Travel Journal – January 22, 2016
Wednesday afternoon was set aside as a time to work on the Coach. About a week ago I made an appointment with the RV Doctor here in Mesa to come out and repair my Atwood furnace.
When Darrell arrived he asked me specifically what the furnace was doing and after I explained that, he noted there was no access door to the furnace. After checking out what needed to be done he seemed quite discouraged, as did I. To take out the Atwood furnace he had me remove the drawers inside the Coach to expose an opening into the basement. At the same time, he climbed into the basement and crawled back under the bathroom floor. After much consternation, he determined what needed to be done.
To get the furnace out he had to cut the showers drain line and a fresh water line. Even after, that with me helping from inside the Coach, he had to turn it sideways, then on it’s top. Then while lying it flat, slid it out the basement. Much of the time with only an inch or less clearance to work. Once outside, on a work table he tested it, replaced two $22 parts and then reinstalled it in the Coach. Total time four and one-half hours. Ouch!
This is the first major design error I have found on my fifth wheel. Sure there have been several problems, almost all of those due to a components made by another company. After getting over the bill shock, I will be contacting Atwood for the warranty part of the repair. My guess is they will pay about a third of the cost. I am hoping Grand Design will help out for most of the rest, even though I’m a year out of the warranty period.
When I called Atwood on Thursday after the repair, they acknowledged their part without saying how much they would be paying me back. Also in our conversation they indicated they heard that Grand Design had changed the way they install the furnaces, starting on the 2016 models by adding a service door. Darrell the RV Doctor, also said he had seen more companies installing the furnace vertically, something he said was a poor design due to the pressure of the motor on parts.
When I receive the final check(s) from Atwood and hopefully Grand Design, I will update this post with that information. For now I have a working furnace and I learned a lot about my Coach’s inter workings. Yes, I am still happy overall with my Reflection fifth wheel and the personal support I have received from Grand Design.