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Old 09-06-2017, 06:14 PM   #1
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2018 Berkshire XL 40C AC to Bedroom Heat?

The rear AC runs when calling for LP heat in the bedroom. I have two 20K BTU furnaces. One for the front area, one for the Bedroom area. The rear AC is not a Heat Pump. Why is it running? I called my dealer service mgr. he is thinking that is not correct.

I have not heard back form Mitch Wirt at FR.

Could the engineers have incorporated the AC vent piping to manage the LP furnace air? The furnace fan is also running too.
1. It is noisy.
2. It comes on immediately, long before any heat is available for the cabin, so it blows cold air.
3. With the furnace running too, I could not detect heat from the ceiling vents.

Wondering if anyone else with the dual heating system can shed some light on this. Oh yes, it gets cold in State College, PA

Thanks in advance,

BobbyJ
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #2
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Try setting the fan to Auto instead of high or low.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:08 PM   #3
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Yep, was in auto. Today I tested the system.
Ambient temp 65 F.
Bedroom temp 67 F.
Thermostat set to 75 F

Time to reach 75 F. Inconclusive.

After 50 minutes with the fan in auto and running on high and the furnace running full out the temperature rose 1 degree F. to 68 F.

Cold air blowing from the ceiling. There are no floor vents in the 40C.

This was a test of the rear (bedroom) furnace. I did not run the front LP furnace or the front HP as this would skew the test.

Hot air was blowing out of the rear LP exhaust. I was using a lot of LP with no results. The AC unit in the rear ran the entire time. I could not tell if the compressor was engaged, i.e. effectively trying to cool at the same time. I cannot turn off the AC unit. No controls for that.

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Old 09-07-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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I was informed by FR that this issue has been turned over to Engineering.

I was able to heat the bedroom by killing power to the rear AC unit, and adjusting the front heater to run the heat pump. The system also does not allow me to decide on LP heat or heat pump, as was the case with the Berkshire 38A. If you set the temp at 5 degrees over current room temp the LP furnace and HP will run simultaneously. So, I set the temp only one degree above and the HP ran to circulate warm air to the rear of the coach, while the rear bedroom furnace pumped hot air into the hallway area in the middle of the coach. Again, this coach has 2, 20,000 Btu furnaces.

It will be interesting to see what fix FR has for this, as I should not have to kill power to the rear AC unit to heat this expensive toy, and hopefully they can update the programming to allow users to run only heat pump if desired, saving LP gas.

BobbyJ
State College PA
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:12 PM   #5
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I just spoke to Ryan Dye, HVAC engineer at Forest River, he and Mitch Wirt called me to discuss the heating issues in the (my) 2018 40C. He said there should be a heat vent under the bed. Nope, could not find one. He also thought the rear AC was pulling cold air from outside. Great to see they are actively working my problem.

Additionally, I spoke to Gary (do not have his last name) at Precision Controls. They wrote the software for the controller system. He is working to make a few changes too to see if he can improve the situation. One thing he intends to give us is the ability to choose the Heat Pump as a primary way to heat the coach. Today with a 5 degree adjustment to the thermostat you automatically get the LP furnace to run. The Dometic system in the Berkshire I, and most of us have, allows the user to choose HP for heat pump service.

More later,

BobbyJ

I will update later as we work on this.

Regards,

BobbyJ
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:35 AM   #6
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I have a 2012- the rear roof unit is ac only front is a heat pump. If the ac is running in the rear- when calling for heat, with fan in auto, it sounds like it thinks the rear is a heat pump.

maybe just thermostat set up.

But- the missing vent is an issue.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:11 PM   #7
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Update:

Nothing from Forest River to really fix my problem of the heat in the Master Bedroom. I just installed the heat vent by drilling 2, 4" diameter holes in the bed frame and installing (the just received in the mail) the heat vent in its normal location under the bed. We now have a heat vent in the Master Bedroom. How do they ship this out and miss this? Oh well!. The rear AC blows cold air or cold ambient air in an attempt to circulate the warm air from the LP furnace. It does not do it very well and it is very noisy, and seems quite unacceptable to me. I had to kill the rear AC switch at the panel box to make it livable. Never had this problem with the 38A or the Sportscoach before that. Additionally, I still do not have control over the heat pump in the front of the coach, unless I set the thermostat to 4 degrees over the existing temperature in the room. At 40 degrees room temp, I set the Living Room heat to 44 then to 48 then 52 then...well you can see my problem here. If I set the thermostat to the desired temperature (more than 4 degrees above current) then the LP furnace runs. My dealer said to run the fireplace. Some help, but not acceptable at this price point.

The engineer at Precision Plex is willing to make some software changes, I think. He says FR does not want to change this for one person. I told them to just give me what I had in the 38A with the "inferior" Dometic heating system. I hope others who own the 40C will call FR (Mitch Wirt, Tim Cunningham) and maybe they will make the common sense decision. Hey, why do engineers fix things that are not broken?

Very frustrated,

BobbyJ
In cold State College PA.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:27 PM   #8
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I feel your frustration......

Question regarding the front: If you set the delta to more than 4 and the furnace comes on..... does the heat pump still run or does it shut off?

If it still runs you could put a very simple switch into the signal or power to the furnace to kill it when this situation arises......

A $3 switch and a little work to install it next to the thermostat. Label it "Furnace Override"........

It's not a fix of the design flaws but it would make it more workable.

As an extension of this train of thought...... you could tell the engineers with their (not so) smart system to pounds sand and rip out the current thermostats and put in separate, individual thermostats for the two AC/heatpumps and furnaces. Not expensive but would take some head scratching to figure out the what's what in the wiring.

It sounds like you're not going to get them to get it to work right (shocking, I know) so maybe redesigning it in a more conventional, proven and functional way is the answer.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:01 PM   #9
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OK, so the engineer at FR says we are working on a fix for the heating system in the Berkshire XL that will take us into 2019 before it is finished and will not be retroactive to any of the previous systems.

How's that for an answer to fixing a problem they created.

Thank you for the idea for the kill switch to the furnace. I still have a shot at working with Precision Controls. If they blow me off as Forest River did then that will become the #1 fix for my problem.

Appreciate the suggestion.

BobbyJ
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:57 AM   #10
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We have the exact same problem - we just bought our coach - and are on our maiden voyage - not having a lot of fun - between no hot water and it is cold out and the heat is ineffective I'm not real thrilled. UGH!!!
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