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Old 09-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
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New Dometic unit will not cool 31 ft AS

My thermostat on an older Duo Therm Penguin AC/Heat Pump unit went out. The repair guy called Dometic and was told that there was no way to retro fit a new thermostat to unit and only option was to replace. I was none too happy to hear that a broken thermostat was going to wind up costing me $1300. Now the BIG Problem. The new 13,500 btu unit will not cool unit in TX heat. RV repair guy has been out twice and says it is dropping temp 25* across unit but interior temp climbed as high as 95* on Sat even with radiant barrier panels in all the windows. It was 105* outside but I never had this issue with old unit and highest it ever got would be mid 80s even if over 100* outside and no shade. Has anyone had same problem? Am I going to have to put another unit in 31AS? I can't deal with 95* interior temps. Do the new units really suck this bad? Thanks for any suggestions and help in advance. I am melting in the TX heat and there is no relief in site. 100* plus temps predicted all week.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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Was the old unit a 15K BTU?

Our 27' is at the very limit of a 13,500 BTU unit's capacity.

Our '81 International had a 15k unit and seemed better.




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Old 09-02-2013, 04:31 PM   #3
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The 1977 29' I had several years back had the original AC unit and it was listed as a 14,000 or 14,500 BTU. It wouldn't keep up either. I installed a 15,000 on our 26' and it does much better but in full sun it ain't no freezer inside.

Our 34' has a 13,500 and a 11,000, it does pretty good.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
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1981 31' Excella II
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You need a 15k BTU model and that is BS that they can't retrofit a newer thermostat or find something that will work. All a thermostat is, is a bimetal spring with a contact on it to turn the compression on and off. I put in a 15k BTU Dometic Briskair and it is working fine. When you are in full TX sun you need all the help you can get with awnings, window shades etc. Any sun facing window will let a bunch of heat in. Airstreams and trailers in general are poorly insulated and are extremely hard to cool in direct sun. I would consider putting your old unit in the back along with the new one in the front. Blocking off the section of the trailer your not using in the day will help as well. 15k BTU is the smallest you can get by with. Does not sound like you need a thermostat with the unit running full blast anyway.

Perry
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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That is what I was thinking also. Thnx for confirming
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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Personally I would raise hell and get my old unit back and a refund on the crap they installed. If they give you crap call the BBB. I would at very least make them install a 15K unit. I would also get my old unit back if they have not sold it yet.

Perry
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:13 PM   #7
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As every one has told you 13.5 unit cannot cool your trailer in very hot weather. 13.5 was marginal in my 27' Safari in 104 full sun conditions. Back in 2004 Airstream was still building with 13.5 air conditioners as standard equipment. After my experience with my Safari I paid $100 upgrade for the 15K unit at build time. Now I think the 31's and 30's come with 15K units as the standard. I can't believe that a Texas dealer wouldn't advise you to go with a 15k unit. You also might call Dometic and verify if that service man is on the up and up. Was the repair done by an Airstream dealer?

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Old 09-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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From what I have learned from numerous postings on ACs, and their cooling capability, is that going from a 13500 to 15000 is not going to help enough. If not in full shade, you will need two AC units in Texas for a 31'.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Not gonna work like you expect.

Yes, it "cools"... But not to the degree you expect. Our 15k btu unit dropped 25 degrees. But in 100 degrees that's no consolation.

Get another AC and it will be good.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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What has helped us in the past put the fan on high and at turn the thermostat down where the unit does not shut off at night. Starting the day like this can help.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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Think although the old 13.5 unit did a better job I am going to have to get a second unit to make it color in TX summer.
I am hoping I have AC guy that can hot wire my old AC unit to serve as second unit.
Thanks too all.
Andy
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:29 PM   #12
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New unit should cool at least as well as the old unit did.

Some things you can do.

-close off bedroom during the day.
-close off the bathroom
-reduce heat loss at all windows, skylights and vents using shades, cellular blinds, drapes, insulation, whatever works.
-use fan to circulate cool air.
-use awnings.
-don't use stove
-don't use lights. Switch to LED bulbs.
-don't keep fridge too cold
-make sure fridge exhaust area is sealed from trailer interior.
-monitor temperature to see what is working to lower the air temperature.

Good luck. Our son lives in Fort Worth.

Dan
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinAir View Post
Think although the old 13.5 unit did a better job I am going to have to get a second unit to make it color in TX summer.
I am hoping I have AC guy that can hot wire my old AC unit to serve as second unit.
Thanks too all.
Andy
Any AC guy who knows what he's doing should at least be able to wire the old unit for the compressor to run constantly when you're in Hi AC or Lo AC settings. It's not like in Austin in the summer you'd ever need the compressor to cycle off on your auxiliary unit... if it happens to get too cool one evening a week or so, you can just turn the old one off and let it rest for a few hours until the sun comes up again.

(Written in Fort Worth, TX where it's 96F at 20:05.)
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:45 PM   #14
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What about that special white paint they put on the roof to reflect the sun? Does it do much?
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