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Old 07-11-2019, 05:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 32
Sail Switch Issue

I have a 19' Escape which has the furnace access panel. The sail switch was recently replaced because of dog hair from our Brittany Spaniel. I notice that some members have installed an activated carbon sheet to address this problem and I will be trying that. Has anyone purchased an air purifier to remove contaminants from the inside of the trailer and has it helped keep the sail switch clean.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:27 AM   #2
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sclifrickson's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Trailer: 2010 17B “MATT”, then 2017 19 “Lilly”
Posts: 1,584
We do not use an auxiliary air purifier in our trailer, but we do in our home, and a few thoughts come to mind in considering a trailer application. First, I doubt you’ll find one that runs off 12V, so you’re limited to shore power or inverter use. Second, I haven’t run ours on our killawatt meter, but I suspect power draw would be roughly equivalent to the blower on the furnace, which means that if it’s running continuously, battery run down is a serious concern, so back to shore power. Or a generator. Which is obnoxious. Third, decent air filters are fairly sizable, so you’re going to have to carefully consider where something like that would fit in one of our smallish trailers.

This leads me back to installing filter media on the furnace’s intake directly. I did this mod, but did so prophylactically, as I had no issues prior, nor have we since, and so can’t meaningfully measure whether it’s really made any difference. It does avoid all of the pitfalls I discuss above, however, and with the added bonus of filtering all the furnace intake air, which an external purifier would not do unless you positioned it right in front of the heater. While the heater is running.

For all of these reasons I don’t think an external filter unit would be a practical solution, but the filter mod might be.

I’d be interested to hear feedback from anyone who did have problems with sail switch fouling and then did the filter mod.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Lanesboro, MN, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ - (2018 Escape 5.0 sold)
Posts: 2,172
The sail switch issue is a problem for every manufacturer using this furnace. If you rarely use your Escape you will rarely have a problem, but if you're like us (bought our 5.0 on October 26, 2018 and have 147 nights so far with 90% of those the furnace running) you'll be cleaning more often.

I now have a spreadsheet that details where we have camped/when I cleaned the sail switch, and will be pulling the sail switch after every 30 furnace nights to inspect/clean. So far, the more we use the furnace the cleaner the sail switch. I think there was crap in the furnace from the initial build. We don't travel with animals though.

I also plan on installing a simple filter. We have three Honeywell air purifiers from when I was building and living in our condo during construction. We have at least two or more unused pre-filters for the units similar to what has been suggested here to try.


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Old 07-12-2019, 11:24 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Naples, Florida
Trailer: New 21 Escape (not classic)10/16 Sold Lil Snoozy 7/16
Posts: 484
Sail sw

What kind of filter
1 where do you put it
2 where do you buy it
3is it necessary
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:03 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2019 5.0TA "Junior", 2019 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
Posts: 1,600
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
What kind of filter
1 where do you put it
2 where do you buy it
3is it necessary
Here's what I did - don't have enough use of the furnace yet to say how effective it is, but we travel with three cats so we will find out soon enough....
David, Mary, and the cats
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:59 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Middlesex County, New Jersey
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C
Posts: 158
For purifying trailer air using 12v power you can try some variant of this diy method with a 12v box fan and a filter medium of similar size from a hardware store. I saw another video where the person tested the air quality before and after doing it for like an hour and it did reduce airborne particles. How effective it is for preventing sail switch issue I have no idea, but the filter does trap airborne particles going into it and it's easy to do.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19
Posts: 32
I decfided to purchase a Levoit 200 Air Purifier which has good ratings and which is supposed to be particularly effective in dealing with pet hair. It is only about 1 foot high so does not take up much space but does need to be plugged in. It will clean an area up to 168 square feet which is larger than our 19' Trailer. Hopefully it will help to keep the sail switch cleaner.
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