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Old 12-07-2017, 08:51 PM   #1
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Alpine Coach furnace

Need furnace assistance. Can anyone offer info on how to turn the furnace on and where the furnace is located? This is my first time working the furnace in my RV so operation guidance would be helpful. thanks
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:26 PM   #2
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You should have a wall mounted thermostat. It should have a 'Heat' setting. Just like in your hose, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature, when the temp drops below that setting, the furnace should come on.

This all assumes you have a standard RV propane forced air furnace. It can be located by walking around the outside of the RV. A rectangular hatch with two sheet metal pipes coming out the side should indicate the location. One of the pipes draws air in, the other exhausts combustion gases. The furnace is powered by 12v DC, there is a fuse for the furnace in your house fuse panel, no other switch except the thermostat controls it.

The furnace needs full air flow, make sure no rugs or other objects cover up the floor vents and don't block or close off any of the vents or the furnace might not work.

The above is for a typical Suburban or Atwood furnace. If you have an Aqua-Hot system, it still is controlled by the thermostat but uses engine heat to heat a tank of water while driving, a diesel-fueled boiler to heat while stopped. Hot water is circulated through a closed system to radiators with blower fans located around the RV.

In addition, some A/C units also can work as a heat pump that takes outside air and concentrates the heat into the RV. Usually they are adequate until the outside temperature drops to the upper 30šs, then they lose efficiency and either the LP furnace has to be used or electric heat strips in the A/C units.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:37 PM   #3
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In ours the heat comes from the aqua hot.
Electric will heat one zone, diesel the whole coach.
No actual furnace.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:53 PM   #4
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In ours the heat comes from the aqua hot.
Electric will heat one zone, diesel the whole coach.
No actual furnace.
Definition of Furnace: "an appliance fired by gas, oil, or wood in which air or water is heated to be circulated throughout a building in a heating system."

So an Aqua-Hot system is a furnace. The O.P. was asking how to turn it on, I'm guessing yours is controlled by the thermostat, as I indicated?
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:08 PM   #5
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I sure didn't mean to sound like I was arguing. I apologize if I did.
I was just pointing out that, at least on our, we do not have a conventional furnace, referring to the question of where it is located.
I added the zone deal because they were having problems getting it to work.
As we did before we understood how it worked.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:11 PM   #6
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Thanks BFlinn181

Great information. Now I just need to figure out what configuration I have. The wall mounted TStat has a heat pump mode. I turn the tstat to heat pump mode and all I get is cold air from the ceiling vents. The coach is equipped with
floor vents that I assume is where the heat should come from however there is no air flow from the floor vents. Do I need to light a pilot light?
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:54 PM   #7
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Your 2003 does not have the Hydro Hot system as that was not offered by WRV in 2003. If you have the propane/electric refrigerator it is most likely below the refrigerator. On our 2005 36' the thermostat is on the wall next to the dining table. You'll need to be in Zone 1, set the mode to heat/furnace and then run the temperature up to 80 or something above the temp in the coach. You'll know when it's on.

If the heat pump is operating properly it will provide heat if you give it a few minutes. It is not efficient when outside temps are below 40°.

If you do not have manuals for the features on your coach you can go to the Alpine Coach Association website and download as many as you can find in the tech library.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by reese1975 View Post
Thanks BFlinn181

Great information. Now I just need to figure out what configuration I have. The wall mounted TStat has a heat pump mode. I turn the tstat to heat pump mode and all I get is cold air from the ceiling vents. The coach is equipped with
floor vents that I assume is where the heat should come from however there is no air flow from the floor vents. Do I need to light a pilot light?
Does the thermostat have a 'Heat' setting? Often it's different than the 'Heat Pump' setting.

They don't use pilot lights in modern RV furnaces, they are electric spark fired and don't use a thermocouple like old pilot light units, the flame closes a circuit that the control board senses to keep the gas valve open.

Because a heat pump doesn't make much heat at lower outside temperatures, the air flow often feels cold to your skin. Measure the air flow with an actual thermometer to see if it's adding heat. If you have an Aqua-Hot system, the water must be heated and circulated to the radiators before the fans would kick in.

If you use Google and search for your make/model of furnace, you'll find owner's manuals, service and troubleshooting guides to help you figure out if your furnace will work.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Definition of Furnace: "an appliance fired by gas, oil, or wood in which air or water is heated to be circulated throughout a building in a heating system."

So an Aqua-Hot system is a furnace. The O.P. was asking how to turn it on, I'm guessing yours is controlled by the thermostat, as I indicated?
OP also asked where the furnace was located. OP also owns an Alpine Coach which has many significant differences from yours and most other coaches. Please be aware of this when posting to this forum.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:21 PM   #10
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Thanks All

The thermostat has a heat pump mode in zone 1. When in heat pump mode all I feel is cold air. Current outside temp 33 degrees. Does anyone know if there should be air flow from the floor vents? The air flow is coming from the ceiling vents as if I the unit was in cooling mode.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RVPioneer View Post
OP also asked where the furnace was located. OP also owns an Alpine Coach which has many significant differences from yours and most other coaches. Please be aware of this when posting to this forum.
I told the OP how to spot the furnace from the outside by an access hatch and two pipes, which is common to all RV LP furnaces, even on an Alpine.

Please don't get your knickers in a bunch because I don't belong to your group. I won't discriminate or think less of YOU because you don't own a Gulf Stream.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reese1975 View Post
Thanks All



The thermostat has a heat pump mode in zone 1. When in heat pump mode all I feel is cold air. Current outside temp 33 degrees. Does anyone know if there should be air flow from the floor vents? The air flow is coming from the ceiling vents as if I the unit was in cooling mode.


Reese,

A 2003 heat pump will not give you warm, much less hot air if the outside temperature is below 40. You will need to use your furnace. In Heat pump mode you will only get air from the A/C vents. In furnace mode you will only get air from the floor vents.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:07 AM   #13
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Found this with just a little searching, Alpine Coach - Technical Information

It has the manuals for your furnace, and everything else! Rail!
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:02 AM   #14
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Lots of good info here....like my 2003 Alpine yours has both heat pumps and a propane furnace. Usually, a heat pump doesn't product much heat below 40 degrees outside. In cold humid climates, heat pumps will ice up, requiring more defrost cycles. At some point, heat pumps will lock out. Then the front unit [zone 1] will trigger the propane finance to take over, regardless of tstat on "heat pump" or "furnace". You can try setting zone 1 [zone 2 doesn't matter] on furnace. Reasons for furnace not to work: 1-propane not on at tank; 2- air in propane line; 3-zone 1 heat pump not set to control furnace [dip switches]; 4-furnace mother brd unhooked or faulty; sail switch faulty; 5-debris in burner air loop; 6- high temp switch bad. A few more but less common issues. IMHO--working on a propane furnace is not for "rookies."
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