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Old 09-24-2018, 04:37 PM   #1
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Atwood furnace

Bought a 2018 Freelander in February in Phoenix. Took it on a checkout trip and all was terrific. Took another trip a couple of weeks later to the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon (elev 6,800') and the furnace would not function. The thermostat sent turn on signal to furnace, the fan started. After a short while I heard the ignitor click then the propane ignited but stayed on for only a second and cut off. This repeated many times. We turned it off and had an appt in Phoenix for repair. Result? Furnace worked perfectly and no adjustments made.
The service tech thought maybe we were newbys and forgot to turn the propane on. Actually been RVers for about 12 years.

Started our trip in June up to Seattle.(sea level). furnace worked fine. Went from there to Banff and Jasper, Canada. (elev 3500' to 4500') and the furnace would run anywhere from 1 sec to a max of 10 seconds. We shut it down.


Called Atwood when we got to Bozeman, Montana. (Elev 4800') Furnace not working here either. Atwood said we need a "high altitude kit" which we could get at Amazon. We were on our way for 4 weeks in Yellowstone. No power sites and temps dropped to as low as 28 at night but mostly in the low 30s. It was difficult to get the DW out from under the covers in the AM. Not a happy camper 'til we could start the gen after 8am.


Contacted Forest River about the AFMD30 furnace and the rep said they never heard of this happening before and they have been using this furnace for three years, even on units sold in Denver and Calgary, both hi altitude places. He said the gas burner alignment needs to be adjusted. At low alt the flame is large enough for the sensor to be in the flame and tells the board to keep the valve open. At high alt with not as much oxygen the sensor may be outside the flame and shuts the system down. Tweaking the gas valve in a bit so it is centered to the burner better should correct the situation.


Has anyone had this done? Should I be able to "tweak it" myself? And if I have to, what's in the "high altitude kit" and could I install it myself? When I go back to a lower altitude do I have to uninstall the kit? Thanks in advance. Sorry this is so long but maybe it is interesting.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:08 PM   #2
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I'm a native of Bozeman. I've never heard of a "high altitude" kit either, and let's face it. 4,800ft isn't really considered high altitude. That's reserved for about 10,000ft. and up.

We had a very strange issue years ago that was very similar to your own. It SOUNDS like you're simply not getting enough propane to your furnace. Sounds obvious right? So I'm going to ask the obvious questions even if you're a 12 year veteran.

1) Is your propane tank on?
2) Is your propane tank full?
3) Did you bleed the propane lights by lighting your stove for a bit?

Okay... Now that those are out of the way. Here's a couple of items that could let JUST enough propane through at sea level but if you go up in elevation, the relative pressure in your propane tank drops. If any of these things are not operating correctly, it could cause your issue.

4) Check your propane regulator. Is your regulator set correctly, and have enough flow?
5) Check the hose between your tank and regulator. This little hose has a check valve in it. This hose was the issue with ours. If our tank was below 80% full, we'd get next to nothing. I replaced that hose, and that issue was fixed.

6) Be sure your ignitor, and thermopile is working correctly
7) Inspect the check valve on your furnace.

That's all I've got. Let me know how it works out.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:10 PM   #3
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I think your problem is the orfice size only, you need a smaller outlet at a higher altitude. Once you change it , it would still work at lower elevation, you would never know the difference. I would lay Money that the kit they sell would come with one and a new spring. Don't change the spring because you would have to reset the regulator pressure. You can go to a propane company and get the right # one, such as changing a 38 to a 40 don't use them #'s but that is how they rate them. Forget talking to the dealer or Atwood, both idiots. Worth a try easy call to make and cheap.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:13 PM   #4
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Oh yes also check your flame, you need a strong blue with a yellow small tip, you adjust that by the air shutter on the tube.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:16 PM   #5
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My oberservaton is that Atwood w/h and furnaces are both garbage, give me suburban anyday.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Teter View Post
Bought a 2018 Freelander in February in Phoenix. Took it on a checkout trip and all was terrific. Took another trip a couple of weeks later to the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon (elev 6,800') and the furnace would not function. The thermostat sent turn on signal to furnace, the fan started. After a short while I heard the ignitor click then the propane ignited but stayed on for only a second and cut off. This repeated many times. We turned it off and had an appt in Phoenix for repair. Result? Furnace worked perfectly and no adjustments made.
The service tech thought maybe we were newbys and forgot to turn the propane on. Actually been RVers for about 12 years.

Started our trip in June up to Seattle.(sea level). furnace worked fine. Went from there to Banff and Jasper, Canada. (elev 3500' to 4500') and the furnace would run anywhere from 1 sec to a max of 10 seconds. We shut it down.


