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Old 06-17-2017, 04:42 PM   #1
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New Dometic Penguin II 15k not working

Brand new 2017 30' with 15k (front) and 13.5k (rear) Dometic Penguin II ACs.

Both ACs worked great for 6 days on my trip from Colonial in NJ back to Denver Colorado. Unfortunately I am out camping this weekend and the front 15k has stopped producing cold air. Crud! Bummer!

The rear 13.5k unit continues to work VERY well, icy cold air, and at this point I have isolated it and am using it exclusively to push cold air throughout the trailer. The front 15k will only re-circulate room temperature air when isolated.

I thought I was going mad but it's obvious the front 15k is not working as there is no condensation from it's drain tube while the rear is producing puddles via it's drain tube. This was not the case last week when I was running the 15k overnight - it worked well, kept the trailer cool and water run off was definitely happening in the forward wheel well.

Troubleshooting thus far (it's about 75 degrees outside):

1. Got up top, remove cover on the AC unit
2. No obvious leaks in the system (would normally see oil in the pan if the copper lines had a leak I believe)
3. Forced AC to run in cool mode. Compressor does kick on and runs pulling between 8-9 amps @ 118v. Fan is pulling about 2 amps.
4. Copper line feeding the top of the compressor gets HOT but the copper line feeding the enclosed interior air exchange area is only mildly "cool" ... definetly not "cold"
5. Visualy inspected the start and run capacitors - the both look fine (no bulging or burnt connections) an obviously are functioning because the system fan and compressor are starting and running
6. Forced the unit to run the heat pump and same result - only room temperature air is circulated - no hot air being produced.
7. No errors on the CCC2 interior control unit.
8. Performed a system reset on the interior CCC2 control unit but no change.

I know I'm not going crazy because the rear 13.5k unit delivers ice COLD air when isolated / running but the front unit only seems to gently circulate room temperature air when it is in service and isolated in the system.

I am wondering if the reversing valve is jammed and stuck in a weird state? Not letting the system to flow in any given direction?

Not sure what else the problem could be.

Thoughts from those more schooled in AC repair than I?

This is under warrantee and I plan to contact Dometic on Monday.... but I was hoping to correct the issue quickly myself if possible (like replace a bad start or run capacitor) or at least diagnose the issue so I can minimize downtime and with a remote Dometic / RV repair service call.

Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:06 PM   #2
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My front 15k on my 17FC didn't work on our first trip. Luckily the rear worked fine. Took it back to the factory they replaced and said it had no freon. Works great now, like yours I could hear the compressor kick on, but would not cool.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:20 PM   #3
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Wulf,

Your point #3 has all of the evidence you need to determine the condition of your A/C unit.

The compressor should be drawing a minimum of 12-13 amps (more in high ambient outside temps) when operating with a full compliment of refrigerant. YOURS IS NOT! You will see the compressor running load on the data plate listed as 'Compressor FLA' or full load amps. The number on that data plate refers to the measured compressor draw at 90ºF and 75%relative humidity (if my memory serves me as to the standards). The amp draw drops slightly with every 10ºF drop in ambient and will rise accordingly as the ambient increases.

The 8 amp draw is very symptomatic of significant refrigerant loss, which is not necessarily visible with tell-tale compressor oil stains as the leak might be located within one of the coils. The low amp draw of the compressor indicates that the compressor is working against diminished resistance of a less than full system.

Time for a warranty replacement!

Sorry for the bad news...... any Dometic dealer should honor your warranty, but only Airstream dealers will really know how to remove/replace your unit without leaving dents in you roof or scratches on your sidewalls ........especially adding the drain cups properly so they don't leak!!!
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:05 PM   #4
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Thank you gentlemen. Bummer! I'll give the local AS dealer a call and see how backed up they are...
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:35 PM   #5
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Wulf,

Bummer! For what it's worth......

I just got a date of 7/11 as "first available for customers that bought from us", to fix my 1/2 inch door gap at top and awning lock alignment.....

That was in the email sent to me, so I guess they do prioritize based on local purchase....

They are swamped with repairs from the hail storm....
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:25 AM   #6
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New Dometic Penguin II 15k not working

Good grief. It's gonna be a hot summer if I wait on windish. I'll call them to double check.

I'm not sure I want them touching my trailer anyways. Might go a different path perhaps like a mobile RV repair service where I can participate to ensure there is no damage to my unit.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
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Call Airstream at Jackson Center to inquire about a mobile repair facility. Not all of the have the background on replacing an Airstream installed unit. You have overlapping warranties and a non Airstream facility while being able to replace a defective AC unit, there may be uniquely Airstream related installation issues, like the drip pan and condensate system that may be not addressed properly by someone not familiar with Airstream's.

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Old 06-18-2017, 11:46 AM   #8
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We have a 2016 AS Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk and recently had an issue with one of our Dometic AC Units (Zone 2 in the front of the AS). We would get an E7 error code. It turned out to be the surge protector we were using. Once we swapped it out with a backup surge protector we carry, the AC has worked fine.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:51 AM   #9
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Maybe call an hvac company to recharge your system and find the leak. Just to hold you over till you can warranty it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #10
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These Dometics cannot be charged, replacement is required.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:46 PM   #11
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New Dometic Penguin II 15k not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
Call Airstream at Jackson Center to inquire about a mobile repair facility. Not all of the have the background on replacing an Airstream installed unit. You have overlapping warranties and a non Airstream facility while being able to replace a defective AC unit, there may be uniquely Airstream related installation issues, like the drip pan and condensate system that may be not addressed properly by someone not familiar with Airstream's.

Jack


Thanks Jack - good advice similar to Lewster's. I'm frightened to bring it to windish (Denver RV and Airstream dealer) after some online research. I'm not sure they know what they are doing with airstreams....

I'll check in with JC.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:49 PM   #12
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New Dometic Penguin II 15k not working

Talked to the service manager at windish in CO springs. Chris is their airstream tech and is proficient in body work, etc. so I am going to take it there. July 17 appointment.

Windish in Denver told me "we give preference to our customers first, we are busy, the first appointment is sept 11th"

I did call JC and they gave me a reference. But when I called that reference they said they were slammed and really didn't work on airstreams that much...
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
Talked to the service manager at windish in CO springs. Chris is their airstream tech and is proficient in body work, etc. so I am going to take it there. July 17 appointment.

Windish in Denver told me "we give preference to our customers first, we are busy, the first appointment is sept 11th"

I did call JC and they gave me a reference. But when I called that reference they said they were slammed and really didn't work on airstreams that much...
wulfraat,

We're sorry to learn about the issue you're having with the second AC in your new Airstream. We'd like to escalate your issue with our Customer Service and Technical Support Team. Can you please direct message us with the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can create a case?

Thank you!
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:15 PM   #14
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My 13500 AC needs replaced on my 2016 Classic. It was replace once already on the road. I took it to a regular trailer place when I got home, that told me they would work on it. Well the Hensley Hitch was problem. Then the Airstream was a problem. And last was they told me I don't have a warranty. I guess they just didn't want to work on it.
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