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Old 12-26-2020, 09:32 AM   #41
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KK4YZ, when you measured wildly different voltages to the blower, was that from the blower lead to chassis or furnace frame or from blower + to blower - ? I ask because you may have continuity issues in the furnace frame to trailer frame or in in the negative etc.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:09 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
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.
Well, I wonít profess to have your evident command of physical chemistry, among a plethora of other subjects and disciplines to which I defer in advance, but my empirical observations from a lifetime of living and camping in the North suggest that your computations might be omitting a couple of environmental parameters. The one that immediately comes to mind is relative humidity/dewpoint.

As you no doubt know, as relative humidity rises, the temperature imbalance between the liquid propane and the ambient air makes it easier for frost and ice to form on the regulator and the outside of the tank. The frost obviously interferes with the delivery of propane from the regulator. But less obvious, frost on the outside of the tank acts as an insulator, interfering with the liquid propaneís access to heat from the outside air, which in turn slows the process of the liquid boiling into vapor and further reduces vapor pressure. Furnaces in RVs are temperamental and it would not take much of a drop in vapor pressure to cause the circuit board to throw a fault code and shut down. The cold winter temperatures, which create a higher demand for propane, exacerbate vapor pressure deficiencies.

Just last week I saw a similar process occurring on my deck. I was operating an approximately 58K BTU firebowl in damp conditions and an ambient temperature of approximately 38F. When the tank dropped to just a bit below 50% full, ice formed and vapor pressure in the tank plunged. The propane didnít stop vaporizing, and I could temporarily increase pressure by shaking the tank, but the burn was greatly diminished at a much higher ambient temperature than -10F.

In any event, my suggestion to the OP to test whether full tanks would do a better job of keeping the tanks from freezing and thus keep vapor pressure up is an easy and cheap one to test, even if the physics suggest it is a waste of time.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:22 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
KK4YZ, when you measured wildly different voltages to the blower, was that from the blower lead to chassis or furnace frame or from blower + to blower - ? I ask because you may have continuity issues in the furnace frame to trailer frame or in in the negative etc.
It was from control bd blower output to chassis. The blower would slow down and I’d see maybe 5v instead of 11 or so. Then sail switch would open and furnace would shut off and throw an airflow code.
Sometimes the blower speed would oscillate wildly from “full” to “off”. This made me think the control bd was bad, but I neglected to measure what the voltage input to the bd was. That’s my next step.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:27 AM   #44
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KK4YZ,

Wiring diagram time. Trace input supply to consumer of power.

Really nice you're providing data/observations.

Gary
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:50 AM   #45
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.

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.

Gary
Is Airstream actually using suitcase connectors on new construction wire harnesses? Those things are ďsimple and effectiveĒ but they are a major compromise on the reliability of both the main run and the branch circuit compared to a proper crimped butt joint or a strain relieved and heat-shrink covered solder joint. On a factory harness, airstream ought to be providing the proper branch circuits and terminations on spec... it would be negligible additional cost to them and save many hours of warranty processing.


When we first got into trailering, our dealer wired the trailer brake controller to the brake circuit on our Tundra using one of these TAP connectors. In a situation where you have poor access to the wiring such as under the dash, it is easy to not have the connector perfectly aligned on the wire lead and then the cutting blade slices some of the conductor strands as well as chopping the outer insulating jacket (compromising its strength and allowing the conductors to corrode).
So it worked fine for a couple of years, but then on a trailer towing trip I noticed that it seemed like I had to brake harder than normal. A quick check with the manual actuator verified I had no trailer brakes, and some checking when we stopped showed we had no brake lights either. The suitcase TAP connector had, over time, broken the brake switch wire in half, leaving us with a hazard to ourselves (no trailer brakes) and others ( no brake lights).
The fix was not difficult on one hand, once diagnosed, but the under dash location and relatively short length of the remaining wires made things more challenging.
The moral of this story is that in my opinion suitcase connectors are the hallmark of quick and dirty construction and they certainly have no place in any ďnewĒ installation. I might use one in an emergency but these things are a long-term maintenance nightmare if they are located in an inaccessible spot.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:15 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
KK4YZ,

Wiring diagram time. Trace input supply to consumer of power.

