On an extended RV trip into the desert or the great Northern wilderness, the RV furnace can either remain your best friend or become your worst enemy. Proper RV furnace troubleshooting comes down to how you maintain it—do you take care of it regularly or do you take shortcuts to fix serious problems?

RV Furnace Troubleshooting Basics

There is a breed of spiders that loves the smell of propane and builds a nest in those tight spaces. Other insects such as mud dobbers like to make their homes in these areas, and can cause costly damage when the furnace system cannot properly ventilate.

Run the furnace system for a bit and watch and listen for anything out of the ordinary such as strange noises and leaks. You can use an air hose and safety glasses to shoot away unwanted grime and rust from the entire compartment. If you run the system and you get nothing, RV furnace troubleshooting experts like to hook a multimeter up to the furnace to check for proper voltage— The key to a better heating system is finding the source of any problem that seems odd and addressing it. The last thing you want is to find yourself in sub-zero temperatures with a struggling furnace.

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This procedure is important because the lenses on the lights can crack or the seals can come loose, allowing moisture to penetrate. The moisture may do damage by dripping down the front of the…. Remember me. Lost your password? Privacy Policy. LOG IN. Search for:. Become A Member. RV Repair Club Membership with automatic renewal. Subscription Select a subscription Please select from the available subscriptions above.General Service Inform ation.

Back Cover. NOTE: Our service technicians are available to assist you in making repairs or parts replacem ents from a. Eastern Standard Time, M onday through Friday except holidaysby calling extension E-mail address: info1 suburbanmfg. A forced draft furnace utilizes a sealed com bustion cham ber which is vented to the outside atm osphere.

The intake air for com bustion is also taken from outdoors and is com pletely isolated from the room air.

suburban rv furnace troubleshooting

A m otor is used to drive an im peller wheel to draw intake air into the cham ber to support com bustion and force the exhaust gases through the furnace cham ber to the outside atm osphere. A second im peller wheel driven by the sam e m otor yet totally isolated from the com bustion air is used to circulate room air across the furnace cham ber where it is heated. The blower then forces the hot air into the living area either through a duct system or through a front grille on the furnace cabinet on direct discharge m odels.

Suburban furnaces operate on volt DC power which is supplied either by a volt battery or a converter system. A recreational vehicle furnace that is specifically designed for park m odel trailers operates on volts AC. These are designed and tested under the sam e standards as the volt m odels.

Suburban forced draft com bustion furnaces used in recreational vehicles are designed for use with Propane gas. Although a few recreational vehicle furnaces are approved for use with natural gas, one should never attem pt to convert such a unit to natural gas unless the conversion is approved by the m anufacturer of the furnace.

Minim um V ent Assem blies are included w ith all units, except D D. They are: 1. Choose a location for installation out of the way of wires, pipes, etc. Adhere to the minimum clearances from cabinet to combustible construction as listed in the installation manual for your specific furnace model. Secure furnace cabinet to the floor of the coach using the holes provided in the furnace cabinet. Therefore, it is imperative that the vent be unobstructed and there must be a seal between the exhaust and intake caulking.

Refer to the vent assembly installation in the manual. The vent must be straight. There can be no offsets or turns in the vent. Check your furnace model number for vent installation procedures. Vents cannot be altered as supplied from the factory.On an extended RV trip into the desert or the great Northern wilderness, the RV furnace can either remain your best friend or become your worst enemy.

Proper RV furnace troubleshooting comes down to how you maintain it—do you take care of it regularly or do you take shortcuts to fix serious problems? There is a breed of spiders that loves the smell of propane and builds a nest in those tight spaces. Other insects such as mud dobbers like to make their homes in these areas, and can cause costly damage when the furnace system cannot properly ventilate.

Run the furnace system for a bit and watch and listen for anything out of the ordinary such as strange noises and leaks. You can use an air hose and safety glasses to shoot away unwanted grime and rust from the entire compartment. If you run the system and you get nothing, RV furnace troubleshooting experts like to hook a multimeter up to the furnace to check for proper voltage— The key to a better heating system is finding the source of any problem that seems odd and addressing it.

The last thing you want is to find yourself in sub-zero temperatures with a struggling furnace. Tags: Premium Videos. The main television in your RV is somewhere in the living room, but what about those times when you want to watch a show as you fall asleep?

Having a secondary television in the bedroom takes care of those nights, as well as those when the grandkids stay over and you have different tastes in….

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This helps…. Remember me. Lost your password? Privacy Policy. LOG IN. Search for:. Become A Member. RV Repair Club Membership with automatic renewal. Subscription Select a subscription Please select from the available subscriptions above. Description On an extended RV trip into the desert or the great Northern wilderness, the RV furnace can either remain your best friend or become your worst enemy.

