Furnace procedure - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Shaidah's Avatar
 
Name: Shaidah
Trailer: 81 Bigfoot, 17'
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Furnace procedure

I'm completely new to RVs and as we are approaching our first fall/winter with our 1981 Bigfoot I'm thinking I should learn how to use the furnace. I have never attempted to use the furnace or the hot water heater.

As far as I can tell, the large access panel outside the trailer is used to light the pilot for the hot water heater, but I can't find anything for the furnace.

Is there a single pilot for the two systems? If so, do I have to make sure the hot water tank is full before using the furnace?

Any help would be greatly appreciated before I start fiddling with it - I don't want to blow up my Bigfoot!

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Shaidah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
Member
 
Name: Sean
Trailer: Bigfoot
Saskatchewan
Posts: 91
First, the hot water heater and furnace are two separate systems. When you fire up the water heater, make sure the water system is full including the water heater and the temperature setting is at it's lowest setting.

As for the furnace, you may (should) have access to the front of it, there should be an access door near the bottom, now, something to note, it may not have a pilot light but use electronic ignition, wouldn't hurt to have peel either way to be sure and to make sure everything is all nice and clean before you fire it up.
__________________

__________________
Orcus79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2011, 09:33 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
floyd's Avatar
 
Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
Posts: 6,046
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaidah View Post
I'm completely new to RVs and as we are approaching our first fall/winter with our 1981 Bigfoot I'm thinking I should learn how to use the furnace. I have never attempted to use the furnace or the hot water heater.

As far as I can tell, the large access panel outside the trailer is used to light the pilot for the hot water heater, but I can't find anything for the furnace.

Is there a single pilot for the two systems? If so, do I have to make sure the hot water tank is full before using the furnace?

Any help would be greatly appreciated before I start fiddling with it - I don't want to blow up my Bigfoot!

Thanks!
You don't say which furnace you have, but if it is typical then it has no pilot light, It fires electronically and all you have to do is to make sure the propane is on and 12V is available. Then just turn up the thermostat and let it do it's thing! when you want to shut it off then turn the thermostat down until you feel it click.
This is a Scamp video but likely the same furnace...
http://www.scamptrailers.com/Portals...AndCooling.swf

This is the procedure for the hot water tank...
http://www.scamptrailers.com/Portals...terSystems.swf

These videos are worth watching , but they may take 30seconds or more to load..Hope this helps
It is likely that these will look and act like the ones you have, but 30 years can be a long time so if you can get the brand and model number from each, you may be able to find and download an owners manual.
__________________
floyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Shaidah's Avatar
 
Name: Shaidah
Trailer: 81 Bigfoot, 17'
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Thanks very much for the tips and videos!
I'm really not sure which model of furnace we've got but I'll give it a good cleaning and try to fire it up next weekend. I can't believe it's that simple!

If you don't hear from me in a week, it's because I spent an evening roasting marshmallows over my burning trailer
__________________
Shaidah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Hope you find its an instant on one like mine. The first time I used my trailer when it was cold I was laying in bed looking at the temp switch for the furnace and thinking that I should have read the manual on how to light the furnace..... wasnt until later in the day after I had a cold morning in the trailer that I read the manual and found out I did not need to do anything but turn the temp switch up while I was laying in the warm bed - no need to light a pilot light from outside.
__________________
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 12:23 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Herb Sutton's Avatar
 
Name: Herb
Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Arizona
Posts: 216
Before trying to light either unit, first light the stove to get the air out of the propane system. When you have a good steady flame at the stove burner shut it off and go ahead with lighting the other unit or units.
__________________
Herb Sutton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 02:20 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Joy A's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2001 13 ft Scamp / 1993 Jeep Cherokee
Posts: 1,252
Shaidah,

The procedure that Herb mentioned is a good practice to use when ever your trailer has sat for any length of time with the propane turned off.
__________________
Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
Joy A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 09:03 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
kevin61's Avatar
 
Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
I just helped out some people with their "new" Bigfoot furnace. It had a thermostat but it also had a toggle switch down below by the burner and a push button igniter. You need to remove the front grill on the furnace to gain access.

