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Old 10-20-2021, 01:36 PM   #1
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Atwood furnace quit working on the road...

Good morning all, I am a few days into my huge annual cross country trip, and just last night the furnace quit working properly. It turns on and blows cold air for a bit, then turns off. Propane is full and connected to shore power...just for good measure I tried it on battery (full) power with the same result.

The night before we were in very cold weather and it worked like a champ all night. Drove about 350 miles to Eugene, OR, and now it won't work...but hey at least it's not too cold here! I have a Mr Buddy heater as a backup, and can use that in the meantime. But before I hit the road again tomorrow I'm hoping to figure this out. I've seen various posts about the sail switch, circuit boards, etc. Just wondering if there's any other trouble shooting I should do before I start taking this thing apart? Any help is appreciated, thanks!
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Old 10-20-2021, 02:07 PM   #2
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Joe: I assume that based on your year that you do not have the exterior furnace access hatch. If you happen to have the hatch you can possibly get a diagnostic code with the LED on the circuit board and you have access to the sail switch. Without the hatch you unfortunately have to pull the furnace to do anything.





If you have the outside access:
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Old 10-20-2021, 05:36 PM   #3
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I did see those videos and have started to try to follow them, but I can't get the furnace out. Screws are removed, but it only moves a couple inches towards me. I thought perhaps the exhaust needed to be removed, but same thing, I can only pull the exhuaust out a couple inches. It's as if they are both stuck to each other...or is it something else the furnace is stuck on? What am I missing here?
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Old 10-20-2021, 05:59 PM   #4
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I assume you disconnected the flexible gas line? I have removed our 2017 vintage furnace and it does bind a bit on the exhaust tube. Since the exhaust tube has an angle in it, it is difficult to pull the exhaust tube out first; I have removed the furnace out of the cabinet first.

BTW - Reace's video on replacing the tube is very helpful; secure the furnace with only one screw so the furnace body can pivot, insert exhaust tube and secure to trailer body, then secure furnace screws.
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Old 10-20-2021, 06:10 PM   #5
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Yes, gas line is removed...I suppose it is just stuck on the exhaust pipe, but I can't seem to get it out no matter how I try. I've tried various twisting and turning motions, no luck. There must be some trick to it...
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Old 10-20-2021, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
Yes, gas line is removed...I suppose it is just stuck on the exhaust pipe, but I can't seem to get it out no matter how I try. I've tried various twisting and turning motions, no luck. There must be some trick to it...
When I had to remove my furnace last month, it did bind on the exhaust pipe a bit. I read (where?) that when re-inserting the pipe, use some water to lubricate the two pipes and then turn the furnace on to dry it out. I understand the frustration on how hard to pull without damaging the furnace and/or pipe.
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Old 10-20-2021, 09:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
Yes, gas line is removed...I suppose it is just stuck on the exhaust pipe, but I can't seem to get it out no matter how I try. I've tried various twisting and turning motions, no luck. There must be some trick to it...
We don’t have this furnace so I probably can’t be of much help. I did notice though if you watch the video above titled “How to remove furnace exhaust if it’s hooked” he mentions that the unit can fall off the back of the plywood platform and not come out. Could that be your issue?
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:26 AM   #8
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If you are getting an ignition cycle and then your furnace turns off having failed to ignite, you might check your regulator. Even though the other appliances are functional and you've got full propane tanks, the furnace may not be getting the supply it requires if the regulator has come out of adjustment (you want between 11-12 column inches).
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
Yes, gas line is removed...I suppose it is just stuck on the exhaust pipe, but I can't seem to get it out no matter how I try. I've tried various twisting and turning motions, no luck. There must be some trick to it...
I have a 2017 E 19 and the Atwood furnace needs to be pulled since there is no access outside. I found when trying to slide forward it can get hooked up on back bottom. Lift a bit and slide out. There was a small piece of 1/8" plywood underneath for levelling.

To reinsert I used a flashlight through exhaust vent to line up furnace and vent pipe. There is a slight bend.

Unfortunately, my sail switch was unique for year and it is mounted with 2 screws to plastic fan housing plate. This was not like Reese noted with 2 piece plastic mount. Take care you don't crack or strip small screw mounting points on plastic mounting plate.