Really nice you're providing data/observations.

Gary
My understanding is thereís a connector behind the kitchen cabinet that could be wonky. If the connection was bad (high resistance) that would explain a lot of the behavior Iím seeing
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:26 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Alumineer View Post
Is Airstream actually using suitcase connectors on new construction wire harnesses?
The moral of this story is that in my opinion suitcase connectors are the hallmark of quick and dirty construction and they certainly have no place in any ďnewĒ installation. I might use one in an emergency but these things are a long-term maintenance nightmare if they are located in an inaccessible spot.
Alumineer,

I don't know if they are or not.

My furnace a 2007 model did have running taps in the furnace wiring (I don't know the common name other than Scotch Lock type) and those were courtesy of Atwood.

I asked the OP for pics 2X of his unit, no pics.

Back about 2007 I bought a 1997 Dodge Ram 3500 for our Son and it had 7 way at the bumper and in the bed. Whoever did the install used a 1/4 lb of those tap connections to spice and whatever. It took a while to cut it all out and eliminate the wiring disaster zone.

Do it right or someone else regrets what you did.

Gary
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Old 12-27-2020, 07:37 AM   #48
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Update on the actual scenario:
Thanks everyone for the tips/advice. I checked the propane issue possibilities right away. Tried it with full tanks, soap bubble tested all the joints, and ran the stove to purge air. No results there. There is a warning indication for a faulty propane issue. I didnít bother posting wiring diagrams because Iíve already checked everything within my capability. Put a multimeter to everything. Problem is, my indications change. It is never a consistent problem. Today for example, the blower turns on fine if I give the motor a little bump after hitting the reset switch but the igniter wonít even try to light. Blower just keeps going, like the whole thing thinks itís working. But thatís today. For all I know the thing will function differently tomorrow. Who knows. Iíve already taken it to the dealership once, but Iím taking it back after the holidays. The space heater thing really does work. One isnít quite enough but two does the trick. And I put a little antifreeze in my black and grey tanks so that I could still use them. So far no issues. To everyone telling me to go south, I appreciate it lol but the navy tells me I have to stay up here haha, at least until my contract is up. Also, yes I am here to vent. I want people to see what I have experienced and hopefully it can help them avoid making the same mistake I did. If this really is a common issue with new trailers that sucks, how can it be acceptable to put down that kind of cash and take home a product with this sort of issue? If it werenít such a huge process to try and return a vehicle/use lemon law litigation I would have already demanded my money back for a faulty product.
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Old 12-27-2020, 07:48 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Amkost92 View Post
Update on the actual scenario:
Thanks everyone for the tips/advice. ... If it werenít such a huge process to try and return a vehicle/use lemon law litigation I would have already demanded my money back for a faulty product.
I may have missed your answer, but are you on shore power or solar/battery only?
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Old 12-27-2020, 07:50 AM   #50
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There is a warning indication for a faulty propane issue.

Thanks for the update but I do not know what you mean by the above. My trailer has a propane detector near the floor, since propane is heavier than air. If it is green, all is good. It has a failure indication as well as an alarm indication, and noise. You do not want to be living in a trailer with a faulty propane detector.

I think you are doing the right things and I expect a dealer will be able to help you once he understands this is intermittent or at least failed after he thought it was fixed.
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Old 12-27-2020, 09:01 AM   #51
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Thanks for the update and new information. It more clearly points to a problem with poor electrical connections in the furnace. The furnace control is part integrated into the controller board and part by virtue of the physical wiring. From what you describe, the controller board is doing its part.

The way the system works is there is an integrated On/Off breaker switch for the furnace and when on, provides 12 V to the furnace controller and to a relay switch on the Domenic Heat Pump Controller board on the roof. If the dip switches on the Heat Pump are set to control a separate furnace then the heat pump controller will pull in the relay. That energizes a thermal limit switch and the sail switch (detects air movement) and if the unit is not overheated, it will energize a second input to the furnace controller calling for the unit to run the air blower. The controller will pull in the blower relay and the blower fan will start.

