Alternative furnace options? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-24-2024, 08:57 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Alternative furnace options?

I’m having the same issues with our Dometic furnace as so many other users. Replacing the sail switch and igniter board don’t fix the issues, but taking the end cap off the grill on the inside of the trailer is enough to let the sail switch activate. Even though it’s a successful workaround, I find this incredibly annoying, and makes me feel like the furnace as a unit is unreliable. I don’t like being at the mercy of the “RV gremlins” and it seems I could improve reliability and decrease camping stresses if I could replace the furnace with something that isn’t reliant on such a crappy design.

Has anyone had success replacing the stock furnace with another unit? With another brand/model? Should I stop worrying and love my crappy furnace??

(I tried searching the forums but couldn’t easily find any threads about replacing the unit…)
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 09:27 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21C 2019 Expedition
Posts: 5,226
Propex heaters are a good option. They make three types- two are inside units and one is mounted underneath.

I installed the HS2800 in our van conversion and it performs very well and is quiet. if interested I would suggest Sure Marine in Seattle for inquiries.
__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 09:36 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Oh nice, thank you! Do you know if they can be installed on their narrow side? I’d hopefully be able to put it in the same spot as the old Dometic.
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 10:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 2,124
There are many furnace threads here. It is frustrating, but once you get it, it seems to be a reliable furnace. I had constant issues at first, but after my mods, it seems to be reliable. You can get it. Itís hard to find a replacement that doesnít also require trade offs. I looked at Propex also, but have persevered, and now have a reliable furnace.

Given what you have done so far, drilling air return holes and doing the solid duct replacement sounds like great next steps. The light opening sail switch and buck boost mod could follow. All of this together would be less than $50 and take half a day or so. Itís going to cost much more, and take much more time to install a different furnace. If you did those four things, you could also do the move the blue wire mod if needed. Iíd be shocked if you did those things and it didnít become reliable.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 10:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
7Gentex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: CenTex, Texas
Trailer: 2022 E19
Posts: 677
Silence is golden.................

Had one in my last trailer, yes water vapor is an item, no, I didn't die.
Where to mount is the tricky part..........take your pick on what btu you need.



7Gentex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 11:00 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
There are many furnace threads here. It is frustrating, but once you get it, it seems to be a reliable furnace. I had constant issues at first, but after my mods, it seems to be reliable. You can get it. Itís hard to find a replacement that doesnít also require trade offs. I looked at Propex also, but have persevered, and now have a reliable furnace.

Given what you have done so far, drilling air return holes and doing the solid duct replacement sounds like great next steps. The light opening sail switch and buck boost mod could follow. All of this together would be less than $50 and take half a day or so. Itís going to cost much more, and take much more time to install a different furnace. If you did those four things, you could also do the move the blue wire mod if needed. Iíd be shocked if you did those things and it didnít become reliable.
I appreciate you saying all this. Even if it was low cost and not a ton of work, Iíd hate going through all that and still wind up with an unreliable furnace, so itís nice to know this process of moding the furnace has been a consistently reliable upgrade for folks.

Where does one get a ďlight opening sail switchĒ? Does it involved modifying an existing switch?

The hard ducting is definitely the next move (I already trimmed down the existing ductint, which didnít fix the issue on its own), perhaps in combination with removing some of the material in the output grill. Iím still confused how folks dealt with the lateral offset between the furnace output and the grillÖ but maybe mine is close enough that itís not a real challenge. Iíve also seen links to the more rigid aluminum flex ducting.
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2024, 11:14 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Gentex View Post
Had one in my last trailer, yes water vapor is an item, no, I didn't die.
Where to mount is the tricky part..........take your pick on what btu you need.
Oh wow, I did not realize heaters like this existed. This might be a good back up if we felt we couldnít get the forced air furnace to be reliable. Thank you!
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2024, 09:10 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 2,124
My hard duct was close enough I just ran it. I have not tried, but have heard the Suburban 233100 sail switch works better for some than the Dometic. There is a forum thread I have searched for and never found again. It dealt with two sail switches. One took significantly less pressure to open. That would be huge.

While there are many furnace threads, hereís my saga located at a thread for all things Padawan with a few other thread links to different mods:

Furnace mods start at post 119, and continue off and on for awhile.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...e-21759-6.html

My main issue turned out to be a finicky blower motor. It runs great at 12.8V or higher. My furnace started acting like a bad sail switch below that voltage. As long as I keep the fan turning fast enough, voltage at the fan motor high enough, the furnace works. Yours may or may not be the same problem.

