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Old 09-21-2019, 01:10 PM   #1
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15k BTU Air Conditioner Suggestion

I have a 2013 378 xl that came with a dometic 15K btu in front and 13k btu in bedroom. Im pretty sure the original was the standard brisk air model. The 13k bedroom has been zero problems and still works well. The 15 k is a different story. The original one started freezing up and after much research found I had one from the batch of 2012 and early 13ís that had the bad chinese solder joints that leaked. Mine was determined bad about 6-8 months after 2 year warranty period. I purchased and replaced top unit with a dometic Brisk air 2 model. After around two years started having occasional circuit breaker trips on inside circuit breaker box. First made sure no loose or bad connections on unit or on breaker then replaced breaker thinking could be just weak breaker. Problem continued so next added a dometic hard start kit to the a/c and this also has not helped. Discussion with local dealer technician has concluded its most probably the compressor starting to drag causing breaker to trip. Monitoring current draw determined nothing definite but current draw normally ran around 13.5 amps when I checked it. Could not determine current draw on start as meter would not capture the quick start up surge. One additional thing I notice on start is compressor sounds like it strains on start. Kind of a labored start up sound. Im six months out of warranty again and when called dometic customer care was told nothing they would do out of warranty. I will be paying out of pocket to put number three in the front and was wondering what type of a/c is being put in the new Georgetowns? Also wondering if anyone has the brisk 2 unit for any period of time with good results? I see where dometic has a new unit out called the blizzard which they say has more cfm output at around 320 to 350. This unit is a few hundred more than replacing with another brisk air 2. The other domectic option Ive found is the Penguin low profile model which seem to be pretty reliable but drawback is owners complain they are noisy and also this top unit is about twice the cost of the brisk air 2 model. Iíve thought about refitting with an Atwood but know Id have to change both upper and lower portions along with new controls and not sure what other wiring modifications and or thermostat will be necessary to go that route. A couple years ago I added a third a/c in front of stove and moved fantastic fan back to shower area. I added a 13k Atwood with controls on the unit to avoid pulling tstat wiring and have been very happy with its performance thus far. The only issue with it was condensation dripping when in very humid environments. I resolved this by adding foil type insulation on intake air chamber and exhaust chamber to isolate them which seems to have resolved condensation issue. Feedback on reliability of your brisk air 2 and or other current model would be appreciated. Not sure if I should take a chance on another brisk air 2 or go with something else.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:46 PM   #2
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So your saying you now have 3 Roof ACís on your 378. We have a 378 and have never seen an issue with cooling. I can see where you have to much amp draw which would do all that your describing. Good luck on chasing your gremlins.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:06 PM   #3
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Have you checked the pressure on the refg. Lines
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:42 PM   #4
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As mentioned above the new font ac worked fine for a period of time. Three acís is not the issue. There are many coaches with three a/c Ďs running just fine without a power management system. Iíd be under 50 amps if all kicked on at same time anyway, which is never a reality. All my a/cís have start capacitors. The Added ac is on back circuit not on front. Comfortable to you apparently not comfortable to me. 78 degrees is not cool enough for me and I dont normally park under trees. Best I could ever do in full florida sun was 78 degrees in and in July and August never achieved that in mid afternoon. Donít think my 378 has any less insulation than any other 2013 year 378. I do have single pane windows that I first had professionally tinted to try and improve cooling. Maybe you have double pane. The third ac was much less expensive than replacing all windows with double pane. Not confident replacing windows would of provided as good results as the third a/c anyway. In closing, Im not chasing gremlins. I know what problem is. I have a brisk air 2 pulling excessive amperage. This has been confirmed by a local rv tech with many years experience. Iím looking for input on reliability opinions of the brisk air 2 and suggestions on a replacement unit before deciding what ac to buy. Thanks for the luck wishes anyway.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by loyda View Post
Have you checked the pressure on the refg. Lines


No sir. The system is sealed. The local technician hypothesizes the head pressure would be high if gauges could be put on it. It seems more prevalent when temp is hot. Was told by local rv tech when compressors start to go they drag when they get hot. The compressor is noticeably hotter than the rear ac that is also a dometic but a 13k vs 15. Also much hotter than the atwood air command installed a couple years ago.
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:05 PM   #6
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After my third brisk air 15k, I went to the penguin series. Don't notice any noise difference and still going after three years.
Went through the brisk airs every other season.
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:33 PM   #7
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It is difficult to measure inrush current without a meter that is specifically designed to make a fast capture. I used my oscilloscope with a current clamp to get this capture:



It shows that inrush is about 2.7 times running current. That's with a factory hard start kit on a 10K BTU Dometic Cool Cat heatpump/AC unit.

