Furnace stopped working - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-27-2015, 09:37 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
Furnace stopped working

My trailer's furnace has stopped working. When it comes on, it blows cold air for about fifteen seconds then shuts off again. I made sure that I have propane, and I hit the "reset" button on the furnace under its cover.

Before leaving home I replaced the furnace's thermostat with a White-Rodgers digital thermostat. The furnace seemed to work okay with the new thermostat at the time. I foolishly left the original thermostat at home.

The only thing I'm willing to try myself is to replace the digital thermostat with a very simple mechanical one. Otherwise I need to take the trailer to an RV service center. Any idea what might be wrong with my furnace?
__________________

__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
KarenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bellingham and Glacier, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A
Posts: 1,981
Send a message via Skype™ to KarenH
This happened with my furnace, too. The fan came on but then it failed to ignite which shut it down. In my case, it was a bad sail switch which was replaced at my local RV dealer. Others have had this same issue with the furnace.

Edit: Because this happened in the winter, I now carry a back-up Buddy heater in case I'm off-grid. I also use a small electric heater if I'm hooked to the grid.
__________________

__________________
Karen Hulford
2013 Escape 15A, "Egbert"
Ford 150 XLT 5.8L
Bellingham, Washington
KarenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Felton, California
Trailer: 2018 21' ; 2014 Escape 19' (Sold)
Posts: 1,179
Mike - We just had our mobile tech out yesterday to look at our Atwood as it was doing something similar. He listened for the sail switch (which, as owners here will attest, seems to fail) but ours required a "factory reset" of the digital thermostat.

Our furnace worked fine all last year, including two weeks in the snow in Yellowstone; however, it failed on Christmas when guests were staying in the trailer. (The technician said "the fail" was no doubt caused by people + alcohol + pushing buttons ... ) Since you replaced your original thermostat with another, perhaps the thermostat needs to be reset (directions should be in the thermostat's manual).
Jan
CADreamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,159
I can't see it being the thermostat in your case Mike, but a simple test would be to disconnect the leads to it, and hold them together. If the furnace starts and keeps running until you break the connection, it is the thermostat. If it reacts the same as with using the thermostat, it is definitely with the furnace itself.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 10:29 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 4,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I can't see it being the thermostat in your case Mike, but a simple test would be to disconnect the leads to it, and hold them together. If the furnace starts and keeps running until you break the connection, it is the thermostat. If it reacts the same as with using the thermostat, it is definitely with the furnace itself.
Ditto, also you might try giving the furnace a good old fashion whack or two (old fashioned tech term ) after the fan starts blowing.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
I stopped by an RV shop in Marathon, just to ask. The man confirmed that it sounded like a sail switch, and said I could give it a whack in case it's stuck. He also said low voltage will make the fan run too slowly to give enough air pressure to activate the switch. The threshold was 12.x volts, and I forgot what the "x" was. I'll watch my battery monitor to see how much voltage I have before going to bed tonight. I told the man I'd bring the trailer by next week when I pass through again.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 02:28 PM   #7
Commercial Member
 
tractors1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 - "Felicity"
Posts: 2,622
Low voltage will also cause the gas solenoid valve not to open if it's not the sail switch failing to function due to slow fan speed. Can't just jumper the across the sail switch as the furnace logic is looking for the transition to open/closed.
__________________
Charlie Y

Need custom storage to your design? Don't drill holes!
www.RVWidgetWorks.com
tractors1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2015, 10:13 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Felton, California
Trailer: 2018 21' ; 2014 Escape 19' (Sold)
Posts: 1,179
Update to my post ... the repair tech told me he had reset the thermostat (something I had read about in the manual); however, my husband told me the reset was done at the furnace but that the tech said the problem started with the random button-pushing of the thermostat. Just a little mis-communication ...
CADreamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2015, 04:56 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
I checked my voltage and it's okay. I gave the furnace a few whacks when it tried to turn on, but it ignored me, so next week I'll have a pro look at it. Enjoyed hitting it, though, after a chilly night.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2015, 10:38 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
I finally got my furnace fixed. It turned out to be trash, "fluff", they said, interfering with the sail switch. In the future I will have this checked during an annual maintenance.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 11:48 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
BCnomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: O town, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 "Lightning"
Posts: 1,470
After some drama, some Reace advice, and a warranty call out to a mobile rv repair guy, I had a nights sleep with propane heat again.

Turns out my first two adjustments were too gentle so the third one at midnight was a little more firm.

Happy camper again.
BCnomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #12
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I finally got my furnace fixed. It turned out to be trash, "fluff", they said, interfering with the sail switch. In the future I will have this checked during an annual maintenance.

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. This is looking more and more like a common problem, and maybe Escape should just advise owners to check for it. I was amazed how much of these flakes and debris I found in the burner area. I guess these deposits are a normal effect of the "burn in" of the furnace. I now check this before we head out if we intend to use the furnace.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 06:33 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
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.

Details:

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.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 06:52 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Slickheadhunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Weare, New Hampshire
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A
Posts: 434
I'm convinced the appliances made today are of far less quality than used in the past. I have several friends with old trailers(in the 60's) used as hunting camps on land they own in northern NH that both fridge and heaters have worked without failure forever. I hunted out of one of them from 1993 till 1999 and they always worked, in fact they are still there and still work. Perhaps they got lucky and ended up with the exception, I don't know. I grew up camping in my parents 1964 trailer and it always worked as well. Designed obsolescence?
Slickheadhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 06:53 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Slickheadhunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Weare, New Hampshire
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A
Posts: 434
Glad you got it resolved Mike!
Slickheadhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 06:58 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slickheadhunter View Post
Glad you got it resolved Mike!
*fingers crossed*

I'm going up into the mountains in the next couple of weeks, so I will still need heat. I hope it's fixed as well!
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 07:17 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Slickheadhunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Weare, New Hampshire
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A
Posts: 434
I love caming in the mountains, my favorite! For me the heater is the number one most important thing in a trailer when my family is with me, I'm accustomed to tenting in cold weather while hunting but my family isn't.
In the middle of summer in northern NH the temps can occasionally dip down into the high 30's low 40's, my wife would freeze!
Slickheadhunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 07:47 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
BCnomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: O town, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 "Lightning"
Posts: 1,470
Thanks for update Mike.

I need the furnance on the blustery Oregon coast and hope that the adjustment holds. I too have a "skinny" sail switch in the drawer, which I now know to be incorrect. Heading for a larger town tomorrow, so will at least will have more choice in warranty service centres.
BCnomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 09:08 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,126
Here is what was removed from my furnace.

The RV shop in Roswell also photocopied the Atwood part reference page that included the switch. The page is page 318 of the Replacement Part Reference dated January 2007. It cross-references furnace 8012-II with sail switch 36134. But please double check with an RV shop before ordering this part number.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sail_switch.jpg (28.6 KB, 35 views)
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2015, 09:42 PM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Whitecroft, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 19 foot
Posts: 13
Smile

We had the same issue with the sail switch. Removed the furnace and exercised the switch several times.
__________________

berickso is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×