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Old 01-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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2013 25' Flying Cloud
Livingston , Texas
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2013 Flying Cloud Furnace

Hello, We are new members and just bought an Airstream. We have enjoyed lurking on Your Forum which helped us make our decision to buy an Airstream. We need some of your expert help to resolve a problem with the furnace.

Our Airstream is a new 2013 25 foot Flying Cloud Twin Bed. There are three heater vents into the cabin, Bedroom, near shower, and kitchen near door. Almost all airflow goes to vent near front door, with only very slight airflow to other vents. Tried blocking front vent in hopes of redirecting air to rear but only very marginally increased airflow to other vents. Situation is that the front of the camper is too hot to live in and the rear is freezing (temperature today in low 30s). I suspect there is a blockage of some kind but do not know how to trouble shoot. I will be going to my dealer in a few days and would like to have some idea of what to suggest.

Literature that came with AS says furnace is Atwood hydro flame series 8500-IV.

Anyone having/had similar problems? All ideas suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Gulf Rambler
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
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Congratulations on your new trailer and welcome.

The vents furthest from the furnace always seem to get less airflow than the one closest to it, but it is reasonable to expect both ends of the trailer to be comfortable. As you may have discovered, the ducts are similar to dryer vent hoses. The dealer will probably look to see that they are all properly attached to the distribution box on the back of the furnace. If that is good they will then try to see if one or more got kinked or squashed during the installation of other components in the factory.

Our trailer has a front BR with the furnace in the rear under the dinette. Since the T-stat is in the bedroom, it pretty much stays at the desired temp, but the dinette sometimes is warmer than we'd like on cold evenings. My solution was to set a small fan on low under the dinette to help move some of the extra heat down the aisle towards the front.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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2013 Flying Cloud Furnace

Thanks for your reply Silver Goose.

You were spot-on in your analysis. My dealer called Airstream and was advised to check the flexible ducting. The dealer found that there was 18" too much hose at one duct and 12" too much at the other. This excess ducting caused kinks which restricted the air flow. They adjusted the ducting to the correct lengths and this greatly improved the airflow.

I had the dealer order some adjustable vents with dampers so I can restrict the airflow in the front cabin and mid cabin as necessary to balance heat in the AS. I am surprised that Airstream did not provide these as stock items because this has to be a difficulty for many AS owners.

I am real fortunate to have a Super Airstream dealer. I have had a number of problems which are directly related to Airstream design or construction. My dealer and service department get right on solving the problem and don't make you feel like an idiot.

My dealer is Foley RV in Gulfport, MS. I got a heck of a good deal and super service. If you are looking for a new Airstream this is the place to buy.

Thanks again for your spot-on answer and for taking the time to help.

Gulf Rambler
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:55 PM   #4
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Hey Gulf Rambler, congrats on your new trailer.

I am no expert by any stretch but I did read somewhere here on the forums that it might not be a good idea to block off or damper the furnace outlets. Something to do with the limit switch and restricted air flow. Maybe someone can chime in with the expert answer.

Glad you have a good dealer that you can rely on, it makes a HUGE difference.

John
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:17 PM   #5
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P.S.

Part of Airstream's thinking is the social area of the trailer needs the most heat since you would typically be just sitting and socializing, so more heat = more comfort.

The bedroom needs less heat since you're most likely under the covers while socializing, which tends to create it's own heat.

Bathrooms everywhere seem to be cold when you first step out of the shower.

Perhaps a small electric heater in the rear will help.

John
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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2013 Flying Cloud Furnace

Thanks for your reply Sandlapper.

I really appreciate all the help you have provided.

I understand your concern about airflow and limit switches and I will keep this in mind. Since I have the damper gizmos on order already I will go ahead and install them and let the Forum know if this fixes the problem. I can always leave the dampers full open if necessary. I looked at the parts description of the heater and the switch that measures airflow appears to be in the plenum. If the restriction of one vent results in redirecting the air to the others it should not be a problem. Cross your fingers! Hopefully the dealer's fixes will make a huge difference without using dampers. I had to do something! I made several measurements of the temperature differences between the bedroom and front cabin. The differences were as much as 23 degrees and as little as 17 degrees. Crazy No?

Thanks again for your valuable response.

Ed
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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Gulframbler, you have the same front dinette model trailer we have. (There is also a small air duct below the bathroom sink.)

That is exactly how our heater functions as well, and it does keep the living spaces warmer than the bedroom. However, the thermostat is in the bedroom so it stays exactly where you set it. We turn it down at night.

Our primary heater is a Dyson Hot space heater set under the dinette and facing aft. It keeps the trailer evenly heated down to mid thirties outside when it needs a boost from the furnace now and then. But we need the furnace only in very low temperatures at night. The Dyson heats more evenly and is whisper quiet.

I second John's advice on restricting any heating duct. That air is what cools the furnace, keeps it from overheating, perhaps burning through the heat exchanger, and introducing exhaust gases inside the trailer. Seems risky to block the airflow, no matter what the dealership tells you.

doug k
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:58 AM   #8
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2013 Flying Cloud Furnace

Thanks Doug,

I hadn't considered the danger of damaging heat exchanger. I will now rethink my solution. The dealer did not recommend restricting the airflow, this was my own bone-headed idea. I will follow your advice about the Dyson Hot.

It's always good to follow in the footsteps of someone who has found a solution.

I looked online to see the Dyson Hot and I assume you are referring to the AM04, is this correct?? Do you heat with only the Dyson or do you use the heat pump + the Dyson when it is cold?

Thanks for this great solution,

Ed
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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Ed, can't speak for Doug but remember, only the furnace will protect the tanks/water lines in freezing temps. It is ducted under the floor.

John
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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Thanks John,

You are absolutely correct. I hadn't considered that. It looks like a multi stage solution. Heat Pump or Dyson until it gets down into the mid thirties then the furnace after that. This will provide comfortable temps, protect my Airstream, and save propane.

You guys are just great.

Thanks again,

Ed
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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Yes, Dyson down to mid-thirties, then we add furnace to protect underfloor plumbing. We don't use heat pump at all because of its noise level.

The Dyson set at mid-range will shut off when furnace ducts onto it under the dinette, so in cold weather run it up to 99 degree setting and it will run steady. It has a remote control so easy to adjust. I think there's only one Dyson heater, called "Dyson Hot".

doug k
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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Thanks Doug,

I'm on the hunt for a Dyson Hot. I went to the Dyson web site and it looks like Amazon has them and perhaps Lowes and Best Buy here.

I am grateful for all the help from you and other forum members. Hopefully I'll be able to return the favor some day.

Thanks again,

Ed
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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....and I think you'll find that the location of the thermostat (bedroom) usually means the living space is a LOT warmer than the bedroom....at least that's how mine seems to work. Since I did a fair amount of "shoulder season" (into December) traveling, I use an electric blanket (for when I'm in a park), and that is really perfect. Also, the location of the thermostat makes it really easy to just jump up and bump it up a few degrees before you encounter the cold trailer.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #14
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Gulframbler, shop around for the Dyson heater. It's often put on sale for $80-$100 off. We got ours at Bed, Bath and Beyond with an $80 coupon.

doug k
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