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Old 02-25-2005, 08:35 AM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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Wink 345 heaters

Hello all, we are gearing up the new (to us) 345 for a big cross-country trip next summer, but we are having trouble with the heaters. The front one works not at all, and the back one intermittently (just as bad). The AS dealer says no more parts are available, so we need to retrofit. Do we go to Inland for these, or are there alternatives? Can we install new units ourselves? I think with mountain crossings planned, we will be needing heat, and we are uncomfortable with portable heaters with kids/dog along, so it looks like replacement is in order - just trying to keep costs down. You guys are the best!
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Old 02-25-2005, 08:54 AM   #2
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Are you talking about your engine heaters, furnace, or heat strips on the AC? .
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:12 AM   #3
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Heaters

The two furnaces - one under the kitchen sink, and one in the bedroom near the bathroom.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:00 AM   #4
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replace them - any good RV service should be able to do it.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:02 AM   #5
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I presume you've ruled out being low on propane or battery?
and other "normal" problems?
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:24 AM   #6
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Furnaces

A couple of things; keep in mind that dealers typically work around a remove and replace mentality. Technicians are paid on book rates for repairs. If they get paid two hours to R&R a furnace they won't try and spend three hours trying to get yours working again. Additionally the serrvice writer is trying to make margin on the replacement components to cover any overages in installation time.

Secondly, if you are not comfortable working on the furnaces yourself then don't Either consider finding a qualified local RV repair shop (not a dealer) as they can focus more on repairing the replacing, or just go ahead and R&R them both at your local dealer. If yours are like mine you should have two DuoTherm Series 9000 furnaces (model #90125-001).

A few questions if you don't mind:

When you say they don't work what do you mean?

Does the fan come on?

If the fan comes on do you then hear a clicking (ignitor) sound?

If so do you hear the furnace fire and come on?

Does it stay on or immeadiately shut off?

Is there LP in the tank? Is it old?

Are the batteries charged?

There are many things to check on this from power source, to low voltage, to faulty limit and sail switches, to bad borads and dirty burners and low gas pressure, etc. In my case it was fuses and contact cleaning. Let us know what each furnace is (or isn't doing) and maybe we can help you target the likely repair.

Niether of my furnaces worked when we took delivery of the coach. By following some of these basic troubleshooting steps we got both furnaces working safely and reliably with no parts and no dealer technicians.
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Old 02-25-2005, 10:47 AM   #7
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Often the problem with the older furnaces is the moisture from condensation has allowed the burner to rust and flakes of rust will be all over the inside of the furnace. Cleaning it out will go a long way towards repair, if the ignitor and gas lines are ok. The burner can be cleaned and scraped of rust and this alone may solve the problem. Mine was that way and is now working fine. It is not a hard repair, but removal of the furnace takes patience and a little muscle.

Replacement furnaces are ofen on EBAY or on sale at the end of the season from your RV dealer, or an online source.
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:52 AM   #8
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Before doing any repairs on your furnace or propane lines you should make certain that you also have a CO detector and a gas detector in your coach. This detector must be one made for RV's and not a household model. You can order a good one through CamperWorld or any other good RV supply store. Our old furnaces run great but we need to be protected.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:50 AM   #9
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FYI...My rear unit was blowing air without heat. I wrapped on the solenoid for the gas several times and it never failed again.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:41 PM   #10
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Furnaces while on the road?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbnjsellers
Hello all, we are gearing up the new (to us) 345 for a big cross-country trip next summer, but we are having trouble with the heaters.....I think with mountain crossings planned, we will be needing heat, and we are uncomfortable with portable heaters .....
pbnjsellers:

I just reread this thread - I am not sure if you are asking the question while stationary or actually travelling...it is generally thought that it is NOT a good idea to run ANY LPG fired equipment while underway.

The Water Heater in the 345 should have a block (engine water) heat exchanger in the core, so you will have plenty of hot water while under way. Likewise the dash and under-the-couch heater should provide enough heat in the coach while you are on the highway.

Since you will be travelling in the summer, a small electric heater could be stowed almost anywhere, and would provide a good bit of heat as long as you are plugged into a campground electric service. If the going REALLY gets cold, crank up the generator and run the electric heater while you are underway - just as you often will have to run the generator to run the overhead AC while underway - especially in the South and West - during the summer.
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Old 03-27-2005, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
The Water Heater in the 345 should have a block (engine water) heat exchanger in the core, so you will have plenty of hot water while under way. Likewise the dash and under-the-couch heater should provide enough heat in the coach while you are on the highway.
pbnj - one more bit of advice (following on 87MH). Please be sure to check or replace these aux heater hoses that run from the engine to the aux heater and then onto the water heater. They run through the floor and are typically overlooked when replacing hoses on the engine. I blew one of these while underway with the family and it dumped a few gallons or boiling coolant under the couch and all over the carpet. Not fun.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:57 AM   #12
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While redoing the couch upholstery I noticed the heater under the couch was missing. Is this something I can get from an RV supply store or would I have to get it through AS? Is there a specific name for it or just tell them the heater under the couch. It's not a real big deal since summer is coming around but its on my list of things to do.

Thanks,
Brian
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Old 03-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #13
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Try a heater box from JCWhitney. This is a pretty simple box....input and output with a two speed fan and a duct that blows out from under the couch.
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