Newbie: 1993 Ductchmen Classic 300 Heater Issues - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 03-22-2018, 01:14 AM   #1
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Newbie: 1993 Ductchmen Classic 300 Heater Issues

Just bought my first camper. It's a 1993 Dutchmen Classic 300. In good shape for the most part. Just having issues with the hot water heater and furnace. It has the Atwood propane and electric hot water heater. Tried the propane first. Can't seem to get any activity (don't hear the igniter sparking or anything. It also has the electric element on it with a on/off switch on the box for it (located under the back bunk). It was in the on position and probably has been for who know how long. Is there a breaker somewhere for this or is it just tied in with everything else? I'm guessing the element is probably bad. Haven't taken it off yet to look. We will use it at campgrounds with electric so the propane side can wait a bit. Just want to make sure there isn't another breaker somewhere that needs to be on for it to work. All the ones in the power converter are turned on though.

The heater and blower won't come on either. I noticed a missing fuse in the power converter box. Nothing in the box is labeled so I have no idea what it is for. I tried putting a 15 amp fuse in it, but it blows right away. Attached is a picture. It is second from the right. The first fuse is 25A and all the rest are 15A. Is this for the furnace and/or hot water heater(propane)? I've read the control board on the furnance can go out a lot. Would this be blowing the fuse? Are there any fuses in the furnace itself?
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by cryptologic View Post
Just bought my first camper. It's a 1993 Dutchmen Classic 300. In good shape for the most part. Just having issues with the hot water heater and furnace. It has the Atwood propane and electric hot water heater. Tried the propane first. Can't seem to get any activity (don't hear the igniter sparking or anything. It also has the electric element on it with a on/off switch on the box for it (located under the back bunk). It was in the on position and probably has been for who know how long. Is there a breaker somewhere for this or is it just tied in with everything else? I'm guessing the element is probably bad. Haven't taken it off yet to look. We will use it at campgrounds with electric so the propane side can wait a bit. Just want to make sure there isn't another breaker somewhere that needs to be on for it to work. All the ones in the power converter are turned on though.

The heater and blower won't come on either. I noticed a missing fuse in the power converter box. Nothing in the box is labeled so I have no idea what it is for. I tried putting a 15 amp fuse in it, but it blows right away. Attached is a picture. It is second from the right. The first fuse is 25A and all the rest are 15A. Is this for the furnace and/or hot water heater(propane)? I've read the control board on the furnance can go out a lot. Would this be blowing the fuse? Are there any fuses in the furnace itself?
Just to give you a starting place, the furnace control board and blower motor are 12 volt and protected by a fuse.

The element for the water heater is 110 volt and may or may not be protected by a circuit breaker. The control board will be 12 volt and may be piggy backed with the furnace control board. It's anyone's guess until you tear into it and find out.

Try the photo again, it doesn't show up.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:01 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums!

If you can get the model number of the furnace and water heater we can chase down manuals that may help you with the trouble shooting.

I would cut the power to the camper, disconnect the water heater element and check it for continuity with a VOM, and pull it and check it's physical condition. Electric RV water heaters are pretty slow on the recovery, so eventually you will want both sources working. The furnace is going to take some serious step by step trouble shooting to get through it.

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Old 03-23-2018, 02:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to this place !
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:52 PM   #5
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Not sure if these will help. I have a 1994 Classic 300. Here is what I have in my breaker box.



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Old 04-10-2020, 06:15 PM   #6
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I have just the opposite problem. When I hookup to 110 or run off the battery, the furnace fan will not shut off. I have to pull the fuse to stop it. Even plugged into 110 the blower drained the battery. Anybody?
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:21 PM   #7
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Have you checked your thermostat fan setting. It should be set to AUTO, not high or low.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cryptologic View Post
Just bought my first camper. It's a 1993 Dutchmen Classic 300. In good shape for the most part. Just having issues with the hot water heater and furnace. It has the Atwood propane and electric hot water heater. Tried the propane first. Can't seem to get any activity (don't hear the igniter sparking or anything. It also has the electric element on it with a on/off switch on the box for it (located under the back bunk). It was in the on position and probably has been for who know how long. Is there a breaker somewhere for this or is it just tied in with everything else? I'm guessing the element is probably bad. Haven't taken it off yet to look. We will use it at campgrounds with electric so the propane side can wait a bit. Just want to make sure there isn't another breaker somewhere that needs to be on for it to work. All the ones in the power converter are turned on though.

The heater and blower won't come on either. I noticed a missing fuse in the power converter box. Nothing in the box is labeled so I have no idea what it is for. I tried putting a 15 amp fuse in it, but it blows right away. Attached is a picture. It is second from the right. The first fuse is 25A and all the rest are 15A. Is this for the furnace and/or hot water heater(propane)? I've read the control board on the furnance can go out a lot. Would this be blowing the fuse? Are there any fuses in the furnace itself?

Can you take a picture of the heater itself? Does it have a control board with two LED lamps on it? There should also be a spot that has two sensors underneath an area marked E.C.O and T'STAT. There should also be a fuse underneath the BROWN wire that goes to the water heater thermostat itself. Lastly, the element itself could be shorted, causing the circuit breaker to trip, something that old probably needs a new element anyway. Lastly, the tanks sometimes fill with calcium so when you take the element out, you should be able to tell that. Do you have a switch on the rv control panel that has the propane and electric switch? Does the little light come on when the gas tried to start?

