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Old 05-25-2006, 12:41 AM   #1
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1975 25' Tradewind
Southwestern , Washington
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1975 25' Tradewind Furnace and Refrigerator Questions

Ok I am the proud owner of a 1975 25' Tradewind. All of the original appliances are working except for the water heater that was replaced in 2001. I have used the search engine and found most of my answers but I want to ask a couple more specifics before I go any further.

Question #1 on Suburban NT22 Furnace:

I was going through the trailer today and began researching the furnace which is a Suburban NT22A. It seems that this unit is in the serial number range to qualify it for the crossover tube recall (Thank you Airstream forum members for posting about this or I would never had known!). I plan on pulling the unit out tomorrow to see if the crossover tube has been serviced, but I began thinking that perhaps it would just be more prudent to swap out the entire unit for a new one that I know won't have any problems and will be safe.

So after reading the forums here it seems that I should replace this with the NT-30SP (not the NT-24SP) to get the proper BTU rating for my trailer. Is this correct?

Also, is the newer electronic ignition reliable? I had a Surburban in my conversion van with electronic ignition and it wouldn't reliably light. My thought was the older pilot ignition of the NT22 would be more reliable even though it uses more gas. If this is the case, is there a competitor to Suburban that still uses a pilot for ignition?

Finally, will the new unit be a simple drop in replacement and work with my ducting correctly?

Question #2:

The Dometic RM-67 refrigerator runs fine on gas but the electric isn't working. I found that the switch between elec/gas is not working. The heater turns on when I bypass the switch and connect it directly to the thermostat though. Also the inside ignitor is flaky and you need to light the pilot manually from the outside. So again I think the safer thing to do would be to replace it with the Dometic 5210 which Dometic states is the correct version.

So my question is this: I want to keep the interior as original as I can. Can I put the original refer door on the new 5210 fridge to keep the genuine fake wood panel look? If not, does Dometic make a panel that looks close to the original look?

Or, should I just work to get this one working again by replacing the switch and just live with it? Does anyone know where I can find parts for this fridge?

Thanks agaiin for a great forum. It's been unbelievably valuable to me.
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:58 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Our first trailer was a 1975, 25' Tradewind and we just loved it. I believe it was the best that AS ever built. The new owner of our trailer informed us that the furnace was about to explode so I will not give any furnace advice other than we now have a Suburban electronic ignition and it works very well. With the Dometic I would encourage you to repair the present unit. A new switch can be found and will give you many years of good service. New units seem not to last as long as the older units.
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Welcome to the forums. Our first trailer was a 1975, 25' Tradewind and we just loved it. I believe it was the best that AS ever built. The new owner of our trailer informed us that the furnace was about to explode so I will not give any furnace advice other than we now have a Suburban electronic ignition and it works very well. With the Dometic I would encourage you to repair the present unit. A new switch can be found and will give you many years of good service. New units seem not to last as long as the older units.
Yup, you should do a snoop check on the fittings, soapy water, to ensure you do not have any degraded brass. I did, replaced the fittings, cleaned everything, Works like a champ!
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Old 06-23-2006, 02:14 AM   #4
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1975 25' Tradewind
Southwestern , Washington
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Follow-up

Just a follow-up for anyone who's interested.

First of all I'd like to thank Darol Ingalls who did some fabulous work on my trailer. Darol posts on this forum and lives just a few miles away from me. He was kind enough to take my trailer on short notice and do a new furnace install for me. He not only did a great install with some spiffy custom mounting but he came up with a neat idea to relocate the forward register so it blows heat into the main room instead of towards the end of the couch four inches away as originally installed.

Darol also was able to repair/rebuild my water pump which was having priming/pumping issues. It's now moving water so fast that my gray water tank is having a tough time keeping up. He also re-worked my electrical system after discovering the power unit was having problems with low-voltage. He not only replaced the unit but made a nice shelf to cover it which provided more rear closet space and put in a much nicer fuse panel layout which makes maintenance a snap.

Finally, he was able to find the leak in my roof (TV antenna) and beautifully repair it and put on a durable roof coat so I won't have to worry about leaks for some time.

If you are anywhere in the Pacific NW and need your Airstream serviced by someone who really cares about these vehicles you should contact Darol. He is professional and shows great pride in his work and is incredibly knowledgeable about Airstreams. His own Airstream is a fully restored beauty!

Now on my own I was able to take apart and completely clean the burner assembly of the refrigerator. It was quite a hassle getting the burner out from the rear (why couldn’t Airstream make the access door just four inches wider????). However I was able to free up the seized screws and pull out the burner assembly. After a soaking in some denatured alcohol it was good to go. I cleaned out the flue and installed it all back again with stainless screws this time and some anti-seize compound on areas exposed to the high heat. Turned on the gas and tested with soap. I had a small leak but I re-tightened everything and it stopped. The burner fires right up and the fridge got cold.

On the electrical side I pulled and cleaned all the switches with some contact cleaner. It then tested them with my ohmmeter and they all checked out fine. I installed them back in the fridge, set it on electric, and then watched as the heater element heated up and the fridge began to work. A few hours later I had ice!

