The Bambi goes to the Airstream authorized repair facility for repairs in a few days under our extended warranty. One of the items on the list is the Hydro Flame/Atwood 7920-II
furnace. It's not igniting. A few months back, it started to fail sporadically, then progressively got worse.
We called our AS dealership (former, now just parts/repairs) where we bought the trailer for an appointment, and was told the wait time was over 2 months. Since we were about to leave on our cross country trip in a few weeks, this wouldn't work for us so we called an RV shop just a couple miles down the road and they took us in that day. They fixed it the same day at a very reasonable price. They said the burner orifice was clogged by some debris. But the fix only lasted a couple of weeks and reverted back to the same problem. By then, we were on the road. Since we were winterized and the furnace would occasionally come on, and we really didn't have much of an agenda, we headed south and figured if it got bad enough, we would have it fixed on the way to wherever
. We traveled away from the cold weather. Sometimes it was quite an adventure. Worst case scenario, we had a small electric heater and the Honda 2000 generator. Anyway, here are the symptoms...
- It was a progressive problem, gradually
- I can very clearly hear the ignitor sparking (three times before it goes into ignition lockout-blinks three times).
- Occasionally, I can hear an arching/snapping sound when it is trying to ignite, which wasn't there before the first repair.
- I find this one odd... When it is attempting to ignite, the LP alarm (Protechtor-Series 2001) light, which normally blinks about every 4 seconds, comes on solid green
-sometimes solid yellow
, and occasionally turns red
. This alarm behaved erratically from day one, but I understand this is somewhat normal behavior for this model.
- All other gas appliances work just fine.
- I can smell some propane outside at the exhaust when it is attempting ignition.
Since propane furnace repair is slightly above my pay grade, I did some minor diagnostics:
- I pulled the circuit board and checked the integrity of the connections. All was good.
- I learned a low battery can cause ignition problems, so I checked the battery voltage, both at the solar control panel and at the battery. Both were 13.78 volts when connected to shore power, and 12.5 volts when unconnected and the battery switch in storage mode.
- The interior/exterior lights are steady, and do not blink or dim when another appliance is turned on (except the heat pump).
- When the weather was good, we did a lot of boondocking and overnight parking without hookups. On most nights, after using the lights liberally, and the furnace occasionally
coming on (1-4 times), the batteries were usually at 85-90% in the morning. Since the furnace wasn't working and there was no real way to do a practical battery test under a steady load, this still leads me to believe the two original AGM batteries are still going strong.
- We use the AS a lot, extensively during the season, and as much as we can during the winter (between blizzards), to the point where we sometimes don't winterize, just leave the furnace on, so it doesn't sit around in the yard much. This probably explains why it's showing signs of wear
If you got this far, thanks for having the patience to read this. and any insight would be much appreciated.