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Old 12-24-2020, 03:54 PM   #21
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One other reminder, if ambient is above 45F or if it is above 25 and dew point is 15 degrees less than ambient, you can run the Heat Pump for heat with shore power.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:24 AM   #22
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One quick solution would be to drive south 18 hours down I-95, that should put you close to the Florida line, there you'll need the Air Conditioner, not the heater ;-)

Good Luck
Not today. It was 38 deg in Panama City Beach this morning 😬
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:43 AM   #23
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Sorry to jump in out of the blue, but are you sure this is a furnace problem? It sounds to me like you might be having a propane supply issue. Four facts mentioned in the first post immediately jumped out at me: (1) Furnace would work for an hour, or a day, or two; (2) you live in Connecticut; (3) itís winter; and (4) you wake up at 3am to 40 degree cabin temperatures. Iím sure you already know this, but in case you donít, ambient temperatures dramatically affect propane supply pressures and a nearly half full propane bottle can behave like an empty bottle if subjected to the combination of a high propane demand and low overnight temperatures. So, before tearing apart your rig any further, get a completely full bottle and check to see if the furnace runs. If so, you will have to work pretty hard to keep living in that trailer in winter. You will either have to get your tanks refilled very frequently or invest some cash in a heating blanket designed to warm propane tanks. But for now, the quickest test would be to get a full 20lb bottle at a gas station, hook it up in place of one of your 30-pounders and see if it works. If it does, I think you might have found your problem.

Couple things to keep in mind. The dealer probably worked on your rig in a heated service bay and wouldnít have thought about the effect of low outside temps on propane pressure. In addition, the stove is a relatively low demand appliance. It might work even if the propane pressure was insufficient to operate the furnace.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:20 AM   #24
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Jeb made a very good point... and it would be easy to test. If that is the problem, see if your campground allows large bottles refilled by a supplier like Amerigas. In many largely residential grounds it is common to have a 100 to 250 lb. Tank set up and refilled once a month or so... sure beats runnung out at 3 AM.

FINALLY (and hopefully not muddling the waters any worse) there is a wretchedly common problem with the wiring of the thermostat. The good news is it is a free and very simple fix. If the furnace and fan go wonky when the furnace fails... that diagnoses this problem and fix.

This Dometic thermostat it is wired with telephone cable, and there is a jack connection inside the air conditioner. Installers seem to forget that electricity and water do not play well together and the a/c has drain cups for condensation. If the connection has a zip tie (or a tie from a loaf of bread) that holds the connection well above the drain cup - no problemo! If it just hangs down it shorts out. To fix, take off the inside cover of the a/c (screws: hidden in the grid), find the phone cord connection (mine was on the road side), if damp pull apart using the tiny finger tab, dry with a hair dryer, re-assemble adding electrical shrink wrap if you want, then tie the cable up to the frame above it. Test before putting the inside cover back on. Do not overtighten the screws, they will strip.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:36 AM   #25
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Jeb may be on to something. A further caution, however: At most places like gas stations and big box stores that offer 20 pound propane tanks for exchange, the "full" tanks they provide are not full. They only provide 15 pounds. For this experiment, you would be better off getting a tank refilled by a standard propane dealer.
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Old 12-25-2020, 12:16 PM   #26
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Batteries???

I wonder if your batteries are bad.

I didnít see in your original post if you were connected to shore (ac) power or not.

When you mentioned jack wasnít working, I think that is usually wired direct to battery, at least in my AS.

Iíve noticed in our unit if the batteries are on their way out, 12volt appliances can sometimes wig out. After your AS has been sitting unused for a few hours, can you measure voltage of batteries? Do other gas appliances still work: oven stove HW heater, sometimes fridge on propane?
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Old 12-25-2020, 01:01 PM   #27
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On a 32 degree day, I have found a full propane tank tends to be about 60psi, though remember your regulator reduces it down to about 11 w.c. pressure, so generally you're ok running on a less than full tank. With that said, since this is a new system, there is a possibility you need to "purge" the tanks to have a better mixture of propane vapor at the top of the tank. Understand, propane tanks are pressure tested most often with Nitrogen an inert gas to 300psi which greatly effects it's performance if it along with the natural air are not removed by purging the tank when filling it with propane. "IF" the person filling the tank when new with propane, "did not" crack the vent valve during the fill to remove most of the air/Nitrogen then use the process in this video to "purge" the remaining air/Nitrogen, that could be your problem, though no promises.

