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Old 10-30-2020, 09:18 AM   #1
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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Houghton we have a problem-furnace thermostat

Reaching out for a few suggestions from suppliers as we speak but Dometic has said that the furnace can no longer be controlled by the wall unit in our 2014.5.

Although the Houghton has a heat pump, I’m not keen on the idea to eliminate the Atwood furnace all together. Has anyone eliminated or bypassed the Dometic thermostat or have any idea on if this is possible? I have found an analog thermostat but not thrilled on taking one step back on the technology, although if it would work, we may have to settle on that idea.

I have yet to consult with our RV shop and such, but just thought I’d pick the brains of the experts on this forum, or see if there’s anyone on that has had their AC unit replaced by a Houghton and/or by Advanced RV and see if there’s a work around.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hawk-ination View Post
Reaching out for a few suggestions from suppliers as we speak but Dometic has said that the furnace can no longer be controlled by the wall unit in our 2014.5.Any ideas?
The Dometic thermostat controls the AC through a 4-wire telephone cord through coded commands. Similar to a USB connection. There is no way some other brand AC will work with the thermostat. Especially an AC with a heat pump.

The Dometic AC is natively a heat pump and the thermostat issues a command to switch it to AC mode. I had a 2005 A/S trailer where the AC kept coming up in heat pump mode. Not nice when it is 100 degrees outside. After two new AC units and a new thermostat, I traded off that trailer, still under warranty, to a dealer for a new 28 Classic. Turned out that a defective microwave was inducing transients in the telephone cable and burning out the solenoids that change to AC mode.

It is going to require a thermostat that is compatible with the new AC and is heat pump enabled.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Pahaska, I appreciate the advice. Sorry to hear you had back luck with your trailer like that. I know we’ve had some odd things happen where the AC fan will kick on with the furnace. Found out shutting it off and back on a few times seems to clear the quirk when it happens. I had a lot of problems last year until I cleared our thermostat a few times, too. It seemed like it got stuck in program mode. Sorry your unit wasn’t so easy to clear and took a trade off to remedy the situation.

Well, I just got a phone call from the owner of Advanced RV, Mike Neundorfer himself. I think I missed half of what he said just because I’m still shocked he would personally reply to an email like that! Still feeling a little special... .

So it sounds like they hook the furnace up to the new AC unit controller which is operated by a remote control (that comes with the Houghton unit). As I suspected and thought I understood during research, they opt not to have the heat pump included on their AC units due to efficiency I believe he said.

So one step closer but pretty much confirms my thoughts that it would be best for us at least, to have a shop wire it up so it’s done correctly.

He also said to have it leak tested because there is a chance it can be done incorrectly. Mike did say that they machine a roof adaptor to mate the AC unit to. I think I have found a source to help with that problem, I just need to connect with the vendor yet.

Good information he shared and think it says a lot that he was willing to share their intellectual property. They get my endorsement for good customer service.

Still open for suggestions or comments though. It’s not probably a common thing to do but I’m hoping there’s maybe a couple out there that have done something like this.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:56 PM   #4
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Great insight!

Thank you for keeping us updated on the progress!!
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:32 PM   #5
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Dometic

Our Dometic thermostat, in our brand new Nest, switched to Celsius after our first trip out. We have no idea why. My husband frequently works in Europe so we know how to easily convert, but itís annoying. Looked through all their instructions and can find nothing about a Celsius option. Our air conditioner switched on a couple of times on a very cold night, but like someone said above, toggling back and forth a couple of times got it back on track. We finally get in for warranty work on November 20, so hoping these issues, with many others, can be fixed!
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Old 11-06-2020, 05:26 PM   #6
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Does anyone on the forum have enough electrical knowledge and want to advise on helping wire up the furnace to the remote?
I see no need to do anything with the furnace due to the new AC. The AC can be controlled by the remote and the furnace controlled the way it has always been.
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:35 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, everything I’ve been told is the Dometic thermostat will not function without the Dometic AC unit. There is a work around to wire the board into the remote but I do not have enough knowledge to know off hand how to wire it although I’ve been studying what I can come across online.

