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Old 12-08-2003, 08:23 PM   #15
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
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The above posts motivated me to remove my furnace and drag it over to Andy's last weekend to have it safety checked. Am I ever glad that I did not operate it before having it checked!
Andy showed me the debris that came out of the heat exchanger/combustion chamber assembly.....a full coffee mug ( grande, for the Starbucks crowd) of rusty flakes and rust powder. It takes a lot more than just blowing air through the exhaust or intake to get one of these older models cleaned out. Some of the rust flakes were substantial enough to cause concern with thinning areas and pin holes in the metal. Too sketchy when considering the heat and flames etc. inside the thing. I decided to retire the furnace entirely. I never used it before, and I guess I never will now. I want to live! I did keep the housing with the bottom duct for eventual later use with a new furnace. Andy gave me a bulletin on how to retrofit later model furnaces to the 60's/70's trailers.
Anyways, the furnace definitely nees to be partially disassembled to be thoroughly checked. Once the burner assembly is removed, then the combustion chamber can be tapped with a suitable tool to loosen rust flakes, and put on it's back to shake the debris out of it. I can't see how else one could effectively evaluate the condition of a furnace 30+ years old.
On a different note:
Andy might swerve to the pinnacle of safety in his posts sometimes, but seeing him work and seeing what the heck he's talking about makes one understand WHY he posts the way he does. Andy knows his Airstreams, and has seen the consequences of unsafe conditions and practices. I for one appreciate his concerns. He has not steered me wrong, ever.

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Old 12-08-2003, 10:25 PM   #16
a.k.a. Ambassador Tim
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1960 28' Ambassador
Northern , California
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The rubber hose Andy is talking about can only be seen by removing the furnace from its housing.

You have to remove the gas line connection, the intake/exhaust screws (from the outside), the electrical connections. Then then inards slide out of the housing. The hose carries the fresh air from the motor fan into the burner which also forces the bad air out the exhaust.

My hose was cracked and I replaced it with a heavy duty heater hose. It was very difficult to get it back on right because you want a perfect tight fit.

I also cleaned out a lot of bug nests and such from in the intake pipes. I also had to repair the motor which did not even come on because it had a broken brush in the motor. And taking the motor and squrel cage apart was not much fun.

But I got it all back together it in my test runs at the house with my cabon mononxide detecter detecting it works fine.

However, even after all that work I still don't really trust it with my family and we have only used electric heat.

I ran it again for about 45 minutes last week and it worked fine.

I keep looking for a good sale on a new one though....

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Old 08-31-2005, 08:23 AM   #17
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My furnace does seem to have this problem. I was trying to find a section of suitable hose to replace it with ... I was hoping to get some feedback on criteria - I found this:

Which is for coolant, air intakes and turbos, comes in 2.5" diameter, and I could stick a band clamp on each end to make sure it holds nice and tight for extra safety. Whilst I don't expect anyone to say "ooh, yes, I'd warranty that", any critiques on temp ranges or silicone hose (which AFAICS goes higher them than rubber) would be most useful. I'm thinking that turbos are about as close an application as I'm going to get ...
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:24 PM   #18
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1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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for what it's worth

I took our NT22C out of our 75 Argosy apart (main burner log wasn't igniting). I'm glad it didn't work!!! I'm surprised that 1) we're alive and 2) the trailer didn't burn.

Problems - 1) Also found a grande latte cup full of rust inside the combustion chamber - you have to take the log out to really empty it out. When I did this, I found out why the bottom tray was so rusted.... a hole in the bottom of the combustion chamber was allowing the flames to burn the paint off the metal.... thank God it didn't ignite the wood floor!

2) The rubber crossover tube was totally cracked in half... fresh and exhaust was mixing... good thing we always slept with the window open.

3) many of the inner gas lines were loose at the fittings.. I always did have the faint smell of gas from time to time, but didn't inspect these fittings INSIDE the heater cabinet.

4) Some time in the past, the heater was taken apart... someone used about a 1/2 gallon of tar to seal the end of the log to the manifold... you could see where it had burned to a molten mass

5) every gasket was crumbled to dust... I'm sure there were multiple leaks around every sensor and where access covers met the combustion chamber...

Please... inspect your old heaters carefully! Off to spend $500.00 on a new one!
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:54 PM   #19
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Battle Ground , Washington
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Holy cow, Marc! Glad you guys discovered that before you went winter camping in it again! For what it's worth, I have not regretted pitching the 'vintage' heater in the caravel and replacing it with a new one. It's more than worth the expense for the peace of mind!

A CO detector doesn't hurt either!

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Old 09-22-2005, 09:57 AM   #20
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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A different type of campfire!

Now, I like a good campfire like everyone else, but I'm glad my trailer won't add to the pyrotechnic extravaganza at Beverly Beach!

Anyone else know about a good deal on a new furnace? Please don't say CW.... I had awful service from them (called to reserve the "last one." The last one.... when I got there, the box was thrashed and open, the furnace had already been installed, the chassis was bent in all directions, and looked like it had been dropped a time or three. Their "deal".... "how about $50.00 off." No aplogies from them, nor "sorry you had to drive all the way out here to find this." )


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