My only suggestion is if you have a decent DVM that will capture fast min-max readings for voltage to see if you have excessive voltage drop during startup. My Fluke 189 will catch 250 micro second peaks in fast m/m mode.

You can also do a subjective test by running parallel wiring between the A/C and the breaker panel or another circuit's outlet. Example is to plug a 12 gauge extension cord into the outlet of a lightly loaded branch circuit, then use an adapter plug at the other end to attach to the A/C unit's power input connector. Then compare the sound of the units at startup.

Example of an adapter:



VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure BOTH feeds are on the same phase, or you will create a 240 volt short circuit. Test hot-to-hot voltage it should be below 2 volts. If it's more like 240 volts, wrong phase!
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvphil View Post
I have a 2013 378 xl that came with a dometic 15K btu in front and 13k btu in bedroom. Im pretty sure the original was the standard brisk air model. The 13k bedroom has been zero problems and still works well. The 15 k is a different story. The original one started freezing up and after much research found I had one from the batch of 2012 and early 13ís that had the bad chinese solder joints that leaked. Mine was determined bad about 6-8 months after 2 year warranty period. I purchased and replaced top unit with a dometic Brisk air 2 model. After around two years started having occasional circuit breaker trips on inside circuit breaker box. First made sure no loose or bad connections on unit or on breaker then replaced breaker thinking could be just weak breaker. Problem continued so next added a dometic hard start kit to the a/c and this also has not helped. Discussion with local dealer technician has concluded its most probably the compressor starting to drag causing breaker to trip. Monitoring current draw determined nothing definite but current draw normally ran around 13.5 amps when I checked it. Could not determine current draw on start as meter would not capture the quick start up surge. One additional thing I notice on start is compressor sounds like it strains on start. Kind of a labored start up sound. Im six months out of warranty again and when called dometic customer care was told nothing they would do out of warranty. I will be paying out of pocket to put number three in the front and was wondering what type of a/c is being put in the new Georgetowns? Also wondering if anyone has the brisk 2 unit for any period of time with good results? I see where dometic has a new unit out called the blizzard which they say has more cfm output at around 320 to 350. This unit is a few hundred more than replacing with another brisk air 2. The other domectic option Ive found is the Penguin low profile model which seem to be pretty reliable but drawback is owners complain they are noisy and also this top unit is about twice the cost of the brisk air 2 model. Iíve thought about refitting with an Atwood but know Id have to change both upper and lower portions along with new controls and not sure what other wiring modifications and or thermostat will be necessary to go that route. A couple years ago I added a third a/c in front of stove and moved fantastic fan back to shower area. I added a 13k Atwood with controls on the unit to avoid pulling tstat wiring and have been very happy with its performance thus far. The only issue with it was condensation dripping when in very humid environments. I resolved this by adding foil type insulation on intake air chamber and exhaust chamber to isolate them which seems to have resolved condensation issue. Feedback on reliability of your brisk air 2 and or other current model would be appreciated. Not sure if I should take a chance on another brisk air 2 or go with something else.
Did you just add a hard start and not replace the original capacitor . The Capacitor could have been why it was tripping the breaker .
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
Did you just add a hard start and not replace the original capacitor . The Capacitor could have been why it was tripping the breaker .


No I did not replace original capacitor. It had no visual damage and uf checked in tolerance with dvm before installing the hard start. However, maybe I should climb back up and check it again before swapping out top unit. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ida Ratherbe Camping View Post
After my third brisk air 15k, I went to the penguin series. Don't notice any noise difference and still going after three years.

