Troubleshooting an RV Furnace

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Duration: 6:00

On an extended RV trip into the desert or the great Northern wilderness, the RV furnace can either remain your best friend or become your worst enemy. Proper RV furnace troubleshooting comes down to how you maintain it–do you take care of it regularly or do you take shortcuts to fix serious problems?

To help you better understand how to effectively repair a furnace during RV furnace troubleshooting, Dave Solberg demonstrates a few expert RV furnace troubleshooting tips and techniques he’s learned over the years. While there’s not much maintenance to be done on the furnace, there are some simple methods to making it run more efficiently.

To start the RV furnace troubleshooting process, you’ll want to open up the exterior furnace compartment and check for a couple things. First, it’s important to clear away any debris, dirt or spider webs that have been left behind in the furnace’s exhaust and intake pipes. There is a breed of spiders that loves the smell of propane and builds a nest in those tight spaces. Other insects such as mud dobbers like to make their homes in these areas, and can cause costly damage when the furnace system cannot properly ventilate.

Going further into the component, it’s recommended that you keep an eye out for other clogs and malfunctioning orifices. Run the furnace system for a bit and watch and listen for anything out of the ordinary such as strange noises and leaks. You can use an air hose (and safety glasses) to shoot away unwanted grime and rust from the entire compartment.

If you run the system and you get nothing, RV furnace troubleshooting experts like to hook a multimeter up to the furnace to check for proper voltage–10.5 volts is ideal. The key to a better heating system is finding the source of any problem that seems odd and addressing it. The last thing you want is to find yourself in sub-zero temperatures with a struggling furnace.

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2 Responses to “Troubleshooting an RV Furnace”

  1. Al

    NB Ticket#20403 I can hear the igniter clicking and smell propane coming from the exhaust outlet. What would prevent it from lighting?

    • Customer Service

      Dear Al,

      Thank you for your patience. In regards to your question-

      This can happen from a blockage on the burner assembly, blockage in the burn chamber, char build up on the electrode, crack in the electrode casing or wire, bad electrode, blocked orifice or blockage in the exhaust not allowing good air/gas mixture. To check this type of problem, the best thing to do is pull out the igniter electrode and insoect the ends. It could be something simple as cleaning off the electrode with steel wool. You could then check the wiring and casing around it. If there is debris on it, like a mouse nest, the burn chamber could be full of it causing a huge blockage. The system would have to be blown out to get rid of it. Check for any debris in the exhaust, this is sometimes an indicator that critters have moved into the chamber. It could even be a piece of rust sitting on top of the burner causing a blockage. You would really have to start disassembling parts to insect what may be going on. Just make sure to remember how everything gets re installed. If you aren’t comfortable taking these items apart, I would recommend taking it to a service center. We have some great videos giving tips on things to check, I will provide the links below. I hope this helps!

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