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Old 03-15-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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2013 Meridian 34B furnace operation

Recently purchased new Meridian. It has two propane fired furnaces. As best as I can tell so far, one is integral with the front passenger side slide (it moves in & out with the slide) and discharges warm air through two outlets incorporated into a cabinet (also integral with slide) at front edge of couch. The other furnace is in a fixed location just aft of passenger side bedroom slide and discharges through two outlets incorporated into fixed base under the bed. With slides extended, propane furnaces operate as expected: set thermostat settings to desired temperature, furnaces come on, bring rooms up to setpoint, turn themselves off, come on again automatically when temperature drops. All is well with that. The rub is how they act when slides are in.

All the front furnace does is come on, blow cold air for a couple of minutes, then shut itself down forever (regardless of differential between current temperature and setpoint). Rear furnace comes on, brings room up to setpoint, then turns itself off forever too. That's it, the automatic control system does not even try to turn either furnace back on again. If I turn the entire heating system off then back on, both furnaces go through that same routine again, but neither of them will do anything at all after going through that initial cycle (which accomplishes absolutely nothing as far as the front furnace is concerned). BTW - Coach was plugged into shore power when this happened.

Dealer is telling me that Winnebago has advised him furnaces are not supposed to operate with slides in. I am not buying that answer. In our short time as motorhome owners (less than a year) we have already encountered two situations when it was prudent to keep slides in and the heating system on. The first was last May in northern British Columbia when we ran into a 36 hour, 24" snow storm while driving our 06 Holiday Rambler Admiral SE. We comfortably sat that storm out with the slides in and furnace working, cramped but warm. Second instance was two weeks ago in central AZ just after returning from our maiden trip in the Meridian. There was still water in the system, overnight temperatures were forecast to be in the low 20s and wind was supposed to blow about 40 mph for a couple of days. It made a lot of sense to leave slides in and use furnaces to keep coach and water system warm. That was when I discovered the troubles noted above.

Has anyone else experienced their propane furnaces not working with the slides in?
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
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I haven't tried ours with the slides in. One thing you should check is if the return grills are exposed with the slides in. If they are covered up by the slides being in this would explain why Winnegao would not want them to operate.Second ,I would call Winnebago's tech department and ask them directly if this is how they work and why.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:55 AM   #3
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I haven't tried ours with the slides in. One thing you should check is if the return grills are exposed with the slides in. If they are covered up by the slides being in this would explain why Winnegao would not want them to operate.Second ,I would call Winnebago's tech department and ask them directly if this is how they work and why.
I agree phone number is 800-537-1885 unless much has changed I only have one gas furnace in my 36 ft Journey
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #4
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Thanks for both of your responses. I will check out the return grille location for the front furnace after get coach back from dealer (it is there to correct warranty items). My feeble memory tells me the rear furnace return grille is in the short wall section right under the washer/dryer closet, a fixed location not covered up when slides are in. I will call tech department again Monday. Talked to a nice fella there last Thursday who was going to have someone more knowledgeable about these furnaces call me back, but that has not happened yet. Will advise in a future post what Winnebago tech folks have to say on this matter.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Good news from Winnebago customer service rep this AM - propane furnaces are supposed to work with slides in and out. Slides position has no effect on heating system operation. Sounded to him like a problem with the heating controls system and suggested that dealer work with RVP to resolve our issue. Will re-post when problem is fixed.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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I agree phone number is 800-537-1885 unless much has changed I only have one gas furnace in my 36 ft Journey
I had no idea that they are now putting 2 gas furances in current models.

Mine has one 40,000 BTU
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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2013 34B and 36M models have two 20,000 BTU ducted furnaces in addition to heat pumps built into the two 13,500 BTU rooftop AC units. At least that is what the sales brochure says.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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We have a 2012 34Y. It is equipped with a single 40,000 BTU furnace per the brochure. The thermostat has two possible settings, Zone 1 for the living room area and Zone 2 for the bedroom area. The condition that we encountered while traveling back to Alaska in early March was that the furnace would only heat on the Zone 1 setting. We had the slides in at the time. We never tried it with the slides out but assume that it is a wiring issue between the thermostat and the furnace as both zone settings worked fine previously using the air conditioners. The coach is currently in for service and I will try to remember to report the findings.
With temperatures down to -0-F traveling back to Alaska, I was reminded that I need to see if there is a easy way to reduce the amount of heat ducted to the basement inorder to get more heat in the living area. The coach was winterized so cooler temps in the basement were not a concern.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:31 AM   #9
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Market, I'm not sure how the 34Y is set up. However in the Journey 42E there are 3 ac units and 2 heat units. 2 zones heat, while all 3 zones cool. Your setup may be similar with only 2 ac units and 1 heater.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Update. Dealer found that LP line to front furnace was kinked by the action of the slide moving in and out. Rerouted the line and added some "reinforcement" to it to, hopefully, prevent it from kinking again. Kinda hard simulating conditions conducive to furnace operation in Phoenix the last few days, but dealer has tried the system out and it appears to be working properly. Will have them show me what they did when pick coach up after other warranty repairs have been completed.

