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Furrion Air Conditioner and Furnace Thermostat Issue (Yes, Again)

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  • Furrion Air Conditioner and Furnace Thermostat Issue (Yes, Again)

    Note: Don't miss update in post #5
    -------------------------------------------------


    This subject has been covered at some length in various threads already, so this information will only supplement (and in some cases repeat) what is already known. Two threads that I know of are https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...winch-p-n-tsrk and https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...nd-xplor-221rb

    The issue is the sensor that measures room temperatureis in the air conditioner return air duct, not the thermostat. (This is already well documented.)

    I wanted to see this myself so an Imagine 3100RD owner was kind enough to let me look at their unit. The Imagine is equipped with two identical Furrion 14.5K Rooftop Air Conditioners, Model FACR14SA-BL. Trivia note: The air distribution box is a FACT12CA-PS. I cannot find a listing for this specific part on Furrion's website nor anywhere else that has a picture that looks exactly like the cover I saw in the Imagine. (Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the cover, but it has a filter screen just like my Coleman and a dump capability. I see nothing like it on Furrion's website.)

    The sensor causing the issue is easy to identify by removing the filter cover and finding it amongst the wires in the duct. The wire has a ROOM SENSOR label. This is not the same as the FREEZE SENSOR wire (which also has a label).

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    The "thermostat" (there is one for each air conditioner) is a FACW12SA-BL Furrion CHILL® Single Zone Basic Wall Thermostat.

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    What I found interesting is that BOTH the living room and bedroom thermostats have a "HEAT" setting but only the living room thermostat controls the furnace. Setting the bedroom air conditioner on HEAT did nothing. I believe this is probably because the 12v command wires are not connected between the (optional) bedroom air conditioner and the furnace, but the thermostat still shows the setting.

    Neither the bedroom nor the living room thermostats, when set on HEAT, turned on the air conditioner fans. At least not in the 5 minutes I ran the furnace as a test. (The owner is so new to their 3100RD they didn't even know the furnace ran on propane! Guess what I did for the next hour...).

    If I can get my hands on a document related to the FACT12CA-PS it will be uploaded in a follow-up post.

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    Howard


    Last edited by howson; 11-14-2021, 06:12 PM.
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

  • #2
    howson Howard, quick search since you are on limited resources. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/15...ct12la-Ps.html
    Joseph
    Tow
    Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
    Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
    South of Houston Texas

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jlawles2 View Post
      howson Howard, quick search since you are on limited resources. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/15...ct12la-Ps.html
      That manual covers FACT12LA-PS, FACT12LA-BL, FACT12SA-PS, and FACT12SA-BL. The one is question is a FACT12CA-BL. Could be the same except for the cover? Not sure, but want to see the documentation on the "C" ADB to verify. (Thanks for trying!)
      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

      2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

      Comment


      • #4
        Got a picture of the Furrion cover (that I can't find on their website). This is part of the FACT12CA-BL assembly.

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        Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

        2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

        Comment


        • #5
          The owner of the Imagine mentioned in post #1 just knocked on my door. When I answered she exclaimed, "It's doing it! Cold air is coming out the air conditioner with the thermostat set on Heat!" So I had to go down and take a look.

          The Furrion's thermostat is unique (to my knowledge) because it allows the air conditioner fan to run when in Heat mode. There are four settings for the Fan mode. "O" for Off (won't run for any reason), "A" for Automatic (fan in a/c unit runs when furnace runs), "L" for Low (runs continuously, even when the furnace is off) and "H" for High (same as "L" but fan runs faster).

          The Imagine owner had the Fan set to "L" in Heat mode, thus "cold air" was blowing continuously out of the upper vents in her trailer (furnace was not running). It took me and a classmate a minute to figure out what was happening, because this is definitely unique. To our knowledge the Dometic and Coleman units do not have this capability.

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          Howard
          Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

          2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

          Comment


          • #6
            This is not a capability. This is a dangerous and idiotic design flaw.

            I just went through the same scenario on a trip last weekend. I've owned 4 different RV's in the past 25 years. All had Suburban furnaces and Coleman or Carrier AC units with the typical Coleman analog thermostat.

