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Old 07-29-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
Fifi the FC, 2021
 
2021 25' Flying Cloud
Washington , DC
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
2021 Flying Cloud - A/C issue

I'm having an issue with this A/C in the new FC (25'). i can hear things running and there is a gentle flow coming out the vents. I get that these things can "freeze" and are unable to cool. It's happened before but A/S service was hesitant because we were in the Southwest at the time and basically said it was just too hot inside the aluminum baked potato and it's tapping out.

BUT now i'm in NC. it's 90 outside with 58% humidity - i run the inside AC at around 80 to 83 degrees....and it's now 91 degrees in here (it hit 99 yesterday -so was cooler to step outside that stay in the "Air Conditioning"

I gotta say i had a Jayco pop up tent in AZ in august.... never had this issue.
I gotta say I also had a Lance slide in camper borrowed by my son spending a year in the Mohave at Ft Irwin... he never had an issue.

But i'm going to see this on an Airstream?? Anyone else seen this sort of thing?
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:53 PM   #2
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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Posts: 547
no. I have a 2021 Globetrotter with 2 ACs but so far I have not had access to 50 amp service to run them both. I'm assuming you have a single AC? Let me ask the most basic of questions. Are your ceiling vents fully open? You can direct the air with one tab of the vent, and close the vent with the other. You can also inadvertently close the vent while changing the direction. If it is hard to tell, you can shine a flashlight up into the duct and see the opening.


Assuming the vents are open, If you turn the AC to Fan only and on high, you should feel more than just a trickle of air coming from the vents. Even if your AC has frozen up, after an hour or two the evaporator coils will have thawed out and should allow air to go thru the ducts. There are two distinct sounds for the AC. The compressor and the fans. Assuming the fan does come on, then turn the system to "cool" mode and you should hear the compressor kick in. That's when you would feel cool air.
Assuming all that works, the next step would be to measure the temperature difference between the intake grates in the ceiling and the air coming out of the vents. You can do this with either one of those infrared thermometers with the laser pointer, or even a decent digital meat thermometer. Once the AC is working, you should see a temprerature difference (or "split" as the AC folks say) of at least 15 to 20 degrees F.

I've been out in the direct sunlight and high humidity here in FL over the last week or so with only a single AC running and even if it's in the 90's outside the inside will get at least down to the upper 70s. And at night I can set it to 70 degrees and it's like a meat locker when we wake up. Any RV service center should be able to at least look at your AC and give you a diagnosis. I'm hoping it's just the vents being closed.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:27 PM   #3
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Hi

Regardless of what this or that dealer service told you ( some of them aren't very good ...), your A/C is working harder in the high humidity south east than it is out in the dry desert. It takes a *lot* of energy to deal with humidity. Also, unless the humidity is lowered "inside", you will feel like you are swimming. 75 degrees at 100% RH is not very pleasant.

Your user data shows "Washington DC" as your location. Your post talks about being "back in NC". I'm guessing the NC is a typo rather than North Carolina. If by some chance it's not, head over to Out of Doors Mart ( AS dealer down there ) and see what they think is going on....

Bob
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:52 PM   #4
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
I'm having an issue with this A/C in the new FC (25'). i can hear things running and there is a gentle flow coming out the vents. I get that these things can "freeze" and are unable to cool. It's happened before but A/S service was hesitant because we were in the Southwest at the time and basically said it was just too hot inside the aluminum baked potato and it's tapping out.

BUT now i'm in NC. it's 90 outside with 58% humidity - i run the inside AC at around 80 to 83 degrees....and it's now 91 degrees in here (it hit 99 yesterday -so was cooler to step outside that stay in the "Air Conditioning"

I gotta say i had a Jayco pop up tent in AZ in august.... never had this issue.
I gotta say I also had a Lance slide in camper borrowed by my son spending a year in the Mohave at Ft Irwin... he never had an issue.

