Heater noises - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
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Name: Kerry
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Heater noises

Hello I’m Kerry in Southwest Colorado with my first 13 ft Casita! Love it but the heater starts sounding like an airplane after 20 minutes of well functioning heat. May be fan or belt but it’s not conducive to sleep or conversation and since I’m not a fix it type
Wondering if others have given up on the fan type of heater and installed Catalytic ( sp?)
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hellokerry View Post
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Wondering if others have given up on the fan type of heater and installed Catalytic ( sp?)
This is an oft talked about and controversial subject, much like religion and politics. Searching this forum and the Internet in general will keep you busy for some time on the topic of Catalytic propane heater use. (When searching this forum I find the Google option works best). I also suggest a complete reading of the manuals, in particular the Wave and Little Buddy heaters

Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Speaking only of the Wave Catalytic heater, my take is that the advantages include:
  • It requires no electric power at all.
  • It is silent.
  • It is very efficient.

The disadvantages are in part that:
  • It requires fresh air (since it will burn up the oxygen in an enclosed space)
  • It is radiant heat so it warms things that then warm the air, rather than heating the air directly
  • If the catalytic pad is too old or is damaged, the combustion will only be partial and bad by-products will be released.

I have one for "back-up" but will only use it when awake. My take is that the Wave is not the best choice for frequent use. I would suggest getting used to the loud fan on the furnace (although some people have hacked it to be less noisy).
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:22 PM   #3
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Name: Kerry
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Thank you for your quick reply and maybe it’s best to avoid politics and religion and heaters at this point! Ha! I may have it looked at by a local RV garage and see if they can solve the conundrum… Kerry
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:28 PM   #4
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Googling “Quieting The Suburban Furnace” will result in several threads from “Fiberglass RV” over several years. Once you read through all the replys, you will come upon the answer. Print it out and bring it to a RV repair (since you are not a hands on person) shop to have the corrections made. When we sold our Scamp, I installed a Propex ducted furnace in our Lil Snoozy, as it took up less space than a shoe box, is effiencent both with propane and electricity consumption, and is very quiet.
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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furnace noise

are you at a campground? if so I would run el heat cheaper. Are you boonedocking then get a wave heater yes I know some will flame me but I have used one for 2 years. I trust mine.

you have to use ventilation this means cracking your top vent and a side window just enough to replace the air you are using with your heater.

matter of fact I have had an unvented heater in my home for 15 years and never a problem.

as with anything use common sense read up on things and you will be safe!!

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Old 01-15-2018, 03:31 PM   #6
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Her description of the "noise" starting after the furnace runs for 20 minutes makes me think it is a bearing problem, not the general loud fan complaint. Most furnaces have "permanently" lubricated bearings, so a replacement may be the only solution.

If the normal fan noise isn't a problem, the standard RV furnace is somewhat safer, and an expensive, but easy replacement or repair.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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British Columbia
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I agree with Jon. Lifetime sealed bearing is good for its lifetime, not yours, or the trailer. Whole motor will need to be replaced. Mine went under warranty. Hopefully you are under warranty too.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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Name: bob
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If shore power is available a small electric heater will work good. We have two different sizes of the Tornado heaters that we use in our Casita 17 and Uhaul 13.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Hi Kerry. Welcome to the forum.
Most likely you need a new blower motor. Rather than take it to a shop you could search out a mobile RV Service in your area. They will come to you and are generally owner operators so very concerned about good service.
I strongly advise you use a licensed RV Service technician especially when dealing with propane and heating appliances. They will diagnose the problem as most likely a blower motor then acquire the replacement as there are so many types for so many brands and models. Then once they have the part they will return to do the job. Sometimes they will take the furnace and work it on the bench. Also cleaning it and full check. Then return and reinstall.
This is my business also and have done this very job hundreds of times. It is easy and cost effective for you.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RV Doctor View Post
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Most likely you need a new blower motor. ...
Perhaps.

Many people are unpleasantly surprised at how loud the typical small RV furnace is but a bad blower is also possible, esp. if it is older. Is it new? Can you compare it to others, or to itself in the past? Can you have someone with a similar furnace listen and see if they think it it normal or not? Can you post a sound clip here so we can listen for the tell-tale sound of bad bearings, etc? If you can figure out if the noise is the normal amount and type (which does bother some people) then perhaps we can save you an unnecessary expense.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:53 PM   #11
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This fix may help you out. Its been tried over at the casita forum and I wrote up a "How To" with the part numbers. Suburban changed out the fan blades and motors in the newer NT-16seq versions of the furnace. These are a much nicer blade and lower the noise to a manageable level and when you add a PWM module to slow the motor down a bit it makes it even quieter. I know that some will be concerned about messing with a furnace but changing the blades, actually increases the airflow and the only difference between the new and old versions of the furnace is the blades and a slower motor.

The fan blades are cheap and the part numbers are in the pdf and I purchased from pdxrvwholesale.com

BTW the "bearings " in the motor are actually bronze bushings and a few drops of oil make a huge difference. The problem is to get at the rear one , you have to take the unit apart if your changing the blades, its a great time to lube the bushings.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Suburban NE12SE Fan swap DRAFT1.pdf (333.0 KB, 7 views)
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