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Old 08-05-2018, 03:36 AM   #1
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THOR #12022
Propane furnace - high altitude

Iím at 9,500 ft elevation, coming up from 518 ft where I bought my RV. Tried to run the furnace to take the night chill out of the air and it cycled on and off never fully lighting. It worked perfectly at lower elevations so Iím thinking it has to do with getting enough air? Is there a simple adjustment that will do the trick?
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:35 PM   #2
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You might have air in the line. Try this trick: turn furnace off, light a burner, then turn furnace back on. I have to do this sometimes to get my fridge started. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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We live at 6200 feet and regularly camp at 8,000-10,000 feet. Never had an issue with our furnace until the last trip to Rocky (8,500 ft) when the furnace would light, then flame out, try to light again and flame out. Turned out to be the gas valve. Iíve replaced the valve and things seem to work well again. Havenít had it higher than home since then though. Sounds like you are having the same symptoms.

Atwood was nice but not helpful and I had to buy a gas valve from a third party. Here the post describing the adventure

Atwood Furnace Repairs
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:53 PM   #4
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THOR #11130
AND...always carry an electric heater as a back up if you know you're going into cold weather. One is None...Two is One!
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:57 PM   #5
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I had that issue with the refrigerator not running on propane in the higher altitudes. Once we got over 5,000 feet and we didn't have shore power, it was the generator or nothing. And in the national parks, we couldn't run the generator except for a few hours in the morning and evening.

Any hacks to keep the gas fridge running at altitude?

thanks!
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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"They Say" you can change out the orifice somehow...seems a lot of drama unless you travel high altitudes a lot.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyChaps View Post
I had that issue with the refrigerator not running on propane in the higher altitudes. Once we got over 5,000 feet and we didn't have shore power, it was the generator or nothing. And in the national parks, we couldn't run the generator except for a few hours in the morning and evening.

Any hacks to keep the gas fridge running at altitude?

thanks!
There are smaller orifices available for high altitude. Different manufacturers may offer a high altitude kit. We've never retrofit a refrigerator though.

We've had intermittent problems at altitude. We had a trailer with a Dometic refrigerator that gave us some problems which seemed to get fixed by cleaning the ignitor electrode. The burner would intermittently fail to light. Our current ACE 30.1 has a Norcold refrigerator which has not given us any problems on gas...so far.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:11 PM   #8
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I had a problem when we first got our Hurricane. The problem was temp related not altitude. Tried everything, including leaving in the shop for weeks on end. Finally called a local propane dealer and he explained that when the dealer filled the tank, they did not evacuate the tank first and filled it on top of the moisture that was already in the tank. This caused the moisture to freeze up in the valve at lower temps. The furnace would start and run for maybe 60 seconds and stop. The propane dealer evacuated the tank and I have not had a problem since. This may not be your problem but I wanted to post just in case.
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