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Ever Removed a Furnace?


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I’m curious... has anyone ever removed an LP furnace from your coach?  My 2006 Diplomat has two furnaces, with one under the refrigerator. We have rarely used the furnaces, and even then only the main furnace seems to come on. (Only twice in three years do I recall the second furnace even firing)

They are labeled “zone 1” and “zone 2” on the thermostat; however the zone 1 primary furnace seems to heat the entire coach. 

We primarily use the heat pumps for heating, and rarely use the LP furnaces (typically only if boondocking; once in really cold weather)

I'm considering removing the second furnace, so I can lower our Samsung RF-18 to floor level, but before doing so, I have a couple of questions...

1. Do both furnaces share the same plenum? If not, can the plenums be joined?

2. Could I replace the “primary” furnace with a higher output unit to serve the entire coach?

3. Has anyone else done this, and what has been your experience?

4. Any other ideas or suggestions for lowering the fridge to floor level?

Amy thoughts, comments, or suggestions are appreciated. 

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4 hours ago, Scotty Hutto said:

I’m curious... has anyone ever removed an LP furnace from your coach?  My 2006 Diplomat has two furnaces, with one under the refrigerator. We have rarely used the furnaces, and even then only the main furnace seems to come on. (Only twice in three years do I recall the second furnace even firing)

They are labeled “zone 1” and “zone 2” on the thermostat; however the zone 1 primary furnace seems to heat the entire coach. 

We primarily use the heat pumps for heating, and rarely use the LP furnaces (typically only if boondocking; once in really cold weather)

I'm considering removing the second furnace, so I can lower our Samsung RF-18 to floor level, but before doing so, I have a couple of questions...

1. Do both furnaces share the same plenum? If not, can the plenums be joined?

2. Could I replace the “primary” furnace with a higher output unit to serve the entire coach?

3. Has anyone else done this, and what has been your experience?

4. Any other ideas or suggestions for lowering the fridge to floor level?

Amy thoughts, comments, or suggestions are appreciated. 

Scotty,

On our 2006 Diplomat 40PDQ the furnace under the frig has one output directed to the dinette area and a duct beneath the floor that has three outputs, one to the bathroom, one to the middle of the hallway in the shower area and the other in the bedroom. The other furnace is in the curbside front slide and only has three outputs all in that slide. The wife likes a warm floor so we do use both of ours. I expect how one used either the heat pumps or the furnaces or a combination is personal preference. I don't know but think these only come in the 30,000 BTU size. I believe many who have a 2005 or earlier coach did remove that furnace to install the Samsung but those years had a lower ceiling height. Your coach is the first year Diplomat with the higher ceiling. Its your call so do what makes you happy.

Bob

 

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Scotty,

Fred White had the furnace removed from under his NotSoCold in order to install a Samsung RF 18 fridge easily. When needed he would use his rear furnace.

Gene Howe also removed both furnaces so he could install his Samsung RF-197 fridge in his 2003 Diplomat. He also has an Espar diesel fired heating system installed at the same time which uses heat exchanger's similar to what the Aqua-Hot system uses.

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My Windsor has the furnace under the refrigerator, my Norcold died in late 2018 and I replaced with a residential.  I installed a Samsung RF18 and also kept the furnace, which is a Suburban which has a zero clearance design, meaning it could be mounted on wood.  My furnace was actually mounted on a small wood platform to elevate it about ~3/4" underneath the platform, from what I could determine was to be able to route the LP line underneath to service both the furnace and the refrigerator.   The platform itself raised the furnace 1  5/8" off the floor.   With my lower ceiling I had to get all the height I could to put the Samsung in.  Here is a link to a post I did on IRV2. 

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/samsung-install-finally-done-461001.html

I had great advice from Bob Nodine and Van Williams. 

