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Old 10-18-2016, 04:45 PM   #1
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Questions about heater operation

This weekend we had first chance to operate the heater. We noticed that sometimes the heat comes out the top vents and sometimes the bottom. I presume that's electric heat from the A/C(?) unit on top vs. the propane heat?

When the top vents were operating we noticed that the fan switched on and off quite often. First the fan would run for a few seconds, then it would switch off, then the A/C unit on top would come on and heat would start coming out. Is that normal?

Finally ... I see there is a furnace button on the climate control panel. Am I thinking correct that that forces all heat to come from the propane unit?
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:39 PM   #2
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This weekend we had first chance to operate the heater. We noticed that sometimes the heat comes out the top vents and sometimes the bottom. I presume that's electric heat from the A/C(?) unit on top vs. the propane heat?

When the top vents were operating we noticed that the fan switched on and off quite often. First the fan would run for a few seconds, then it would switch off, then the A/C unit on top would come on and heat would start coming out. Is that normal?

Finally ... I see there is a furnace button on the climate control panel. Am I thinking correct that that forces all heat to come from the propane unit?
You should have 3 settings on your panel (at least my 2014 does). 1 for fan only, 1 for cool, and 1 for heat. When I want the furnace on I set it at heat, turn the temp control up to about 75. When it gets warm enough I lower the temp to 68 and it will cycle as needed. The furnace will blow out the floor ducts. I've never had it come from the ceiling ducts. Don't know what year you have. Perhaps this system has changed for newer models. Hopefully someone with a newer FR3 will chime in.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
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You should have 3 settings on your panel (at least my 2014 does). 1 for fan only, 1 for cool, and 1 for heat. When I want the furnace on I set it at heat, turn the temp control up to about 75. When it gets warm enough I lower the temp to 68 and it will cycle as needed. The furnace will blow out the floor ducts. I've never had it come from the ceiling ducts. Don't know what year you have. Perhaps this system has changed for newer models. Hopefully someone with a newer FR3 will chime in.
I've got a 2015 FR3 28DS. Yes I do see those three settings and there's also a separate "Furnace" button. Attaching a picture of the climate panel ...
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:29 PM   #4
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I've got a 2015 FR3 28DS. Yes I do see those three settings and there's also a separate "Furnace" button. Attaching a picture of the climate panel ...
Wow! That's completely different than my 2014 panel. Curious. Does your heat light come on when you push the furnace button?
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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Wow! That's completely different than my 2014 panel. Curious. Does your heat light come on when you push the furnace button?
I didn't try that ... just used the "heat" mode and didn't touch the furnace button. What we noticed was that the bottom heat vents only came on when it got very cold out, the rest of the time only the top A/C vents were putting out heat.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:38 PM   #6
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Sometimes if a fan is set to high, medium or low it will come on with the furnace and blow out the ceiling vents. Try setting your fan to auto and run your furnace. Hope his helps.


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Old 10-18-2016, 07:47 PM   #7
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Sometimes if a fan is set to high, medium or low it will come on with the furnace and blow out the ceiling vents. Try setting your fan to auto and run your furnace. Hope his helps.
I had the fan set to auto.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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Never seen your set up before either. Just a thought, a heat pump on the roof may make it act that way, since you said it doesn't do it when it's very cold out.


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Old 10-18-2016, 09:35 PM   #9
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I have the same Atwood setup on my 2015 FR3 30DS.

You have a heat pump in the A/C. When you select 'heat', the heat pump will be used. However, the propane furnace will be used 1) if the temperature outside is below a certain value (can't remember but you can look it up) or 2) you select the furnace button (or both). Heat Pumps are only efficient when the inside/outside temperature difference is small hence it automatically switches when it's colder outside. I don't believe the fan speed setting has anything to do with which system provides the heat.

We've noticed when the system is in heat pump mode, the fan runs for a few seconds every few minutes - Annoying - even when heat is not being called for. We can only guess it's so the A/C can sense the inside temperature by cycling the air through or to keep the compressor pressure up but we're only guessing.

We've also learned that despite the fact the manual (for 2015) says the temperature display will switch to the air temperature moments after setting the set point, it, in fact, always shows the set point. If you want the panel to tell you the air temperature, you need to hold the sleep button for a few seconds and the display will show the air temperature. It switches back to the set point when you release the sleep button. I'd rather have the air temp shown by default. And why can't I set a temperature below 60? Sometimes I want to set the heat just to stop the coach from freezing without occupants. The people that design these systems don't use them.........
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:33 AM   #10
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I have the 2017 30d, you just hit the heat setting and the furnace button and it won't cycle your ac all night long. We didn't figure that out until we just took a trip to the Oregon coast. The furnace will only pump heat from the floor and it does a great job of that, nice and toasty. It will be using propane but well worth not running that ac in heat mode all night long.
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