Furnace trouble

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otrider

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Oct 9, 2006
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Home is Ohio but here for now (Denver)
I  recently puchased a 30'  fifth wheel.  We had no idea how much propane was in the tanks if any, but the furnace came on and worked well for several days while we were cleaning the unit. The p ropane must have run out cause the furnace started blowing cold air so I shut it off.  Don't know how long it ran without propane as I was at work and my friend was cleaning it. 
Anyhow...did not get propane tanks filled for about a week.  when I finally did and got it all hooked up I tried the furnace again...still blowing cold air.  Tried multiple times per one of the helpful salesmen at Jim's Trailer Sales in North Ridgeville.  One helpful guy says maybe the circuit board blew cause of running it without propane.  Any other ideas short of a major repair prior to my shakedown on Saturday?  The weather wasn't too cold so I was able to do without. 
My thought is that if it is the board, I'll tow the unit to Camping world on my way out of town next Sat.  Is that realistic?  is that something they would be able to repair fairly quickly and on a Sat?  I could probably allow about 4 hours for the repair.

Thanks for the input
Pam
 

Jim Dick

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Pam,

It's doubtful running the furnace without propane caused a circuit board to go bad. Of course that doesn't mean it didn't fail due to another reason. How long did you allow the furnace to run before deciding it wasn't working? Sometimes it takes a while for the propane to fill the line back up. I'd try it a few more times to see if it's just blocked by air. Also be sure the tank valve is on!! You should hear the blower start and then the gas valve should operate. If you are close to the furnace you most likely will hear a click. If the unit fails to ignite you'll hear a second click when the valve shuts down. This will also stop the flow of propane. Keep trying it several times.  If you don't hear the first click then the valve isn't opening. That could be caused by a number of things.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Amen to what Jim says.
One additional thing: if your propane tanks are relatively old, they may have accumulated an oily gook in the bottom, from condensation and impurities in the LPG. There's an off-chance some of this gook got sucked up into the LP lines, which will clog regulators and burner jets.

Will you stove, fridge and water heater work on propane? If so, let them all run for several minutes to help pull propane through the lines. If not, you likely have a propane regulator problem.
 

otrider

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Oct 9, 2006
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Home is Ohio but here for now (Denver)
Well here's a big thank you for the advice and a chuckle for the rest of your day from a BIG NEWBIE!  It was the reset button!!!  :-[ Everytime I was out there trying to get it going it was after work and dusk or just plain dark.  Never even knew there was a reset button.  Furnace works fine now and I didn't have to pay Camping World the $200.00 they wanted to pull the furnace out to diagnose and fix the problem!  I did end up towing the rig there before I left cause I smelled propane...turns out I didn't have the tank connection on tight enough...that only cost me $20.00 to find out!  Boy I miss being able to talk with you folks!

One question what do you think my chances are of getting manuals for the stuff in the trailer that I don't have manuals for...like the furnace and the hot water heater???

Thanks and enjoy the chuckle :D.  If you want to read about my exploits from Ohio to Florida and ending up in an Orange Grove on a dead end...e-mail me [email protected]

Thanks again,
Pam
 

Jim Dick

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Titusville, FL
Hi Pam,

Glad to hear you have your problem resolved. Not to worry about the chuckles. Many of us have gone through similar situations and never laugh at one's problems.

Manuals should be available from the manufacturers of each unit. If not, ask for whatever you do not have. I'm sure someone on the forum will happily copy whatever you need.

If you are in Florida now let me know. We are in Titusville for the winter.
 

otrider

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Oct 9, 2006
Posts
69
Location
Home is Ohio but here for now (Denver)
Hi everyone!  Yes, I actually made it to Florida.  I spent a week in Holiday visiting family and then started a new adventure to get to the east coast.  I was desperately attempting to avoid I4  due to a little encounter with a dead end road in an ORANGE GROVE on the way down due to the horrendous traffic.  My alternate route was 60 across to Ft. Pierce.  Bad move!  One lane almost the whole way here and construction about 50% of the trip.  By the time I got out of Tampa  (some trucker up there is really on my list for cutting me off on an onramp and getting me totally lost)  it was late afternoon.  By the time I was out of civilization it was DARK!  Not something I'd want to repeat.  I-95 will have to do. 

I have a furnace and the hot water is working as of today.!  Yeah!  Now I have another question...
It seems that there is a short in the wiring for part of the trailer...
The "mood lights"  don't work now...they did previously,  One of the 2 outlets (top one) on one electrical outlet doesn't work, the electric hot water heater isn't working,  my outside lights are not working and the light and the fan in the bathroomare also not working.  All were functional at one point since December. All these are on the left side of the trailer....

I don't think it's a fuse, I've checked them several times.  i've also atempted to reset the breakers. 
I thought it was a loose wire but have looked at them very carefully and they seem to be ok. 

Any suggestions as to where I might start the investigation?
Last but not least...the computer seems to be cooperating....I'm so glad to be able to check back in.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Pam
 
W

Weewun

Guest
The outlets you mentioned are probably on a GFCI which will be located in one of the outlets and will have a Reset button.  The outlet will probably be in the Bathroom or Kitchen.
 

Jim Dick

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Titusville, FL
Hi Pam,

Sure sounds like a fuse has blown. Perhaps there are some located other than where you checked. Also on some trailers, at least Sunnybrook 5th wheels, there is a 12V circuit breaker behind the converter/fuse panel that is accessed from an outside compartment. Usually that cuts off most of the 12V circuits but it's worth a look.

I've been told Rt. 60 is a major route for the citrus trucks. Not a place to be at all! I haven't tried it and doubt I will. They own the road and care nothing about anyone else that might want to use it.

Jim
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
The items you listed are a mixture of 12VDC and 120VAC circuits, so there is more than one problem. Or perhaps a major bundle of wires got disconnected or cut, severing both 12V and 120V circuits.

The outlets are 120VAC and so is the water heater.  Most lighting and all the fans will be 12V.
 

otrider

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Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Posts
69
Location
Home is Ohio but here for now (Denver)
Thanks to all your responses.  Well I give up.  I'm gonna take a look for another fuse box this saturday but I haven't found one thus far.  I found out about a traveling RV repair service that is scheduled this next week.  I may ask for him to take a look see.  UNLESS this is a bad idea.  I have qualms of asking for service from one of these companies and being taken  for the inexperienced ignorant that I am.  What is a general reasonable fee for these services.  I guess forewarned is forearmed. 
thanks, Pam
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
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Posts
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Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Fees will depend on shop labor rates in the area - they generally run $75-$100 per hour, plus of course any parts required. Mobile services usually have a minimum of one hour labor and some may include travel time in their billing. I don't think there is a whole lot of risk in calling in a service tech for this sort of thing, but if he has to spend a lot of time to hunt down the source of the problem, it could get expensive.

Though your electric water heater uses 120VAC to heat the water, it also needs 12VDC for the circuit board, so a loss of 12V power could affect it.

The 120VAC outlet (one of two not working) sounds like a defective receptacle and is probably unrelated to the other problems. Opening up the outlet and checking the wires and/or replacing the receptacle itself should fix that.
 

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