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Old 09-08-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 5
HELP!! Have to replace my furnace!

I recently had my furnace tested in my "new" '70 overlander by the local airstream servicer, and apparently it doesn't work. They told me that to get it replace would be about $700 in materials and $400 in labor (because parts are no longer available and installing a new unit would require re-ducting at the unit). Does this sound right? It sure seems expensive to me.

Does anyone have any less expensive alternatives? I need to have the ability to camp on propane with no shore power, so it is imperative that I fix or replace the furnace in some fashion.

I would sure appreciate any guidance anyone might have. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:36 PM   #2
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1990 25' Airstream 250
Altoona , Georgia
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Check out the catalytic heaters - Camping world has a good selection. They use no electricity and produce a lot of heat. There was a time when Airstream had them as a option.
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
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You can get a new furnace for under $400 if you really look and it takes maybe an hour or so of labor to replace, depending upon how squeezed into its cabinet it is.

A lot of times, though, the only problem is a bad motor. That runs a bit under $150 for the part.

Catalytic heaters are good supplements but I think it is still a good idea to have an operable furnace to use when sleeping or as an air circulation with heat capability.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:08 PM   #4
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1976 25' Caravanner
Vintage Kin Owner
Campton , New Hampshire
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I replaced mine ( '76 ) with a Suburban from Camping World , no modifications . It ran around $500 . Figure a couple of hours if it's your first time , it's not hard , just some learning time as you go . Good luck
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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Are you using Walt's RV in Ocala? If not you should check with him because I think your estimate is way high, especially for the labor.

The replacement furnace should run around 500 +/- and should't take but a couple of hours for the replacement. $400 for labor sounds a bit much...

mike
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:18 PM   #6
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Posts: 2,941
RV tech labor cost vary some in different areas of the country ($50 - 85/ hr). Putting in a new furnace should be a three hour job. Most Suburban furnaces only require one gas connection, one electrical jack interchange and about six screws to interchange new guts on an old outer box.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:50 PM   #7
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Milford , New Jersey
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70 overlander. Did they say why it doesn't work? I had a problem with the suburban in my argosy that drove me nuts. The fan would run,but the burner would not light. It was very simply really. Make sure your battery is fresh and carries a full charge.Make sure you don't have too mant lights on drawing current. Apparently if the blower motor does not spin fast enough, the sail switch is not activated and does not allow the burner to light. This is saftey feature designed into the furnace. My own trailer has this same problem even with a full battery. If I light the furnace, everything runs great. But if I turn on too many lights, you can hear the blower go slower with each light, the flame will go out and it will blow cold air. Start to turn off lights one by one, and the burner will light again. The Catalytic is a good idea,it is more energy efficient, if you don't need the ducted heat. Sorry for the long post, but, those old furnaces are pretty bullet proof, unlike the electronic gizmos of today. Good Luck.
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:41 PM   #8
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1972 25' Tradewind
Wentworth , South Dakota
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wheres a good place to get a replacement furnace. for a 72 Trade Wind.
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Old 09-21-2006, 12:37 AM   #9
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2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
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My last trailer had a catalytic heater. We never used the central heat and we camped in some pretty cold nights. The up-side is there is no fan to use your battery up, low propane use. Even if you replace or repair your "main" heater, IMO they are worth installing. That is my next project on my "new" '72.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:11 AM   #10
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1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Hi Fyrzowt--My Suburban furnace works OK, but I am also considering a catalytic heater on my "old" '73 (have had it 18-years). I have looked at 10,000btu Wave heaters for RV's at $500 and also at 10,000btu Pro Com Blue Flame heaters which look about the same, for $150. Both have oxygen depletion sensors. The Pro Com heaters are listed as "ideal for bedrooms", but "not for RV use". Anybody know why?--Frank S
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:22 AM   #11
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2000 25' Safari
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Check out the Olympian line of heaters, comes in about 3 different BTU ranges.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:28 AM   #12
Frank S
 
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi Fyrzowt--The Wave catalytic heaters are made by Olympian, and I have been considering the Wave 10 which is the largest, at 10,000btu.--Frank S
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:39 PM   #13
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1966 30' Sovereign
1963 22' Safari
orlando , Florida
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even the best propane heater can overcome a person at sleep! one night I awoke just in time to open a roof vent. had I not,this message would be posted from the beyond.paranoia strikes deep.I use electric heat.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:01 PM   #14
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1966 30' Sovereign
1963 22' Safari
orlando , Florida
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pardon my vaneness for brag i must. recently aquired a 1972 3/4 ton suburban to finely match the 1964 safari.pleased is simply not the word.when i look at the combo i just cant beleive it.the 72 was for sale for quite a while but no one was interested except myself.well preserved in florida with the usually related old vehicle malodies but minor and totally tolerable and restorable.fine running condition 350 w/ barn doors. dubed blue benny.royal blue w/ white top.
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