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  • High altitude furnace operation

    I have heard about “high altitude kits” but don’t know what they involve or when needed.

    Do I need to make any adjustments to my furnace so it will operate correctly at altitudes I will experience between Michigan and West Yellowstone or Zion/Bryce Canyon?

    Thanks,
    Jim
    Jim & Deb
    2016 Reflection 337 RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500HD Duramax, 4wd, Crew Cab 6'6" box, SRW

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jim & Deb View Post
    I have heard about “high altitude kits” but don’t know what they involve or when needed.

    Do I need to make any adjustments to my furnace so it will operate correctly at altitudes I will experience between Michigan and West Yellowstone or Zion/Bryce Canyon?

    Thanks,
    Jim
    Believe it or not, a related topic (water heater operation on propane at high altitude) is covered in the owner's manual.

    High altitude deration
    Operation of the water heater at high altitudes may require derating. If the water heater is not properly derated, lack of sufficient oxygen for combustion may produce improper burner operation. Pilot outage caused by burner lift-off or sooting from a yellow burner may occur, indicating the possibility of carbon monoxide. You may also notice a lack of efficiency in heating the water because of incomplete combustion of the burner at these higher altitudes. Consult with a local propane company, your dealer or the water heater manufacturer for proper derating of the water heater. Change out of the orifice (derating) should be done by the dealer or a qualified service agency.

    I'm not 100% sure you can derate a furnace, or even if you'd want to for a short stay...I'm certainly not an expert on propane. Hopefully a more experienced individual on this topic will chime in.

    -Howard
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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    • #3
      What are you calling "high altitude" (although it's "elevation" unless you're in an aircraft)? Maybe we're just lucky... we routinely stay at about 4,000 ft. (as we are now) and have spent several periods between 5,000 and 7,000 ft. without issues. Of course, you can get a lot higher than that in the central Rockies and Sierras, etc.

      Rob
      Rob & Laura
      U.S. Army Retired (Rob)
      2012 F350 DRW CC Lariat PS 6.7, PullRite OE 18K
      2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS and disc brakes, solar, DP windows
      (Previously 4 yrs, 9 mos full-time in a Reflection 337RLS)
      Full time since 08/2015

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Second Chance View Post
        What are you calling "high altitude" (although it's "elevation" unless you're in an aircraft)? Maybe we're just lucky... we routinely stay at about 4,000 ft. (as we are now) and have spent several periods between 5,000 and 7,000 ft. without issues. Of course, you can get a lot higher than that in the central Rockies and Sierras, etc.

        Rob
        The things I learn on forums! I honestly never gave those two terms much thought and have (incorrectly) used them interchangeably. GDRV-Megan -- need to send this to your owner's manual POC and get the terminology updated. (The quote in post #2 is directly from the 2019 Reflection Owner's Manual, page 90.)

        Click image for larger version

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        Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

        Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Second Chance View Post
          What are you calling "high altitude" (although it's "elevation" unless you're in an aircraft)? Maybe we're just lucky... we routinely stay at about 4,000 ft. (as we are now) and have spent several periods between 5,000 and 7,000 ft. without issues. Of course, you can get a lot higher than that in the central Rockies and Sierras, etc.

          Rob
          Hello Rob,

          I think I have always used both terms synonymously... but you are correct I really mean elevation! We probably won't be over 7,000 ft. The only reason I posed the question is that I remember sometime ago on the old owners forum there was a lot of discussion about the operation or lack of...with our furnaces and it seemed the answer was a "high elevation kit". I really don't know if there is a point where these furnaces need to be modified to operate correctly above xxx elevation. In the planning stages for a trip from Michigan to West Yellowstone, Zion and Bryce Canyon. Just thought I would ask the question before finding out the hard way.

          Thank,
          Jim
          Jim & Deb
          2016 Reflection 337 RLS
          2015 GMC Denali 3500HD Duramax, 4wd, Crew Cab 6'6" box, SRW

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jim & Deb View Post
            I have heard about “high altitude kits” but don’t know what they involve or when needed.

            Do I need to make any adjustments to my furnace so it will operate correctly at altitudes I will experience between Michigan and West Yellowstone or Zion/Bryce Canyon?

            Thanks,
            Jim
            We spent a week at the south rim of Grand Canyon NP in Oct and ran both furnace and HW heater with no problems. Nighttime temps were were close to freezing.
            -Rob-
            -
            Rob, Chris and fur baby Maya
            2019 Solitude 374TH, Magnum MS2812, 400AH of Battle Born LiFePO4, 1800W Solar, Blue Sky CC's, WineGuard Trav'ler (Shaw)
            2017 GMC Denali Duramax 4x4 DRW LB CC, Curt Q25

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KamFlyer View Post

              We spent a week at the south rim of Grand Canyon NP in Oct and ran both furnace and HW heater with no problems. Nighttime temps were were close to freezing.
              -Rob-
              Thank You! I am doing my research now. Looks like I may be concerned over nothing.