I didn't take notes as to the model # or film the procedure but for the initial lighting of the pilot I believe the toggle switch had to be on and the igniter pushed to get the pilot flame started. After the pilot was going it was simply a matter of tuning the thermostat to get the main burner to ignite and get the fan blowing. Not sure but yours may be similar.
__________________
kevin61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #9
Member
 
Name: Keith
Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300 (gone) 1985 Bigfoot
Alberta
Posts: 77
Shaidah,

In my 85 Bigfoot, our furnace has a push button ignitor. Here's some general steps, as your furnace may be a bit stubborn to light.

1. as Herb mentioned, light the stove burner to ensure there is a good flow of propane
2. on the wall thermostat, there is an "ON/OFF" switch. Turn this to ON
3. turn the thermostat to max. After a pause, the furnace fan should come on. Let it blow for a couple of minutes, then turn the thermostat down. This helps draw stale air/dust out of the furnace
4. remove the cover form the furnace. On the lower left hand corner, there is an OFF/PILOT/ON knob which you have to depress to turn. Turn it to PILOT
5. above and to the right of this knob, is an ignitor you have to press in (click type). Ours has a square end on it. Give it a couple of clicks to make sure it's working
6. the general procedure is to depress the gas valve knob (the OFF/PILOT/ON one) and hold it in and press the ignitor until you see the pilot light burning.

NOW - here's the hard part - on ours you have to peek through a tiny little hole down from and to the right of the ignitor button, then looking through, line up two holes to see the pilot light. This is best done in dim lighting. It is pretty tough. If your pilot is lit, keep holding in the gas valve for 15-20 seconds, and when you let go, it should stay lit. If it doesn, trun the knob to ON and Bob's your uncle.

If your pilot is being stubborn (as mine was last time I lit it - it light the first time, but didn't stay on, and then steadfastly refused to light again). Turn the thermostat up once more and let the fan run and move some air through it. Try lighting the pilot light with the fan running - generally this is a bit too turbulent to get it lit, but in my case, the pilot lit and stayed lit with the fan running. Otherwise, let the fan run for a couple of minutes, shut it off and try re-lighting the pilot.

Depending on the state of affairs of your furnace, it may be easier or harder than this! Once you have successfully lit the pilot, turn the gas valve knob to ON and turned the thermostat up to fire the furnace, stand back and enjoy the erathy scent of burning dust, because man do they stink if they haven't been running in a while!
__________________
KeithA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2011, 11:15 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: None
Trailer: None
None
Posts: 2,730
furnace fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithA View Post
Shaidah,

In my 85 Bigfoot, our furnace has a push button ignitor. Here's some general steps, as your furnace may be a bit stubborn to light.

1. as Herb mentioned, light the stove burner to ensure there is a good flow of propane
2. on the wall thermostat, there is an "ON/OFF" switch. Turn this to ON
3. turn the thermostat to max. After a pause, the furnace fan should come on. Let it blow for a couple of minutes, then turn the thermostat down. This helps draw stale air/dust out of the furnace
4. remove the cover form the furnace. On the lower left hand corner, there is an OFF/PILOT/ON knob which you have to depress to turn. Turn it to PILOT
5. above and to the right of this knob, is an ignitor you have to press in (click type). Ours has a square end on it. Give it a couple of clicks to make sure it's working
6. the general procedure is to depress the gas valve knob (the OFF/PILOT/ON one) and hold it in and press the ignitor until you see the pilot light burning.

NOW - here's the hard part - on ours you have to peek through a tiny little hole down from and to the right of the ignitor button, then looking through, line up two holes to see the pilot light. This is best done in dim lighting. It is pretty tough. If your pilot is lit, keep holding in the gas valve for 15-20 seconds, and when you let go, it should stay lit. If it doesn, trun the knob to ON and Bob's your uncle.

If your pilot is being stubborn (as mine was last time I lit it - it light the first time, but didn't stay on, and then steadfastly refused to light again). Turn the thermostat up once more and let the fan run and move some air through it. Try lighting the pilot light with the fan running - generally this is a bit too turbulent to get it lit, but in my case, the pilot lit and stayed lit with the fan running. Otherwise, let the fan run for a couple of minutes, shut it off and try re-lighting the pilot.

