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Old 06-11-2013, 09:28 PM   #11
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The high draw of the furnace will drain the battery in one night. Your 12.7 volt is enough to let the fan turn but it is not turning fast enough to activate the sail switch on the furnace. Most people who boondock (no services) will either go to a two battery (12v) system or change over to 2 6volt batteries. If you run a furnace over night then you will have to find a way to recharge the battery for the second night.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:33 PM   #12
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Ahh I see. That really sucks! haha I really thought that it would last more than one night. We don't use any of the lights because we want to keep the battery up enough to run the furnace. Good to know though, that probably saved me a fair chunk of change sending it in for repair.

I figured the same with the sail switch as well, I have been studying manuals for the furnace. I think that the low voltage isn't getting the fan rpm up to its 75% min to engage the switch therefore not turning it over, but turning over when I boosted it.

Thank you for your help everyone!
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:13 PM   #13
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Oh and I'm not boondocking (I assume that means hooking up at a powered site?). I'm only using the 12V battery
Boondocking is not hooking up to a powered site, it's the opposite.
it's camping out in undeveloped areas, such as deserts and forests, without any developed campsites.
Dry Camping is camping in a developed campground but with NO hookups.

sounds like you're dry camping and yes, using a furnace all nite long can easily drain a regular Group 24 battery.
you didn't say if yours is a true deep cycle battery or not. that will make a big difference also.
many of us that dry camp a lot, put in two deep cycle batteries. and some also get a small inverter generator to recharge the batteries after a few days.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:20 AM   #14
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Yeah you bet, after the first one crapped out I went out and got a deep cycle marine battery. It started out with a charge of 13.7A or so and finished the night with around 12.5A. Seemed like it had a lot more to go in the charge before it was even at 75% but it wouldn't get the blower motor RPM up enough to engage the sail switch (or so I believe from what I've read from the manual). Such as it is I suppose.

I recently purchased a 30W Solar Panel from Canadian Tire though and I'm hoping that will work for my purposes. When I tested it, I started off with 12.5A charging for 3 hours on a cloudy day and it brought it up to 12.8A. Doesn't seem like much but that little thing sitting on the roof of my tent trailer for the whole day would get it up (hopefully) enough to engage that old sail switch.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:14 AM   #15
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Watch your light usage.
10 bulbs (5 fixtures) draws the same power as the furnace.
Speaking to various reps at the Camping World / Good Sam Rally, here in Syracuse, and more than one said that they will likely be switching to all-LED lighting within the next two to three years because of this. Apparently, the "flood" of LED availability in the US markets has now made the possible.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #16
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It is important to remember that voltage and capacity are closely related and fractions of a volt make a big difference. These charts show the relationship quite well.

However, to get a true reading, remember that a charger packs the electrons into the lead plates at a steadily decreasing rate as the battery fills and the electrons stay on the surface of the plate for a good 10-15 minutes after the charger is turned off to finally migrate into the lead. (Called charge equalization)

The effect of this is to give a false (high) voltage reading when the capacity is not really there.

Additionally, the larger the capacity of the battery, the longer it takes to pack those electrons into the lead of a deep cycle battery. It takes a LOT longer to recharge a deep cycle battery than a starting battery because of the thicker plates used to hold all that charge.

The converse is also true, since the plates are thick, it takes much longer to get those electrons out of the lead since they have to migrate to the surface to be released. Deep cycle batteries are ill suited to deliver large amounts of current (by themselves) and for high current applications (like powering an inverter) more than one is required so the current production demand on any single battery is lower. This is called the Peukert Effect and you can see the effect on a 100 Amp Hour battery's ability to produce and deliver current (AH rating) as the demand on the battery increased (amp load).

The depth of discharge between complete recharging also effects battery longevity. The deeper you discharge a battery, the less times you can recharge it before it will no longer take a charge. If you want your battery to last a long time always recharge it completely when the capacity reaches 50% or a voltage of 12.1 volts (Good light "G" goes out).
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #17
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I am having the same issue. Worked fine for a few nights now won't ignite. Fan starts then quits. Now I haven't checked my connections to the furnace so hoping that it is something simple. I have 2 145 watt panels, auto transfer switch to a 3000watt inverter/charger that runs our whole rv with 4 120 amp hour sealed deep cycle 12v batteries. So power shouldn't be my issues hoping that a ground got knocked or something just tweaked a little when installing the solar setup. It will not run with the inverter on or off. Anyone else think it will probably just be something simple once I get time to get in there and have a look! Unloading the basement is a lot of work lol.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #18
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Well I figured out my issue. It was the limit switch in the back if the heat exchanger. I simply unplugged both wires and jumped them across each other fired right up. So reinstalled wires and is working just as it should.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #19
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Well I figured out my issue. It was the limit switch in the back if the heat exchanger. I simply unplugged both wires and jumped them across each other fired right up. So reinstalled wires and is working just as it should.
I'm no furnace expert but it sounds like you're bypassing a limit switch which is probably there for safety purposes. I hope someone with more knowledge can chime in...

Here's a link to the Surburban furnace manual which may help...
Forest River Forums - Downloads - Furnace - Suburban furnace troubleshooting

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Old 07-03-2013, 08:54 PM   #20
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I did indeed bypass the switch to see if that was the problem. I stated that I hooked everything back up. I figure by bypassing and rebooking the switch it somehow reset it. Just to reassure everything is hooked back up as it was. No safety issues
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