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Old 08-06-2014, 12:02 AM   #1
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2013 Roo 233s furnace

Has anyone had issues with their heater when dry camping? Here is what keeps happening to us. With fully charged batteries we will make it one night through with the heater kicking on and off. But first thing in the morning when we go to start up the heater to take that morning chill off, only thing that happens is the blower motor turning on and then shutting off and then silence. The auto ignite never starts up. We are camping roughly 8500 feet.

I have had the batteries tested, they are fine, CCA on both is testing at 540. They are hooked parallel 12v each. I have even swapped out almost all my bulbs with LED to conserve battery. So I know my battery is not low enough that I wouldn't be able to kick on the heater.

I don't know if it is gas related or what, but the hot water and fridge are running just fine on gas. Exterior grill is working great as is all 3 burners on the stove top.

When I returned home and unhooked from my TV I turned on the gas and battery and the heater started right up! This is very frustrating and has happened since our first dry camping trip last year after purchased. I had the dealer check it and it started up with out issue for them as well. They told me to consider 6v batteries in parallel, not sure why that would make a difference.

I am new to this as this is our first trailer, but this is such a simple heater it is either on or off. And the provided manuals give you nothing to go on as far as troubleshooting this type of issue.

Any thoughts or ideas? We are going out again this weekend.


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Old 08-06-2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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My furnace does that while hooked up to electric. I don't know why. I just use an electric one now, but that doesn't help while boondocking.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #3
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It does this because it did not light. After so many attempts at trying to ignite, it will shut off. you will need to turn off the blower and back on for it to try again. This is usually caused by an obstruction in the metal fuel tube. In my case, there was a spider that crawled in the tube and made a web. It lit about once out of 10 tries....maybe until this was cleared out. This is the metal hollow tube that is between your fuel line and the canister where the flame is present.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:45 PM   #4
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i know why the blower motor comes on. I am trying to figure out why it randomly will work. If there was some type of obstruction i would expect it to never kick on the ignitor and work, but it does kick on the ignitor and work sometimes.

It worked all through the night the first night, heater came on and off when needed. But when i turned up the furnance to kick it on it did start the blower, but the ignitor never kicked on. This is the problem, did i get a lemon of an ignitor on the furnace or could it be restricted gas flow?

I took the panel off the front of the furnace but there is not much i can see since it is all inclosed.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:56 PM   #5
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Have you checked the battery voltage when the furnace won't start? You are probably 12.6+ when you start a trip. When you get down to 12.0 or less, some of the 12v devices might start acting up.

If it always works on a full / mostly full charge it seems like something in either the ignition itself or maybe the lp detector prevents it from igniting as the charge is depleted.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
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i haven't checked the voltage while camping, i will take my meter this weekend and check while i am out. i run mostly LED lights when camping so my battery last longer. I have 2 batteries you would think there is enought voltage to kick off the ignitor.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:48 PM   #7
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If mine is working too hard, once it get up to temp, it will go off. When the temp will drop, it will kick on, but won't ignite. I have to shut the furnace off and turn it back on and it will ignite. It's been like this since we bought it. If we use it with the electrical one and it doesn't have to work so hard, we don't have this issue. I've never taken it in to have it checked out.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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I think it's elevation related. My furnace has issues lighting at 9,500 feet. Our fridge will not stay lit at all at 9,500 feet. I could see similar issues at 8,500 feet.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #9
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You'll need to check the voltage on your battery in the morning. It's likely a power issue. It doesn't take a lot to make it not light. You have a few parasite drains on your power through out the night. Not just your lights. Read the forum the posts will tell you how to reduce these. If your furnace thinks there's not enough juice it won't ignite but the fan will run. Try this.... If it won't start in the morning shut it off. Then plug into the tow vehicle - start it if you need too. Then turn the furnace on again. If it lights it's a low power issue. As for your batteries ... Two 6volts are generally better. Out dry camping with your furnace coming on and off all the time I would expect it to kill your battery overnight. That can be a huge drain. I don't know many dry campers that would use it quite like that because of the power drain. Have you considered having warm sleeping bags or bedding and only using the furnace on wake ups etc. Hybrids don't hold heat because of the tent ends so running a furnace all night on batteries can easily kill them.


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Old 08-08-2014, 11:56 PM   #10
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We had the same problem w/ the furnace in our 2013 23SS. The furnace worked 100% of the time on shore power or on a fully charged battery (> 90% capacity remaining). We have 2 new Trojan SCS225 deep cycle batteries in parallel (~ 260Ah capacity). After the 1st night of boondocking with very lite battery use the furnace wouldn't work. The furnace blower would turn on but the furnace would never ignite [when on battery power]. The onboard battery monitor, our trimetrics power meter and my volt meter showed that our batteries were still nearly fully charged (~ 12.5V+). When I probed the voltage at the 16AWG pigtailed leads running out of the furnace I measured ~ 12.1V when the blower was energized. Our trimetrics meter showed that the blower was drawing ~4.3A of current. When the techs wired up our furnace they used a 10' run of 16AWG wire (resistance ~ 4mOhms / ft) to connect the furnace to our power distribution center. The voltage drop in the 20' of 16AWG wire (10' from the power center to furnace plus another 10' from the furnace back to the power center) is: Vdrop = I X R = 4.3A x 4mOhms/ft x 20ft = 0.34V. [Note with my DVM I measured 0.35V drop] So when the battery is at 12.5V (and the blower is running) the furnace controller board is at 12.5V - 0.35V = 12.15V [actually a little less than this because I didn't account for the 2' of 16AWG wire that is attached to the furnace controller board]. I've learned that there is an interlock on the controller board that won't let the burner on the furnace light if the controller board voltage is less than ~ 12.1V. Presumably they put this "feature" in so you wouldn't fully discharge your battery with the heater while you were sleeping.

I fixed the problem by replacing the 16AWG wires from the power center to the furnace w/ 8AWG wire. Vdrop is now ~ 0.1V. Problem solved -- furnace works 100% of the time now.

By the way, the furnace (even w/ the smaller 16AWG wire) would always work under shore power because the battery charger in the unit was supplying ~ 13.5V to the furnace module. Even with the large voltage drop in the 16AWG lines there was still plenty of head room for the voltage to remain above 12.1V interlock.

Hope this helps and sorry for the wordy response...

Dave
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