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Old 04-13-2024, 05:05 AM   #1
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2021 22' Caravel
Oreland , Pennsylvania
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Furnace Issue

OK, gang, I have one for you. I was out for a shakedown trip the last couple of days. Prior to leaving I tested the rig systems, including the furnace. In the driveway I fired up the furnace with no problems. I will admit that we were still hooked up to shore power when I tested the system, but I don't think that should matter.
Now, when I was out in the field, dry camping, the furnace failed to fire. I turned on the system, set the temp, the fan went on, but it did not get hot, and then after about 15-20 seconds, the fan turned off. No heat.

What am I doing wrong here? Thank you for any and all help, folks.
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Old 04-13-2024, 05:12 AM   #2
GLCMRANGER - Sue
 
2016 25' International
Littlestown , Pennsylvania
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Since it fired up while on shore power, I suspect your batteries. You need minimum of 12.2 battery power to ignite the furnace in order for the propane system to take over.
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Old 04-13-2024, 07:48 AM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
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The battery might be an issue. Has if fired back up when you are connected? If it is not firing, it could be your sail switch. This little gizzy opens when the fan comes on for safety reasons. Once it is open, the furnace will fire off. If it doesn't open, or is fouled with something, your furnace will act exactly like you described.

The good news is, this is an easy thing to check, clean and replace IF you can get to it. Mine is hidden way deep in the bowels of the furnace. I have to remove the furnace to get to it. Sheesh........
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:11 AM   #4
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Oreland , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glcmranger View Post
Since it fired up while on shore power, I suspect your batteries. You need minimum of 12.2 battery power to ignite the furnace in order for the propane system to take over.
Thanks, good call. Checked the batteries and we are good there. Plenty of juice even off shore power.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:24 AM   #5
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Oreland , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
The battery might be an issue. Has if fired back up when you are connected? If it is not firing, it could be your sail switch. This little gizzy opens when the fan comes on for safety reasons. Once it is open, the furnace will fire off. If it doesn't open, or is fouled with something, your furnace will act exactly like you described.

The good news is, this is an easy thing to check, clean and replace IF you can get to it. Mine is hidden way deep in the bowels of the furnace. I have to remove the furnace to get to it. Sheesh........
OK. We are back home, parked in the driveway, fairly level. when the furnace failed yesterday we were hitched up and not as level as we are now. I just tested the furnace. Unhooked from shore power. And, darn it, it worked. Now, money question, would being too far off level effect the performance of the sail switch?
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:25 AM   #6
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My furnace was doing the same thing. I tried a suggestion that I had read about: when the fan goes on, stand outside by the exhaust vent. When you hear the igniter start clicking, place the palm of your hand on the vent for just a very brief moment to block the exhaust air for just a second.

I tried this and the furnace burner ignited. It has worked ever since doing this. It must have cleared something that was blocking the sail switch or some particles on the burner tube.

This is assuming that the LP supply line has been purged of air. I turn on one burner on the stove and use a lighter until it lights.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
My furnace was doing the same thing. I tried a suggestion that I had read about: when the fan goes on, stand outside by the exhaust vent. When you hear the igniter start clicking, place the palm of your hand on the vent for just a very brief moment to block the exhaust air for just a second.

I tried this and the furnace burner ignited. It has worked ever since doing this. It must have cleared something that was blocking the sail switch or some particles on the burner tube.

This is assuming that the LP supply line has been purged of air. I turn on one burner on the stove and use a lighter until it lights.
Also, it was incredibly windy where we were camped.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:57 AM   #8
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+1 on the sail switch!

I went around in circles when ours stopped working. I tried a bunch of things and sometimes it would work and then it would stop at the next spot. Very frustrating.

I was about to order a new main board but pulled the sail switch and found a ball of fuzz on the switch. Once the fuzz was removed and sail switch back in, it has been perfect!
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Old 04-13-2024, 09:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 215Airhaus View Post
OK. We are back home, parked in the driveway, fairly level. when the furnace failed yesterday we were hitched up and not as level as we are now. I just tested the furnace. Unhooked from shore power. And, darn it, it worked. Now, money question, would being too far off level effect the performance of the sail switch?
Having replaced the sail switch in our furnace more than once, when it is now responsible for our furnace not lighting, I just bang on the side of the furnace where the switch is located. Doing so seems to unstick the switch and the furnace works again. Perhaps driving home vibrated your switch enough to free it up.

