If you own an older RV, you likely have a Suburban RV oven built in the kitchen. Newer models use electronic ignitions to make the operation easier. However, you need to learn how to light a Suburban RV oven manually to use it.
Lucky for you, we have laid out the instructions below. Also, we’ll provide some troubleshooting tips to help solve the common issues of using Suburban RV ovens.
Step-By-Step to Light a Suburban RV Oven
The process of lighting a pilot light oven is easy because all you need is a match. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Turn Off The Oven Knobs And Valves
The first step is to switch off all the valves to prevent any flammable gas from escaping and filling your RV as you work on the pilot light. Make sure that the burner knobs are also all in the OFF position. Leaving the knobs open might catch fire when you try to ignite the pilot.
You want to shut off the oven control knob to light the pilot without any restrictions. While you’re at it, don’t forget to turn off all electric power at the fuse box, if there’s any.
Step 2: Open The Main Gas Supply
Head outside your RV and find where you place your propane tanks that supply gas to your RV.
Once you’ve found them, check the regulator of the propane tanks. It should be green to indicate that the tank is full. If it’s red, then you’ll need to refill the propane tanks before you can start lighting the oven.
Then, turn the propane tanks to the ON position. This will start supplying the gas to your oven.
If there is more than one tank, ensure the valve arrow points to the one you want to use primarily.
Step 3: Open The Oven Door
When you open the oven door, you shouldn’t smell gas. If you do, check the installation to see where the leak is.
Make sure that the gas connection is secure. One way to do the gas leak test is to apply an ammonia-free soapy solution, such as diluted dishwashing liquid, to the connection or juncture. Bubbles will start to show up if there’s a leak.
If you don’t smell gas anymore, turn on Suburban RV oven knob to the pilot position. You need to push in the knob to start the gas flow to your oven.
Step 4: Light The Pilot
Now, reach for a lighter or a long match to light the pilot. You can find the pilot at the bottom of the oven.
Keep holding the knob to heat your thermocouple and produce the needed electrical current for ignition. It usually takes about a couple of seconds.
Once the pilot has lit, let go of the knob.
If the pilot has no flame or won’t stay lit, repeat steps 1-3 to relight oven and hold the knob a little longer. Once the oven burner is lit, close the oven door and wait a few minutes to preheat and start an oven to cook.
Common Problems of Suburban RV Oven and How to Fix
If you own any of the Suburban Elite Series or other Suburban oven models, then you probably face a few problems along the way. Find out what these issues are and the respective solutions below.
- Won’t Stay Lit
A common problem of Suburban is the oven pilot light won’t stay lit. When this happens, try to check the metal rod near the pilot light. Ensure that the metal rod is properly connected to the valve.
Sometimes, the pilot won’t light up because the plunger is not working with the magnet when you push in the knob. To resolve this issue, you need to check the knob. Make sure that it looks pressed down when you try to push it.
If the knob is working, check the magnet in the control thermostat. The pilot won’t stay lit if the magnet is defective. Ask a professional to replace the control valve in that case.
- Won’t Light Up
Since propane supplies power to your oven, one possible reason your oven pilot light won’t light is the lack of it. Check your propane tank. You’ll need a refill when the regulator shows a red color, indicating the tank is depleted.
What’s more, the pilot won’t light when gunk or any debris obstructs the opening or tubing of the pilot. This usually happens when you’re using the oven for too long. To clean, open the pilot assembly and use a rag to remove any accumulated gunk.
Also, the gas pressure matters. When the gas pressure is too weak, propane won’t flow properly into the oven. The best way to solve this issue is to increase the pressure to the right level.
- Flame Popping Or Going Out
When the pilot goes out in the middle of cooking, the problem usually lies in the pilot burner itself. Open the pilot and burner assembly. Check for any defects and replace them as necessary.
You might also want to check the pilot tubing and connections. Something might be blocking the proper flow of gas to the oven.
The gas control thermostat can also cause your pilot light to pop out. Make sure that it still delivers the right pressure to avoid impeding the gas flow.
- Flame Goes Large
Too much gas pressure can also cause the pilot flame to burst out. Hence, you need to tone down the pressure.
Should the issue persist, then the thermostat might be the problem. The thermostat is responsible for oven temperature adjustment. When this component is faulty, it won’t set the right temperature.
You can also adjust the flame size in the oven. The Suburban RV oven pilot light adjustment is usually a screw near the thermostat.
Advanced Tips to Use Suburban RV Oven
- Turn off the burner knobs when checking for gas leaks. You don’t want the gas fumes to get in contact with the open flame, as it will catch fire.
- If it’s too hard to kneel or crouch down to light the pilot, ask someone to hold the pilot light knob for you.
- Before you bake in the oven, preheat it for several minutes to get optimum results.
- Avoid putting pies and casseroles on the lowest rack because the heat there is too high. Instead, put large roasts to cook the meat tenderly or brown the bread crusts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Suburban RV oven not igniting?
This could be a thermocouple’s heating issue. Make sure that you hold the knob for about a full minute to warm up and allow the gas to flow.
Another potential cause is the knob itself. Check whether it’s embedded too deep into the oven. If it is, you won’t be able to push the knob to light the pilot.
Where can I get the manual?
You can get the Suburban RV oven and Suburban RV stove manual on the company’s website. Just select the model that you want, and it will show you a link to the manual.
For example, the link to the Suburban RV stove owners manual is here.
What can I use as the alternative to propane oven?
You can use a microwave or electric oven as alternatives for an RV oven propane model.
An electric oven or hybrid one can run on electricity. This makes both a more convenient choice when staying on campgrounds with AC power. While electric and hybrid ovens can be more expensive than a gas oven upfront, you can save on operating costs as you don’t need to refill propane tanks.
A microwave is more energy-saving than gas and electric camper ovens. It also tends to cook food faster, but you can only bake food at a lesser volume and in bulk.
How to care for and maintain a Suburban RV oven?
The best way to keep the Suburban RV oven at top performance is to keep it well-maintained. After using the oven, clean up the mess with a damp rag.
Remove the racks in the oven and soak them in soapy water. Wash and rinse away the residue, then wipe to dry before putting them back.
Once a month, make sure to clean the interior with a damp cloth and hot, soapy water to remove any grime buildup.
If you own a range, don’t forget to clean the burners of any food debris.
Knowing how to light a Suburban RV oven is the first step to an easier RV life. You can start baking your favorite recipes, and you won’t have to fret each time you fail to light the pilot on the first try. Of course, you have to make sure that every part of your oven is working in good condition.
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I have dedicated countless hours to exploring every nook and corner of the world. Ten years living in an RV may seem long, but time seems to fly by when I’m doing what I love with the person I love. So, if you want to run away from the busy lifestyle to embrace nature, I’m your guy.