But i'm going to see this on an Airstream?? Anyone else seen this sort of thing?
It sounds like you need a new ac. The warranty should cover the replacement. It won't hurt to take a look at this thread I started yesterday and see if you can get the return and supply vent areas taped/blocked while they have the old ac off the roof. It will help with the airflow a and improve the performance without overworking the ac.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f42...rs-225734.html

As an experiment, I turned on the ac a while ago. It was 91F and about 30% humidity outside at the time. The inside temperature was 94F in the trailer. 30 minutes later the temps were down to 83F inside. The return air vent was at 78F and the supply at 49F. A little over an hour since starting the ac the inside temp was 79F, the return air vent was 76F and the supply was 47F. The ambient outside temp at this time was 93F. At the 2 hour mark with the outside temps holding, the trailer was at 77F. To be clear the inside temps are taken from the thermostat in the bedroom area.

My point is that a single well functioning ac with even the basic amount of sealing of the duct areas can yield pretty good results in a 25ft trailer.

Best of luck with your situation. I am sorry you are having to deal with this on a new trailer.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
I'm having an issue with this A/C in the new FC (25'). i can hear things running and there is a gentle flow coming out the vents. I get that these things can "freeze" and are unable to cool. It's happened before but A/S service was hesitant because we were in the Southwest at the time and basically said it was just too hot inside the aluminum baked potato and it's tapping out.

BUT now i'm in NC. it's 90 outside with 58% humidity - i run the inside AC at around 80 to 83 degrees....and it's now 91 degrees in here (it hit 99 yesterday -so was cooler to step outside that stay in the "Air Conditioning"

I gotta say i had a Jayco pop up tent in AZ in august.... never had this issue.
I gotta say I also had a Lance slide in camper borrowed by my son spending a year in the Mohave at Ft Irwin... he never had an issue.

But i'm going to see this on an Airstream?? Anyone else seen this sort of thing?
Hi 2020Caravel,*

We're very sorry to learn about the issue you are having. Please send us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can learn more and share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

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

Thank you.*
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:36 AM   #6
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A long time ago, I had my unit at the factory service center for unrelated issues. It was hot that day, even in the garage. I noticed they were running my rooftop A/C unit, with the door open and the windows too. It was very high humidity that day.

When they brought the trailer back to terraport, the AC slowly could not cool the trailer, even being a 15k btu unit, which prior to this, had no issues with cooling, even in 100 degree full sun.

What had happened was that the coils with all that humidity froze up.

I basically turned the rooftop A/C unit to heat pump which reverses the air. It ran for about 30-45 mins to defrost my coils. Once completed, the AC unit ran as expected without icing over (prob because I kept the windows and doors shut. Might not be your problem, but figured I'd pass along my odd experience in the unlikely event yours is a similar problem.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:14 AM   #7
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2018 19' Tommy Bahama
Rancho Santa Margarita , CA
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I have a 2018 TB19CB and am quite unhappy with the A/C. I installed a MicroAir so it can run on my Honda 2000 or Lion Safari ME. Testing at home, about 90° it works great cools down to mid 70s .

Now, out using it when needed, Alabama Hills and Las Vegas 97°- 100° the A/C runs for hours and it gets hotter in trailer. The evening before Vegas, in St George, it was 88° we ran the A/C all night and it maintained the set 75° until the generator ran out of gas.

Not cool!

The Las Vegas was a forced stop. Had a tire blowout at 11am and stuck waiting for AAA. It was 99° out and 97° inside. Got the generator out and after 2 hours it was still 97° inside..... felt cooler outside with breeze.Attachment 400687
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Old 07-30-2021, 02:46 PM   #8
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
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Thanks Jondrew, but no the vents are definitely open... I've also checked several times to be sure of the settings on the A/C control itself. I have an appt to drop this back at the dealer on my way home this weekend - so i took a video of the settings, of the inside temp and grabbed a screenshot off my phone of the outside temp and humidity.

Like you it's sitting in direct sun, but it's 92 today with 51% humidity out there... but we're still stewing in 90 degrees inside.
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Old 07-30-2021, 03:35 PM   #9
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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Let us know what they find. I’m sure this is very similar to my system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
Thanks Jondrew, but no the vents are definitely open... I've also checked several times to be sure of the settings on the A/C control itself. I have an appt to drop this back at the dealer on my way home this weekend - so i took a video of the settings, of the inside temp and grabbed a screenshot off my phone of the outside temp and humidity.

