Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-12-2015, 08:59 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 767
Hooray! I have AC again!

So today I installed a new Dometic Penguin II to replace the barely out of warranty one that failed on me. It was actually a pretty simple swap. Of course it helped a lot that I have a friend with a fork lift to get the old one down and the new one up. My son and I had no problem making the swap.

But......

It's a good thing I still had the installation manual that came in the big bag of Airstream stuff when I took delivery. There was no documentation in the box except for the warranty card.

And Lewster had warned me that Dometic would only send 3 bolts and that I would need 4. Wrong. I only needed 3 for my air distribution box, but the new AC came with exactly none.

I did add the second gasket as Dometic and Lewster recommended. I now have a quieter unit that puts out colder air than the old one ever did.

Thanks for the help Lew!!!

Oh and as Lewster also recommended I immediately signed up for the extra 3 years on the warranty.
__________________

__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2015, 09:04 PM   #2
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,940
Images: 59
Was the original AC an older Penguin, or was it a Penguin II. What failed on the first one?
__________________

__________________
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 767
It was a Penguin II. Loss of Refrigerant.
__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2015, 10:30 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
So today I installed a new Dometic Penguin II to replace the barely out of warranty one that failed on me. It was actually a pretty simple swap. Of course it helped a lot that I have a friend with a fork lift to get the old one down and the new one up. My son and I had no problem making the swap.

But......

It's a good thing I still had the installation manual that came in the big bag of Airstream stuff when I took delivery. There was no documentation in the box except for the warranty card.

And Lewster had warned me that Dometic would only send 3 bolts and that I would need 4. Wrong. I only needed 3 for my air distribution box, but the new AC came with exactly none.

I did add the second gasket as Dometic and Lewster recommended. I now have a quieter unit that puts out colder air than the old one ever did.

Thanks for the help Lew!!!

Oh and as Lewster also recommended I immediately signed up for the extra 3 years on the warranty.
Dave,

Glad that you got it done! BTW, While Dometic still ships only 3 bolts with new units (they actually are included with either a single zone thermostat kit OR with the lower air distribution box kit and NOT with the upper unit itself), I have found that the sealing gasket (or gaskets when you use the drain kit), especially when considering the curved Airstream roof, does not properly seal with only 3 bolts.

There are 2 more places for bolts located near the outer edge of the rear bracing bar in a direct line rearward from the forward 2 mounting bolts. I use 4 exclusively, even though Dometic only ships 3!

I have never had a call-back due to water leaks from a roof A/C.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2015, 10:35 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Dave,

Glad that you got it done! BTW, While Dometic still ships only 3 bolts with new units (they actually are included with either a single zone thermostat kit OR with the lower air distribution box kit and NOT with the upper unit itself), I have found that the sealing gasket (or gaskets when you use the drain kit), especially when considering the curved Airstream roof, does not properly seal with only 3 bolts.

There are 2 more places for bolts located near the outer edge of the rear bracing bar in a direct line rearward from the forward 2 mounting bolts. I use 4 exclusively, even though Dometic only ships 3!

I have never had a call-back due to water leaks from a roof A/C.
Thanks Lew.
I guess I'll head to the hardware store and find another bolt.
__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 12:41 AM   #6
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
Thanks Lew.
I guess I'll head to the hardware store and find another bolt.
They are 1/4-20. Dometic supplies them at 5" with 6" and 9" also available. I have some with me. Let me know if you can't find something suitable and I'll send you one!
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 09:41 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
They are 1/4-20. Dometic supplies them at 5" with 6" and 9" also available. I have some with me. Let me know if you can't find something suitable and I'll send you one!
You're the best Lewster!!!
__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
Glenn T's Avatar
 
2011 20' Flying Cloud
Lemont , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 69
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
So today I installed a new Dometic Penguin II to replace the barely out of warranty one that failed on me.
I'm having a problem with the Dometic unit on my 2011 Airstream, and I'm VERY upset about it. The unit was seldom used, and the local dealer wants $250 just to look at it.

The likely cause is refrigerant leak, and in case you didn't know, Dometic air conditioners are NON-REPAIRABLE, which seems crazy - I've had my cars recharged since the 1970's.

I've done some calling around, and have found an HVAC company in Wisconsin that will look at the unit for $150, and claims they can add a fitting to Dometic AC's to add refrigerant. The AS dealer wanted $1,500 price for a new unit (not including installation!), but this place can install a new one for $1,200.

The question is... Why would I want another Dometic if this one failed so soon and is technically non-repairable?

Is there a better option out there that is more reliable and repairable?

