One of the most common manufacturers of RV cooktop ovens is Furrion. They’re small, look great, and have many options depending on your model. However, unfortunately, many RV owners run into issues with them not working as intended, cooking unevenly, or simply having difficulty operating them.
Have no fear, as we’ll walk through some of the common Furrion gas oven problems and provide you with steps to solve them.
If you want to jump ahead to your specific problem, click on the links below.
About RV Ovens
If you’ve ever cooked anything in an RV oven, you know it’s slightly different from the one you may have at home. If you have an electric oven at home, you will also have the learning curve of using a gas oven. It may be more challenging to light, cooks differently, and is quite a bit smaller.
While these issues aren’t only specific to Furrion, they can be frustrating when you’re used to a residential oven. RV ovens are typically smaller than residential units and must withstand the movements as the RV travels down the road. This impacts some of the design features, which add to the uniqueness of an RV oven.
While Furrion ovens are very popular, you may also frequently see brands like Magic Chef or Dometic. Most of the tips listed in this guide also pertain to them. Furrion is one of the leading appliance manufacturers in the RV industry. There’s a good chance you also have other Furrion products throughout your RV.
RV ovens will almost always run off propane gas, which is common in residential gas units. If you are new to RVing, this is the same source as your other gas appliances, such as your water heater, refrigerator, and propane heater (furnace). While your home oven is most likely ready to go as soon as you turn it on, your RV oven often requires you to light the pilot light. You’ll need to learn how to light it if it’s a new oven.
Also, since weight and space are limiting factors in an RV, most ovens will be much smaller and lighter than a residential unit. While this is great for keeping the weight of your RV down, it also means that your oven will operate a little differently than at home.
How to start an RV Oven
Operating an RV oven can be different from using a traditional kitchen oven, as it runs on propane and often requires lighting the pilot light. If it’s your first time cooking with gas, look at the user manual to see how your specific unit lights.
Below are step-by-step instructions for turning on an RV oven with a pilot light, helping you get the best out of your RV cooking experience.
- To turn on an RV oven, follow these steps:
- Make sure the propane tank is connected and has sufficient fuel. An excellent way to test this is first to light one of the range burners.
- Open the oven door and light the pilot light. Some units will have an electric start, which requires you to hold down a button that sends an electric signal to the ignitor. Other units will have a click temperature control knob that creates the spark to light the pilot light each time your turn it. Regardless, it should be the same control knob you use for lighting your stovetop burners.
- When lighting the pilot light, turn the oven temperature knob to the pilot light setting. This should be marked with a small flame symbol near the low temperature setting. Again, you must push and hold it in as you apply the spark.
- Once the pilot light is lit, continue to hold the knob in for about 15 seconds to warm up the thermocouple to keep it lit.
- Next, turn the knob to the desired temperature setting.
- Once the oven is lit, release the knob and adjust the flame height if needed.
- Close the oven door and wait for it to preheat.
Note: Different RV ovens may have slightly different ignition methods, so it is best to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance.
Furrion RV Oven Troubleshooting
The pilot light is not lighting
The pilot light can be hard to see unless you squat or kneel and peer into the back of the oven. One trick I use with my Furrion oven is to use the reflection from the glass door to see the pilot light. It takes a little practice, but if you angle the oven door correctly, you can see the reflection of the pilot light’s flame, making it easy to see when it’s lit.
One of the most common issues RVers have with their Furrion oven is being unable to keep the pilot light lit. The pilot light is in the rear of the oven in a hard-to-reach-and-see place. Assuming your unit is functioning correctly, this is usually solved by holding down the pilot light knob for 15 seconds after seeing a flame. This will give the thermocouple time to heat up.
Also, unlike your home oven, turning the RV oven knob to the off position will typically cause the pilot light to go out, requiring you to relight it each time you want to use your oven. RVs have this on other safety features to prevent propane appliances from being turned on while moving.
What is a thermocouple?
Every RV oven will have a thermocouple. A thermocouple in an oven pilot light works by measuring the temperature at the pilot light flame. It’s a safety device designed to prevent gas leaks by shutting off the gas supply to the oven if the pilot light goes out. This RV oven sensor is also found in other gas appliances, including your water heater.
The thermocouple is made up of two different metals that are joined together at the tip and placed near the pilot light flame. When the flame is burning, it generates a small electrical current in the thermocouple, which is then sent to a control valve that regulates the gas supply to the oven.
