RV Furnace Stopped Working?

by Jess W.

OK, so we just bought our first used RV. Everything was supposed to work - but alas it has been one thing after the next.

We tried the furnace for the first time last night - I followed all the instructions (Set power switch to ON/turn red gas valve to ON position/turn thermostat up until blower comes on. etc) So...after doing that, waiting, doing it a few more times, following the 'shut down procedure' because it STILL wasn't working - eventually at some point, it finally came on! great. but! we ended up running out of propane.

Ran to the station, filled er up - came back, hooked up the RV - tried to get the furnace going again --- no luck. it used to make a clicking noise when we were trying to get it going, it would click then stop, then click again...but now it is not making any noise at all.

When I'd move the thermostat it would 'activate' the furnace? you'd hear a noise..but it doesn't even do that anymore......OH! and there was smoke coming from behind the furnace??? it would seep out to the front...so its not igniting, not blowing, not doing anything now.

Any idea what's wrong? (there really is no one in the area that works on RV's either)

p.s. it is a furnace from The Coleman Company
Model #: 4323 749
Serial #: 058077084

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ANSWER: Hi Jess thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Based on your description the problem with your furnace can have any number of causes; no power getting to the furnace, bad thermostat, bad Furnace Ignitor Board, Propane not getting to the furnace, etc.

I am going to assume that you have checked for any blown fuses and loose wiring. The fact that there is smoke coming from behind the furnace is also not a sign of good things happening. I am afraid that you may end up having to take your RV in for repairs.

Before you take your RV in you may want to watch the video below as it outlines some basic furnace troubleshooting tips that you can try to see if you can resolve the problem yourself.

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I hope this helps

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for RV Furnace Stopped Working?

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Furnace won't light
by: Ron S

Thanks to your video I was able to get my furnace to light. I had to check the fan motor and I did not connect the large plug to the main board. Watching your video I realized where the plug went. Now the furnace works great.

Heating Furnace
by: Anonymous

I have clicking but won't ignite I smell gas what next please

rv. furnace problens
by: Anonymous

I personally have had a real problem with my lp furnace In a 1996 winnie. after taking it to 3 rv. repair centers and many dollars later it still would only work now and then. The solution fixed by myself when I discovered the burner was not sufficient air to open the sail valve, by by enlarging tne return air grill to twice its original size, I have had no further issues

by: Rosie

We just bought a used 1978 holiday rambler and have no idea on getting the heater on. This helped a lot. So first we're going to do some cleaning and maintenaince before attempting to turn it on. Thanks

Food for thought
by: Matt

The clicking you hear is the igniter trying to get it to light. Once it lights the thermocouple must heat up in order for it to stay lit. On occasion mud duabers will nest on that assembly not allowing it to get up to temp causing it to kill the gas and try to relight.

Also inside the blower housing as whats called a sail switch. It is a micros witch that tells the board there is sufficient air movement which therfore allows gas to flow and ignition. Sometimes lint and whatnot builds up and can stop the sail switch from being able to be actuated. The motor will run but the heat never comes.

I have tried to make this as simple to understand as possible. Although not extremely complicated they can be overwhelming for some, so if in doubt take it to a shop.

RV furnace not working
by: Anonymous

Dirt daubers and wasps love to build their nests in rv furnaces, water heaters, and refrigerators. Their nests can obstruct the flow of air and cause all sorts of problems. Being able to use propane to power all of these things makes our rving experience amazing, but they can be deadly if not properly maintained.

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