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Old 07-19-2017, 02:17 PM   #1
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Should I rebuild Air Conditioners?

I have a motorhome with 2 roof ac units. Both are completely shot. I know nothing about air conditioners, these are stock 30 plus years old. Is it possible to rebuild? Recharge and buy better newer motors? Just curious if it's possible, cheaper? Rebuilding would actually be easier option if it's just changing out some parts vs pulling entire units off the roof
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:04 PM   #2
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My gut feeling is that you would be better off with couple of new ones!

You could send quite a bit on what you plan to to - apart from the hours involved, but could still wind up having issues on the road with other 30 year old parts you didn't change. Some of those parts maybe difficult to source.

As well, baulky equipment can make an otherwise enjoyable RV trip considerably less so - unless you enjoy spending lots of your recreational time fiddling with things.

To a limited extent I do, and I consider it part of the RV experience - but that is fine as long as I can fairly easily fix what is acting up, not so much fun otherwise.

Matter of fact, we have had a fair bit of trouble with our AC since we bought our trailer when it was about three years old - repeated problems with the electronics that I often have to mess with to get it running - seems to be just to with connections and I can always fix it but never for good! As well I have had repeated condensate leaks and last winter had to patch up a UV-brittled AC cover!

So far, I always have managed to get it going again, but I just told my wife that if the darn thing acts up again this winter when we head south, we'll be trying to arrange an appointment at Jackson Centre on our way home for a new AC! I've had about enough of it!
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swillv8 View Post
I have a motorhome with 2 roof ac units. Both are completely shot. I know nothing about air conditioners, these are stock 30 plus years old. Is it possible to rebuild? Recharge and buy better newer motors? Just curious if it's possible, cheaper? Rebuilding would actually be easier option if it's just changing out some parts vs pulling entire units off the roof
With roof A/C units that fit in the standard 14x14" opening, which I believe is what you have, it usually makes more sense to replace the entire unit.

The older 1960s Armstrong A/Cs are sometimes worth rebuilding, in part because of the difficulty of retrofitting a new unit into a nonstandard opening. Even then it is difficult to find a tech who will do the work.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:26 PM   #4
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So a little bit more info:

I lost both roof ac covers on my maiden voyage unfortunately (I do not like the thought of road litter, but it happened)

I want to make my own covers eventually anyways.

When I was on the roof surveying what is up there it literally is only 3 components?

I've acknowledged I need two units I was purely curious if it's "simple"
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:41 PM   #5
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You will find that it will be cheaper and better to replace. Not that difficult to remove and replace if you are handy and have help. The labor charge at Camping World seamed reasonable. Maybe two will reduce the installation charge, just a thought, good luck!
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Old 07-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #6
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There are very few rooftop AC units that are "serviceable", most do not have fittings to check the refrigerant charge.

Then you have to somehow squeeze the parts out of the manufacturers.

New Dometic 15,000 BTU's will cost you $1700 each installed with a 2 year warranty.
Don't skimp on this item, you will be disappointed if you do!
Good Luck!
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:24 PM   #7
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The refrigerants have changed, you want to buy new equipment.

Refrigeration units (including air conditioners) that used to use the old style 'freon' are now only made with new chemicals for the circulating medium ('Freon' or "Refrigerant"). The old Freon is no longer allowed to be manufactured, and can only be purchased from someone who takes the old stuff out of an old unit. That old stuff is becoming very hard to find and very expensive. This is part of the Montreal Protocol to avoid the 'ozone hole' and is a good thing.

The new refrigerants have different pressure/temperature phase diagrams (different boiling points) so the old equipment will not work properly with the new refrigerants.

You are really much better off getting new air conditioners.

Hope this helps,

bd
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:38 PM   #8
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Sounds like there's a market for my old freon lol!!


With the great advice I will get new units. I will definitely get 2 15000 btu units probably the penguin 2 or the Mach 8. With heat strips

May as well consider this thread closed on my part, unless there are other things to discuss in relation
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:09 AM   #9
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A/c replace and Frein

Last roof unit I replaced was a carrier and it cost about 500. Shipped to my door.

R12 is available in Mexico for 6 bucks a can.

I have been replacing r 12 with propane and its cooler than r 12 and runs at a lower head pressure.

Now let's hear all the naysayers start the song I get every time I bring that subject up! lol

It's all about your own ability and gumption to fix things, or how much moola you want to shell out to high priced RV dealers .
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:02 PM   #10
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I bought a used Coleman unit for $500. I lugged it on and off a boat and installed it in a hatch. It was an easy install since it wasn't ducted. Heavy and noisy, but it never failed.
So if you're on a budget, consider shopping used.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swillv8 View Post
With the great advice I will get new units. I will definitely get 2 15000 btu units probably the penguin 2 or the Mach 8. With heat strips.
I was upset when the Dometic AC on my 20FC went out after only 4 years. I did some research and decided on the Atwood 13500 btu and I'm VERY happy with it. They also make a 1500 btu model that has a reverse cycle heat system.

The good: Less expensive, very quiet, amazing amount of cold air, remote control (can change temp from bed!), and a dehumidifier mode. The 13500 unit I bought could also be run on a single Honda EU2000i, but not in ECO mode - until I installed the Easy Start - now I'm set!

The bad: The fan runs continuously whether the compressor is on or off. I actually don't mind this, but it bothers my wife. The unit is a little bit taller than the Dometic Penguin series, but that's a minor cosmetic point. On my unit the drain hose wouldn't attach to the new AC, so now the water from the condenser dribbles down the side of the camper.

Overall, after 2 years of use I'm very happy with the Atwood - check it out before buying another Dometic.

Here's a link: http://www.atwoodmobile.com/air-cond...nditioners.asp
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alantbird View Post
Last roof unit I replaced was a carrier and it cost about 500. Shipped to my door.



R12 is available in Mexico for 6 bucks a can.



I have been replacing r 12 with propane and its cooler than r 12 and runs at a lower head pressure.



Now let's hear all the naysayers start the song I get every time I bring that subject up! lol



It's all about your own ability and gumption to fix things, or how much moola you want to shell out to high priced RV dealers .


You can't get off that easy how, to do the propane ,and what pressures
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