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Old 12-24-2020, 08:03 PM   #1
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Location: Washington
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Angry Espar heater problem in my 2020 revel

I own a 2020 Winnebago Revel. My son used it last week while skiing and couldn't get the Espar diesel hydronic heater to work so I took it in to my Winnebago dealer. Unfortunately it's just over a year old and vehicle was no longer under the Winnebago 1 year warranty.

The service manager reported that my "glow pin screen" needed to be replaced and new part would cost about $250 plus labor around $500 and they would need to back order the part. It seemed to me that this was unreasonably expensive especially since the vehicle was almost new.

I called Winnebago industries and I told them I expected the heater should last longer than 1 year and they told me to call Espar to see if they had a longer warranty, which I did.

The Espar representative told me that the part was a "maintenance" item and should be relatively inexpensive ($10 or $20 he thought) and suggested I speak with the field rep in my area, who hasn't yet returned my call.

I was surprised he called it a maintenance item because I watched a YouTube video on replacing it and it seemed to be more than standard maintenance item, given the difficulty in removing it, even by a professional mechanic.

I have no reason to mistrust my dealer and am wondering if Espar rep was wrong about this.

I'm aware that it's recommended to start the furnace monthly when not using vehicle, which I've done.

Has anyone dealt with this problem? Any suggestions?

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Old 12-24-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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I missed your first line (Assuming you are talking about Espar Airtronics not Hydronic,) what are the symptoms?????

How do they know it is the screen? What controller do you have, can it read fault codes?

Your unit could be in the locked-up mode if you failed too many times to fire. Unlocking it and running on hot with kerosene could get you back to normal without disassembly. I found Heatso from UK as one on the best online store for parts in case if you need a screen, even from UK it is fast service. Rixen from Sandy OR is good but you need to call.

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Old 12-24-2020, 09:13 PM   #3
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I agree with George that checking for a lockout is the first step.
Those screens ARE maintenance items, although 1 year is pretty short unless the unit was run a LOT, or there is some other underlying combustion issue that can be hard on the screen. I normally expect them to last a few years at least. I always carry a spare.

Once the Espar is removed from the vehicle, disassembling them for service is not at all difficult. After the first time, I would expect R&R to be maybe 30 minutes total, plus whatever time you spend cleaning stuff.

Many Thermo King franchises will service your Espar and they often stock parts. Give yours a call. If that doesn't work and you don't want to do the job yourself, sending the unit off to Jim Rixen will do the trick.
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Old 12-24-2020, 10:11 PM   #4
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I have also had good experience with Thermo King. They are very professional and can often provide same day or short notice appointments.
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:41 PM   #5
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If you don't have a controller, just on/off switch for your hydronic heater an EasyStart Select could be the least expensive option to retrieve codes and cancel lockout mode.

I have EasyStart Timer controlling both Espar Hydronic and Airtronics heaters able to retrieve codes from both. Adding a Timer vs Select would give you timing option.

Eberspacher Hydronics could be operated with a simple switch, your camper is likely wired that way. Adding a permanently wired EasyStart code retrieving unit could make life easier even if you choose someone else to do work you would know your starting point, perhaps not Winnebago recommended screen replacement.

If your son had low fuel in the tank and the heater's fuel pump suck air the heater would fail to ignite, 5 times no ignition would give you a lockout. Fill the tank to over 1/4 full and cancel lockout is likely all you need.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:20 PM   #6
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In terms of maintenance, changing the fuel filter and atomizer screen on my Espar is pretty easy. I do it yearly. I get parts from I think the atomizer / glow plug screen is about $15 but they are different for each model. The fuel filters are about $6. It takes me about 20-30 min for the maintenance although I don't need to remove the unit to do the maintenance on mine. That would add to the labor cost and time.

Honestly, it is worth taking the time to figure out how to do some of these maintenance items on an RV or it is going to get pretty expensive and a big hassle trying to find someone that will do it regularly. Youtube has made this much easier for me.

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glow pin screen

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