Glenn
__________________
Glenn T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 04:38 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,411
Images: 5
I got a weird feeling that the Penguins are going to wind up included in this recall. Seems like folks are coming out of the woodwork with "loss of coolant" issues.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 05:33 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
daveswenson's Avatar
 
2012 28' International
Issaquah , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 767
Mission Accomplished. The fourth bolt has been added. I'm amazed at how quiet and how well this one works. Obviously my old one was bad from the beginning. I sure hope this one holds up. But I'm glad I have the extended warranty.
__________________
Dave

2014 Ram 2500 CTD
Pro Pride
Centramatics
daveswenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 08:55 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn T View Post
I'm having a problem with the Dometic unit on my 2011 Airstream, and I'm VERY upset about it. The unit was seldom used, and the local dealer wants $250 just to look at it.



The likely cause is refrigerant leak, and in case you didn't know, Dometic air conditioners are NON-REPAIRABLE, which seems crazy - I've had my cars recharged since the 1970's.



I've done some calling around, and have found an HVAC company in Wisconsin that will look at the unit for $150, and claims they can add a fitting to Dometic AC's to add refrigerant. The AS dealer wanted $1,500 price for a new unit (not including installation!), but this place can install a new one for $1,200.



The question is... Why would I want another Dometic if this one failed so soon and is technically non-repairable?



Is there a better option out there that is more reliable and repairable?



Glenn

Glenn,

There are no valves to enable a tech to add refrigerant to your Dometic ( or any other RV air conditioner. Even if you find someone who will add valves ( there should always be TWO valves on any air conditioner), you still have to find and repair the original leak.

$150 is outrageous to test the amperage draw of the compressor to get the definitive answer to whether your unit has leaked refrigerant!! The test literarily takes 10 minutes.

And if these guys only want to add one valve to your system to 'give it a shot of Freon' as the saying goes.... I would RUN from the place as fast as possible.

I have seen many 'repair' jobs like yours that leak out again within two to three months.

A new unit with the extended warranty would be far more cost effective......... but it's your trailer and your dime.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2015, 09:50 PM   #12
Regular Guy
 
NavyCorpsman's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 572
This is a really cool thread.......
__________________
NavyCorpsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 03:00 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
Glenn T's Avatar
 
2011 20' Flying Cloud
Lemont , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 69
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
$150 is outrageous to test the amperage draw of the compressor to get the definitive answer to whether your unit has leaked refrigerant!! The test literarily takes 10 minutes.

And if these guys only want to add one valve to your system to 'give it a shot of Freon
$150 was the CHEAPEST rate I could find, the AS dealer here in Chicago wanted $250!

I've asked RV dealers about installing ANYTHING but a Dometic AC, but they don't think it's possible due to the Dometic furnace and Dometic thermostat.

In order to get a quality, repairable, dependable AC, I may need to replace my thermostat and furnace as well as the AC. After reading about Penguin II failures online, I'm extremely upset that AS chose Dometic as their supplier.

I should know by the end of the week if I can get around this problem - I'll keep you posted.

Glenn
__________________
Glenn T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 04:40 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn T View Post
$150 was the CHEAPEST rate I could find, the AS dealer here in Chicago wanted $250!



I've asked RV dealers about installing ANYTHING but a Dometic AC, but they don't think it's possible due to the Dometic furnace and Dometic thermostat.



In order to get a quality, repairable, dependable AC, I may need to replace my thermostat and furnace as well as the AC. After reading about Penguin II failures online, I'm extremely upset that AS chose Dometic as their supplier.



I should know by the end of the week if I can get around this problem - I'll keep you posted.



Glenn

Glenn,

Unfortunately, your search for a 'repairable' A/C unit for your trailer will be fruitless, as such a device does not exist. NONE of the present manufacturers make a unit with process valves for refrigerant or even have major parts like coils or compressors available.

You can switch to another another RV unit like RVP/ Coleman and rewire your trailer for their digital thermostat, but the STILL are not repairable.

And BTW, either a Dometic or RVP with digital thermostat can accommodate ANY RV furnace like Atwood or Suburban.


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center
Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
541-490-6357
__________________

__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hooray for Zip Dee! Hoonanea Awnings 1 01-11-2014 10:49 AM
Logging In Again and Again and Again Secguru Forum Admin, News and Member Account Info 4 11-01-2010 12:15 PM
hooray! the outlets work! bookman Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 2 08-07-2008 09:29 PM
Hooray! Newbies w/ 2009 Classic Hhthorny Member Introductions 10 06-04-2008 05:33 PM
Battery Dead - Again & Again eraffety Airstream Motorhome Forums 10 11-02-2002 12:03 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.