Went through the brisk airs every other season.


Your replacement was also recommended by the local RV tech. He said heís only replaced two of them over the years vs many brisk airs. The Penguins are a little pricey but since Im looking at installing number three in front slot the price is not the major concern. Im looking for something that cools good and reliable. The other Iíve heard positive comments about is the Airxcel (ie Coleman) mach 15. It will require a conversion kit for mounting and wiring but its available for around fifty dollars. Thank you for your response.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
It is difficult to measure inrush current without a meter that is specifically designed to make a fast capture. I used my oscilloscope with a current clamp to get this capture:



It shows that inrush is about 2.7 times running current. That's with a factory hard start kit on a 10K BTU Dometic Cool Cat heatpump/AC unit.

My only suggestion is if you have a decent DVM that will capture fast min-max readings for voltage to see if you have excessive voltage drop during startup. My Fluke 189 will catch 250 micro second peaks in fast m/m mode.

You can also do a subjective test by running parallel wiring between the A/C and the breaker panel or another circuit's outlet. Example is to plug a 12 gauge extension cord into the outlet of a lightly loaded branch circuit, then use an adapter plug at the other end to attach to the A/C unit's power input connector. Then compare the sound of the units at startup.

Example of an adapter:



VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure BOTH feeds are on the same phase, or you will create a 240 volt short circuit. Test hot-to-hot voltage it should be below 2 volts. If it's more like 240 volts, wrong phase!


Iím sure my fifty dollar harbor freight chinese meter is problem I cant capture start up load. I donít have a o-scope last time I used one of those or had access to one was in B-1 avionics back-shop at Dyess AFB many years ago. I may look at tapping a different circuit as you mentioned to see if compressor sounds any less labored on start up. They do have 12-2 with ground ran to both the front and rear a/cís and I did install a new breaker. I have a progressive industries hard mount installed and input voltage looks good on both L-1 and L-2. It also shows amps being drawn on each leg but it also does not capture on startup. It randomly cycles display showing line voltage and current for each leg. Thank you for taking time to reply.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:35 PM   #12
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7/60 second

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
It is difficult to measure inrush current without a meter that is specifically designed to make a fast capture. I used my oscilloscope with a current clamp to get this capture:



It shows that inrush is about 2.7 times running current. That's with a factory hard start kit on a 10K BTU Dometic Cool Cat heatpump/AC unit.

My only suggestion is if you have a decent DVM that will capture fast min-max readings for voltage to see if you have excessive voltage drop during startup. My Fluke 189 will catch 250 micro second peaks in fast m/m mode.

You can also do a subjective test by running parallel wiring between the A/C and the breaker panel or another circuit's outlet. Example is to plug a 12 gauge extension cord into the outlet of a lightly loaded branch circuit, then use an adapter plug at the other end to attach to the A/C unit's power input connector. Then compare the sound of the units at startup.

Example of an adapter:



VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure BOTH feeds are on the same phase, or you will create a 240 volt short circuit. Test hot-to-hot voltage it should be below 2 volts. If it's more like 240 volts, wrong phase!
Nice photos. That looks like about 7 cycles of overload with (as you say) a 2.7x peak. that's 7/60 of a second. It wouldn't be enough to pop a breaker, and I'm sure yours doesn't. Too bad the OP can't make the same measurement.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Tripping the breaker

We have a 2012 FR Surveyor 310 purchased in 2016, we purchased the warranty and the first summer, the A/C was spitting out ice. The dealer told us to keep the fan running to stop it, I said B.S., should not be freezing up, they replaced it under the warranty(minus freight charges). We also get the occasional c/b tripping on hot days(90+) on initial startup. Once we reset it, its fine. Was thinking about adding a startup kit but after seeing this thread, don't know if that would solve the problem.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:18 AM   #14
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We have a 2018 Artic Wolf and we are on #3 of the Brisk unit. We get anywhere between 6 to 9 months out of units and then like you they freeze up and or hot air. If this third unit takes a crap I'm changing BRANDS. The low design Penguin unit in our bed room is still cranking great. That Chinese crap has now cost me install cost & time. COME ON DOMETIC go with USA production!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:22 AM   #15
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We have a 2012 FR Surveyor 310 purchased in 2016, we purchased the warranty and the first summer, the A/C was spitting out ice. The dealer told us to keep the fan running to stop it, I said B.S., should not be freezing up, they replaced it under the warranty(minus freight charges). We also get the occasional c/b tripping on hot days(90+) on initial startup. Once we reset it, its fine. Was thinking about adding a startup kit but after seeing this thread, don't know if that would solve the problem.