            First cold trip out in my new Imagine 2800BH. When we got to the campsite, thermostat read 43 degrees. I turned on the furnace via the Furrion thermostat and it fired right up as expected. We finished setting up camp and then went for a hike. 2 hours later I came back, opened the door to the camper and it felt like I was stepping into an oven. We take our shoes off outside and I could tell the floor was very warm - almost hot (due to the ducted heat being directed underneath. I walked over to the thermostat and it read 43 degrees!. In this unit, the furnace is located under the corner of the kitchen counter next to the sink. I opened up the under sink cabinet and could barely touch the sidewall it was so hot.

            I immediately shut the furnace off at the thermostat, opened windows to cool down the interior and turned on the AC fan to circulate air. As soon as I turned on the AC fan, the ambient temp value on the thermostat display started jumping - finally topping out at 98 degrees (keep in mind this was after windows had been opened, etc.

            After everything cooled down, I started the furnace up again. This time there was no way I was leaving until everything was working correctly so I sat there an monitored it for 30 minutes. Again, after the furnace had been running for 30 minutes, the room started feeling very warm, but the thermostat was only reading 48 degrees. Recalling the previous behavior, I again activated the AC fan and immediately the ambient temp reading jumped up from 48 to 72. The furnace then immediately kicked off since my set point was 68. After another 20 minutes or so, the ambient temp dropped below 65 and the furnace kicked back on. This time, with the AC fan still running, the furnace shut off on its own when the temp got to 69 degrees.

            Having no experience with Furrion equipment (the name wasn't even around when my previous camper was assembled), I figured something must have been wired wrong since the thermostat would not read the correct room temperature. We slept uncomfortably (due to the cold air from the AC fan circulating) and uneasily (not knowing if the furnace would fail to shut off again and start a fire) the first night with the furnace and AC fan running.

            In the morning, I started googling wiring diagrams for the thermostat from my phone. It didn't take me long to discover the threads on this forum. I popped the filter cover off the air handler, found the room sensor wire and poked it through the grille. The remainder of the weekend the furnace functioned as expected without the AC blower running.

            This was our first cold weather trip, but we had plenty of warm weather trips. On many of those, I was disappointed with the AC performance. The camper never seemed to maintain a comfortably cool temperature. I had the unit into our dealer a couple of times complaining that the AC kept short cycling - I'd hear the compressor kick on for only a minute or two, then stay off for 10 minutes or more - all the while while the ambient temperature was above the cooling setpoint. Now I believe that what was happening was that there was some internal leakage in the deflector so the return air was cooled down almost immediately. I'm hopeful that come next summer the AC performance will be much improved as well with the room sensor actually in the room.

            All in all, these Furrion units are misguided and overly complicated. The wall control panel cannot rightly be called a thermostat (as they actually call it) because it does not read temperature at that location. Half the job of a true thermostat is to read the ambient temperature at the thermostat location. What they have is a control panel, not a thermostat.
            • On the furnace side, the design is downright dangerous. I know the surface temperature of the outside of my furnace was well over 125 degrees after 2 hours of continuous operation (I only wish I had my infrared thermometer with me to take an actual reading). In the furnace compartment, there are bare wood studs, exposed Romex wiring and PEX water lines all running in the 1" of clearance space between the bottom of the furnace and the floor. I've checked everything as best as I could and haven't been able to detect any permanent damage.
            • On the AC side, every RV unit I've ever seen is too poorly designed and assembled to be able to guarantee that there is no internal leakage between the pressure side and suction side - hence all of the YouTube videos about adding extra tape, foam, etc. to try to better isolate the two to improve performance. Having the "room" sensor inside this return plenum is just a poor design choice.
            Jim & Lisa
            2022 Imagine 2800BH
            2011 F-250 Crew Cab 6.7

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            • #7
              I ended up one day fumbling with my dometic thermostat and got the AC fan and heat to run at the same time so it can be done. But its really odd that a thermostat would be designed to read room temperature at the ceiling on the return air side. Proper placement of a thermostat (that reads room temp at its placement) is to be placed in the main living area, away from doors or windows and 52-60 inches from the floor. Since the main living area in our Imagine would be difficult to place a thermostat to meet these restrictions, the stat has been placed in the bedroom near the door.
              We found our bedroom stat to be ok as long as the ceiling duct is not pointed toward the thermostat. It looks like Furrion has done it again to create a product that makes no sense.

