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Old 10-08-2019, 06:32 PM   #1
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
2018 27' International
carbondale , Colorado
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heating the coach while boondocking

Hi there. So, was boondocking for a few days and needed the heat at nite since temps are dropping fast at nite here in Colorado. Obviously gas was on to the heater and thermostat set to auto fan and temp set to 68. My question is that the system went down in the middle of the nite and the thermostat said E7-loss of 120v power. My batteries are in great shape. Is the system not designed to use the heat while boondocking. This is the first time I can recall this happening, but maybe I haven't had the heat on in the past while boondocking.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:49 PM   #2
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Hi

At least as normally used, the term "boondocking" means operating off grid. If you have shore power, that's not boondocking.

The AC / heat pump in your trailer is going to display an E7 when you are not on shore power. The batteries (and inverter) do not have the capacity to power up the air conditioner either in cooling or heating mode.

The answer to heat when off grid is the furnace. It burns propane to heat the trailer. It runs a fan and controller off of 12V. With the stock furnace and stock batteries in a typical trailer, you likely will get one night of furnace use when it is sub-freezing out and you heat to 68F.

=====

If indeed you *are* on shore power and get an E7, that means your shore power went away. Usual culprits are an EMS tripping or the campground loosing power.

Bob
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_ron777 View Post
Hi there. So, was boondocking for a few days and needed the heat at nite since temps are dropping fast at nite here in Colorado. Obviously gas was on to the heater and thermostat set to auto fan and temp set to 68. My question is that the system went down in the middle of the nite and the thermostat said E7-loss of 120v power. My batteries are in great shape. Is the system not designed to use the heat while boondocking. This is the first time I can recall this happening, but maybe I haven't had the heat on in the past while boondocking.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hey Capt,
Your furnace is certainly made to run while boondocking. Check your thermostat settings and make sure it’s set to “furnace” and that heat pump is off. You should hear the fan blower come on first and then you should hear the burner light. When you shut it down or set temp to lower setting, it will stop the burner but the fan blower will run a bit longer before stopping. I had some furnace trouble last fall due to failure on Airstream’s part, as someone failed to hookup 12v power during install. Good luck!
Ron
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:03 PM   #4
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well, thank you both for those replies. I do believe I was on furnace only, but I'll have to look at that. Also, although the AS has two AC units, I believe it is only one of the units has a furnace mode, But both have HP abilities. Is that correct. Maybe I had HP going on one and furnace on the other and that caused the E7 display?
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:19 PM   #5
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Ron if you didnt have power from the pedestal, you could not have heat pump OR air conditioning. A window a/c that is turned backwards into a room is a crude heat pump. That window unit pumps heat outside to create cold inside. The a/c heat pump on the trailer's roof just changes the direction of the fluid flow to dump heat outside for.cooling, or inside for heating.

F-7 is the diagnostic when the roof unit loses alternating current from the grid. Usual fix is to reset the main breaker on the converter or on the pedestal. If you only have one thermostat, one A/C is on ZONE 1 and the other is ZONE 2.

It is probable that only ZONE 1 automatically switches from heat pump to furnace because of temperature being too low for the heat pump to work. If you had only ZONE 2 running, it would overload at low temps and F-7.

You probably should USE Zone 1. Then you can choose "furnace" manually or get it by temperature default if you want.
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:24 AM   #6
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Be sure to set the one to Furnace and the other to "off".

Pat
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:00 AM   #7
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I think you have the answer already. But just to confirm.

The furnace is separate from your AC units. The vents for the furnace are located by your feet, the AC vents are on the ceiling.

Make sure your thermostat is set to furnace and the fan is set to auto

Make sure your batteries are charged!

I am currently camping at it dropped to 13F last night, but we stayed toasty warm!
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #8
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You guys are all great and thanks for the advice. Clearly I wasn't paying enough attention to mt thermostat setting!
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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Hi

This all makes me even more happy that my furnace control is completely separate from the controls for the A/C and heat pump ......

Bob
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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Once you get it set right you are probably going to find that the 12 volt furnace fan uses a lot of power in a night when set that high. Watch your battery discharge state until you figure out how much use you can get from the furnace. "A few days" is probably pushing past the limits along with other usages of power.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:22 PM   #11
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Hi

One way to dodge the massive battery drain from the furnace fan is to set the thermostat down around 45 degrees. Obviously this requires a bit of pre-planning in terms of blankets and other sleep gear.

Since battery capacity drops as it gets cold, a real cold spike is a double problem. You have less capacity and are using more.

Best bet - run the generator each evening to top off the batteries.

Bob
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