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Old 08-06-2020, 06:41 PM   #1
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2020 22' Bambi
San Carlos , California
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Furnace Controls - 2020 Bambi FB 22

Hi All
Got my first Airstream on July 1. A few good trips under my belt but this past weekend at Prosser Lake in the Sierras my wife asked about the furnace (it was in the low 40s at night.) I told her everyone around us was camping, certainly they were colder than us, and we should just tough it out.

After my ears stopped ringing I was curious about the furnace. I looked at the Bambi manual (refers me to the manufacturer's manual), then the manfuacturer's manual (mostly useless), and then looked at the box itself.

After much hunting I found a little slider that says "Off." I assume pushing it the other direction means "On" but it won't budge...
[IMG SRC="https://photos.app.goo.gl/fxuYDV3M9twsSivS8"]https://photos.app.goo.gl/fxuYDV3M9twsSivS8[/IMG]

Pushed the set slider to the highest temperature (with LP turned off) and never heard the blower come on. I am on shore power, all circuit breakers are on.


Tried it one more time with the LP on but the same results.

I assume I am missing something about how to turn the switch to "On" and I'm hoping I can figure it out before my wife comes in and says "Oh, here, let's try turning it on" and is successful.

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:39 PM   #2
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2012 22' FB Sport
Seattle , Washington
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The furnace control in our 22FB is very hard to move. Every time I turn on the furnace, I think I am going to break something, but after 8 years of use, nothing is broken. I suppose the stiff switch is a good thing, in that it may prevent accidental movement while bouncing down the road.

Try a little more brute strength. If it works, the lady will thank you. Mine does every time I turn on the furnace.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:51 AM   #3
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2018 16' Sport
Tacoma , Washington
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I assume you have the crappy, horrible, cheap Dometic thermostat.

With the LP gas and the batteries turned on....

Push that little lever (top, right corner) to the ON position (to the left). It can be very difficult to push. May take some force. See below on how to make it easier to move that lever.

Move the temperature lever (bottom, left) to the right to choose a warmer setting. As you move the lever to the right, you might hear the thermostat click, the furnace fan come on and, after a minute or two, heat starts coming out.




TO MAKE THE LEVER EASIER TO MOVE ....

Remove the cover of the thermostat by flexing it sideways.

See that little white bump in the plastic (pink arrow).
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File or cut that bump down just a little bit. I used an Exacto knife to trim it a bit. You want to leave a bump. Just make it smaller so the lever can move over the top of it easier.
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:54 AM   #4
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2020 22' Bambi
San Carlos , California
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Furnace Not Switching On

Hi All
Got my Bambi on July 1st. Last weekend in the high sierras it hit lower 40s and my wife asked about the furnace. I told her everyone around us in tents was doing fine, and just throw another comforter on the bed.

When my ears stopped ringing, I tried the furnace and found it was not working. Gas line open (and I ran the stove for a minute to make sure I got any air out of the lines), but when I slide the thermostat to high the blower never comes on. I rebooted by switching off the main and the battery. Then I hooked up to shore power in my driveway to remove that.

The manual talks about a switch. I see a switch that says "Off" with an arrow to the right. I assumed sliding it to the left would mean "On" but the switch won't move.

I am thinking maybe the board is bad? Should I take a volt-ohm meter and test the electricity there? I also haven't checked the fuses yet.

Thanks for any advice - pics below.

Brian
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:05 PM   #5
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2020 22' Bambi
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I am SURE this is the solution. Will go out and test in a few mins!
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:31 PM   #6
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If you get a small flashlight and look down from above on that switch that won’t move, you may find that it has a catch on it and you need to pull it in or push it out slightly to get it to move.

May need a small flashlight and a handheld mirror to look at it.

You should have a manual for your furnace that came with your trailer, which may also be helpful.

Maggie
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Old 08-08-2020, 12:32 PM   #7
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2020 22' Bambi
San Carlos , California
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Nailed it.

Used an exacto knife to cut down the bump, got it going smoothly both ways but still catching to hold it in one place. Switched it on, turned up the temp, blower came on immediately, warm air coming out of the vent within a minute.

I spent 47 minutes waiting for Airstream support on the phone, and this never came up as a solution. The practical knowledge here on the forums is so valuable. The next solution was going to be a Dometic house call, so you just saved me hundreds of dollars.

Thanks again to both of you Runamuk13 and ChrisnPatty.

(As much as I joke about my wife, she is actually the toughest camper I've ever known. She had no problem with being out in the cold, we've camped in the 20s and while she acknowledged it was cold, she did not complain.)

Brian
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:00 PM   #8
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You’re not the first to get that one, I help a lady couple years ago get her new to her SOB furnace going, same thing. The invisible off switch.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:52 PM   #9
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On edit, I see the switch is on the top of the thermostat housing. That changes some of my comments but not all.

Hmmm.... I may not understand what you wrote compared to the picture you attached.

In the picture, the arrow points to the left, i.e. when the switch is moved to the left, the furnace will be off. Looks to me like the switch is already in the left position. Do you agree? Maybe I'm missing something.


We have a much older trailer but it has a similar thermostat. It takes quite a bit of force to push the switch from one position to the other position. The amount of force required makes it seem like I'm going to break something in order to get the switch to move to the right or back to the left. The detent that holds the switch in the ON and OFF is difficult to overcome - particularly because the switch lever is so short.

Looks like your thermostat is already in the OFF position. You need to move the switch into the opposite position.

I noticed a few online reviews of the Atwood thermostat and most people say it is very difficult to move the switch.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:59 AM   #10
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Tacoma , Washington
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The REAL answer is to replace that craphole Dometic/Atwood thermostat with a real, digital thermostat, such as this Honeywell TH1100DV Pro 1000, about $25 on Amazon.

HOW TO:
1. Turn off propane gas and batteries and disconnect from shore power.
2. Remove cover from old thermostat.
3. Remove the 2 screws that mount it to the wall
4. Remove the 2 wires from the thermostat backing plate.
5. Smash old thermostat with a sledgehammer then package up the broken parts and mail to Airstream with a note saying to stop putting these horrible, cheap parts in our stupidly expensive RVs.
6. Attach the two wires to the new thermostat - 1 in the R connector, 1 in the W connector. Doesn't matter which wire goes in which connector.
7. Mount new thermostat backing plate to wall
8. Put batteries in thermostat
9. Put thermostat cover on backing plate.
10. Turn on gas and batteries and test the thermostat.

Now, you can set a temperature and let the thermostat do what it does so well - manage your furnace.


This nice upgrade takes about 20 minutes and is one of the most appreciated upgrades you could make.


If you're a bit more of a DIY'er, and want a single thermostat to control the furnace AND the air conditioner, see Adding a Thermostat to Dometic Penguin II Air Conditioner and Furnace – Part 2
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:58 AM   #11
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I completely agree and encourage this upgrade. I made it easily about a month after buying my 2018 22FB Sport. I change the two AAA batteries every 18 months. I works perfectly!
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:40 PM   #12
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Great idea. I'll do this when my 2021 22FB arrives.

Do the screws for the old thermostat and new one line up? Or is drilling required?
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Old 09-11-2020, 04:37 AM   #13
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Unfortunately, the screw holes do not line up with the old thermostat's screw holes. So, yes, drilling is needed.


When mounting the new thermostat, you can position it so it covers the existing screw holes in the wall.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:04 PM   #14
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We stopped using the as furnace in our 22fb.

We now use the lasko CT 30710C

Quiet
High/low
Swivel or fixed
Timer or temp set option

My wife loves the fact we can't even hear it
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