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Old 06-03-2018, 06:46 AM   #15
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RFP,
I have the same scenario as you. We camped last weekend for the first time since bringing her home and noticed water running off the roof and not out of the condensate tube. Like you, I donít have 30amps in my driveway so I canít re-create the run-off on hot days.

My dilemma is that my 2018 23CB is ducted with no a/c access in the cabin.. So I guess the only way to see what you saw (and hopefully fix) is to remove the rooftop cover. My climbing days are behind me so it looks like Iím heading back to Colonial.

Iíll let you know how that turns out.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:59 AM   #16
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Mine was a broken barber fitting on the drain cup. Those cups are made of very sun sensitive plastic.
This is how I fixed mine.

https://www.jbweld.com/products/waterweld-epoxy-putty

I have a new set of drain cups. But so far the repair is holding and Iím going to wait it out
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:31 AM   #17
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I run our AC in humid Florida even when storing the trailer in summer months. We encounter lots of AC drain issues including condensate running across the roof.

RFP described the removal procedure for the inside cover on unducted Penguin II roof units. Some fine points... the filters have to be removed before the cover will come off... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.

I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. As noted above, there are two drain lines coming from the AC condensate pan. They join at a tee fitting that is visible and accessible when the inside cover is removed. If one line is blocked and the other is open, the blast of air will pass easily through the open side and do nothing to open the blocked side. Worse yet, if both sides are badly blocked there is a risk of blowing out the tube. Hopefully it will fail at that tee fitting which is easily reconnected. At worst it will fail inside a wall section. These being hand built trailers, only the ghost of Wally Byam knows what kinks, twists or unauthorized joints may be in those lines on any specific trailer!

I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. I have attached to that smaller tube the cap from a small dish soap bottle. For the worst clogs I add a small amount of bleach to water in the bottle that fits that cap and I flush the lines with that water. Use a bucket to catch the return drainage inside the trailer since the extra bleach can damage interior surfaces.

The top ends of those two drains are visible if the roof unit is disassembled far enough. The flushing can be done from there but I find it easier and safer from inside. I'm considering adding algicide packs to my unit the next time I disassemble the roof unit. Those are widely used in residential AC systems here in Florida. They might work in Dometic Penguins, too.

I have learned through trial and error that my trailer will drain best when perfectly level. IMO it is the AC, not the fridge that determines how level is "level enough" to camp. It is common for us to have condensate drain through the interior grille and onto the floor if the lines are not perfectly clear and the trailer is not perfectly level. If I have to err out of level, I prefer to be tongue high and street side low (my AC condensate drain ends in the wheel well on the street side).

I hope those pointers help someone.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:06 AM   #18
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GammaDog,
Good (and scary) insights into the AS world of the A/C system. Since I have a ducted model, I suppose my only option is to access from the roof.
Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
< snip >... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.
I really, really, really don't want to get any "practice" doing this nonsense. I intend to find - and implement - an easy "fix" for this foolishness

Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. < snip >
Yep, that's not going to do a thing to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. < sanip >
This is so irritating. The Dometic people have done a good job of designing a pretty good drain system that - except on ultra-rare occassions - will not let any rogue condensate drain into your Airstream's insides. But, they failed to provide a SIMPLE way to deal with inevitable clogs - either partial or complete.

There is a simple fix:

Simply drill a 1/2" hole in the plastic cup, directly opposite the 'barbed drain fitting' that goes into the trailer. The hole can be filled for everyday use with a rubber plug (a couple of possibilities shown below).

Then, when a clog is suspected, or even for routine preventive maintenance, snap out the rubber plug and use the "reaming device" of your choice to be sure the opening is clear all the way across the cup and the exit drain (is ANYBODY following this?).

I'm going to do this... Dometic should have. No wrestling with dismantling the upper stuff... no removing the inside trim. Easy peasy.
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I run our AC in humid Florida even when storing the trailer in summer months. We encounter lots of AC drain issues including condensate running across the roof.

RFP described the removal procedure for the inside cover on unducted Penguin II roof units. Some fine points... the filters have to be removed before the cover will come off... the side deflectors do not need to be removed but with practice they can be opened just so and the screws will come out.

I do not subscribe to the "blast of air through the drain" approach. As noted above, there are two drain lines coming from the AC condensate pan. They join at a tee fitting that is visible and accessible when the inside cover is removed. If one line is blocked and the other is open, the blast of air will pass easily through the open side and do nothing to open the blocked side. Worse yet, if both sides are badly blocked there is a risk of blowing out the tube. Hopefully it will fail at that tee fitting which is easily reconnected. At worst it will fail inside a wall section. These being hand built trailers, only the ghost of Wally Byam knows what kinks, twists or unauthorized joints may be in those lines on any specific trailer!

I regularly remove the cover and separate the upper lines from the tee fitting. I run a smaller plastic tube (not a wire that might perforate a tube) through each of the three drain tubes. I have attached to that smaller tube the cap from a small dish soap bottle. For the worst clogs I add a small amount of bleach to water in the bottle that fits that cap and I flush the lines with that water. Use a bucket to catch the return drainage inside the trailer since the extra bleach can damage interior surfaces.

The top ends of those two drains are visible if the roof unit is disassembled far enough. The flushing can be done from there but I find it easier and safer from inside. I'm considering adding algicide packs to my unit the next time I disassemble the roof unit. Those are widely used in residential AC systems here in Florida. They might work in Dometic Penguins, too.

I have learned through trial and error that my trailer will drain best when perfectly level. IMO it is the AC, not the fridge that determines how level is "level enough" to camp. It is common for us to have condensate drain through the interior grille and onto the floor if the lines are not perfectly clear and the trailer is not perfectly level. If I have to err out of level, I prefer to be tongue high and street side low (my AC condensate drain ends in the wheel well on the street side).

