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Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Printable Version

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Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Urnie-Medie - 11-23-2019 17:56


We were always comfortable in the winter while driving my 83 FC35
My 2001 LXi does not seem to be near as comfortable. We have the engine heat on - the three furnaces on and I still get complaints.
Any suggestions?
While parked all seems to be fine. Not sure if the insulation is not sufficient or the windows.



RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Arcticdude - 11-24-2019 19:28

Are you running the AquaHot furnaces and the electric furnaces or just one or the other? I haven't run in Chicago cold temps yet, but we have traveled several times in freezing temps and have been warm enough so far.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Arcticdude - 11-25-2019 13:31

I forgot to ask, were the bay heaters going, too?

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Urnie-Medie - 11-25-2019 14:10

Thanks for replying. The aqua hot is on - but not the generator.
Should I have to run the generator as well?

I will check the temperature setting on the bay heaters. What temp setting do you recommend. It seems like the last time I check them they were in the 50 degree range.



RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Arcticdude - 11-25-2019 19:53

I would consider running the generator, as it would allow you to turn on the electric baseboard heaters in addition to running the aquahot heaters. When it gets colder, I will run the basement at almost what I've got he house set at. Helps to warm the floor some.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Urnie-Medie - 01-08-2020 12:35

Not sure but hopefully you can tell me. When the controller is on "furnace" the hydronic system is working correct?
When the controller is on "strip heat" the electric is working correct?
How do I get both systems working?
My wife is constantly complaining about being cold and the outdoor temperature is in the high 40's.
When parking for the night all is comfortable.
As suggested I did set the basement thermometer to 70 degrees.
I will appreciate any help. Our 1983FC seemed to keep the coach much more comfortable.
The main reason I moved up to the 2001LXi is for my son who had a stroke and to keep working I needed to be able to take my wife and son with me. I really need to be able to travel in all weather conditions.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Arcticdude - 01-13-2020 18:41


I would think that's correct, but as my coach has separate thermostats for each, I'm not sure how you'd go about getting both on with a single controller. On mine, I just turn on both thermostats. I will say that the location of the sensors is not optimal, so things short cycle and that can cause some of what you're experiencing. There are several ways to work around that.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - mbulriss - 01-13-2020 22:31


On reflecting on this post after re-reading it, I need to point out that these comments are based on MY 2001. Due to the potential customization between BBs, YMMV (greatly).

My short answer to your two basic questions a couple of posts up are NO and NO. The five button Dometic Climate Control Center in our 2001 BB is a thing of some frustration in it's convoluted wiring by BB.

Let's do your easy question first. The Heat Strip setting on the controller is only for use when connected to shore power or gen set running. It only controls the optional heat strip built into each of the roof top AC units, assuming someone didn't replace the original style Penguins with units without the heat strips. So, there is a heat strip setting for each zone on the controller that has to be on for those heat strips to be powered on, and of course you would need the individual AC switches by the driver to be on also for the AC units heat strips to work. Thereafter, the heat strips run off the thermostat setting for each zone you chose to turn on. The heat strips are really only for a minor chill as they are kind of like a big hair dryer. You know that as you parse through the Dometic menus you can't have multiple settings on any given zone, so you couldn't have the heat strip and furnace settings on at the same time anyway.

Your furnace question is very interesting as I am not sure I have ever figured that one out! Part of that is because I try to avoid going to locations that I need lots of heat sources! So I have to figure it out anew each time I need to use heat. Okay, so in talking about heat sources, if we are talking shore power or gen set use, then the so called electric toe heaters are quite good. Since each BB can be different, I hereby stipulate that my 2001 has only two electric toe heaters, one under the vanity in the pass-through bath and one a whopping six feet away under the refrigerator. While they work well, because of their interesting close placement, the very front area of our bus can get nippy compared to the back areas. The bathroom unit usage is simple, there are two individual thermostats on the wall for the electric toe heaters and one for the AquaHot heat (more on this heat source later). For the bath, the electric heat thermostat is all you have to deal with in order to turn on the electric heater under the vanity, click the "on" switch on the bottom, set the thermostat temp and you're done. Now for the electric heater under the refrigerator - as I recall, I have to turn on the "furnace" setting on zone 2 on the Dometic climate control center. Going from very little use and memory here, so I could be wrong - I have to re-train every time as I said. Anyway, that's what we have for electric heat sources aside from the heat strips. Note that we could have the rear and front heat strips on at the same time as the electric heaters, but not the center since it would be on furnace on that zone. BTW, contrary to my prior BBs, I have found no reasonable way to pull the toe heaters out for a good cleaning. Best you can do is remove the front face and blow them out.

