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Old 03-27-2003, 02:52 PM   #1
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Croswell , Michigan
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Question Suburban Furnace

I proudly own a 1972 31ft International Sovereign LY and am having great furnace problems. When we light it, it blows heat and heats up, after a little while of blowing heat it stops and just blows cool air. I have propane, I replaced the fuses in the converter, the thermostat seems to kick the blower on, what could be the problem? Would the thermostat stop the heater from firing and blowing heat? Thanks for any advice, the furnace is the standard Suburban Heater that was put in Airstreams. Thanks again.

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Old 03-27-2003, 03:02 PM   #2
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Is your pilot light going out?

I have a problem with carbon building up on the pilot light in my water heater and have to clean it with a pipe cleaner. I can light the pilot light, but it keeps going out when the burner turnes off. I guess that there is a draft that is created that blows the pilot light out when the burner turns off.

Of course, if this is the problem, the only way to fix it would be to get a qualified technision to adjust the mixture. I have yet to have it done, but my understanding is that the unit has to be removed and "bench tested" to be done correctly.

If this hasn't been done for a while, it is probably worth while to have it done anyway.

I still have to clean my pilot light every couple of days, when in use, to keep it going.

Patrick Crusse
'74 Tradewind 25', Rear Bath - Center Twin, Mostly Original except wood floors.
Tow Vehicle: '99 Dodge Ram 2500 w/ Cummins Diesel, Auto Trans. Tows great even without equilizer hitch.
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:18 PM   #3
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1964 19' Globetrotter
Croswell , Michigan
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Arrow Pilot

The pilot light is staying lit, any other suggestions?
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:27 PM   #4
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double check for leaks both up/downstream
and at the start valve

Patrick DeBourke
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:35 PM   #5
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1959 22' Caravanner
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Uhh that may be normal operation. From what I have read the blower stays on for a while to cool things off and then it should shut down later. Let it run for a little while and see if it cycles.
1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 03-27-2003, 06:51 PM   #6
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If it is like the Atwood, it runs and then cycles off, but it blows cold air as it cools down.


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Old 03-27-2003, 09:16 PM   #7
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Does it fire up and blow heat at all, and for how long? Are you cranking the t-stat all the way up because if you're not maybe it is simply satisfying itself and just shutting down as usual. If not you probably have a safety device opening up and shutting the gas valve off. Could be a thermal switch overheating and opening up due to a blocked heat exchanger. Maybe a bad sail switch? Are your external vent screens in place and intact? Mud daubers and other insects can make a heck of a mess inside of it.

Most importantly, if you are intimidated at all to work on it yourself by all means take it to a good RV service center!

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Old 03-28-2003, 07:05 AM   #8
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circuit board

Check the conection, ours was a flat plug with a lot of wires going to it, we had a problem with ours not lighting, I went to Radio Shack and got a spray can of contact cleaner and gave the plug and socket a good bath and then coated the joint with die-electric grease before reassembling the connection, I got it at Auto Zone because Radio Shack did not carry it.
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Old 03-28-2003, 09:52 AM   #9
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I agree with Chas. The sail switch could be history. If yours has a circuit board, you could have problems with that as well. My 77 Tradewind has to have its circuit board replaced (among other things).

Good luck

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Old 03-28-2003, 10:10 AM   #10
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I was wondering what year A/S really started using electronics in the furnaces, fridges, or any thing else? Neither my 78 Argosy had or my current 74 Overlander have any electronics whatsoever, unless you may consider the old Univolt having some form of electronics but I doubt it.

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Old 03-29-2003, 10:56 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Electronics

My '67 Univolt definitely has elctronics in it .I've got it torn down now and trying to find the electronics to get it Univolting once again.(FYI-I've learned by necessity they contain diodes and silicone controller rectifiers to convert the voltage)
My Suburban NT22 however does not have any circuit boards.
AIR #189

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Old 03-29-2003, 11:56 AM   #12
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The problems I have had so far same type system.

1. Mud Dobbers. Had to remove unit to compleatly clean out.

2. Piloit light going out from draft. Adj and replaced

3. Sail switch due to fan speed ( low voltage to unit will cause the switch to shut every thing down) also replaced switch.

4. Thermostat had to wide of range. Replaced If you need to replace be sure you get the right one. Household units are not the correct type.

The Airstream had been out of use for several years when I bought it and the furnance was a real bear to finally get fixed to the point I wasn't worried about sleeping with the furnance on.

I won't go into all the other problems I found but I finally figured out there was nothing that couldn't be fixed if you spent enough money. $4,000 so far and still not complety finnished.

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Old 02-01-2004, 04:38 PM   #13
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1982 28' Airstream 280
St. Matthews , South Carolina
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I, too, am having a furnace problem and am going to describe it as best I can and see if anyone can help. When I turn my furnace on, the fan comes on for a minute then it lights and heats until the unit reaches the temperature set on the thermostat. The fan continues to blow for a little while then shuts off. When the temperature in the unit drops to the temp set on the thermostat, the fan starts again and blows, but the furnace doesn't relight and it just continues to blow cold air. If I cut it off and back on, it will light and blow heat, or if I manually cut the thermostat down and then back up above the temp in the unit, it will light and blow heat. It only doesn't work properly when it cuts off, the unit cools down, and then the thermostat tells it to restart on its own. I hope I have explained this well enough that someone will have some advise. It isn't a big problem except when you wake up in the middle of the night freezing to death.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Sandi Marshall
1982 Turbo Diesel 280 Motorhome!
WBCCI # 9316
Member SC Coastal Unit 150 and Friend of Chuck
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Old 02-01-2004, 05:47 PM   #14
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Sandi, I don't have a solution to your problem, I just hope you figure out how to stay warm this next weekend at the rally, because Chuck doesn't look like he could give you much body heat.

Looking forward to a great Rally at the Barnyard, Lexington, S.C., which I might add is the perfect place for Chuck, he will feel very much at home.

Your Friend,


Debbie White WBCCI #1921, President S.C Coastal Unit 150 and friend of Chuck
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