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Old 01-04-2016, 09:48 AM   #1
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1990 29' Excella
Ft. Myers , Florida
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New AC unit estimate

I'm looking to replace an AC unit in a 1990 Excella that I am renovating. I want to install a wall stat that will kick the unit on in extreme temps when I am gone. The current unit is the original and out of date and on its last leg. The estimate I received was a bit higher than I expected, so I just wanted to get some feedback on the quote.
Thank for your replies!...

$ 1,489.48 New Dometic Low Profile, heat pump , non ducted ( upper unit )
$ 168.48 New ceiling assay for Low profile A/ C unit
$ 75.00 Shipping on A/C unit
$ 500.00 Labor to install new A/C unit, and rewire A/C and install new T-stat by other T-stat
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Well, you could save about $400 by buying your heat pump from PPL RV. Their 15k Penguin low profile HP units are on sale right now, and shipping is quite reasonable. The labor seems a little high, but I figure a good RV tech is going to chart around $100/hr, and I suppose this could be a 5 hr job.

good luck!
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:12 PM   #3
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I bought a new Penguin II, 15K low profile and new thermostat from Camping World in July 2014. Cost about $1200 plus $75 shopping. Did not have to buy a new air handler which was around $100. Had the old 13.5K removed and the new one installed for $200. Was going to install it myself but for $200 why bother.

Your labor cost seems too high to me. Shop around I believe you can also find the Penguin for less also.
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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PPL always has great prices, strongly advise getting on their email list. Camping World is usually very competitive for most items, but you can't beat there installation pricing.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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On our 1999 Excella (34') when I checked the 'center' AC/Heat Pump, the hole in the roof was NOT properly 'blocked'/supported... be sure to address the while doing your upgrade!
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:38 AM   #6
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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Sounds about right. We had to replace our A/C last year and had additional labor related to creating an opening for the new A/C in the roof because the original Armstrong unit required only a small hole in the roof. The larger opening required signifiant reinforcement both to hold the weight of the A/C and also to keep it stable during towing. In the end it was the old rule of thumb - cost of material / appliance X 2 for full installation. I will say however that, for us, it was well worth it. Also get a pump unit to pump out the drip pan during operation
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:50 AM   #7
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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One thing more - if anyone out there is replacing an old Armstrong unit (they can be rebuilt I am told - the compressor and condenser but the cost is significant and no guarantee how long it will work) spend a lot of time thinking about the modification required for a new unit in terms of the work done to create the opening for the new unit. There is signifiant and precise cutting and fitting that has to be done both inside and outside. I don't have the equipment nor the skills to do that work and was fortunate that I have a mechanic who has done multiple AS shell off restores who was willing to do the work. He did a fantastic job and took his time. If I tried to do it I know it would not have turned out at all.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:11 PM   #8
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1990 29' Excella
Ft. Myers , Florida
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Thank you for the replies everyone....I called Camping World for an estimate on parts alone and it came back even higher than my original quote. Apparently they were accounting for additional items needed for Airstreams:


PENQUIN II HEAT PUMP - DOMETIC REPAIR PARTS (component parts) #651916CXX1C0
1,604.88
$1,604.88
1
DISC
Discount - PENQUIN II HEAT PUMP - DOMETIC REPAIR PARTS (component parts) 651916CXX1C0 - 1111
($160.49)
1
67291
[X]

T-STAT LCD WHT #3313193.000
44.99
$44.99
1
69942
[X]

Universal Air Distribution Box for ACs with Wall Mount Thermostat #3314850.000
101.00
$101.00
1
68533
[X]

SYSTEM-DRAIN #3107688.016
64.99
$64.99
1




Shipping Charges

$167.44



Im wondering if I could save money and just bypass having a wall stat and purchase a unit with a digital thermostat included on the ceiling unit that I can set to shut on and off the AC or Heat in extreme temps??
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:30 PM   #9
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Replaced my 13.5k Dometic AC this past year at almost exactly these costs. It hurt. jon
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:42 AM   #10
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Nauvoo , Alabama
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May sound like a lot, but, having to replace both AC and heater in a 67 - sound rather like a very good deal and now I know it pays to read the daily post.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:35 AM   #11
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If your roof cutout is properly braced, then swapping AC units should be a piece of cake. The hardest part is getting the old one off the roof and the new one on the roof. However if you are able bodied and creative there are ways to work smarter and not harder and get it done. Fishing a wire down the wall for a T-stat would be more tedious than anything. I'd say that labor is easily worth $250 range by a small RV repair tech operation who is set up to do this efficiently, and easily $500+ for a larger shop.

