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Old 05-24-2016, 09:02 AM   #1
Traytown , Newfoundland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 23
Newb question: Should the furnace in a '68 be able to run on shore power?

I'm looking to buy a '68 Overlander. Saw it last weekend.

I asked the seller to plug the trailer in to test the furnace because the battery was too low. It still didn't come on. Seller says that the battery has to charge first? Is that a vintage era electrical thing I don't know about? Shouldn't the shore power be charging the battery AND powering the system? I'm confused.

This is the furnace:

Other photos here:

Thankyou kindly for your time and wise advice!!!
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:11 AM   #2
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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That looks like the original NT28 B furnace. They were recalled because the rubber crossover tubes broke down and vented carbon monoxide into the coach. Parts are not available and it is next to impossible to find a tech who is willing to take the time or liability to work on one. It can be replaced with a couple of modifications with a new Suburban NT35. And yes, the battery needs a working charge to get it to fire (I think). Would you use an almost 50 year old furnace in your home?
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:45 AM   #3
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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The heater operates on 12 volts. If it did not work while on shore power that says the 12 volt system, the batteries or the convertor were not working was not working. Check that first and retry.
2004 Excursion 4x4
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:52 AM   #4
Traytown , Newfoundland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 23
I actually prefer it not be functional so that I can justify a lower offer to the seller. If I were to purchase this trailer, I'd either replace it, or install a Pipsqueak woodstove ($850 kit). I had no idea this one was recalled so that's really helpful info, Lumatic.

Howie, as far as I can tell both the battery and system/converter are in working order 'cause most other things work AND the battery was starting to charge. I think the furnace might be toast.

I'm going to price out the NT-35 unit + installation. Thanks SO much. Y'all are really helpful. I'm like a baby in RV-land over here.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:40 AM   #5
Traytown , Newfoundland
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 23
Nvmd, priced out the NT-20SQ instead because I read on another thread that it's a bad idea to install a larger power furnace?? The posters rationale was that if you put a 35,000 BTU/h unit where a 22,000 BTU/h was, it won't cut in as much and hence allow more opportunity for pipes to freeze. In Canada the price of the 19,000 BTU unit is $1000 CDN. I'm thinking if I really want a woodstove (oh, I really, really do) that I might just put something super small in there to keep the pipes happy? Lots to think about. I want to live in this thing for about 10 months in Boulder, CO so potential of pipes freezing will be a very real thing.

I am so grateful for this forum and all your kind advice.
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