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Youtube Instagram. Choose One Annual Monthly Clear.Having a furnace in an RV can be a very beneficial featureespecially if you plan to travel to colder climates or during colder times of the year. Just like in your home, this added fixture will keep the place plenty warm for a comfortable sleeping atmosphere. However, these can still encounter mechanical issues even when seldom used. RV furnace repair isn't always difficult, and you don't necessarily need a pro to fix every problem.

Listed below are some troubleshooting basics that can be helpful to you. Sometimes you may notice that the pilot light isn't lit. First, check the obvious problems off the list by checking the propane tank. Make sure it is turned on and not empty.

How do I Troubleshoot a Surburban SF Furnace?

If this doesn't solve the issue, you should also take this time to check the propane regulator. Turn on the stove burner and observe the color of the flame. Ideally, you should see a blue flame with only a hint of yellow at most.

If the flame color remains consistent, this means your propane regulator is working just fine; if not, it will need to be replaced. This problem can also affect your hot water heater. A misaligned thermocouple can also stop the pilot light from staying lit. It should be positioned properly in the pilot flame, so make any necessary adjustments if it isn't sitting right, or replace it at this time if it's broken altogether.

Also be sure to check the furnace vent for blockages. A pilot light needs oxygen to burn and without venting, it can't get any. Any obstructions will likely be near the vent opening. If you notice that your machine is still giving off heat yet the fan is not running, there are several sources you can check. Heat means that there is gas flowing so you can avoid checking the propane again. The thermostat itself can be the culprit of a dead fan even if there is heat.

Glance over the settings first to be sure they're correct. Then, if that checks out, remove the cover and inspect the anticipator adjustment. This will have a sliding contact over either a bare wire or a bare wire wrapped around an insulating material if your specific thermostat has one.

Adjust the slider in either direction slowly. Wait for at least 30 seconds in each position and listen for the fan to start.

How do I Troubleshoot a Surburban SF Furnace?

If this does kick the fan on, then find a place close to the original position that will work and replace the cover. If not, you likely will need to replace the thermostat altogether. You can also examine the wiring to the fan itself for shorts or fraying. For heat to be generated, electricity must be flowing through your unit, so before you take a closer look, be sure you disconnect the furnace from its power source entirely.

Find the fan in your specific unit and trace the wiring from it until you've checked it completely or until you've found the problem. It can be tricky to open up the furnace enough to get to this wiring, and it can be a nightmare trying to completely replace a wire, so if you're not confident in this task, get professional help.

In this case, you need to first make sure that the battery isn't dead and that you have twelve volts to the furnace. Even if these check out, electricity to the machine may still be the problem; inspect your breaker box to be sure you haven't tripped a breaker or blown a fuse. Your thermostat's anticipator regulators can also be the source of this problem as well.Chilly weather outside?

Not great news for an RVer like myself and so many others. Luckily, each motorhome comes equipped with a decent propane furnace which keeps everyone warm inside the vehicle. But like most things, furnaces can malfunction.

suburban rv furnace troubleshooting

Perhaps a fuse is blown, or a terrible smell is spreading. Whatever it is, an RVer ought to have a handy RV propane furnace troubleshooting guide. Each RV comes with furnaces of different sizes, types, and capabilities. Having a functioning one inside the RV is extremely important, and sometimes even the smallest glitches can cause huge issues.

With most RVs, the furnace is located on the lower side of an RV. I can usually tell what the furnace looks like and where it is based on the outside vents. Most of the ducts that run from the furnace run from the bottom through the entire RV, heating it up evenly. The short answer is — yes and no. Airflow is very important, and a thick filter can do more harm than good. With modern RVs, removing the furnace is easy. There are several key steps I should do before I can remove my furnace.

Next, I disconnect the gas line, the vents and any wiring connecting it to the thermostat and other gadgets. These wires might even have to be cut and reconnected later.

Suburban SF30 Sail Switch Problem

If not, they can cause lots of problems in the future. One of the issues that will pop up in this text deals with noise, specifically squealing. This can be caused by motor bearings, and the quickest solution is lubrication.

For maximum effect, a few strategic drops of oil will suffice. Some of them relate to the furnace not igniting, even if other elements are working fine such as the fan. Then there are various noise-related problems, such as clicking, humming or squealing.

Troubleshooting RV Furnace Problems

Of course, any foul smells usually indicate problems with the furnace as well. Each of these problems has a suitable solution, some of which even the owner can apply without the aid of an expert. This is a fairly common problem every RVer faces. The furnace not igniting can happen because of several reasons, so whenever I have an issue like this, I follow a few steps.

First, I check if I have any propane left. If not, I refill the tank as soon as I can. Normally, this is an electrical issue. If it happens to be low power, I merely replace the battery with a one that has the right voltage. This usually solves the problem. There will be times when the furnace fan clearly works but no heat comes from it. The first thing I suggest be done here is to check for batteries or poor electrical connections to the motor of the blower.