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Scotty, I removed the heater that was under the old not so cold when I installed the new counter depth frig. It was really quite easy. The heater came out through the outside panel heater door.  The duct work had to be capped off when I removed the false floor that held the Not-so-cold. I just installed small covers over the duct ports in the floor. On the outside I removed panel door for the heater and reinstalled it as it was on the outside.  I plugged the feed LPG line and pressure tested the cap for leaks before locating in under the floor. I used the 120 electric supplied to the Not-so-cold for a power line for the new frig.   The removal was a good thing to do as it lowered the frig so my wife could reach everywhere inside. 

We have not missed the heater which as Bob noted did supply heat to the rear outlets of the Camelot.

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The best way I know of to determine the furnace ducts in the floor run the entire length of the coach is to open up either the front most or rear most vent and place a flash light shining toward the other end of the coach.  Go to the next vent, open it up, and using a small mirror look to see if you can see the light.  Keep working toward the opposite end of the coach.  The floor ducts opening depends on the year, make, and model of the coach.  You can also vacuum out the saw dust that was left in the ducts during manufacturing.

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Thanks everyone for your replies.  
 

To clarify, I already have a RF-18 installed (for about a year now), but my wife finds it very difficult to use because the top 2 shelves are up pretty high. We have a step stool and have tried adjusting shelves to no avail. 
 

I’m thinking life may be better for both of us if I play the percentages on needing that second furnace and lower the fridge, and y’all have given me valuable insight.  
 

Thanks, and additional comments and suggestions are most welcome   

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23 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

Scotty,

Fred White had the furnace removed from under his NotSoCold in order to install a Samsung RF 18 fridge easily. When needed he would use his rear furnace.

Gene Howe also removed both furnaces so he could install his Samsung RF-197 fridge in his 2003 Diplomat. He also has an Espar diesel fired heating system installed at the same time which uses heat exchanger's similar to what the Aqua-Hot system uses.

Richard,

Unfortunately Gene's Diplomat with the Espar diesel heating system caught fire and was a total loss. He has a different coach now but I can't remember what it is. I think it is a tag axle Monaco. He was talking to me about how much he misses the Diplomat. He and his wife like to boondock in the winter up at the ski resorts and that Espar diesel furnace was a big benefit. If I remember correctly he got a killer deal on the unit and its installation because he was a beta tester for Espar.

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1 hour ago, Bob Nodine said:

Richard,

Unfortunately Gene's Diplomat with the Espar diesel heating system caught fire and was a total loss. He has a different coach now but I can't remember what it is. I think it is a tag axle Monaco. He was talking to me about how much he misses the Diplomat. He and his wife like to boondock in the winter up at the ski resorts and that Espar diesel furnace was a big benefit. If I remember correctly he got a killer deal on the unit and its installation because he was a beta tester for Espar.

I still have a link to the news article showing his coach fire. He was really bummed out when that happened. Plus to make matters worse he had procrastinated on installing an engine AFFF fire suppression system like what I had installed back in 2010. We had talked about that many times.

He now owns a 2002 Holiday Rambler Sceptre and has already done many upgrades to it. I hope by now he has installed that AFFF engine fire suppression system in his coach.

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11 minutes ago, Scotty Hutto said:

Wow!  Do either of you recall if the fire was from the Espar unit?  Or was it an engine fire? The comments about the fire suppression lead me to believe it was possibly an engine fire.

Engine fire. He barely got his towed vehicle disconnected to keep from losing that also.

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Scotty,

I'll share my furnace experience, especially since we have the exact same coach.  Last year at a MSU game, it got in the upper 20s.  Our front furnace worked and the rear did not.  To us, the front furnace did a good job of keeping the whole coach warm.   The front one supplies heat to the whole front and 1/2 bath (I think).  The rear one (under fridge) supplies the bedroom and rear bath. Had it gotten much colder,  I probably would have wanted the rear working too.   I did fix the rear, but its heat is luke warm and I have found i don't use it much if needed.  My feeling is unless you are going to be in extended colder Temps, one furnace should suffice.  Of course, if it goes out, then you have no backup.  

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