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Is replacing the furnace worth it?

mtnbbud
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have an 1989 18 ft Terry Resort I've been using for awhile now and enjoy tinkering with updates and such. About 6 years ago, I had pulled out the furnace to attempt to fix a nasty squeak from the fan shaft. After pulling the furnace, I found it was manufactured in such a way that there was no good way to service the motor. I assume the grease or whatever they used to lubricate the shaft had dried up after 30 years of off and on use. I was able to drip some oil along the shaft which worked for a couple of years, but the squeal is back. I also found the furnace is a huge drain on my battery.

When I camp with shore power, I've been using an electric heater. When I need heat when dry camping, I've use a Little Buddy Heater while being careful to monitor with a CO detector and cracking the vents.

I'm currently considering replacing my furnace with a new one. Are the newer furnaces easier on the battery? Would I be able to fit a diesel heater in the spot where the gas furnace used to be while still keeping the external opening watertight?

My Little Buddy Heater has been performing just fine although I hate using those little disposable propane tanks. Being that the cost of a new furnace or quality diesel heater is so high, would it be worth the upgrade?
18 REPLIES 18

Dutch_12078
Explorer II
Explorer II
enblethen wrote:
You should be able to replace motor and other parts without removing the furnace.
That's true for some models, but not all. The Atwood/Hydro Flame 8500 and 8900 series are easily accessed without removal, but other models and most Suburban furnaces, not so much.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
I do not think the new furnaces are all that much different in terms of battery drain.... But if you only park where you have decent electric a Ceramic type Space hearer is compact and operates at a lower temp than the hot wire type. >DO however make sure the tip over switch functions properly. If you often park w/o reliable electricity. (and from the battery draw question I suspect you do) disregard that part of this post.
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
You should be able to replace motor and other parts without removing the furnace.

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

mtnbbud
Explorer II
Explorer II
Thanks all. I'll likely pull the furnace out sometime when I get the urge to do some tinkering. It certainly wouldn't be a big deal to pull the motor out if and when that happens. Even if I didn't fix the furnace, I could repurpose that space for storage or something.

StirCrazy
Navigator
Navigator
I have a 1991 camper with a hydro flame in it and I just replaced the motor for the furnace last year. pretty It's a pretty easy job but there are two different style motors listed, and they have different shaft lengths, so you have to watch out for that.
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Dutch_12078
Explorer II
Explorer II
mtnbbud wrote:
I'll have to look up the make and model when I have time. It's a 1989.
I don't store my trailer at my house. I do remember checking Amazon for an exact replacement of the whole unit and it was over $700 to replace it with the exact unit. I'd assume replacing the fan would be a lot less. It might be a Suburban...


Suburban replacement motors are more expensive than Atwood/Hydro Flame motors, but are still a lot cheaper than a new furnace.

Suburban Furnace Fan Motors
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

enblethen
Nomad
Nomad
Good chance your furnace is a Hydro Flame now Atwood
Motors are fairly economical. Easy to replace.
For example

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

Scottiemom
Nomad
Nomad
You might try Northwest RV Supply in Eugene, Oregon. I don't know if he has furnaces, but he has motors, parts, galore.

Dale
Dale Pace
Widow of Terry (Teacher's Pet)

Traveling with Brendon, my Scottish Terrier

2022 Honda Odyssey
2011 Mazda Miata MX-5

2021 Coach House Platinum III 250DT
Fulltimed for 15 years, now living in Florida

http://www.skoolzoutforever.blogspot.com/

TenOC
Nomad
Nomad
mtnbbud wrote:


When I camp with shore power, I've been using an electric heater. When I need heat when dry camping, I've use a Little Buddy Heater while being careful to monitor with a CO detector and cracking the vents.


My Little Buddy Heater has been performing just fine although I hate using those little disposable propane tanks. Being that the cost of a new furnace or quality diesel heater is so high, would it be worth the upgrade?


Connect the Little Buddy Heater to a 20 or 30 lb tank. I ran the line from my Kitchen (under a drawer) to the hole I drilled at the outside shower location. I have a two burner Big Buddy heater.
Please give me enough troubles, uncertainty, problems, obstacles and STRESS so that I do not become arrogant, proud, and smug in my own abilities, and enough blessings and good times that I realize that someone else is in charge of my life.

Travel Photos

cptqueeg
Explorer II
Explorer II
Try the diesel heater, I think it would be worth the effort depending on the number of days dry camping w heat required. There are self contained setups and could be moved to your next trailer.
2024 Chev 3500 CCLB Diesel
Four Wheel Camper Granby Shell

mtnbbud
Explorer II
Explorer II
I'll have to look up the make and model when I have time. It's a 1989.
I don't store my trailer at my house. I do remember checking Amazon for an exact replacement of the whole unit and it was over $700 to replace it with the exact unit. I'd assume replacing the fan would be a lot less. It might be a Suburban...

Dutch_12078
Explorer II
Explorer II
Make and model of the furnace would be helpful. I recently replaced the fan motor in one of the two Hydro Flame furnaces installed on our 22 year old GBM Landau motorhome. The motor was readily available on Amazon.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
At 30yr old, probably cheaper to just buy a 15yr old rig with a functioning furnace rather than a new furnace.

Repairing the fan motor probably doesn't make much sense as it's likely not designed to it. Not saying it can't be done but probably simpler to just get a new fan motor. Only question is does anyone make one compatible with your 30yr old furnace.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

ScottG
Nomad
Nomad
No, new ones still suck power from your battery.