              It could however be worst. We have a luxury car that uses modeled interior temp and it flat out does not work.

              Jim
              Last edited by MidwestCamper; 12-05-2021, 08:38 AM.
              2017 Imagine 2600RB
              2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JimB33 View Post
                This was our first cold weather trip, but we had plenty of warm weather trips. On many of those, I was disappointed with the AC performance. The camper never seemed to maintain a comfortably cool temperature. I had the unit into our dealer a couple of times complaining that the AC kept short cycling - I'd hear the compressor kick on for only a minute or two, then stay off for 10 minutes or more - all the while while the ambient temperature was above the cooling setpoint. Now I believe that what was happening was that there was some internal leakage in the deflector so the return air was cooled down almost immediately. I'm hopeful that come next summer the AC performance will be much improved as well with the room sensor actually in the room.[/LIST]
                Just curious - Do you have the 2nd A/C in your 2800BH? The reason I'm asking is that in my 2600RB, the A/C works well, and I have spent many days in 90 to 100 degree days. My room sensor is poked through the filter.
                Mike and Karen
                2021 2600RB
                2011 Tundra 5.7 DC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AZMike View Post

                  Just curious - Do you have the 2nd A/C in your 2800BH? The reason I'm asking is that in my 2600RB, the A/C works well, and I have spent many days in 90 to 100 degree days. My room sensor is poked through the filter.
                  Mike, No, we do not have the second A/C.

                  Good to hear that your AC is working well with the room sensor actually in the room. I'm really anticipating that sticking the room sensor through the filter will make our A/C perform much better as well. The A/C behavior I was observing in August (before I knew about the sensor location) all makes sense now. Unfortunately, being in Ohio, I'll have to wait 6 months or so to try it out since our average high temp right now is in the 40's
                  Jim & Lisa
                  2022 Imagine 2800BH
                  2011 F-250 Crew Cab 6.7

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    JimB33 We had to bump the house thermostat down because the humidity was just horrible today. Highs here are still in the 70's and up. Grab the camper and head south if you want to test the AC.

                    You might get lucky and have one of those Indian summers hit and bring the temps back up for a few days.
                    Joseph
                    Tow
                    Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                    Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                    South of Houston Texas

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      MidwestCamper (Jim) I think your post that was in this thread was meant for the 320G Momentum thread, so moved it there. If I'm wrong, I can move it back. See https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...1880#post71880

                      Howard
                      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                      2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is it possible the Furrion thermostat is actually measuring temperature and the return duct temp is just to measure efficiency? For instance are they using a variable displacement compressor? The reason I ask is this would make sense but without a temperature measurement at the stat this does not make sense.

                        Thanks Howard in moving my post.

                        Jim
                        2017 Imagine 2600RB
                        2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MidwestCamper View Post
                          Is it possible the Furrion thermostat is actually measuring temperature and the return duct temp is just to measure efficiency? For instance are they using a variable displacement compressor? The reason I ask is this would make sense but without a temperature measurement at the stat this does not make sense.

                          Thanks Howard in moving my post.

                          Jim
                          No Jim, the room sensor is defiantly in the intake plenum on these Furrion air conditioners. Here is mine poked through the filter. It has a tag on it labeled "Room Sensor". If you pinch it between your fingers, the temperature on the "thermostat" will change accordingly.

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                          Mike and Karen
                          2021 2600RB
                          2011 Tundra 5.7 DC

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AZMike View Post

                            No Jim, the room sensor is defiantly in the intake plenum on these Furrion air conditioners. Here is mine poked through the filter. It has a tag on it labeled "Room Sensor". If you pinch it between your fingers, the temperature on the "thermostat" will change accordingly.

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                            Well that's just a bad idea. I was curious if they are measuring Tin and Tout independently of a stat measurement but its not the case. So it makes no sense since a stat with measurements should be placed a set distance from the floor.

                            Can a stat from another maker work with the Furrion system? This may help.

                            Jim
                            2017 Imagine 2600RB
                            2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have read many posts about the Furrion "issue", and no one has come up with a different thermostat. I have heard that many people have gotten a room sensor relocation kit from GD at no charge. Mine works fine, so I'm not going to request the kit.
                              Mike and Karen
                              2021 2600RB
                              2011 Tundra 5.7 DC

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