Tim
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Old 04-13-2024, 09:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 215Airhaus View Post
... Now, money question, would being too far off level effect the performance of the sail switch?

Boy, I doubt that level would have an issue. When the fan kicks on the air flows through the combustion chamber, clearing it of any residual propane as one of the requirements. This sail switch is a flimsy piece of metal easily moved by the air from the fan. If it was off level, I doubt it would cause it to stay closed.

This falls into one of those "magic" happenings with my trailer. Tap on this, shake that, stand next to the exhaust, put your hand over the opening, turn things off, turn things back on.....and the gods watching just might "fix" it. I have been there and have done all those kinds of things and....sometimes it works. Take a look at YouTube at "sail switch" and you will see some interesting video of clogged sail switches. I think some of these situations can correct themselves but that is just another "magic" step for me.
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Old 04-13-2024, 11:11 AM   #11
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Our furnace went out and I tried everything and eventually let JC figure it out. I did replace the sail switch and they are pretty cheap and easy. I will add my vote to give this a try.

Other than that, I did find the grounding wire was not attached very well which would cause the blower to go out, but you don't have that problem.
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Old 04-17-2024, 09:40 AM   #12
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We had a problem with the furnace a while back. I took the front of it apart and noticed a flashing red light inside. Upon further inspection, I found a sticker that was not easy to notice. I took a pic and this is the info on the sticker:


IGNITION CONTROL DIAGNOSTICS

Number of Flashes ==> Diagnostic Information

1 w/ 3 sec. pause ==> Air Flow / Limit Fault

2 w/ 3 sec. pause ==> Flame Sense Fault

3 w/ 3 sec. pause ==> Ignition Lockout Fault

Steady on, no Flashing ==> Internal Control Failure


Turn off all of the lights in the camper and look inside the furnace. It helped us.
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Old 04-17-2024, 10:01 AM   #13
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Check the sail switch in the furnace unit (accessible via outside panel). These can fail unexpectedly. Easy to replace.
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Old 04-17-2024, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 215Airhaus View Post
OK, gang, I have one for you. I was out for a shakedown trip the last couple of days. Prior to leaving I tested the rig systems, including the furnace. In the driveway I fired up the furnace with no problems. I will admit that we were still hooked up to shore power when I tested the system, but I don't think that should matter.
Now, when I was out in the field, dry camping, the furnace failed to fire. I turned on the system, set the temp, the fan went on, but it did not get hot, and then after about 15-20 seconds, the fan turned off. No heat.

What am I doing wrong here? Thank you for any and all help, folks.
Sail switch. Before the furnace will fire up the gas, it checks to see if thereís airflow via the sail switch. Itís a safety feature. You can pull it and clean it if needed or replace it,
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Old 04-17-2024, 01:26 PM   #15
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https://myrvworks.com/wp-content/upl...ace-Manual.pdf

Before you start throwing parts at it (the poke and hope method) Read through the start sequence and troubleshooting sections in that link. The sail switch is only one of several items that could be giving you fits. Seriously, read through that link, it will give you a handle on how these units work. It’s not real technical or hard to understand. It’s the best way to start your repair and cut your frustration level down.
On my furnace, you have to pull the unit out in order to get to the sail switch. It depends on what model furnace you have and what model Airstream you have. As usual with Airstreams, what sounds like a quick and easy repair usually ends up being a real pain in the rear.
Good luck, do your reading, and you’ll get it solved. Just don’t start throwing parts at it before you understand what it does and how it works.
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Old 04-18-2024, 01:00 PM   #16
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Katy , Texas
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I have a 2022 GT 25FB twin. 100% of the time when I thought my furnace had a problem it was nothing more than LP gas, not getting to the furnace. What I did on these occasions, was light the stove, which took several seconds, to ensure that gas was making it that far. Then I tried the furnace and it always worked.
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