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Old 06-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
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1998 31' Land Yacht
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1998 30 FT Land Yacht Dash A/C Problems

I have owned this 1998 Land Yacht since 2005 and the Dash A/C has never worked well. I have replaced the Compressor twice and just about everything that comes with it, including all hoses and new fittings. Just took it to a new garage today and they did not know how much freon to put in it as they could find no specs. It was actually warmer coming home then when going to them, although it was considerably warmer outside as well. Can anybody tell me how much freon it should take. I beleive they said that they put 3 and one-half pounds back in. I live below Frederick, Maryland and am not aware of a good Auto A/C place to take it to. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money but still have not had much success. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. You have displayed great patience to not have posted a problem in 7 years.

The air on your 98 Land Yacht is a ACME installation I believe.
What dash controls do you have? push button or dial controls?

A work of advice: if you need professional help, go to the professional shop of that specialty, not a general repair shop, unless you know the shop well. A good Air Conditioning shop will be able to fill your system by using the guages, on both the high and low side, to determine when at capacity. If you phone any of the big truck dealerships in your area and ask who does their AC work, you should get a good lead to a reputable shop.


Now, if you have just a small leak, (season to season topup required) you can buy the R134A refill kit at any Walmart for about $20.00. It includes the guage for monitoring the low pressure side of the system. Not difficult to check and top off at home.

Now, your specific problem.
Check the hot water shutoff on the 3/4 heater hose going to the heater. If the shutoff is not closing all the way, you will have heat defeating the AC attempt. There should be a manual water shut off valve near the engine that you could shut off to test the system?

Check the fresh air door on the system. It has to be closed and recirculating inside air for maximum cooling.

If your system is cold to begin with and then quickly warms up, chances are the condenser fan is not running? Has that been checked? On my system in the Clipper, the condenser/compressor are run thru a Trinary Switch. Some systems use a different system?

The above information is true for a Diesel Pusher Airstream in the 95 to 99 era. If yours is gas powered the system may be set up differently.

You need to specify what model you have, engine, etc, and maybe include a picture/s of your system and unit. We like pictures!

Hope this is of some help.

Dave

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Originally Posted by miltflyfsh View Post
I have owned this 1998 Land Yacht since 2005 and the Dash A/C has never worked well. I have replaced the Compressor twice and just about everything that comes with it, including all hoses and new fittings. Just took it to a new garage today and they did not know how much freon to put in it as they could find no specs. It was actually warmer coming home then when going to them, although it was considerably warmer outside as well. Can anybody tell me how much freon it should take. I believe they said that they put 3 and one-half pounds back in. I live below Frederick, Maryland and am not aware of a good Auto A/C place to take it to. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money but still have not had much success. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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1998 30Ft Land Yacht Dash A/C Problems

Thank you Dave, for your suggestions. Sorry to be getting back to you so late but the storm took out our electricity for about 36 hours. I believe you are correct, it is an Acme installation. My Land Yacht is a gasoline model with a 454 engine and the controls for the A/C are push button. I thought it was fixed two years ago, however last summer I was not able to get away although when I checked it several times it seemed to be blowing cool air. But I should mention that it has never been able to produce air as cool as any vehicles that I have previously or currently own, which makes me skeptical. When I started it this summer I expected it was not going to be very cool and it wasn't so I took it to my local garage to have the freon topped off but that was a disaster in that it was warmer when I drove it home. I had an RV dealer rebuild the system two years ago, including all new hoses and fittings but I suspected that it was not their specialty as they seemed to be struggling with the job. I am about to take it to a new place that claims to specialize in A/C repairs as well as various other areas of repair. I went on line to locate them. If they don't work out then I will follow your advice and inquire at all local truck dealerships. The repair facility that I have chosen does claim to do work on trucks and buses so I am hopeful that it will finally be the right choice. I very much appreciate you taking the time to give such a detailed response and would be glad to hear any other thoughts that you might have.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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When you say push button, do you mean this?

There is some good information on my thread here.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...tml#post981579

Also, if you need specific ACME parts, the company closed that operation in the hard times, but a former emplyee now has all parts available thru his operation. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...ml#post1147937

Dave
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #5
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Dave's answer to heater might be true for some models but mine didn't have a manual shutoff until I installed one, if your's is similar to mine, while standing in front of mh, at the top left of the radiator is where the feed pipe that he is referring to, mine had an automatic shutoff, but I didn't know if it was working, good reason to install manual. I wasn't getting enough cool, a/c shop said even if it is working properly it won't cool enough. Too big of a space and a huge return of hot air, so I installed a curtain behind the cab area for the very hot days. Using a thermometer at the vents should tell you if it is putting out cool. I also found one missing duct and one not connected under the dash, access from passengers side footwell, screws hidden in carpet each corner of the panel. Also found duct crushed by tv installed in dash. Most of this work was done after a new compressor was installed.
Last trip out was winter and didn't use a/c had to have heat, at least I remembered to open that problem valve.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:29 AM   #6
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1998 33' Land Yacht
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Forget the dash a/c

We purchased our motorhome the year my oldest son was appointed to the Naval Academy in 2005. On our 'long haul' up and down I-95 from SC to MD, I'd simply run the forward (or rear) roof unit to cool the family down. Since we no longer make the trip from Beaufort to Annapolis, our Yacht is only on the road from our home to Hunting Island State Park (20 miles) a half dozen times a year.

My 98 33 has the ACME push/pull contorls and just like yours, it never seemed to be able to produce anything but luke-cool air. Then a few years back, only hot air would come out of the dash vents. The control panel had no affect at all except to control the fan speed. The defroster is on permanent demand and blows hot air only. And that's really the only time I use it, to warm up the windshield during 'cold' weather.

