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September 7, 2018 at 11:10 am #79122
Hikes in RainParticipant
From the Facebook RV Horror Stories. Hopefully not considered double posting; I’d like to get the story out there as much as possible.
I am the currently-not-so-proud owner of a 2015 Thor ACE 27.1. This model, I recently discovered, has an issue with the outside access door to the furnace. The ventilation louvers on the door were designed back then to be upside down and inside out. This caused the louvers to act as “scoops”, funneling rain water directly into the furnace compartment.
I live in a warm climate, so furnace use is limited. I tried to use it during a cold snap last spring, only to find the furnace didn’t function. The control board has an indicator light that flashes to provide error codes, and when I removed the furnace panel to read the code, rusty water poured out of the compartment.
The bottom line is that the furnace has been damaged beyond repair due to immersion caused by the door design flaw. The control circuit board spent some unknown time under water, the electric fan is rusted and short circuited, and the burner and other components are irreparably rusted. The only option was to replace it, at a cost of $1736.28.
This problem is known, by Dometic (a Sweden based company which swallowed up Atwood, the original furnace manufacturer), Thor (the manufacturer of the motor coach), and Thor owners. RV forums, particularly the Thor Forum (www.thorforums.com) have documented the problem very well. My research indicates Dometic/Thor moved from the louvered furnace doors to non-louvered ones, and relocated the circuit board to keep it out of water, somewhere around mid-2016, to alleviate this problem. Neither company has offered to replace ours, when they made neither the switch nor any time after.
I purchased a coach in good faith, only to have the furnace damaged beyond repair by water entering and accumulating in the furnace compartment via louvers cut upside down and inside out, acting as funnels, in less than three years. My Good Sam Extended Service Plan has refused, citing faulty installation, rust and water intrusion exclusion clauses. I am now stuck between two manufacturing companies pointing fingers at each other as to who is to blame.
Dometic has really dug their heels in; doors are supposed to leak, the furnace has weep holes to let the water out (mine didn’t), it’s out of warranty, it’s an installation problem and they’re not about to help.
Thor is taking a second look at the problem, with no promise of any help. I’ve sent my pictures, the receipt for the new furnace, and a writeup of the problem. That was Friday before the holiday; haven’t heard back yet.
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