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Old 05-25-2016, 04:26 PM   #1
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Unhappy AC not working during pre-trip shakedown

My timing this year has been impeccable. Giving the RV a once over before we leave on our trip this Friday. Since it's supposed to be hot I figured I'd test out the AC to make sure it's working ok. I started up the generator, let it run for 15 Mins, disconnected from shore power and still had AC power in the RV. I turned on the AC and set the thermostat to 75, closed the door and went to do some other work. Come back 15 mins later, Air conditioner is now off and temp in RV is still 85. Now what? I turned off everything and then turned on just the AC fan. Nothing from the AC unit except a humand 20A breaker is fine. Connected up to shore power again and just turned on the fan, still nothing but a hum. Went on rooftop, fan blade is not moving and only the hum. So I'm thinking is this thing dead already?

Got a call into Forest River for tech support, but not sure if I'll get a call back as with the upcoming holiday they may be swamped. Anyone have any idea's on what the problem can be?

PS Shore power is only 15A so that is why I had the generator running when the AC was on. For only running the fan I assume 15A should be ok as nothing else was on except the fridge.

OH yea, and took my brand new air compressor out of the Rv to top off air in tires and thats not working either. Not a good day in the neighborhood.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:14 AM   #2
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Well after scouring a lot FR threads I think I may have made some progress. I have come across multiple situations before where hum in a motor based system meant that the motor had juice but just was not turning. That can happen for several reasons. With the power off I went on the roof and took the cover off the AC unit to check and make sure the fan blades where not binding on anything which they were not. I then turned on the power and sure enough the Hum was from the motor. I took a screw driver and push the fans blades a bit and wala! It started working. That got me thinking about why it was not working on it's on. Not enough power is one possibility, so I changed the fridge from AC to propane and the fan blades started turning much faster. Obviously the AC unit was not getting enough current through the 15A temporary shore power. I turned off the AC fan, waited a few minutes and then turned it back on with no problem.

I'm still confused why the AC unit turned off in the first place when power was being supplied by the generator. I will have to monitor the system this weekend when we have a full 30A connection to see how it works. If there are no problems there, I will try it again with the generator before we leave to come home and see what happens then. Hopefully all will be well!

Happy Holiday all and safe camping!

RVr
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:55 AM   #3
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15A is not enough to run the A/C and other items.
With just the A/C- it will heat up the connections if it will even pull it.

Not sure why it shut off on the genny.
Check your control box.
Auto or On makes a difference.

I had an issue with my heater.
One of the ducts was pointed right at the t-stat and it would shut off quickly, then the temp would drop too much too quickly and the t-stat would not pick up the temp to switch on. Woke up a couple of times very cold.

Make sure a duct is not pointing right on the t-stat controller.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Total Loss View Post
15A is not enough to run the A/C and other items.
With just the A/C- it will heat up the connections if it will even pull it.

Not sure why it shut off on the genny.
Check your control box.
Auto or On makes a difference.

I had an issue with my heater.
One of the ducts was pointed right at the t-stat and it would shut off quickly, then the temp would drop too much too quickly and the t-stat would not pick up the temp to switch on. Woke up a couple of times very cold.

Make sure a duct is not pointing right on the t-stat controller.

Yes, was not sure why it shut off either with the Genny on, but I might have a better idea now. So, while 15A is not enough to run the AC, it should be enough to power the fan only option while the Fridge is on LPG and the water heater and everything is off. That did not work either.

This weekend was our first official trip in the RV and unfortunately the AC unit did the same thing even with a full 30A connection and everything else off. So the first night was a bit warm trying to sleep with no AC. Early next morning I went up on the roof, took the cover off and tried turning the fan by hand. There was quite a bit of resistance and also a scraping sound inside the motor which is probably not a good sign. I then turned power back on to the fan and only got a hum from the motor. I nudged the fan and it started to turn slowly and unevenly. I left power on and then again after 15 mins the fan stopped turning and only a hum again. At the campground I met an HVAC guy who also did some work on RV's and described what was happening, he immediately pointed to an probable issue with the fan as well.

