Review of Franco Belge Monaco stove

Warped Baffle solution

Ian Evetts 4 years ago

We replaced a warped baffle flue on our 2008 Monaco - within days the new one had dropped. This was initially due to using the wrong bolts to retain the half moon retaining piece. They must be stainless steel, and if you use penny (large) washers made of stainless steel that will help preventing this happening again.

Within days though our new flue baffle dropped - it was the correct part for the stove, I can only think that either the pathetically short lugs have worn away or the frame itself has warped it.

I read the reviews and comments on this site - I found the comment from Aaron Jury (a year ago) about using fibreboard very interesting, so I bought a half-sheet of vermiculite fibreboard (about 30 quid) and we made a template of a side fire brick to fit next to the existing one, it's a bit fiddly but not too bad. I then cut the 2 new side fire bricks. Fibreboard is very easy to cut with a wood saw and a hacksaw, then sanded down to size. Best to over cut, very easy to sand (apologies for stating the obvious).

I inserted the 2 new fibre board fire bricks flush next to the existing ones. They eventually fitted v snugly. I noticed they half-obscured one of the back ventilation holes, so opened that up by drilling.

The flue baffle now sits securely on these pieces of fireboard and, so far, is as solid as a rock.

There is nowhere for it to go - they hold the sides in place.

Obviously the design is very poor and Franco-Belge (or whoever owns them now) should have sorted it out, but this works for us and seems, so far, like a good solution. The fibreboard is 25mm, so doesn't take up too much space in the firebox.

Please note that I am not a HETAS engineer, so you do this at your own risk, but I would like to thank Aaron Jury (who is) for the initial idea.

Hope it helps anyone else with the same problem.

Stove expert replied: Sound a neat solution. Any alterations to a stove though are done outside the normal warranty conditions that apply.

Overall rating:

3.5 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 2.7)
Quality of finish 4 flames (avg 3.6)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 2.8)
Ease of use 4 flames (avg 3.6)
Ease of lighting 4 flames (avg 3.8)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 3.7)
How well does the airwash work 4 flames (avg 3.8)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 2.8)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 3.8)
How likely are you to buy it again? 1 flames (avg 2)
What is your overall satisfaction? 2 flames (avg 2.6)