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Old 01-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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My Argosy wants to keep its old furnace

So, I have a Suburban NT22C whose serial number tells me that it's potentially deadly. Since I'm not a big fan of inhaling carbon monoxide, I thought I'd modernize a bit. I studied up on the differences between the current NT20S and NT22, read lots of threads on replacing NT22s with modern furnaces, found a deal on an essentially new NT20S, etc.

What did I *NOT* do until today, as I sat on the floor of the Argosy to lay out the work I thought I'd be starting tomorrow? I didn't make sure the bloody thing would come OUT without disassembling my galley.



The case of the killer NT22C is 14" wide. The opening of the cabinet door is 13 1/2" wide. I cursed enough that the designer's grandkids' ears were probably burning. The center post between the cabinet doors is riveted in, and those are DOUBLE-blind rivets... pop rivets in where I need a mirror to see them, and the upper 4 have a 4" deep tray blocking drill access from the back.

At this point, it looks to me like this will require removing the entire lower galley. I'd be really, really happy for someone to prove me wrong!
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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Ha - that's exactly what I was trying to do before I found myself ... In a complete shell off restore!!!!

FYI, now would be a good time to change out the counter top of your galley, if you wanted..
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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Ha - that's exactly what I was trying to do before I found myself ... In a complete shell off restore!!!!

FYI, now would be a good time to change out the counter top of your galley, if you wanted..
HEY! You're not supposed to make me feel WORSE!

The previous owner already banished the green Formica. He didn't pick one I'd choose on my own, but it's not bad. If I have to take it all apart, I'd be happy to choose a more "my style" laminate... but then I'd have to redo the little countertop over the refrigerator too. Fun stuff!

PS: I know it was green because it's still bilious green on the back of the sink covers.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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Ouch! Sounds like a fun not so fun job! Hmmm I recall while I was tearing out my entire bath room to fix a hot water heater some certain someone asking me if it was worth it just to be able to take a hot shower.
So is it worth tearing out the galley to have a warm camper?
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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Yea, I hear you, but that's how it works (kind of like playing with fire). Once you get things dismantled, you can, with little work, access and replace something else that may need attention. Then, once you get there, something else seems easily changed with little work. And before you know it... It becomes one big empty room!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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*IF* it were the only way to have a warm camper, I'd have to say it would be worth it. It's easier to put up with needing electrical hookups for a ceramic heater than ice-cold showers! I have to think that the "certain someone" in question might've had a different perspective after one freezing shower.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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I believe that the NT20S is < 10 inches wide, so will it fit through the cabinet door going in?

if yes, then you could try a carefully wielded Sawzall with a demo blade on the old one....

either way, good luck!
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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By the way, dismantling a galley is an education of itself: you learn 1) how everything was constructed such that it can flex with the sway of the trailer (it really is free standing rather than attached to the wall) and 2) that it was never built with the idea of being dismantled - meaning you do have to remove the sink and stove to gain access to the screws that hold the counter top on, which must be removed to access the side panel that ... Yeah.

On the bright side, it's much easier to reinstall ...

And I think if yours was anything like mine, if you can disconnect the propane connection and the electrical wires, you should be able to remove the heater from the outside access... (cranking rust here, memory wise).
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:17 PM   #9
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I believe that the NT20S is < 10 inches wide, so will it fit through the cabinet door going in?

if yes, then you could try a carefully wielded Sawzall with a demo blade on the old one....

either way, good luck!
Hmmm, an excuse ...er... REASON to buy a Sawzall.... that has potential!

I had thought of an angle grinder, but that wasn't nearly as sexy as a Sawzall. I wonder if I'd spend less time and do less damage working with a Sawzall through the cabinet door than just taking it all apart.

The NT20S is 12" square on the end, by the way, so it'll fit through the door just fine.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:03 PM   #10
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Take the time....

Do yourself a big favor! Take the path that will assure you the safety and piece of mind to know that you did it right. Take the galley apart and remove the old furnace correctly. Then you can install the replacement one and test it. Then be confident it is 100% installed and connected to the best of your ability. Re-assemble the cabinet and countertop only after you know the furnace is operatioal. Hope you can see that this is a very important safety issue. So take the extra time. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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New furnace is 12" wide so I guess if it were me I'd try to disassemble the existing furnace in place. That may be more difficult than it sounds though. A sawzall is not a cure all as they can be awkward to use in tight spaces. Chances are most of the components can be disassembled and if the heat exchanger will not fit through the cabinet doors it can be compacted somewhat with a hammer or a large clamp so it will fit. Knocking down the furnace housing should be straightforward once the internal parts have been removed.

Nothing unsafe about installing a new furnace without removing the cabinets IMO.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Often a die grinder or dremel tool is more help than a sawzall as they can be used to cut out small fasteners that by virtue of corrosion or access can't be removed any other way.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:08 PM   #13
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Ed: Fear not, I don't *USE* the old furnace. The only time it's been lit since the first time I saw our trailer was when I was inspecting it, I had the previous owner light it to make sure it worked, before I knew it to be in the range of bad serial #s.

At this point I don't think there's a practical way to get the old one out without dismantling the galley cabinets, but I'm not ready to start THAT tomorrow.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #14
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Ed: Fear not, I don't *USE* the old furnace. The only time it's been lit since the first time I saw our trailer was when I was inspecting it, I had the previous owner light it to make sure it worked, before I knew it to be in the range of bad serial #s.

At this point I don't think there's a practical way to get the old one out without dismantling the galley cabinets, but I'm not ready to start THAT tomorrow.
Awww c'mon! Where's your since of adventure? No need putting off tomorrow what you can tear out today!
When I found my water heater leak it was 11:00pm at night. I jumped in head first that night. By 3:00 am I had completely torn out the bathroom from wall to wall.....
I can warn you, you will be amazed when you find out what you will have to remove to get something totally opposite to come out.
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