So, things are going great with out "new RV". We've done some interior remodeling, repaired the brakes, fixed up the exhaust and gone camping a few times. Last week we had the propane system checked (a-ok was the verdict) and have since started using the stove, but I haven't yet figured out how to work this furnance. Can anyone help me? I know that if I turn the thermostat up, the fan will start, but I cant figure out how to get it to make hot fire :) All I know is that it is a suburban furnace, and the motorhome is a 1978 country squire class C. I'm hoping that by posting a picture, one of you will recognize the unit and be able to offer some advice (how to light the pilot would be a great start, assuming it has one?)


Thanks in advance for your help!



Tags: Furnance, Heater, Suburban

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Okayyyyyyyyy, looks like it has an automatic piezo pilot igniter (The white thingy under the sight glass), so you dont have to manually hold down any thermocouple over ride and lite the pilot and continue to hold down the button 15 secs like the older units YOURS IS AUTOMATIC NO MANUAL PILOT LIGHTING NECESSARY...

Nowwwwwwwww that being said, I wouldnt be surprised if yours, an older unit, fails to light!!!


If alls well when the t stat calls for heat the fan starts,,,,,,,,,,the sail switch makes up,,,,,,,,theres like a 15 second dealy,,,,,,,,,,,,the piezo element strarts firing sparks,,,,,,,the gas comes on and she fires.............

If not, common problems are low DC voltage to the unit (make sure coach battery is good n charged),,,,,,,,,,,the piezo element has a crack or carbon trace in its ceramic insulator,,,,,,,,the igniter circuit board is bad......

Charge your battery (better yet have it plugged in so the converter/charger raises the voltage) turn her up to 90 or max n see what happens?????????

Ol John T in Indiana (Owner of manyyyyyyyyy older Class C's in my day, still just have a 1995)
is it a electronic heater if not you need to get the pilot on in the heater

Might try or They got the best deals on parts that I've found so far. I got an Atwood in my Chapparal fifth wheel and it works great lol. I really like looking at different accessories though. Got any good ideas on who has the cheapest rv parts?

yes it is a suburban but not the original furnace for that rv for sure.


so try this system....turn thermostat all the way should come on in 10-30 seconds, after the fan has run for 10-30 seconds you should here a click which is the gas valve, and then after that another click if it is loud enough which is the igniter lighting the fuel. once it lights, you can go outside and check the exhaust for heat. if fan runs and furnace does not light retry a few times to clear any air out of the propane line.


one thing to note tho for the future it pays to buy some screen or a vent cover to keep muduabers out of the vent lines outside, they just love to plug them up which in turn restricts the air from passing through and therefore the furnace will not light.


and thermostats are pretty iffy on older rv's they tend to over heat or wait to long before they come on, so you might find yourself down to 60 or up to 80 when the thermostat is set to 70 sometimes, if so you can get a nice 24volt thermostat which will do the job cheap and more reliable.

 I have a coleman on my 1978 nomad trailer. im sure they are somewhat similar being same year. the pilot lights via glow plug.  I have to hold the pilot button down similar to the hot water tank, but instead of a match there is a red hot glowing resistor that lights pilot.  I have on occasion lit it with a match; just unscrew glass viewing lens and stick match in.  Also I've found that there is a lot of air in the propane system when you change bottles, so i light the burners on my stove to help purge most air from the system prior to lighting furnace.  Sometimes i have to hold the pilot down for 15-20 sec for pilot to light but once its lit and hot it never goes out..hope this helps  oh yea one other thing i remember now with my wouldnt light the main burner; heard gas valve clicking but not gas..low voltage to solenoid not allowing valve to open enought to let gas in..fix replace thermostat as contacts were dirty.




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