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Old 09-08-2022, 02:20 PM   #1
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Analog to Digital Thermostat replacement

I have had a strong dislike for the Analog thermostat (Coleman-Mach) that came with my 2015 WhiteHawk since we purchased our Jayco new. I finally went to Lowes and picked up a basic household digital and thought I would install it before our upcoming trip. I realized after pulling the face plate off that the wiring was slightly different. I did some research and now I'm wondering if I can even use a house thermostat or should I be looking for an RV specific digital thermostat?

My AC is an AIRXCEL (Coleman-Mach?) 48000 Series rooftop AC

Based on some of the threads I've seen it sounds like this mod can be a hassle. I see myself as fairly handy but am wondering if this should be a project for my local shop?

Thoughts?

Dee
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Old 09-08-2022, 02:27 PM   #2
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I purchased the Coleman Mach digital and was a direct replacement wire for wire. Super happy with it.
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Old 09-08-2022, 03:19 PM   #3
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This is the Coleman digital unit that I used to swap mine with - as RPR said - direct wire for wire swap and it does work very well:

Coleman-Mach 8330-3862 Digital Thermostat
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:24 PM   #4
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Same here, I bought 2 for my rig. It was not worth the hassle for me. They have worked flawlessly for 10 years.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:17 PM   #5
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I'm curious about what you're trying to do that requires a digital thermostat? I'm just not too concerned about setting that exact of a temp knowing my thin walls, poorly insulated, poorly ducted, trailer.

And for reference I have a Nest in my sticks and bricks.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:21 PM   #6
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I have found the digital is more efficient in the use of propane. Too much temperature variation in when the analog would come on and when it would shut off.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:52 PM   #7
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I have found the digital is more efficient in the use of propane. Too much temperature variation in when the analog would come on and when it would shut off.
Thank you, that makes sense. My cooling days are about 20-1 over heating so not an issue.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:27 PM   #8
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Even when using ac the digital is way better on the differential between running and not running. Maybe mine is a little better insulated but we do camp in some hot weather. Nothing like Lackland in August when I was in basic training though!

Digitals are pretty much standard now but weren't in the rv industry when I bought my last rig.
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:46 PM   #9
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I didn't see anyone mention the fact that most home thermostats operate off of 24 volts which wouldn't work in an RV. There are some battery only units you can get that work.

I am like the rest and purchased a Coleman 8330-3862 for my main AC (heat & cool) and a Coleman 8330-3462 for the bedroom (cool only). That was the first change I made to my new RV back when I got it and was worth every penny.

Digital is so much better than analog. Accuracy and the temp display are key. Think about it, the analogs use a mercury switch that moves with temp. If you camped off level a bit that could affect its operation. Also, if you wanted to run the AC while driving, the analog would be going nuts.
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:07 PM   #10
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What I have seen that has been common 20~40 years ago (and likely still available) is the mechanical thermostat design that uses a temperature sensitive bimetal coil spring and at the end of the spring is mechanical contacts. These mechanical thermostats are well known to have a wider swing in the temperatures settings when compared to an electronic thermostat. These thermostats would also make a click that you could hear when changing the temperature setting past the current temperature.

What came next (late 90's...perhaps) and what the OP has in the first picture is a 100% electronic thermostat which is controlled by a logic circuit and has an electronic temperature sensor (thermistor) and is very precise (when working properly). These thermostats are called analog electronic. The sliding temperature setting selector is completely electronic (potentiometer). These thermostats are what is most commonly found in RV's today (those RV thermostats that are not digital).

Digital is the latest although they have also been around for a long time as well and are electronic as above with the addition of a digital display. Commonly the electronic control components are the same as for the analog version (other than the digital display and the temperature selector buttons).

All in all, the thermostat the OP has in the first picture is every bit as capable as a digital display thermostat in regards to maintaining the temperature very closely and is definitely an electronic thermostat and not affected by RV movement. However, the analog temp slider control numbers don't always match the true temp so certainly the digital display is better in that regard and more easy to set a specific temperature. However once you set the temp to something you are happy with the electronic analog thermostat, it can keep the temp as accurately as the electronic digital models can.

In any case, I agree that the best of the three would be the digital thermostat, but I wouldn't be concerned with having an electronic analog thermostat unless it wasn't working correctly as certainly they can fail and have issues, all of them could in fact have issues. In context to my comment here, I am speaking of the basic model thermostats, certainly there are even better ones today that are totally controllable, bluetooth, wifi, and other features, although limited in brands and variety for 12v RV thermostat usage and replacement. ~CA
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Old 09-09-2022, 07:45 PM   #11
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On a previous RV (2016 Rockwood) we had a Coleman Mach AC with the analog thermostat like in the first picture. When I would try and sleep, it would get just a little too cold then cut the AC off, then just a little too hot and it would kick back on. ( We run the fan on low all the time). When I replaced it with the Coleman digital thermostat, that problem went away because there was less temperature swing. Jay
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Old 09-19-2022, 09:18 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your input. I had to use the analog-electric out of necessity recently and once set in the general area we found it comfortable it seemed to hold the trailer pretty steady. Being from the southwest and knowing what we keep our house at versus what the trailer temp is set at (much colder according to the sliding selector), it has always kind of bugged me. But given that those numbers on the sliding selector are probably general approximations it makes more sense now. Guess I've just grown use to the digital age.
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Old 09-19-2022, 10:42 PM   #13
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Now that you have come this far, it is time to ditch the old rotary phone.
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Old 09-20-2022, 08:11 AM   #14
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Now that you have come this far, it is time to ditch the old rotary phone.
.......and the hand drills!
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:57 PM   #15
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Now that you have come this far, it is time to ditch the old rotary phone.
When I moved into my current home I set up a professional workshop in the basement. I ran 220 lines for some power tools and added shelving, custom lighting, etc. I discovered an old rotary phone in a junk box after we moved, so I put it on the wall in the shop.

It still works. The sound quality is superior to any new phone.

When I built the house I ran cable and phone lines to every room. Thus we have an abundance of portable phones. The rotary is the only hard wired phone with a cord. It would make no sense to get rid of it.
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Old 09-22-2022, 07:31 PM   #16
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When I moved into my current home I set up a professional workshop in the basement. I ran 220 lines for some power tools and added shelving, custom lighting, etc. I discovered an old rotary phone in a junk box after we moved, so I put it on the wall in the shop.

It still works. The sound quality is superior to any new phone.

When I built the house I ran cable and phone lines to every room. Thus we have an abundance of portable phones. The rotary is the only hard wired phone with a cord. It would make no sense to get rid of it.
Could be a collector's item in 50 years. Is it harvest gold or avocado green by chance?
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Old 09-23-2022, 05:38 AM   #17
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.......and the hand drills!
Hey Norty,
I have this drill app on my phone BUT, for some reason when I lay my phone on top of the wood. it does not drill any holes?
Hmmmm, what could the problem be?? Defective app?
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:05 AM   #18
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Hey Norty,
I have this drill app on my phone BUT, for some reason when I lay my phone on top of the wood. it does not drill any holes?
Hmmmm, what could the problem be?? Defective app?
Likely you forgot to download the bit app as well, duh!
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:49 AM   #19
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Well I have to admit that I do keep a old landline for those emergencies when the power may be off to the cordless sets, but we also have cell backups so belts and suspenders!
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Old 09-23-2022, 08:11 AM   #20
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I would also add that I don't remember having anything more durable than those older phones. I still have one on the wall as well, but I dropped my land line service many years back. Not sure why I keep it on the wall though...
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