Troubleshooting RV furnace that wont ignite

Troubleshooting RV furnace that wont ignite
RV furnace won't ignite

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Staying in RV is fun and on cold nights all you need is some good heat to make it cozy. A RV furnace failures are common and troubleshooting them can be smooth if done with proper understanding. A RV furnace can be operating on propane or on electricity. rv furnace wont ignite is one of the common issue people see in Rv. Lets see why this problem occurs and how we can troubleshoot it.

Troubleshoot Electric RV furnace that wont ignite

  A] Battery power is not enough

A electric RV furnace can operate on 12 V DC and any problem with this power supply wont open the valve of the furnace. Check the battery output using multimeter to verify this scenario. RV furnace operates with a 10.5 V supply and at times if the battery is not able provide above 10.5V then the furnace wont ignite. A good way to test this out is to run the blower, (blower is apt  to operate fine under 10.5 V) if the blower runs then that means the battery supply may be under 10.5 V and thus its not able to open the furnace valve.

Best way will be to use multimeter and clear the doubts, it would show you exact output voltage. If the battery is good then there could be an issue with the thermostat. Slide anticipator for adjustments. Try setting the temperature to maximum and give some time for it to start, it may take around 30-40 seconds to start the fan.

If the battery isn’t good anymore do check with the manufacturer if its still in warranty. If you want to buy a new one then do check online for options, compare prices and read through reviews of other users.

Buying online gives you advantage by getting good discounts. You can check review and price of this Optima RV battery on Amazon. Its light weight and perfect fit for RV use.

B] The fuse in the furnace is blown

A fuse is used between the DC supply and the RV furnace electric board. A blown fuse will cut the of the battery supply and thus furnace wont ignite. A black or smokey fuse would typically mean it has blown.

Troubleshoot propane or gas rv furnace that is not igniting

A] You may not have enough supply of propane or your supply valve for gas is not opening

To verify that you are really not out of propane turn on the furnace and wait for some time. Later go near your exhaust outside of your RV and try to smell near exhaust (be careful while doing this as this can cause injury or burn). If you are not able to smell propane at the exhaust then that means you are out of propane.

To further verify if the gas supply is real short, turn on the gas stove and observe the flame if it isn’t very meager then your gas supply is okay but your furnace is not receiving the gas supply probably due to gas valve failure to open.

The valve on the furnace could be clogged thus not able to supply the propane to furnace. A bad or damaged valve has to replaced for proper functioning. Some propane supplies have manual turn off valves, you may check on that too. Make sure valve is entirely turned on for proper supply of gas.

  b] Problem with rv furnace ignitor 

Once you start the furnace and smell propane at the exhaust of the camper or RV then that means you have propane supply and the problem could be with the furnace ignitor. In such a scenario you may have to show the circuit board to a rv repair professional. A bad wiring between the igniter and the circuit board can also mean the furnace wont ignite. Another reason could be a dirty spark ignitor. It will not allow the spark to reach the burner and the fuel.

What are some of the other problems in RV furnace

 A] RV furnace fan runs but there is not heat

Another common problem where in the fan runs but there is no heat or very less heat in the furnace. This could be because of insufficient air flow in the furnace. An internal sail switch senses low air flow and which cause the furnace not to ignite. This means the fan will run but no heat will be produced.

A low air flow may be due to problems in ventilation. A blocked heat register can cause the ventilation issues. Even lesser blockages in heat register could cause ventilation issue and less or no heat production.

  B] RV furnace making loud noise

A noise in the running furnace could be because of dirt in the furnace air registers. You can clean the debris and keep it dirt free for less noise. If its not the dirt then the issue could be with exhaust vent debris. Another reason could pilot light, its a noise for some time when the air is being pushed through pipes to ignite the pilot. Such noise should however go away in some time and shouldn’t last long after your turn on the furnace.

Why do furnace fails to work : Some causes and things you should keep in mind

The circuit boards used in camper can sometimes operate and fail intermittently. In many cases the circuit board failure is the cause of furnace not working. A production of heat and cold causes contraction and expansion and thus leads to its intermittent behavior. It can be a tough job to identify the exact cause or fix the issue and thus replacing it could a favorable option. Such circuit boards can be bought from Rv furnace parts sellers online.

Overheating of the furnace can cause the electronic components to damage or burn. This causes the furnace to malfunction and stop working. Also it can produce carbon monoxide which is very bad for health.

Using rv furnace filter can also cause damage to your furnace. The furnace are not designed to operate under such conditions. Blockage of air flow may result in failure to heat. Also to make sure proper functioning, do not block the ducts of furnace in any way and allow for a proper air flow.

Is it time to replace the RV furnace ?

Troubleshooting a Rv furnace can be done by following step by step procedure however it can get tough if you get those issue again and again. It can be frustrating especially when its very cold and you need that heat desperately. Replacing the existing RV furnace can be a good investment. Remember a good furnace is a necessary appliance to have in your RV, a broken or malfunctioning furnace can give you hard time. A intermittent working furnace is more bad then the one that isn’t working at all. Imagine you are on a far trip and the old furnace that previously worked now doesn’t want to start. Go for it if you have a a doubt about its working conditions.

Things to consider when replacing a RV furnace or buying a new one.

1. Decide on the type of RV furnace

RV furnace could be a propane run or electric one. Both the types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Compare the pros and cons before deciding on the type of furnace you want in your RV, camper or travel trailer. Propane type are less efficient and tend to waste heat. Electric furnace operations cost are little higher as compared to propane. Electric furnaces can be more quieter then propane ones.

2. Area in your RV and Size of the furnace

Consider heating area in rv before buying a rv furnace. Compare various sizes and identify the one that suits your exact needs.

3. Budget

Fix your budget and compare and browse through various options available. Atwood RV Furnace, Suburban RV furnace, camco rv furnace, Mr. heater are some of the best and high efficiency rv furnaces available in market. You can buy a quality furnace within your budget. Check price of this Suburban New SF-35FQ 2400A LP Gas Furnace for RV Camper on amazon.

Yoganand Gadekar

Yoganand is a RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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