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Old 01-07-2010, 04:38 PM   #1
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Pix of Suburban NT-30sp replacing NT22

I wasn't thrilled to have the 'recalled' NT-22 furnace in my '69 Safari:

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You can see in the photo above that the rubber combustion tube (cause of the recall) has a gaping hole in it. Many folks have successfully replaced this tube with new material but you're still kinda stuck with a 40 year old pilot light furnace... I decided to lurk on ebay and ended up with a "new" Suburban Nt-30sp from an rv salvage company for 300 bucks, which was about half the cost of a new store-bought one.... Inspection confirmed that the furnace had not been used and was, for all purposes, like new.

After pulling the old furnace I slipped the new one in the existing (larger) box and hooked it up to test. The burner came on for 10 seconds but wouldn't stay on. I emailed the ebay seller with my hunch that the board was bad and he was decent enough to send me a new Suburban board.

That false start killed my momentum and I put the furnace in the corner by the washing machine until my wife gently suggested I needed to get that "thing" installed and out of the house. She's only right about 99% of the time, which confirms she is, in fact, human ;-)

Here's a shot of the space after pulling the old furnace:

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That supply line snaking up over the furnace (and it does get hot up there) really creeped me out (but the new furnace allows for "zero clearance" on top, btw) I pulled it. You can see the duct opening at the bottom, leading to fore and aft floor vents.

So I bench tested the new furnace after replacing the board (not hard, just a few plugs and connectors) and it worked fine. I was ready to install. I cut away the top and sides of the old furnace enclosure with my $20 mini grinder from Harbor Freight (best twenty bucks you'll ever spend!) and put two pieces of leftover 17" italian tile to raise the new furnace up to correct level for the intake/exhaust tubes to mate with the two holes in the exterior:

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You can also see where I added a strip of aluminum at the top rear of that space to some wood that came really close to the top of the furnace box. Only took a few minutes, "zero clearance" notwithstanding...

Slid the new furnace in and made sure the tubes were properly aligned. I fabricated a new mini-duct out of flashing to move the hot air from the inside-front of the furnace down to the duct opening. It's a bit funky but works fine with a piece of aluminum tape on the right. Secured the furnace to the cabinet with 2" wood screws. The tight fit and security screw on the exhaust vent also stabilizes the furnace to trailer.

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The exterior vent cover is a beautiful piece of industrial design, IMHO. It's a tricky little devil to install, though, but a fellow forums user turned me on to this little home-made wire tool that I used to PUSH the spring clip rearward onto the flange, which is the way to do it:

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The finished installation (temporary wing nuts until the (lost) ones arrive from Suburban. Nice and toasty inside!

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
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Rick,

Do you still have your NT22A? I'm searching for a few parts.

Tim
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Channeti View Post
Rick,

Do you still have your NT22A? I'm searching for a few parts.

Tim
Sorry, Tim, I chucked it a while back except for a piece of gas pipe w/fittings.

One of the best things about having a warm trailer is that I can get back to interior renovations even in the cold.

I should also mention that the lag-time/momentum-kill gave me time to do a bunch of weatherstripping to exterior vents and door. AMAZING difference in coziness when the wind's not blowing into your rig anymore!
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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Rick,

Not a problem. Thanks for the reply. I'm working to get heat back in the camper so I can keep the interior work going comfortably. I'm slowly working towards a bathroom floor replacement. Someday I'll get to the weatherstripping....maybe 2012 at my current rate.

Have a good weekend.

Tim
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:31 PM   #6
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NT22A Replacement

Tim i may be taking the NT22 out of my Tradewind next month. Let me know what you're looking for and I'll try to pull parts. Tried to get it to fire up and the gas lit fine but the blower or electric never fired, could be a wiring issue for all I know.

Thanks fotochop for the post and pictures and documenting the process. How many hours did it take?
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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Hi Rick

Your ductwork is not likely suffiecient for a NT 30 which has a stronger blower and needs more air flow. This is not dangerous but it uses more propane and it is harder on the circuit board and other components. It is easy to add a duct off the side of the furnace. to increase the air flow.

Also check that it is getting enough return air. After adding the duct open the cabinate door and see if the air flow increases through the ducts. If it does just add a vent to let air into the cabinate area.

Andrew T
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
Tim i may be taking the NT22 out of my Tradewind next month. Let me know what you're looking for and I'll try to pull parts. Tried to get it to fire up and the gas lit fine but the blower or electric never fired, could be a wiring issue for all I know.

Thanks fotochop for the post and pictures and documenting the process. How many hours did it take?
I'd like to say it took the better part of an 8-hour day, but if I was to include research time, inspection, bench testing, buying a new battery, emailing to get the new board, etc etc etc etc....well, you get the picture. The ACTUAL install took up most of a Saturday....I'll let you guys ruminate on the other parts....
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
Hi Rick

Your ductwork is not likely suffiecient for a NT 30 which has a stronger blower and needs more air flow. This is not dangerous but it uses more propane and it is harder on the circuit board and other components. It is easy to add a duct off the side of the furnace. to increase the air flow.

Also check that it is getting enough return air. After adding the duct open the cabinate door and see if the air flow increases through the ducts. If it does just add a vent to let air into the cabinate area.

Andrew T
THANKS, Andrew, I was a bit hesitant going with the higher btu unit, but it came available and seemed like the right choice. But I will take your recommendations to heart and do the tests. I wont be upset at all to actually ADD a side duct because my kid sleeps on the gaucho in the middle of the cabin and the two floor ducts are only fore and aft. You'll also note that there is a half-inch airspace at the bottom of the kitchen cabinet where the furnace lives so a side/down-facing vent SHOULD heat the middle of the cabin AND provide proper airspace for hot air movement. In fact, now that I think about it, there are four circular side-vent holes in the NT-30 but only three of them were plugged with sheet metal (I fabricated a circle to plug the fourth). It should be simple enough to remove that one and add a small round duct.

I know it can be an unpopular opinion here, but "commercial vendors" are often the first ones to notice little issues like this that can take your system up to where it should be. A hi-five to ya.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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yellow tag on flex fuel line

Hi Rick: I am a curious ol' f&%t, what is written on the yellow tag on the flex fuel line?
ol' bill
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:46 PM   #11
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When I was trying to decide what to do about heat in my 68 TW, the NT-30 looked like the way to go. I called the tech rep at Suburban in Tennessee a couple of times. He said that 2 outlets were not enough but that if I added a 3rd outlet, the furnace would be fine. He said 2 were not a good idea. Because of the way my cabinets are configured it was not possible for me to add a 3rd vent in a way I liked. Because of that and because I will be camping a lot with no shore power, I decided to go with a catalytic.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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Other post on this. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ase-51378.html and http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...0sp-41537.html.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:35 PM   #13
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Rich,

I'm looking for a sail switch for the blower on my NT22A. Best I can tell, there aren't any replacement parts to be found.

Tim
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:35 PM   #14
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NT22A Furnace

Don't know when I'll get mine pulled, but hope within the next few weeks. If I decide to scrap it, which probably will then I'll shoot you an e-mail and pull what ever you need, I don't know the actual problem with it. She lights but doesn't fire.
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