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Old 03-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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Dometic Penguin or Coleman Polar Cub for 1967 Caravel??

Can those of you with experience changing out your AC help here? I am debating whether to use the 9000 btu Coleman Polar Cub with a built in drain hook up or the Dometic Penguin 11,000 btu which needs a pan from Airstream. The Coleman is slightly cheaper. Should I use a wall thermostat or is it unnecessary? What's your recommendation??
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the Polar Cub. We have used Dometics now for several years and have had no problems. What type is currently on your trailer? If you can get a similar replacement it may be easier on the installation.

We had wall thermostats on our current and previous trailer. Before that we didn't. I prefer the thermostat because it maintains a more constant temperature.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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I have the original Armstrong Bay Breeze on it now. Looking to install an entirely new unit.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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Dometic makes a drain kit that is reportedly cheaper than the Airstream one.

Check the threads on changing from an Armstrong as it's involved.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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I have owned both Coleman and Dometic and I will tell you that the fan in the Dometic makes twice the noise of the Coleman. It is so loud it drives us nuts.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #6
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That post about the fan is the kind of thing that is priceless. So is the Dometic that you have that has the loud fan a Penguin????
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:40 PM   #7
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Is your Dometic that has the loud fan a Penguin??
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #8
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I thought the post was regarding a Dometic Penguin, therefore I was refering to a Penguin. Did I go off course somehow?
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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I was trying to compare the Dometic Penguin with the Coleman Polar Cub. So, you are saying the Penguin is noisy. That's good to know.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:11 AM   #10
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Dometic makes an auxiliary drip kit that will eliminate the need for a drain pan. I use these on the larger motor homes that use internal tubing for condensate drains so the roof stays dry.

The Dometic part number is 3107688.016 and adds 2 catch cups to the drain holes in the pan, tubing to join them and all fasteners and clamps as well as a second bottom gasket that raises the unit slightly so the new drain cups will clear the roof.

As far as noise, remember that both units have the evaporator blower right above the ceiling grill, so you WILL be hearing a good bit of noise. Both are equally noisy, unless someone gets an actual dB reading and can compare the noise levels.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:29 AM   #11
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My husband & son installed a Dometic Penguin in my daughter's Argosy last summer. There were issues from the get go with an electronic thermostat that could only be fixed through a dealer. It took forever for them to figure out what was wrong with it. That aside, the newer units (unlike my old A/C) turn completely on/off when they reach the temperature desired. That means the whole fan turns off too. So, when you're sleeping, the unit comes on (not a quite noise) and then, once you're used to the noise & sleeping again, it shuts down. (I know all this because I heard all the complaining from her!). I'd much rather have continuous noise where the fan runs continuously & the compressor comes on as needed. Just my two cents!
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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Have maybe 300 hours on my Dometic 15K heat pump and could not be happier. It replaced an older coleman. The fan can be set to run continuously with the compressor kicking in and out, it cools and heats well, they ALL make fan noise, and it boils down to service, installation, and price.............God bless......Dennis
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
My husband & son installed a Dometic Penguin in my daughter's Argosy last summer. There were issues from the get go with an electronic thermostat that could only be fixed through a dealer. It took forever for them to figure out what was wrong with it. That aside, the newer units (unlike my old A/C) turn completely on/off when they reach the temperature desired. That means the whole fan turns off too. So, when you're sleeping, the unit comes on (not a quite noise) and then, once you're used to the noise & sleeping again, it shuts down. (I know all this because I heard all the complaining from her!). I'd much rather have continuous noise where the fan runs continuously & the compressor comes on as needed. Just my two cents!
Becky,

If you have the Comfort Control Center (CCC) electronic thermostat with your Penguin, there should be 3 fan settings (some units have 4) that are low, (medium) high and auto. In the auto mode, the fan and the compressor both stop when the thermostat is satisfied. In the high/low setting, the fan continues to run and the compressor cycles as needed according to the ambient temperature in the room and the setting on the CCC.

