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Old 05-19-2022, 04:16 PM   #1
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Lucy Needs a New Air Conditioner.

Lucy is a 2015 Flying Cloud 25 FBT with a single air conditioning unit. Last night we returned to her in a campground in Charleston, South Carolina to find that her a/c unit had given up the ghost during the day and that it was 97 degrees inside.

We checked for power problems and could find nothing wrong. We suspended our trip and returned home to the Florida Panhandle last night and today.

Now we are in the market for a new ac/heat pump unit. Lucy's OEM 15,000 btu is a Dometic that has served us well for nearly eight years. We even added a Micro-Air soft start unit in 2017. 2015 was the first year of the ducted units in Airstreams.

We are looking for suggestions for a new ac/heat pump unit for Lucy. What is the latest and greatest out there?

Brian
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:15 PM   #2
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Suggest the new Coleman 15K unit. One draw back is the thermostat also has to be changed due to different wires and fittings.

Put twin 15K BTU Colemans with heaters on our 31' Classic. Also put in the Bluetooth MicroAir Easy Starts and new MicroAir Thermostat. I am able to update the firmware of the Easy Starts and MicroAir thermostat on Bluetooth from my iPhone on Wifi.

One can actually converse in a near normal manner with both units running. Seems like a much better airflow from a single unit as well. The Coleman is shorter so a covered screw is at each end from the Dometic installations.

Our 23D has to go in for more tweaks and will get the 15K Coleman configured as above. Also will get a Victron inverter charger and an improved antenna for the Peplink modem that can provide Wifi in the coach plus GPS info. The Peplink is not in an obvious location so I can tell where the unit is if it "happened " to wander off one day. Both trailers will then have a "color" control panel.

The Victron complete system will be the same basic parts for both trailers. I can check the electrical status from the web and control the operation of the inverter/charger remotely.

Victron also has what I call a buck-boost device that ups the tow vehicle charge voltage to charge the lithium batteries.
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:12 PM   #3
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Brian, I just put a new one on factory quoted 3-4 month delivery. June at Foley found one it was a little more but I got John to install it. Your micro start switch is still good so just have it removed and installed on your new unit. Hope you can find one where you are. You sure can’t camp down south w/o AC. I am almost ready to head out, however I had two USB ports to go out as well. I’m not scheduled to head north for a few more weeks. So I can wait on the USB ports a few weeks. Good luck on the AC
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:21 PM   #4
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The Dometic Penguin II is probably what you have. It would be the simplest replacement. Other brands have different thermostats and wiring that may not be drop in compatible with your trailer. From what I can tell some AC's are slightly quieter, and some are not. All are loud. Depends how much simplicity matters to you.
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:34 PM   #5
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Your Easy Start will work on the new Coleman Mach 8s. I would suggest going with either one that you can find. JC has the Coleman if you head that way. Good luck.
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Old 05-20-2022, 07:37 AM   #6
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Have you considered a Houghton unit through Advanced RV in Ohio? Don’t know all the detail but have heard they are very quiet and of a higher efficiency…
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:03 AM   #7
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8 years was a good run. I’d call JC see if they have one head up there

I’m not sold on Coleman yet. Airsteam went low bid and supply demand issues. They took out the tried and true 6 gallon gas electric water heater in our new AS and the latest greatest tankless is a pia pet My wife labeled it.

Cold showers are so much fun wasting water while it runs

I know AC units are in short supply. Interesting in Escapees magazine I see a new AC line on 12 violt compressor units for the Lithium boondock crews

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Old 05-20-2022, 10:41 AM   #8
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If you want a drop in high performance A/C unit, Dometic's Blizzard NXT is the top of the line. Sure they're all rated as "15k', but there's meaningful difference in performance with the NXT having higher CFM output which would be useful against the ducted setups.
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:38 AM   #9
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Will 12V provide enough cooling? I ran into a guy with a nice Sprinter a few months ago who said his 12V AC worked great and was powered by lithium. He said he parks, goes in for lunch and comes out to a cool van.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:04 PM   #10
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Be interested to see what you get and how difficult to find help installation. Our 13500 and our 15000 were going full bore all week in Rockport TX all week...I would switch from front to back to avoid the noise, but after 5 years, I am thinking they are about done. Heading to Star Valley WY for the summer June 1. Interested in how difficult to replace if we go with the newer Dometic or if there is a better drop in type replacement unit. Thinking to go with the 15000 first, and see where we are end of summer. No dealers where we are.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:26 PM   #11
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The a/c unit in our 2014 25'FC died this past January. We went to camping world since it was only an hour away. Delivery was set for mid June due to supply issues. We were lucky and new Dometic unit was installed last week. Took about 3 hours and we did a short 2 day camping trip to test it. All good so far. Camping world did and good job and were easy to work with. I made sure they understood how to access an Airstream roof.
Good luck with your replacement.
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Old 05-20-2022, 01:35 PM   #12
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I had read a while back that some of the RV air conditioner manufacturers building units with a soft start unit built in at the factory. Does anyone know if this is correct and which units have it?