Market - Did your heating issue get resolved? Did you have work done at Great Alaskan Holidays?
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:37 AM   #11
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Floatsflyer: Thank you for the update. Interesting!
Since the parking spot for our coach on our driveway was, and still is, covered with ice and snow, we requested that they take their time (preferably a couple months) to resolve the issue at their location and they have been great.
Yes, one of the reasons for driving the coach the 2500 miles back to Alaska in early March was to utilize Great Alaskan Holidays.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:38 PM   #12
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market - You are a braver soul than me. The prospect of dropping down that 10% switchback grade to cross the Peace River Bridge in the snow/ice of March is something I can do without. Does not help that I really hate those metal grating bridge decks the Canadian road departments are so found of. We will wait until mid-May to get back to AK. Having GAH keep your coach until breakup is over sounds like a great plan on your part!
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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Floatsflyer: Yes, on each of the 5 days of the early March trip from the lower '48 to Alaska, I said to myself that this is the stupidest thing I have ever done and should have left the coach in the lower '48 and just driven the toad or flown. Fortunately, for the most part, the Canadians have excellent wintertime road maintenance with the snow and ice covered roads well sanded, we had a window of above 0 and snowless weather for the most part and the roads to ourselves. Still the highway tread tires were always a concern. The steel grate bridges didn't seem to be a problem with no other oncoming traffic to worry about.
Are you snowbirding and planning to drive back out of Alaska in September?
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #14
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market - Semi-snowbirds. We will only be in AK for about 6 weeks this summer. Will be heading Outside sometime in early July. I fully agree with you about it being no fun to meet oncoming traffic on those steel grating bridges. Steering wanders way too much on those decks for my liking!

Got coach back from dealer yesterday. Propane heating system does indeed now work with the slides in. Life is good on that front.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:30 AM   #15
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Floatsflyer: Received our 2012 Meridian 34Y back after our driveway was clear of ice. Great Alaskan Holidays did a wonderful job on addressing the issues. As to the gas furnace not working on Zone 2, it was explained that was the way it was set up at the factory. After thinking about it, it made sense. While the coach has two separate AC units and two separate electric heat pumps which allow for separate cooling and electric heating settings and operation for Zone 1 and Zone 2, the 2012 model only has a single 40,000 BTU gas furnace (as noted your 2013 model has two separate 20,000 BTU furnaces). With a single gas furnace, a specific temperature can only be maintained in one zone. It appears that the factory selected Zone 1 (living room) as the area for controlling the single furnace.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #16
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Market: Ops sequence on your 34Y sounds exactly right given a single furnace. Glad to hear you are still upbeat about GAH. Will definitely take our coach to them if anything needs to be worked on after we get to Anchorage late this month. Hopefully that wonderful stretch of road west of Kluane Lake, and the Tok Cutoff, will not rattle everything to pieces on our way north!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:08 AM   #17
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Floatsflyer: Except for the 20 miles of torn up road between the Canadian Border crossing and the Alaska border crossing, the road was great! I was expecting the road to be bad between the border and Glennellen, but they seem to have rebuilt it!! We had to slow down for the caribou on the road between the border and Tok (and 100's of buffalo back in Yukon Territories). If anything, the worse frost heaves were between Glennallen and Eureka Roadhouse.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:25 PM   #18
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Market: Thanks for the road report. I expect that the post-breakup road conditions we will encounter will be a little different than the pre-breakup conditions you did. One of the reasons why it's always an adventure traveling in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Roadside wildlife viewing this time of year is always a treat, especially all those buffalo in YT!
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