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Old 12-06-2019, 08:04 AM   #1
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2020 HC385BR Furnace problem (resolved)

So, this drives me up the wall.. As much as we spend on these units to have something like this happen, the CW failure to support and the 3 nights we went without heat in a ~30s environment.. Just makes me frustrated and a touch angry.

Tuesday night, we woke up in the middle of the night with no heat and it was cold ~40s inside the HC Monte. After breaking out blankets and turning off the thermostat for the rest of the night, we started troubleshooting in the morning.

First, the indicator light on the furnace control board indicated a sail switch failure. then, it was a high limit failure, then a board failure.. Sometimes the furnace would kick on, fire then shut down unexpectedly about 40 seconds into the cycle.. It would pause for 3 minutes then do the same cycle again.

We called McGregor CW in Richmond, VA to talk about service. As it is 100 miles away and the unit has been skirted for the winter -and- this was a minor problem to solve at the time, we expected that they would want to send a service truck instead of sending a driver to pickup the unit and drag it to Richmond. Well, they said no. They wanted us to bring it to them and live in it down there and commute to DC every day. Grr.. Needless, costly and just dumb.

We instead decided to bear the cost and order parts from CW's competitor. We ordered a new board and high limit switch. The sail switch seemed ok since the furnace was indeed firing. After receiving those yesterday, we installed them and found that we had the exact same problems.. but now, we had an added 5 blink, 10 blink, chattering noises coming from the relay on the board. Thinking that possibly the flame detection wasnt working, we pulled the igniter/propane assembly and inspected for corrosion/soot.. None, clean as can be.. So, we put it all back together and hit the reset switch for the 50th time.. Can you believe that the furnace worked as expected?? .... Until 12am.. CRAP!

I got out of bed when I heard the blower motor start and stop and start and stop, sometimes only for a few seconds.. What the hell bobby? Now this is starting to sound like a thermostat sending heat required signals intermittently.. we werent even getting 15 seconds of pre fan.. so, I pop the front cover of the thermostat and look.. nothing wrong in there.. no smell, nothing.. Thinking that the manual reset of the thermostat wasnt working I started to pull the three wires off from inside to strip them and reseat them in the lug.. Guess what!!!? The red wire (+12vdc) was broken and was just "leaning" up against the lug.. like making contact, but not securely seated at all in the lug. Eff me!! So, as I am stripping and seating all three wires, I start to hear this clicking sound from down the hall.. From the fuse box near the stairs. I open the fuse box and now the "Self-healing" fuse is going crazy.. set, reset, set, reset ... and on and on.. with the red fault light blinking like it was installed on the wrong xmas tree.

OK, so I pull the 15a "self-healing" fuse and replace it with another ordinary 15a fuse.. Guess what?? 3 days of misery, money and failed customer service comes to a halt.. We had heat and proper operation for the rest of the night.

FWIW, I understand that nothing is perfectly constructed. My choice not to go to Richmond was my own.. I made a choice not to waste time and resources and just do the work on my own.. But seriously... CW should have stood by their product.. I only took delivery of this thing a month ago. Also, Dometic.. Bad on you!!! They shipped a manual with the unit that was written in 2017. The furnace was a 2019 with replacement part numbers that werent reflected in the 2017 manual.. Would it have killed you to update the book that was written 2 years earlier? And lastly.. Keystone.. What kind of QA are you doing? The thermostat made it through delivery inspection, but not long after.. Just long enough for the self-healing fuse to revolt.. If it wasnt for the noise down the hallway, I would still be troubleshooting on night 4..

Seriously, these are not $15k investments people.. Show some respect and at least try to help.. I get that you are in a business and do so to make money.. but one factor is repeat business.. I really am on the fence on whether to buy another Monte from Keystone and their dealer CW..

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Old 12-06-2019, 10:43 AM   #2
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I have an idea there is very limited Quality Control.....if it can roll out of the building it must be ok. Although, checking out some features at the factory would be very time consuming they just have to let'em roll. Checking out furnace would require propane in tank, so no. A gamble on Keystone's part hoping all is well and if not the dealer (HAHA) can fix it. Hope no more issues for you, thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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I understand your frustrations. Good job in trouble shooting to finally get to a resolution. Rest assured you will probably have a few more challenging issues but experience goes a long way in getting to resolution. QC is what it is and you won't change it after the purchase. In light of that go and enjoy your rig.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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If you decide to replace that fuse with the proper one you'll probably have to get it from Dometic. They're proud of them and shipping is more than the fuse so I had them send me two. I couldn't find them anywhere else and two dealers near us were'nt even aware there was a different fuse for the furnace.
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:28 PM   #5
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I am trying to understand why they exist in the first place... buss fuses are like .10 a piece here.. I could replace several of them way cheaper than buying this self-healing joker.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:25 PM   #6
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As to QC, maybe things will get better. Not holding my breath tho. At the Rally, they said they now have a special group for QC that is not part of the assembly team. And they flag/tag things they find. During the tour (HC plant) there was a gap between some outside wall parts that had a flag on it, so they probably are catching some things. I don't know if they actually test every appliance and switch in the coach, but seems to me they should. Here's hoping!!

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Old 12-06-2019, 07:26 PM   #7
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Well I feel your pain. Glad you got it working.

Question though. Did you furnace ever work or is this the first time you fired it up?
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:51 PM   #8
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It won't make you feel any better but I have friends with other brands of 5th wheels that have just as much if not more trouble with them. I'd say unscientifically that quality has gone down over the years while prices have gone up. Newer tech has had failures -like landing gear issues, too frequently IMHO.
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Old 12-22-2019, 03:53 PM   #9
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In my experience with my 3820FK, everything worked when we took delivery. The fun didn't start until we took the first trip - another story. As far as CW, aren't they supposed to check everything before they deliver it to you? When I got mine, they gave me a checklist stating that they checked everything. My heat does the weirdest thing. It will not light at sea level, but as long as we're above 4,000 ft., works fine. CW here where we live can't duplicate. (of course).
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:36 PM   #10
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Since we full time, for the last 9 years I've kept a spreadsheet of good and bad reports on dealers so I know were to go in different parts of the country. I get information from facebook and three forums I belong too. CW has by far control of the bad dealer list, but does have one or two good ones listed also.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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We once owned a Montana, that was a long time ago and we will never own another one. Life is to short for that type of frustration.
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Old 12-30-2019, 07:49 PM   #12
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Just went through the same issue. 2020 3121RL. Blower starts, burner lights, 20 seconds later shuts down. Heard buzzing noise coming through duct. Went outside opened access door, restarted furnace (in-command app) same result. Buzzing was coming from relay on control board. Was told board was bad. Ordered and replaced board, furnace worked for one night. Then acted up again the same way. Read this, replaced self reset with standard standard fuse. Furnace works great now.
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