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Old 11-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Furnace & Water Pump

I bought a 1970 31ft Airstream - the furnace was not in it but it has duct work and I would like to replace it - anyone know what kind a furnace I need? and where I could get it? I'm trying to get it ready by next spring so that I can live in it. I'm going to try to start doing things on my own due to I'm running out of money... I just spent way too much paying a guy for barely doing anything to re-do the plumbing and cap off some of the gas lines for safety. Just put a new water heater in, next in need is the furnace and then a water pump... need to know where and what kind I need of each. Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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For the pump, probably a Shur Flow or a Flo Jet would do you just fine. Cost in the $60 to $80 range at one of the on line RV parts places.

The furnace would probably be a Suburban NT 30 or 35 (30,000 to 35,000 Btuh input) and would fit up to the holes that are used for the intake and exhaust... probably still there in your trailer. New cost in the $500 range.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
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We bought a Suburban NT-40 for our Sovereign from Vintage Trailer Supply. Figured the extra BTU's would be nice in that long a trailer when we camp in October. Works very well.

All 3 NT models are at this link: Suburban NT Furnace

You will probably need to build a platform for the furnace to sit on so it lines up with the intake and exhaust holes in the side of the trailer.

Chris
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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You will also need to fabricate a downdraft plenum or figure out how to hook up to the side outputs on the new Suburban. I heard Atwood has a high efficiency RV furnace.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #5
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Go to Adventure RV or PPL.
Maybe someone here could chime in that owns the same trailer and give you the model # they have.
Is the duct work still in place? You will need to know whether the ducts connect to the side or go into the floor.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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You will need to know whether the ducts connect to the side or go into the floor.
The original ductwork would be on the surface of the floor through the galley and closets.

Palomino was selling NT35s for $400 not too long ago.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacyrwarren View Post
I bought a 1970 31ft Airstream - the furnace was not in it but it has duct work and I would like to replace it - anyone know what kind a furnace I need? and where I could get it?
The furnaces used in the 1970s have been discontinued and the new ones are not an exact fit. However the NT-30SP is a reasonably close fit. Vintage Trailer Supply sells them and has a page with specifications and a link to the Airstream service bulletin detailing the exact modifications necessary.

The NT-30P should produce plenty of heat unless you are planning on using the trailer regularly in sub-zero conditions. I wouldn't install a higher-output furnace unless you're sure you'll need it because they are more sensitive to the quality and condition of the ductwork and to the battery voltage.


Quote:
I'm trying to get it ready by next spring so that I can live in it. I'm going to try to start doing things on my own due to I'm running out of money... I just spent way too much paying a guy for barely doing anything to re-do the plumbing and cap off some of the gas lines for safety. Just put a new water heater in, next in need is the furnace and then a water pump... need to know where and what kind I need of each. Thanks!
The furnace is a time consuming job but not an especially difficult one. If you're unfamiliar with working with propane lines you may want someone else to check that aspect of your work.

You can use any RV-type water pump. Many people don't use the freshwater tank extensively instead preferring to stay in locations that have water available -- if that's your situation then just get something inexpensive.

The Jabsco pumps seem to enjoy a somewhat better reputation for longevity than Shur-flo but I'm not sure if this is deserved or just folklore.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #8
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You will also need to fabricate a downdraft plenum or figure out how to hook up to the side outputs on the new Suburban. I heard Atwood has a high efficiency RV furnace.
The Atwood furnace is designed to be serviced from outside the trailer and therefore requires a large rectangular cutout in the outside wall. Although it is an excellent furnace (I have one in my trailer) it is a poor choice for a 1970 Sovereign.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer

The Atwood furnace is designed to be serviced from outside the trailer and therefore requires a large rectangular cutout in the outside wall. Although it is an excellent furnace (I have one in my trailer) it is a poor choice for a 1970 Sovereign.
Are the Atwoods easier to work on than the Suburbans? I have heard they are easier to inspect and clean...
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacyrwarren View Post
I bought a 1970 31ft Airstream - the furnace was not in it but it has duct work and I would like to replace it - anyone know what kind a furnace I need? and where I could get it? I'm trying to get it ready by next spring so that I can live in it. I'm going to try to start doing things on my own due to I'm running out of money... I just spent way too much paying a guy for barely doing anything to re-do the plumbing and cap off some of the gas lines for safety. Just put a new water heater in, next in need is the furnace and then a water pump... need to know where and what kind I need of each. Thanks!
I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions on here until I found a good deal on a furnace, and got all the information I found necessary in order to pull out the old furnace and put a brand new one in its place.

It was not a simple "plug and play" job, and I was very lucky to have a retired Master Mechanic to help me through with the actual job, but it can be done if you are fairly handy with tools and willing to fabricate metal a bit in order to make a new one fit where the old one was.

As has already been stated in this thread, the new ones are a different size. The exact model numbers do not exist any more, either. I made a choice to go with a new NT-30, and after living through a cold fall, I know it was the right choice. It comes on and stays on long enough to warm up the coach, where a larger one might cycle on and off in shorter bursts.

In any event, I took a lot of photos, and a lot of good people on here helped me with questions and advice, so feel free to spend some time reading it before you spend the money on a new replacement furnace and commit yourself to the job of putting it in correctly.

The first time I start talking about it in my thread is here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ml#post1059094

But it's not until around post 145 that I get into the actual work of taking out the old furnace and fabbing the new one in.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ml#post1148335

It's pretty well done just after this post:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...ml#post1160707

So, I hope you have the patience to read it all. If you do, there won't be much you don't know about upgrading to a new furnace in your coach
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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You guys are great! I am so thankful for ALL the wonderful advice!! Once I start on this endeavor I'm sure ill have even MORE questions! Thanks Again!!!
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