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Old 06-29-2020, 12:50 PM   #1
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Another Air Conditioner Problem

We bought our 30DS new in June of 2015... we are on our 3rd Dometic Air Conditioner. We live in NW Oregon and rarely see "hot" days. This last week we did get into the upper 80's and low 90's briefly and you guessed it, we took the Motorhome out on a "dry-camp" weekend.

After hooking up the power cord into the on-board plug-in, we were off.

With the upper 80 degree temps, the air conditioner never got the motorhome below 77 degrees. It is functioning normally... the compressor kicks in and cool air comes out of the ceiling vents... it's just not cold enough to cool down the coach... this is even when parked under the shade of many mature trees and out of the sun.

I'm almost certain the AC unit is getting ready to go out yet again as I've had nothing but trouble with the Dometic AC units in the past.

Has anyone experienced anything similar?... Should I switch manufactures?... Will the generator run two separate AC Units if I was to add a second unit?

The AC used to freeze you out when they are new... Do they wear out?

The coach is plugged in to shore power when not being used (which is most of the time)... and the AC is set to 78 degrees as to keep the inside from baking while out on my RV Slab...

Frustrating...
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:42 PM   #2
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You do need to go up on roof about 2x a year to check and clean coils and drainage pan. If it's a ducted unit there is a panel to prevent output air to cycle right into input side you could check Just found this article

https://thecampingadvisor.com/how-long-rv-ac-last/
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:37 PM   #3
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I've done some googling and youtubing, and I from what I can tell, the capacitor is most likely good... the relays are good... the fans are good but the refrigerant is probably depleted... it get's cool but not cold.

Same story/different day...

Replacement time again.... this will be AC Unit number 4... in five years.

Yay for me...
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:51 PM   #4
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We have had campers since the 1980s and never had to replace a Dometic unit.

We did have a computer board go bad. Cost $250 to replace. Found out from the tech often the units are not installed correctly as far as the hot air return mixing with the cool air.

You may want to find an authorized Dometic repair facility or you can keep replacing units

Good Luck !!!!

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Old 06-29-2020, 04:28 PM   #5
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From what I've been told, is that the newer units are sealed and there is no "Taped Port" for recharging the units... the older AC units had the ports and could just be recharged... the EPA shut down this practice and mandated a bunch of expensive licenses and requirements in order to do the work or face very costly fines if caught doing it without them... so no one does it anymore.

The last two camp trailers I've owned worked flawlessly... the new models not so much.

My last (2) dometic units were under recall... they came out of China and were manufactured with some kind of a fitting that would fail or leak... both the last units were covered under a now expired warranty. My dealer was a victim of the Covid 19 and has closed, so I'm on my own for now.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:36 PM   #6
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you're getting fed a line of poop.



If you measure the inlet/return air and the outlet supply air right at the unit you should see 15-20 degree difference. If you don't see that but you can hear the compressor running you may well have a leak and that CAN be fixed. They make piercing valves (don't recommend) and a Schrader (like a tire valve stem) that is brazed in and when done properly will NOT leak. Remove the shroud on the roof and check for obvious signs of oil at the coils and around the compressor. Air coming off condenser should be noticeably warmer/hot than inlet. Sometimes leaks occur from coil casings/fins rubbing against the tubing. Also mentioned is the isolation of the warm air return from the cold air supply, the installers do a terrible job of sealing/separating the return and supply plenums; this is easily fixed with peel/stick foil tape.


Commercial AC is my career/profession.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:51 PM   #7
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I'm busy tonight at my motocross track, but I'll check it out if I get home in time or else tomorrow evening and report back...

I'm not a "brazing" type guy so I may have to find a repair guy or just buy a new unit...

It's almost comical that I've had this many issues... When this latest unit was brand new, it blew very cold air. We've only ever used the AC a couple of times since it was installed. Living in the PNW, most of the use is on the coast using the heater most of the time. We did use the air last Aug for our anniversary and then just this last weekend... you'd think you could get more service out of one...
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:53 PM   #8
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Agree 100% with Nather! Iím retired from a HVAC career.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:26 PM   #9
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Dometic

We bought a new 5vr in 2015. The Dometic unit was replaced twice under warranty in the first 3 years of ownership. The service manager at our dealer told us that Dometic had a run of bad units manufactured around 2013 -2015. The third one has so far been the charm. I installed a front unit myself a little over two years ago and it is Dometic and have had no issues to date.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:48 PM   #10
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When I got home last night, I took a temp reading at the AC unit and the first vent in the ceiling nearest the AC unit. both measurements were 77 degrees.

Outside temp was 77

I turned the thermostat to 65 and heard the compressor kick in within 12-14 seconds.

After 15 minutes, I took the temps again at the AC unit and at the first ceiling vent.
At the unit, I had 63 degrees
AT the first ceiling vent I had 64.8

After 30 minutes I had the temp down to 71 degrees.

Last weekend, as I said it was almost 90 degrees outside and I never could get the inside of the motorhome lower than 77

Is that normal?
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twojump36 View Post
From what I've been told, is that the newer units are sealed and there is no "Taped Port" for recharging the units... the older AC units had the ports and could just be recharged... the EPA shut down this practice and mandated a bunch of expensive licenses and requirements in order to do the work or face very costly fines if caught doing it without them... so no one does it anymore.

The last two camp trailers I've owned worked flawlessly... the new models not so much.