Brian
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Old 05-20-2022, 02:14 PM   #13
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Brian, I read that as well however I can’t confirm. I know Dometic makes an adder like MicroAIR Click image for larger version

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Old 05-25-2022, 09:29 AM   #14
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My 19 year old heat pump quit a few months ago. I crawled up on the roof, removed the A/C cover, and removed and “tested” the run capacitor. The test is rudimentary… connect an ohmmeter to minimally charge the capacitor, then reverse the leads to see if there is a momentary bump in the reading as the capacitor discharges. Mine was dead. Ordered a new one (mine is a 20+10 uf) for $15 on Amazon. Heat pump good as new.

Note that the start capacitor was out of the circuit because I had installed an Easy Start a few years ago.
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:35 AM   #15
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Look into the Houghton, We replaced two Dometic ACs last year. Adjustments in drip pan were required. They are really quiet. No shouting required.
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Old 05-25-2022, 10:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Lucy is a 2015 Flying Cloud 25 FBT with a single air conditioning unit. Last night we returned to her in a campground in Charleston, South Carolina to find that her a/c unit had given up the ghost during the day and that it was 97 degrees inside.

We checked for power problems and could find nothing wrong. We suspended our trip and returned home to the Florida Panhandle last night and today.

Now we are in the market for a new ac/heat pump unit. Lucy's OEM 15,000 btu is a Dometic that has served us well for nearly eight years. We even added a Micro-Air soft start unit in 2017. 2015 was the first year of the ducted units in Airstreams.

We are looking for suggestions for a new ac/heat pump unit for Lucy. What is the latest and greatest out there?

Brian
What are the symptoms of the failure? Does the compressor run or trip the breaker?
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Old 05-25-2022, 10:57 AM   #17
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The first time the AC went in my RV I took it to the local RV shop in Phoenix, where it was 60° warmer than back home, as I was clueless and they replaced the starter capacitor and we were on the road again that day. Lasted another 6 years until I finally replaced the whole unit with the newer Penguin II.

Since it was the same manufacturer I got the stripped down Penguin for $300-$400 and moved the parts that were the same from the old unit. Couldn't believe two guys could be up on my roof pulling with all their might to remove the old unit, but not a single issue or leak afterwards...

My other RV is a bigger Airstream with two ACs I got used and the front AC NEVER worked. Literally never. I had to pull it apart to discover that from the factory it had never been enabled. Just a jumper setting but, woof, bad quality control.
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:55 PM   #18
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What are the symptoms of the failure? Does the compressor run or trip the breaker?

The compressor does not come on and the circuit breaker does not trip. there is only a humming sound coming from the unit. The fan does not come on. I tried turning the unit on several times using the campground power, our 3000 watt Honda generator, and the 30 amp at home. All attempts got the same result.



Brian
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Old 05-25-2022, 06:20 PM   #19
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Hi there, we’re switching our OEM to the blizzard 15k in a few weeks. I’ve heard it outperforms the penguin and will work with the stock CCC2 thermostat we have. We’re in Texas also and the single 13,500 penguin doesn’t stand a chance in our 27FB. Best of luck
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:03 AM   #20
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Hi there, we’re switching our OEM to the blizzard 15k in a few weeks. I’ve heard it outperforms the penguin and will work with the stock CCC2 thermostat we have. We’re in Texas also and the single 13,500 penguin doesn’t stand a chance in our 27FB. Best of luck
How did you end up with a single AC 13500 in a 27'? I thought they came with 15000 in 25 and larger AS's if you want single AC back in the day...we had 3 different 25' models- 06' 08' and 14' years; they all came with 15000AC...which worked "ok" but not ideal...my experience is the dual AC for 25' and larger is a must for TX and other "Southern" states...
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