If have the CCC and it doesn't work like this, you need a new CCC, as yours is defective and should be replaced. And BTW, I am a factory authorized Dometic service center.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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A couple random thoughts-

The Polar Cub may be able (no guarantees) to run on 2000 Honda inverter generator. I've seen reports of success with that combo. The Penguin has higher starting and running current draw.

The Penguin, in my opinion, is the most attractive and sleek looking of all the roof air units. I'd buy it for this reason alone. They look great on all the RVs they're installed on.

Both Penguin and Cub units I owned used the built in thermostat, and both work well.

I've had both the noise is similar. Rather innocuous white noise from both. But if one is quieter, its probably the Coleman.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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A Honda 2000 will definately run the Polar Cub for extended periods, but you may need to change the start capacitor in the A/C unit. The new capacitor is called a SPP6E and is quite easy to install. It greatly decreases the start current required for the Cub compressor. The new capacitor will also allow you to run your A/C from a 15 amp house circuit. I don't know about the Penguin. I opened up the electrical box on my Penguin and almost immediately closed it right back up! It was quite complex compared to the Cub and I decided not to upgrade the start capacitor not knowing if the new capacitor would allow the A/C to run with the Honda 2000 or not. Contact me if you need a SSP6E! I have one. Does anyone know if the new start capacitor will install into the Penguin?
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mhilley View Post
A Honda 2000 will definately run the Polar Cub for extended periods, but you may need to change the start capacitor in the A/C unit. The new capacitor is called a SPP6E and is quite easy to install. It greatly decreases the start current required for the Cub compressor. The new capacitor will also allow you to run your A/C from a 15 amp house circuit. I don't know about the Penguin. I opened up the electrical box on my Penguin and almost immediately closed it right back up! It was quite complex compared to the Cub and I decided not to upgrade the start capacitor not knowing if the new capacitor would allow the A/C to run with the Honda 2000 or not. Contact me if you need a SSP6E! I have one. Does anyone know if the new start capacitor will install into the Penguin?
Not to be a contrarian, but don't you suppose that if your new capacitor was a solution to hard starting that the designers and manufacturers of these units would have provided them when they built these units? Also, I can tell you from experience, that you WILL void your factory warranty if you change the start capacitor or any other component in a new roof A/C unit......both RVP and Dometic (I am a factory authorized service center for both OEMs).

I also have just finished installing a new RVP 15K roof air in a Winnebago as an auxiliary unit. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of overpowering noise from the evaporator fan.........and it sure got COLD in there in a hurry. Nice very low profile design also with integrated drain apparatus and condensate pump, eliminating the need for drain pans of other contraptions. RVP units are also made right here in the good old USA!!!

I'm sure that the cub will be much quieter, but I would question the cooling capacity of an 8K unit in an aluminum trailer on a 90* day in the hot sun. One reason to go for a bigger unit.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:14 PM   #17
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I totally agree with you that the change will probably void the warranty but.... I have installed the SPP6E in my unit and three others and in all four cases the A/C would run perfectly with the Honda 2000, whereas they would not run without the larger capacitor. (The compressor would bog down the generator) I don't know why the manufacturer doesn't install the larger capacitor except that it might cost them a few more monies. As a repairman, you probably see a lot of things done by the manufacturer that really surprise you. I guess the proof is in the pudding!
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:31 PM   #18
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Perhaps the Honda should have the capacitor, not the AC. It may be important to view the generator output waveform for correct RMS voltage, and peak voltage. The capacitor may help improve the generator regulation, it may also result in undesired peak supply voltage. A scope is helpful in making the measurements.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #19
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Perhaps the Honda should have the capacitor, not the AC. It may be important to view the generator output waveform for correct RMS voltage, and peak voltage. The capacitor may help improve the generator regulation, it may also result in undesired peak supply voltage. A scope is helpful in making the measurements.
Welcome to the forum.
Why would Honda, which has one of, if not the cleanest power outputs of any generator in the world, start putting capacitors on their generators to compensate for an air conditioner compressor? What would that do to people's electronics when they plug in their televisions and computers?
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:08 PM   #20
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Just installed a Polar Club in a 18 footer. The Honda 2000 ran the air great for hours even in Eco mode. We are very happy with the size and low noise level even on high. Just wished it had a three speed fan.
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