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Old 04-27-2014, 09:40 AM   #1
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Default Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Could it really be?

Suburban and the RV parts folks are listing a new part number for the classic B sized Suburban furnace.

Old number was NT-16SE for the non ducted version.

New number is NT-16SEQ

The "Q" allegedly stands for QUIET. The description also calls it the new quiet model.

I couldn't find any reviews in a quick search, and was also not able to find a parts list to see what they changed, but most likely the motor and the two blowers on the motor as that is where I found our noise comes from. It will be interesting to see if the parts are available to retrofit, or if you need a new furnace for $500+.

Expensive to upgrade to be sure, but if it really is much quieter, it might be worth it for the sleep you would gain.

Anybody heard anything on this, or have any contacts in the RV repair area that might be able to get a parts list to compare to the old version?
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

From Lance: I don't know if it's a Suburban. these are used in their TT Four season package.
"A dual stage 15,000 / 22,000 BTu furnace not only keeps you warm in sub-freezing temperatures Ė Lance is the only camper to feature this quiet-running furnace that burns less fuel by automatically selecting how much heat is needed."
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Old 04-27-2014, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

We rarely run the furnace overnight. We simply sleep in sleeping bags rated to 20F and that is as cold as we probably will ever go. We fire it up before getting out of bed and wait a few minutes for the B to tolerably heat up. When plugged into shore power we do use a 1500 watt cheap $20 electric cube heater. I actually sleep a lot better in cold weather and enjoy it. But a quieter Suburban I imagine would be very appealing.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

We also use an electric heater when we have shore power. The noisy furnace is probably the major reason we seek out shore power, and is much more common than the opposite reason of having air conditioning.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

We used our noisy furnace twice on our last trip, once in northern Kentucky and again in Bryce, UT. We found we were able to sleep reasonably well, even with the incumbent noise. I guess our fatigue level was high enough to counter the brief awakening, when it fires up. It may also have to do with our day/night shift career times, where we both regularly worked odd hours, and had to find ways to sleep at odd hours and during noisier times of day, as well.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I just got this reply from Suburban on the new design of the furnaces.

The Q-model furnaces are totally redesigned with a new motor and fan design. Which significantly reduced noise created by the fan in the older version.



From when I tried to quiet ours down, 90% of the noise was from the motor, when it was under load, which is typical of DC motors. If they have gone to a brushless style, they may be very quiet now.

I think I need to get to an RV dealer that has a rig with one in it and have a listen to see how much they have improved.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Did you get an answer to the question about whether the new "quieter" parts are able to be retrofitted to our old jet engine models?
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Did you get an answer to the question about whether the new "quieter" parts are able to be retrofitted to our old jet engine models?
That didn't come up, as I didn't ask on the first try. I am going to answer and ask that, and if there is a parts list available. My guess is that they won't be available, do to the comment about completely redesigned, and liability issues with propane appliances.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I wouldn't be surprised if the footprint is identical in size/dimensions, in the case where some owners of the older models might consider replacing their current units with a new one. Even if the parts aren't interchangeable. I wonder how difficult it would be to replace a furnace? As difficult as a fridge or water heater, I would expect.
Do you think the most noise comes out the front of the furnace, or does it also emanate from under the bed (in our case), from the casing of the unit? We use ours so rarely and I've never actually sat there and tried to see where the most noise originates when it's running. I wonder if wrapping some of that Hushmat or B-Quiet muffling stuff around the casing might help with the noise?
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
I wouldn't be surprised if the footprint is identical in size/dimensions, in the case where some owners of the older models might consider replacing their current units with a new one. Even if the parts aren't interchangeable. I wonder how difficult it would be to replace a furnace? As difficult as a fridge or water heater, I would expect.
Do you think the most noise comes out the front of the furnace, or does it also emanate from under the bed (in our case), from the casing of the unit? We use ours so rarely and I've never actually sat there and tried to see where the most noise originates when it's running. I wonder if wrapping some of that Hushmat or B-Quiet muffling stuff around the casing might help with the noise?
I did get an answer about interchangeability, and the new furnace is a direct replacement. The old ones cannot be upgraded per Suburban, although I bet someone will try if the parts can be found, but depending on what changed, that could be dangerous.

Our furnace is in the front armoire behind the driver, and I have had it out at least 6 times trying different quieting methods, all of which didn't really help. I can have ours out in less than 10 minutes and it is not difficult to do. The noise comes out all around and through the front grate. There is wood around the rest of it which probably blocks it there.
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Old 04-30-2014, 03:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I wonder if any Canadian RV stores have even heard about it yet? I'll have to start looking around. It wouldn't be top of the list of mods, but it's up there, long term.
I'd be interested in knowing if the quiet is worth the price and hassle of replacing the noisy models.
If anyone has a chance to (not) hear one of these things in action, I'd be interested in any and all opinions. Is it that much quieter?
Ours is situated under the foot of the passenger side bed, between the toilet and the inside fresh tank. Might be a good place for a heat source in the cooler weather. The thermostat is above and behind it on the wall under the bulkhead that houses the overhead storage cupboard, so it shuts it off fairly quickly when the area reaches set temp. A clever, but accidental design, I'm sure. I think if ours was located forward of the sleeping area like yours, it would be a lesser concern overall.