Now, the AquaHot system! So this thing works on shore/gen electric and/or diesel heat and 12V. It is basically a big water heater and heat exchanger that heats potable water for your hot water, and it also circulates hot fluid through heat exchangers in the bus, much like some home heating systems. Note that when on shore power or gen set and you have the electric hot water breaker on in the electrical box, you can actually use the AquaHot heating zones. I use this for the bay area when the bus is in the garage during cold weather. You can also use the inside AquaHot zones in the same manner, but the electric heating rod is not going to provide enough output for all zones on the bus IMO. For full zone use, the AquaHot needs to be on the diesel burner power. The following comments are now applicable for dry camping, gen set or shore power. Since we dry camp constantly, this makes the AquaHot an attractive device even though we try to avoid cold climates to even need to use heat. Of course, when dry camping you will need to use the genset some to keep the batteries up. The first thing that needs to happen is that the "Hydronic Heat" switch on the dash needs to be on to turn the AquaHot diesel burner on. The easy zone is the rear zone. To turn on the heat exchangers (little radiators and 12V fans) for the AquaHot rear zone, that's where the second wall mounted thermostat in the bathroom comes in. Turn it on, set the temp and in our bus that's when the heat exchangers under the bed, under the pass through bath closet and under the water closet vanity all come on. Simple. In the main living area up front, as I recall, I have to set zone 1 on the Dometic Climate Control unit to Furnace and then set the temp we want for zone 1. Zone 1 has heat exchangers under the passenger side couch and under the front dash, above the stepwell cover right by the entry door. Now to zone 2. Again, as I *recall*, I seem to remember that when the Hydronic Heat switch and the AquaHot is on, the zone 2 setting for furnace then disables the electric toe heater under the refrigerator because another heat exchanger, also under the refrigerator but facing frontwards toward the dinette, comes on. Kind of goofy as I recall, but it may have something to do with the dry camping concept of using 12v power only. In any event, when all of those heat exchangers are on you should be comfy. As far as I can tell zone 3 furnace setting on the CCC does nothing in my bus since the thermostat in the bath controls those heat exchangers.

Some other notes: If zone 1 seems to be moving cool air, I think it is the longest piping run. It can also be that the AquaHot is low on that special boiler coolant and isn't transferring heat effectively. When the AquaHot is running, the white coolant expansion tank should have warm/hot fluid in it and it should be close to the upper hot or warm line, just like in your car. If the fluid is at the cold line or very low when running, you don't want to take off the top radiator cap at that point, but you can add some of that boiler coolant to the expansion bottle to bring it up to the full line. If the system is indeed low, it will absorb the fluid in the reservoir and you can add more again if needed, If not, no problem since the fluid should be up to the warm line when operating at full use anyway.

Anyway, as a fellow 2001 owner I feel your pain on deciphering the heating system using the Dometic five button Climate Control Center (CCC). IF you ever need to replace your AC units, please check back in because you will need to be aware of several issues with the CCC and new upgraded Penguins. Been there, done that.

I hope this helps some, but YMMV.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Urnie-Medie - 02-08-2020 00:10

Just getting back from another trip. Still having trouble keeping the coach comfortable. Below are a few things I noticed:
1- I know this sounds crazy but when I turn the coach right on the highway I get a blast of cold air. Not when I turn left.
2- The blowers on the Aqua Heat seem to be low - will take of the covers and inspect.
3- The electric heaters seem to be noisy and slow - does anyone have a good replacement?
4- On the trip I hooked up some free standing electric heaters just to keep a little more comfortable.

I have to believe there is definitely a problem - I will just keep Looking.

I have tried to use Mike's suggestions.

RE: Keeping My 2001 LXi Warm in Winter - Arcticdude - 02-10-2020 12:56


The AH blowers do not move much air, but you should still remove covers to ensure each radiator is free of blocking debris. I clean mine every so often.
There are replacements for the toe kick heaters. If you google Cadet heaters, especially using the model number off one of yours, you should come up with replacements. But, you may find that cleaning those would help them, too.
As for the blast of cold air, where are you feeling that? Feet, chest, etc?
More than a few folks use a free standing heater to assist in heating their coaches.