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Old 10-11-2008, 06:47 AM   #1
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Writing this as I do believe that the best source of good info is from the folks on this forum.
For the first time in 6 1/2 years of fulltiming, I'll be leaving the coach for 3 weeks to head for the southeast for a couple Civil War battlefield tours. In the past, when I've left for a few days or a week, I would leave the heat pumps on around 50 - if I didn't expect temps in the 30s. Already, it is getting to that point here. Low 40s last night. I could use 2 small electric heaters on timers in the coach but I'm concerned about the basement.
Has anyone left their Hydro Hot on for that length of time - unattended? I'm sure it can be done but I worry about such things. It obviously would take care of the cold weather issue.
Interested in thoughts some of you might have.
Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:47 AM   #2
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Writing this as I do believe that the best source of good info is from the folks on this forum.
For the first time in 6 1/2 years of fulltiming, I'll be leaving the coach for 3 weeks to head for the southeast for a couple Civil War battlefield tours. In the past, when I've left for a few days or a week, I would leave the heat pumps on around 50 - if I didn't expect temps in the 30s. Already, it is getting to that point here. Low 40s last night. I could use 2 small electric heaters on timers in the coach but I'm concerned about the basement.
Has anyone left their Hydro Hot on for that length of time - unattended? I'm sure it can be done but I worry about such things. It obviously would take care of the cold weather issue.
Interested in thoughts some of you might have.
Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
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David,

Is the coach going to be plugged in? I wouldn't be concerned about leaving the Hydro Hot electric on while gone. I an not sure I would want to leave it on the diesel while gone. I would leave, only the bedroom, thermostat on to a low setting. This will allow the basement heater to work as necessary.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
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The basement thermostat controls the basement heat exchanger without having to have Zone 2 on at all.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:39 AM   #5
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The other day, I tried to use the electric only to put some heat into the rear of the coach, to see if it was working. Nothing happened. So I figured something was wrong with the electric side. Turns out the electric element was working as this morning after I turned off the diesel, there was heat still coming into the rear of the coach - until the airflow started to cool off.
So, I called HH and just spoke with Michael. He said that if you're getting hot water from the electric side, then all is working properly. It was never intended to be able to heat the coach through the electric side he said. Based on the heating element wattage, by the time the coolant has returned from the coach interior, it will have cooled off and the electric element cannot keep the temperature up enough to heat the interior. (As happened to me this morning as the airflow cooled off - I was on the phone with him as this happened.) This becomes especially true as the exterior temperature decreases. This morning it's only about 50. His suggestion for leaving the coach - if you're not going to winterize it - is to leave both diesel and electric on and set the thermostats to 45-50. This will be your "emergency" back up in case the temps really drop while you're gone.
As to Ray's comment re the basement thermostat, guess I had better go looking for it. My remote thermometer has always shown good heat down there so wherever the thermostat is, it must be set on high.
Thanks Dale and Ray for your help.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:01 AM   #6
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Raymond,

I am quite sure, but not positive, that the thermostat in the basement, only controls the power to the heat exchangers fan and not the pump to supply it with hot water. The wiring I see going to it, appears to be the same as to all of the other heat exchangers. These wires only have power when that zone is heating.

Dave,

I was going to mention to you this morning, that the electric heating element heats up the Hydro Hot boiler very slow, from dead cold to hot may take an hour, I haven't timed it. It I am in a hurry, I use the diesel and electric together and then turn off the diesel. I am staying in Pahrump as we speak, with temps going into the low 40's at night. I have not turned on the diesel for the Hydro Hot. I find (with my improvements to the system) that I can heat one end of the coach at a time with just the electric heat turned on. If a lot of hot water is used, that can cool off the water in the Hydro Hot system. If it were me I still wouldn't leave the diesel on while I was gone for a long time. The diesel, on mine, always comes on before the electric, so that the electric only comes on when the water in the Hydro Hot boiler is cool. Also the diesel will run as often as needed to keep the boiler water hot no mater whether the thermostat is calling for heat or not. See if your system, on only electric, can maintain a low temp in coach, that is all that is needed to allow the basement heat exchanger to prevent freezing.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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One thought on the using/not using the diesel to run the HH. What happens if the park loses power, even temporarily, if the temps are below freezing? Yikes!

I'm not sure how long it would take for the HH to use up all the diesel, but it would certainly be more expensive to repair broken plumbing. It might even be cheaper to relocate to Palm Springs, than to repair plumbing. Of course a courteous neighbor could always check to see if the electric is always running. Leave a flourescent light on (but take the cover off).

Last thought, indoor heated storage....
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:31 PM   #8
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I was just looking at the thermostat for the water tank heat exchanger and have to retract what I posted above. The water tank thermostat is wired on separate wires directly to its own "zone" on the Hydro Hot controller. It is plumbed in the bedroom heated water loop. I can't find any information on if it will turn on the bedroom zone water pump or if it only works when the inside thermostat is calling for heat. I plan on checking this out tonight when it gets cold.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:14 PM   #9
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Dale, on our APEX, there is a thermostat in the large smartbed (DS) where the water pump is located. I have never taken the time to trace it out; it's different than a "house normal type" thermostat, it looks industrial in nature. I figured it was for basement heat, but never went down there and waited for it to call for heat separate from the Zone 1 or 2 unit in the coach. Please post a picture if you can about it and how it works.

On another point, does your main thermostat loose it's brain settings for a while periodically? Ours sometimes just displays "00" and if I wait for a minute or so, it wakes up and displays the correct settings; do you think it's got a problem?
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:14 AM   #10
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Raymond,

You are 100% correct. "The basement thermostat controls the basement heat exchanger without haveing to have Zone 2 on at all." When it calls for heat, the fan is powered on and the pump for the rear zone is turned on, even without the inside thermostat turned on at all. All that is required is that a heat source for the Hydro Hot be selected, electric or diesel.

Monty,

The lower thermostat you see is the basement control, to prevent freezing, I have mine set to 40 degrees. As to your house thermostat, Apex's use the Coleman system and is not like mine. May be someone with an Apex can reply.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:37 PM   #11
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Dale and others,
Just checked the HH controller wiring diagram and there is as you say a separate set of wires (zone) for the basement. I checked the thermostat down there and the wires to the controller are black and blue. The thermostat can barely be turned and I can't tell if the thermostat is turning or just the knob on the shaft. Will probably have to remove it to find out. There are no degree marks on the housing.
Last night left the Electric on with zone 2 at 80 degrees. Absolutely nothing happened all night that I can tell (light sleeper). Temps outside this AM were in the mid 50s and the coach was in the low 60s, basement also.
So I may have a problem in the Electric system - diesel has been off since 8:30 and it's now 5 hours later. Water is warm, not hot. The element light and the heat status light are on.
Next step when I return will be to go through the troubleshooting (TS10 in the manual).
Thanks for all the information that everyone has contributed to this discussion.
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