Like you it's sitting in direct sun, but it's 92 today with 51% humidity out there... but we're still stewing in 90 degrees inside.
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Old 08-06-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
Fifi the FC, 2021
 
2021 25' Flying Cloud
Washington , DC
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Heard from Repair Shop

Heard back from the Airstream dealer who services my trailer. The description they sent the wife was

"...the AC freeze plug fell out of the fins inside the AC.. He reinstalled the freeze plug and then ran the AC for an entire day in the heat and it is definitely working"

Will be headed down to pick it up next weekend and will continue on South a bit more to find a good, hot, humid spot to test it out. I'll post if this is the fix or no.
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Old 08-06-2021, 07:20 PM   #11
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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Not sure what an AC freeze plug is, but I hope you’re all fixed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
Heard back from the Airstream dealer who services my trailer. The description they sent the wife was

"...the AC freeze plug fell out of the fins inside the AC.. He reinstalled the freeze plug and then ran the AC for an entire day in the heat and it is definitely working"

Will be headed down to pick it up next weekend and will continue on South a bit more to find a good, hot, humid spot to test it out. I'll post if this is the fix or no.
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Old 08-07-2021, 12:39 PM   #12
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
Not sure what an AC freeze plug is, but I hope you’re all fixed up.
I believe this is what they are talking about. It's a Thermistor. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-18-2021, 01:29 PM   #13
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
St Peterburg , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2021
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2021 FC Air conditioner icing up

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
I'm having an issue with this A/C in the new FC (25'). i can hear things running and there is a gentle flow coming out the vents. I get that these things can "freeze" and are unable to cool. It's happened before but A/S service was hesitant because we were in the Southwest at the time and basically said it was just too hot inside the aluminum baked potato and it's tapping out.

BUT now i'm in NC. it's 90 outside with 58% humidity - i run the inside AC at around 80 to 83 degrees....and it's now 91 degrees in here (it hit 99 yesterday -so was cooler to step outside that stay in the "Air Conditioning"

I gotta say i had a Jayco pop up tent in AZ in august.... never had this issue.
I gotta say I also had a Lance slide in camper borrowed by my son spending a year in the Mohave at Ft Irwin... he never had an issue.

But i'm going to see this on an Airstream?? Anyone else seen this sort of thing?
Hello, Did you find out what the issue was? We have a new 2021 FC 25’ and we are in Michigan for the summer where we rarely use our AC. The last three times over the course of about 30 days the unit was blocked with ice after 6 hours. Our vents are all open. My filters are cleaned every two weeks as we run the fan from time to time without the ac. After it thaws out over night we can run it again. Our thermostat is set at 76 to 78 at night when we run the ac. Kindly let me know if you had the unit repaired or replaced. Thank you!
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Old 08-19-2021, 06:14 PM   #14
Fifi the FC, 2021
 
2021 25' Flying Cloud
Washington , DC
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Hi Scottjham,

That does sound really very like the issue my wife and i saw. We had to delay the pickup of the trailer till this weekend and we're going to camp out for a few days in the Fredericksburg VA area (just up the road from the dealer) to test things out.

I'll be able to get a solid description of the repair then, but from my wife's description and some creative google-fu it sounds like a sensor in the AC unit was either bad or not in good contact.

Will post when i find out more this weekend. BTW to all who've read or followed... i was asked by Airstream to reach out with contact info - never did hear from anyone.

But... my dealer's service team hopefully has nailed it.
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:13 AM   #15
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
Washington , DC
Join Date: Feb 2020
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A/C still failing

Well, turns out the Service Team did not fix the issue after all.

Here is the quote from the Job form:

"Cause: Testing at 87. Found ac would cool. Let run over night. 2nd day at 91. Found the ac freezes up and not cooling.

"Correction: Removed the intake filters. Found the freeze sensor not installed in the fins. Reinstalled the freeze sensor. Found now ac running and cold air from the discharge. Recommend customer clean the intake filters for better operation. Job Complete."

I'll leave aside the intake filter... it's a new trailer and been used only 3 times, it's spend more time in the service bay than on the road with us, but this is not our first camper my wife has vacuumed these and during the trip to AZ did so several times a day to see if it would help. so i'll accept this is likely standard sort of thing a maintenance guy says.

