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Old 11-21-2018, 12:23 PM   #1
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Furnace sail switch

Got up this morning and 56° inside, 19 outside - just a few miles from Salt Lake City. Furnace wouldn't come on even after doing the resets per owner manual, checking to be sure we had LP and making sure gas was in the line by lighting the stove. Blower would run for 15 seconds or so, then shut off without heat.
Called Escape and talked with Dave in service. He said probably lint in the sail switch and emailed photos of it so I could check it. Took the outside cover off (easy), took out screw holding in the sail switch, got it out enough to see a big lint ball trapped. Borrowed some tweezers from DW, removed lint, reattached switch and fired up the furnace.
HEAT!!!!!!
Thanked Dave by a return call. GREAT customer service and an easy fix!
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:47 PM   #2
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This is a great and simple fix. The best kind! I will keep this in my “bag of tricks” if it ever happens to us.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:21 PM   #3
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Called Escape and talked with Dave in service. He said probably lint in the sail switch and emailed photos of it so I could check it. Took the outside cover off (easy), took out screw holding in the sail switch, got it out enough to see a big lint ball trapped.
Hmmmm....this doesn't bode well for us, we will be traveling with three cats - at home we find fur dust bunnies daily
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #4
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You should be fine, unless you hang the cats above the furnace, outside the trailer.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:27 PM   #5
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So this easy fix method only pertains to those with very new trailers that are outfitted with the exterior access furnace panel, correct? Those of us without the panel must pull the whole unit from the inside? And along those lines, just a musing question, but how feasible would it be to retrofit such a panel for trailers not already so equipped?
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:17 PM   #6
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So this easy fix method only pertains to those with very new trailers that are outfitted with the exterior access furnace panel, correct? Those of us without the panel must pull the whole unit from the inside? And along those lines, just a musing question, but how feasible would it be to retrofit such a panel for trailers not already so equipped?

I think it could be done, but I believe you would have to replace the whole furnace with one that comes from Atwood factory with the outside panel.
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:19 PM   #7
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I think it could be done, but I believe you would have to replace the whole furnace with one that comes from Atwood factory with the outside panel.


Yeesh, no thanks! May our sail switches ever remain hairball free!
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:28 PM   #8
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Yeesh, no thanks! May our sail switches ever remain hairball free!
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall softly upon your fields
May your sail switch ever remain hairball free
and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand....
-New Irish Blessing-
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:06 PM   #9
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May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rain fall softly upon your fields

May your sail switch ever remain hairball free

and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand....

-New Irish Blessing-


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Old 11-21-2018, 09:20 PM   #10
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Deja Vu

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwvwadc View Post
Got up this morning and 56° inside, 19 outside - just a few miles from Salt Lake City. Furnace wouldn't come on even after doing the resets per owner manual, checking to be sure we had LP and making sure gas was in the line by lighting the stove. Blower would run for 15 seconds or so, then shut off without heat.
Called Escape and talked with Dave in service. He said probably lint in the sail switch and emailed photos of it so I could check it. Took the outside cover off (easy), took out screw holding in the sail switch, got it out enough to see a big lint ball trapped. Borrowed some tweezers from DW, removed lint, reattached switch and fired up the furnace.
HEAT!!!!!!
Thanked Dave by a return call. GREAT customer service and an easy fix!
Deja Vu

This exact thing happened to us two nights ago in Yosemite (less than 50 inside and 19 degrees outside) and last night outside of Yosemite (again about 50 inside but 24 outside). Both nights we went to sleep with the furnace running. Apparently driving yesterday loosened the lint ball enough to run until about 3 am. Today, after finally getting phone service on the way to Sacramento, I talked to Dave. He said the exact thing, and I probably got the same photos.

We're currently camping at the Cal Expo site in Sacramento with full services, and it's raining, so I haven't yet taken the sail switch apart, but after visiting friends Friday and Saturday we'll be on our way home, having electric sites all the way. Today we purchased a Honeywell electric heater that friends of ours who pull a Scamp 5th wheel love. Took it home (the 5.0) and it's quiet and heating the camper with ease.

