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Old 11-07-2014, 11:27 PM   #1
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Adding a furnace vent

We just purchased a Sierra 371rebh. We've been in it for 3 nights and I've noticed it is extremely difficult to regulate the heat. Click image for larger version

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There is one furnace register for each room and the thermistor is on the wall near the sink, so the main room is 72, the bunk room is 77, the master is 75, and the bathroom is sweltering. The furnace is 35k btu. So far I have replaced all the register grates with registers with baffles so I can restrict the the airflow in the warm rooms. While this works to even out the temperature, I don't think this is very efficient. My thought is that if I could add a register at the end of the island it would solve the problem. Has anyone attempted this? Is it possible? I haven't poked around the furnace yet but I would imagine there would be an unused output. I think there are 5 used(4 inside and 1 in the basement) and I think there are six outs on the furnace. I'm also considering upgrading the furnace to 40k or 42k btu. I also have the fireplace set to 78 so it helps to keep the furnace from running as much to keep the other rooms from getting too warm, the problem is the furnace register is right in front of the fire place so when it kicks on the fire place will shut off. I'm going to get a guard to direct the air flow away from the fireplace, but once again restricting air flow and efficiency, which brings me back to adding another vent. What are your thoughts? Any help would be much appreciated. Also I'm putting up 3m window film on all the windows to hold the heat and using the ceiling fan on low for circulation.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:43 PM   #2
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Also looking into purchasing a skirt, but that may have to wait. I'll probably rig my own with foam or silt fence this winter.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:22 AM   #3
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If your existing furnace has an extra outlet, I would try using that first before spending money on a bigger furnace. You will probably have to drop the belly pan to add the new furnace duct.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:43 AM   #4
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1st moving from 36 to 40/42 won't do much for you. 2nd you did the right thing when you installed baffled registers. I wish all rv's had them! 3rd you may or may not get a befit from extra vent in that you will baffle it also right.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:50 AM   #5
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Balancing with baffles is the best way. I would not consider it inefficient. If you have cold spots in the kitchen/LR, then add a vent. A bigger furnace will amplify imbalances, not correct them.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #6
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The extra vent would be in the kitchen/ living room, which is the coolest room, and I would imagine both those vents would be wide open. I could then adjust the baffles in the smaller rooms to match. Currently the smaller rooms the baffles are nearly closed, because the run to LR vent is 25 feet so the flow coming from is is very low and takes a good while to move the temp the 2 degrees it's looking for, thus over heating the smaller shorter runs.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:31 PM   #7
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I guess I would start with getting an anemometer (measures wind speed) and check the vents to see where the air is going. More air equals more heat unless you are losing heat in the ducts due to poor insulation. If you have poor air flow to some vent you may need to check to ensure the duct isn't crushed or restricted.

Try to balance the air flow with your vents and check on the insulation in the underbelly. Extra insulation wrap helps a lot.
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
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From what I have seen, most trailers do not use the side outlets on the furnace (except for the upper level vents). Instead they use the bottom outlet into a single, straight duct run down the main floor. This is very likely if all the vents on the main floor are in a straight line. On my unit, the floor joists run front-to-back and the duct is placed between two joist and right up against the underside of the plywood decking. So, it would be a simple task to cut another hole thru the plywood and the top of the duct, then use aluminum tape to seal around the opening and install another grill.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dayle1 View Post
From what I have seen, most trailers do not use the side outlets on the furnace (except for the upper level vents). Instead they use the bottom outlet into a single, straight duct run down the main floor. This is very likely if all the vents on the main floor are in a straight line. On my unit, the floor joists run front-to-back and the duct is placed between two joist and right up against the underside of the plywood decking. So, it would be a simple task to cut another hole thru the plywood and the top of the duct, then use aluminum tape to seal around the opening and install another grill.

Thanks that makes a lot of sense, I will of course do some investigating before I start cutting. All the vents are indeed in a line down the center of the coach, and it doesn't appear as though it is a dryer hose, it looks like box, so that would support that theory.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:05 PM   #10
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I also just noticed the trough/duct runs past the last vent, so if I install a curved sheet at the last vent that should make a big impact
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:11 AM   #11
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I also just noticed the trough/duct runs past the last vent, so if I install a curved sheet at the last vent that should make a big impact
Simple to remove a grill and see if the top of the duct is flush with the bottom of the plywood. The duct may extend past the last register because it also has a small opening in the bottom/rear to provide freeze protection to the fresh water tank, probably located at the rear of the trailer.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:56 AM   #12
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There are some fairly low speed duct fans (Home Depot, Lowes as well as other sources) that might help distribution by pushing or drawing heated air along with installing modulating registers in those places you have excess heat. I did the registers on the last 5er and will add one in the current 5er in the bathroom which has a register within 2 feet of one in the bedroom. The bathroom is located directly above the furnace and receives quite a bit of radiated heat. Whatever you do, keep in mind that air flow takes the path of least resistance and that duct to the belly and tanks may be 'stealing' more then needed - and quite frankly, I'm not convinced it's really needed especially when you can easily add heat tracing to water lines, your biggest cause for concern in cold weather. Whatever major mods you do, it will probably involve pulling that belly covering (probably Coroplast) down for access - and not a good project for late fall in my area.

This is a fan I just found on AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Suncourt-HC500...ords=duct+fans
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:34 PM   #13
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Kinda late to add this but I have some thoughts. If your unit did not come with a high quality digital thermostat then put one in. Most cheap thermostats do not maintain an even temperature. The baffles are the correct way to regulate temps from room to room. There are sophisticated set ups with a temperature sensor in each room and dampers in all lines that will allow each room to be set to whatever temperature you want. Really a great system but can be spendy to set up in an RV. You don't need an extra vent you just need to control the output you have now.
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