For me, the headache (and cost) of getting this out-date system functioning is simply not worth it. Our motorhomes have such outstanding cold-air producers on the ceilings, (as long as your Onan is running well). No need IMHO for the dash a/c at all.

Good luck with your system and I hope you can locate replacement parts for the ACME set up. Sorry to hear they folded! No wonder I couldn't locate a replacement control panel a few years back.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear you gave up on the ACME air system.

Most of the problems found are that the hot water valve is not closed, or the fresh air door is not closed.

These are simple repairs to make once you understand how the system works. (just like a good woman, you have to discover what buttons work and what to avoid. )

Running the roof AIR while on the road is an expensive option that I have tested but I generally only do that when pulling into a camping spot to precool while getting set up.

Another helpful alteration, is to install a curtain at the rear of the cockpit to isolate the area from the rest of the motorhome. This will make a huge difference on the ability of the dash air to control the temp in the cockpit.(not practical if you have guests or family seated elsewhere in the motorhome.)

If you follow my thread link posted above, you will find that the ACME AIR will work fine if properly serviced and adjusted.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...tml#post981579

Any qualified technician that takes pride in his work will tune your system to make ice cubes. (not really )

Here is a picture of my cab curtain that is mounted on a double track so that it overlaps in the center.


Dave
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miltflyfsh View Post
Just took it to a new garage today and they did not know how much freon to put in it as they could find no specs. It was actually warmer coming home then when going to them, although it was considerably warmer outside as well. Can anybody tell me how much freon it should take. I beleive they said that they put 3 and one-half pounds back in.
Any air conditioning problem has to be in one of two places:
1) The refrigerant system
2) Somewhere else.

Others have posted upthread a number of possibilities on the 2) Somewhere else side of things. To recap:

a) Be sure the heat is off (engine coolant valve closed)
b) Be sure the vent is off.
c) Be sure there is good airflow through the condenser.

Put a dial thermometer in one of the vents and measure air temperature, ideally while driving around to be sure there is good airflow. It should be around 25 degrees colder than the outside air temperature. If it is your system is performing the way it is supposed to and if you're not getting the results you want you need a cab curtain or something.

Another quick check is to check the temperature of the refrigerant line from the evaporator to the accumulator (if present) or compressor (if not). I just use my hand being careful not to burn myself, other refrigerant lines in the area may be hot. If it's nice and cool then the refrigerant system is doing its job and the problems are somewhere else. If it's warm well then chances are there's a problem refrigerant wise.

A competent A/C technician can measure the high side and low side pressures and temperatures and figure out if the system is overcharged, undercharged, contaminated, or if there's a blockage somewhere (usually the orifice tube). Or you can get the gauges and do it yourself. Here's one summary:

Air Conditioning Temperature Basics

If there's a blockage then the system is going to have to be purged and the orifice tube replaced. If there's air or other contaminants the system is going to have to be purged anyway so you might as well at least clean the screen for the orifice tube. Then it should be left on the vacuum pump for at least a couple of hours before recharging.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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I experienced a/c problems with a '94 LY (diesel pusher). Just before I sold it I actually got it sorted out. Here are some of the issues I had had:

(1) The electric fan motor which cools the condenser located in the front behind the grill seized. Several places kept trying to top up the freon. Finally I hit upon a mechanic in Arizona who knew what he was doing and the fan was replaced.

(2) At one time a so-called mechanic (turned out he wasn't one) told me the heater core was blocked and needed to be changed. In removing and replacing the heater core messed up the vacuum control which shuts off the flow of hot engine coolant to the heater. This ultimately was fixed by using a manual shut-off valve.

(3) The dash controls for the HVAC system were out of a Chrysler K-car. The current passing through the switch in that control for the compressor and the external cooling fan for the condenser is very close to the engineering limit - the result was that the switch overheated and warped. That switch is what controls the vacuum lines to the shutters, and by being warped the vacuum controls were not activated and the shutters did not position themselves as they should. While that push-button control is no longer available, the good news is that the the push-button control is just an external housing and that the inside control (made of what looks like white nylon) is still available by special order from any Dodge dealer. To prevent the switch from overheating, we added a headlight relay.

I'm attaching the photos of the HVAC control including one that shows the part number for the actual control.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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Good clear pictures. Thanks for posting.
The control can be sourced at any auto wreckers from 70 to 80's Dodge Vans and possibly other models.

Dave


[QUOTE=blkmagikca;1169894]
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #11
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It's really not worth sourcing the control from a wrecker. I had actually done that and the parts that I got were in worse shape than what I took out of the motor-home. The new part from a dealer was about $120 in Canada - should be less in the US.

BTW, the top photo shows the vacuum valve that actuates the valve to stop the flow of engine coolant into the heater core.
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #12
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Good and Helpful Replys

I appreciate all the information and suggestions. It's quite helpful for me and I hope it will help the technicians who are currently working on this problem. As I have said, I have it in a new shop at this time and I am hopeful that it will finally be repaired. So far they have found several vacuum leaks and have determined that the control unit should be replaced along with the bent cable which I believe was damaged in prior ownership when insulation dropped on it and impeded it's free movement. At this time the air flowing out the vent is still measuring 60 degrees so the technician also feels that the water control valve needs to be replaced. I am taking these posts to the garage as I receive them as I hope it will assist them in finding parts as well as the solution to this problem. Thanks again to all of you who have posted your insights.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #13
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What type of headlight relay did you use? Can you post information on how you installed it?

Road Dawg 36
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:28 PM   #14
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It was an across the counter type of relay. The object is to remove the heavy current draw on the control switch (as that was overheating, and then it became warped). The relay was wired such that the switch contained in the push button control activated relay, which in turn switched on the compressor and fan. The relay was mounted right behind the control panel.
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