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Old 10-27-2020, 05:39 PM   #1
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2012 27' FB International
Bellevue , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 291
Images: 78
Furnace broken, freezing temps ahead :(

Hello. I have a 2012 27FB International. The furnace has failed as well as the heat pump. I am running a 1500 watt space heater. I am having a difficult time finding an RV repair to come help me (I live on an island that requires ferry service). I'm pretty experienced on how to keep my silver girl from freezing but that was with the help of the furnace blowing warm air onto pipes, etc.)....and now...well, I don't know what to do. We do have skirting on the front part of the Airstream where the ocean air blows up over it but no skirting in the back. Temps will eventually get down to freezing for a few nights this winter (warming back up during the day). Will running two space heaters, leaving cabinets open suffice? Thank you for any help fellow streamers! ♥
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
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Posts: 900
Are your furnace blowers working?? If they are, run your electric heaters for heat and runner the blowers to distribute the heat.
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:00 PM   #3
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2018 25' International
Slidell , Louisiana
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If you're handy there are some good troubleshooting methods online I can point you to. Perhaps one or both can be fixed. If you're not but can afford a call out, there is a mobil repair guy on the Olympic peninsula who is fantastic and has great self help guide online also.

Baring that, if the temperature does not stay below 25 for an extended time you will be fine. If you can't keep the tanks warm and its going to be cold for more than a couple days, empty them or add a gallon of hot water every 4-8 hours, then when full empty them and begin again. Note the water temperature as you empty them and adjust accordingly. Consider skirting the rest of the trailer with whatever you can find.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:12 PM   #4
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2007 30' Classic S/O
Somewhere , South Carolina
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Furnace and heat pump not working?

For the heat pump, what temp is it outside when its not working?

Furnace, assuming propane is not empty. Stove works on propane?

The mobile tech Brian referred to is Darren at My RV Works https://myrvworks.com/ he serves Kitsap and Olympic peninsula area.

Stay in touch, keep feeding the group info. Can you open the panel on the furnace, see any blinking code light on control panel? Should just be the two cover screws and open the sheet metal cover then the black plastic cover, control panel should be behind that. Code light blinks and is on control panel.

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Old 10-27-2020, 08:58 PM   #5
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2013 27' FB International
2012 23' Flying Cloud
GVA , British Columbia
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 271
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I would say you will be OK with the space heaters and you have a cabinet door below the wardrobe keep it ajar the furnace ducting lead down into the tanks so some residual heat will find its way down there. I take it that the space heaters have a fan, so that helps move the air around. Forward you might think of getting this installed;
Its a lot more quite and all you need is a RV tech to tap into your stove or furnace gas supply line to feed this heater.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:03 PM   #6
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Paramus , New Jersey
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 101
I had my heater quit one night and nothing worked, no blower, no response of any kind. It was totally dead. I never could figure it out,

I had Colonial Airstream trouble shoot it and they found that the cable that went from the thermostat to the AC on the roof 1st, then the unit communicates to the heater. It was the cable that looks like a phone cord. There was some corrosion where the phone plug connects to the AC. Once corrosion cleaned off and re-connected, the heater fired right up.

Has worked ever since. That was 18 months ago.
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:21 AM   #7
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Happened to me.
Originally Posted by wilsodf View Post
I had my heater quit one night and nothing worked, no blower, no response of any kind. It was totally dead. I never could figure it out,

I had Colonial Airstream trouble shoot it and they found that the cable that went from the thermostat to the AC on the roof 1st, then the unit communicates to the heater. It was the cable that looks like a phone cord. There was some corrosion where the phone plug connects to the AC. Once corrosion cleaned off and re-connected, the heater fired right up.

Has worked ever since. That was 18 months ago.
Agree, this is a likely source for the problem. Check your 30 amp breaker first though. Reset it just for drill. Heck, reset all your breakers and inspect and reseat all of your fuses just for drill. Just because a fuse "looks" good doesn't mean it is. Check voltage or swap new fuses from your box-o-spares (any auto store will sell you an assorted pack for a couple of bucks).

No joy? It is either the thermostat itself or the connection in the overhead AC unit. If the thermostat light works and the display does anything, Its time to take the inside cover off the AC unit (recessed Phillips head screws - 4 to 8 depending on installer's mood that day).

Look for the phone cable (probably on same side as your stove, may be tied up with a cable tie so that the connection doesn't fall into a drain cup and short out [as my earlier model year did!] and plug is probably NOT covered in shrink wrap [as any sane person does who has had this problem, and doesn't want a repeat]. Anyway, turn the thermostat OFF, click the jack open and look and feel it. Any hint of dampness, your hairdryer is your friend - use LOW heat. The jack wires are tiny so a flashlight and magnifying glass may be needed to see corrosion. Crossed up or shorted wires are unlikely, because it isn't like a wired headset jack that is frequently plugged or unplugged. If it is wet and the copper is still shiney, merely taking it apart, drying both ends thoroughly with WARM air should clear the problem. A very soft baby tooth brush can remove corrosion but brush with the grooves in the plugs, and go easy. If the jacks are badly corroded, clean as well as possible, and work the plugs in and out several times. The jacks are somewhat fragile so go easy. Turn on the thermostat and retry... remembering that it will take 10 seconds or more for anything to turn on.

If the thermostat is dead and dark, the wire between the AC and the thermostat could be the problem, so pull the front off the thermostat and check it.. The jack could have been installed wrong years ago (broken lock tab) and finally vibrated loose. If you've any kind of corrosion back there it would be extremely weird (shower fiberglass cracked or.kids with squirt guns?) Even with a broken tab, attacking it back in and using a snippet from a Command strip should hold it almost forever.

Eventually a broken jack plug can be snipped off and replaced. (I can easily replace jacks because I owned a call center. Operators were notorious for spilling stuff on headsets, not to mention what a fired staffer could do in 2 seconds!). It is fussy to learn and do just because the wires are so small, and some equipment does need reversed pairs, so a "make do" repair should be good til spring.

If re-seating the plugs doesn't work, I would bet on the thermostat having failed before wondering how the wire failed behind a wall, and you can buy an identical thermostat online. $100 maybe?

CAUTION: You could test the phone wire by running another phone cord with RS232 jacks on each end from the AC to the thermostat while the covers are off, but first call Airstream or a trusted mechanic to verify that the original wiring is standard!!! Do no harm!

Still betting the problem is wet wire behind AC cover.

Good luck. Paula
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:16 PM   #8
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Joliet , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Reset your furnace

If you take off your outside furnace panel, there is a reset button. Turn it off, wait 30 seconds and turn the switch back on. Turn your furnace back on. Worked for us !
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:46 PM   #9
2014 27' FB Classic
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 177
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Grasping at Straws

We had this happen once in the middle of a cold winter. Our thermostat started showing an error code out of the blue. We took it to an RV repair place in a panic. The technician did a sequence of keystrokes on the thermostat and it was fixed. Since it took all of ten seconds, they didn't charge. They couldn't tell us what triggered the error code; they just knew how to fix it. This happened in 2016; no problems since.

If you are showing an error code on your thermostat and you think this might apply to your situation, would suggest you contact either Airstream or the heater vendor and have them take you through the keystroke sequence on your thermostat.

Like I said, grasping at straws but you never know .....

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Old 10-30-2020, 02:26 PM   #10
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2016 30' Classic
Glenwood Springs , Colorado
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https://myrvworks.com/ I was able to solve my heater problems by watching Brians videos on You Tube. I would not hesitate to call him. He seems really knowledgeable. Good Luck.
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