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Adding furnace (and fridge?) to 2003 hawk?


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#1 Log Hog

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 10:15 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

 

 

Doing more cold weather camping, I'd really enjoy having a furnace in my 2003 Hawk. It is a basic equipped camper from the factory: Ice box, propane stove, roof fan, sink with manual pump faucet and no on board battery.

 

This looks like a pretty big project:

 

Furnace:

Original location looks to be under the fridge with the long side of the furnace parallel to the driving direction and the exhaust coming out the back face of the camper. Looks like a similar furnace would still be available and I can also see some exhaust / service panels that look to fit the outside rear facing door opening that now is a "cubby" for storage.

I removed my ice box when I repaired the hinge on it and found electric wiring and also a capped propane line close by.

For supplying electricity to the furnace, I will no longer be able to rely on just the truck battery. This means an onboard battery and the proper switching for charging off the truck and solar panels will be coming my way.

Questions:

How does the furnace in 2003 get the hot air inside of the camper? I see a couple louvered metal vent panels under the fridge in online pictures. Is that how it is heating the interior? Does not seem terribly efficient in air flow.

Are there wiring diagrams from the factory showing factory installation of a furnace and onboard battery?

In images I find there are vents on the side of the campers but those look to be for the fridge?

How much propane usage will I look at keeping the camper at 60F overnight in 20F weather?

 

A fridge install is another question. I think I will already have to upgrade to an on board battery and a solar panel, so what kind of fridge would I add?

 

Thanks a lot in advance for your input! I am hoping to find someone with a 2003 or earlier model that can shed some light on things for me or even better, someone that has installed a furnace after the fact!

 

Cheers,

 

Log Hog

 

 


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#2 bajaphile

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:51 AM

I just had to replace the sail switch on my furnace (Suburban DD-17DSI) so I got a pretty good look at how the thing works. I believe all you'll need to do is cut a hole (~3" diameter) on the side of the camper for the exhaust of the furnace. Then it is just a matter of getting a T fitting from a propane line and routing a copper line with flared fittings over to the furnace. (Also will need Pos/Neg and the thermostat wiring which is all self explanatory). 

 

The furnace is a closed burner which heats up a tube looking chamber. A fan just blows air through the the tube, and you have hot air. The burner assembly chamber exhausts outside the camper. I'd just say buy the furnace (might want to know what FWC is using these days?) and you should be able to hook it up pretty easily. 

 

My only gripe with mine (2005 Hawk) is that the fan is noisy as hell. It just looks like an oversized PC fan, I would like to look for a replacement fan at some point. It will wake me up about 50% of the time when it kicks on at night. 


Edited by bajaphile, 22 November 2020 - 12:53 AM.

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#3 Log Hog

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:04 AM

Thank you bahaphile! The 2003 has a bit different setup from yours, I have found old for sale pictures of a 2003 here and posted the best one below. https://www.wanderth...mper-hawk-sold/

As you see, it exhausts through the back - I currently have a cubby door there now that utilizes that space. I think I can replace the cubby door with that access panel and the exhaust. I since found out that the metal louvered panels under the fridge must be the return air inlet, so the outlet here must be somewhere else. Does anyone know the ducting / routing of air in the 2003 and earlier models?

 

I am looking at furnace models that fit that space currently and the dometic DFSD12111 looks like a good fit and in line with what FWC has been using according to some threads I found. It looks like I would need a 4" outlet for the smallest furnace which is certainly what I'd look at, still drawing 3.6A.

 

https://www.dometic....3#documentation

 

Thanks!

 

 

gallery_176_726_313457.jpg


Edited by Log Hog, 22 November 2020 - 04:05 AM.

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#4 craig333

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:34 AM

That exhaust you see in the back is for the water heater not the furnace. Do you already have an ice box? If so the fridge should slide right in after thats removed.


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#5 camper rich

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 05:42 AM

Get a Propex furnace rather than the noisy Surburban.  We have a Propex in our 2016 Grandby and it's much quieter.  I can't tell you the model number right now but it should be available from FWC.  


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#6 Log Hog

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:24 AM

Thanks all

 

Yes, I have an ice box which I believe is the size of a standard fridge.

I really believe that this is the furnace in the location under the fridge - this was moved later, for obvious reasons. Of course I am not stuck with installing it here, but if I put it under the sink, it would take away valuable cabinet space. I would rather lose the cubby in the back.

 

I will stay tuned to see other people weigh in.


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#7 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 02:05 PM

Thanks all

 

Yes, I have an ice box which I believe is the size of a standard fridge.

I really believe that this is the furnace in the location under the fridge - this was moved later, for obvious reasons. Of course I am not stuck with installing it here, but if I put it under the sink, it would take away valuable cabinet space. I would rather lose the cubby in the back.

 

I will stay tuned to see other people weigh in.

Looks to me like you’re on the right path for both the furnace and onboard battery.


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#8 Wildcat

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 04:59 PM

The picture shows the exact same arrangement of the furnace vents as mine. I have a 2001 eagle and the interior config and equipment is pretty much the same for all the FWC models for the early 2000's (and maybe late 90s). The white outside panel is definitely the furnace with the small tube exhaust for the combustion. If you had a water heater I have seen it mounted there too, but the furnace is then mounted a forward of that. I've done maintenance on my furnace from the rear panel, but I don't have a water heater, although I have seen it on hawks of that era.

The bigger issue is exactly what other people have recommended about finding a different furnace to install. I totally agree and it's on my project list but since the old one still works it's not high priority on my 20-year old camper which needs other things too. The fan noise and electrical draw of the fan is annoying at best and irritating other times. My casual observation of posts and limited research have me thinking about the Propex, and others have posted some details pics of the install which you should check out. I've also seen a Truma unit that is a combo furnace and water heater but it's pricey and it's a European company that aims for the original equipment market. USA support and service seem to be very limited or non-existent so I crossed that unit off my wish list.

And if you just are doing casual winter camping, you could consider the Camco Wave 3 heater. It requires leaving some vents open during operation. Is not a closed combustion unit like the furnace. I just acquired one for heat when I don't want to run the furnace, but I'm not going to use it while sleeping. I also don't use the furnace while sleeping because of the noise.
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#9 buckland

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:10 PM

I highly recommend the Isothern Fridge DC only. It is super efficient and extremely quiet.


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