Troubleshooting an RV Furnace
Posted by Misty Faucheux on July 7, 2011 at 9:56 pm
The previous article in this series taught you how to use a tow bar for a jeep. Now you’ll know learn how to
troubleshoot your RV furnace when it’s not working properly.
A RV furnace is your lifeline to comfort in the dead of winter. If it’s not working, you may not be near
any repair shop to get it fixed. You can, however, troubleshoot some common RV furnace issues. You
may be able to quickly fix them, and then get back on your way.
First, verify that you have the thermostat turned to Heat, especially if you have a dual furnace and air
conditioner unit, and always turn the unit on. It is perfectly normal for your blower to turn off and on
when the furnace is on. This is not a problem.
Give your furnace blower about 30 seconds to start blowing air. Your furnace burner takes a few
seconds to come on so give it time to start. Once the inside air temperature reaches the correct
temperature setting, your furnace will turn off. If you want it to run for a longer period of time, raise the
Furnace Burner Not Lighting
If the blower is running, but the burner is not igniting, try cleaning the burner, exhaust or intake vents.
They may be clogged with dirt and debris. Definitely clean the burner if you see a lot of soot in the black
line. Check the sail switch, and clean it as well if it’s dirty. If the sail switch looks clean, use a multimeter,
and see if the part has continuity. If not, you need a new one.
If your furnace won’t come on at all, verify that you have gas in your propane tank. If not, then you need
to refill it. This is perhaps the most common problem that people run into, and it’s also the easiest to fix!
Simply find a place that offers propane gas, and get your tank filled.
Furnace not Putting Out Enough Heat
Check your gas line if you are not getting enough heat. If the line is extremely kinked or warped, you
probably need to replace the line. Turn off the gas, and purchase a gas line that fits your particular tank.
Also, verify that you have the right size tank for your RV. Read your manual if you are unsure what size
tank you need.
Pilot Light Not Lighting
If the pilot light won’t light up, verify that the thermocouple is in the right place. If not, you may need to
reposition it. If the thermocouple looks fine, do the following test to see if you have a bad regulator on
the propane tank:
1. Light up all the burners on the stove.
2. Let the burners run for a few minutes, and check the color of the flame. You should have a
bluish flame. If the flame is very weak or yellow, change out the regulator.
Never block the furnace with objects, and verify that if it has proper airflow. If not, the pilot light may
not light, or you won’t get enough heat.
If you need assistance with any of the RV furnace repairs, contact an authorized repair person. If you
smell gas, immediately turn off any appliances that are running and the gas supply. Immediately contact
a technician for assistance.
Stay tuned for our next How To installment for more recommendations for your RV.