Fridge and Furnace troubleshooting

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Camping&Coffee, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Camping&Coffee

    Camping&Coffee New Member

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    Hello, I recently purchased a 1996 Bonair Popup. Unfortunately, I did not have the previous owner fire up the furnace or show me that the fridge worked, and went on his word that both did. We took the trailer out in early Sept and discovered that the fridge didn't work and the furnace didn't heat. I removed the furnace grate and it looks pretty dirty (spider webs, etc) inside, so I'm hoping it just needs a cleaning, but who knows. As for the fridge, I have no ideas. I plugged in the fridge to my outlet at home for around 24hrs before leaving, but no coolness whatsoever when we arrived at the campsite.
    As for the furnace, the pilot light lights fine, the fan blows, but no heat. The stove works so I know there's propane in the system.
    Any ideas? I'm not a plumber or electrician, but hoping I can figure something out without spending a small fortune on diagnostics at the local RV service centre.
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    First thing I suggest is download the furnace and refrigerator manuals from the web.
    Vacuum out the furnace including the exhaust pipe to the outside. You may just not have the controls set correctly..... read your downloaded manuals. You will be an expert in no time. Ask questions, tell us what you found.
     
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  3. Camping&Coffee

    Camping&Coffee New Member

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    Thanks! I'll give those suggestions a try this weekend. I'm hoping a good cleaning is all it needs. The manual that came with the trailer is pretty much useless, so hopefully there'll be better info in the downloaded manual.
     
  4. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Wasp nest in the exhaust pipe are an issue around here. But your good cleaning may be the cure. Refrigerator on 120 volts, has the selector knob on the front been switched on? What usually happens is there is a electric heating element that that supplies the heat instead of the propane and that element can be burnt out. Easy fix,
     
  5. Camping&Coffee

    Camping&Coffee New Member

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    I'm assuming the selector knob you are referring to is the knob with numbers 0-7 on it, which I had cranked up to 7. This knob is located just above the switches (120V and 12V) in the housing compartment accessible from the outside of the trailer. I didn't notice anything to switch on, on the fridge itself. Of note, on the furnace, when I took the grate off there I noticed an on/off switch, which I have no idea what it's for. I did switch it to on, but didn't notice any difference. Any idea what that switch is for?
     
  6. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    Just made sure you found the 120 / 12 volt switch on the refrigerator. Some of those are 3 Way 120/12 volt and propane. The 12 volt one If it works will do a good job of running your battery down. Does it work on propane? Mine had a pilot light, the newer ones may not.
    The 120 volt heater wraps around that propane heated cylinder, and should get hot when its plugged into power and switched on. My heater burnt out. You can carefully check for 120 volts, power and no heat, bad heater element.
    See my post earlier on troubleshooting a furnace. If it sparked and you have a pilot the main burner should fire off, unless the control module is bad or flame sensor is dirty.. sensor first.
     
  7. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Yours fridge is 23 years old, hit the selecter nob with some contact cleaner, then turn the nob a few times. If the contacts are oxidized it will not work. They take forever to cool down and dont make noise when they run. You also need to be level to get the best results.
     
  8. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    You want the furnace and refrigerator manual from their manufactures . Just google the make and models.
     
  9. Wrenchgear

    Wrenchgear Near Elmira, Southern Ontario

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    When operating the fridge on propane, the small flame that you light is the only source of heat to make the fridge work. It is not a pilot light, as so many people mistakenly call it, it is the actual source of heat. This flame is only the size of a match burning and does not light up a bigger hotter flame. Make sure only one source of heat/energy is turned on at a time for the fridge. Either propane, OR 12v, OR 120v, never 2 at once.
     
  10. wmgeorge

    wmgeorge Member

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    You are so right, about the flame…. I forgot that part! I have never been a fanboy of these refrigerators anyway, even when you can get them to work… they are never really cold. As I recall the switch had 3 positions, heck maybe I forgot that too. Right now I need some sunny dry days to put my PU up. Got the wheel bearings and tires done.
     
  11. Adam Connolly

    Adam Connolly Member

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    The switch you found inside the fridge door might be a anti condesation switch. It heats the seal around the door to stop water from accumulating. They do take about 24 hours to cool down. Also 7 might be the warmest setting not the coldest i woul put it to one and wait and see
     
  12. _WW_

    _WW_ Member

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    I had a similar problem with a furnace on a used pop up. Turned out that the sail switch was not working because of too much dog hair and dust bunnies. Cleaned it all up and it worked fine. The furnace won't light if the control panel thinks the fan is not blowing. The sail switch is to alert the controller that the fan is indeed working...and the fan will run for a bit after the burner shuts off.
     
  13. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    Also keep in mind that those 3-way fridges when running on DC or AC shore power take FOREVER to cool down. Mine would take about 4 days.... but would cool in a few hours when running on LP. At least until it crapped out for good.
     
  14. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Also something to note about the furnace. Sometimes you need to run the inside stove For a bit to help bleed the air out of the lines before the furnace is able to manage to light. Fall always takes me a few trys before I get it to work.
     

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