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Old 12-24-2011, 11:41 AM   #1
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Return air problem draft

We have a 2011 Pinnacle 36RETS. *We love it! *However, we get a very bad draft through the slotted vats in the stairway. We took it to general rv and they said that it was an air return area and should not be insulated.

On a trip in late October where it was snowing in Washington DC, there was a constant and steady draft coming from under the stairs.

We are now pulling down to FL from MI and tonite had an issue with smoke from our camp fire coming in through that same area under the stairs.

It doesn't appear that the area is insulated underneath and things like smoke and cold air enter in freely.

Is it possible to understand how to keep cold air, smoke, *and drafts from entering from under the stairs? *
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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Make sure all the outside hatches are latched on both sides would be one way to stop outside air intrusion. Blocking the stairwell vents would restrict the flow of air to the holding tanks. If you are not using the furnace to heat, I can't see any value in leaving them open other that to allow ventilation to the storage area.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Check around the propane tanks for air leaks ( the area under the tanks must be open) also the floor where a generator would mount. This section of floor has knockouts and slots in it.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:23 PM   #4
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The real giveaway that there is a problem is the campfire smoke coming in. No way that should be happening. You should not be getting ANY drafts from the outside. There is a difference between insulation and sealing. If it is a return for the furnace, it's ducted and there should be no air leaks in it. Also, it has zero to do with the installation or mounting of the propane tanks. They are installed with their own venting so I don't know why that was even mentioned. You also do not need vents to the holding tanks. They have their own vents to the outside.

You really need to do some investigating and figure out what that space really does, even if it means pulling the grill and looking inside. Don't listen to the dealer that you talked to before. He obviously doesn't know
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Old 12-24-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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My Designer has those same vents and I don't have a draft problem at all. I would agree that the propane tank area and generator area are totally separate and wouldn't come into play with your problem.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
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My eagle has the same vents and I too feel a draft on cold nights. These vents have screens and no insulation. I too wanted to insulate; but, thought it was for proper air-flow.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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The dealer told us they called Jayco and that it was working as designed. We have taken the whole inner panel wall out to inspect that area within the cargo bay. If you shine a light through the vats on the stairs, you have a space that is probably 2-3' in depth of dead space behind the access panel in the cargo area.

We did check cargo bay seals and they are installed. There is a heating duct in the cargo bay (that one would presume is there to keep that space warm in adverse weather) as well so it definitely is leaking in lots of air from somewhere underneath.

Since we are in a warm climate this week, I'll get in there with a flashlight during night and see if we can see light coming through anywhere.

Thanks, Steve and Vanessa
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:06 AM   #8
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So I took off the panel that hides the heater, vents and the "return air" vents under the stairs....there IS no return air ducting! I can't believe general rv told us we would be poisoned by fumes if we covered those vents from drafts....I am very unhappy with them right now....what do you do when you take something in for warranty repair work and they do nothing?! We also asked them to fix the caulk in the bathroom shower....the caulk is not holding at all....they said they repaired it, but still, the aluminum shower glides are not caulked to the shower pan and water leaks all over the bathroom when we shower. :-(. Should we complain to them or find a new servicing center? I want to get this ducting thing figured out...

Thanks,
Vanessa
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:13 AM   #9
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There are hot air ducts in the underbelly that send warm air to keep the tanks from freezing. The stair vents provide circulation for that air to move. I noticed some minor drafts in my rig this past week in that area but the furnace was running very little.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:26 AM   #10
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But you can see sunlight all over down there.....so there is circulation from outside air....
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