I finally managed to fix the Truma E1400 cabin gas fan heater! It was fairly simple – read how!
Till now the cabin heater has only been able to run at maximum heat / fan speed which is first of all a bit loud but then of course also quite warm. We have been camping in France when the temperature during night was about freezing. Even though the van is isolated to some degree, these temperatures definitely requires the heater to run doing the evening, night and morning as well. Running the heater at full speed (which was the only option back then) is a bit annoying in particular during the night due to noise as well as warm air blowing out just below our bed meaning a local very warm area. Being able to run the heater at low heat / fan more frequently (thermostat controlled) would be ideal.
I first went to a campervan repair center with xx years of experience. They told me that the electronics where probably broken and that it would be too expensive to try and fix it. Instead I should be a new heater – well no surprice… Having an old van that would be the very last resort and only if we were to camp again at these cold temperatures. Instead I thought I would give it a go and do the repair myself. Disclaimer: you are dealing with gas so don’t mess with it if you don’t feel comfortable doing it!
This is to how the low heat setting sounded with no gas ignition taking place.
The fix consisted of gently tapping the low gas solenoid valve such that it would unstuck and allow gas to enter the heater. This was of course a wild guess but I thought it was worth giving it a try – relatively easy fix at no cost!
The low gas solenoid valve was the one upper valve on my unit.
The challenge consisted in reaching the valve with the heater in place (I didn’t like to dismantle gas pipes, exhaust, etc). In my van the heater was placed below the back seats and it was a bit crampy to get access to all the screws. However it was possible with a bit of patience (and using the phone as camera to find the last screws and get them out and later on in again).
After the fix this was how the ignition sequence succesfully sounded like:
Finally, this is the heater noise at high fan speed / heat showing why fixing the low fan / heat setting is useful during the night.