              Jim
              Jim & Deb
              2016 Reflection 337 RLS
              2015 GMC Denali 3500HD Duramax, 4wd, Crew Cab 6'6" box, SRW

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KamFlyer View Post

                We spent a week at the south rim of Grand Canyon NP in Oct and ran both furnace and HW heater with no problems. Nighttime temps were were close to freezing.
                -Rob-
                Yes, we also did a week at the south rim, and a week in Albuquerque, along with time in Grand Teton and Yellowstone with no issue. I remember the thread on the "other boards" you are talking about. As I recall it was the water heater that gave them trouble, and I think it might have been a different model than the Atwood currently being used.
                2018 Reflection 28bh
                2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by howson View Post

                  The things I learn on forums! I honestly never gave those two terms much thought and have (incorrectly) used them interchangeably. GDRV-Megan -- need to send this to your owner's manual POC and get the terminology updated. (The quote in post #2 is directly from the 2019 Reflection Owner's Manual, page 90.)

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Thanks for the info! I sent that to our Marketing team to address.

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                  • #10
                    Just a brief update...I called two RV dealerships that sell GDRV products. #1 was in Denver and #2 was in Salt Lake City. I spoke with the service manager in both locations and they indicated they have never sold/installed one. Both also said they don’t do anything special to any trailer (no matter which brand) for use at “high elevation” and have not had any complaints.

                    Since the “high elevation kit” is an $80 part I will be giving it a try without it. Can always get one next day from Amazon!

                    Jim
                    Jim & Deb
                    2016 Reflection 337 RLS
                    2015 GMC Denali 3500HD Duramax, 4wd, Crew Cab 6'6" box, SRW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wonder what's in the kit? We spent several months in Chama, NM at 7800' elevation (MSL, Mean Sea Level) with no heating or hot water issues/limitations.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rivercityjeff View Post
                        Wonder what's in the kit? We spent several months in Chama, NM at 7800' elevation (MSL, Mean Sea Level) with no heating or hot water issues/limitations.
                        Usually a different gas jet {leaner) and the stuff to install it. It was the same for carburetors back in the day. If you didn't have any issues at 7,800, nothing to worry about.

                        Rob
                        Rob & Laura
                        U.S. Army Retired (Rob)
                        2012 F350 DRW CC Lariat PS 6.7, PullRite OE 18K
                        2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS and disc brakes, solar, DP windows
                        (Previously 4 yrs, 9 mos full-time in a Reflection 337RLS)
                        Full time since 08/2015

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                        • #13
                          It might be worth checking with the manufacturer about adjusting the intake. I know it can be adjusted to either cut back or raise the amount of the intake air. I had to readjust the air control on a Jayco we owned since it wouldn't like unless the heater door was open. Once we adjusted for a bit more air, it lit right off. Also, we have made multiple trips into the Rockies and Cascades and once adjusted to work at home (300 ft AMSL), it worked fine in the elevation of the mountains.
                          2019 Ford F-150 Lariat 2WD SuperCrew , SoftTopper, Blue Ox SwayPro hitch with 1000lb bars, Billstein 5100 series rear shocks, Hellwig rear swaybar
                          2020 Imagine 2600RD with Road Armor + wet bolt suspension, Yakima Longhaul Bike Rack, MicroAir EasyStart 364 for AC, Lion Energy 100amp X2
                          Amateur Radio Call N9XGZ
                          FMCA # 489460

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rivercityjeff View Post
                            Wonder what's in the kit? We spent several months in Chama, NM at 7800' elevation (MSL, Mean Sea Level) with no heating or hot water issues/limitations.
                            I called Dometic (now owns Atwood) they gave me this part number. It can be found on Amazon. Looks like it only modifies intake/exhaust.

                            https://www.amazon.com/Atwood-32503-.../dp/B077BG3G2H

                            Jim
                            Jim & Deb
                            2016 Reflection 337 RLS
                            2015 GMC Denali 3500HD Duramax, 4wd, Crew Cab 6'6" box, SRW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim & Deb View Post

                              I called Dometic (now owns Atwood) they gave me this part number. It can be found on Amazon. Looks like it only modifies intake/exhaust.

                              https://www.amazon.com/Atwood-32503-.../dp/B077BG3G2H

                              Jim
                              If you read the one Amazon review on that link, the guy says that kit doesn't even come with the required orifice - he had to buy that separately. He advised just buying the proper orifice and not bothering with that kit.

                              Rob
                              Rob & Laura
                              U.S. Army Retired (Rob)
                              2012 F350 DRW CC Lariat PS 6.7, PullRite OE 18K
                              2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS and disc brakes, solar, DP windows
                              (Previously 4 yrs, 9 mos full-time in a Reflection 337RLS)
                              Full time since 08/2015

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