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Old 02-19-2019, 12:02 AM   #1
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More Atwood furnace woes.. ('07 escape 21 removal)

With all of the recent posts about furnace issues I figured I would test mine and sure enough it won't ignite....

I've not been able to remove my furnace to inspect it ... Even with a considerable amount of force. Am I missing something or do I need to be tuging harder at it

IMG_20190218_173603.jpegIMG_20190218_173615.jpegIMG_20190218_173554.jpeg
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:17 AM   #2
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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I experienced the same problem. In my case it was that support board wedged and screwed down under the furnace. You upper right photo shows the board. It needed to be removed.

Photos and a more complete description can be found here.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:18 AM   #4
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Success!!!

Good lord that little bit of wood was not easy to get out but as soon as it was furnace pulled out easy

Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I experienced the same problem. In my case it was that support board wedged and screwed down under the furnace. You upper right photo shows the board. It needed to be removed.

Photos and a more complete description can be found here.
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Has anyone replaced the factory Atwood 12,000 btu furnace in an Escape 21 with an Atwood 16,000 or 20,000 BTU furnace ?
I am not concerned with the increased power consumption only the heat output .
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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I have the Atwood 8012-11 12,000 BTU furnace in my 19. Never a problem the last 5+ years. It heats just fine. Have no need to replace it. But, gawd knows, down the road, a random roll of the dice determines if you stay golden, or become a victim.

That in mind, needed to know where that sail switch others have had trouble with sits. Big shout out to Padlin for sending me this schematic, and, I post it here, for the public good...
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File Type: jpg Atwood.jpg (111.6 KB, 47 views)
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Old 03-23-2019, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I have the Atwood 8012-11 12,000 BTU furnace in my 19. Never a problem the last 5+ years. It heats just fine. Have no need to replace it. But, gawd knows, down the road, a random roll of the dice determines if you stay golden, or become a victim.

That in mind, needed to know where that sail switch others have had trouble with sits. Big shout out to Padlin for sending me this schematic, and, I post it here, for the public good...
Myron does this mean completely removing heater ? Pat
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:18 PM   #8
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I removed it once, but was not looking for the sail switch, which at the time I did not even know existed.

Removal is not a job to take lightly. If you don't clearly document - label the several wires' connections you could cause yourself big trouble. Then there's the issue of re-seating the unit back in place, without binding. I never got it perfect.

Considering the sail switch location is right side rear, guessing unless your hands are super teeny-tiny, then yes.
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File Type: jpg Atwood2.jpg (117.0 KB, 24 views)
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:32 PM   #9
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I removed it once, but was not looking for the sail switch, which at the time I did not even know existed.

Removal is not a job to take lightly. If you don't clearly document - label the several wires' connections you could cause yourself big trouble. Then there's the issue of re-seating the unit back in place, without binding. I never got it perfect.

Considering the sail switch location is right side rear, guessing unless your hands are super teeny-tiny, then yes.
Oh dear ! Hope not ever ! Pat
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:54 PM   #10
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The more research I do about the Atwood furnace the more I am convinced that cpaharley 2008 has the right solution . We are looking at replacing our furnace with a recessed electric wall heater with fan .
I realize that electric heat has its limitations but it is simpler and more reliable than the Atwood furnace
I have all the necessary parts on hand so my only cost is my labor
.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:02 AM   #11
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For owners with the 8012 but other Escape models (not the 21), there is no block of wood, but removal still takes a fair bit of pulling force to loosen the unit. It fits quite tightly in the exhaust vent attached to the outside shell of the Escape.

If you search the forum for sail switch, you will find a number of threads (some with photos) that describe the process.

I found that there is enough slack in the wiring to pull the unit out and set it on some blocks without cutting (and maybe even labelling) the wires.

I have seen posts that state you can blow dust from the sail switch, but I did not figure this one out. Maybe if you have a length of rubber tube this will work.

The hardest part is the reinstall aligning the furnace and exhaust, and pushing it all the way in. Get a helper to push on the outside exhaust vent to keep it from getting pushed out. Put some dish soap on the exhaust tube to help it slide into the outside tube.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I realize that electric heat has its limitations but it is simpler and more reliable than the Atwood furnace
I have all the necessary parts on hand so my only cost is my labor
.

All you have to do is erect the power poles and run the wire. And, connect it to the grid. Pretty simple really.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:31 AM   #13
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A few people have pointed out that while an Escape from British Columbia has a stock furnace and an optional air conditioner, a Casita from Texas has an optional furnace and a standard (in "Deluxe" models) air conditioner. Different equipment for different conditions... and some people can certainly live without a furnace.

