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Old 01-28-2021, 09:48 AM   #1
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We are glad we found you all. I love having a resource to ask questions.

We took our 2020 Jayco Pinnacle 36 SSWS on its first trip. We knew we were going to have "glitches" and were ready for them.

The small ones we handled and noted it. Our biggest issue was heat. It got cold the first evening we were going through our manual looking for heat, no help.

We turned on the fireplace in the bedroom and the two of us and the two dogs and settled into the evening.

The next morning my husband got outside with the schematics and realized that the furnace was on the main pad. That is also where he found the heat pump. The furnace drained the first propane tank and that is when we discovered that we could use the heat pump because we were on full hookups. So we swapped over to the heat pump. When we went to bed that night I set the heat pump for 75.

When we got up the next morning the temperature was 47 in the RV. The heat pump had such down, so we went back to furnace and had hot water and heat.

Bottomline: If anyone can tell us/guide us through these issues I would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to JOF - sorry you’re having problems. So the heat pump and furnace are both run off a thermostat much like you have at home - select a setting and temp, sit back and relax. To operate the heat pump, set the t-state to HEAT-ELECTRIC. To operate the furnace, set the t-state to HEAT-GAS. When on ELECTRIC, if the actual temp is more than 10* below the set temp, the system should use the gas furnace to assist. Sounds like that didn’t happen so it’s either defective or you’re out of propane. If this is your first trip after leaving the dealer, I’d bet the propane tanks weren’t full. Might also make sure propane tanks are both on and note which tank the regulator is pointed toward so you know which tanks to service.
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:53 AM   #3
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Stingray75,

Thanks for the input. There is no problem with the gas furnace. It worked fine the next morning when it was set and turned on.

The problem occurred when I turned off the furnace and just used the heat pump. The temperature was well within the 10 degrees the thermostat was set on. I received an error message, it had a triangle with an ! in the middle and in red it stated "check owner's manual". It did not say for what, which owner's manual or anything. Can you provide any advise on that?

Appreciate your assistance,

Buffy1955
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:03 PM   #4
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Stingray75,

Thanks for the input. There is no problem with the gas furnace. It worked fine the next morning when it was set and turned on.

The problem occurred when I turned off the furnace and just used the heat pump. The temperature was well within the 10 degrees the thermostat was set on. I received an error message, it had a triangle with an ! in the middle and in red it stated "check owner's manual". It did not say for what, which owner's manual or anything. Can you provide any advise on that?

Appreciate your assistance,

Buffy1955
I would look into the manual that has the thermostat information, if you don't have that then I would bet that you could find the manual on the internet (just search on the thermostat make and model number). A lot of these smarter thermostats have error codes that you can follow a procedure to have it show you a code(s) and then you can look the code up in the manual for more details as to the issue it is warning you about. ~CA
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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I’d try shutting down the system, disconnecting power for 15 minutes and starting up again. What outside temps are you experiencing? The heat pump won’t do much below 40*. I kinda suspect it was working to hard and gave up but, as I haven’t seen any error on our 2019 FBTS, I’m guessing.
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Old 01-28-2021, 05:00 PM   #6
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We were in Bay St Louis, MS and had a cold snap the temperature dropped into the 30s that evening.

I will share your info with my husband. We have been having on and off cold snaps, this won't be our last one.

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 01-28-2021, 07:51 PM   #7
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Heat pumps in general will not work below 32 and poorly below 40 degrees. House style ones have auto shutdowns somewhere in that region. Your furnace should have picked up the slack but if you ran out of LP or you had it manually shut down then that could be your cause of a chilly night. I use a small electric heater backstopped with my LP furnace set a few degrees colder. When the electric heater can't keep up the furnace will kick it.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:46 PM   #8
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We appreciate your guidance and information. We are getting smarter with each message.

Be safe and stay well.

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Old 01-30-2021, 02:43 AM   #9
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Heat pumps in general will not work below 32 and poorly below 40 degrees. House style ones have auto shutdowns somewhere in that region. Your furnace should have picked up the slack but if you ran out of LP or you had it manually shut down then that could be your cause of a chilly night. I use a small electric heater backstopped with my LP furnace set a few degrees colder. When the electric heater can't keep up the furnace will kick it.
The reason that an RV heat pump shuts down when the outdoor temperature gets near 32F (0C) is because they lack a defrost cycle that their residential and commercial counterparts have.

When a heat pump is in heating mode, the heat extracted from the air being pulled through the outside coils causes a frost buildup on the coils. Eventually, the frost builds up to the point where restricts, or even blocks, the airflow through the outside coils. In mild weather (above freezing) the frost melts naturally between heating cycles. Residential and commercial heat pumps invoke a defrost cycle periodically to melt the frost that's accumulated on the coils. Here's what happens'
  1. The fan on the indoor unit stays on to circulate air while defrosting.
  2. The fan on the outdoor unit and compressor shutdown.
  3. The reversing valve changes the direction of the refrigerant so the heat pump is now in cool (air conditioning) mode.
  4. The compressor starts, but the fan in the outdoor unit remains off while the while the warm refrigerant heats the outside coils to melt the frost buildup.
  5. The emergency/auxiliary resistance heat turns on to temper the cold air passing through the coils on the indoor unit.
  6. When the heat pump senses the coils on the outside unit have completed defrosting, the compressor shutsdown, the reversing valve changes the direction of the refrigerant so the heat pump is now in heat mode.
  7. The compressor and fan in the outside unit restarts, the emergency/auxiliary resistance heat turns off and normal operation resumes.

So, you've read this and now you're thinking, "Why didn't they just make the RV heat pumps with a defrost cycle?". Here's why.

You have only 30 or 50 amps of service coming into RV. I''m sure everyone has at least once tripped a breaker while the A/C, electric HWH, refrigerator, coffee maker were all running and then someone plugs in a hair dryer, heats something in the microwave or uses the toaster... Where's the electricity for the auxiliary heat when that RV heat pump does its defrost cycle?

It's probably a rarity to trip a breaker at home with these same things running because most homes have at least 100 amps service minimum. My home has 200 amps.

A few more things about heat pumps. The lower the outside temperature drops, the less heat a heat pump produces. Thermal heat pumps get around this issue because the temperature in the ground isn't affected by changes in outside air temperatures.

Residential and commercial heat pumps run and provide heat when the temperatures are below freezing. The temperature outside here is only 5F (-15C), yet my heat pump's thermostat says it's 70F (21C), the set point temperature, inside. Once the temperature outside goes below 15F (-9C), my heat pump runs continuously. I'm sure it's not making enough heat so the auxiliary electric resistance heaters are cycling on periodically to make up for the deficit. I've used heat pumps in both the homes I've owned over the last 45 years so I'm quite experienced.
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Old 01-30-2021, 10:34 AM   #10
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