I added the dometic hard start kit. It did not seem to help. I hear there is a mico start kit available from a company that is supposed to reduce start load by incrementally running voltage up on start up. It is supposed to allow use of a honda 2200 generator with a 13.500 btu rv ac. Ive read reports people say it did work for them. However, the kit is around 300 bucks. They are real proud of it
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:29 AM   #16
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We have a 2018 Artic Wolf and we are on #3 of the Brisk unit. We get anywhere between 6 to 9 months out of units and then like you they freeze up and or hot air. If this third unit takes a crap I'm changing BRANDS. The low design Penguin unit in our bed room is still cranking great. That Chinese crap has now cost me install cost & time. COME ON DOMETIC go with USA production!!!!!


Thank you for the info. Im glad to hear its just not a run of bad luck for me. Iím leaning towards the Penguin 2 also. I found a black high efficiency top unit on amazon with shipping included for a little over a thousand dollars. The 13.5 is a little less but I want all the cooling I can get. Reports from some say a little noisy but others report its not ant more noisy than their other ac. I was also looking at the coleman mach 15 but it looks big and specs show its pretty heavy.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:56 AM   #17
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Got rid of the Dometic for a Coleman, the unit is quieter and has more output.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:55 AM   #18
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I replaced my first Brisk Air 2 at 3 months. That one was blowing ice chunks and verified by the dealer to be defective. That replacement Brisk Air 2 lasted 9 months and quit cooling completely while at a FROG rally in Mt. Airy NC. Mobile tech replaced it with a Penguin in July of 16 since Dometic was out of the Brisk Air 2 and except for a thermostat glitch every once in awhile it has performed great. It has to be hard wired in as the Brisk Air is has a compatible plug. Tech has Dometic walk him thru the wiring to make sure it was done correctly. As for noise, it is noisy but I don't think it is worse the the original Brisk Airs it replaced.

Another member on here with a the same model rig but a 2018 just had his Brisk Air 2 replaced for the second time just recently so he is on his 3rd one. He tried to get Dometic to replace it with a Penguin but had no luck.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:14 AM   #19
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I replaced my first Brisk Air 2 at 3 months. That one was blowing ice chunks and verified by the dealer to be defective. That replacement Brisk Air 2 lasted 9 months and quit cooling completely while at a FROG rally in Mt. Airy NC. Mobile tech replaced it with a Penguin in July of 16 since Dometic was out of the Brisk Air 2 and except for a thermostat glitch every once in awhile it has performed great. It has to be hard wired in as the Brisk Air is has a compatible plug. Tech has Dometic walk him thru the wiring to make sure it was done correctly. As for noise, it is noisy but I don't think it is worse the the original Brisk Airs it replaced.



Another member on here with a the same model rig but a 2018 just had his Brisk Air 2 replaced for the second time just recently so he is on his 3rd one. He tried to get Dometic to replace it with a Penguin but had no luck.


Thank you for the response. Itís looking like Im not just having a streak of bad luck. Also thanks for the wiring heads up. I will look into that before installing a Penguin. I read on one blog the Penguin would plug right in to existing dometic brisk air box as long as it was not the multi zone thermostat. I will need to verify this before attempting to replace.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:23 AM   #20
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Mine is a single zone as its in a Forester. Here is a photo of how it's wired. I think he added a junction box to the front as well. Ignore the dust. It's amazing how much gets thru.

By the way, my AC is on 24/7 and set to 87 degrees when at home so it has a lot of hours on it.
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