Called Atwood when we got to Bozeman, Montana. (Elev 4800') Furnace not working here either. Atwood said we need a "high altitude kit" which we could get at Amazon. We were on our way for 4 weeks in Yellowstone. No power sites and temps dropped to as low as 28 at night but mostly in the low 30s. It was difficult to get the DW out from under the covers in the AM. Not a happy camper 'til we could start the gen after 8am.


Contacted Forest River about the AFMD30 furnace and the rep said they never heard of this happening before and they have been using this furnace for three years, even on units sold in Denver and Calgary, both hi altitude places. He said the gas burner alignment needs to be adjusted. At low alt the flame is large enough for the sensor to be in the flame and tells the board to keep the valve open. At high alt with not as much oxygen the sensor may be outside the flame and shuts the system down. Tweaking the gas valve in a bit so it is centered to the burner better should correct the situation.


Has anyone had this done? Should I be able to "tweak it" myself? And if I have to, what's in the "high altitude kit" and could I install it myself? When I go back to a lower altitude do I have to uninstall the kit? Thanks in advance. Sorry this is so long but maybe it is interesting.
I'm in West Yellowstone . wish i new . but attwoods install a air restriction on the inlet of the blower it's just a round plastic doughnut looking ring on the blowers intake . remove it ! it's restricting air flow at the higher elevations . I've seen this before and pulling the ring solves the issue and does not effect operations at lower elevations
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:24 PM   #7
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My oberservaton is that Atwood w/h and furnaces are both garbage, give me suburban anyday.

I find the attwood W/H to be way better then the surburbans . talk about pos igniter boards . Attwood control boards are almost bullet proof . the furnaces i would chose surburbans
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:31 PM   #8
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Jeez, you must be kidding, all over this forum is problems with the Atwood boards, most are dead from the factory, well documented. Most people will by the USA made dinazore boards then replace them with the China made boards.must have read of about 4 or 5 in last 2 weeks. All on the propane side. Even they admit the problem with the boards. Good luck
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:42 PM   #9
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Jeez, you must be kidding, all over this forum is problems with the Atwood boards, most are dead from the factory, well documented. Most people will by the USA made dinazore boards then replace them with the China made boards.must have read of about 4 or 5 in last 2 weeks. All on the propane side. Even they admit the problem with the boards. Good luck

you sure you're not talking about surburban boards for their H/W 's have dealt with hundreds of attwood H/W/H and have only replaced 1 board in 4 years . surburban boards all the time . also i have not seen threads where people are going through attwood boards , So no I'm not kidding .

good day !
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Teter View Post
Bought a 2018 Freelander in February in Phoenix. Took it on a checkout trip and all was terrific. Took another trip a couple of weeks later to the S. Rim of the Grand Canyon (elev 6,800') and the furnace would not function. The thermostat sent turn on signal to furnace, the fan started. After a short while I heard the ignitor click then the propane ignited but stayed on for only a second and cut off. This repeated many times. We turned it off and had an appt in Phoenix for repair. Result? Furnace worked perfectly and no adjustments made.
The service tech thought maybe we were newbys and forgot to turn the propane on. Actually been RVers for about 12 years.

Started our trip in June up to Seattle.(sea level). furnace worked fine. Went from there to Banff and Jasper, Canada. (elev 3500' to 4500') and the furnace would run anywhere from 1 sec to a max of 10 seconds. We shut it down.


Called Atwood when we got to Bozeman, Montana. (Elev 4800') Furnace not working here either. Atwood said we need a "high altitude kit" which we could get at Amazon. We were on our way for 4 weeks in Yellowstone. No power sites and temps dropped to as low as 28 at night but mostly in the low 30s. It was difficult to get the DW out from under the covers in the AM. Not a happy camper 'til we could start the gen after 8am.


Contacted Forest River about the AFMD30 furnace and the rep said they never heard of this happening before and they have been using this furnace for three years, even on units sold in Denver and Calgary, both hi altitude places. He said the gas burner alignment needs to be adjusted. At low alt the flame is large enough for the sensor to be in the flame and tells the board to keep the valve open. At high alt with not as much oxygen the sensor may be outside the flame and shuts the system down. Tweaking the gas valve in a bit so it is centered to the burner better should correct the situation.


Has anyone had this done? Should I be able to "tweak it" myself? And if I have to, what's in the "high altitude kit" and could I install it myself? When I go back to a lower altitude do I have to uninstall the kit? Thanks in advance. Sorry this is so long but maybe it is interesting.

You don't tweak the gas valve, you need tweak the flame sensor so it sits in the flame correctly. I believe it's just the matter of loosening a screw and making sure the tip sits in the flame.
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