Furnace Problem - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2003, 03:30 PM   #1
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Furnace Problem

Got our first weekend in. It was a little chilly, so furnace came into use. I had no problems getting it fired up (turn thermostat on, wait for blower to kick in, ignite pilot, and turn gas to on, set to desired temp) but had problems getting it to fire up once the temp in the trailer went down. The problem seemed to be that the pilot would not remain ignited after the furnace would run through a cycle. I removed the thermocoupler and cleaned the end of it off, but the problem persisted. We had heat, just had to restart it whenever we needed it. Am I right in assuming that the Thermocoupler needs to be replaced? Again I had no problem getting the pilot lit, it just wouldn't remain lit for the next cycle. Any advice/ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2003, 06:59 PM   #2
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Dan, I'm no expert on these furnaces but I do have several hundred dollars invested in lessons.

We drove 1,500 miles a year ago January to pick up our new (to us) 15' Trillium. On the way home we decided to sleep in the trailer. I lit the furnace and slept the night away comfortably at 26 degrees F. That was the last night the furnace ran all night. I took it in to the RV dealer and he suggested a new thermo coupler. So in one went! Still it would not run all night. Back goes the trailer and the gas expert cleaned all of the lines and checked everything. He even let it run for 3 days to make sure it worked. Great! Now we are fixed.

Wrong! We took the unit to Arizona mid winter and the same old problem. It would not stay lit all night. ^&%$($#

Back to the shop when we got home and by now I'm not too happy. Finally, after checking everything again the gas expert asked me how I kept the little flap that covers the lighting hole when I ran the furnace. I said, "Open of course. I want to lean out of bed and see if the pilot is lit."

Bingo! That was the problem. The sensor just inside the metal wall of the furnace reads whether the pilot is lit. If we got the slightest breeze from the intake the flame bent outside the wall thru the hole and the sensor shut the gas flow off because it sensed no flame. That can happen if you are badly out of level too. We now keep the flap closed after lighting and we remain toasty. :red

Good luck with yours.
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Old 05-19-2003, 07:33 PM   #3
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Dan, according to an RV repair bible I carry:

Pilot will not stay lit:

1. Defective thermocouple
2. Air leakage (Ken's problem)
3. Lack of air (check venting)
4. Leaking control valve
5. Low gas pressure
6. Clogged Pilot orifice (clean or replace orifice)
7. Incorrect Pilot adjustment (if equipped)
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Old 05-19-2003, 10:46 PM   #4
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Furnace Problem

Ken/Charles: Thanks for the help. My pilot lights with an ignitor and is closed in from the front. Therefore there is no flap the way Ken describes his. When I took the thermocoupler out, I took a drinking straw and blew into the hole where the thermocoupler screws in to try to free up any debris on the orifice etc. After doing this and cleaning the end of the thermocoupler, the pilot seemed to stay on longer after a furnace cycle but eventually would go out. There is a screw there for pilot adjustment, but I've never done any adjustments to it. Besides, how do I know which way to turn the screw, how much, etc. My manual doesn't really have a troubleshooting guide, so I'm at a loss on that one. Any more thoughts ?!
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Old 05-19-2003, 11:55 PM   #5
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Pilot light trouble

Ken,

Before you mess with the adjustment you need to remove the orifice for the pilot light and clean it. It's not uncommon to find a small lint ball in the line. Be sure not to stick anything in the orifice to try to clean it.

Good Luck
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Old 05-20-2003, 12:17 AM   #6
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Our trailer has a Duo-Therm furnace, model 65512-2

Maybe that will explain what I was dealing with for any of you familiar with these things.
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Old 05-20-2003, 06:18 AM   #7
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Repair Bible

Hey Charles-
What's the title, author, etc. of the repair bible?
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Old 05-20-2003, 06:29 PM   #8
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Hi Pat!

I don't leave home without Bob Livingston's RV Repair and Maintenance Manual. The book is published (with regular up-dated-versions)(which I also buy) by Trailer Life Books.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...95321?vi=glance

It's available at Amazon.com and a number of other places on the net ... as well as your local RV supply house, probably.

Now, it's a "one size fits all" book ... so some of it applies to motor homes ... but I've still used it many, many times to trouble shoot various appliances or wiring.
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Old 05-20-2003, 06:31 PM   #9
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I've also loaned the book to neighboring campers (including a Monaco Bus guy once) who were having problems. They all said they were going to buy their own copy as soon as they could.
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