single-speed.

The two-speed switch on my 325 was a dash-mounted three position (off-low-high) rocker switch that controlled the auxilliary heater blower motor located under the couch. I believe that the switch was labeled "Auxilliarly heat".

That system is a heater core (heat exchanger) that runs off the engine cooling system. It is plumbed with heater hose along the driver's side of the coach, and the hose runs under the couch to the heater core. From there, the heater hoses continue on to the water heater under the sink. Engine heat also gives you hot water while you're travelling down the road.

This is a wonderful system that does a superb job at heating both the cabin and your water while you're travelling. The only thing that you MUST ensure is that the heater hoses are replaced every few years. There's nothing worse than a carpet and furniture soaked with anti-freeze after a heater hose bursts. Those hoses are NOT fun to replace either.

If I'm off-base here with your two-speed fan, and you actually DO have a two-speed fan in your furnace, please share that with the forums. It may be an interesting variation from the norm.

Roger
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:58 AM   #5
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Water Heater Location

Just to clarify Roger's comments --

The water heater on my 345 is located under the foreward facing dinette seat, although there is a 110 volt electric "mini-heater" for the small faucette mounted under the sink. The switch for the "miniheater" is between the tambour and the kitchen window. Make sure you don't turn the electric switch on without having the water system pressurized.

To further complicate things, the location of the engine auxiliary water heater for the cabin (with the two speed switch on the dash) is, in fact, located under the couchon my unit, but, at least in some later models, this heater was mounted with the water heater under the rearmost dinette seat.
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Old 11-04-2003, 09:16 AM   #6
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Re: Water Heater Location

Quote:
Originally posted by 87MH
Just to clarify Roger's comments --

The water heater on my 345 is located under the foreward facing dinette seat, although there is a 110 volt electric "mini-heater" for the small faucette mounted under the sink. The switch for the "miniheater" is between the tambour and the kitchen window. Make sure you don't turn the electric switch on without having the water system pressurized.

To further complicate things, the location of the engine auxiliary water heater for the cabin (with the two speed switch on the dash) is, in fact, located under the couchon my unit, but, at least in some later models, this heater was mounted with the water heater under the rearmost dinette seat.
Thanks Dennis!

I wasn't even thinking about the differences in floorplan between the 325 and 345... duh...

The galley in the 325 is on the roadside; in the 345 it is on the curbside and the dinette is on the roadside necessitating a re-arrangement of plumbing etc. between the two models.

Roger
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:09 AM   #7
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Smile Thanks for the comments

Thanks everyone for commenting.

I brought the manual to work this morning and re-read the section about what I was referring to. The section is titled Heating Operation. It has sub headings labeled Switch Information, Electrical Chart (Heating Information) and a Troubleshooting Chart.

In leafing back through the previous sections I now realize this heating opration refers to the Colman Air Conditioning unit, not the propane heaters. BTW, I have a PH located under the kitchen sink and one under the back cabinet on the street side. My 345 has the double bed against the street wall.

Back to the air conditioning unit. I did not know these were dual and could produce both cool and heat...hence my complete confusion. Guess I have a lot to learn.

I too, have to replace the water hose, especially now that we have freezing nights in the northwest. Any great ideas for keeping the hose and water tank from freezing?

Thanks again,
Carol
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Thanks for the comments

Quote:
Originally posted by Earthling1
I too, have to replace the water hose, especially now that we have freezing nights in the northwest. Any great ideas for keeping the hose and water tank from freezing?

Thanks again,
Carol
Ok, Carol... Now I'm confused. To which hose and tank are you referring? You have three tanks that hold liquids: your fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water or sewage tank. The only hose you have ought to have on the outside should be the one from the city water supply to your city water inlet.

If you do a search on 'winterizing' you'll find just about everything you want or need to know about how to winterize your motorhome.

Roger
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Old 11-04-2003, 11:53 AM   #9
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Water hose

I have to replace the City Water hose as it has a split about 6 inches away from the hose fitting inside the reel. All other hoses seem to be fine.

I saw a photo, on this site where the reel was cut out with a Dremel tool to get to the fitting. I was hoping not to have to do this. Right now I have enough water in the tank for flushing and washing, but am showering in the close-by restroom. Quite a shock to walk through the frost at 32 degrees at 6:00am!

Thanks for the tips, will do some more research on this site.

And what a great site this is! I have just begun exploring. I had a site like this for my San Juan 24 sailboat...we shared a lot of great information.

Carol
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:22 PM   #10
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Potable water fill

The fill neck for the potable water tank is the rearwardmost compartment on the curb side (about 6" X 6"), and about 4' from the asphalt. The water tank does not fill from the hose reel.
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Old 11-04-2003, 12:29 PM   #11
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So???

I thought the City Water hose also fed the tank. So it sound like if I need to fillup the tank I can do this without the need to replace the hose.

That would work okay, because then I would not have to worry about the hose fitting bursting from the freezing weather. I wil try that when I get home this evening.

Thanks.
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