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Old 09-26-2016, 06:29 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
Chester , Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 14

My '74 Soverign Land Yacht (31' RB) has a Suburban NT32A (Ser. "0402109) that seems to have been parted out a wee bit. I still have hopes it can be restored/repaired. Any suggestions? Directions? Recommendations?

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Old 09-26-2016, 06:34 AM   #2
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,862
A 40 year old furnace can leak carbon monoxide. Be extremely careful. Make sure there is a carbon monoxide alarm in addition to a fire/smoke alarm in your trailer if you use the furnace.

My advice is: time for a new furnace!

Check out the comments in this thread.

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Old 09-26-2016, 01:56 PM   #3
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Absolutely get rid of it for a new one. Carbon monoxide will kill you. Old furnaces tend to leak.

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Old 09-26-2016, 02:56 PM   #4
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 424
I loved my old NT32 and used it for 20+ years. When I got my 1973 trailer in 1985 the furnace had never been turned on and the first time I used it the temperature in my trailer went up to about 110 before I figured out that the thermostat didn't work because when the factory installed it someone put one of the mounting screws right through a part that was supposed to move! Fixed that then noticed that when furnace would start I'd get a whiff of smell like the stove or oven had just lit and the windows would fog up after a while. Took furnace apart, grinding through the welds that held the heat exchanger into the case and fount that when the heat exchanger was manufactured the combustion chamber seam had not been welded shut! The manufacturing machinery had made a nice looking electric weld down the length of the seam but the two sides had not been touching each other so even though the weld looked good the entire seam was open to the inside air of the trailer! I welded the seam up, welded the heat exchanger back into the case and put the furnace back together and lit the pilot light. It was very satisfying to feel the heat with no funny smell pouring out of the service door of the front cover! Closing the door cut the amount of heat coming out of the furnace down quite a bit however. I took the service door off and made a little 3 sided angled duct/baffle that directed the airflow to where I sit in the front room and finally enjoyed a warm trailer after doing about 5 hours of work that it seems Airstream should have done before the trailer was sold. What I liked about this furnace was that the pilot light kept the heat exchanger warm so that as soon as the furnace started the air blowing out was warm. Unfortunately the moisture made by the pilot light would collect in the last baffle chamber of the furnace and eventually rusted out the bottom of the last chamber, crap! So about 2006 I bought a NT30 to replace the original NT32. It took quite a bit of work to mount the new furnace into the place of the NT32 because it was a little different so I had to make the inlet and exhaust line up with the original holes in the wall and graft the duct work to the new case. Fortunately I had access to a sheet metal shop so I made a new end duct that also directed the heat to where I sit. The NT30 has 2 less chambers for the heat exchanger so was a little smaller and quite a bit lighter than the old NT32. It is a little annoying that the air blows cold when it starts but at least the NT30 probably will never rust through because it is electronic ignition. It does use noticeably less propane than the NT32 but runs a little longer to bring the trailer up to temperature. I probably still have the parts from the NT32 that you could have for shipping cost but you need to check your heat exchanger for rust because that probably killed most of the NT32's eventually. I would be curious if anybody else found their NT32 heat exchanger with an unwelded seam or if mine was a rare exception. I'm sure that the same furnace was in a lot of brands of trailers back in it's day so there were a lot of them around but I'm not sure many people would pull the heat exchanger out of the case? I want to be a redneck when I grow up so I was trying for the fixit merit badge!
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:19 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
Chester , Vermont
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 14
Justlee: Apparently you really enjoy furnaces. I think you have arrived at redneckdom. Thanks for the response.

I am buying a new heater and hope I can line up the existing intake/exhaust holes. That is the challenge. Advise anyone ?
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