RV Furnace Maintenance
Your furnace is one of the most critical appliances within your RV and if you are RVing this winter you need your heater to work correctly – even if you are lucky enough to be RVing in a sunnier climate, the temperature can still get quite chilly at night. Here are some basic troubleshooting tips that will help you solve your RV furnace problems. If you do need more than a simple repair, you let your favourite qualified RV technician do the work.
IF YOUR FAN ISN’T RUNNING AND YOU CAN’T FEEL ANY HEAT
If the fan isn’t working, check your battery first. Make sure that you have 12 volts at the furnace and that you haven’t tripped a circuit breaker or blown a fuse. If all checks out, then move on to your RV’s thermostat.
Remove the cover and find the “anticipator” adjustment – this is an adjustable control with a sliding contact over a straight bare wire or a wire wound around an insulating material. (Some newer RVs may not have one).
Start by setting the temperature to the maximum and then move the slider to see if the fan starts – wait at least 30 seconds. If the fan does start, then you most likely have found the issue. You might solve the problem by setting the slider just near its original position.
However, if your anticipator adjustment has a wire that lies directly on the plastic housing, you should make sure it hasn’t sunk into the plastic. If it has melted a little, then it won’t make any contact, and you will have to replace the thermostat.
IF YOUR FAN IS RUNNING, BUT YOU CAN’T FEEL HEAT
Your thermostat is working if your furnace fan is running, but you might have an airflow problem if you can’t feel any warmth. An internal switch in the furnace will sense if the airflow is sufficient and if not, it prevents the furnace from igniting, your fan won’t run, and you won’t have any heat. If the motor is too slow, this could be because of a low battery or a bad connection in the wiring.
The ‘brain’ of the system is the propane regulator, which works to lower the pressure from your propane cylinder, so it can deliver the right amount of pressure to operate your furnace. A lousy propane valve at the furnace or a bad regulator at the propane tank will affect the airflow, as well.
Finally, check to see if any heat registers are blocked – your furnace might not tolerate even the smallest closure of a register.
You should get your furnace checked at least once a year by a trained RV service technician.
If you are not comfortable working on the RV furnace, have your maintenance performed by an authorized RV service centre.