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Old 06-26-2015, 10:49 PM   #1
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2016 30' Flying Cloud
Port Saint Lucie , Florida
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Dometic 651816C851C0 Air Conditioner

On a Nov 2014 purchase of a 2015 model Flying Cloud 27FB. Yes another AC fail whilst on an extended vacation. We are in West Yellowstone and its Friday NIGHT!

The ac seems to fire up but will not cool. Air Blows but at cabin temperature. We also get an occasional sweetish smell. I suspect a leak from some sort of line break

I understand it will be covered by warranty of some sort but I'm keen to get a handle on any similar issues with this model year. It could be a bad install or a bad unit. Repair time is the prime objective as my wife is in remission right now but heat really knocks her out.

I'll call airstream on Monday and dometic but fear being bounced between the two. Any experienced suggestions would really be welcome.

Thanks in advance, Brian

on edit 15,000 btu 30amp

furnace works as does fan contolls
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:20 PM   #2
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Well, here is the follow up.

Yes the unit is broken and not repairable and yes it is somewhere in the refrigerant lines. Dometic are shipping a replacement unit for Thursday and it will be installed Friday, all going to plan that is.

However, a few additional comments. The repair shop has had a rash of these models failing, fairly new model, and Dometic sending replacements. reasonable of them I know.

However Airstream were less than interested in hearing about this. I understand their warranty etc etc but they do, in my opinion anyway, carry some responsibility to monitor and take up with Dometic any fails of the equipment they buy and install on their units. I wonder if they know that these units are not always reliable? From today's issues, they have no way of knowing and do not seem to care. Unless of course Dometic report these to them. One can live in hope!

Brian and Esta

Brian
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:17 AM   #3
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Hey Brian,

After being in the RV business for 15 years, I have seen a general decline in the overall quality of the componentry used in modern RVs, with some very specific exceptions.

Air conditioners are at the top of the list. It seems that regardless of where they are assembled ( Dometic is a huge international company that sources parts from all over the world) whether it's Mexico (Dometic had a plant there until a catastrophic fire destroyed it in the mid 2000s ...IIRC), The USA (They replaced the Mexican plant with one in the USA..... and overall quality went DOWN strangely enough!!!) to China, where the newer units are assembled.

The most frequently occurring failure seems to be refrigerant leaks caused by bad soldering. Given the number of units that Dometic sells every year, one would think that they would take advantage of robotic technology to assure that all welds and solder joints are done properly and to a higher specification. This is obviously not the case, or you would not be replacing your unit so soon.

I have owned 3 diesel pushers (9 years total) and a new 19CCD (6 years) and interestingly enough, I never had an A/C problem other that a few capacitors and a couple of relay board swaps to facilitate the installation of a newer thermostat.

Over the course of a typical winter in FL where I do some RV service work along with my solar installations and electrical upgrades, I replace 15-25 roof units during the typical 4 month 'season' there. A large majority are done under warranty.....meaning that the units are within either the 3 year basic Dometic warranty or 5 year optional warranty period. That statistic alone should be an eye opener for Dometic!

I hope your replacement goes well and according to schedule.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:17 AM   #4
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
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The same Dometic 15k unit failed in the same way on our 2014 Airstream last November at 13 months old........Airstream knows about the failures because they have to approve the dealer swap under warranty.

And Lewster is right on poor component quality as our Dometic fridge also failed at 9 months old........ These poor quality components are what we've struggled with most, not what Airstream builds (which we are very happy with).


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Old 06-30-2015, 05:29 AM   #5
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I do not see why AS would care at all. Dometic seems to be the biggest brand for A/C, by far, and AS can claim that these units can be serviced or replaced by many RV dealers all over the country. Sounds good until you have one of the failed units. This sort of thing along with other reported failures, on this forum, create a big cloud of uncertainty about RV ownership. I usually fix most mechanical/electrical problems myself but replacing an A/C unit is beyond my physical capability anymore. I do not look forward to the inevitable visit to an RV service facility somewhere.
I never had this sort of cloud over the ownership of several sailboats, all of better quality than RV's, seemingly.
Larry
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:32 AM   #6
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Final Follow Up and info on Quitestream

Well its replaced and working thanks to Mr RV Fixit at West Yellowstone (seasonal business). He went more than the extra mile for us.

He contacted Airstream and found out a special kit containing gaskets, drain pipes and drip pans are needed for these a/c units due to the Quitestream system. A direct swap out is not possible without the kit.

So I post this for information hoping this post and others reading this post can help and inform any other owners with this issue.

In summary, the a/c was replaced under warranty but it takes time to ship and Airstream overnighted, free of charge, the kit.

Brian
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
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Airstream has been using that Dometic auxiliary drain kit for about 4 years now. The finally decided to ditch their proprietary plastic drain pan and it's associated problems of cracking and lreaking and joined the rest of the RV manufacturers by using Dometic's drip kit.

The STILL do not install them properly though!!!!!

Airstream orders their roof units with NO GASKET and have been doing so for many years. They used to simply apply a bit of double sided sealing tape to the drip pan and then set the A/C unit onto that, as the drip pan was bonded to the roof with huge gobs of SikaFlex.

In any other installation, Dometic ships their roof units with a gasket attached, as does every other roof A/C manufacturer. The drip kit consists of a SECOND gasket, 2 drip cups and tubing to connect into the interior drain line, along with some other foam blocking for the rear of the base pan.

Airstream chooses to NOT USE this second gasket, which provides clearance for the drip cups to not be smashed onto the roof, as is evident with every Airstream installation.
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