Owing a furnace in an RV can be a very beneficial option, especially if you plan to travel to chillier climates or during colder times of the year. Just like in your house, this added fixture will keep the position plenty warm for a comfortable sleeping atmosphere. However, these can still have mechanical problems even when seldom used. RV furnace repair isn’t always difficult, and you don’t necessarily require a pro to fix every problem. Listed below are some troubleshooting basics that can be useful- to you.
READ ALSO:HOW TO REPLACE AN RV ROOF VENT
Pilot Light Is Out
Sometimes you may observe that the pilot light isn’t lit. First, knock the obvious issues off the list by checking the propane tank. Ensure it is turned on and not empty. If this doesn’t solve the issue, you should also take this time to check the propane regulator. Turn on the stove burner and notice the color of the flame. Ideally, you should see a blue flame with only a hint of yellow at most. If the flame color remains consistent, this means that your propane regulator is working just fine; if not, it will need to be changed. This problem can also affect your hot water heater.
A misaligned thermocouple can also prevent the pilot light from staying lit. It should be positioned properly in the pilot flame, so make any necessary adjustments if it isn’t sitting right, or changed it at this time if it’s broken altogether.
Also be sure to check the furnace vent for blockages. A pilot light needs oxygen to burn and without venting, it can’t get any. Any obstructions will likely be near the vent opening.
Fan Does not Run but Furnace Still Produces Heat
If you observe that your machine is still giving off heat yet the fan is not running, there are several sources you can check. Heat means that there is gas flowing so you can avoid checking the propane again.
The thermostat itself can be the reason of a dead fan even if there is heat. Check over the settings first to be sure they’re correct. Then, if that checks out, take out the cover and inspect the anticipator adjustment. This will have a sliding contact over either a bare wire or a bare wire wrapped around an insulating material if your specific thermostat has one. Adjust the slider in either direction slowly. Wait for at least 30 seconds in each position and listen for the fan to start. If this does kick the fan on, then find a position close to the original position that will work and replace the cover. If not, you likely will need to replace the thermostat altogether.
READ ALSO:HOW TO CHANGE CARPET IN AN RV
You can also check the wiring to the fan itself for shorts or fraying. For heat to be generated, electricity must be flowing through your unit, so before you take a closer look, be sure you disconnect the furnace from its power source entirely. Find the fan in your specific unit and trace the wiring from it until you’ve checked it entirely or until you’ve found the problem. It can be tricky to open up the furnace enough to get to this wiring, and it can be a nightmare trying to completely change a wire, so if you’re not confident in this task, get professional help.
Fan Does Not Work and Unit Produces No Heat
In this situation, you need to first make sure that the battery isn’t dead and that you have twelve volts to the furnace. Even if these check out, electricity to the machine may still be the problem; inspect your breaker box to be sure you haven’t tripped a breaker or blown a fuse.
Your thermostat’s anticipator regulators can also be the source of this problem as well. Check for the anticipator’s slide position again and change the thermostat altogether if needed.
Fan Is Running but Furnace Produces no Heat
An RV furnace has an internal sail switch that will keep the machine from igniting in cases of air flow being insufficient for combustion. As a result, the vent will work, but no heat will be produced. Several things can be checked for a cause in this situation.
A bad battery can once again be at fault here, as can a bad electrical connection to the blower’s motor. Without sufficient electricity, the blower cannot give out the force it needs to trip the sail switch. Check the battery for juice, and follow the wired connections from the blower if you suspect damage.
READ ALSO:HOW TO PRESERVE THE PAINT ON YOUR CAR
Insufficient air flow can also be triggered by poor ventilation. It is important to check if the heat registers are closed or obstructed and to clean them out completely if they are. Some furnaces can experience issues even with a small blockage, so be thorough.
Since RV furnaces can vary widely by model, and based on whether they are direct discharge or ducted types, some of these methods may not apply to your situation. However, these general tips should give some answers for the average repairer stumped on the cause of their issue, as well as a little advice on what to do about it.