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Old 08-28-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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Furnace doesn't ignite

Have a 2015 Rockwood Roo. Suburban heater won't ignite after the blower comes on for 30 seconds or so. The heater just turns off. I don't hear any clicking like it even tries to ignite. No gas smell from unburned fuel.

Here's the puzzler. It seems to only happen in the mountains, when I need it. After I get home it works as intended. I don't do anything different at the house than in the mountains.

I wonder if the elevation has something to do with the problem? In the mountains the elevation is approx. 7500 to 10,000 ft. At home, elevation is approx. 6,000 ft. Temperature in the mtn's was in the 40's while at home it was mid 50's.

I also noticed that 2 of my 3 stove burners don't always light in a full circle around the burner head when in the mountains. This has been a intermittent problem though.

Any ideas about the problem ?
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:24 AM   #2
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As much as I hate to say it I don't think you're going to find a quick fix around that one. At the altitudes and temperatures you're talking about propane isn't always your friend, and from what your explaining it sounds pretty indicative. I know a lot of folks that use propane successfully at higher elevations, but they are typically using those small 1 pound bottles they can keep semi warmer in a tent or what not.

You could try and insulate your tanks. Possibly just switching to a black tank cover might help, but you might have to be more pro-active with something like low voltage heat lines.

I don't know the first thing about them, but I'm sure some folks from the mid west or there abouts can help. Like the low voltage lines they use for their roofs over there might help keep your tanks just warm enough that you'll see a real improvment cooking or using your furnace.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:08 AM   #3
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Could be -------------

Could be the sail switch hanging up in high altitudes and cold weather. Next time this happens remove the inlet grill (wood) and bump the case of the furnace pretty hard with your hand or mallet. Sometimes this will loosen the sail switch.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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If it's a Dometic furnace contact them the may have a high altitude orifice kit.
A Google search shows "some results.
Problem is you might have to switch back and forth depending on elevation.

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Old 08-28-2014, 02:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for replying. What's interesting is the refrigerator and hot water heater work just fine at elevation. That should indicate that the propane is flowing without hangups.
Don't know much about the sail switch but sounds like it may be time to learn.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:13 PM   #6
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I also noticed that 2 of my 3 stove burners don't always light in a full circle around the burner head when in the mountains. This has been a intermittent problem though.

Any ideas about the problem ?
With both furnace and stove, I'm suspecting you may have a regulator issue - regulator is producing marginal pressure/flow at altitude. The stove and heater use considerably more gas than the fridge. The other possibility is some kind of restriction in specific propane lines.

Our house is at 7600ft. My propane soldering kit is useless - the weak flame blows out easily, and it produces almost no heat. I had to switch to the yellow cannisters with a special soldering unit to doing any soldering on copper pipe. But that works like a champ.

Propane stoves do produce less output, and some don't like to work at all at high altitude, just like my soldering kit.

I understand the propane mix is slightly different at high altitudes. You might refill one of the tanks while up in the mountains and see if that makes a difference.

On my A122 A-frame, I sometimes struggle to get the fridge to light, although all the other gas appliances work correctly. Haven't been able to figure out why. But so far my camping has been at lower altitudes than my house. This weekend, we head to Ridgway, CO (I'm assuming you are in Colorado or Utah yourself).
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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Wyowind,
Are you hooked up to shore power? You can have a low voltage issue trying to run fan in furnace from just batteries in cool weather.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:56 PM   #8
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Before I get wrench happy, I guess everything is still in warranty. I bought this unit quite a distance from my home so the dealer wouldn't be the service center for me. However, he said to give him a call with any issues.

To get some action on this issue would it be most wise to call Forest River ( trailer mfr), Suburban (furnace mfr) or the dealership that probably is too far away to be the service center?

Pgandw - I'm located in Wyoming.
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