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Old 08-17-2015, 10:42 AM   #1
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Ac not cooling trailer

I purchased a 2015 flagstaff 831bhds three weeks ago and camper twice in it since picking it up. Wife and I love the unit but our first two trips have been filled with misery and hoping to get some advise and or guidance on our second trip issue regarding ac:
Site we were at this weekend was in full sun all day and we had 95 degree temps with humidity. Our trailer would cool off nice in the evening and over night once the sun went down but while the sun was up I was running the unit on constant high cool from time we woke up around 7am until the sun went down and no matter what I tried the inside air temp would roughly only be 10 degrees cooler than the outside air temp which in the extreme heat of the afternoon was up to 84 degrees. I thought I should be able to get a 20 degree difference to at least make it somewhat comfortable in the trailer but not with this unit. I installed insulated vent covers and it did not make any difference. I think ac may be running properly and I am loosing the air somewhere. Can anyone give me a place to start looking? Ac unit is Colman 4800 series 13.5k.
Not so much worried about my wife and I but our 1 year old son. Don't get me wrong I am not a fan of the heat but we can deal with a little better than the baby.

Thank you,
Chris
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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Looks like you have pretty much the exact same floor plan as me.

I would suggest you do several things. We purchased our 30' (livable space) Vibe and experienced the same issue with our 15k Dometic AC unit. Its blowing lots of cold air, but doesnt seem to do much when it's 95+ degrees outside.


You need to know where your heat is coming from. 99% of the time,its your WINDOWS. Also, keeping an eye on how many people open and close doors is a big one. Loss of conditioned air is very quick when people are walking in and out of the unt.

First.. Buy the Reflective Bubble Insulation from Lowes (About $25 for a 24"x25' roll). You can get larger rolls if needed or just use the aluminum tape to combine a few pieces to fit larger windows. This stuff is "Radiant Barrier" and can block radiant heat from coming through the windows.

Second.. Buy some highly reflective Solar TINT from either Lowes or even Pepboys. This will reflect and keep out about 80-90% of heat from coming through the windows and should block 99% of UV light.

Third.. Using Cardboard or other rigid material, make little scoups that you can tape on your air vents to redirect the air more effectively that the OEM ones. This can help point air towards people and away from objects or dead space.

Fourth.. Replace all those overhead light bulbs with LED bulbs (10 pack on Amazon for $19). If you put your hand on those light fixtured you can actually feel them like little heaters. The housings can get up to 130 degrees and act as little heaters in your RV.

Fifith.. Dont cook inside when its hot outside.... common sense

Sixth.. Buy several little high velocity fans to move air around inside the RV. Stagnate air can get hot quick. Moving the air around quickly can help reduce the overall temp as well as make people more comfortable.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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Thank you iron cobra great reply! Just curious how much of a difference these changes had on your unit. What was previous temps before and after changes?

Thank you
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:32 PM   #4
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Given that our AC unit is a little larger we were generally able to get the inside down from mid 90s to between 75-78 degrees at 1-3pm timeframe (which is the hottest part of the day for us in South Texas. Before these mods, we were only able to get it between 82-83 degrees (like you).

We spend $60 for 3 fans at Lowe's. $50 for 2 rolls of reflective bubble wrap, and $40 for a 36"x15' roll of highly reflective 20% tint on Amazon.

So not bad for a total of $150.

Installed the tint myself. Which isn't hard.
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #5
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oh yeah, forgot to mention $40 on LED bulbs (I just ordered a second package). You need about 24 bulbs to change them all out in a Vibe. Side benifit is that they use 1/10 the power of the incandescent bulbs that come in the fixtures. They prodice about 90 degrees of heat when warmed up vs 155 degrees that the incadenscent bulbs produce.

Doing these changes could very well mean the difference between an enjoyable camping trip and a horrible one. So for about $190.00 total, I think its definitely worth it. I'd say you should get about a 6-7 degree drop vs what you are experiencing now.

You can even use the reflective wrap to cover the vents and skylight in the bathroom. Those opennings produce allot of heat also.

And my wife and I are the same as you. We have a 14month old and we worry more for her than anything else.

Another thing you may consider is to close off the front bedroom and back bunkhouse and use the Blast vent on your AC to blast the living room with cold air (should be a diverter vent on the main unit).
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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Might want to have an AC tech. look at your system. Is the unit still under warranty?


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Old 08-17-2015, 06:38 PM   #7
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Thank you iron cobra, looking into the led upgrade as well as other upgrades you mentioned.

R3jones: yes but not going to dealer until end of season as we have to many trips planned for the rest of the season. Needs to go in for some warranty work so I have already called them and notified them to add this issue to the list. Just looking for something I could check as it may still be hot in two weeks when we take our next trip.
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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I had an AC problem last week while camping. It sounds very similar to your situation. I called Dometic and requested a mobile service tech to come look at my unit. He checked air temperature of the outgoing and return air and then he checked amperage. He found a couple issues and Dometic authorized a replacement unit. In less than two hours I had a new unit installed and it was a night and day difference. You may want to ask for a tech to meet you at one of your camping spots. Just food for thought. Camping with no air can be miserable. Hope you find a solution.




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Old 08-17-2015, 10:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franger1983 View Post
Thank you iron cobra, looking into the led upgrade as well as other upgrades you mentioned.

R3jones: yes but not going to dealer until end of season as we have to many trips planned for the rest of the season. Needs to go in for some warranty work so I have already called them and notified them to add this issue to the list. Just looking for something I could check as it may still be hot in two weeks when we take our next trip.
Here are the bulbs I used. Universal for the common 12vlt blade style light our trailers use.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MUAI7JO
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:36 AM   #10
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On tinting your windows.

If you do not want to install a permanent film then i would suggest you take a look at these films. Not only do we use them we use some of the other films for a small business applications.

They are removable cling but unlike the cheaper store versions that basically suck..these are a professional series of films. On the page I linked to go down to tinted films of which there are three. Two light reducing and one mylar reflective. The reflective to me is the best at blocking UV heat but....you need to know if you have double pane windows. If so then the film has to go on the outside of the windows. The non reflective style does not matter.

You can order samples first if you like from them. Best part is they are removable and reusable. Application is like any other adhesive film in that you would lightly wet the film and window and apply then squeegie. But all that is in the instructions.

Decorative Films | Window Film | Stained Glass | Privacy | Treatment

I use the frosted films and cut glass more often but have used the reflective on my 5th wheel when we were in a seasonal site that had no shade...now I have shade so I just peeled it off and saved it.
Scott
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