Try the simple fixes first ;-)

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Old 12-25-2020, 01:10 PM   #28
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Amkost92,
To add to JEB’s comment, there was a recent thread about propane tanks icing up. Search for a thread started by smsasf. Cold outside temperature is a definite concern. I noticed on a weather history page that Connecticut had a cold snap around December 19. Is that when your troubles started?
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:45 PM   #29
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On propane tank icing and low pressure delivery the physical chemistry is pretty demanding. Using just 25,000 BTU (the output of the furnace) isn't going to do it. It would take 150,000 BTU minimum demand to cool the liquid temperature in the tank enough at 30-40 degrees ambient to drop vapor pressure sufficiently to cause pressure regulation issues.

There may well be a gas regulation or low side pressure issue, but it would not be due to issues with the tank and low temperature. You won't start having delivery issues till about -10 F ambient.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:59 PM   #30
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I wonder if there is more to this problem than a mechanical issue. There are lots of people offering assurance here.
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Old 12-25-2020, 04:01 PM   #31
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Sorry to hear furnaces have become a quality problem. I think there has been a rash of power jack problems. The RV industry is pumping out stuff at record numbers and quality has suffered. Complaints about Airstream quality and workmanship have been common for many years, but get much worse when Airstream is selling everything it can push out the door. Not every RV manufacturer has these problems and not every manufacturer uses the cheapest version of the many components like Airstream does.

There are far better insulated trailers and windows. Airstream insulation is primitive and they have single pane windows. You need a skirt around the bottom of the trailer to preserve heat and an old fashioned incandescent light bulb underneath can give a lot of heat to help keep the tanks from freezing. A space heater underneath would be even better. Lasko heaters are cheap and reliable.

Selling it would mean a big hit on depreciation. In a few years maybe and so long as people never realize Airstreams don’t live up to expectations, you will get a good price. But you still need to fix the furnace and jack. Don’t expect good results from most dealers or the company unless you let the world know your problems as you have done, write (letters get better results than phone calls) Airstream that you deserve satisfaction immediately, don’t take any excuses from the dealer or company, demand payment for your expenses (they will try to weasel out of that) and demand they ship you a well tested furnace now after you find a good automotive electrical technician to test the system properly. It doesn’t seem that dealer has one. Send bill to Airstream. Experts on auto electrics are not easy to find. It is far easier to find someone who claims that expertise.

