Scamp 13 Furnnce Question - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Scamp 13 Furnnce Question

My 1978 scamp 13 has a furnance different than any I have seen before.

Here are two photos showing it. One the outside vent, and the other the front cabinet.

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I'd greatly appreciate knowing the make of the furnance, and if anyone has any owners manuals, or knows where I can find such, and how does a person remove the furnance from the cabinet!

I haven't been able to open/remove the lower opening for fear of damaging it, as it is stuck shut! Should it be opened by pulling outward on the lower knob?

Help!

Bill
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:02 PM   #2
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That is a Wagon Master furnace. Pull outward on the knob. It may be rusted shut and require some prying. There will be a gas valve under that cover, and a pilot light port that will allow you to light the pilot, and to adjust the thermostat.

Furnaces of this age may have holes in the heat exchanger. You should have a CO detector if you plan to use it.

Also the gas valve may have packed it in. This might cause it to not light the main burner, or never turn it off. If the pilot won't light, that might be fixed with a new thermocouple.

Removing the furnace is hard to do with out destroying it completely. The exhaust vent is probably two pipes that telescope, or did at one time. The heat and moisture in the exhaust typically cause these two pipes to rust together.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:24 PM   #3
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David, thank you very much!

Looking from the inside of the cabinet I could see what I thought was a single exaust pipe.

Is the front of the furnace renoveable, for cleaning, and perhaps replating or painting?

It's unlikely that I would ever use the furnace, but I would like it in SAFE working order if I leave it installed.

Bill
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:25 PM   #4
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David, thank you very much!

Looking from the inside of the cabinet I could see what I thought was a single exaust pipe.

Is the front of the furnace renoveable for cleaning, and perhaps replating or painting?

It's unlikely that I would ever use the furnace, but I would like it in SAFE working order if I leave it installed.

Bill
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:36 PM   #5
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Might also need to lift up (or move up with a gentle tap) that lower panel before pulling out on the bottom of it.

One dead simple device but also a design that is older than dirt. If you want to use it then it would probably be a good idea to find a propane place or furnace guy willing to do a check up. E.G check for leaks in the heat exchanger. You may have to try a few places as some may not want to touch anything as old as this.

That furnace is just a box that has a burner inside another box. With nested chimney pipes. One to bring in combustion air and one to exhaust combustion gases. Air flowed by convention along the hot metal box. Not much to go wrong but no safety devices if something does go wrong. Such as CO leak from combustion box.

Here is a link to a diagram http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/a...1&d=1287185795

And a link to lighting instructions see post #4. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rly-44108.html

Using the site search (Google option at the bottom) and searching for Boler gravity furnace. Or Scamp gravity furnace should net you some leads too.

Lot of folks like these old style furnaces because they have silent operation and no power consumption since they have no fan. Plus lack low oxygen sensor that prevents some newer furnaces from working at high elevations with less oxygen.

Others would rather not run a gas appliance that has been out of production for many years and lacks modern safety features. Just be aware that what the furnace lacks in safety features you have to make up for with your actions.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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Roger, thank you very much for the great information!

That is good advice about having it checked for leaks. I have a good friend who is a retired heating and AC repairman. He might still have the necessary equipment to make that check for me.

Again, thank you, and David for your help!

Bill
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:30 PM   #7
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Roger, I have an additional question.

Do you have the thread that contained the drawing for the furnace drawing? I'd like to contact the person who posted the drawing. They might have the owners manual?

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/a...1&d=1287185795

Does anyone know whether the Wagon Master furnace is the same as the Suburban GT-100? This owners manual is in the Fiberglass Rv Documents.

Bill
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post

One dead simple device but also a design that is older than dirt. If you want to use it then it would probably be a good idea to find a propane place or furnace guy willing to do a check up. E.G check for leaks in the heat exchanger. You may have to try a few places as some may not want to touch anything as old as this.
Here a pro can loose his licence if he worked on it! and its not simple due to its age.

The OP may want to read the following thread and decide if the continued risk in using it is worth it.

Your Wagonmaster heater may kill you
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Here a pro can loose his licence if he worked on it! and its not simple due to its age.

The OP may want to read the following thread and decide if the continued risk in using it is worth it.

Your Wagonmaster heater may kill you
Carol H., I appreciate your concern, and information. I did read the listed thread, and it appeared to me that the messages were about equal in opinion about the safe or unsafe use of the Wagon Master Furnace.

As I stated in message 3 above "It's unlikely that I would ever use the furnace, but I would like it in SAFE working order if I leave it installed."