Electric-only is certainly an option for some people, who only use serviced campgrounds. There have even been travel trailers which are electric-only, not even having a propane system (although one of those just went bankrupt): they heat and cook only with electricity. While I prefer to cook electrically when power is available, I would not find an RV which has no heat except in a serviced site to be acceptable.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
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All you have to do is erect the power poles and run the wire. And, connect it to the grid. Pretty simple really.
I am not sure if you are attempting to be humorous or helpful but in either case THANK YOU !!
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:43 AM   #15
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A few people have pointed out that while an Escape from British Columbia has a stock furnace and an optional air conditioner, a Casita from Texas has an optional furnace and a standard (in "Deluxe" models) air conditioner. Different equipment for different conditions... and some people can certainly live without a furnace.

Electric-only is certainly an option for some people, who only use serviced campgrounds. There have even been travel trailers which are electric-only, not even having a propane system (although one of those just went bankrupt): they heat and cook only with electricity. While I prefer to cook electrically when power is available, I would not find an RV which has no heat except in a serviced site to be acceptable.
Brian , I got an approximate price from 2 local RV dealers to repair my furnace
For the cost of a new circuit board and a sail switch plus all the labor to remove , install parts
repair , bench test and reinstall the furnace , I could purchase a brand new 16,000 btu Atwood furnace with the same problems
If I do get it repaired they will only give me a 90 day warranty based on their past experiences.
I can buy a top of the line Electric heater from a wholesaler I’ve done business with for under $100
I agree with everything you posted but right now I have a furnace that doesn’t work so I have no gas heat and I am heating my trailer with a portable electric heater
If I repair the furnace I am out $400 and from what I’ve read and been told it will be at best unreliable , again with a high probability of no gas heat .
If I put the electric heater in there will be times I will have to camp with hookups but I can plan for that , with the Atwood furnace it’s a crap shoot !

Our Casita has a Suburban propane furnace ( NO problems in 6 years) and the electric strip heater in the A/C . I really wish our Escape A/C had the strip heater but from my reasearch the Escape is not designed for one . Knowing the failure rate of the Atwood furnace , I would think that having a built in backup heat source would be advantageous but that’s a discussion for another day.


My goal is reliability and predictability and the Atwood furnace provides neither . IMHO
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:49 AM   #16
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The propane furnace is certainly handy for over night stops and cg without hookups. That is one of the reasons I went with solar, the state cg system in Pennsylvania seems to have really nice full hookups, but no pets but plenty of pet friendly no hook up sites. In the winter we will always try to get an electric site only, since the water system is winterized. We can use the electric heater during the day and the furnace at night and both if it drops to the single digits. It is nice to have choices and nice to have a backup in case one or the other fails.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:50 AM   #17
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Steve, why not replace the Atwood with a Suburban heater?
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:38 PM   #18
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I understand the frustration with the cost of repairing or replacing a furnace, and agree that a backup heat source is prudent; I just wouldn't find an RV which is dependent on a power-serviced site to be acceptable to me. Similarly, a motor vehicle's engine is expensive, but you kind of need it...

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Steve, why not replace the Atwood with a Suburban heater?
This makes sense to me, but I doubt that it is worthwhile.

It makes sense because there is nothing about the trailer design which ties it to a particular brand or model of furnace. As long as there's space in the cabinet, and you can find an exterior grill to fit, you can put in what you want. After all, when the old 8012 was discontinued and Escape went to the AFSAD replacement, the only change in the trailer was to relocate the furnace in the one case where the new furnace didn't fit in the old spot. The Suburban NT-16SEQ is smaller in volume than the AFS, but taller (and narrower) and a bit deeper, so they may or may not be an easy fit. This Suburban might be an easier swap for the 8012, because the proportions are more similar. Like the 8012, the NTQ series does not have an exterior door option, so it's "pull to repair".

I doubt that the conversion is worthwhile because, despite the obvious trend to some specific problems in the Atwood / Dometic AFS, I don't see any reason to expect better from a Suburban... because anecdotal experience with one furnace doesn't mean much. For instance, I have had three similar but earlier Atwood furnaces which have had no problems with the sail switch; one blew a control board (easy to replace from the outside), and the same one wore out a motor (after many many hours of use, reasonable to replace from the outside).

If I went to the expense and effort of a custom installation of a different furnace in any RV, I would want a quieter and more efficient design, not just another brand of the same thing.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:21 PM   #19
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So it's loud. Now I am feeling really (sic) warm and fuzzy about my old Atwood 8012.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:47 PM   #20
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So it's loud. Now I am feeling really (sic) warm and fuzzy about my old Atwood 8012.
Me too Myron ! Pat
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