I purchased 2 sail switches and 1st one didn't help. On installing 2nd switch I have had a trouble free season.
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:28 AM   #10
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I also encountered this piece of wood for leveling. It is located close to the outside wall of the trailer. I thought it was the exhaust pipe binding but found the hangup on the leveling block. If it is really stubborn a pry bar would release the two screws holding it into the flooring. When reinstalling I used one screw in an accessible place.
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:50 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the help and feedback...long story short, I gave up and called in the pros, I found a great mobile RV repair company in Bend (I'll Meet You There RV Repair) and they came out on short notice. Turns out there were 2 issues: one was the fact that the plastic flange piece that comes in from the outside vent, was actually glued to the back of the furnace. And the second was indeed the little piece of leveling wood, that had to be maneuvered around. They finally got it out, and then yep...it was the sail switch! They said they put in a better aftermarket switch and not the dometic OEM. Hopefully it lasts a while!
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:24 PM   #12
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Do you have the make and part number for the replacement aftermarket switch
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:15 PM   #13
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...
Hopefully it lasts a while!
Carry a spare with you and it will quite likely last forever.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
Thanks for all the help and feedback...long story short, I gave up and called in the pros, I found a great mobile RV repair company in Bend (I'll Meet You There RV Repair) and they came out on short notice. Turns out there were 2 issues: one was the fact that the plastic flange piece that comes in from the outside vent, was actually glued to the back of the furnace. And the second was indeed the little piece of leveling wood, that had to be maneuvered around. They finally got it out, and then yep...it was the sail switch! They said they put in a better aftermarket switch and not the dometic OEM. Hopefully it lasts a while!
Was the switch paddle a square curved type Atwood 31093.
https://pantherrvproducts.com/dometi...ch-afs-series/

Like I noted one of my new switches didn't work and I tested before installing with ohm meter. I think they are sensitive to just the right air flow. Could be why they changed mounting and paddle design?
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Old 10-21-2021, 11:55 PM   #15
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Great outcome! Lucky to get someone so soon these days that could actually fix that issue

Will have to remember them as we cruise through that area from time to time.
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Old 10-22-2021, 11:53 AM   #16
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This small family company is highly recommended by me for anyone in this area:
About Us - Meet You There RV Repair | 541 797 4971

Unfortunately I didn't get any further details on the actual switch or get a spare, I was preoccupied visiting with my friends when they finished up...
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Old 10-22-2021, 02:13 PM   #17
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Hello everyone,
I have a Atwood Furnace and a Dometic Air conditioner on my 2017 Passport Elite trailer. While camping last week in Raton New Mexico my Furnace failed to operate. As I usually travel in Florida I have never used my furnace until last week. In reviewing these very informative videos I have removed my Atwood Furnace, and found the HIgh temperature switch to have two completely corroded by rust terminals. My sail switch has a spring return action so week that it would stay in one position and not return when the fan shuts off. I have ordered a replacement for these two parts.
There is one thing that bothers me though........ I noticed that when ever I had tried the furnace that the Dometic roof mount A/C unit fan would also turn on at the same time as the furnace. The furnace does not turn on when the A/C is activated. Is this the way it is supposed to be? When you turn the furnace on it also turns on the A/C Fan?

Any info would be great! And thank you for all the video's they are very helpful!

Honest John
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Old 10-22-2021, 03:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Honest John View Post
Hello everyone,
I have a Atwood Furnace and a Dometic Air conditioner on my 2017 Passport Elite trailer. While camping last week in Raton New Mexico my Furnace failed to operate. As I usually travel in Florida I have never used my furnace until last week. In reviewing these very informative videos I have removed my Atwood Furnace, and found the HIgh temperature switch to have two completely corroded by rust terminals. My sail switch has a spring return action so week that it would stay in one position and not return when the fan shuts off. I have ordered a replacement for these two parts.
There is one thing that bothers me though........ I noticed that when ever I had tried the furnace that the Dometic roof mount A/C unit fan would also turn on at the same time as the furnace. The furnace does not turn on when the A/C is activated. Is this the way it is supposed to be? When you turn the furnace on it also turns on the A/C Fan?

Any info would be great! And thank you for all the video's they are very helpful!

Honest John
I believe the fan needs to be set to AUTO or both will run. It’s a quirk with the Dometic control system.
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ime-11256.html
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:33 AM   #19
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We had the same problem with our furnace

We just got back from a month long trip and our furnace quit on the second night out. Worked a little on and off for the rest of the trip. Mostly off so we relied on shore power or our generator and electric heater. I took it to an experienced RV repair guy when he got home.. He took the heater out, replaced the circuit board and thought this fixed it. But when I picked it up the next day it didn’t work. So he pulled it out again, put my circuit board back in, blew everything out and it seemed to have fixed it. His best guess it was the gas valve. Maybe having something in the orifice. After six our work and $400 later it seems to work again. He is pretty sure it was the gas valve and said if it happens again he would replace the gas valve for just the cost of the valve. I think he new what he was doing. That’s my experience. Hope it helps. We have a 2017 19 ft. Escape.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:37 AM   #20
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It could be the sail switch. This is a switch inside the blower that is notorious for failing. Its not isolated to Escape but on all furnaces using this switch. Your furnace symptoms fit the mo for faulty sail switch. The same thing happened on our trailer. The furnace should be able to be pulled out to access the switch. It can be a pain trying to get it back in - to sleeve the exhaust pipe back Tonto place. I found I could reach a hand back in behind and align the pipe.
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