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Old 08-09-2009, 08:12 PM   #1
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Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

Ok I read 7 pages worth of the the search word "thermostat" and didn't find an answer. My heating/cooling interior thermostat is on the way out. I'm wondering which one might be a good replacement. I'd like to get a programmable one.

I have a propane furnace and starcool III. 2001 build. I don't think my thermostat is powered, but I could be mistaken. No problem to get 12v there for better thermostat if needed.

Pictures, suggestions?

Thanks,

Tom.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #2
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

We replaced our SMB stock thermostat many years ago with a Lux TX500 programmable thermostat. It controls only our furnace. According to their website, Lux doesn't have the TV500 anymore but they do have a TX500E which looks the same as ours...maybe they just changed the model number. It is a 24v thermostat but ours works just fine on 12v. Ours came with very good installation instructions for different wiring arrangements and it was very easy to replace the stock SMB unit.

It is great to be able to set the temperature and time for the furnace to come on in the morning without ever getting out of bed! While winter camping, the furnace comes on around 6:00 am and the van is up to 71 degrees by the time we get out of bed. These thermostats should be available at big-box hardware stores...
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

But, be carefull. An RV needs an OFF position on the thermostat, lest the furnace come on when the van is not in use. Typical thermostats do not have the OFF feature because the home always wants to be heated to certain degree.

It is possible to have two thermostats in series. The old one with the OFF feature and a new, programmable one. Just leave the old one set to 90 or OFF and the new one will control the temps.

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Old 08-10-2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

The one that I mentioned has a Off position as well as On positions for both cooling and heating.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

I might also mention that when we turn on the thermostat, we always leave the "door" open on it to remind us that it is on. It is thus easy to look back and make sure that the one of us turned off the thermostat before leaving a campsite by whether or not the door is open or closed. Likewise, we always leave the exterior door to the propane tank valve open for the same purpose. One time, some other camper closed it for some reason but since I was expecting to turn off the propane before leaving, I couldn't figure out why the door was closed...I checked anyway and turned it off. Why someone would come up to our van and close the propane door still leaves me bewildered...
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:22 AM   #6
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

Thanks guys. Good information. From other reading I've learned that as long as the thermostat has a battery I can use a household one.

So now I'm looking for a programmable, on/off, digital thermostat with batteries. I'll check the one suggested too thanks.

tom.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

You should be able to use a regular, not battery-powered thermostat....I'm not sure that they make battery-only thermostats. (The batteries in thermostats are just to maintain your program in the event of a power failure.) The heating system in our vans is 12v while household systems are 24v. But the 24v thermostat home-style I installed works exactly as you would expect. Like most programable units, it has independent settings for weekdays and weekends...but there is no difference when you are camping!
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #8
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yvrr
You should be able to use a regular, not battery-powered thermostat....I'm not sure that they make battery-only thermostats. (The batteries in thermostats are just to maintain your program in the event of a power failure.) The heating system in our vans is 12v while household systems are 24v. But the 24v thermostat home-style I installed works exactly as you would expect. Like most programable units, it has independent settings for weekdays and weekends...but there is no difference when you are camping!
When I said battery thermostats I was refering to the ones with the battery backup function. From what I've read the battery backup models will function without the standard 24v power supply because they are designed to do their thing without house power when it fails. Interesting you are able to hook yours up to 12v and it works fine.

Its looking like I could make most thermostats work. I'm planning on going to Walmart and buying a cheap digital programable and see where it gets me.

Thanks again for all of your input.

tom.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Re: Need to replace my interior thermostat, which one is best?

Ended up with the Honeywell RTH230B from Wally World. 40 bucks or so. Has batteries, 5.2 day programmable.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... d=10975509

Wires on my old thermostat plugged into the same exact marked terminals on this one. No surprises, very simple.

tom.
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