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Old 03-09-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
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Thwarting wasps and mud daubers

As Winter turns to Spring here in the southeast, anything that doesn’t move for a few days risks becoming a home for annoying and damaging wasps and mud daubers. In case anyone is interested, here are a few things I’ve done so far to thwart their efforts to make a home in our 21'. They are a bit pricey, but Camco makes great bug screens for the refrigerator vent hatch (Camco RS600) and heater exhaust (WH200; I think it’s intended for the water heater air intake louvers; storage use only for us, not for travel or camping). For the water heater, I simply added aluminum screen door screen coverings to the air intake (I didn't want to drill holes, so held by cut up refrigerator magnet strips; we’ll see how those hold up) and exhaust (wrapped top and bottom around the factory large mesh screen). I also wanted to use the hood exhaust vent as a rain-protected passive vent, so I cut a piece of aluminum screen door screen 11" wide x 5" deep, double-folded Ĺ" twice lengthwise to reduce it down to 11" x 3" and give it some rigidness, then applied plastic electrician’s tape to cover the cut ends and give a tighter seal along the ends and prevent it from scratching the inside of the hood. I hope the photos make sense. Next, how to protect the A/C and various vents on top?
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for the photos and info. I'd been wondering about doing something similar to ours as there's bugs all over the country and I'm sure some of 'em will love to make new homes pretty soon.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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Since I am parked for 30 days, in what I assume is mud dauber territory, your solutions give me a good check list of what to look over before returning to colder climates. I can hope that they will be easily seen?
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #4
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heater exhaust (WH200; I think it’s intended for the water heater air intake louvers; storage use only for us, not for travel or camping).
Atwood does not recommend any cover (I guess they don't have bugs) and as such, no one makes a specific bug cover for the Atwood AFSAD12 furnace. The WH200 looks like it would fit but Camco doesn't list it for the Atwood probably because of the above reason.

I'm really interested in how the WH200 works out. Are you only going to use it while stored and not all the time? Is there a particular reason? We have mud daubers at home that seem to love to nest in our TT - all the other vents are covered but the furnace exhaust has alluded me as to how to cover it. I would like to leave the cover on all the time as they are a pain to put on and take off.
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Old 03-09-2017, 11:57 AM   #5
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Can the furnace vent be stuffed with crumpled aluminum foil? Some could be left hanging to make it obvious. Too much risk of forgetting?
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:03 PM   #6
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Can the furnace vent be stuffed with crumpled aluminum foil? Some could be left hanging to make it obvious. Too much risk of forgetting?
I guess you could - if you forgot it, the sail switch would prevent it from igniting. The WH200 seems to be a better solution -it should be here in two days (Amazon) and I will test it at GE&H rally.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

War Eagle, I see you are going to be at site #48 - we are at site #10. If it is OK, I would like to visit.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:06 PM   #7
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Can the furnace vent be stuffed with crumpled aluminum foil? Some could be left hanging to make it obvious. Too much risk of forgetting?
I stored my trailer at my brothers in Montana this winter and not knowing what might want to live in the vents I put screen door screen on the fridge vent and stuffed tinfoil in the furnace like you said. I also left a big tail of tinfoil hanging out just for that reason.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:08 PM   #8
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For storage, I've used painters tape and newspaper (like masking for painting) to cover all those wasp spots. But we have inside storage so the newspaper can stay dry
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:42 PM   #9
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Eric,
I think your locale is in the range of the feared Mississippi River Mud Dauber. Known as ferocious killers they have been known to whipe out entire herds of dairy cattle. Researchers are quite puzzled as they show a preference for white cattle. I think, if I were you, I would camouflage your new Escape
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:53 PM   #10
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Yes, Mud Daubers are infamous in our area as well. They have the uncanny ability to pick the most inaccessable and most damaging spot to build their nests. If it will take days of work to clean out the dried mud, that is where they will be. Of course, the item affected will be completely out of service until this is done.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:10 PM   #11
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Eric,
I think your locale is in the range of the feared Mississippi River Mud Dauber. Known as ferocious killers they have been known to whipe out entire herds of dairy cattle. Researchers are quite puzzled as they show a preference for white cattle. I think, if I were you, I would camouflage your new Escape
Oh heck, dem guys is nothin'. The wonderful Asian Lady Beetles LOVE shiny white things. We got home from a trip just as a nearby soybean field had been harvested and we had hundreds of them attempting to crawl into every orifice available...