If the pilot light goes out for any reason, the current in the thermocouple will drop, and the control valve will shut off the gas supply to the oven, preventing a gas leak. This helps to keep you and your home safe by ensuring that gas isn’t released into your home in the event of a pilot light outage.
A thermocouple is often a cause for RV owners not being able to light their oven, especially if you’re new to using it. This is because the thermocouple must reach a specific temperature to keep the pilot light lit. If it turns off before it does, it will cut propane off to the pilot light and won’t stay lit. This is usually solved by holding down the pilot light knob for about 15 seconds after it’s lit.
Pilot light issues:
Assuming you know how to operate your Furrion oven, and it simply stops working as it had, there are a few things to check before you call an RV tech. Below are some of the more common issues:
Check Fuel Source
While it seems obvious, before you tear anything apart to solve your pilot light problem, check to ensure you have enough propane gas in the tanks and that your gas valve is in the open position. Even if you recently filled them, check again to ensure you don’t have a leak. If you suspect a leak, you can check all of your propane lines and connections with a propane leak detector or even soapy water. Lighting your stove gas burner is an easy way to check for gas flow. All other lp appliances should be working as well. If not, you likely have a propane supply issue. Sometimes the simple things are easy to miss.
Electric Light Fuse:
If you have an electric pilot sparker, you should hear a short series of repeated clicks when you hold the ignition button. If you don’t, you may have an electrical issue with your power supply. You will want to check the fuse for your stove, which may be blown and isn’t applying a spark. The fuse should be located in your circuit breaker panel box. However, this may not be your issue if the oven light (interior light) and knob lights are working.
Dirty Pilot Flame Assembly
Since the pilot light is in the oven, it can get covered in grime, just like the rest of your oven. While it’s not an everyday chore, cleaning the pilot light assembly may be necessary. To do this, you don’t need to take out the entire pilot assembly. If you remove the shelves and heat shield in the oven, you should be able to access it for cleaning.
Once you can easily access it, use a rag or kitchen sponge and clears out any burnt food particles that build up around it. Once clean, reinstall it and give it another try.
Loose Thermocouple Nut
I’ve seen this issue pop up several times with Furrion ovens. A common symptom is that the pilot light won’t stay lit, no matter how long you hold down the knob after lighting it. At this point, many people will order a new thermocouple.
However, the problem can sometimes be from a loose nut holding the thermocouple connection in place. To access the nut, remove the gas cook top grates and base. From there, you will have access to the propane connections. The thermocouple connection on most Furrion ovens is located in the front right (facing it) section of the range stove top. In the picture below, you can see the connection. Try tightening this nut up to see if that fixes your problem. If it doesn’t, it may be time to replace the thermocouple. However, if it works, this simple fix can save you time and money by not taking it to your RV dealership’s service department.
Bent or misaligned thermocouple
For the thermocouple to work, it must heat up. If positioned too far away from the flame, it may not get hot enough to keep the pilot light lit. While not common, it’s possible that the thermocouple was bent from its position and is no longer in contact with the flame.
To fix this, you should be able to easily bend it back into place (gently) by hand. Only attempt this once your oven has cooled. The thermocouple wire should sit directly in the middle of the pilot light flame. If this doesn’t help, and if you checked the connection nut, you may need to replace your thermocouple. Before you bend it too far, ensure it’s actually bent. A low flame can also cause the thermocouple not to heat up.
Replacing the Thermocouple
Replacing the thermocouple is not too difficult. First, you’ll need to order one that fits your gas range. Then, before you remove anything, ensure your propane is turned off from the outside, as removing the thermocouple may cause propane to flow into the RV.
You’ll need to remove the old one by depressing a clip inside the oven to release it and then remove the connection underneath the stovetop. This is the same connection referenced above.
Install the new one by reversing the steps used to take the old one out. Remember to ensure that all bolts are fully tightened before your finish. Once installed, test the oven to ensure the pilot stays lit once installed.
RV Oven Doesn’t Stay Lit
If the pilot light works and the oven lights but turns off after a few minutes, there are a few things to check. First, ensure you have an ample gas supply by checking your tanks and ensuring the range burner lights. Another possible cause could be a design flaw with some older Furrion models.
