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Old 01-10-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
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Dometic furnace and fridge both quit working- blowing fuse

Good evening everyone,

This is my first post (just found the forum). I'm caretaking my folks travel trailer and truck, they leave it here so it's ready when they need it.

Everything has been working fine until the other day. The fridge would not turn on and the furnace wouldn't turn on.

I checked the little fuse panel inside the TT.

The 25 amp furnace fuse was blown. Replaced it with a new one. Bled propane lines using a burner on the stove top to be sure propane was near furnace. Turned on heater switch on wall, lowered temperature to where it should come on and fuse blows.

The TT has two compartments for the fridge / furnace, one inside and one outside. The inside one doesn't have much in it, just appears to be burner tubes. The outside one appears to be all fridge related.

What should I check?

Also, does the furnace have it's own blower motor or does it use the roof mounted A/C blower? The reason I ask is that I turned the thermostat to fan only and the fan came on, so it works.

Thank you for your help, I appreciate it. I have basic tools and a radio shack multi-meter. I'm no expert by any means but I can check anything that I need to. Thank you.

KRS
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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Well, I can't help much, but hang there. help will come. As for the furnace, all I know of have their own fan, don't use the AC fan, but I'm no expert. It would help greatly if you posted the year, model, etc. of the travel trailer. We also need to know if if it is plugged in to shore power. If not, it needs to be. After one cold night, with the furnace running, the battery may be low. Check battery voltage. First place to start anyway. Somebody else will be along. If all else fails, get it plugged to shore power and put an electric heater in it to keep pipes from freezing.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:17 PM   #3
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Fuse blowing would tell me that the furnace fan motor is probably bad. Turn the furnace off and see if the fuse works with the refer on. BTW the refer will work on 120VAC or gas. But if must have 12VDC to run on gas. So you must have fully charged batteries before either will run. Now, does the refer start and get cold after a few hours? Yes, then shut down the refer and try the furnace. Did it blow the fuse? Yes, then you have isolated the issue to the furnace. Like I said I would suspect the furnace blower motor.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, it's an '04 Wildcat 29BHS (in my signature).

It's on shore power (and has been for a month). Dual batteries.

I checked the fridge on propane... let me check it on electric too.

Have a good night!

KRS
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:35 AM   #5
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Welcome to Forest River Forums!!

In my trailer the thermostat "fan only" or "fan on"
setting refers to the AC roof unit.
It doesn't say that but that's what it does.
Sounds like yours is the same way.

Blowing the fuse as soon as the furnace tries to come on
could mean a stuck furnace blower motor.
Birds nest, wasp nest, or just sticky motor bearings
could do this.
IF you can safely open up the furnace enough to get
a screw driver to the blower, give it a nudge and see
if it spins freely. It MIGHT be something as simple
as a needed shot of WD40 or a drop of motor oil.

It might be a melted wire. The furnace has sharp
edges and hot surfaces. A slightly out of place wire
could be cut or melted thru causing a short.
This would be my guess on a new unit.

On yours I'm betting the blower motor is stuck or jammed.
Give it a spin if you can. See what happens.....
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #6
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On mine, the furnace and the blower, and all of the ducting work is separate from the roof mounted and ducted AC. The refrigerator has a couple of fuses underneath the plastic outside cover, one for 12v, and one for 120v. They are the old school glass fuses (tubular.) Under the plastic cover, there's another metal cover plate held on with 2 screws, I think. Once removed, you'll see those fuses. Just a possibility that's the problem. Be patient, also. It does take these RV fridges a LONG time to cool- check the freezer side in about 2 hours. Randy
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
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Put the fridge on electric last night, going to check it this morning.

I can't seem to find where the furnace fan assembly would be located. It must be buried somewhere....
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #8
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To locate your furnace go outside the trailer and look for
something that looks like this then go inside and look
in the same area.
(inside a cabinet or behind a grille or removable panel)
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #9
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Fridge on electricity worked great, cold this morning.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:54 AM   #10
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KyDan, I found that vent, and there is a panel inside. But the panel reveals the burner tubes. Didn't see a fan in there. I'm looking for a 'squirrel cage' type fan, right?