And, at this time, I have considered removing all LP items...stove, furnace, and LP tank. Not for safety reasons, but to lessen the weight and make it a very simple RV.

However, I am interested in who has the authority to "ban" the use of this furnace. As far as I know a manufacturer has no such authority. They may issue recalls, and refuse to sell parts for their products.

Of course, I guess some RV Club could ban anything they wish, as long as the members will go along with the ban! No pink flamingos in the RV space for example.

Does anyone here know where a battary operated carbon monoxide detector might be purchased? All I've seen are powered by 120 volts, with a small battery backup...which I don't think would operate very long in the boondocks without 120 volt power.

Bill
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:31 AM   #10
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Bill, our local Walmart has battery-only CO detectors. I installed one in my Scamp so we could use the furnace on a fall trip last November. Hardware stores, Home Depot,... shouldn't be hard to find. If not, then Google it and you'll find plenty of online sources.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Bill, our local Walmart has battery-only CO detectors. I installed one in my Scamp so we could use the furnace on a fall trip last November. Hardware stores, Home Depot,... shouldn't be hard to find. If not, then Google it and you'll find plenty of online sources.
Thanks Jon!

I shouldn't have assumed they were all powered by 120 volts because that was what I bought!

Bill
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:50 AM   #12
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However, I am interested in who has the authority to "ban" the use of this furnace. As far as I know a manufacturer has no such authority. They may issue recalls, and refuse to sell parts for their products.


Bill
While your correct its pretty impossible to totally ban the use of this type of thing and actually in force it, but what can happen is what you described. The manufacture stops making the item, can issue a recall (possible even a forced one by the Governing state/provincial/federal body) and stop selling parts for it. The Governing party can also issue an order to those with a licence to repair the item to stop repairing them or risk losing their professional licence. All of which is what has happened in regards to the WagonMaster Furnace.

Nothing to do with RV clubs. All RV clubs and members of fiberglass trailer forums can do is try and educate folks on the topic. Which is what apparently happened at one of the Fiberglass trailer meets - its not the first time thats happened at a meet either. As they say Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer.

As with all things at the end of the day once someone has been made aware of a serious safety issue such as this its up to the individual to decide what level of risks they are willing to take with themselves and their family members who may be camping with them in order to save some money. Keeping in mind that today there are a number of safer options to heating a trailer without the use of electrical power and not totally run the battery power down.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:00 AM   #13
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Actually they are dead simple, even if they are old. There are some important considerations though. Primarily that the heat exchanger doesn't leak, then the gas valve has to work. If it doesn't work it can be replaced. It may take some shopping though. I found a gas valve that will work on my furnace for about $100, but the ports are in different places, so some tube bending is required. I suspect that you have to match up the btu input. I recently purchased a furnace that has the same basic design, and the same input btu's. I will try to use the gas valve off that.

Since they are so difficult to remove, find someone who will work on it while it is installed in your trailer.

Carole, I find it difficult to believe that a licensed furnace service person would get in trouble for repairing an appliance that was CSA approved in it's day. That is like saying that a mechanic would loose their license for working on a Model T because it doesn't meet current crash standards.

Please leave the CO argument alone. This style of furnace is no more likely to develop a leak, or cause CO poisoning then any current design. The reason they no longer meet CSA standards is all about surface temperature.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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I, for one, think that anyone that has to ask basic questions about a gas furnaces workings needs to go directly to a licensed (or at least experienced) furnace technician for hands and eyes on inspection.


A 35+ year old furnace that has been continually exposed to outside elements, via a very short vent, can well be akin to the old gas chamber at San Quintin prison and can lead to the same end result.

Remember, while certain STD's are forever, it's not so with gas furnaces.


As it turns out, just this a.m., there is a furnace tech due where I am staying to repair a burned out junction block on our electric furnace. As this is an LP/Electric only area, with thousands of RV visitors every year, I will ask his opinion on the question as well.



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Old 04-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #15
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This is a thread that has that image. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ase-37948.html

I live in the US and we can always find some cranky Swell Old Boy that worked on something old for 25 years who is more than willing to fix it if for no other reason he doesn't like the "newfangled" ones. :-)

In truth safety is mostly down to the operator, their mindset and willingness to take responsibility. Cars have turn indicator signals but that does not prevent folks from changing lanes or turning without taking responsibility to warn other drivers with those signals. Smoke a CO detectors require batteries be maintained etc. or they don't enhance safety but rather give a false sense of safety that might lead one to run a poorly maintained furnace while they sleep. Say one that has not had propane connections checked in a decade.

