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Old 08-09-2016, 12:46 PM   #1
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A/C cycling with error on thermostat

I am sure this is a common issue but I cannot find anything by searching. About a month ago we went camping for a week in Minnesota and used the AC several times. No issues. When we got back to Illinois I plugged the camper into the house circuit (20 amp, 120volt) and the A/C would cycle on (10 sec) and off (10 sec) and flash an E1 error on the Dometic digital thermostat. I read here that I had to totally cycle the power, including the batteries and that seemed to work. It ran like a champ. Fast forward to last week. Set the wife and some of her friends up at a campsite but the AC was acting up again. I tried resetting it again but to no avail. I worked on it for about an hour, no luck. The strange thing here is that we noticed the GFI in the bathroom was tripped. I reset it and it did it again later. During the three days she was there she did get it working for a while. It was July! Not happy campers! (Just for reference I set them up on a Tuesday and left them there and picked them back up on Thursday). We are camping in a couple of weeks and I would like to avoid a repeat. Had the RV dealer look at it and he found nothing wrong. Everything worked like it was supposed to. AC cold and no GFI. I suspect that bad power was the problem in the campground (not sure about home). If that is the case is there anything I can do about it? We regularly camp at that campground and have never had an issue. How can I prevent the issue or at least know prior to setting up?
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:58 PM   #2
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If you don't have one might want to get an EMS. I have the Progressive Industries EMS HW50C and it gave me a code at a campground and would not let power into my unit. I moved to next space and it worked fine. No codes and I was able to run everything. Something about an open ground issue. I was getting an error code on my thermostat as well.

Don't have any idea if this is why yours was acting up but just giving my experience.


The PI EMS is great for letting you know about any power issues at the pole.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
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E1 is a communication error between the thermostat and the control board. You could have an intermittent connection in the thermostat wiring, or it could have been a power issue. The t-stat gets power from the battery/converter. If the battery was low and the converter wasn't charging it, that could be the problem.

I think a little more investigation is in order.

Have you had a problem with the battery, or converter?
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:59 PM   #4
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No problems with the batteries or converter. Batteries show 12.6 volts and everything else in the camper works perfectly.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:52 AM   #5
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I'd pull the cover off the thermostat and check the wiring connections and test for voltage there. If you don't find anything wrong there, pull the grill off the A/C and open the control box and check for loose connections there, and test for proper voltage as well.

Be careful! I'd suggest turning the 120 volt power off and just dealing with the 12 volts to begin with.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:52 PM   #6
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I had a similar problem. In my case the thermostat was mounted on an outside wall with a small cavity behind it. The heat in the wall met the cold air inside and the result was moisture on the PC board which shorted out the circuit. I took the thermosat off the wall, dried it out, and let it sit for @ 30 minutes. I also turned off the 120AC power to the AC unit. When I reconnected and turned on the power everything worked fine, at least for about 5 days. Then it happened again and I went through the same routine again. To correct this I put some spray foam in the wall cavity and a thin sheet of foam between the back of the thermostat and the wall. Don't know if this will fix the problem permanently. We're leaving on Saturday for an extended trip and we'll see what happens. If not, I'm taking with a data cable and will temporarily relocate the thermostat to an interior wall. Permanent move with then be made when we get back.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:34 PM   #7
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Just to close it off.

Just to totally wrap this up... After the last trip I took the camper into the dealer and had them take a look at it. Of course it worked perfectly! Ran for hours without a hitch. Went out this weekend and of course had the problem again. Let's just say the wife was pissed! I wasn't much too happy either. I poked around some more on the wall unit and figured I would just replace the thermostat. I was looking in the overhead unit and found where the thermostat wires come into the main unit. While messing with the wires the unit kicked on. There is a mass of wires that had wire nuts and electrical tape. Took everything apart and found that one of the wires from the thermostat was not making consistant contact. I reconnected the wires securely and wrapped it all back up. Works like champ!
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for letting us know what you found and how you fixed it.
We learn how to help others when you let us know how you fixed things.
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