Originally Posted by rbryan4
Mike, we had the exact same issue about 3 nights out with our new trailer. Cleaned out the "fluff" (which was a bunch of black carbon flakes inside the burner area) and it fired up normally..
I spoke too soon-- as it turns out my last post was premature-- cleaning the switch did not fix the furnace, and eventually the sail switch had to be replaced, two days ago. I went to four RV shops before the problem was diagnosed correctly and fixed.
Part of the problem was that the Atwood model 8012-II furnace is rare due to its small size, and no one stocks parts for it. This sail switch has a wider paddle, different from the skinny one everyone stocks. Another problem is that the failure was intermittent, making it hard to diagnose. After two cool nights with the new sail switch the furnace seems to be working okay, so I will tentatively declare it to be fixed. Hopefully.
RV shop #1 (W. TX): Said switch is okay, diagnosed a bad blower motor. An RV shop in a larger town will stock the motor.
RV shop #2 (Alamogordo, NM): Didn't stock the motor, ordered one. Two days later: problem isn't the motor, it's a dirty sail switch. Cleaned the switch. Furnace worked overnight then stopped again the next day. The shop eventually got the furnace to fail on the test bench after several hours of trying. Ordered new switch, but I had to leave for my next destination.
RV shop #3 (Roswell, NM): Ordered the wrong switch. Told me that this furnace was encountered in less than 1% of the RVs they service. I said I always wanted to be part of the "one percent".
RV shop #4 (Clovis, NM): None of the shop owner's suppliers carried the switch, and Atwood wouldn't send one on its own due to the size of the order, so he ordered it from Amazon. This time I neglected to tell the owner that the furnace was under warranty. If I had, Atwood would have sent the switch. The owner was greatly annoyed at me, but the shop fixed the problem, though.
Lesson: If you have this furnace, consider getting a spare switch, especially if you're going somewhere like, say, Alaska (Jon). And if you have a problem with an item under warranty, tell the shop right away. That was my fault.