Fastest I had ever gotten Blue safely ensconced into the shed.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:19 PM   #12
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I guess you could - if you forgot it, the sail switch would prevent it from igniting.
I don't believe this is true. The sail switch is determining if there is adequate air over the heat exchanger (trailer air being heated and recirculated). As an indirect heater design the combustion air is completely separate and enters and exits at the outdoor vent connection. I would never fully block this opening since the combustion fan may still pull air and not be able to properly expel the combustion gases out of the trailer. Without proper combustion air the unit may lockout only if the flame goes completely out via the flame sense safety but I would not rely on that given the dangers of carbon monoxide.
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:49 PM   #13
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This is a little confusing. After your comment, I went back and reviewed the Atwood manual. It seems that there may be two sail switches - one on the combustion air and one on the circulating air. (see parts diagram below)

The electrical diagram shows a sail switch that prevents the gas valve from opening unless it is satisfied. It doesn't say which sail switch it is but common sense would say that it would be the combustion air. Of course, that doesn't mean much - manufacturers don't always use common sense!

The startup sequence from Atwood says that the control board opens the gas valve after the sail switch is satisfied - it doesn't say which sail switch. It says:

Current flows to the motor to operate the blower. One end of the motor shaft is for the circulating air wheel and the other side is for the combustion air wheel.

Circulating air blows against the sail switch and closes the contacts, completing the circuit. The sail switch is a safety device that insures air flow before ignition.

So, without opening up the furnace, I don't know for sure.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:36 PM   #14
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This is a little confusing. After your comment, I went back and reviewed the Atwood manual. It seems that there may be two sail switches - one on the combustion air and one on the circulating air. (see parts diagram below)

The electrical diagram shows a sail switch that prevents the gas valve from opening unless it is satisfied. It doesn't say which sail switch it is but common sense would say that it would be the combustion air. Of course, that doesn't mean much - manufacturers don't always use common sense!

The startup sequence from Atwood says that the control board opens the gas valve after the sail switch is satisfied - it doesn't say which sail switch. It says:

Current flows to the motor to operate the blower. One end of the motor shaft is for the circulating air wheel and the other side is for the combustion air wheel.

Circulating air blows against the sail switch and closes the contacts, completing the circuit. The sail switch is a safety device that insures air flow before ignition.

So, without opening up the furnace, I don't know for sure.
Tom,
I'm quite sure there is only one sail switch (normally open) and the other is a high limit temperature switch (normally closed). In the first parts diagram it is depicted like a sail switch but is not. In the wiring diagram it is the same sail switch depicted differently on the left and right drawing. When they say "circulating air" they would typically mean the air from the trailer to be heated. I had the cover off a Suburban furnace in a Scamp and I'm pretty sure I saw the sail switch. If it was in the combustion air path it would have been sealed off and not seen. From a practical standpoint the mfrs are more fearful of the furnace face inside getting blocked and the heat exchanger getting too hot. The sealed combustion air path is less likely to be blocked (assuming your mud daubers are keep at bay).
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:24 PM   #15
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It's great that the manual that Atwood supplies is not correct. Makes you wonder what else they got wrong. You're explanation might explain why Atwood says to not use a bug screen - there is no interlock for minimum air flow on the combustion air, just an implied interlock based on the blower fan being run by the same motor as the combustion air fan.

So, if the external vent gets restricted, the flame might be affected. Since the combustion air is contained within the sealed combustion air path with only external openings, no combustion gas or propane should be able to get into the trailer?
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Atwood does not recommend any cover (I guess they don't have bugs) and as such, no one makes a specific bug cover for the Atwood AFSAD12 furnace. The WH200 looks like it would fit but Camco doesn't list it for the Atwood probably because of the above reason.