This is where you are at, blower motor running, nothing else. If it stays like this, you should get a soft fault indicating the controller did not get indication from the sail switch. 1 flash, 3 second pause.

Air will close the sail switch and energize a third input to the controller, calling for the burner to light.

Controller will open gas valve and activate the igniter. If it does not light, you will get an ignition fault 3 flashes, 3 second pause.

If it lights but does not stay lit, you will get a flame sense fault code, 2 flashes, 3 second pause.

If you get nothing, a steady on, or rapid flashes then the controller board has gotten itself confused and needs to be rebooted by cycling power. It gets confused due to inconsistent voltages and currents due to battery issues, poor wiring connections or poor chassis/negative/ground connections. These same issues can and will damage the controller board so the fact it has been replaced, is no guarantee it is 100% working now as it may have been damaged yet again.

So if you are not getting an airflow fault at this point, I conclude you have wiring connection issues. I would measure voltages at each input as the blower motor is running. I would pay particular attention to the voltage on the blower wires and blower + to chassis. Does it vary? Does the main power feed to the ON/OFF breaker also vary?

The blower motor turns the warm air and the combustion fan so if flow varies, the burner is likely to fail to stay lit.
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Old 12-27-2020, 09:44 AM   #52
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I agree that you likely have a loose connection somewhere (bumping the motor makes it start). But once the blower is running you should hear snapping sounds (igniter trying to light) within 15 sec or so.
If you donít hear that, your sail switch could be bad. Thatís a pretty common problem as I understand it.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:29 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Amkost92 View Post
There is a warning indication for a faulty propane issue.
Sounds like you have eliminated propane supply as the culprit and that the problem is probably electrical. But, since you seem to be getting a supply warning, one last thing to check on the supply side is to make sure that your propane supplier isnít adding butane to the mix. Butane will seriously foul up the operation of your furnace. This isnít likely to be your problem, but butane is used in the Northeast.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:33 AM   #54
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Darren from My RV Works does an extensive bench testing of a typical furnace in particular the components and the series of events for it to light and run.

I know he gest a bit wordy but ignore that and see how it works. Expect some variances by model to model but overall good stuff.

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Old 12-28-2020, 03:33 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amkost92 View Post
Update on the actual scenario:
Thanks everyone for the tips/advice. I checked the propane issue possibilities right away. Tried it with full tanks, soap bubble tested all the joints, and ran the stove to purge air. No results there. There is a warning indication for a faulty propane issue. I didnít bother posting wiring diagrams because Iíve already checked everything within my capability. Put a multimeter to everything. Problem is, my indications change. It is never a consistent problem. Today for example, the blower turns on fine if I give the motor a little bump after hitting the reset switch but the igniter wonít even try to light. Blower just keeps going, like the whole thing thinks itís working. But thatís today. For all I know the thing will function differently tomorrow. Who knows. Iíve already taken it to the dealership once, but Iím taking it back after the holidays. The space heater thing really does work. One isnít quite enough but two does the trick. And I put a little antifreeze in my black and grey tanks so that I could still use them. So far no issues. To everyone telling me to go south, I appreciate it lol but the navy tells me I have to stay up here haha, at least until my contract is up. Also, yes I am here to vent. I want people to see what I have experienced and hopefully it can help them avoid making the same mistake I did. If this really is a common issue with new trailers that sucks, how can it be acceptable to put down that kind of cash and take home a product with this sort of issue? If it werenít such a huge process to try and return a vehicle/use lemon law litigation I would have already demanded my money back for a faulty product.


Your P4 line is in the drip tray....yawn
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:46 AM   #56
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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?


Whomever is telling you to use supplemental heaters is going to get you into some real trouble if it gets below freezing, as the furnace heats the underbelly.

