Furnace -Where do I look for the pilot light? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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Name: Tracey
Trailer: 17' BIGFOOT
British Columbia
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Furnace -Where do I look for the pilot light?

Just bought a 1983 17' Bigfoot trailer and there are no manuals for the any off the appliances and the previous owner seemed to be a "never used it" type of owner. I want to try lighting the furnace using gas but can not for the life of me, see a spot where I can 'see' if the pilot light is sparking/lit. Any one have a similar furnace where it isn't just obvious ...'look right here' spot?

Also, as I will be hopefully down in the sunny Okanagan this summer - is it alright to just run a furnace fan without the heat being on? To help with the air flow kind of thing.

Been camping my entire life but this is my first go as the person in charge so I may be on here a fair bit with questions. Trying my best not to look too daft in front of my kids! Thank you for any advice!
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Your furnace my not have a pilot. Google the furnace make and model name/number and you will come up with a manual or other information about 95% of the time.

If it hasn't been used for a long time the "Sail Switch" may also be stuck and it will never light off until that's fixed. Just as a tip, try lighting it off with the external; power connected, some won't start on battery but will on converter power and don't be surprised if it takes 5 or more tries before it lights the first time.

FWIW: The furnace fan is a power hog and not a good source of air circulation as it is also has to move the combustion air fan at the same time.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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Smile 30 yo furnace

Tracey,

Welcome to FGRV.

We have some documentation on site:

Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Furnaces/Heaters

(Home/Documents/Appliances/Furnaces)

But after 30 years, I wouldn't be surprised if some PO had changed out the
furnace. So be sure to work with the brand and model no., etc of your furnace.

Good Luck.

Roger
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracey Wheeler View Post
Also, as I will be hopefully down in the sunny Okanagan this summer - is it alright to just run a furnace fan without the heat being on? To help with the air flow kind of thing.
It's probably okay, but I agree with Bob - it's not efficient for this purpose. If it is not a ducted system, it is also nearly pointless, since the air intake and outlet are in nearly the same location... not like a home furnace taking cool basement air and blowing it around the house.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #5
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Bigfoot 1981 Trailer
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Tracey Wheeler View Post
Just bought a 1983 17' Bigfoot trailer and there are no manuals for the any off the appliances and the previous owner seemed to be a "never used it" type of owner. I want to try lighting the furnace using gas but can not for the life of me, see a spot where I can 'see' if the pilot light is sparking/lit. Any one have a similar furnace where it isn't just obvious ...'look right here' spot?

Also, as I will be hopefully down in the sunny Okanagan this summer - is it alright to just run a furnace fan without the heat being on? To help with the air flow kind of thing.

Been camping my entire life but this is my first go as the person in charge so I may be on here a fair bit with questions. Trying my best not to look too daft in front of my kids! Thank you for any advice!
Tracey, I have a 1981 Bigfoot which probably has the same furnace. It is almost impossible to see the pilot light, so I just do the following: Turn the thermostat up high and let the furnace fan run for 5 minutes without lighting the pilot with the igniter . Then keep pressing the igniter several times with the switch in the proper position. You should feel the heat after releasing the switch. If not, keep pressing the igniter. It is very hard to see the pilot light, but it can be seen if you look at it at an angle, from the right side as you face the furnace. Hope this helps...Jim
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
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You might also want to have someone with camper/furnace experience take a look at it and make sure all parts are working properly. I'm a cautious soul when it comes to propane. I would want to have a professional make sure it is working in a safe and functional manner, with no leaks, especially with children sleeping in the camper.
Congratulations on your Bigfoot! They're very nice campers
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Name: Tracey
Trailer: 17' BIGFOOT
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Thank you for all your tips and advice everyone! Decided my first step will be to take it in for a service ...just to be sure! Happy Camping!
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