I wonder how many times a week Dave explains the same problem with the Dometic furnace? Today was probably deja vu for Dave.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:43 AM   #11
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Good to hear that the new access door makes the fix easy to perform...
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:58 PM   #12
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I think it could be done, but I believe you would have to replace the whole furnace with one that comes from Atwood factory with the outside panel.
I don’t think you need a new furnace. The design appears universal.

https://pantherrvproducts.com/atwood...-arctic-white/
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:04 PM   #13
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There is no exterior access to the furnace on my 2008 17B. Just an exhaust port.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:00 PM   #14
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I don’t think you need a new furnace. The design appears universal.

https://pantherrvproducts.com/atwood...-arctic-white/

At this years rally, the furnace access panel made it's debut. I inquired if it could be retrofitted to my 2018 5.0 and was told no. With that said would not be the first time I was told no about something else from ETI, but found out later it could.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:14 PM   #15
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After having our Thanksgiving dinner of popcorn/Coke watching Bohemian Rapsody (my favorite band of all-time) I took the sail switch out. I had to move the switch in various ways to finally remove it because of all the wires in the way. I only saw a tab bit of lint on the sail, but considering how much I had to contort the switch to get it out that didn't surprise me. Now is it still there or will it be blown out?

The furnace now works.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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I'm really hoping that these lint in the sail switch problems are because of the new access panel! Mine is not as easy to get at that switch so lint caused failure would be more complicated to fix .
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:58 PM   #17
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Can you just leave it in place and use compressed air to blow the lint clear?
My sail switch has given me no trouble in ten years. The furnace motor did have to be replaced under warranty years ago.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
but how feasible would it be to retrofit such a panel for trailers not already so equipped?
It was recently discussed if the furnace without outside access panel could be retrofitted with the access panel.

Indirectly Reace answers that question on his How Too video in accessing the sail switch or circuit board.

As you can see in the picture here and in Reace's video, the new furnace with the outside access panel has the metal frame housing that is inserted from the outside and sealed against the fiberglass same as the water heater.

Furnaces pre outside panel do not have this metal frame work and I assume the metal frame work is part of the furnace housing and the whole furnace is inserted from the outside.

Maybe someone that has the exterior furnace panel and has removed the panel can confirm my assumption?
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File Type: jpg Atwood Water Heater.JPG (47.9 KB, 24 views)
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent View Post
It was recently discussed if the furnace without outside access panel could be retrofitted with the access panel.

Indirectly Reace answers that question on his How Too video in accessing the sail switch or circuit board.

As you can see in the picture here and in Reace's video, the new furnace with the outside access panel has the metal frame housing that is inserted from the outside and sealed against the fiberglass same as the water heater.

Furnaces pre outside panel do not have this metal frame work and I assume the metal frame work is part of the furnace housing and the whole furnace is inserted from the outside.

Maybe someone that has the exterior furnace panel and has removed the panel can confirm my assumption?
Kent: I don't have this furnace, but I can tell from the original AFSAD12 installation instructions that the bezel is a separate piece. See attachments. As I have said before my bet is that it is the same exact furnace. The only difference appears to be that the furnace as mounted is slid outward through the hole slightly to engage with the bezel. Another option could be to leave the vent alone and cut in your own small separate access door to the left of it.

https://www.etrailer.com/Enclosed-Tr...48-979009.html
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File Type: jpg standard door install 1.JPG (94.4 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg standard door install 2.JPG (122.3 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:07 PM   #20
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Dave, thanks for confirming the bezel is a separate piece. I myself was thinking why could this not be retrofitted if the bezel is a separate piece so I decided to call ETI and spoke with Dave.

According to Dave at ETI, a trailer manufactured without the exterior access panel cannot be retrofitted to add the access panel. I was also told this by Reace and Tammy at last years rally when I asked.

Dave stated the furnace even though is the same model, the ones that come with the bezel and panel are configured a bit different such as the exhaust flue/pipe on mine (no exterior panel) has a dog leg in it where the furnace that comes with the exterior panel is a straight pipe. In order to retrofit you would have to buy the furnace that comes with the bezel and panel, but more to it then that.

Also, to install the exterior bezel you would need to reinforce the fiberglass wall to accept the screws to hold the bezel in place. Trailers manufactured prior to the outside access panels do not have the reinforcement that would be needed.

Though I would love to have the exterior panel, this would be way to much trouble and expense to try and retrofit something ETI says cannot be done.
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