Some older ovens have a known issue where the oven could turn off after a few minutes of use. Furrion recommends solving this by following these steps:
- First step: light oven as usual. Once lit, turn the temperature up to 400 degrees.
- For the next step, once it is, leave the door open a bit (about 3-4 inches) and let it operate for 3-4 minutes.
- After running with the door slightly opened for a few minutes, the last thing to do is close the door, let it preheat, and operate it normally.
While this is an inconvenience, it’s a proven solution for some older-model ovens. You’re adding extra oxygen to the flame by opening the door, allowing it to stabilize. A lack of oxygen or propane will cause the flame to extinguish.
RV Oven Cooking Problems
Operating an RV oven is more of an art than a science. Since they’re smaller, they won’t heat and maintain temperature like a residential unit. In fact, Furrion states that for every 100 degrees, your oven temperature may be off by up to 10 degrees. So this means that if you set your oven at 300 degrees, it could potentially be anywhere between 270 degrees and 330 degrees, which is an extensive range.
However, you can do a few things to stabilize the temperature. Below are some simple steps to try before turning to the RV microwave oven or toaster oven.
Preheat the Oven
The easiest solution for getting a more even oven temperature is to let your oven preheat longer. Regardless of what the oven temperature gauge states, you should let your RV oven heat up for at least 15 minutes before using it.
This helps to ensure that the entire oven has ample time to heat up to the correct temperature. Skipping this step, unfortunately, is a common cause of uneven heat. Also, keep the oven door closed the entire time it’s preheating.
Use an Oven Thermometer
RV ovens are also notorious for having incorrect temperature readings. If you’re lucky enough to have a digital display, you can have more control over this. However, it’s best to use a separate oven thermometer for the most accurate readings.
With a little trial and error, you can usually get a better idea of the actual oven temp than the reading on the dial or display. A good strategy is to place the thermometer in the oven, light it, and set it to a desired temperature. Next, take a reading with the thermometer and see what the actual temperature is. Repeat this for several standard settings (250, 300, 325, 350, 375, etc.). I like to write down the settings to make it easier to set them in the future.
Also, remember that the environment can influence the oven temperature, so that the readings may change in the summer vs. winter. For best results, always check the thermometer to ensure you have the correct temperature before placing food into the oven. For some things, this is less important. However, when baking or needing a more precise temperature, the thermometer will be your best friend.
Use a Pizza or Baking Stone
Another common RV oven tip is to use a baking or pizza stone. The ceramic stone will absorb the heat and help to maintain a more even temperature. The stone can be placed directly on the oven rack or drip tray. As the oven heats the stone, it will release heat and help maintain the oven temperature.
It’s essential to purchase a stone that is large enough to cover most of the oven but not too big that it won’t fit. Below is a popular stone used in Furrion ovens, but be sure to measure your actual oven dimensions before purchasing one. You can also go the DIY route and purchase some ceramic tiles that are rated for high heat.
Use Heavier Bakeware
The final tip for more even cooking is to use heavier cookware and bakeware. A heavier dish will hold more heat and transfer it to the food more efficiently. If you’re using a lightweight dish, it will heat up and cool down faster, transferring more of the temperature fluctuations to the food. This will result in uneven cooking and a less-than-ideal meal.
Rotate Food More Frequently
This is a good tip to avoid burning food in an RV oven. Since some ovens will have fluctuations in temperature, it’s a good idea to rotate the dish or the food to prevent some of it from burning. Usually, after a few meals, you’ll get a better feel for how your oven bakes. It will usually be hottest in the center, over the oven burner, and cooler towards the edges.
If your oven has multiple racks, moving your dish to the highest rack will provide more even cooking. This will avoid a hot spot created by the flame.
Troubleshooting a Furrion RV oven can seem challenging at first, but taking it one step at a time can usually solve most problems yourself. It’s always a good idea to keep the instruction manual handy to reference your specific oven model. A gas stove and oven takes some getting used to, and an RV one adds an additional layer of complexity. However, it won’t seem so complicated once you are used to cooking in your RV. It won’t take a long time.
The critical thing for RV ovens is heat distribution. Once you master this technique, cooking will be a breeze. One of the best things about an RV oven is that you can cook in pretty amazing settings. So please don’t get discouraged; keep working at it until you hone your skill. Good luck and happy camping.