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Old 02-10-2019, 11:26 AM   #1
lhaven
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Heat/AC failure in rigs with inCommand

We just went through a bit of an exercise with our new 26RBSWE to get a manufacturing defect fixed. If your rig has an inCommand system and you're experiencing problems where your furnace or AC goes through periods of refusing to function, it may help you to read this. The tough part was getting three vendors on the same page so that they all realized that they had already seen this problem reported by many owners and that they had a fix for it.

When we took our unit home last fall, we immediately experienced a failure of the air conditioner to turn on (uncomfortable, since the temps were 100+). The dealer didn't take me seriously, blaming it on my 30A receptacle. A week or so later, the problem disappeared all by itself, so I let it slide.

Come December, and now the furnace refuses to turn on but only at night.

Through experimentation, I determined that when the temperature inside the rig (we weren't occupying it) went above 100 or so, the AC would not turn on; and when it went below 50 or so, the furnace would not turn on bizarre, but technically plausible.

The dealer flat out told me he would have no idea how to even start troubleshooting a problem like that. I understood his position, but I needed it fixed.

Figuring it was a control logic failure, I called the ASA (inCommand) folks, who kicked the ball around the infield a couple of times, then told me they'd seen this sort of thing caused by the manufacturer-supplied HVAC controller they had to interface with. Keystone had no idea what to recommend except for me to take it in to a dealer (I told them the dealer had already thrown up their hands). Finally, I spoke to a different person at ASA, who told me quite definitely that they had worked this exact problem before, many people had experienced it, they knew the cause for sure, it was a particular model of HVAC controller from Dometic, and they gave me the name of the Keystone employee they had worked it with. Armed with all that information, I was able to get Keystone to tell me they had a service bulletin out on the problem, the fix was to replace the controller with a different model, and they would send my dealer the information he needed to perform it. We had the fix applied three days ago.

Unfortunately, the fix was incomplete. Last night, the ambient was 47, and when I tried to turn the furnace on, the control panel showed "on" for about five seconds, then flipped back to "off" without turning on the furnace (acknowledging the failure and flipping off was new behavior, but still a failure). It did the same thing for the fan. However, when I used the iPhone app to turn the furnace on, it went on successfully (very strange!). Once the furnace was on, the control panel now could not turn it off (same behavior, flipped back after five seconds), but the iPhone could. Now, all these control signals go through the inCommand module, and some work and some don't, so I kicked this back to the folks at ASA and I'm waiting for a reply.

I wanted to put this out there for anybody who is seeing the same behavior (and if you're not seeing it yet, and you're still under warranty, you may want to see if your unit has this fault so you can get it fixed before it's a problem).
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
MarkEHansen
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I talked to my dealer about replacing the Dometic board in our rig (same as yours). They said they would have to see the problem before they could do anything about it.

I was getting frustrated with them when the general manager walked over and said "well ... we'll just run the air conditioner overnight to get it good and cold inside the cabin and then try the heat..."

They still have the camper (waiting on one or two of the warranty items on our list to be completed) but I was told the iN-Command/Dometic issue was one of those they've resolved.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkEHansen View Post
...

but I was told the iN-Command/Dometic issue was one of those they've resolved.

I'm cautiously optimistic.
Not to wish you any "bad luck" but like when you pick out a new puppy, this is one of those times when you wish you'd have put a dot of red fingernail polish on that Dometic control board..... That way, with a quick glance, you'd know whether the dealer really resolved the issue.....

Hopefully they handled it without any way to verify......
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:52 PM   #4
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Well, to be honest - I don't think I'm going to be camping in conditions which will trigger this particular defect, so I wasn't all that worried about it.


... at least not the <40 degree issue. Now the >100 degree issue? Hmmm, I could hit that
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:57 PM   #5
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I agree with John on this. Whenever the dealer has a special on servicing I jump on it. Being a bit anal I always take a marker and mark wheels ( rotation included) and oil filter (wipe it off and let it go). Have caught non work a few times. Didn't use the same dealer again. This used to be called "midnight oil change".
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:01 AM   #6
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The threshold is more like 50. We're 25 miles outside Phoenix and we get that on winter nights, as well as 100+ much of the summer.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:42 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, the fix was incomplete. Last night, the ambient was 47, and when I tried to turn the furnace on, the control panel showed "on" for about five seconds, then flipped back to "off" without turning on the furnace (acknowledging the failure and flipping off was new behavior, but still a failure)... I kicked this back to the folks at ASA and I'm waiting for a reply.
False alarm. Turns out the minimum settable temperature for the old gateway was 54, and for the new gateway, 55. My thermostat was still set to 54 from long ago, which is now an "invalid" setting for the new gateway, so the control panel hiccuped when I tried to start the furnace. Once I bumped the temp, the furnace worked fine, and the control panel will no longer let it return to 54. Problem completely solved with the new gateway.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM   #8
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Kudos to you. Its people like you that pursue an issue like this that turns out helping many others. Those that have had the dealer run around know this all too well. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
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Ihaven- so if I understand this correctly, the dealer needs to replace the HVAC controller? Since I'm not all that smart on this stuff, is the controller the digital thermostat that hangs on the wall and "controls" the zones or something that's up in the ACs or down in the "In Command" box in the basement?
Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:35 PM   #10
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What has to be replaced is the HVAC gateway.It's a discrete box that hangs right in the center of the AC cavity, which you can see with the filter cover removed.

There are serial and model numbers on top where they can't be easily read, but I took a photo of them using my smartphone in selfie mode. It's a Dometic product. The numbers on my original component were marked as part #3313191.000.

When I put my repair through the dealer, there was a delay because the various part and serial numbers I reported weren't part of the range authorized by the original service bulletin, but it was verified that my parts failed the same way, so now I presume they are.
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