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Old 02-27-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
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Pulled the Furnace 1967 NT-20 need parts

I pulled the furnace out of my '67 Overlander. It is apparently a Suburban NT-20 according to my owner's manual, and the installation manual for the furnace, although there are no markings on the unit itself. It appears I need new gaskets all the way around, a new "Micro-Switch", and a few new wires. I was able to get the pilot light to work, and I think the rest of the furnace will work, but I'd like to rebuild it to be safe. Are parts still available for these? I can't seem to find a source on the 'net that lists parts and pictures. OR.... would it be better/ more cost effective to just replace the entire unit with something more efficient / up to date. (If that's truly what's available)

It appears to be in good shape on the outside. I did pick it up, turn it all sorts of ways and shake it as burned matches, soot, and rust dust fell out of the pilot lighting hole. There was minimal rust scale, but I suppose I could steam clean it and pressure check it if recommended.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:12 PM   #2
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Mike,

There are many on these forums that would spend large amounts of time and $$$ on totally restoring a 40 year old NT-20. I salute them for their determination and attention to detail, not to mention their enviable attemp to maintain the originality of their trailers. Their resourcefulness in finding rare parts is the stuff of legends!!!

FWIW, I am not one of those folks. I would NOT trust a 40 year old LP appliance with regard to the integrity of the metal parts and and burner plenum. I would vote for replacement with a new, direct spark ignition model of similar BTU rating and sleep well at night!
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:44 PM   #3
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I agree with Lew. Vintage is nice in some cases but not appliances that could fill your trailer with carbon monoxide. Look on line for the best price you can find.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:32 AM   #4
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Nt-20

Mikell, I would thoroughly clean it up and use compressed air to remove any moisture after a steam cleaning since you have the furnace out already. Any RV shop can bench test it for a fee and may have a micro switch to replace the bad one. These furnaces had a recall on them so you must check out the threads under the search function on the blue tool bar on the top of each web page. Use words like Suburban, Furnace, Recall, and Maintenance. That should get you started on some required reading to do a good job on a furnace rebuild. Parts for these units are no longer available but some parts can be found that will fit and work just fine without causing a safety issue. New/Replacement isn't always an option all at once! The recall was on an exhaust tubing that was rubber and was replaced by metal if memory serves. I am fortunate that mine had the recall replacement part installed already when I bought the trailer. The gaskets you can probably find at a heating distributor or local plumbing/heating shop may have them too! Good luck and keep us updated! Ed
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:03 AM   #5
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Having installed new furnaces in two coaches within the last year, I have to agree with Lewster and Janet's Husband. You don't need parts, you need a new furnace. It's your time, your money, and your safety, so it's your decision. (Do the right thing!)
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:08 AM   #6
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When I bought my 68 Trade Wind the original furnace was intact. As a medic I had responded to CO calls and I remember every one, I didnt even bother to see if it was working, I decided to replace it. I did not offer up the old one for parts or a replacement. Some things get better with time, furnaces are not one of them.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:01 AM   #7
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MIkell,

I recently pulled my 35 year old furnace, had it checked, it worked, but there was a little tugging of something that kept saying, do I REALLY want to trust this thing? Ultimately, the answer was no. I also made the decision that I won't sell any parts from it. Sold it to the scrap metal yard.

It's almost Spring and if $$$ are the deal right now, you won't need the furnace for awhile anyway. From personal experience, I can tell you that the shiny new one not only looks better, it just feels better.

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Old 02-28-2007, 08:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGED52
Any RV shop can bench test it for a fee
Ed
I recently tried to get someone to bench test and do maintainance on the furnace in my 71. Tried 4 different sources including RV repair services, RV dealers and the local Airstream dealer. No one I tried will touch it because of liability.
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:52 AM   #9
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I've had ours out on multiple occasions, usually to deal with the sail switch, a safety device prone to malfunction in dusty environments. Also replaced the blower motor once, a job that required a lot more rebuild than I had expected. Parts were not a great problem (compared to our 1948 tractor and our MGB!); I ordered ours from Mark's RV Supply.

In any event, if you decide to rebuild, it is a good idea to run a CO detector in your rig. It's cheap insurance.


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Old 02-28-2007, 08:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
I recently tried to get someone to bench test and do maintainance on the furnace in my 71. Tried 4 different sources including RV repair services, RV dealers and the local Airstream dealer. No one I tried will touch it because of liability.
Lucky you.

I found the same thing...except, they went ahead and fixed it, and charged me big $$$ for their labor...THEN told me, "Ok, all fixed. but you shouldn't use it. that'll be $125".


um...if "I shouldn't use it"...why did you go ahead and spend the time (and my money) to tune it up???????

cuz that's what I was told to do.



So I asked the guy...what is wrong with it?

-nothing

Does it leak CO or something?

-no

Is it likely to???

-no

Is it gonna blow up, or something???

-no. it works fine. good as new. purrs like a kitten. (and it does)

Then why the shouldn't I use it???

-its 35 years old.



Well, anyway...
another part of the story...I needed a new thing-a-ma-jig to properly re-install the furnace...they don't make them any more. searched and searched...couldn't find anything. I even called Suburban, directly, and spoke to a tech. "nope. nope. can't do it. no substitutes. nothing would work. shouldn't use that furnace anyway".

got the part from someone on the forum from a junker.
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
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Wow, thanks for all the info folks. My initial inclination on any of this stuff is to safely fix what may be broken, and have fun. But the furnace is not a visible item and the cost of a new one (relative to full restoration, or comfortable camping in general for that matter) is negligable. Not to mention priceless safety and peace of mind. The fact of the matter on this one though, is that there seems to be nothing really wrong with it other than the gaskets, a couple wires, and a switch, which should be inspected and/or replaced on any unit periodically, new or old.

I'll check on prices for a new one. I was planning to bench test it today. I'll post the results.

Off subject, but Ron (PizzaChop), thanks for having such a great looking big family. It's great to see people that know what life and society are really about. Do you pull both campers in tandem?
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:37 PM   #12
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I agree with all to an extent. Chuck, I know the frustration all too well. I see that in other vintage hobbies as well. If it works, it's safe, and reliable, use it. I can extensively test it for any aspect. What I didn't want to do is replace it with something of lesser quality or efficiency. For example, I see the wires are made in Louisiana (although a couple have brittle insulation and will be replaced), the connectors appear to be stout and of decent quality metal, something I can't say for most of what you'll find today. The fan motor runs quietly and balanced and is MADE IN THE USA. So is "new" safer and/or better? It's hard to say. I'll have to look at both.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:17 PM   #13
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Mikell,

Having a large family was not something either of us set out to do, it just sort of happened. Biblically speaking, children have always been considered a blessing from the Lord. Culturally, as a society, we tend to lean more towards what is convenient for the moment. (Let's face it, children get in the way of a lot of things that we want to do.) Having children is not easy, and having many children is not any easier. But, we have been given the awesome task of shaping the next generation . We try to keep a long term (eternal) perspective (and it's not always easy) as we know the the society we'll have in 40 years will reflect our parenting today, just as our society today reflects the parenting done 30 and 40 years ago.

As for the Overlander, we sold it last March, I just haven't updated my info. I'm nearly finished with the Sovereign and hope to camp this April at the North Georgia forums rally in Hiawassee, GA.
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