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Old 01-23-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
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furnace air and wasps

I was recently helping my son with a furnace issue in a vintage Airstream. His furnace would not run correctly. The first thing I observed was a wasp nest in the furnace exhaust vent pipe. Cleaned that out, and still couldn't get it to run correctly. Ended up taking out the galley cabinet to get the furnace out. Then I discovered almost fully obstructed intake and exhaust vent pipes. Both wasps and mud daubers had built nests in the pipes. They had gotten in through the wall vent openings.

Checked out my 2017 FR toy hauler with a similar furnace. The vent openings were almost identical. So I made a screen of 1/8 wire mesh. (similar screens are available on line.

So my point is: watch for obstructions in your furnace combustion air supply, no matter how old your camper is. These kinds of obstructions will affect combustion efficiency, and potentially your health. Propane usage can increase, carbon monoxide will increase and the furnace will deteriorate faster (or result in a trip to the shop). Keep the critters out.

Here's some photos:

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A wasp nest in my furnace combustion air exhaust pipe.

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Mud dauber and wasp nests that I dug out of the intake and exhaust vent pipes of the furnace. Note the size of the mud dauber nests in the foreground compared to the size of the exhaust pipe behind them. Almost full obstruction.

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The furnace vent openings on the side of my 2016 FR camper. Wasps can easily get into the furnace through these openings.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:17 PM   #2
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These will help. I have these on mine and they stay on full time.
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-42141-F.../dp/B00192JFBI


RV Bug Screen Mods - Keep The Creepy Crawlers Out
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:22 PM   #3
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X2, if we did not have these on the vents would be blocked solid. I have said many times that we have so many daubers here that if the house were to burn and adobe version would still be standing.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:47 PM   #4
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x3 You don't need to worry about airflow as the open area of the screen is usually about 125% to 150% of the open ares of the furnace tube. You should also cover the water heater grill as they can get in there too.
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Old 01-23-2017, 06:57 PM   #5
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x4, cover the furnace, hot water heater and refer vent with screens designed for this available online.
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Old 01-24-2017, 01:15 PM   #6
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Vent screens

I have screens on all my vents, however I have often wondered about the actual Fridge vent on TOP of the RV. Is there a screen for THAT? It is large, and open and leads direct to the back of the unit.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:39 PM   #7
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I have screens on all my vents, however I have often wondered about the actual Fridge vent on TOP of the RV. Is there a screen for THAT? It is large, and open and leads direct to the back of the unit.

If you pull the curved water cap you should find screen.
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:44 PM   #8
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fridge sceens

Thanks, that answers that. Is that standard on all of them?
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thanks, that answers that. Is that standard on all of them?
Everyone I've seen has a screen. You can buy inlet cover screen inserts for the low side access cover on your fridge too.

Interesting about the furnace exhaust. I've 'roasted out' a few nests before. A couple minutes of furnace operation pretty much BBQ's the critters.

Just don't stand by the exhaust, it stinks while cooking.
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Old 01-25-2017, 04:34 AM   #10
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I went so far as to put a screen on the inside of the exhaust for my water heater access door where the heater exhausts as well as furnace and refrigerator access door vents. I had mud daubers in the exhaust AND the squirrel cage of my furnace many years ago.

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Old 01-25-2017, 05:14 AM   #11
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Wasps are one thing, how about Stinkbugs? I take it not everyone has the extreme displeasure of having to deal with these illegal immigrants.......Yet. We're polluted with them here in western PA. An extremely cold winter a few years ago knocked them back a lot, but this past summer/fall they are back in full force. When it starts to chill down at night in the fall they come a looking for a place to hide and the damn things can get in the smallest crack you can imagine. Wait until you suck in and roast a few in the furnace. Keep the Febreeze handy. I bet I sucked up 1000 from the fridge compartment in November even with the screens. The covers for the furnace vent seem to fit tight enough to keep them out of there but I think they get through the crack around the fridge access /vent cover even though it seems impossible.
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Old 01-25-2017, 05:34 AM   #12
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Wasps are one thing, how about Stinkbugs? I take it not everyone has the extreme displeasure of having to deal with these illegal immigrants.......Yet. We're polluted with them here in western PA. An extremely cold winter a few years ago knocked them back a lot, but this past summer/fall they are back in full force. When it starts to chill down at night in the fall they come a looking for a place to hide and the damn things can get in the smallest crack you can imagine. Wait until you suck in and roast a few in the furnace. Keep the Febreeze handy. I bet I sucked up 1000 from the fridge compartment in November even with the screens. The covers for the furnace vent seem to fit tight enough to keep them out of there but I think they get through the crack around the fridge access /vent cover even though it seems impossible.
We had a local news station do a story on a man a who made "stink bug" traps that work pretty well out of a 2 liter plastic bottle. You tube has several videos on those darn things.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:43 AM   #13
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We had a local news station do a story on a man a who made "stink bug" traps that work pretty well out of a 2 liter plastic bottle. You tube has several videos on those darn things.
And they do work to a point. What I have found though is if you live close to farms and woods as I do you can not build enough of them.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:09 AM   #14
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Exclamation

we use 'sink strainers' that you can find at any grocery or hardware store to cover the furnace exhaust, slip them in behind the exhaust cover and you are done...(you can also turn them backwards if you need to)
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:23 AM   #15
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Might as well add "Lady Bug" look -alikes to the List! They just "Lay in Wait" around Door Frames! Youroo!!
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:56 AM   #16
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I was evicting stink bugs all fall. I have come to believe that they can fly through a solid wall.
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Old 01-25-2017, 03:29 PM   #17
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How about Earwig's :what:
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:24 PM   #18
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I put the Camco 42141 screens on my Suburban Mfg. model NT20SEQ furnace intake and exhaust a short while ago. Today I fired up the furnace and noted that it was burning yellow and sooty. I took the screens off and the flame returned to the correct bright blue.

If you read Suburban's operating and troubleshooting guide, there's a bolded warning against use of screens.

I'm leaving the screens off and considering using something like a refrigerator magnet to cover intake and exhaust when not in use. It'll be a pain in the ass but less damaging to the furnace or setting fire to my trailer.

As an aside, the NT16 and NT20 do not seem to have an air control shutter for adjusting fuel/air mixture.
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