Good luck, welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:56 PM   #9
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Have you checked your thermostat fan setting. It should be set to AUTO, not high or low.

Yes, I have tried on/off/auto. Continues. I am wondering if I need a new thermostat.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:20 PM   #10
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Just thinking out loud, but... it might help if you could find the band & model of the furnace you have. Then we could know where to find if it can display trouble codes, and then decipher them... or find other troubleshooting solutions.
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Old 04-10-2020, 09:52 PM   #11
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Furnace identity

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Originally Posted by ATCguy View Post
Just thinking out loud, but... it might help if you could find the band & model of the furnace you have. Then we could know where to find if it can display trouble codes, and then decipher them... or find other troubleshooting solutions.

I will try to find that info tomorrow. Thank you for helping. I am new to camping in a real camper. My only experience is with a pop-up.
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Old 04-11-2020, 11:58 AM   #12
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Just thinking out loud, but... it might help if you could find the band & model of the furnace you have. Then we could know where to find if it can display trouble codes, and then decipher them... or find other troubleshooting solutions.
Yes, you really need to locate that information. Not all brands/models even come with the same equipment nowadays anyway year after year. You need to locate all of your brand & model numbers for everything in your unit for future reference.

Locate that for the water heater and we will all give it a go and assist you all we can.
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Old 04-11-2020, 01:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by franktafl View Post
Can you take a picture of the heater itself? Does it have a control board with two LED lamps on it? There should also be a spot that has two sensors underneath an area marked E.C.O and T'STAT. There should also be a fuse underneath the BROWN wire that goes to the water heater thermostat itself. Lastly, the element itself could be shorted, causing the circuit breaker to trip, something that old probably needs a new element anyway. Lastly, the tanks sometimes fill with calcium so when you take the element out, you should be able to tell that. Do you have a switch on the rv control panel that has the propane and electric switch? Does the little light come on when the gas tried to start?

Good luck, welcome to the forum.



Should be repaired now, it's only been two years since the thread started. Are you new here Frank?
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Old 04-11-2020, 04:25 PM   #14
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Should be repaired now, it's only been two years since the thread started. Are you new here Frank?
no, but i am old!

shadowrider posted and i didn't check the original post date for crypto. Like no one else has ever done it.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:41 PM   #15
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Yes, you really need to locate that information. Not all brands/models even come with the same equipment nowadays anyway year after year. You need to locate all of your brand & model numbers for everything in your unit for future reference.

Locate that for the water heater and we will all give it a go and assist you all we can.

Furnace: Hydro Flame Corporation Model- 8525-H Ser# 1536644.


Water Heater: Atwood Mobile Products Model# GCH6A-9E
Spec # 128059 Ser# - 96128001848.
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Old 04-11-2020, 07:33 PM   #16
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Ok, the furnace seems to be a common one... but, Atwood has now been bought out by Dometic, and they don't have the manual for it on their website.

That said... I did run a simple google search, and found someone with the same issue back in 2013. Here is the portion of the thread that gave him a solution:
2) Decided to finally take "dougranier"'s advice and start playing with the wiring near the furnace. I honestly couldn't imagine a "short" just happening since I didn't see any damage to the cables.

3) So I pulled on the cable bundle that comes from the AC unit down at the furnace and it turns off! Whoa! That's weird. The wire bundle is a number of wires that are wire nutted and then wrapped in electrical tape as a bundle. So I take off the electrical tape and voila!

...see the two bare wires!!! When I touch them together the furnace turns on whether or not there is a signal from the thermostat.

Here's a youtube of the furnace turning on/off when I touch the wires:



So I wrapped up the individual wires and now the system works fine.
Other things to try were suggested, but this is what worked for him. If you want to read the entire thread, here's the link:

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/26614940.cfm
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Old 04-12-2020, 04:57 PM   #17
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Ok, the furnace seems to be a common one... but, Atwood has now been bought out by Dometic, and they don't have the manual for it on their website.

That said... I did run a simple google search, and found someone with the same issue back in 2013. Here is the portion of the thread that gave him a solution:
2) Decided to finally take "dougranier"'s advice and start playing with the wiring near the furnace. I honestly couldn't imagine a "short" just happening since I didn't see any damage to the cables.

3) So I pulled on the cable bundle that comes from the AC unit down at the furnace and it turns off! Whoa! That's weird. The wire bundle is a number of wires that are wire nutted and then wrapped in electrical tape as a bundle. So I take off the electrical tape and voila!

...see the two bare wires!!! When I touch them together the furnace turns on whether or not there is a signal from the thermostat.

Here's a youtube of the furnace turning on/off when I touch the wires:



So I wrapped up the individual wires and now the system works fine.
Other things to try were suggested, but this is what worked for him. If you want to read the entire thread, here's the link:

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/26614940.cfm

Thank you. I will look into this. Sure glad I found this site.
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Old 04-12-2020, 05:24 PM   #18
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Good For You!

I think tinkering and being curious/inquisitive is a part of a happy RV Owners personality. Just dive in and you will find that ďa lotĒ of the times it is something simple as you found.
Being on this forum, curiosity, a little knowledge of basic tools & technologies will take you a long ways to being a truly HAPPY CAMPER! 😊
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:41 AM   #19
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Yes, I have tried on/off/auto. Continues. I am wondering if I need a new thermostat.
I would remove the thermostat cover, and make sure itís wired right, unhook the thermostat and see if it shuts off.
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