We drove down from DC, they had left it plugged in and running & had turned on my refrigerator the night before as we'd asked.

We pulled up beside the maintenance bay to check it out before we accepted it back. We found the interior to be warm (90 degrees) while the thermostat was set to 72 degrees, and the air was so gently blowing from the vents you could hardly feel it (fan set to auto).

My wife change the fan to High, but there was no change in the pressure of air coming out of the vents. She dropped the temp even further as a test, but again no change.

We pulled in an available service tech and the Service Director. They agreed this was not correct. So we had to cancel our reservations for a 5 day camping trip, turned around and came back home to wait.
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2020Caravel View Post
Hi Scottjham,

That does sound really very like the issue my wife and i saw. We had to delay the pickup of the trailer till this weekend and we're going to camp out for a few days in the Fredericksburg VA area (just up the road from the dealer) to test things out.

I'll be able to get a solid description of the repair then, but from my wife's description and some creative google-fu it sounds like a sensor in the AC unit was either bad or not in good contact.

Will post when i find out more this weekend. BTW to all who've read or followed... i was asked by Airstream to reach out with contact info - never did hear from anyone.

But... my dealer's service team hopefully has nailed it.
Hi Scottjam and 2020Caravel,*

For us to learn more about your situation, please don't hesitate to reach out to us by sending us a direct message with your contact information, email and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team.

Thank you.*
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Old 08-23-2021, 02:36 PM   #17
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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Not an AC expert here, but this sounds like a system that is low on freon. They tend to freeze up fast. Like in a car when you start seeing condensation on a humid day. I would assume any AC tech worth their salt would have checked the freon charge and put an ammeter on the compressor to diagnose it.
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Old 08-24-2021, 08:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
Not an AC expert here, but this sounds like a system that is low on freon. They tend to freeze up fast. Like in a car when you start seeing condensation on a humid day. I would assume any AC tech worth their salt would have checked the freon charge and put an ammeter on the compressor to diagnose it.
Hi

*Can* you even do a "freon" check on these modern A/C units? There's a lot of stuff these days where that is no longer the case. They have it all sealed up with no access to this or that. I have had gear replaced for pretty much this reason ( = I agree with your diagnosis and a shot of "freon" would have fixed it ....)

Bob
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:29 AM   #19
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
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Not an expert either but have learnt to fix things in our airstream over the years - Freon (R22) is not being used as a refrigerant in our our ac units anymore. R22 has been replaced with Puron (R410A) which is better for the ozone layer. R410A absorbs and releases heat better than R22 but also requires the system to handle higher pressures to get the higher BTU ratings that our air conditioners advertise. I'd wager that this additional pressure leads to more failures (leaked refrigerant). Unless the new ac design allows for better and more robust weld joints the environmental trade off with the less dangerous Puron yields more frequent failures (entirely fixable, I am sure) due to leaked refrigerant. I am on my 3rd in 5 years.

The easy way to test if the refrigerant has leaked is to test how many amps the compressor is drawing. Look for the specification chart in the installation instructions manual that will show how much the nominal compressor rated load amp range is for the ac. This can be done from the roof. Another way to do this, though less accurate, is to turn everything but the ac off in your trailer and see what the amp draw is with the ac running. Remember to add the amp draw from the fan motor (also in the same spec chart) to the reading. This can be done using a multi-meter that can check amp draw or if you have an installed surge protection device that shows amp draw. If there is less refrigerant in the lines the amp draw should be lower than spec.

If anyone is going to have the ac replaced, please make sure to ask that the cutout for conditioned air on the roof of the trailer be well taped off with the air box to make sure you have the air blowing into the vents rather than losing some of it to the area in-between the outer and inner skins.
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Old 08-24-2021, 01:40 PM   #20
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Hi

From what I've seen on other small setups, the issue is getting at the piping to put more refrigerant in. They simply don't put the fittings on anymore that allow you to do that. It also prevents you from doing a direct check of what's really what. ( is it low refrigerant or a worn out compressor .....).

The normal answer one gets is that, yes, for some amount of money anything can be redone with this or that capability. The issue on a small system is that it's cheaper to replace the unit than to do all that work .....

Bob
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