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Old 09-21-2020, 07:24 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Vegas 24.1
State: Oregon
Posts: 28
THOR #4469
Heater not engaging

We're out camping and the heater will not ignite. The fan comes on, the breakers and fuses are fine, gas is 3/4 full but the ignition won't engage. I can hear that it wants to, it keeps trying but nothing. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #2
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Model: 2020 Magnitude BH35
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THOR #16693
Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredRoadies View Post
We're out camping and the heater will not ignite. The fan comes on, the breakers and fuses are fine, gas is 3/4 full but the ignition won't engage. I can hear that it wants to, it keeps trying but nothing. Any suggestions?
Have you turned off your propane lately? Hot water working ok? How many times have you let it try?
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:59 PM   #3
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Propane has been on for a few months. We're on electric now so don't know if hot water tank works on Propane but we know refrigerator and stove do.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:10 PM   #4
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THOR #6826
If you can hear the igniter sparking it’s a good bet that it’s just not getting propane. If you’ve not used the furnace all summer there might just be air in the line. You can keep trying to see if it will purge. Or you might loosen the fitting at the valve for a few moments to see if you smell gas (wait a few minutes before attempting to start after that!). If you can confirm gas at the valve the valve itself might be broken or stuck. You could try tapping it with something when it’s supposed to open. Gas and spark pretty much has to light! Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, we'll give it a try.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Gas and spark pretty much has to light!
Usually about the time you are taking a close look down the burner tube.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
Usually about the time you are taking a close look down the burner tube.


THAT sounds like the voice of experience!!
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
Usually about the time you are taking a close look down the burner tube.
Just last month Working on a toyhauler I'm getting ready to sell, and the darn fridge refused to fire off after sitting for a year. About the time I pulled the outside cover and peeked in the burner tube...WOOF! Didn't need to shave that day.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:41 PM   #9
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Burner tube/orifice are easy to clean.
Have you checked your furnace circuit board?
Here's a pic of ours, it's not supposed to look like this. Easy to change .
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Old 09-22-2020, 12:59 PM   #10
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Check the burner manifold

Had similar symptoms last fall. After 6 hrs of troubleshooting by a RV Tech, he pulled the burner assembly and it was coated with rust. There isn’t much pressure after the propane regulator. I’d the burner is coated it may not ignite near the flame sensor.

With no flame sensor, Atwood furnaces try 3 times to light and then shut off. Blowers would quit about 15 seconds later.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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Thats exactly whats happening. The fan stops and starts. I guess it's time to go to town and get a portable heater until its fixed. Thanks you.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:01 PM   #12
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I always carry and use my small electric heater when I have shore power. It saves the propane for other uses.


Paul
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RetiredRoadies View Post
Thats exactly whats happening. The fan stops and starts. I guess it's time to go to town and get a portable heater until its fixed. Thanks you.
Did you look at the circuit board and see a LED? It should flash a code on why it shutdown... it is in the manual (but you never did mention Make/Model of the furnace).
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Old 09-26-2020, 06:44 PM   #14
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My furnace wouldn’t start either but found that was due to altitude. I camped higher up in the mountains and found if I turned the propane fridge off first, then turned the furnace on, it would start at higher elevations. Worked fine at lower elevations. Also, check for debris in the furnace.
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Old 09-26-2020, 07:57 PM   #15
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THOR #10883
Water heater

A tech the insurance sent out to me once said he carries electronic spray cleaner. He said the circuit board sometimes gets stuff on causing a fault and then it won't work. Just spray the board with it and presto! Maybe.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:42 PM   #16
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Check for spider webs and dust

Many times dust bunnies and spider webs will interfere with the ignition.
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:27 PM   #17
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THOR #18665
Problem could be with the furnace or with the gas delivery system's excess flow valve in the hose between the tank and regulator, or the regulator itself.
Light stove top burners, then attempt a furnace ignition. If stove fames drop significsntly, likely a gas supply problem at the hose or regulator. Don't foget to turn stove off after test!
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Old 09-26-2020, 10:54 PM   #18
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Model: '17-Vegas 24.1
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THOR #13362
Not sure if you fixed it yet...

This subject is near & dear to my heart:

- my new Vegas was purchased when it was 90+ degrees outside. So I didn’t find out that my furnace would not light until several months later in the cold

- so like you, I had to use electric heat and the engine chassis heat to get me thru a long cold trip

- my furnace was igniting, & tried to light for a moment or two, then would flame out. It was frustrating.

- I refused to take to dealer for warranty repair. You know, get an appointment for 60 days from today. Then they keep your rig for several weeks.

- once I returned home, after searching this Forum and the Google, I took the entire assembly apart. It’s very easy to do. Take photos along the way so you can put it back together

- Turns out that the “spark fork” was not placed close enough to burner.

- it was all my time & labor, trial & error. Simple twist & bend Spark fork so that the ignition spark was 3/4” long & close enough to the burner to get the flame going

Has worked great ever since
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Old 09-27-2020, 11:58 AM   #19
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Model: Freedom Traveller A27
State: North Carolina
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THOR #17765
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
Not sure if you fixed it yet...

This subject is near & dear to my heart:

- my new Vegas was purchased when it was 90+ degrees outside. So I didn’t find out that my furnace would not light until several months later in the cold

- so like you, I had to use electric heat and the engine chassis heat to get me thru a long cold trip

- my furnace was igniting, & tried to light for a moment or two, then would flame out. It was frustrating.

- I refused to take to dealer for warranty repair. You know, get an appointment for 60 days from today. Then they keep your rig for several weeks.

- once I returned home, after searching this Forum and the Google, I took the entire assembly apart. It’s very easy to do. Take photos along the way so you can put it back together

- Turns out that the “spark fork” was not placed close enough to burner.

- it was all my time & labor, trial & error. Simple twist & bend Spark fork so that the ignition spark was 3/4” long & close enough to the burner to get the flame going

Has worked great ever since
Good catch! Had that problem with my grill.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:57 PM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.1
State: New York
Posts: 8
THOR #3007
Yup. Water was getting to the circuit board and fried mine. It’s a $90 DIY replacement. Then I had to stop the water infiltration!
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