Now it will be interesting to see how long it will take to get this fixed. I did leave a message with the FR warranty person last Thursday and have not heard back. I can also see how this issue would not get picked up at the RV factory and during my PDI since the AC unit seems to work fine for at least 15 minutes before shutting down. Right now I'm keeping my fingers crossed as we have another trip scheduled for this weekend and this time there was going to be six people in the RV. Not sure how that would go with no air conditioning!
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:09 PM   #5
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It should not take long once your dealer get the OK from FR and Dometic has the fan in stock if it's replaceable.

Our first unit lost freon and froze up. It had to be replaced at 3 months. It took about 2 weeks for the replacement to arrive and scheduled to install but we did not need it right away.

That unit stopped cooling last Tuesday. We had a mobile RV tech come out Thursday and it was replaced under warranty with an upgrade to a low profile Penguin II since Dometic was out of them at their South Carolina location.

This morning during normal cycling it would not come back on and was starting to get warm inside. I found that shutting off the system at the thermostat reset it and has been working fine for the last three hours.

As you can imagine, I am not a fan of Dometic air conditioners. Even though I have bad luck with the AC units I feel the service has been good, especially Tarheel Mobile RV service. They arrived within an hour after my call, posted the new unit and replaced it in 24 hours.

Hope all goes well and you get yours fixed soon so you can enjoy your new motorhome.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:34 PM   #6
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even with my AC on, I still have at least one floor moving air around the trailer... allows for a higher temp on the AC to still be comfortable... without AC a fan is a must
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GL1800Rider View Post
It should not take long once your dealer get the OK from FR and Dometic has the fan in stock if it's replaceable.

Our first unit lost freon and froze up. It had to be replaced at 3 months. It took about 2 weeks for the replacement to arrive and scheduled to install but we did not need it right away.

That unit stopped cooling last Tuesday. We had a mobile RV tech come out Thursday and it was replaced under warranty with an upgrade to a low profile Penguin II since Dometic was out of them at their South Carolina location.

This morning during normal cycling it would not come back on and was starting to get warm inside. I found that shutting off the system at the thermostat reset it and has been working fine for the last three hours.

As you can imagine, I am not a fan of Dometic air conditioners. Even though I have bad luck with the AC units I feel the service has been good, especially Tarheel Mobile RV service. They arrived within an hour after my call, posted the new unit and replaced it in 24 hours.

Hope all goes well and you get yours fixed soon so you can enjoy your new motorhome.
GL,

How hard can it be to make an air conditioner that actually works? I've bought many cheap window AC units throughout the years, none of each ever failed! I'm hoping to get this unit replaced quickly as we don't do well in the heat. Thank for the info an good luck with yours!
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:09 PM   #8
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Try the Atwood

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GL,

How hard can it be to make an air conditioner that actually works? I've bought many cheap window AC units throughout the years, none of each ever failed! I'm hoping to get this unit replaced quickly as we don't do well in the heat. Thank for the info an good luck with yours!
If you can talk them into it, have them replace your Dometic with a similar capacity Atwood. They are much quieter, draw significantly less amps and the 15K unit has cooling equivalent to 18K cooling. I ditched my nearly new, working fine 13.5K Dometic for a 15K Atwood heat pump and I love it. We can talk at the dinette (and not shout) and I can run the 15K Atwood on my small diesel generator - it would barely run the Dometic. There is very little difference in cost.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:34 PM   #9
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A bit late to get an Atwood. It was replaced Friday with a Penguin. I think the mobile RV repair guy dealt directly with Dometic and not FR
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:44 AM   #10
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After discussing with the FR warranty rep and the local dealer, I will be bringing it it to have it looked at next week after our trip this weekend. Since we have now officially cancelled our first long trip to Nashville later this month, the pressure is off a bit to have it repaired ASAP. However, given the track record I have recently with the dealer getting warranty repairs done correctly and in a timely manner, I'm less than optimistic about having this corrected to my satisfaction. For now it's a wait and see.
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