I also managed to do some minor electrical work and re-plumb the freshwater tank hoses which were cracking. I just used the nylon-reinforced tubing available at most hardware stores to do this. I also kept the springs from the original install and put them in the new tubing. I didn’t know what they were for at first, but Darol told me that they were to keep the hoses from collapsing in case the water intake is plugged. Those Airstream people think of everything.

I just wanted to thank Darol and all the other posters here (and the search function) for helping me out. I learned a tremendous amount pulling apart all the various systems in the unit so hopefully I’ll be able to help others in the future too.

Thanks….
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr
Just a follow-up for anyone who's interested.

First of all I'd like to thank Darol Ingalls who did some fabulous work on my trailer. Darol posts on this forum and lives just a few miles away from me. He was kind enough to take my trailer on short notice and do a new furnace install for me. He not only did a great install with some spiffy custom mounting but he came up with a neat idea to relocate the forward register so it blows heat into the main room instead of towards the end of the couch four inches away as originally installed.
Hey Craig,

Sounds like it all worked out really well for you. Any chance you can post some images of the mounting and reqister work?
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:45 PM   #6
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Craig,
I am happy to hear that you got everything working. Finding a good mechanic is always a plus. Doing some of the work yourself and having it come out right is a great satisfaction.
Post the pictures of that beauty.
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:20 PM   #7
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1975 25' Tradewind
Southwestern , Washington
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Here are some photos from the work Darol Ingalls did on my trailer. You can see the new furnace setup, new pump mount, new heat register and new roof coating. The roof coating is not visible from the ground level as it only comes down slightly from the first set of rivets on the roof. Standing away from the trailer it is also hard to notice but will ensure I don't have any aggravating roof leaks which is important where I live in the rainy Pacific NW.

BTW. The numbers on the trailer are from the PO. I still need to remove them.
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:19 PM   #8
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So which model furnace did you wind up going with? the 24, or the 30? (I would have thought the 30 would be too big....). What's that its sitting up on? is that some kind of custom riser...wood or metal box? Does the intake/exhaust vent match the original one? (so no new holes through the skin of the trailer..).
clever arrangement for the ductwork. looks like you must have a dinette model?
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Old 06-25-2006, 05:25 PM   #9
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1975 25' Tradewind
Southwestern , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
So which model furnace did you wind up going with? the 24, or the 30? (I would have thought the 30 would be too big....). What's that its sitting up on? is that some kind of custom riser...wood or metal box? Does the intake/exhaust vent match the original one? (so no new holes through the skin of the trailer..).
clever arrangement for the ductwork. looks like you must have a dinette model?
I went with the 24. The local Surburban dealer insisted that is the one I wanted and not to get the 30. The furnace is sitting on top of a custom wood box painted black. The old furnace was on top of a metal box that was spot welded to the furnace chassis. It was removed entirely. The new box has an internal baffle that routes the air efficiently to the rear register. The front register is fed by flexible duct from one of the outlets on the furnace. The intake/Exhaust fit perfectly on the trailer. No new holes needed to be made and you can't tell it's a replacement furnace unless you slide back the door and look.

The trailer has the dinette up front and twin beds mid-cabin. The original register blew forward into the dinette bench which was perhaps four inches away. It was not a very good arrangement and just heated up the furniture panel. Now it blows directly into the living space unobstructed.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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1969 27' Overlander
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What Is The Roof Coat He Used, It Looks Nice And Durable? Please Advise.
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Old 07-05-2006, 11:47 PM   #11
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano69LY
What Is The Roof Coat He Used, It Looks Nice And Durable? Please Advise.
Darol uses a product called Elixir Fibered Aluminized Roof Coating. You can see it here:

http://www.elixirind.com/product.php?pid=35

Here is a description by Darol on how he does it. It's important to thin the stuff before you use it otherwise it goes on too thick and it's hard to make it appear nice and smooth according to Darol. You'll need a few days between coats to cure correctly. Here is Darol's post:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...oof#post205842

You really can't see the coating from the ground and even if you look at it from a ladder it looks like it was meant to be there. Be aware that it may affect resale value for purists but I didn't care because I bought the trailer for me and not the next guy. Because it rains so much where I live I decided I'd rather have a dry trailer with an unobtrusive roof coating than a potentially leaky trailer that looks original on the exterior but develops a nasty and expensive to repair rotting problem.

This trailer did have a leak near the antenna that didn't get too bad but could have been a real disaster if left unattended for much longer. I'm happy to have the antenna no longer there and the roof sealed. It just is one less problem to worry about and I don't watch TV when RVing anyway. The roof coat just ensures I won't have to worry about the 30+ year old rivets on the roof either.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:14 PM   #12
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1969 27' Overlander
Colorado Springs , Colorado
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Thank you sir. I am a functional user not a restorer so i feel the same as you. Besides I put a big old overlay patch up there anyway. Took my TV ant off as well, I can go with CDs or maybe satellite oneday if price comes down. We don't get the rain you do but I hate the leaks and if I am going to go to the trouble of replacing floors etc I want it sealed up tight. Thanks for the Elixirind web site I will be adding this to my todo list. My last roof decision is to remove, fix or replace AC, don't really need it in the mountains but if it works?
Thanks again the 25' TW look nice .... out. Dean
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:18 PM   #13
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What did you thin the coating with ??
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