Just remove the rectangle AC ceiling register on the door side of the camper above where your AC is and reach up and remove the plastic rectangle sensor out of the drip line. Alternatively, bring your AS to Indiana and I will fix your problem in 30 seconds. Photos with a better explanation by Googling ďThe 32 Degree ProblemĒ.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:13 AM   #57
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BayouBiker,
Youíve nailed it. I get varied voltages on many different connections,including the power in and power out of the off/reset switch location. Iím certain there is an electrical issue. Iím no electrician, but I can wiggle wires and nothing seems to be loose, which is the only issue I was getting feedback on from the techs whoíve looked at it. I didnít know there was a relay switch up on top of the camper somewhere. Maybe thatís sticking? Iím taking it back up to the dealer tomorrow, so hopefully there will be a conclusion to all of this.
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Old 12-28-2020, 08:32 AM   #58
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Brian
You mentioned something in an earlier post about the furnace being controlled by the heat pump. Can you elaborate on that?
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:34 AM   #59
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Amkost92, now that you know what's wrong, you are in a much better position to know if the service shop fixed the issue, and that info is invaluable. After repaired, you can ask them to show you that the voltages no longer vary even through 10 start cycles. Then you can insist you drive the trailer around town for 10 minutes, hit a few minor bumps and come back and do the demonstration all over again. You should cycle the furnace several times particularly if they have not replaced the controller since it may have been damaged by the fluctuating voltages.

The Domenic controller on the roof uses a solid state relay so there is nothing to stick, it will either work or not. Plus that part of the control circuit does not require much current so it will not produce the symptoms you describe. That is not to say its wiring is fine, or that it is not contributing to the issues you have had. It may also have an issue and if it does, the furnace will still act up, but the controller will at least produce valid fault codes if that part is sketchy. So if they fix the primary issue and you still have issues, it will be easier to track down. Not much consolation, but what's a poor boy to do? I am keeping my fingers crossed, luck is part of this, unfortunately.

Shiny16, yes the CCC2 wall controller does double duty. It communicates digitally with the Heat Pump digital control board microprocessor. The CCC2 gets told by the controller if it has a furnace mode in addition to A/C and heat Pump and other optional modes. These modes are activated with dip switch settings on the controller board on the roof unit. If furnace mode is activated, the CCC2 in auto will use the heat pump for heat when the coils outside are not likely to freeze and will go to furnace when the coils will or are freezing. You can also manually set the CCC2 to Heat Pump or Furnace. If the system calls for furnace, the controller energizes a solid state relay on the board. The contact side of the relay is wired by Airstream to the furnace and it acts as the furnace thermostat. You can take these wires and attach them to a separate thermostat and run the furnace independently from the A/C - heat pump, but that makes no sense. So anyway a wiring issue between the furnace and the roof control board can cause issues, and problems with the roof unit or the CCC2 can also cause issues. This added complexity is a source of a lot of confusion when the furnace seems to be acting up.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:57 AM   #60
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I agree with a lot of above comments.These Airstreams are not real cold weather friendly.They just can't be insulated, given the distance between inner and outer shells.
The advice of pulling it south, is very good.Old ex trucker, trailers have tires for a reason.
Otherwise, just go with backup portable electric or Buddy Series propane back up heat.And a backup gasoline generator, basically backups for your backups.Two is one, and one is none.
Murphys Law especially loves RVs.
Youll have same problem if campground power goes out, for days.
Old mechanic, this new high tech stuff just isn't reliable.Brian above just gave a bunch of examples to prove my point.Too much complexity, by design.
Theres only one way to say it, like telling someone their engine is blown.With the current RV service/ quality problems everywhere, it's tough getting anything done on a summer day.Ive always done all my own work, big motorhomes/ etc.I can't imagine the carnage at a dealership in winter with one of these.
You just need someone like guys above to paint the actual picture of full timing in these "Tin Cans"
Like above person stated, basically all RVs are in the same quality boat.And, it's not good.Far from it.
Now, this is from somebody who's been in a stationary " Vintage" Landyacht full time for almost 4 yrs.
I sure wouldn't do it in a northern tier/ Midwestern winter, in a Airstream especially.
It just is what it is.
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