Depending on the state of affairs of your furnace, it may be easier or harder than this! Once you have successfully lit the pilot, turn the gas valve knob to ON and turned the thermostat up to fire the furnace, stand back and enjoy the erathy scent of burning dust, because man do they stink if they haven't been running in a while!
It's possible the furnace has a purge cycle . The fan clears the fire chamber to assure it's not full of gas when ignition is applied. Upon flame failure (loss of pilot) the furnace locksout and must repurge everytime.
This safety procedure is normal for industrial boiler, heaters and furnaces with pilotless ignition. I had a refinery heater explode on me once, the pilot valve leaked , the fire chamber filled with gas and someone had screwed with the purge cycle ,when I hit ignition BOOM !!! . New industrial boilers have 2 pilot and main gas valves in series and have 3 or 4 proof of purge devices for safety.

Thanks Steve Dunham
__________________
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 09:44 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Tom Trostel's Avatar
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
Texas
Posts: 1,300
Registry
Send a message via AIM to Tom Trostel Send a message via MSN to Tom Trostel
Shaidah,
I have a Hydro Flame furnace in my 1980 Bigfoot 15B17G. Keith A described the process for lighting very well. I would add that the brown grate that covers the furnace is removed by lifting straight up and you should find all the instructions on a tag on the front.
__________________
1980 Bigfoot 17' & former owner of 1973 Compact Jr
Tom Trostel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Shaidah's Avatar
 
Name: Shaidah
Trailer: 81 Bigfoot, 17'
British Columbia
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
Shaidah,
I have a Hydro Flame furnace in my 1980 Bigfoot 15B17G. Keith A described the process for lighting very well. I would add that the brown grate that covers the furnace is removed by lifting straight up and you should find all the instructions on a tag on the front.
Thanks very much for all the great tips and instructions.
I haven't had a chance to get in there and poke around but I know there is a brown grate that I though was screwed in place (thus leading me to believe there was access to the furnace elsewhere). I'll investigate further while camping this weekend... sounds like rain is on the way so I'll need an "inside activity" anyway.
__________________
Shaidah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2011, 10:10 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 541
Registry
I have the 1991 17 foot unit with the Hydro Flame furnace.

Operating Instructions
Automatic " Direct Spark " Ignition Models

#1 Set thermostat on "off" position

#2 Turn thermostat on " off" position. ( If furnace is so equipped ). Wait 5 minutes.
( Gas valve is located behind louver panel door. To remove, pull forward and lift off.

#3 Set thermostat to "on" position and adjust to desired setting.

#4 Allow 15 to 30 seconds for burner to ignite.

# 5 If burner does not light, set thermostat on "off" position wait 60 seconds then
re-set thermostat to "on" position.

#6 If ignition is not after 3 tries, go to complete shut down and determine cause.

Sequence Of Normal Operation


#1 When the thermostat calls for heat, a delay of 15 to 30 seconds will elapse before the time delay relay energizes the fan motor.

#2 When the fan motor reaches approximately 75% of the normal RPM ( within 1 to 2 seconds) the sail switch , in response to the air flow, will engage allowing
current flow to the gas valve, through the direct ignition module.

#3 The gas valve will open and allow gas to flow to the main burner, where it is ignited by the direct spark ignition system.

#4 If the thermostat is satisfied or turned down, the gas valve will close and the flame on the main burner will go out. The blower will continue to run for a
short period of time, and will then shut off. The purpose of this is to remove most of the remaining gases and heat from the heat exchanger.
__________________
Daniel A. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
LurkerDan's Avatar
 
Name: Dan
Trailer: popup currently, I feel dirty ;-)
Colorado
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb Sutton View Post
Before trying to light either unit, first light the stove to get the air out of the propane system. When you have a good steady flame at the stove burner shut it off and go ahead with lighting the other unit or units.
I just used my furnace for the first time, and had to do this. However, I had to do this three times over the weekend. Is that normal? Saturday night, the temps dipped close to freezing, and the furnace wouldn't fire up, although the stove did. It seemed like the propane was a little low but not out. Would cold (but not freezing) temps affect performance (a furnace isn't much good if it does!)? Should it run until propane tank is empty or will it stop before that?

Is air somehow getting into the system? If so, what would likely need to be replaced?
__________________

__________________
LurkerDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
furnace


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
furnace.. Christi V. Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 14 08-21-2008 10:38 PM
RV Furnace Rick Helgren Classified Archives 0 06-16-2008 10:01 AM
furnace Arlyn R Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 03-22-2008 11:24 PM
Looking for a furnace! brian barker Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 1 08-23-2007 04:56 PM
Furnace Timmy G Classified Archives 7 07-11-2006 04:59 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.