Living in Maine in a Winnebago

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by Cheytown77, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Cheytown77

    Cheytown77 New Member

    I recently purchased a 89 Winnebago Cheiftan and plan to live in it year round to save money for a home, however the Maine winter is angry and approaching! Its October 9th and the forecast is a snowstorm on the 12th!! :( I am desperately trying to figure out how to get the propane heat running. I have at least half a tank and when the propane outside is switched to "on" and so is the thermostat inside, I just get cold air blowing through the vents and nothing seems to fire up. Someone please help me! Sincerely, soon-to-be SnowQueen
     
  2. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: Living in Maine in a Winnebago

    Welcome to the forum Cheyenne. Does your stove work? Number of things that could keep it from firing. Is it electric lit or manual? Need a little more info and there are others here that will be able to guide you.
     
  3. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Living in Maine in a Winnebago

    Usually its an electrical issue when that happens but like Nash said we need more info to be able to give you more help. IE type of furnace and brand.
     
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Living in Maine in a Winnebago

    By far the most common cause of the symptom that you have is the device called a "sail switch" in all RV furnaces has failed to close. If it does not close the propane valve will never open and there will be no heat. There are several common reasons for the sail switch not closing. It is there to insure that the furnace has ample air movement for safe operation before the propane is allowed to turn on and the flame to ignite.

    One of the most common causes is voltage that is too low to turn the blower fast enough. The furnace runs on 12V-DC power and if that voltage drops below 11V it will not be reliable and it will never light if below 10.5V. Another common cause of this problem is that many insects like to build their nests in the furnace of an RV in the summer when it is not in use. Wasps, spiders and other things frequently use the flue as a home and when you turn on the furnace there is too little air flow to close that safety switch. There are also several other possible causes of this symptom.

    Since it is now Oct. 12, I hope that you have gotten it to work, but most likely you will need to remove the furnace and clean it before things are going to work reliably. A great deal also depends upon what brand furnace you have. If it is an Atwood, most things can be cleaned from outside of the RV, but if it is from Suburban then it will probably have to be removed from the RV to do this job.
     
  5. Cheytown77

    Cheytown77 New Member

    RE: Living in Maine in a Winnebago

    Its a suburban with electric start. Does it ONLY run on dc power?
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Living in Maine in a Winnebago

    Yes. All RV appliances except the air conditioner and microwave are powered by 12V-dc because it allows them to be used with no shore power. The RV has a converter that changes 120V-ac into 12V-dc when you are connected to that. Even your refrigerator must have 12V-dc to operate, even when on 120V-ac for energy. The furnace, water heater, lights and vent fans all use DC power.
     

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