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #11
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Pulled the interior access panel again.

Then removed a sheet metal cover on the furnace unit.

This exposed the burner tubes.

I took a bright flashlight and shined it back between the burner tubes and I think I can see a squirrel cage. Tried to thread an old fishing pole back there to turn the cage. IF that was the cage, I couldn't get it to budge. No mouse droppings anywhere.

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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Here is a Suburban furnace overview that may be of assistance to you...good luck!
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File Type: pdf Suburban Furnace Overview.pdf (804.8 KB, 381 views)
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #13
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Just used a surefire flashlight to look inside the exterior vents.

There appears to be mud dauber nests in them, I can see a bit of squirrel cage and the nest looks like it's attached.

Thought about removing furnace to clean it. There are two screws attaching furnace to trailer. There is a propane connection. Then there is a bunch of wires. The wires have no quick disconnect.....
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRS View Post
There appears to be mud dauber nests in them, I can see a bit of squirrel cage and the nest looks like it's attached.

Thought about removing furnace to clean it. There are two screws attaching furnace to trailer. There is a propane connection. Then there is a bunch of wires. The wires have no quick disconnect.....
Yep. Sounds like you're on the right track.
Welcome to RV maintenance 101.
Good luck!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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Here's the setup (in the Arizona mountains August '09)


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Old 01-12-2011, 09:43 AM   #16
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unless you can get to the nest thru the tubes from the exterior with a crevice tool pulling the unit is the best.

handle the furnace carefully. i had mine out last fall and discovered out on the road that i had somehow cracked the insulator on the electrode. crack was right where the insulator passed thru the mounting bracket so electrode was shorting out and the furnace wouldn't light. there we were 250 miles from home, 9 o'clock at night and miles from a town in 25 degree weather and there i am tinkering away to rework the electrode to get heat. fortunately, we were using a space heater and only needed the furnace as a back up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KRS View Post
Just used a surefire flashlight to look inside the exterior vents.

There appears to be mud dauber nests in them, I can see a bit of squirrel cage and the nest looks like it's attached.

Thought about removing furnace to clean it. There are two screws attaching furnace to trailer. There is a propane connection. Then there is a bunch of wires. The wires have no quick disconnect.....
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:36 PM   #17
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It's a Suburban SF-30F.
Pulled it today.
Ruined the dual chrome exterior vent... can't seem to find one...?
Do I use the 'ribbon' style sealant to put the vent back on?

Okay, pulled the furnace.

Removed the screws that hold the black squirrel cage fan shroud on, slid the shroud as far as I could to the side. Broke up the stuff, scraped, blew it out, and cleaned some more.

I think I got it all.

Going to put it back together this weekend.

Need the chrome thing and some sealant(s).

Thank you all for your help,

KRS
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:37 AM   #18
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Great that you found the problem.

Sorry that the outside vent cover got trashed.
You can buy them online from various RV parts places
and your local RV parts counter either has
them or can order. (The photo of a vent that I posted
earlier came from an online parts seller.)

They also sell stainless steel screens that are easy
to attach to your furnace flue and also
the outside vent on your LP water heater.
I have them and so far they have done the job for
me as far as keeping the mud dauber wasps out.

You can use ribbon caulk if you want to.
You can also use "plumbers putty" available at
any hardware store. Don't put on too much.
You don't want it to squish out inside and be a possible
fire hazard at the exhaust opening. I suppose most
any outside caulk could be used under the flu cover
when you're installing the replacement.


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Old 01-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #19
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Tested, finished instal, replace exterior dual-vent, sealed that up.... good to go!

Thanks for the help,

KRS
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:37 AM   #20
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Don't forget your bug screens!!

Furnace Insect Screens to Protect your RV
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