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Old 06-18-2018, 08:43 AM   #1
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"Smoke" from the AC unit...

Ok...so...let me carefully explain what I know.

I was down in gulf state park all last week...in my 2014 30fc bunk with my family...had no problems the whole week...yesterday, I was packing up...it was humid and hot...wife was inside the trailer with kids prepping..i was sweating my a$$ off doing outside stuff, including dumping the tanks (which my 7 year old 1 hour later took a dump in the trailer, requiring to repeat that procedure )...anyway, I wait to unplug the power till the very last thing before departure....and as such...we unplugged...the ac thermostat was still on for both front and rear AC units...but when you cut off the breaker (which I did before unplugging), then unplugged...at some point we saw passing by near our airstream what looked kinda like maybe condensation mist over even smoke...then didn't see it again...looked around...didn't think much about it then...maybe someone had a fire nearby? no smell either though...finished up though...pulled off...stopped off at the dump station on the way out due to 7 year old unscheduled deposit....as I started that process...member on here "BassCan" - she and her husband (sorry yall, I am horrible, already forgot your names)...came over and said they were concerned our front AC unit was "smoking"...then I was CONCERNED.....

Well, indeed, I saw this faint "smoke" again...no smell...I was not on power...I went and clicked off the batter connect button just in case (the inverter was not on, and I don't think it feeds to the AC anyway)...and the thermostat was off btw as well, turned it off after powering down back at the site.

the "smoke" stopped almost as fast as it was detected this second time.

Inside the AS, there was no smoke, no odor....no marks of any sort...I have not gotten on the roof, planning on that tonight...

I have NOT tried hooking it back up to run the AC again.


It may be my inner optimist, but it must be just a weird kinda example of condensation? ice building up on the unit? ever see something like that.

Point of reference too...I use a progressive industries surge/voltage monitor thingie always...did have some pretty intense storms this past week as far as lightning once, power cut off once and recycled to the AS, no problems coming back on though...

Anyway, before I plug back in, I kinda want to get up there and maybe take the AC cover off and look around...just not sure what to look for besides, I don't know, evidence of something burning?

THe lack of smell inside or outside as this was happening makes me quite hopeful this is all just a mountain out of a molehill...
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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I should add that the quality of the "smoke" that was viewed was thin...without any color I could perceive...basscan saw it, im hoping they see this post to add what they saw with any detail...gonna get up there and look under the AC cover today.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:05 AM   #3
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Since it was hot outside, it's not likely going to be condensation unless your AC unit switched to "heat pump" mode for some odd reason--assuming it has one.

One possible scenario is that the fan motor or one of your capacitors is having an issue. That could explain thin 'smoke' and the fact that the motor and capacitors are outside, under the shroud, and the AC does not push much if any outside air into your AS, that could explain the lack of smell...

Another possibility for thin, colorless 'smoke' could be a pinhole leak in the sealed system venting off Freon...that would be really bad news. Freon typically has very little odor--it usually smells very faintly of compressor oil.

A thorough inspection under the shroud is in order, including a careful functional test while the cover is off. You are looking for signs of overheating, toasted-looking wiring, color changes, bulges or leaks in your start and run capacitor cans, etc.

Wispy 'smoke' is not a good indication, and could be a warning of something getting ready to fail in a spectacular manner...so inspect closely and thoroughly...

And as always, if you are not sure exactly what you are looking at, post lots of pictures...
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:38 AM   #4
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Photos to come asap!
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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Be sure to get access to and pictures of the inside of the electrical enclosure in the AC unit--the wiring, push-on connectors, relays, and capacitors live inside that box...and that's one place to look for many of the issues I mentioned...
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:18 AM   #6
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Will do! Thanks. Removing the inter cover is easy enough and I think that exposes all that wiring
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:58 PM   #7
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Only had tome to get the interior cover off and no problems yet except the intake was a bit Mis-aligned

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Fixed
That

Some plastic cover there obscuring the wiring and such - but looking around nothing seen so far - need to look under the outside shroud when I get time perhaps tomorrow
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:44 PM   #8
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Sorry it took so long to touch base with you.
To get back to what my husband and I saw as we passed
by you. We just arrived at Gulf State Park, driving down the main road.
We looked over at your trailer (as we always do when we pass by an airstream trailer) and we saw noticeable light greyish smoke ,kinda billowing skyward from your front air conditioner.
You were busy with the process we all do at the dump station and we were not sure if you saw it, so we pulled over to alert you of what we were seeing and the “smoke” was becoming lighter as we talked.
We did not smell anything burning and was wondering what the cause was.
Hopefully nothing that an easy fix won’t take care of.
We enjoyed meeting you. I was in the process of buying a camper as you were posting all your questions and research as you bought yours.
Thank you, it was so helpful as we purchased our EB.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassCan View Post
Sorry it took so long to touch base with you.
To get back to what my husband and I saw as we passed
by you. We just arrived at Gulf State Park, driving down the main road.
We looked over at your trailer (as we always do when we pass by an airstream trailer) and we saw noticeable light greyish smoke ,kinda billowing skyward from your front air conditioner.
You were busy with the process we all do at the dump station and we were not sure if you saw it, so we pulled over to alert you of what we were seeing and the “smoke” was becoming lighter as we talked.
We did not smell anything burning and was wondering what the cause was.
Hopefully nothing that an easy fix won’t take care of.
We enjoyed meeting you. I was in the process of buying a camper as you were posting all your questions and research as you bought yours.
Thank you, it was so helpful as we purchased our EB.


Hey thanks a million! I will this weekend be doing a thorough inspection and getting to the bottom of this - hugely appreciated y’all helping! Good to meet you in person!!
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:28 AM   #10
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Hi PharmGeek,

Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at customer_support@airstream.com

We look forward to helping you get this resolved. Thank You.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamInc View Post
Hi PharmGeek,

Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at customer_support@airstream.com

We look forward to helping you get this resolved. Thank You.
wow!! I am deeply impressed you all are reaching out to me in this forum! I will call today..I have not turned on that AC unit since this whole ordeal and have no plans to until I am DARN sure all is well...I will contact you all
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:52 AM   #12
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:59 PM   #13
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Have not heard back from Airstream yet...I plan on examining under the AC shroud today (have not had a moment to do so this week)...

My trailer is a 2014 bunkhouse...bought in fall 2013....not sure if those dometic AC units would still have coverage at this point..bought the unit on 11/15/13
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:18 PM   #14
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Spoke to service folks at Foley RV Center in Gulfport MS....learned that my dometic I believe front unit (which is AC/heat pump) is not under any form of coverage..kinda guess that...I have no "extended warranty" coverage either.

In describing this problem, the service manager thought it was coolant that leaked...the oil in it makes a smokey stuff like that come out...he said when I open up the AC shroud, it should be fairly obvious from the oil residue in some abundance.

He did say its possible it could be something simple like a capacitor...that'd be great...

$1,800 for an AC (nonheat pump) unit and like over 2K (forget the number cited) for my replacement...250 for labor....I am hoping the system didn't open up and is in ruin....nervous Friday for this AS nerd.
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