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Old 10-22-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
1978 31' Excella 500
Kelowna , British Columbia
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HELP! Furnace blows only cold... And winter is near

Hey guys

I am struggling with my furnace. I am currently living in my trailer in Canada and it will soon be dropping to 0 at night, so I need to figure this out soon. My suburban furnace in my 78 Excella is has been only blowing cold air for the past three days. The the first day i loosened the gas connection at the furnace until i could smell propane in case it was air in the line. After that it ignited nicely. The next morning back to cold air. So yesterday i replaced the gas regulator by the propane tanks, and added new hoses for the tanks. It ignited beautifully all day. This morning, after running only electric all night i am back to cold air. I still have the hose that goes from the regulator to the copper lines to replace, i will do that today. To me it still sounds propane related, not furnace related. Someone told me the old rubber hoses will disinigrate inside and you get crap in your lines. All I know is it will soon be cold enough that i need to use the furnace, not just electric for heat.

Any thoughts?

TIA
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:07 PM   #2
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Stating the obvious for another reason.
It shouldn't blow cold air out through the ducts, it should know it isn't making hot air and turn itself off.
Junk in the gas line or faulty controls are my best armchair guess.
Take it to a heat certified RV tech if you're not cpmfortable with the repair.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:20 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1978 31' Excella 500
Kelowna , British Columbia
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So a bit of an update. Furnace has been working great for past day and a half. Im guessing it just needs a servicing. Have someone coming in on Tuesday, since i am all skirted in. Thanks
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:29 PM   #4
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Here is my GUESS, the thermocouple is not working reliably in detecting the flame, so the gas valve cuts gas for safety.


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Old 10-25-2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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Don't play with propane. It kills. Get someone who is certified. Just any old mechanic will not do the trick and it is also illegal for them to complete the job.
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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Same problem

We had that problem on our last trip in Vermont. It was getting cold and the furnace only blew cold air.

We pulled the fuse for the heater and took off the front and poked around in there. We found a wire that had come loose from our travels, reconnected it and everything worked fine. Without that wire the thermo-couple was not allowing the gas to flow / ignite. Pulling the fuse was a safely measure before we started poking around.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:39 PM   #7
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If this is a Suburban furnace check the other threads on this problem. The limit switch, sail switch and igniter board are common sources of this type of problem. I was at first intimidated about pulling mine out but once out replacing these was simple and cheap enough to do all 3 at once. The recommendation is to replace the igniter board with a Dinosaur Electronics UIB S Universal Igniter Board as the suburban part is not reliable. I found American RV Company to be helpful for getting the phone number of Dinosaur to get the correct board ID # for your model. American RV's website is easy to use for ordering the parts, just carefully read the description where it tells the specific models the parts fit to make sure you are getting the parts specific to your model.
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #8
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Furnace..how long for hot air?

Along this thread....I recently tried my furnace for the first time in northern Colorado and it blew cool air for the 4 minutes I could stand to leave it on. The month previous, I had a full systems-check (24-hour cycling of systems) at an AS dealer and everything was pronounced perfect.
How long should it take to have warm air blowing? Is there something simple I am missing? (Turn furnace on, set to heat, set temp, warm up)?
Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:06 AM   #9
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Hey guys. I had an RV tech come out and take a look and of course the furnace worked great while he was here. We finally diagnosed the problem as the limit switch. We could get it to kick in and out by touching it with a screwdriver. While we were testing it we did run into problems with my new programmable thermostat not working one time. That was the first time it didn't fire up the fan. So I hooked the old one back up for now. I think I will leave the old one hooked up for a while after the switch gets replaced. He recommended only installing a new two wire thermostat, but I do like the idea of a programmable one. Either way i was probably overly paranoid about this repair, only because I have to survive a Canadian winter living in it, and do not want to freeze up part way through. When in reality the repairs seemed pretty basic. Mostly I dont like having to admit I had to bring someone in to fix something. And if it was the old pilot light version i would have just replaced the thermocoupler and moved on. Easy. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #10
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HELP! Furnace blows only cold... And winter is near

From time to time we all need professional help. It was your turn.


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Old 11-06-2015, 12:53 PM   #11
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1974 31' Sovereign
1978 31' Excella 500
Kelowna , British Columbia
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Ok. New limit switch finally arrived... And it wasnt the problem. But a new circuit board fixed it. So a $260 part plus labour, makes me think maybe i should have just spent the $1100 on a new furnace. Anyway, its heating great now.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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Hello everyone, I have a 2013 25' Eddie Bauer, currently parked on the west (wet) coast of British Columbia. Temperature range currently (January) is -3 to about 7, celcius.

While I am not living in my "Eddie" right now, I do want to use it for guest accomodation when my adult kids come to visit.

My furnace recently started kicking off after only a minute or so of blowing cold air. I am 100% ignorant, but given that my tanks are full, at least I knew I hadn't run out of propane. So I tried to light the stove and the tiniest little bit of propane fed in, just enough for small dots of flame, then it flickered out. I couldn't even get it to light again after that. (Had full ventilation while I was tinkering, I'm super respectful - i.e. scared - of propane). I then tried the fridge on propane, but didn't expect any results and didn't get any.

So I read someone's suggestion that cold weather can create pressure issues. It was suggested that I turn the propane tanks off, disconnect them, reconnect them and then, ever so gently open a valve and try the stove again.

This actually did result in a more significant size of flame, a full small ring, upon stove top ignition but it only lasted a moment and then faded away, with the propane dial at max (9). So I believe I can assume that my lines are capable of feeding propane to appliances (or at least my stove burners) but something is stopping it from continuing. No luck on the furnace, not surprisingly.

I am on my own in a remote place, with no RV service close by. Any other suggestions would be most appreciated. I wondered if I simply put a space heater close to a tank and heated up the tank a little, would that increase my pressure or is it likely something else?

Many thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:35 PM   #13
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1974 31' Sovereign
1978 31' Excella 500
Kelowna , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2011
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Hi. I am currently living in my '78 Excella in Kelowna. The biggest problem i have had this winter has been my propane. I have replaced the regulator twice, but i always end up putting the old one back on. I kept thinking the new regulators were freezing up on me. But after visiting a propane place last week to get new valves on my tanks, they said the problem was probably not the regulator, but that my tanks were getting filled too full. That kind of makes sense, because when it did stop working it was always when one tank was empty, and it was trying to access the other tank. So i have the new regulator back on and so far so good. So i dont know how full your tanks are, but if you have a third tank kicking around, from a bbq or something i might try hooking that up first ti see if it would work. Th only other thing i can think of is maybe you have a gas valve partitally or completely closed? I have two below my trailer. One for the furnace and one for the stove. Your furnace cutting out sounds like it is working fine. It cant get propane so it just stops trying. I would work on getting a steady flame on your stove and your furnace should fire up. As far as the cold weather goes we have had a -18 celcius night and nothing froze up. Good luck finding your problem. If we stay here for more than a year i will hook up a big tank like all of my neighbours. They have no problem and Canwest comes in once a week to top them off.
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