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6 Common Forest River RV Furnace Problems

Most every appliance made for an RV or home has some problems. These problems can range from issues with the user not knowing how to use it, to quality control or quality manufacturing issues that aren’t meant to last a long time.

This article reviews some of the issues found within Forest River RV furnace. These are based on user complaints about problems they encountered when using a Forest River RV furnace.

Repeatedly turning on and off

This is a fairly general problem amongst furnaces, though it seems prominent with Forest River. Users reported that the furnace would turn on and run as needed for a half hour to reach the right temperature. When the temperature lowered, the furnace would turn back on, but for just 30 seconds before stopped.

While no specific solution is mentioned, it’s suggested the issue could be within the exhaust vent or liquid propane lines. Blowing out the propane lines or ensuring the exhaust and intake vents are intact and not blocked could solve the issue. 

The furnace might be turning off because it gets overheated or doesn’t have enough gas to finish.

Thermostat Issues

Note that the thermostat and furnace are not necessarily made by the same company, but the furnace’s ability to read the thermostat can be an issue. 

Try restarting the thermostat (if possible) or remove it from the wall to ensure the wiring is done properly. Consult the furnace and thermostat manuals for questions about how it should be wired.

Furnace doesn’t fire up

It’s getting chilly in your RV and the Forest River furnace isn’t firing up. You should start by checking the thermostat to make sure it’s set to a temperate, and adjust it just in case.

You should also check to see if your furnace has any switches that need to be set to automatic, so it accepts requests from the thermostat. This is noting that some Forest River furnaces can be set on the furnace itself.

If that doesn’t work, look at the fittings that carry gas into the furnace to ensure they are all tight.

You should also smell gas if the propane is in fact leaking. This issue might not be with the furnace itself.

Pilot light won’t start

This problem can be quite similar to the problem above. A pilot light not starting can be a variety of issues. Note that in some cases, a furnace doesn’t have what’s called a pilot light – or a constant gas light. 

Instead, check any battery or propane pressure that might be hooked up to the furnace. It’s possible that the battery meant to provide the spark is dead or disconnected, or even a blown fuse.

If your furnace does have a pilot light, attempt to clean off the light with steel wool. You might need to remove some grime that plugs the lighter which results in a lack of good gas flow.

Blower turns on, but no heat

The heat exchanger could be leaking and causing the furnace to blow lukewarm or cold air from the intake vent. This is not a common problem as the heat exchanger normally is fairly durable.

Another possible issue is unrelated to the furnace itself – a furnace can certainly turn on with no gas available. Check your propane tank to ensure that you have enough to heat your RV.

One more common issue here is within the RV sail switch. The sail switch is located typically on the exterior and accessed through panels on the side of your RV. The sail switch allows for a mixture of hot air. The sail switch can readily get sticky and not open. Cleaning it with a cloth can be very helpful.

Nothing turns on

You are waiting for the furnace to turn on, but it does nothing. No blower, no clicking sound that indicates it’s firing up. 

The problem might be in the power supply or a stuck fan. The fan motor itself is necessary to keep heat flowing, and the furnace might be unable to turn on without a check of the fan.

If the electrical supply to the fan is working properly (you might be able to check by plugging something else in) then you might need to either clean out the fan or replace the fan motor. For some do it yourselfers, this can be as simple as using a multimeter to see if the fan can carry an electrical current.

In this situation, a technician might be needed to replace the motor or fan. Most of this involves getting the part and reconnecting it the same way your previous fan was setup.


Many of the problems associated with furnaces are relatively simple and involve basic maintenance. Forest River does have some complaints about motors burning out or connections not working. It’s important to remember that the furnace is just the box – a series of pipes and electrical connections are also made to help the furnace function.

The first thing to do is check your propane and power sources, as those are the most common problem for a furnace like Forest River to stop working properly.

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