Tripped on dog - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
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OK, I am a clutz. I was getting out of bed yesterday morning in my trailer, and stepped on a dog. Dog is fine, but my slipping threw my arms a bit, which caught on the thermostat cover of my heater, and popped the cover off.

Nothing broken that I can see.. but.. now my heater stays on for an hour.. or 2 mins.. take your pick, it doesn't seem to have a pattern. I have to hit my reset switch everytime it (The heater) goes off.

I am thinking I don't have a clue how to re-install the cover.

Whats the sequence? Do I leave the switch off and the temp setting to lowest, or the opposite?

It has watch coils in it! I am thouroughly confused. I assume the coils expand and contract based on the temperature, and flip the little switch inside.. but..

I will note that I ran the propane out again, but the lines were only empty an hour or so, and the heater started right up when the new tank was installed. Don't think it's air in the lines.

Any ideas?

New Olympic Wave in my future maybe?
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:54 PM   #2
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The Anticipator Arm that is inside the thermostat housing may have been moved. There are a couple of versions as shown in the pictures below. Reset the Anticipator Arm to .6 or .8 and check your heating cycle. You can control the heating cycle by moving this arm to a higher or lower number. The links below will have more information on this and explain it better.

If this is not the problem and the Thermostat can not be fixed I would replace with a digital thermotstat like the Hunter that you can buy at Wal-Mart.

Unless the housing is broke it should just snap back on.

Glad the dog was not harmed



Thermostat Anticipator Information 1

Thermostat Anticipator Information 2
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:35 PM   #3
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It did just snap back on with no effort.

Thanks, I will go check the arm. I didn't know what these bits were. Your links are helpful.

I am also thinking this is a good opportunity to get the small Olympic Wave heater. I like the idea of no fan, but am also wary of a non vented unit.

I used my Coleman Black Cat last nite with no troubles with a window cracked above my head. The darn thing burns thru a pound of propane a nite tho.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #4
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To find the starting point for the Heat Anticipator setting, look on the body of the furnace gas valve. The specs should be printed in ink, and sometimes are on the back side of the valve where it's difficult to see and might require using a mirror and flashlight . You will be looking for the amperage setting which varies with different manufacturers and models. The value on the gas valve will usually be somewhere between .25A and 1.5 A. Once you find the value on the valve, you then set the thermostat anticipator at that same setting. Be very careful not to break the fine wire underneath the "wiper"! If that wire becomes broken, the t-stat (thermostat) has been destroyed and a new one must be purchased.
Now you know more than "the average bear"!
By-the-way, many t-stats do not have a mercury switch, but rely instead on a "warp" reed which responds to temperature by flexing to open or close the contacts. Sometimes the reed is enclosed in a glass capsule similar to that which contains the mercury in the example, and in less expensive models they are just out in the open , but underneath the outer removable cover. The exposed "reed" switch is quite easily damaged and once bent also requires replacing the complete t-stat unit.
Wall t-stats in your home often have very long wire "runs" to the furnace and wire resistance must be taken into account which requires additional steps to achieve the correct anticipator settings. In our TT's and most RV's, the wire runs are so short that wire resistance is not a problem.
Kent, thanks for your examples.
Gina, hopefully yours has just been knocked out of adjustment and not been damaged. This info might be combined with Kent's and added to the "tutorials" for future reference by others.
To everyone faced with a similar situation, seek professional help if you doubt your knowledge and abilities to make a successful repair. Repairs are generally easier and less expensive near your "home turf" than out-on-the-road, so don't put off the inevitable!
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:46 AM   #5
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Gina, do you know the brand name of the Thermostat? I've got the owners information/installation instructions for the one in my trailer...brand name "Robertshaw." It's one of those things I haven't gotten around to scanning for the Document Center. Maybe now is the time
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