No electricity results in less force to ignite the sail switch. However, a different problem might be insufficient ventilation. If this is the case, I clean up all of the heat registers. Even a small blockage can obstruct the air flow, so doing this properly is important. People get confused, and sometimes even scared when this happens.Recreational Vehicle RV furnaces always seem to malfunction just when you need them the most. If you are having problems with your RV furnace, you do not want to have to take the vehicle in to have it serviced.

You want the problem fixed immediately. Some RV furnace troubleshooting tips can help you to better understand how your RV furnace works and can give you some ideas on how to repair it yourself. If the thermostat in your RV controls both the air conditioner and the furnace, be sure the switch is set on "Heat.

When you raise the thermostat to a warmer temperature, the furnace blower will turn on after about 30 seconds. The furnace blower must run for 30 seconds after it comes on for the burner to fire up. It is perfectly normal for the burner to continue to cycle on and off while the furnace is running. When the RV reaches the desired temperature, the burner will shut off, but the blower will keep running for a little while longer. If the pilot light on your RV furnace will not light, check that the thermocouple is correctly positioned in the pilot flame.

The problem could also be that the propane tank has a bad regulator. You can test for a bad regulator by lighting all the stove burners and examining the color of the flames.

They should be a bluish color and contain little or no yellow. If the flames change colors, the regulator is most likely bad. The regulator will need to be repaired because a bad regulator will also affect the hot water heater. If the fan on your RV furnace runs but there is heat, the problem could be that the furnace has an insufficient air flow. The propane tank could also have a bad regulator or there might be a bad propane valve.

Furnaces have internal switches that can detect air flow. If there is insufficient air flow, the switch will not let the furnace ignite, and the fan runs but there is no heat. There could also be a low battery, a bad wiring connection, or a restricted ventilation system. Examine the heat registers to see if they are blocked or closed. Some RV furnaces will not operate if the heat registers are even partially closed. If the fan on your RV furnace does not run and there is no heat, check the battery with a battery tester.

If the battery is putting out at least 12 volts, then the battery is fine. You might have just tripped the circuit breaker, so try resetting the circuit. The problem could also be a blown fuse on the fan. Replacing the fuse should get the fan running again. RV Furnace Troubleshooting by J. Taylor Ludwig. The fan runs but there is heat If the fan on your RV furnace runs but there is heat, the problem could be that the furnace has an insufficient air flow.

The fan does not run and there is no heat If the fan on your RV furnace does not run and there is no heat, check the battery with a battery tester.Suburban is one of the leading makers of furnaces and appliances for RVs. One of the biggest luxuries of owning an RV is having a heater to enjoy on a cold evening or during a rain storm. An RV is your home away from home, so it is important to keep all of the appliances up and running. However, problems can occur, and there are a number of ways you can troubleshoot a Suburban RV furnace before taking it in for repair.

There are plenty of things that can and will go wrong with the furnace. It's important to check these things before tearing apart the furnace or taking it in to be serviced. Start by checking to see if the gas pressure is 11 inches in the water column.

Make sure the power is between Next see if the directs are clear and open. Finally, check the return air path, be sure it meets the minimum square inch. Specific information is in your owner's manual and will vary from model to model. One problem that may occur is the blower for the furnace doesn't run. This could happen because there is no power reaching it, or there could be a problem with the thermostat.

Never cross the thermostat wires with the thermostat being connected. This will destroy the thermostat. Some causes of the problem may be dirty contacts, a bad power switch, bad wires or a bad delay on the thermostat.

Another problem may be that the blower runs but won't ignite. Check to see if you have proper voltage and enough gas pressure. Look to see if the fan motor is turning; the fan motor could be bad. At times, the intake vents may be dirty and blocked. If this is the case, clean the vents and the blower should start working. The problem could also be caused from a bad sail or limit switch that can be replaced. Look at the electrode to see if it is at the proper adjustment and the wires are connected and not burned out.

Finally, check the gas valve. The valve could be bad, have a dirty burner or a bad control board. The furnace operation works like this: Once the thermostat closes, it needs heat from the blower to reach the proper temperature.

When this process occurs, at times the battery of the RV may run too low to operate the thermostat. The motor winds down or the thermostat is shut off. The easy fix is to run your engine for a few hours to recharge the battery or use a plug at a campsite.

You may run into the problem that your Suburban RV furnace's burner does not ignite or stay lit. This could be from the gas pressure being low. The exhaust and intake air vents could be closed or blocked. This fix is easy because you need to clean out the vents with a wire brush. The problem could also be as simple as a dirty burner. If something is wrong with the electrode or control board, the burner will not ignite.

suburban rv furnace troubleshooting

Again, check the voltage, and if it is not at the levels your owner's manual suggests, see a professional at your local RV dealer to fix it. At times, you may find soot covering the furnace or a dirty burner. This problem stems from a number of things, such as low gas pressure or an obstructed air vent.

The fan motor may need to be replaced.

suburban rv furnace troubleshooting