I do wish I could find that sail switch comparison thread again. Iíd love to somehow save that.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2024, 11:05 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Ah, got it, thanks! Yeah I searched for a “light opening” sail switch and couldn’t find anything. I might do the buck boost mod you posted, that seems like a good thing too. Thanks again!
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2024, 02:37 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 2,124
If your sail switch acts up on 120VAC, then likely the buck boost mod wonít solve it for you. My furnace was fine on shore power, but acted up with even almost full batteries.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2024, 04:34 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Eggscape's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 2,731
You could always install a Diesel heater like I did.
You can see how I did it starting with post #807 in the link below.
At under $200 it makes for a great backup.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post446692
__________________
So many modifications...so little time.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8...ape-12918.html
Eggscape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2024, 09:15 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
If your sail switch acts up on 120VAC, then likely the buck boost mod wonít solve it for you. My furnace was fine on shore power, but acted up with even almost full batteries.
Oh interesting. This last weekend camping near 10k feet and in the high 30s at night, but on shore power, was the first time in a long time that the furnace acted up. I donít often use shore power, I wonder if that was a factor, albeit a seemingly different one than brrobertsÖ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
You could always install a Diesel heater like I did.
You can see how I did it starting with post #807 in the link below.
At under $200 it makes for a great backup.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post446692
Oh wow, thatís quite the install. Is it fairly efficient? I wonder if it could fit right in the existing propane furnace compartment in our 21NE, with a way to easily re-fuel from the outsideÖ How efficient are those? Iím driving a Tundra, so this would be my only need for diesel, which Iím unfamiliar with.
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2024, 11:36 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 2,124
10,000ft could easily be an air fuel mixture issue. Many gas appliances need the fuel air mix ratio adjusted at high elevation.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 01:03 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
dstreight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Nevada, Nevada
Trailer: 2014 Escape 15A
Posts: 348
Installed an Espar S2D2L diesel heater in our 15A in 2019 and it has worked out perfectly. Even at 10,500’. (has built in auto altitude adjustment). Lowest ambient temp we’ve used it so far was 12įF.; again without issue. And it sips fuel.

My only nit but not a deal breaker: I wish it had a Bluetooth enabled remote controller.
__________________
Dan Streight
dstreight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 10:37 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
10,000ft could easily be an air fuel mixture issue. Many gas appliances need the fuel air mix ratio adjusted at high elevation.
Yeah, I hear this a lot, also with propane stoves. But the furnace issues keep happening when I get home at 6000 ft. Given that my issues resolve once I take the grill off the front, I think itís just the typical underpowered fan and sail switch issues.
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 11:27 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstreight View Post
Installed an Espar S2D2L diesel heater in our 15A in 2019 and it has worked out perfectly. Even at 10,500í. (has built in auto altitude adjustment). Lowest ambient temp weíve used it so far was 12įF.; again without issue. And it sips fuel.

My only nit but not a deal breaker: I wish it had a Bluetooth enabled remote controller.
This is very cool. Did you replace the propane furnace? Or just add it in somewhere else like Eggscape?
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 11:28 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Ron in BC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 8,947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
You could always install a Diesel heater like I did.
You can see how I did it starting with post #807 in the link below.
At under $200 it makes for a great backup.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post446692
I've never had any problem with the furnaces in 3 trailers. Always worked flawlessly. But it's nice to have a backup. We're cold weather camping more than we used to.

I've ordered the Vevor unit on sale. $89 Cdn, $65US, for the whole package. Mine is going to be an exterior installation, between the rear box and the shell.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 06:01 PM   #18
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2023 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 965
Just a reminder there are two sail switches that are discussed on this forum and they are not interchangeable at least according to my experimentation.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post450272
SageRpod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 06:11 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
Trailer: 2021 Escape 21NE
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SageRpod View Post
Just a reminder there are two sail switches that are discussed on this forum and they are not interchangeable at least according to my experimentation.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post450272
Awesome, thank you. Looks like 33082 is potentially the ďlight openingĒ sail switch that brroberts mentioned. The one currently installed is 33081 from Panther RV, so weíll see if the 33082 is better suited. Thank you so much!!
rainyescape is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2024, 06:37 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
brroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Overbrook, Kansas
Trailer: 2021 E19 (Padawan)
Posts: 2,124
That is the thread. Glad you found it.
__________________
Randy & Barb
1998 C 2500 (Cruncher) and 2021 Ranger (Yoda)
brroberts is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2023 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.