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Riverside Retro White Water Retro 177SE Furnace mystery
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October 16, 2016
5:32 pm
Captn Sharpie
Forum Posts: 15
Member Since:
August 16, 2016
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We have owned our 177 for about 6 weeks.  I remember sweating on our first trip when temp and humidity were in the 90’s, then worrying about ac condensation dripping down my walls.  Thus we had been looking forward to trying out our furnace some chilly autumn weekend.  That time arrived last weekend when nighttime temps dripped into the low 50’s.  I awoke the first morning with signs of an oncoming cold, sniffles and a sore throat.  By nightfall I was feeling worse, starting to chill.  Only the warm and nostalgia of our family campfire keep me up, sharing old stories.  As the fire died down, I got up from my ringside seat and climbed into the trailer.  Flipped the thermostat switch – that’s all I thought I had to do – and waited.  Nothing.  Did this a few more times, each without success, without any hint of an electric spark or gaseous whoosh.  Consulted the trailer manual – the actual furnace manual is the only missing from my inherited collection – checked the circuit panel (actually this was the first time, down on my hands and knees that I discovered how to open it.

About 2 am, just when other digestive symptoms decided to attack and I was rushing to the bathroom/shower, the furnace decided mercifully to blast forth.  From that point on it would cycle and off dependably.  After a few hours it was actually too hot and I crawled to the thermostat to turn it down.

My question is then, what was going on in those hours before the furnace actually decided to come to life?

October 16, 2016
7:12 pm
Forum Posts: 99
Member Since:
September 24, 2016
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My first thought based on your description of issues is you have a thermostat problem. Your gas was on, the heater did run at some point, not sure where you had the thermostat set (ours is usually set between 3rd and 4th mark from the left), so it would seem the thermostat is not talking to the heater. Unless you have a warranty and can have it fixed for free I would just buy a new one and change it. Just a couple screws and a couple of wires. I would also assume there were no issues with the breaker panel and your right, you should just set the stat and it should just work. Good luck…

October 18, 2016
2:00 pm
Southern Utah
Forum Posts: 174
Member Since:
June 25, 2016
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I’m having thermostat problems as well. My furnace waits to kick on 10 degree’s below what I have it set at and turns off 20 degree’s at what I have it set at. I ordered a new thermostat and I’m waiting for it to come. It was only $14.00 and should be a 10 minute fix. 


Here is the one I bought.

January 4, 2017
12:01 pm
Forum Posts: 3
Member Since:
January 4, 2017
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I have had my fun with the heater in the 177SE.  Here is my story, but please any education would be helpful.

The heater has a power switch.  The documentation refers to it as a gas switch.

The first winter I winterized the camper. But left gas on.  Next time I used it, gas was empty.  I just chalked it up to my poor memory.  Battery was good as I left it on shore power all winter.

The second winter.  Turned gas off and disconnected from shore power.

To use the trailer for a xmas guest, I reconnected shore power, turned on gas but no heat!

Read the manual.  Turn switch off (requires removal of front cover and a really long screwdriver.  No access hole from anywhere.  Flipped off, wait 10 minutes.  Flip on.  Heat fires right up.

After use, turned gas off, removed from shore power again.

Two weeks later, battery completely dead.  

Connect to shore power.  I can immediately hear the igniter in the heater clicking.  Hmmm, killed my battery trying to light with no gas on till battery 100% dead.

Turned gas on, heat fires right up.

So I believe you should turn the “gas” switch off when not in use.  I believe the thermostat set at lowest point is still on.  And when temp gets cold, one of two things will happen.  Either your heater will come on until you run out of gas, or it will try to light until battery is dead.

Another option would be to disconnect battery during storage.

I would like to move the heater rocker switch or make it accessible.

Anyone try that?


2016 Whitewater Retro 177SE

Raleigh, NC

January 6, 2017
7:21 pm
Southern Utah
Forum Posts: 174
Member Since:
June 25, 2016
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I think you should be able to turn the heater and other accessories off in the fuse panel to prevent this from happening. 

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