I'm really interested in how the WH200 works out. Are you only going to use it while stored and not all the time? Is there a particular reason? We have mud daubers at home that seem to love to nest in our TT - all the other vents are covered but the furnace exhaust has alluded me as to how to cover it. I would like to leave the cover on all the time as they are a pain to put on and take off.
I bought stainless screen and fabbed covers for furnace, frig, and water heater. I bent the screen for the furnace to clip into vent. I have the older furnace. Stays on all the time.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:14 PM   #17
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... I'm really interested in how the WH200 works out. Are you only going to use it while stored and not all the time? Is there a particular reason? ...
Tom, At this time, I'm planning to use the furnace exhaust flue screen for storage only. Because the furnace exhaust flue protrudes out from the side wall, the little spring that comes with the screen is too short and doesn't hold it tight against the flue flange, so I'd probably lose the screen going down the road. Until I get a sense of how much heat comes out the exhaust flue and what else might work to withstand the heat and hold it in place permanently without damaging the flue or surrounding fiberglass, I'm not going to try to mount it permanently, but that would be nice. (My farm upbringing tells me that old-fashioned bailing wire would do the trick, but it wouldn't be near as pretty as the concealed spring concept.) Dale
P.S. The weatherman is calling for a couple nights to be down in the 30's during the Green Eggs & Ham Rally next week, so be sure to top off your propane tanks, or if you're on full hook-up, throw in a space heater and an electric blanket!
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:27 PM   #18
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It's great that the manual that Atwood supplies is not correct. Makes you wonder what else they got wrong. You're explanation might explain why Atwood says to not use a bug screen - there is no interlock for minimum air flow on the combustion air, just an implied interlock based on the blower fan being run by the same motor as the combustion air fan.

So, if the external vent gets restricted, the flame might be affected. Since the combustion air is contained within the sealed combustion air path with only external openings, no combustion gas or propane should be able to get into the trailer?
Tom, I don't think the manual is wrong per se, just not easy to understand. I guess the depiction of the limit switch looking like a sail switch is technically incorrect. Anyhow, you are correct with your descriptions and it is a "sealed" system. I guess my concern is that if someone blocked just the round exhaust outlet that air could still be brought in through the surrounding intake screen and with the restriction would pressurize the system. Airflow being heated on recirculated trailer side is fine satisfying sail switch and combustion fan is on same shaft so goes along for the ride. Flame may still stay lit and your "sealed" system may now leak products of combustion with the greater pressure through a small crack in the heat exchanger or even the exhaust slip fitting at the rear of the furnace. This is just speculation, but I've seen all kinds of strange things happen in my experience with commercial HVAC systems. Bottom line is I personally would not block the hole for risk of forgetting.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:13 PM   #19
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Just when I think I've out-smarted Mother Nature by ridding our trailer of wasps and mud daubers, now birds are trying to nest up under our propane tank cover! The problem is, I like birds. Just not up under our propane tank cover.
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:48 PM   #20
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Since an RV furnace has only one blower motor , it must accomplish two tasks 1 ) Purging the combustion chamber 2 Providing air flow thru the heat plenum. . A sail or pressure switch is used to prove that the combustion chamber is being cleared of unburned fuel.
You can not use an electrical interlock, a computer or motor speed sensor to prove purge , you need a positive proof. IE Motor is turning but fan is not because fan belt broke thus motor speed sensor is not a positive proof of air flow
In a home furnace you have 2 separately blower so the sail switch only monitors the combustion blower .The furnace plenum fan runs when the plenum control reaches setpoint and shuts off at a different setpoint. The furnace high limit shuts the Gas off if the plenum overheats but the plenum fan continues to run to cool the plenum down . The high limit is a manual reset for safety.
The real danger in an RV furnace is an explosion during the ignition cycle .
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