Can't fix operator error with technology..... except with duct tape. Taping the foolish to a chair generally keeps them from causing problems for at least a little while. A piece over the mouth keeps them from being annoying.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:13 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post

Carole, I find it difficult to believe that a licenced furnace service person would get in atrouble for repairing an appliance that was CSA approved in it's day. That is like saying that a mechanic would loose their license for working on a Model T because it doesn't meet current crash standards.

Please leave the CO argument alone. This style of furnace is no more likely to develop a leak, or cause CO poisoning then any current design. The reason they no longer meet CSA standards is all about surface temperature.
David I am not at all interested in arguing with you as to the reasons why it was declared unsafe to use although my understand of one of the big issues surrounding it use clearly differ from yours.

I was simple attempting to point out to someone new to these trailers such as the OP that there are known safety issues with what they are considering using and have indicated they want to do so safely - which according to the people who made the product and and those responsible for public safety and governing such things and who know the actual reasons why, that its not possible, without some major modifications to the products design.

In regards to licensed service personal - most have their own governing bodies that issue them licences and they do receive directives from them as to best practices and what they can and can not repair. Those governing bodies do also have the power to take away a license. Some also receive directives from the companies of the shops they work for or the companies who's products they sell or parts they use for repairs. Think you will find its the same with the furnace in your home. There will come a time when a licensed repair person will not touch certain model/aged home furnaces just as an electrician may come to your home and refuse to put a new line into a box they feel needs to be totally upgraded before they will do it.

As I said at the end of the day its up to each of us as to who's opinion we want to take in regards to the safe use of any item - the opinion of those on an internet users forum or those who actually make the product &/or the governing safety body.

Choose at the end of the day is the end users.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:34 AM   #17
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In regards to licensed service personal - most have their own governing bodies that issue them licences and they do receive directives from them as to best practices and what they can and can not repair. Some also receive directives from the companies of the shops they work for or the companies who's products they sell or parts they use for repairs. Think you will find its the same with the furnace in your home. There will come a time when a licensed repair person will not touch certain model/aged home furnaces just as an electrician may come to your home and refuse to put a new line into a box they feel needs to be totally upgraded before they will do it.
Please provide references of directives prohibiting working on CSA approved appliances. I would consider it a safety issue if the owner was forced to do all their own work. Why would any regulatory body do that?

I am very familiar with the electrical code, there is NOTHING, that I am aware of, baring an electrician from working on antiquated equipment. I can only assume that the same applies to gas fitters. Typcially laws, which is what the code is, can't be made retroactive.

I think it is worth noting that the folks at Trillium / Outback, did a complete rebuild on my gravity furnace. They also manufacture trailers, with propane. So, I would think it unlikely that they would so casually risk their license to do that.

It also occurs to me that since the parts for these furnaces are still available, someone is working on them.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:12 PM   #18
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As it turns out, just this a.m., there is a furnace tech due where I am staying to repair a burned out junction block on our electric furnace. As this is an LP/Electric only area, with thousands of RV visitors every year, I will ask his opinion on the question as well.
Bob, when talking to him, please ask him if HE has ever been issued a directive from any governing body, etc., during his career, telling him that he can't work on a furnace?

Just wondering?

Bill
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:04 PM   #19
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The dreaded liability issue!

I think the OP has received fair warning that his furnace is not state-of-the-art design.

If I'm not mistaken OP has indicated he will be consulting with or hiring professional to assist with his decision making and any repairs.

So the battle between pro and anti using a gravity furnace folks need to get married to each other and fight like civilized people someplace other than in this thread.

If you can help the OP in his quest for parts, assembly / removal advice or specific things one should be looking for with this type of furnace go ahead and share. If you are just trying to make a point that has already been made. Eh just let it go.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:41 PM   #20
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I am very familiar with the electrical code, there is NOTHING, that I am aware of, baring an electrician from working on antiquated equipment. I can only assume that the same applies to gas fitters. Typcially laws, which is what the code is, can't be made retroactive.
As I see the moderator has spoken I have nothing further to say on the topic of the OP furnace or liabilty but will answer David's question above. Assuming thats ok.

I am very familiar with the building codes in our area and all I will say in these parts if the home owner asks an electrician to add a new receptacle that requires a new line back to the panel, they require a permit. The permit requires them to do the installation using the current code - if the homes panel they are connecting into does not meet current codes then they can't attach any new lines to it without upgrading the panel.. simple as that. They can as you say repair an old system but they can not add anything new or do what one might consider a major overhaul on the panel unless it is to bring it up to code. Same goes for replacing an old gas furnace - that requires a permit and all the piping and vents that are to be attached to the new furnace must meet current code.
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