This is a common problem. When it happens to you, it is just your turn. Every RV at some point in time seems to experience this problem and there are some very common and simple sources. The trick is to pinpoint the source before you get too cold.
One source will be that you have run out of propane. It happens because sometimes people get busy and forget to check their propane tanks. Then they have to wait till the next day before they can go and refill their tanks. It is an embarrassing situation but one that is easy to get fixed.
To learn more about this problem, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can handle the problem in the right way. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help you out of a cold situation.
One source of the problem has been mentioned already. It is common for some RV owners to run out of propane for a variety of reasons. Or you may have been too tired to remember to turn the gas on.
That happens a lot as well. People are focused on different activities and assume the tank is turned on when it isn’t. Check these two sources first as they will keep you from doing more time-consuming investigations if they are the cause.
Here are some other sources:
1. Flame sensor- depending on the type of furnace that is installed in your RV or trailer, the flame sensor could be out of position or damaged in some way. Or this device may be dirty and can’t detect the flame.
When the flame sensor can’t detect the flame it will shut off the gas supply.
2. Igniter- this lights the gas so you have a flame. If it is broken, damaged, or has failed on you, you won’t get any flame and the flame sensor will turn the gas supply off.
You can look for damage, or cracks, or check to see if it is dirty. If the latter is the case then clean it and see if that solves the problem. If there is damage in any form, replace it.
3. Thermostat- this may be faulty or it has gotten old and has failed in some way. If that is the case, you should replace the thermostat. It may not be reparable so replacement is your best option.
Also, check to see where you set the thermostat. Some people may have set it too high and the room is still too warm for the furnace to continue heating the room. Lower the temperature so the furnace can work.
4. Furnace vent- there is one on your trailer or RV. This vent expels extra hot air. If this vent gets blocked in any way or the blower fails to work, then the furnace won’t work either.
You will need to clean out any obstructions and check the blower to see if it needs repairing or replacing.
There are many components within the furnace that can go bad on you. When they do, your furnace may only start for a few seconds if it starts at all. Here are some more parts to check if your propane supply is good:
1. Electrical parts- while the furnace may operate on gas, there are still electrical parts that run the show. When there is a bad wire, loose connection, and so on, your furnace may only work for a short time.
Tighten any loose connections, and replace wires or electrical parts that are not working.
2. Cold weather- not much you can do about this but sometimes the propane won’t flow very well when the temperature drops below freezing. Check for moisture in your regulator and if it is frozen the gas won’t flow and the furnace won’t turn on for very long.
Thaw out the regulator and put a cover on it.
3. No electricity- this is not due to bad wires or loose connections. This is to do with the electrical source. Your battery may be low on power, become corroded, or whatever. Once that happens the electrical parts on your furnace will not work.
Check your battery to see if there is a problem and recharge it if it is low on power. Clean the terminals and connections if you see rust or corrosion on them.
4. The furnace is in lock-out mode- it happens from time to time. The limit switch may have failed and locked the furnace so it can’t operate. If it is not the limit switch that is causing the lockout, then check the control panel.
If that has failed, you will need a technician to replace it for you.
Sometimes the problem seems very simple and you can handle it yourself. The propane tank will be one of those issues. But when it comes to the more complicated parts, and you are not technically inclined, then that is the time to call in a technician.
Sometimes handymen make things worse as they think they know the problem but have picked the wrong one. If your handyman is not sure or has picked the wrong part, call a technician.
Or if you are under warranty, call in an approved technician. No sense in voiding your warranty when you do not have to.
The furnace shutting off after 30 seconds is due to many sources. Picking the right source may take some time and a process of elimination. Sometimes it is best to let the technician do the work as they have all the right tools for your brand of furnace.
Just don’t let your handyman tinker with the furnace as they can make things a lot worse and create a more expensive repair bill. Let your handyman handle the propane issues only.