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Old 05-10-2015, 12:48 PM   #11
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After some drama, some Reace advice, and a warranty call out to a mobile rv repair guy, I had a nights sleep with propane heat again.

Turns out my first two adjustments were too gentle so the third one at midnight was a little more firm.

Happy camper again.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I finally got my furnace fixed. It turned out to be trash, "fluff", they said, interfering with the sail switch. In the future I will have this checked during an annual maintenance.

Mike, we had the exact same issue about 3 nights out with our new trailer. Cleaned out the "fluff" (which was a bunch of black carbon flakes inside the burner area) and it fired up normally. This is looking more and more like a common problem, and maybe Escape should just advise owners to check for it. I was amazed how much of these flakes and debris I found in the burner area. I guess these deposits are a normal effect of the "burn in" of the furnace. I now check this before we head out if we intend to use the furnace.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:33 PM   #13
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Mike, we had the exact same issue about 3 nights out with our new trailer. Cleaned out the "fluff" (which was a bunch of black carbon flakes inside the burner area) and it fired up normally..
I spoke too soon-- as it turns out my last post was premature-- cleaning the switch did not fix the furnace, and eventually the sail switch had to be replaced, two days ago. I went to four RV shops before the problem was diagnosed correctly and fixed.

Part of the problem was that the Atwood model 8012-II furnace is rare due to its small size, and no one stocks parts for it. This sail switch has a wider paddle, different from the skinny one everyone stocks. Another problem is that the failure was intermittent, making it hard to diagnose. After two cool nights with the new sail switch the furnace seems to be working okay, so I will tentatively declare it to be fixed. Hopefully.

Details:

RV shop #1 (W. TX): Said switch is okay, diagnosed a bad blower motor. An RV shop in a larger town will stock the motor.

RV shop #2 (Alamogordo, NM): Didn't stock the motor, ordered one. Two days later: problem isn't the motor, it's a dirty sail switch. Cleaned the switch. Furnace worked overnight then stopped again the next day. The shop eventually got the furnace to fail on the test bench after several hours of trying. Ordered new switch, but I had to leave for my next destination.

RV shop #3 (Roswell, NM): Ordered the wrong switch. Told me that this furnace was encountered in less than 1% of the RVs they service. I said I always wanted to be part of the "one percent".

RV shop #4 (Clovis, NM): None of the shop owner's suppliers carried the switch, and Atwood wouldn't send one on its own due to the size of the order, so he ordered it from Amazon. This time I neglected to tell the owner that the furnace was under warranty. If I had, Atwood would have sent the switch. The owner was greatly annoyed at me, but the shop fixed the problem, though.

Lesson: If you have this furnace, consider getting a spare switch, especially if you're going somewhere like, say, Alaska (Jon). And if you have a problem with an item under warranty, tell the shop right away. That was my fault.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:52 PM   #14
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I'm convinced the appliances made today are of far less quality than used in the past. I have several friends with old trailers(in the 60's) used as hunting camps on land they own in northern NH that both fridge and heaters have worked without failure forever. I hunted out of one of them from 1993 till 1999 and they always worked, in fact they are still there and still work. Perhaps they got lucky and ended up with the exception, I don't know. I grew up camping in my parents 1964 trailer and it always worked as well. Designed obsolescence?
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:53 PM   #15
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Glad you got it resolved Mike!
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:58 PM   #16
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Glad you got it resolved Mike!
*fingers crossed*

I'm going up into the mountains in the next couple of weeks, so I will still need heat. I hope it's fixed as well!
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:17 PM   #17
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I love caming in the mountains, my favorite! For me the heater is the number one most important thing in a trailer when my family is with me, I'm accustomed to tenting in cold weather while hunting but my family isn't.
In the middle of summer in northern NH the temps can occasionally dip down into the high 30's low 40's, my wife would freeze!
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:47 PM   #18
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Thanks for update Mike.

I need the furnance on the blustery Oregon coast and hope that the adjustment holds. I too have a "skinny" sail switch in the drawer, which I now know to be incorrect. Heading for a larger town tomorrow, so will at least will have more choice in warranty service centres.
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:08 PM   #19
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Here is what was removed from my furnace.

The RV shop in Roswell also photocopied the Atwood part reference page that included the switch. The page is page 318 of the Replacement Part Reference dated January 2007. It cross-references furnace 8012-II with sail switch 36134. But please double check with an RV shop before ordering this part number.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sail_switch.jpg (28.6 KB, 31 views)
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Old 05-10-2015, 10:42 PM   #20
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Smile

We had the same issue with the sail switch. Removed the furnace and exercised the switch several times.
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