Although I don’t believe this would fix the issue at hand, it’s an interesting product. Wireless thermostat to power AC and heat by your phone.
https://www.microair.net/products/ea...32199143555156
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Old 11-07-2020, 06:38 AM   #8
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All it takes to run the furnace is a cheap thermostatic connect the two blue wires. In my former Classic 28, I mounted one on the side of the AC shroud so thatI could run heat pump and furnace together when the heat pump was not quite enough.

Connect these wires at the AC or pull out the furnace to get access to them.
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Old 11-07-2020, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk-ination View Post
Unfortunately, everything Iíve been told is the Dometic thermostat will not function without the Dometic AC unit. There is a work around to wire the board into the remote but I do not have enough knowledge to know off hand how to wire it although Iíve been studying what I can come across online.

Although I donít believe this would fix the issue at hand, itís an interesting product. Wireless thermostat to power AC and heat by your phone.
https://www.microair.net/products/ea...32199143555156
We had the Houghton unit installed in our 2017 in June by AVR. My remote does not control the heater just as I was told after installation. I have to use the Dometic thermostat on the wall to use the heater. Not sure how you can use the remote to control the heater unless a receiver of some kind is installed to switch the heater on and off. I know you talked with the owner of ARV but the guy that was in charge of Houghton installs was a man named Frank. Sorry, don't know his last name. Perhaps you misunderstood him or he was wrong, or your rig's AC unit is different from mine. I suggest you call ARV again and ask to speak to person in charge of the Houghton installs and just confirm. Nice folks there, I'm he would not mind talking to you.
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Old 11-07-2020, 07:20 PM   #10
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Good to know Orlik and appreciate your information. I did speak to Frank after talking to the owner/President. I’m not sure if they’ve found a different way to make the remote work since your install or he just wasn’t taking the time to talk it all through but Frank told me straight up the wall thermostat would not work any longer. Odd yours does work and he told me differently. Although I did get different info than what you are saying, I do not disagree with you at all. He may have not felt like discussing in depth or maybe misspoke.
I’d actually prefer to keep the wall thermostat to make the furnace work so hoping we can wire our project up to work like yours.

Long day of working to get the Interstate ready for storage and wrapping up outdoor things while we are having a fantastic but certainly unprecedented warm weather streak before the reality of fall hits next week. Will come back to this as someone else had talked to Advanced and I think got similar info as me. Not sure that’s super important though as if your thermostat works, like I said, I’d rather figure out how to power it up and keep that as the control for the furnace. Great to know, gives me hope I can find someone with the answer how to make this work and help us get it powered up here instead of driving half a day to make that happen. Pahaska might just be totally right and there’s not much to getting it to power up and work correctly.

I’d just like to figure it out with the unit on the ground instead of struggling to power everything correctly and have issues that could have been avoided in the first place. Would feel better if I had someone knowledgeable to consult with around the area too, but I haven’t connected with the right person yet. I have much more hope we can make it happen knowing yours works though Orlik, so thanks again for that input. I think you will help out at least one more member who needs to hook their furnace up, too. Many thanks.
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Old 11-08-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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All it takes to run the furnace is a cheap thermostatic connect [with] the two blue wires. ....
This is true. I don't know if the truth of it will have any impact on the OP's specific predicament described in this thread, but on its face, it is true.

For example, the 9-volt battery-operated Honeywell shown below was thirty bucks, and I installed it to replace the antiquated Atwood that Airstream had originally installed.

The only problem with this arrangement is that the Honeywell is a cheap residential-grade device, and it can't stand up to the rigors of vanlife or the chronic humidity of the deep southern United States. I have to periodically replace it with a new unit because its electronic brain fails repeatedly, probably due to tin whiskers.

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