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Old 08-20-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Ducted AC Condensation

I know this has been discussed before, however I believe that it warrants bringing up again because of the potential devastating consequences.

We live in an extreme humidity environment (and that's putting it mildly). When you open your door on any day you'll see that most homes and businesses windows are completely soaking wet even though it hasn't rained. This of course holds true for our beloved campers as well.

It's just a fact of life in south Louisiana and people just learn to deal with it although it is a constant source of issues for people, causing molding, property damage and health issues even in newer houses if not managed carefully.

Since owning our Trilogy (about a year now), I have always noticed what I believed to be a small amount of condensation around the vents. It seems natural that in such high humidity environments, that where the cold air exits the vents one might see a bit of condensation from time to time especially if the doors have been opened throughout the day more frequently or more showers have been taken etc. That humidity will hit cold air and condense on the coldest nearby object. In this case, the vents as it seems.

However, today I learned something very disturbing and I'm no so sure there is any real fix for it. I noticed that I was seeing some rust color around our LED glass lighting fixtures so I popped one off and the screw were all rusts and the light bowl was full of water. Not good. I thought our roof was leaking. After a lot of investigation and searching and reasonable logical deduction I came to the conclusion that the roof was not leaking.

In fact, I proceeded to check all the lights--all had at least some water and some had quite a bit. As I narrowed the possible culprit down the the AC, I began to remove remove be AC outlet vents and peel back the foil tape.

I was heart broken. There is standing water all up in our roof. All around those vents. I meant a LOT of water. I actually stuck washcloths up in the vent cavity between the actual ceiling panel and the duct--just pull back the foil tape and you'll see what I mean.

After all of that I decided to make this post because he damage to those roof panels is in no way obvious to the casual observer. I also have no way of knowing just how much water has poured down those ceiling panels in into the side walls.

At this point I am now sure of what options there really are. Obviously in such extreme conditions as we live in here in south Louisiana, we absolutely have no option of not running AC--and running it hard.

At the same time, I know that as long a those units run, they will be dumping copious amounts of water into that roof cavity. It is so bad that I'm seriously thinking of just pulling out the roof panels--at least the ones near the AC where exit air is the coldest so that water cannot be trapped up there.

It is not a happy situation at all because there is no other solution. I supposed I could also try blocking off the vent duct from the air box under the AC and have it only dump air straight down but that is going to make cooling the whole RV very difficult.

So I am just pondering my options at this point. Not thinking there are many.

To top it off, the fan on our front Mach 8 AC exploded last night while we were sleeping and scared the living daylights out of my wife and I as we had no ideas what was going on being woken from a dead sleep to that. Now I get to spend another $1000 replacing THAT AC with a Mach 15 in 100° heat and 90° humidity. All while knowing that this AC and the one I just replaced are going to continue to destroy the camper with water condensation.

Sigh. Check behind those vents people! Hopefully you are not in such an extreme humidity environment. I would check them anyway!

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Old 08-20-2016, 05:24 PM   #2
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kwoodrg,

When you replaced the blower, did you check to see if the drain holes in the AC unit (on the roof) were clear? When we lived in Florida for 3 years, the AC for the house would sometimes backup water. We found the drain line (PVC) was full of green slime. The AC repairman blew it out under pressure and it was like someone blowing their nose, only worse. Sorry, but that was the best way to describe it. Make sure the small holes in the base pan of the AC on the roof are not clogged, maybe even drill a few more if you see water puddled there. Also contact Airxcel and see what they can offer for assistance.

John
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:30 PM   #3
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I would also contact Dynamax and take the camper to them. I know it's a loing drive but they should have a better solution. I have been back to Indiana every year although I hate the trip. Had Dynamax work on the camper once under warranty, then Lippert did my large slide, and back to Lippert again this year for that same slide. All warranty at no cost to me except the trip. We like the area so go touring while camper is being repaired.

John
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:14 PM   #4
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I'm not familiar with your unit, but if the ducting is similar to that in my FW, I offer the following. Yes, we get some slight condensation around the supply vents in high humidity situations, like those in FL. However, our 4-month old FW started leaking around the two rear AC returns during rain storms. We found a lot of water up in the ceiling. Just had it repaired.

The RV tech told us it was caused by improper installation of the rear AC, and he'd seen it a handful of times in the fully-ducted systems, the type where you can't see the inside bottom of the AC in the ceiling. So, let's hope that's all that's wrong with your unit.
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