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Old 06-10-2024, 10:38 AM   #1
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2019 30' Classic
Salida , Colorado
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Upgrade Penguin II with a much better unit?

I have a 2019 Classic that uses the C-Zone control system. Has anyone had any luck replacing these Junk Dometic Penguin ii air conditioners to another brand/model that is higher quality and quieter?

Any plug and play options/kits?
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Old 06-10-2024, 12:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
I have a 2019 Classic that uses the C-Zone control system. Has anyone had any luck replacing these Junk Dometic Penguin ii air conditioners to another brand/model that is higher quality and quieter?

Any plug and play options/kits?
My understanding is that if your unit is ducted with the Quietstream, what ever brand you started with you are married to without significant cost.

I heard that 2x from not only on the tour, but also from a service advisor.

If not ducted, pretty sure you could swap it out and fish any new wiring using the old.
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Old 06-10-2024, 02:08 PM   #3
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My understanding is that if your unit is ducted with the Quietstream, what ever brand you started with you are married to without significant cost.

I heard that 2x from not only on the tour, but also from a service advisor.

If not ducted, pretty sure you could swap it out and fish any new wiring using the old.
My 2019 Classic is ducted, so I may need to Frankenstein install a better unit.
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Old 06-10-2024, 05:10 PM   #4
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I suspect that the main challenge of dealing with the ducted system is around the controls. Other brands of AC have ducted and non-ducted models as well as models with condensate pumps, and the hole in the roof in a standard size. It's the thermostats and their wiring that vary more than anything else.
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Old 06-11-2024, 08:49 AM   #5
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I suspect that the main challenge of dealing with the ducted system is around the controls. Other brands of AC have ducted and non-ducted models as well as models with condensate pumps, and the hole in the roof in a standard size. It's the thermostats and their wiring that vary more than anything else.
Ya I'm running into that issue. Seeing if I can tap into the existing wiring to control new units vie their own controller.

Also another issue: from the inside of the trailer I can only access the air intake to the evaporator area and the front two A/C bolts. There is a structural rib separating the rear discharge plenum, so the bolts must be secured from the top down.

So looks like switching out from these garbage Penguin II's is going to be a nightmare. I cringe at spending $1,800 for a new one of these cheap loud Chinese hunks of junk.
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Old 06-11-2024, 11:25 AM   #6
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My Penguin II has failed. It blows hot air when in cool mode. The reverse valve may be stuck and it cannot be replaced. I have looked into a different unit but it is discouraging. Other brands cannot use my existing thermostat and cannot adapt to the ducted system of my 2018 FC. I feel my only choice is to replace the unit with the same thing. I don't like it, but it should be easier than changing brands. If my Flying Cloud did not have a ducted system I would possibly change to a Houghton, sold in the US as RecPro. They are Australian and supposed to be very quiet.
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Old 06-11-2024, 12:51 PM   #7
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It may not only be the wiring, but I got the sense that the mount is vastly different too between the 3 deployed brands. Wiring may be an obstacle, but so too might the actual physical supply and return connections.

Best bet is to contact the factory to get more specifics, but again, my take was the thermostat and associated thermostat wiring were not the only obstacles.
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Old 06-11-2024, 01:30 PM   #8
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Doing more research, Airstreams are designed only for "top down" bolting of air conditioner units. So this rules out most... I may be stuck with the crap Penguin II.
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Old 06-11-2024, 01:31 PM   #9
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My Penguin II has failed. It blows hot air when in cool mode. The reverse valve may be stuck and it cannot be replaced. I have looked into a different unit but it is discouraging. Other brands cannot use my existing thermostat and cannot adapt to the ducted system of my 2018 FC. I feel my only choice is to replace the unit with the same thing. I don't like it, but it should be easier than changing brands. If my Flying Cloud did not have a ducted system I would possibly change to a Houghton, sold in the US as RecPro. They are Australian and supposed to be very quiet.
I looked heavily into the Houghton. They are designed in Australia and produced in CHYNA just like everything else.

Another issue with the Houghton is the fan is on 100% of the time and doesn't cycle, even if the compressor is off. That may be an issue for some.
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Old 06-11-2024, 02:49 PM   #10
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Old 06-11-2024, 09:19 PM   #11
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Truma

Truma has a new unit however their units is not designed yet for the Airstream. At Tampa they said its a work in progress.


I find nothing wrong with our two Penguin II AC units. Maybe that's from the Micro Air protecting them?
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Old 06-11-2024, 09:39 PM   #12
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Ya apparently Airstream AC fittings are unique which means we're kinda screwed.

Next I'm looking into the GE Profiles that are on 2024 Airstreams. I checked them out at the Airstream dealership and they were about half as loud as my Penguin II's.
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:11 AM   #13
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Penguin II Replacement

I've been reading some good reports on the RedPro air conditioners which reportedly, sound as if they're more efficient, quieter and weigh a little less. That conjures up all sorts of caveats but from illustrations, they do appear to have more condenser coil area. Of course, like all other, they're made in Chi-na but could they be the 'best' of the bunch? Time will tell.
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Old 06-12-2024, 10:47 AM   #14
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The RecPro Houghton's have a fatal flaw though, the fan never stops running even when the compressor is off. So that means it dumps the humidity from the evaporator back into the trailer.
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Old 06-13-2024, 07:38 AM   #15
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Confirmed, got an email back from REcPro and they say that the fan always on is by design on all their units. What a stupid decision (virtually no other air conditioner operates like this) and eliminates them from my list.
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Old 06-13-2024, 08:23 AM   #16
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The fan on our 30 year old Dometic Penguin never shuts off. I didn't even know that was a thing. Learn something new everyday.
I am following because someday I will have to purchase a new unit.
I would also be concerned about hooking up to the original condensate drain line. It was rumored to me that you couldn't do this with the Rec Pro. Do other brands such as the Coleman or GE have condensate drain lines?
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Old 06-13-2024, 09:33 AM   #17
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The fan on our 30 year old Dometic Penguin never shuts off. I didn't even know that was a thing. Learn something new everyday.
I am following because someday I will have to purchase a new unit.
I would also be concerned about hooking up to the original condensate drain line. It was rumored to me that you couldn't do this with the Rec Pro. Do other brands such as the Coleman or GE have condensate drain lines?
Yes some do, but I'm thinking of possibly doing a custom solution. It's really a very simple system. All the Dometics use is two holes in the evaporator pan for the water to drip down into two small "catch pans", the tubes go through a double layer gasket and down the drain tube. Not a very complicated setup!

I'm thinking just about any A/C I can tap holes into the evaporator drain pan and design my own condensate drain.
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Old 06-13-2024, 09:39 AM   #18
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Confirmed, got an email back from REcPro and they say that the fan always on is by design on all their units. What a stupid decision (virtually no other air conditioner operates like this) and eliminates them from my list.
Very simple wiring fix for this.

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Old 06-14-2024, 09:12 PM   #19
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If anyone's interested, this is what the assymetric mounting and duct work looks on the forward A/C on a 2019 Classic 30RB.

I threw the junk Penguin II off the roof. Then shot it.

Looks like I'll be doing a custom install as putting another Penguin II on there is an absolute last resort. I also don't care if I can't controll the A/C's with the C-Zone system anymore.
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Old 06-16-2024, 04:24 AM   #20
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What sucks is basically the two top airconditioners, the Truma Aventa and the Furrion Chill Cube 18K are both still not available for end user purchase.
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