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Old 09-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
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Duo-therm and furnace question...

I have a Duo-Therm Penguin heat pump in my '98 Excella, which I LOVE. A/C and heat pump both work great. However, I'm trying to figure out how to start the Suburban furnace. In my other trailers there has always been a dedicated thermostat for the furnace. No such luck here. I'm assuming the thermostat for the heat pump also works the furnace but the only thing that shows up on the LCD is heat pump. I've tried unplugging the electric cord outside and still can't get the furnace to fire up. I'm assuming there must be a way to run furnace only without AC power for boondocking, right??? BTW, the switch on the furnace itself is in the "on" position. Any ideas?
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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To clarify, the thermostat is a 4 button type with LCD display. The display only offers the following modes: "fan only," "cool," and "heat pump." It does not seem to acknowledge the furnace, which is supposed to show up as a mode. I've tried resetting the thermostat to no avail.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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Easy to fix

I published an article in Airstream Life a while ago on that very subject. I installed a second thermostat on the side of the heat pump inside shroud that allows me to run the heat pump and furnace at the same time. It could be done with a simple toggle switch, but I set the new thermostat a little below comfort level and the furnace comes on only for initial warmup of a cold-soaked trailer and on a cold night when the heat pump struggles.

If you will drop the filter on the curb side of the heat pump, you will see a bundle of wires. There are two blue wires. If these are connected, the furnace will run. I installed the second thermostat on the outside of the shroud close to the wires and tied the thermostat into those blue wires. I chose that location because there is airflow and the wires are accessible.

PM me with an email address if you want the article.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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That is a great idea, and it would be very helpful on cold mornings here when I'm using the heat pump. My more immediate problem is that I am completely unable to use the gas furnace right now. It seems to me that the existing thermostat should have a "furnace" option, which it does not. There is no other control panel for the furnace. I'd like to be able to warm up the trailer when I'm not hooked up to power.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:10 AM   #5
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I'd like to be able to warm up the trailer when I'm not hooked up to power.
No problem. Just put in the 2nd thermostat and use it as if the OEM thermostat was not there. You do not need to have the heat pump on to run the furnace from the second thermostat.

Try shorting those two blue wires together. The furnace should start. If not, then there is an open circuit somewhere.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #6
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I will do exactly that this afternoon. I have to admit to being somewhat intimidated by this system, especially after pulling the thermostat to check and finding it connected by essentially a modular phone cord.

BTW John, I just stumbled on your modification thread. All I can say is WOW. What great information!! I've bookmarked it and will be perusing it later today. I would encourage anyone reading this to check out his thread at http://www.airforums.com/forums/f296...8-a-17610.html for some of the most well-thought out trailer modifications I've ever seen.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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NOT NECESSARY!

Any Dometic heat pump with a CCC (digital Comfort Control Center) 4-button or 5-button thermostat has the ability to control your furnace using the same wiring and temperature sensors that the heat pump does.

The procedure is not involved at all if you know what you are looking for. It involves re-setting a dip switch on the relay board of the heat pump to tell the board that it is now controlling a furnace (furnace will now display on the CCC screen when selected) and attaching or verifying that the 2 furnace wires are connected to the 2 blue wires coming from the relay board.

That's IT.............operational as designed and simple!

PM me if you need a little 'guidance'.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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Pardon me, cause I am new at this. But are you guys saying that the furnace on the airstream doesn't work unless I open it up and start installing extra thermostats?

I am very interested, because I am in my third night in our new trailer and can't figure out how to turn the furnace on. The thermostat in the bedroom turns the ceiling heat strip on, but not the gas furnace. Of course there is no manual for it in the trailer. I have searched everywhere for something that says furnace but no luck.

How do you just simply turn the furnace on?
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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gringo, go to the thermostat and the mode button and find the furnace. the same thermostat the runs your air.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
Pardon me, cause I am new at this. But are you guys saying that the furnace on the airstream doesn't work unless I open it up and start installing extra thermostats?

I am very interested, because I am in my third night in our new trailer and can't figure out how to turn the furnace on. The thermostat in the bedroom turns the ceiling heat strip on, but not the gas furnace. Of course there is no manual for it in the trailer. I have searched everywhere for something that says furnace but no luck.

How do you just simply turn the furnace on?
On newer trailers that are factory equipped with the Comfort Control Center (CCC), you will (should) find that 'furnace' will appear in the CCC's window after pressing the 'mode' button and toggling thru the choices like 'cool' 'fan', etc.

If 'furnace' is not present on your CCC, your dip switches on the A/C relay board need to be re-set as the CCC is not recognizing the furnace connection.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:03 PM   #11
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Not meaning to hi-jack this thread, but there's good advice here. My CCC is very reluctant, i.e., push the "mode" button and more often than not nothing happens. Multiple pushes and taps later it will cycle through the setting, but not in any controllable way. As a result, getting the desired setting is something of a random game. SO, can the CCC be replaced with one that works by a newbie like me?
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #12
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I have the same issue. I still haven't been able to get furnace mode. My guess on a replacement thermostat would be no, unless you could swap it with a newer one (assuming they have been improved.)
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:16 AM   #13
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Greg

Sounds like your tstat is not working correctly. I would replace it with a Dometic stock model. You can do that yourself. Just note wire connections or take a picture before disconnecting the wires.

nomosob

Sounds like you need to reset your dip switches as Lewster suggested.

Dan
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
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There are no wires per se, only a modular phone-type connector. A regular thermo will not work for this application.

BTW- I have reset the dip switches. I believe there is a problem with the furnace board, but I have not had time to fully investigate.
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