I hope those pointers help someone.


Your post rings a lot of bells for me, here on the Tx Gulf Coast Iím seeing condensation off the roof, out of the intake screens, out of the drain tubes, and coming out of belt line trim over the battery compartment... all over...thanks for the tips
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:26 PM   #21
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After reading all this stuff, I stand by my "fix". Jim
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:53 PM   #22
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I have had a blocked drain tube several times over the years. Sometimes a couple times a year. I've reamed with weed whacker string and wire, I bought a fiberglass electric fish tape to ream with, blown with compressed air, sucked with a vacuum, cussed and sworn. None of this solve the issues that I have had, insects getting in the tube (spiders, mud dauber wasps, etc)

A few years ago I made a small purse out of fiberglass window screen. I slid that purse up onto the drain tube and used a screw clamp to hold it in place. That was on my Safari, 4 or 5 years ago. I did the same thing on my Excella 3 years ago. Neither trailer's drain tube has been blocked since I did this. The Excella has been towed a few thousand miles since, the Safari probably 15,000 to 20,000.
(by saying this publicly, I've probably jinxed myself and now both will be blocked )
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:54 AM   #23
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Crud grows in air conditioners in humid areas like VA and FL. I have always wished that the units were designed for easy cleaning. I have wondered whether it would be possible to remove the slide put filters and add bleach or some anti-fungal cleaner to the cups or tray that collects the condensation using a squeeze bottle with a 90į angled squirt tube (like coaches use to hydrate players during a time out).

Anyone know? I took the inside cover off once. Basically lots of pieces of gray plastic fell on my head, and everything I touched broke... HEAT or UV had just eaten the insides out. AND when I bought the EB from Colonial it was less than a year old... the compressor on the A/C blew at the dealership on my overnight there, Colonial pulled another A/C from a new trailer on their lot and put it in within a few hours (impressive service) and the incurable leak started about a year later... just AFTER the two year warranty ran out. I went to the mothership for a panel repair and an upgrade or two, and they did replace the innards for free since the A/C was itself a replacement unit. Lucky again... well not so much with the hit and run driver but
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:09 AM   #24
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Foiled Again: Many people here in the "humidity state" use AC condensate drip pan tablets in their homes. (check Amazon or Home Depot... many types available). In an earlier post in this thread I mentioned that I'm thinking of using them in the AS. They dissolve slowly in contact with water and kill algae to prevent its growth from blocking condensate drain lines. The problem is they dissolve... and need to be replenished. In a home AC unit where the condenser is often directly behind the filter (typical when the air handler is installed vertically in a garage) or is easy to access, the tabs are added when the filter is changed... you know... every month like the owners manual says!

I've only disassembled my topside unit far enough to see the cups where the tablets would have to be placed once. As of this afternoon when I install the replacement control board it will be twice, but I'm getting ahead of myself plus that will be a rant for a different post about the Dometic Penguin II... look for it.... it will be called "What's that burning smell and why is it so hot in here, but at least the AC isn't dripping anymore". I digress. Adding new tablets to the cups every 6 weeks through the cooling season in Florida (which runs January through December where we live) is probably worse than occasionally pulling the interior grille, popping the tee joint open and flushing the lines.

I'm intrigued by RFPs suggestion above about a cleaning port. It may be possible to expand on that to create a flushing port. Envision a combination of a new, small, plastics line to each of the drain cups combined with Foiled Again's squeeze bottle with approved AC algicide (they sell that for acute treatment while the tabs are for the chronic condition). With the flushing tubes plugged and hidden but easy to access and the solution in a bottle, it would be easy to give a monthly shot of cleaner and hopefully avoid the blockages.

I think we are talking ourselves toward some solutions. I like the forums! You know I'll be looking while I'm topside today.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:14 AM   #25
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Gammadog. Thanks for looking! I don't do Roof any more except when I can use a friend's scissor lift, which isnt often. Anything that could be adapted for inside treatment would be great.

So far the wet dry vac works so I don't have a solid plug, but to keep it that way I had better do it more often.

Paula
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:01 PM   #26
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Bummer

So, this morning, I drilled the curb side cup for a 1/2" well nut. The procedure is straightforward and dirt simple, and it works just as envisioned.

The ONLY problem is that I still have water on the roof from that side and I am 99.99% sure that I have a cracked drain cup outlet connector. Forum member GMFL had the same water-on-the-roof problem and lifted his A/C only to discover a cracked cup outlet. Again, I'm sure I suffer the same thing, and will have to lift the A/C to replace the busted-from-the-factory cup.

Bummer.

As for the "mod" to allow drain access (for cleaning OR for introducing bleach or whatever), it works perfectly (do it from a ladder, no need to go onto the roof). Here are some photos, including a couple of shots of my ladder, modified to give a nice padded support against the side of the Airstream.
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:05 AM   #27
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RFP: I see you're a rivet master (and from your ingenuity and sharing, I see why) so you probably know that Lewster posts a lot here including about AC leaks. I recall reading a post of his that described how Airstream uses a single gasket installation for the Penguin II while other RV manufacturers use Dometic's standard two-gasket approach. His belief expressed in that post was that many AS leaks would be avoided with the second gasket. If you have to pull your roof top unit anyway, you may want to look into that post to see if it makes sense to install the second gasket Lewster described.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:38 AM   #28
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RFP,
Nice work. Would you mind sharing a source and name for those plugs. Looks like the same size as live well plug, but have not seen that type with the SS screw.

GammaDog is correct about the two gaskets. Lewster recommended that to me. The cups on the AC I installed set about 1" above the metal. I wonder if contact with the roof (bounce/shock) while in transit might crack the plastic cup.
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