I feel for you in your disappointment. We went through the same disappointment 13 years ago. We had many wonderful travels in ours, but we bought it for travel and not to live in. This is not a four season trailer and doesn’t do well in a hot summer either. Try the solutions suggested above. Some seem to be good. Get books on RV maintenance and lots of tools—you’ll need them. Depending on who you contact, Airstream may be helpful or cold and unhelpful. Keep after them and if someone doesn’t help, as for their boss and keep going up the line. Be a polite nuisance. Companies want to get rid of nuisances because it starts costing them lots of money. Maybe a company rep will contact you through this thread—they do follow the forum—and offer to help. Hope so. Unfortunately only some people get help this way and most just end up feeling screwed.
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Old 12-25-2020, 04:32 PM   #32
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I hate posting something negative about Airstream, but I have had a fairly horrible experience with the company and product. I picked up my brand new 2021 Flying Cloud in November from the dealership. I have been living in it full time ever since. The process of getting the camper was tough. Understandably, COVID pushed everything back by a few months, which was fine. But I was told by the dealership that my camper would be ready by the end of October. With that date in mind, I ended my lease. October 31 comes, and the camper still isnít ready. The dealership canít give me a date because they outsource the shipping contracts. So I was stuck homeless for a week while we waited for it to show up. I will say, the dealership was flexible enough to allow me to stay on their lot, in my rv for two nights while they got everything ready. But still, I ended up paying $100ís of dollars trying to live out of a hotel, with a dog, and immunocompromised fiancť. Fast forward about two weeks after pick up. We loved our Airstream and everything about it. Then our furnace broke. In Connecticut in the winter, and again, I live with an immunocompromised person. So I pulled out the manual and checked the troubleshooting guide with no success. The issue was strange. It would work for an hour or so, or maybe even a day or two, then die again randomly and I would discover that by waking up at 3am to a 40 degree interior. Naturally I called up the dealership right away, and they gave me what guidance they could over the phone, because I lived 2.5 hours away from the dealer. I called Airstream directly, and Dometic for tech assistance and no one was able to help. Finally I towed the trailer to a close by rv shop that could do Dometic warranty work because unfortunately, there isnít a single traveling tech within range of my campground. Anyway, the tech said there was nothing wrong except a loose ground wire (which I know how to check for) and sent my home after I paid $130. That fix lasted almost a week until I woke up to a freezing camper again. So I call up the dealership and their tech told me to purchase a new circuit board, which I did, with my own cash and swapped it out. That fix lasted 2; hours. I had to get a hotel to keep warm. At this point I gave up and managed to shovel the camper out of a foot of snow and get it to the dealership. They kept it for 48 hours, then said it was ready for pick up. They said there wasnít anything wrong, except maybe some loose wiring, and that they only had trouble getting it to start the ďfirst timeĒc but it ran great after that. So I pick it up again, on the 23rd so that I get it before everything shuts down for the holidays, and so that I can stop paying more $$$ to live in a hotel instead of my $80,000 camper. The furnace was working when I picked it up, but I pulled into a rest area off the highway to rest for the night. And again no furnace. And to top it off, when I went to use the motorized jack, that wouldnít work either! So I am sitting at a highway rest stop, in my 49 degree camper with my fiancť and dog, wondering what the heck are we going to do for the holidays? I was depending on this camper being my home and it has caused me nothing but major stress and expense.


I believe that Airstream has a very serious quality control issue related to the furnace. However, it is a simple fix. I bet you, if you Google ďThe 32 Degree ProblemĒ, you are experiencing some variant of Airstream improperly placing an easily relocated sensor. Literally almost no one understands this.

They are dropping the AC units with the P4 line in the drain tray causing heater issues.

If you read that post with patience, I bet you can solve your problem. If not, Iím now convinced I can...because I went through a similar hell, but it taught me much.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:44 PM   #33
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bad exp.

i have been following this thread.i am a lic.Heating and air conditioning contractor.Although i have not worked on air streams furnace i know a
good heating company tech. could find the problem.It could be all alot of
things that have already been stated.
Get ahold of a good heating service guy,tell him your problem and wait till furnace will not come on.
He can check gas pressure.He can make sure the furnace is being called on
If not he would have to be directed towards stat.If the call for furnace is there then he can start jumping connections to locate problem.
Checking safety and all connections.
They would know much more that a air steam tech.
All advice on thread is a possibility all you need is someone who understands
furnaces and a good low voltage tester and can follow wiring diagram
This stuff happens on the best of equipment.Don't sell trailer because of this
But unit has to be not working to trouble shoot
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Old 12-26-2020, 06:33 AM   #34
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I side with the OP. Not everyone wants to or is capable of troubleshooting and repairing RV problems. I know plenty of owners who just want to take it to a dealer for service, for anything, and just use their trailer. While I am not happy to see yet another Airstream with problems, I have this lingering hope that poor quality reporting will discourage some future buyers ultimately resulting in an increase in Airstream quality. I know...I haven't seen any flying pigs this week.
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:17 AM   #35
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We have a new 2021 Globetrotter 27FBT. In response to the furnace problems several have posted to use electric space heaters. On our initial camp this week (plugged in) we occasionally used a small electric heater to supplement. When it was running and we used a coffee maker, the breaker tripped.
My question is , does my trailer only have one 20amp circuit for the entire trailer?
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:31 AM   #36
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The outlets Airstream uses are rated for 15 amps. Typical coffee makers draw about 11-12 amps. A 1500 W space heater, about 13-14. Running on low it will be about 7-8 amps. Plug the heater into one of the inverter circuit outlets so they are on separate branch circuits, that is what I do. On shore power the pass through feature will power the inverter circuit so no need for the inverter to be on.