Is your A/C unit as noisy as the furnace? Maybe a quieter A/C unit would be nice, too?
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
We rarely run the furnace overnight. We simply sleep in sleeping bags rated to 20F and that is as cold as we probably will ever go. We fire it up before getting out of bed and wait a few minutes for the B to tolerably heat up. When plugged into shore power we do use a 1500 watt cheap $20 electric cube heater. I actually sleep a lot better in cold weather and enjoy it. But a quieter Suburban I imagine would be very appealing.
Yes. We do exactly the same. Our 1500 watt is a quality adjustable unit with rotating mode. If my eye lashes freeze together I figure I better get my head under the sleeping bag too. We do set the furnace to 60 degrees and it doesnt start up very often anyway. Well, it is a mild climate here too.
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Quote:
s your A/C unit as noisy as the furnace? Maybe a quieter A/C unit would be nice, too?
The AC is noisy, but not as loud as the furnace. It is also continuous, which helps I think. The furnace is a much more irritating type of sound to us.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Maybe this is a case where a little competition wakes a company up. The diesel hydronic heating systems promote quieter as a big point and that was aimed directly at Suburban with the same old system everyone has been installing for years.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:43 PM   #15
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I just got off the phone with a very knowledgeable local guy who specializes in RV type appliances and repair.

He was totally aware of the new Suburban furnaces, right down to knowing the part #s from memory. He says the new series is substantially quieter, with his guess at 50%. He has also retrofitted them into existing applications with the old style, but not in RVs. Apparently, the ice fishing folks (after all this is Minnesota) use this furnace a lot on fish houses, and have had the same noise problems for years. He said that every one that he has converted to the quiet version was ecstatic (his term), which is a pretty good endorsement. Fish house folks sleep in a tiny area just like B folks.

The noise, as he described it, changes from the loud irritating growling to more of an airflow sound, like the AC would give. He thought the change was because of the different airflow vs fan speed in the new model, and that it was much less irritating.

I think this will definitely go on the list of upgrades to come, but not on the urgent list. With the changes to be off grid more that we have done, we will be relying much more on the furnace and less on the electric heater we use the most now for overnight heat. If we are on the furnace more, the change will be well worth the cost, I think.

On edit--he also mentioned a substantial savings in battery use with the new model.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:17 AM   #16
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I ggogled thisand found a listing back to 2012. i also went to the manufacturer website and found the quiet models the only one listed. i would say most new rv's being built and maybe for over a year have been getting this quiet model the measuerments are the same


http://www.rvcomfort.com/suburban/products/nt_light.php


click on the pdf thats underneath when you go to page-has both old and new specs. amp draw has gone from 3.1 to 2.7
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
I ggogled thisand found a listing back to 2012. i also went to the manufacturer website and found the quiet models the only one listed. i would say most new rv's being built and maybe for over a year have been getting this quiet model the measuerments are the same


http://www.rvcomfort.com/suburban/products/nt_light.php


click on the pdf thats underneath when you go to page-has both old and new specs. amp draw has gone from 3.1 to 2.7
Yep, I found that same stuff, but nothing on the sound levels, except "quiet". The reduced battery load was something the local guy mentioned and that the fishhouse guys really liked that aspect also, as they have to drag their batteries with them onto the lake.

I called a few dealers about getting a listen in a new unit, but they were all pretty unresponsive, with lots of excuses as to why not. I have couple more to try, but I think I will stop in at them instead.

I have read and the local said, they changed the fan and run it faster, which coupled with the lower amperage would probably mean a brushless motor like the very quiet, low amp, fans you can get.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Pretty much good news all around, then. I think we're leaning towards keeping the Roadtrek longer term, and a furnace upgrade will have to go on the list as "nice to have".
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

I did finally find a dealer, that I had stopped at, that had one they would run for me. Certainly not silent, but essentially all the noise seemed to be airflow type noise, without the horrible metallic type sounds of ours. I listened there, hustled home and listened to ours. Just guessing, I would put the noise as similar to the Coolcat AC running on fan only, without the compressor.

I have been looking around, and found a place that will order it in, so it surely should be the quiet version, for $410 with free shipping and no tax. Old one may be worth $75 on Craigslist, so that would make it even more attractive. It is probably something we will do sooner than later, so we can get some time on it before we go to Alaska next year.

At full retail and paying for install, the cost would approach $800, and would be more thought provoking in the decision.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Quiet Suburban furnace?????

Interesting. I would probably consider trying a DIY replacement, but I'm sure my co-pilot would object. Perhaps at some point, when we get some other functionally critical items taken care of, I'll make a short list of upgrades and try to schedule a big bang style installation party at an RV repair shop.
Alaska? After the winter we just had?
(actually, we've been talking about Alaska, too. maybe next summer. we figure it'll be an 8 week trip at least, probably 2 weeks travel each way, to and from?)
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