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Old 10-27-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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Heating questions

I needed heat for the first time on a trip I just returned from and have questions about both the furnace and the heat pump.

I started with the furnace, but about an hour after turning it on I was woken up by the smoke/co2 detector going off. That was a little scary so I turned the furnace off and didn't use it again. Any ideas why the detector went off and what I should check? I have used the water heater quite a bit and never had the alarm go off from that.

I then used the heat pump and noted that it did a lot more clicking in heat mode than in cooling mode - kind of hard to miss when you're sleeping on top of it. When cooling I hear a click when the fan comes on and then in a few seconds another click. When heating it seemed to be clicking 3 or 4 times. Sorry about the lack of technical detail -- they just don't seem to run the same and I wondered if that was a problem.

I only needed heat that first night so I haven't tried either one since then. My dealer is 425 miles away so I thought I would start with the forum to see if anyone has suggestions of what to check. I am planning a couple more trips and will need the heat functioning properly.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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The same thing happened to us the first time we used ours.
It's like a new grill you need to fire it up and get it good and warm to burn off oil and what not.

PDI guy should have told us in my opinion, but all is well.
I ran the heat for awhile ( 45-60 min) and no more alarms.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayfaringgirl View Post
I needed heat for the first time on a trip I just returned from and have questions about both the furnace and the heat pump.

I started with the furnace, but about an hour after turning it on I was woken up by the smoke/co2 detector going off.
Is it a combination smoke/CO detector ?? The units that I am familiar with have both a CO detector and a separate smoke detector.

An alarming smoke detector would not be as much of a concern as an alarming CO detector. I would vacate the camper immediately if the CO detector was sounding. An alarming smoke detector might just indicate burning off the oils and dust from the furnace, as Ford Idaho indicated. I still would not sleep in the camper in that case until the smoke detector quits alarming.....as if you could anyway with the loud sounds.
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Old 10-27-2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
The same thing happened to us the first time we used ours.
It's like a new grill you need to fire it up and get it good and warm to burn off oil and what not.

PDI guy should have told us in my opinion, but all is well.
I ran the heat for awhile ( 45-60 min) and no more alarms.
Ditto here, although the PDI guy did warn us. When we first got it home I ran the heater with all the windows open until it quit stinking. Now it works great with no alarms or odors.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Looks like I have an appointment to do the first burn on my furnace this afternoon. Thanks for sharing your experience, Gale.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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Looks like I have an appointment to do the first burn on my furnace this afternoon. Thanks for sharing your experience, Gale.

May I suggest a box type fan or something as big on high to blow the air out a window or open door.
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Heating questions

Thanks for the replies about the furnace. It's in the garage now, but next time I pull it out I will fire up the furnace and let it run for a while. Relieved it's not a major problem.

What about the cool cat in heating mode -- how does yours run compared to cooling mode? FYI - I've used the air conditioning quite a bit and it works extremely well.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Here is my experience. I started the furnace then turned on the fantastic fan. No problem. Closed the door, heard the fan bog down and the smoke alarm went off. Reopened the door, cleared the alarm and opened the big window. Closed the door to work on my screen and set the furnace to 78 to let it bake off the goop.
Better now than at camp. Thanks again Gale for sharing your experience.

I have only run my Coolcat once, on a cool stormy night. It didn't cycle much, so I don't have anything to report. I have noticed that it "stutters" a bit when coming on. I'll try it after the furnace burn in is over.

BTW, the furnace in the camper smells similar to air coming from my home furnace the first time it runs for the fall, frequently in early December, while it burns off 7 to 8 months of residue deposited by the air from the A/C. I really don't want to know what I am smelling.
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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When the campground has electricity, I use an electric ceramic heater. Very quiet. Love the remote control. Plus I don't use my propane.
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #10
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Same here. With our old hybrid travel trailer we had to use two ceramic heaters...one plugged into a camper outlet, and another plugged into an extension cord running to the campsite's panel. If we plugged both in inside the camper a breaker would trip. With the A frame we need just one, and it gets warm enough that it cycles on and off.

We did have an issue with condensation this last outing, when temps dropped into the 30's at night and had the camper walls and windows pretty darn cold.. We found that if we cracked open the roof vent just a hair and opened the window on the door about 1/4 of the way that the problem went away.
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