The Heat Pumps have 20A breakers, perhaps the microwave does as well, but the outlets are 15A.
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:49 AM   #37
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The outlets Airstream uses are rated for 15 amps. Typical coffee makers draw about 11-12 amps. A 1500 W space heater, about 13-14. Running on low it will be about 7-8 amps. Plug the heater into one of the inverter circuit outlets so they are on separate branch circuits, that is what I do. On shore power the pass through feature will power the inverter circuit so no need for the inverter to be on.

The Heat Pumps have 20A breakers, perhaps the microwave does as well, but the outlets are 15A.
Many thanks
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:54 AM   #38
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"My question is , does my trailer only have one 20amp circuit for the entire trailer?"

I would think it has several circuits. Look in your breaker box. Things that might be drawing power that you do not think about are the power converter and if you have an electric WH running. But you should find a circuit that will run the heater. On our trailer I have set the heater on the kitchen counter and turned it off when making coffee.
We have a very small heater in the bathroom.
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:58 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailride View Post
We have a new 2021 Globetrotter 27FBT. In response to the furnace problems several have posted to use electric space heaters. On our initial camp this week (plugged in) we occasionally used a small electric heater to supplement. When it was running and we used a coffee maker, the breaker tripped.
My question is , does my trailer only have one 20amp circuit for the entire trailer?
Trailride,

Greetings from the Pee Dee region.

I made up a cheater power supply extension cord for my 30' that plugs into the 15A circuit direct at the pedestal and made an outlet inside the AS just for the purpose of running a small heater on it's own circuit and not thru the AS.

Installation will vary by trailer config but it is something to look into.

Gary
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:39 AM   #40
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OK

Suggestions for anyone thinking they have a wiring problem.

IF the gas furnace worked, stops working, starts working pattern and trying to figure out possible fix short of hiring a tech or firing the parts cannon and testing the CC. Consider this approach.

Open both outside panels, look at the wiring. See all of the crimped connections and in particular TAP connections? Carefully check them, see if they are fully seated onto the terminal, a SLIGHT pull to see if the wire is loose and can be wiggled IN the crimp, now for the one that got me the inline TAP connection. This is a connection where one wire connects to a running wire mid run, not at the end of the wire run. These are possible a blade type insulation piercing connection. Simple and effective IF they are done correctly and working.

If you're able, have the furnace in the run condition and if it doesn't run, now carefully bump the suspect crimp or TAP connection. If it starts to run, bingo shut it down and do something with the suspect connection.

That's how I found bad connections on my furnace years ago and I made a real connection and that was that.

Of course other conditions may exist. But when temp is a dropping I get busy trying to fix it. Like a few weeks ago furnace was running but heat was about 100 deg output not it's usual 160-170 deg output. I pulled the burner, nothing, but after pulling the gas diffuser and then the orifice found that bugs laid eggs(?) in the hole and the remains were blocking gas output. Cleaned and back to full heat.

Nothing but thinking about how it should run vs how it was running and getting into it.

Gary
That was pretty much the first thing I tried. I was hoping it would be that easy. While Iím on this trip Iíll measure the input voltage to the furnace while itís acting up. If less than 11 volts or so Iíll disconnect that lead and run a jumper directly from the battery (after a fuse) to the furnace power input. If that fixes it then I know the problem is in the wiring harnesses.
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