Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-23-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1995 30' Limited
Tygh Valley , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 18
6 weeks on the road gives me furnace questions

The wife and I are just about to finish up a 6 week 6,000 mile road trip in our 87 Sovereign. That much time on the road has given me reason to ask a few questions about our furnace.

First, the fan in the Suburban furnace we currently have is quite noisy. If I were to replace the fan or the furnace itself with newer, modern technology, would I be likely to see a reduction in the noise level?

Second, the existing thermostat is the original electro-mechanical Suburban model. It has a small, very difficult to use, lever on the bottom to turn the furnace on or off. And, it's very difficult to set the thermostat to a desired temperature. Is it possible to replace this thermostat with a new, digital model? An RV repair person told me that any 12 volt, 2-wire thermostat should work. Is he right?

Lastly. we experience some problems with the furnace refusing to ignite. The thermostat would call for heat, the fan would start, but we'd never hear the "click" that indicates the fuel has ignited. I've been told that I need to clean the burner but no one has told me exactly how to do that. What exactly is required to do this? Are there You-Tube videos or something similar showing the process?

Thanks so much for your help.

The trip has been fantastic. This is the first time that we've done an extended trip.

We've spent every night but two in the trailer. We live in Oregon and got as far east and south as Pensacola, Florida. Spent two weeks with our kids in Kentucky. The place we liked best was the gulf coast of Alabama. Tonight we're in Carlsbad, New Mexico and should be back in Oregon in about 10 days.

Our truck (2003 Silverado Duramax with 115,000 miles) has performed flawlessly and has delivered a hair over 16mpg while towing.

willbrackman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
Full Timers/Diesel power.
Mike Leary's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,540
Images: 11
That's about all the years you get out of a Suburban; replace it. The fan noise will end.

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
Mike Leary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
Rivet Master
mandolindave's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,164
Images: 4
It's not to hard to clean the furnace

TURN IT OFF, let it cool down. I use a toothbrush. I brush cobwebs, bugs, etc, out of the nozzles and tubes.

Some of the newer heaters are quieter, use less electricity. Some of the bigger units have 2 blower speeds.

I had no luck finding an exact replacement for my 1973 furnace. My new furnace had to be slightly modified. I think the gas hook up was in a different spot. The ducts were in a different spot. I think the technicians used the cover from my old furnace.
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,377
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 55
Yes, for digital thermostat.

Hi, one of the best things I have done to my trailer is to replace my manual thermostat with a digital one. I can set it at the exact temperature I want. If I set it at 70 degrees, it will turn on at 69 degrees and shut off at 71 degrees. You want a low voltage thermostat; They are rated to work on 24 volts or less.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2009, 08:14 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
samb's Avatar
1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 454
Images: 11
I replaced just the fan in my Suburban furnace. It went from sounding like a small rock crusher to just a light hum. A very noticable difference and worth the effort.

I switched to a Honeywell thermostat and have had no problems. I think any two wire unit will work.

About your furnace not lighting, I don't know. If your fan is operating poorly enough it may not be activating your sail switch which allows the propane to flow.

Sounds like you had great first major trip.
samb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
Rivet Master
garry's Avatar
1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,379
Images: 7
This is a digital thermostat that should work just fine.

Hunter Model 42999B digital also can use RiteTemp electronic thermostats model 6020 "Universal" from Home Depot.
I have not upgraded yet so can only repeat what others have said.

There are several post on types and wiring the thermostats so do a search and get plenty of info.
garry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
Rivet Master
garry's Avatar
1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,379
Images: 7
I forgot, if you decide to fix your furnace when you take it out look very close at the hose connection between the burner and heat exchanger.

A dangerious situation and there is a recall for the hose breaking down I replaced mine with a radiator hose from NAPA. Others have said that would not take the heat but I have not had a problem and know others that have done the same thing.

garry is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
3 weeks on the road and now some questions?? chuckmac All Argosy Trailers 8 08-03-2009 11:32 AM
Furnace questions tiki trailer Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 2 11-27-2006 09:42 PM
1975 25' Tradewind Furnace and Refrigerator Questions craigr Refrigerators 12 08-01-2006 09:18 PM
Furnace questions and scary sounds in turns amathis55 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 2 03-07-2006 05:05 PM
2- Questions -Switches? & Furnace Wires? GT1963 Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 28 05-12-2004 04:39 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.