HOWEVER..... Is your 1990 is setup and properly braced for the current/ modern style roof top AC? My 1976 was not. It was quite a job to erase the remnants of the original AC, and brace the opening for the new style. AND mine was empty with interior skins removed.... If a dealer or large shop were to do that job, I'd bet it could easily get up to $1,000+ in labor pretty quick.

Check craigslist for local RV AC guys. Some of them buy dealer takeoffs (upgrades & warranty units) and make a whole business out of service and installation of RV rooftop units.

Now that I've got mine braced up, when the time comes to swap a new one, it should only be a matter of the 4 bolts that clamp it to the roof. (assuming I can find a proper tree or something to hoist it up )

Online is a good place to find better pricing. You can also ask your 1st estimate if they can do better on the pricing? Or I've found new/ warranty units on craigslist for $400-$500 range.

Good luck!
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:01 AM   #12
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1965 30' Sovereign
1969 23' Safari
Redgranite , Wisconsin
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kdickinson. Would you share your source- mechanic for Armstrong replacement. Sounds like they know what they are doing. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:45 PM   #13
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1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
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Try colaw Rv Carthage missourri.they are on line. Bought a new domestic 15000 but for 599 in the box with the fueling unit. Went down to home depot and rented 2 sections of scaffold to put by trailor to work off of. Took approx 2 hours to change with one person to help.good luck.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUeyedoc View Post
Thank you for the replies everyone....I called Camping World for an estimate on parts alone and it came back even higher than my original quote. Apparently they were accounting for additional items needed for Airstreams:


PENQUIN II HEAT PUMP - DOMETIC REPAIR PARTS (component parts) #651916CXX1C0
1,604.88
$1,604.88
1
DISC
Discount - PENQUIN II HEAT PUMP - DOMETIC REPAIR PARTS (component parts) 651916CXX1C0 - 1111
($160.49)
1
67291
[X]

T-STAT LCD WHT #3313193.000
44.99
$44.99
1
69942
[X]

Universal Air Distribution Box for ACs with Wall Mount Thermostat #3314850.000
101.00
$101.00
1
68533
[X]

SYSTEM-DRAIN #3107688.016
64.99
$64.99
1




Shipping Charges

$167.44



Im wondering if I could save money and just bypass having a wall stat and purchase a unit with a digital thermostat included on the ceiling unit that I can set to shut on and off the AC or Heat in extreme temps??
I'm sure you want to see this! Being a factory authorized Dometic dealer and service center, I am looking directly at my new US Dealer price book:

• Heat pump 651916CXX1C0 SUGGESTED RETAIL…………$1380.00
• Thermostat 3313193.000…………………………………………………… 36.52
• Universal ADB 3314850.000………………………………………………127.24
• System drain kit 3107688.016……………………….……………………54.79

Looks like their pricing is significantly higher than Dometic's suggested MSRP with the exception of the ADB. They also get their units with free shipping as they are a very large volume dealer.

'Im wondering if I could save money and just bypass having a wall stat and purchase a unit with a digital thermostat included on the ceiling unit that I can set to shut on and off the AC or Heat in extreme temps??" According to the pricing guide, there are no Penguin II models that accept manual controls on the unit as all of them must either use the CCC-II or the single zone thermostat.

You need to use the Brisk Air II heat pump unit if you really want to have analog controls located on the bottom of the ADB (air distribution box). The Brisk Air II is a significantly taller unit.

The only low profile unit that can operate with manual controls directly on the unit is an RVP/Coleman Mach 8, which is 2" shorter than the Penguin II.

Questions??
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