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Old 12-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #101
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Man, Escaping to Alaska's just a pipe dream for me. I hear digital thermostats work good up there...
There is a calendar picture!
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #102
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There is a calendar picture!
I *suspect* Myron photo-shopped it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:40 PM   #103
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(giggle) I said it was a pipe dream, didn't I?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:32 AM   #104
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OK, back on topic.... hmm what was it? Oh yes, the digital thermostat (and why we are loving it). I now have a question. It may be irrelevant, or not.

Been 5 days since I installed my digit-thermotat and it has been working great. Trailer is in yard, solar panels and propane tanks all turned on. Days been moderate, mostly sunny, probably down to the mid 40's at night. Thermostat kept in on position, 62 degrees F. So... I basically moved on to other things.

This morning woke to a drop in temperature and nice dusting of snow. Before morning walk decided to get into trailer to see how things were. Was expecting it to be warm. It was 31 degrees F in there and the furnace was not on. The batteries showed 12.4V, both propane tank valves still open.

I conclude I must have run out of propane and that's why the furnace was off. I'll pull them tanks later, and confirm that when I'm ready to refill them.

So my question is this: If there is no propane to generate heat, but adequate electric power to the digital thermostat, would the furnace fan still kick on?
...and be periodically cycling on and off through the night? Or, would the furnace's protocol be governed first, and only, by the thermostat's call for heat, and therefore no battery power would be used? Must I switch the thermostat to the "off" position or can I leave it on "heat," regardless?
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:58 AM   #105
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Checking the propane is easy - look at the indicator on the auto switchover regulator. Red says primary tank empty. Turn the lever toward the other tank. Red says it is also empty.

I think the furnace will try to light once after the propane is out, then will stop trying. See: http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/Furnace_Trouble-2.pdf

I think you can just leave the thermostat on, but will have to turn it off for 10-20 seconds to reset the furnace after refilling the propane tanks. You might want to get a remote sensor thermometer and put the remote in the trailer.
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #106
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I think the furnace will try to light once after the propane is out, then will stop trying. See: http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/Furnace_Trouble-2.pdf
Can anyone confirm or correct this specifically for the Atwood Everest Star 8012-II? I think that's the Escape model, and I don't have this one in a current RV, and the Atwoods that I do have (8500-series models) keep re-trying the start sequence; that would run the battery down.

The installation manual is available online; strangely, it doesn't look like the owner/operating manual is.
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Old 12-14-2014, 04:42 PM   #107
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The fan does not come on until there is flame over the thermocouple switch. Just like the fan runs after shut down, the opposite happens at ignition.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:58 PM   #108
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The fan does not come on until there is flame over the thermocouple switch. Just like the fan runs after shut down, the opposite happens at ignition.
Hmmm... that makes sense for a pilot-light type of appliance: no combustion air fan until the control system has permission to start up, which depends on having a pilot flame established. With no propane, the pilot would go out and the fan would never come on, even with the thermostat asking for heat. This is roughly described in the RVforum.net document linked by Doug, as a note about pilot light models of furnace.

... but the current Everest Star does not have a thermocouple. It has direct spark ignition (DSI), and like most DSI appliances, it uses resistance across the electrodes used for spark ignition to monitor the flame. Regardless of the electronic components used, with no pilot there can be no flame in a DSI furnace until the gas valve is turned on and ignition started, and that doesn't happen until after a purge cycle of blowing combustion air... the numbered sequence in the RVforum.net document.

Jim, do you have an older-style furnace with a pilot light? That seems unlikely for such a new trailer.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:22 PM   #109
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My mistake, the fan does come on before ignition, nut then shuts off if no ignition.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:58 PM   #110
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... the fan does come on before ignition, nut then shuts off if no ignition.
Thanks Jim. So the furnace follows a normal DSI furnace cycle.

The only remaining question is whether it will keep doing this (running down the battery) or only do it once or twice before giving up.

Also, if the propane level is very low, the tank may produce enough pressure to allow the furnace to light, then lose pressure quickly due to chilling of the propane due to evaporation at the high flow rate, tripping the furnace off as the flame can't be sustained. This could result in a lot of cycles of the furnace before the pressure gets so low that the furnace won't fire at all. Yes, I've had this happen with an Atwood furnace (although the 8500 series, not the 8012)


I wouldn't deliberately leave a furnace in an "on" state without a sufficient propane supply for normal operation.
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