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Old 10-01-2018, 01:33 PM   #1
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Furnace woes

We've got a 2015 FR3 28DS with the suburban propane heater. Is has a funky thermostat that looks like this:


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Normally we have the rig connected to shore power and we find that the heat pump and propane furnace work together in conjunction to heat the coach. So far so good.

This past weekend, we tried to use only the furnace (without the heat pump) while boondocking. We turned the thermostat to "heat" mode and set the fan to "auto" and enabled the Furnace mode. We found that no matter how high we turned the setpoint, the furnace would not come on. Ambient temperature was 42 degrees.

To diagnose, we tested the red and white wires coming from the thermostat into the furnace. At all times we got 14V across those two wires, no matter what temperature the thermostat was set. We found that the furnace would start up if we connected the two blue wires from the board together.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:34 PM   #2
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Also ... does anyone know what make and model of thermostat this is?
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boozedog View Post
We've got a 2015 FR3 28DS with the suburban propane heater. Is has a funky thermostat that looks like this:

Attachment 187978

Normally we have the rig connected to shore power and we find that the heat pump and propane furnace work together in conjunction to heat the coach. So far so good.

This past weekend, we tried to use only the furnace (without the heat pump) while boondocking. We turned the thermostat to "heat" mode and set the fan to "auto" and enabled the Furnace mode. We found that no matter how high we turned the setpoint, the furnace would not come on. Ambient temperature was 42 degrees.

To diagnose, we tested the red and white wires coming from the thermostat into the furnace. At all times we got 14V across those two wires, no matter what temperature the thermostat was set. We found that the furnace would start up if we connected the two blue wires from the board together.

Any ideas?
I turn off the A/C circuit breaker in the AC panel to prevent heat-pump from running.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:54 PM   #4
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I turn off the A/C circuit breaker in the AC panel to prevent heat-pump from running.
Thanks Robert -- but we were boondocking with the generator off ... so there was no 110V to disable
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:59 PM   #5
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I have the identical system on my 2015 30DS. Looks like your coach (mine is a 2015.2, second half of model year) has the Atwood A/C/Heat Pump system and the panel you show is from Atwood. The system has the moniker name "AirCommand".

Thought I had the manual for the panel but can't quickly locate. I think it's in my coach and is like one page in the A/C manual. I do know that if you hold down the 'sleep' button for several seconds, the display will tell you what temperature the panel thinks your coach is currently. (Normally the panel shows the set point and I certainly wish it would show the current temperature unless you are changing the set point!!!!! I know what I set it to!!!!!)

I had a short lived problem a couple weeks ago where the panel was showing a much higher current temperature and the furnace would not come on. Problem went away on its own. Not sure related but looking that the panel's sense of the current temperature (via holding sleep) might give you a clue about whether or not the panel is even thinking it should be calling for heat.

BTW, the fan mode does nothing to the propane furnace but rather only the speed of the A/C rooftop unit. But who knows for sure - that panel may care.

Make sure you are turning on the 'Furnace' mode of the panel. The heat pump mode will automatically switch to 'Furnace' when the temperature outside is too low. There's an outside possibility you've set the panel to use the heat pump ('heat' mode without 'furnace'). Without 110V, it may not be automatically switching to propane mode. In mine, pretty sure >>I<< have to push 'Furnace' to get the propane heater to run.

BTW, Atwood was bought by Dometic about two years ago. So getting help might be - blurred.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:15 PM   #6
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I have the identical system on my 2015 30DS. Looks like your coach (mine is a 2015.2, second half of model year) has the Atwood A/C/Heat Pump system and the panel you show is from Atwood. The system has the moniker name "AirCommand".

Thought I had the manual for the panel but can't quickly locate. I think it's in my coach and is like one page in the A/C manual. I do know that if you hold down the 'sleep' button for several seconds, the display will tell you what temperature the panel thinks your coach is currently. (Normally the panel shows the set point and I certainly wish it would show the current temperature unless you are changing the set point!!!!! I know what I set it to!!!!!)

I had a short lived problem a couple weeks ago where the panel was showing a much higher current temperature and the furnace would not come on. Problem went away on its own. Not sure related but looking that the panel's sense of the current temperature (via holding sleep) might give you a clue about whether or not the panel is even thinking it should be calling for heat.

BTW, the fan mode does nothing to the propane furnace but rather only the speed of the A/C rooftop unit. But who knows for sure - that panel may care.

Make sure you are turning on the 'Furnace' mode of the panel. The heat pump mode will automatically switch to 'Furnace' when the temperature outside is too low. There's an outside possibility you've set the panel to use the heat pump ('heat' mode without 'furnace'). Without 110V, it may not be automatically switching to propane mode. In mine, pretty sure >>I<< have to push 'Furnace' to get the propane heater to run.

BTW, Atwood was bought by Dometic about two years ago. So getting help might be - blurred.
Thanks Kadiddle that's a great idea ... I will check the ambient reading tomorrow. I can confirm that I did have Furnace mode selected, the little LED next to the furnace button was lit.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:16 PM   #7
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we had a similar problem. We turned it off and then removed the thermostat from the wall and then replace. Turn it back on and it worked for us.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:20 PM   #8
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Note the panel will light the Furnace LED itself if it detects the heat pump won't work at current temperatures. I'm sure you are pushing it but all should note that the LED might be on even though not pushed by user.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:24 PM   #9
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we had a similar problem. We turned it off and then removed the thermostat from the wall and then replace. Turn it back on and it worked for us.
Thanks Kentucky Bob ... did you disconnect the plug on the thermostat or leave it connected when you removed it from the wall?
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:33 AM   #10
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We disconnected the plug,. It seemed to reset itself after that.
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