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Old 10-07-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
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Air Conditioner - Repair or Replacement

The A/C's in my 350LE motorhome perform at about 30-40% of when I got it eleven years ago. What's the most cost efficient way to repair or replace? I understand that they can not be recharged [not sure why]. Any recommendations for replacement units [models and cost] would be appreciated. Thanks, Delaware
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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The A/C's in my 350LE motorhome perform at about 30-40% of when I got it eleven years ago. What's the most cost efficient way to repair or replace? I understand that they can not be recharged [not sure why]. Any recommendations for replacement units [models and cost] would be appreciated. Thanks, Delaware
Roof AC's or dash AC ?

The roof AC's are rechargeable, if a person knows how, and doesn't want to rip you off.

If it's the roof AC's, what brand? The originals were Coleman.

Andy
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #3
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When you say it is working at a reduced level. There are not many things that will cause an AC to work at a reduced level. The most common is dirty coils, either the evaporator or condenser coils. Fan speed will effect it. Filter clogged.

If an AC is low on charge it would freeze the evaporator coil and not supply any air at all. If it is out of charge it will supply air but without a temperature reduction.

First I would check the filter, fan speed, and then the coils for dirt. If there was a smoker in the MH that tar will collect dirt at a very fast rate. You can use a professional coil cleaning spray to remove the tar.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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I'm referring to the roof AC's [although the dash AC performs at about the same, poor level]. These are the original Coleman AC's. I've cleaned the coils, filter, etc. Fan spped apprears to be normal but I haven't actually measured it. Smoking is not involved.

What is involved in re-charging the AC's? I've been told by the Airsteam factory that they are not rechargable but I suspect where "there's a will there's a way". I was quoted $1400 per unit to replace........lots of money.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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Any AC can be recharged. But as I mentioned before as an AC looses it's charge it will go through a period of freezing the coil and cutting off the air flow. Then once the charge has dropped to a point that there is not enough refrigerant to produce any cooling the air flow will come back at near room temperature.

If you can remove the top cover feel the larger tube coming off the compressor. If there is any refrigerant the line will be cool to the touch and may warrant an attempt at recharging. If the line is warm or hot that may be an indication of a bad valve in the compressor. If that is the case replace the AC.

If the smaller line is HOT and the unit is still not producing cool air that may indicate a clogged cap tube. Again replace the AC.

Shop around you should be able to beat that price.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:36 PM   #6
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Thanks Howie I'll check those areas. I'm feel comfortable replacing the units myself. I replaced a leaky AC pan on the roof after having one done in Jackson Center. They sold me the parts and told me how. I can't imagine that replacing the whole unit can be much more difficult.

Thanks again,
Delaware
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Delaware View Post
Thanks Howie I'll check those areas. I'm feel comfortable replacing the units myself. I replaced a leaky AC pan on the roof after having one done in Jackson Center. They sold me the parts and told me how. I can't imagine that replacing the whole unit can be much more difficult.

Thanks again,
Delaware

It isn't tough, but you need an easy way to get on the roof and some help. I had two helpers to install the A/C on our Liner, one ladder and some scaffolding. The A/C unit is heavy.

Bill
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:39 PM   #8
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Carrier AiRV 15,000

Junk them both and get two new Carrier AiRV 15,000 BTU units with heat strips. I bought mine from Palomino Parts and it cost me under $500. One of them cools my 34 footer nicely (with a white painted roof and five awnings up). My old Coleman Delta T had seen her day. I hotwired the switches as the control boards were fried. I had ON or OFF. There was no thermostat anymore. Finally, that expired.

Got me the new 15,000 BTU and MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE! They really have gotten better in the last twenty years. The Carrier is quieter, really throws the cold, and the thermostat actually works.

You can always cut back a 15,000 BTU. You can't get 14,000 BTU out of a 13,000. No use to even consider anything other than the 15,000.

You could maybe fix your old ones. You can do a line tap to put more refridgerant in it. But why bother? Since they're that old, I'd just replace them. The Carrier is a good unit.

I can't comment on the Dometic a/c. They may be just as nice. All I know is that I read nothing but good on here about the Carrier, I got one, installed it myself, and have been super happy with it. The only thing I'd ding the Carrier on is that I wish it has more than two fan speeds. But if that's the only beef I have, then that's pretty minor.

Anyway, I'd recommend you get you a couple of those guys and then buy yourself a nice heavy coat....you'll need it with two of those bad boys runnng!

See ya on the road,
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Jim is right on the Carrier units. I've got a 15K ducted unit in Airstream One and the unit does a great job.

The remote control thermostat works great too.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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I should add....I wasn't trying to say that Palomino is the only or the best place to buy them from. That's just where I got mine from and they treated me right. Andy might sell them too. So I hope I didn't sound like I was pushing the other guys.

They're not that hard to install. In fact, once you've done one and see what you have to do, the second one would be a piece of cake. I probably took three hours on the first one, just because I'd never done it before. Most of the time was spent standing back looking at it trying to figure it out. I think I could do a second one in under an hour now.

The hardest part is getting it up on the roof. They are heavy buggers. I tried to carry it up a little giant ladder by myself. I'm a strong guy, but couldn't do it...the ladder was going to tip over with me. So you'll need some help there.

Anyway, best of luck!
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:10 AM   #11
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condenser cost us about $250 to be installed at CW, on our previous AS('68 Overlander)...solved our ice-over and cooling problem...our problem with ac now in the moho is that the circuit breaker throws when the temp exceeds 95...in the current economy(read, we're on a tight budget), $3.5K is too much of a stretch...I'd rather have 2 more batteries for the 2 Kyocera 130 solar panels and a sine inverter and drive to a cooler spot...seriously, have someone check the condenser...m
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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We had our 2 Coleman Mach V A/C's rechargered. They use r22 refridgerant which is readily available. Our A/C guy had to add new schrader valves as this was their 1st recharge. The rear also needed a new squirrel cage as the old one was out of round. It made a small thumping noise while running. Total cost was $250. A lot cheaper than replacement. The older units were designed to be repaired. A lot of newer ones are cheaper to replace than repair.

Ricky
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #13
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I have a quick question regarding AC units, and thought someone might be able to help me out on this one. I bought my rig back in October and since I have found my way south have started to use the AC on occasions.

Has anyone heard of or know why an AC unit would create moisture and make the air in the rig damp?

I've got a 2003 22ft CCD. It was stored for a number of years before I got it so I don't know if that's part of the problem or what. But, if I have it running and leave for a while and come back to it it does feel/ smell moist and damp. Kind of like a cave feels and smells when you go into it after being in the dry sun. I hope that analogy gives you an idea of what I'm dealing with. Or, another way to describe it would be it feels kind of like a swamp cooler.

Any ideas as to what could be the problem if there is one?
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Spacepod Ps View Post
I have a quick question regarding AC units, and thought someone might be able to help me out on this one. I bought my rig back in October and since I have found my way south have started to use the AC on occasions.

Has anyone heard of or know why an AC unit would create moisture and make the air in the rig damp?

I've got a 2003 22ft CCD. It was stored for a number of years before I got it so I don't know if that's part of the problem or what. But, if I have it running and leave for a while and come back to it it does feel/ smell moist and damp. Kind of like a cave feels and smells when you go into it after being in the dry sun. I hope that analogy gives you an idea of what I'm dealing with. Or, another way to describe it would be it feels kind of like a swamp cooler.

Any ideas as to what could be the problem if there is one?
All AC's remove water from the interior atmosphere, be it your home, office or RV.

But, if the drain line was plugged, water could get into the trailer, but it would be from a very obvious drip, from the AC interior shroud.

Andy
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