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Old 11-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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2006 23' Safari SE
Blowing Rock , North Carolina
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Furnace starts but won't fire up!

My 2006 Safari (23 ft) heater has worked fine until this past week...when, of course the temperature dropped in Central Florida while we were camping. I turned the heater on, the fan started up, as always, but the heater didn't ignite, and the fan turned off about 30 seconds later. Tried this several times, and each time the same thing happened. I presume the heater has an electronic ignition, and perhaps it isn't working. Owner's manual says fuse on heater circuit also powers the power jack and jack light...which both work fine, so I presume it isn't the fuse. Owner's manual also says not to try to light the furnace using anything but the electronic ignition...so apparently there is no pilot light.

There is plenty of propane...used the oven and stove top so that shouldn't be a problem.

Also, I tried the heat strip in the AC for the first time and it did not heat up very well. I had a 2003 Bambi until June, 2012 when we bought the new 23 footer, and the electric heater on the Bambi was way more effective.

Any suggestions on either the propane heater or the electric heat strip in the AC?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #2
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1992 21' Sovereign
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Mud Dauber's nest?

HI
We had a similar situation with our furnace while over-nighting in Flagstaff, AZ in March 2 years ago. Blower comes on, could hear the click of the igniter, but no ignition, no heat, just blew cold air. Long story short, and about $150 later, our Airstream dealer in Albuquerque found a mud dauber's nest built on the propane nozzle inside the furnace. Little guys like the smell of propane and come in through the external heater vents on the side of the trailer. Good idea to have those vents covered with screen.

Hope that's all it is for you too.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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Sounds like the same experience you'd get if you were out of propane, which I know you said is not the case. Do you have a reserve tank that you could switch to?
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:21 PM   #4
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2002 19' Bambi
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In years past, we have had the same effect, but with more than one cause. Once, the ignition board died. We replaced the board and the furnace worked for some time. The second time the gas regulator went bad and was keeping the gas pressure too low. We replaced the regulator and everything was again fine ... for a year or so. Then the sail switch stuck and needed to be replaced. The new one stuck again, but, by that time, I knew where to bang on the side of the furnace to get the switch to work again. We now carry a spare ignition board and sail switch with us. Since resorting to that, the furnace has worked perfectly for years.

In all case, the symptoms were exactly as you have described: furnace goes on, tries to ignite (without success), and (after three tries at ignition) shuts off.

Tim
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
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With the heater on my 2005 Bambi, the fan comes on, and a few seconds later, there is a clicking sound of the electronic ignition trying to ignite the flame. In my experience, if you don't hear this sound, it would indicate an ignition problem. My heater failed last year, and it turned out to be the burner. Part of it had nearly disintegrated. Fortunately, it was covered by the extended warranty, and the repair facility also replaced the ignitor, but that part looked fine to me. It's possible that it could be the ignition board, but it could be something as simple as some corroded contacts.

I realize it is a different system, but my water heater wouldn't ignite a while back, and there was no clicking sound. I pulled and checked the board, and the contacts looked very clean, but I cleaned them off anyway, and put it back in. It's been working fine ever since.

Hoping it's something simple.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbara4rb View Post
HI
We had a similar situation with our furnace while over-nighting in Flagstaff, AZ in March 2 years ago. Blower comes on, could hear the click of the igniter, but no ignition, no heat, just blew cold air. Long story short, and about $150 later, our Airstream dealer in Albuquerque found a mud dauber's nest built on the propane nozzle inside the furnace. Little guys like the smell of propane and come in through the external heater vents on the side of the trailer. Good idea to have those vents covered with screen.

Hope that's all it is for you too.
^^^^^^^
Times two...broke it up with sharp poker and vac'd it out with a piece of pvc on the shop vac.

A square of furnace filter to keep them out during storage.
(also fridge & h2o heater)

Bob
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Is you propane water heater working???
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:56 PM   #8
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2015 28' International
Nanaimo , British Columbia
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We had a similar situation in our 28ft 2015 Intl Serenity where the furnace fan would come on, the furnace would try to ignite three times unsuccessfully and then the fan would shut off. We had the motherboard replaced (the repair person said that it failed due to moisture) and the furnace worked normally again for two weeks. Then the fan would come on without any attempts at ignition.


It turns out that the drain pipes behind the sink were not properly connected so water would leak and run over the furnace electronics. I've repaired the leak and dried out the furnace electronics with a hair dryer and it's functioning normally again!
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:28 PM   #9
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Livingston , Texas
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Just got mine back from the dealer with the same problem. They replaced the sail switch.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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Have you opened the panel and looked to see if fault light is lit, flashing? It is a basic indicator. Read code chart.

Also if you are comfortable with this right after it starts up carefully jiggle the wire taps. These are wires that connect onto a running line. IIRC there are two or three of these running taps If it fires up, shut down and fix the connection.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:00 AM   #11
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2006 23' Safari SE
Blowing Rock , North Carolina
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Heater won't start: Wow is this an old post!

My post is almost 7 years old. I didn't even remember posting it...but indeed the problem was a mud dauber (sp?) nest. Took it in to local RV repair shop and they fixed it. Now we have a screen over the exhaust vent and still have the 2006 unit...still love it, and the heater works fine.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:08 AM   #12
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I saw the 7 year thingy after posting tried to edit but too late.

But others have recently posted.
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