My last (2) dometic units were under recall... they came out of China and were manufactured with some kind of a fitting that would fail or leak... both the last units were covered under a now expired warranty. My dealer was a victim of the Covid 19 and has closed, so I'm on my own for now.
BS. Most hermetically sealed units have no service ports or no real need for them. No leak, clean coils, functioning of motors and pumps... you are good to go. You can add service ports, but that is not going to fix the leak.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lazyjj View Post
We bought a new 5vr in 2015. The Dometic unit was replaced twice under warranty in the first 3 years of ownership. The service manager at our dealer told us that Dometic had a run of bad units manufactured around 2013 -2015. The third one has so far been the charm. I installed a front unit myself a little over two years ago and it is Dometic and have had no issues to date.
The official... unofficial info I got was end of June 2017 as the repair of the leaking coil production. I read that, but I cannot remember where.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twojump36 View Post
When I got home last night, I took a temp reading at the AC unit and the first vent in the ceiling nearest the AC unit. both measurements were 77 degrees.

Outside temp was 77

I turned the thermostat to 65 and heard the compressor kick in within 12-14 seconds.

After 15 minutes, I took the temps again at the AC unit and at the first ceiling vent.
At the unit, I had 63 degrees
AT the first ceiling vent I had 64.8

After 30 minutes I had the temp down to 71 degrees.

Last weekend, as I said it was almost 90 degrees outside and I never could get the inside of the motorhome lower than 77

Is that normal?


Sounds very much like what I get out of
my 2015 30DS. Iíve never had a problem with it over the 6+ years Iíve had it now. I just spent a week in Laughlin, NV. Temps were 109-114. I was able to keep the interior at 85 or less during those times which felt pretty darn good compared to outside.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:10 PM   #14
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Clean the coils

Quote:
Originally Posted by twojump36 View Post
We bought our 30DS new in June of 2015... we are on our 3rd Dometic Air Conditioner. We live in NW Oregon and rarely see "hot" days. This last week we did get into the upper 80's and low 90's briefly and you guessed it, we took the Motorhome out on a "dry-camp" weekend.

After hooking up the power cord into the on-board plug-in, we were off.

With the upper 80 degree temps, the air conditioner never got the motorhome below 77 degrees. It is functioning normally... the compressor kicks in and cool air comes out of the ceiling vents... it's just not cold enough to cool down the coach... this is even when parked under the shade of many mature trees and out of the sun.

I'm almost certain the AC unit is getting ready to go out yet again as I've had nothing but trouble with the Dometic AC units in the past.

Has anyone experienced anything similar?... Should I switch manufactures?... Will the generator run two separate AC Units if I was to add a second unit?

The AC used to freeze you out when they are new... Do they wear out?

The coach is plugged in to shore power when not being used (which is most of the time)... and the AC is set to 78 degrees as to keep the inside from baking while out on my RV Slab...

Frustrating...

You need to clean the coils EVERY year with foam cleaner. When they become dirty the AC is not cold only cool.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twojump36 View Post
When I got home last night, I took a temp reading at the AC unit and the first vent in the ceiling nearest the AC unit. both measurements were 77 degrees.

Outside temp was 77

I turned the thermostat to 65 and heard the compressor kick in within 12-14 seconds.

After 15 minutes, I took the temps again at the AC unit and at the first ceiling vent.
At the unit, I had 63 degrees
AT the first ceiling vent I had 64.8

After 30 minutes I had the temp down to 71 degrees.

Last weekend, as I said it was almost 90 degrees outside and I never could get the inside of the motorhome lower than 77

Is that normal?

90-77 is 13, that's not great but about right. As suggested try cleaning indoor and outdoor coils with a recommended coil cleaner and lots of water, be careful you don't get water inside. You might get a degree or two more split. There's a performance curve for every AC unit and it takes into account dry and wet bulb temperatures, some of the work the unit does is to remove moisture (condensate drains onto the roof, latent capacity), the remainder goes to cooling the air (sensible capacity).


Bottom line is that if you heard the compressor running and it was doing work (cooling) then you probably don't have a leak, they don't hold much refrigerant so a very tiny leak will cause it to go flat pretty quickly.



What size is your trailer? One or two AC's?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:11 PM   #16
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwannacamp View Post
BS. Most hermetically sealed units have no service ports or no real need for them. No leak, clean coils, functioning of motors and pumps... you are good to go. You can add service ports, but that is not going to fix the leak.
Which part is BS?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayther View Post
90-77 is 13, that's not great but about right. As suggested try cleaning indoor and outdoor coils with a recommended coil cleaner and lots of water, be careful you don't get water inside. You might get a degree or two more split. There's a performance curve for every AC unit and it takes into account dry and wet bulb temperatures, some of the work the unit does is to remove moisture (condensate drains onto the roof, latent capacity), the remainder goes to cooling the air (sensible capacity).


Bottom line is that if you heard the compressor running and it was doing work (cooling) then you probably don't have a leak, they don't hold much refrigerant so a very tiny leak will cause it to go flat pretty quickly.



What size is your trailer? One or two AC's?
I have a FR3 30DS... it's a class A motorhome.
I checked the inside filter and the outside coils... neither are dirty. We typically have a "wet environment up here in Oregon" We don't get a chance to use the Motorhome much in the middle of summer because we have too many obligations... we do most of our trips from Jan to Arpil and then maybe Sept to Nov... we do one "dry camp" a year in June or July because of a corporate company picnic and campout... I'm almost afraid to take this thing somewhere hot...
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:38 PM   #19
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I have two Dometic 15K air conditioners on our 2016 Crusader Lite. The one from the factory failed on the first try, replaced under warranty. I added an additional three year warranty on that unit. I added a second 15K Dometic air conditioner and also added the additional three year warranty. Both units have a five year warranty. Have only had to the one problem with the ac units.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:21 AM   #20
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Which part is BS?
the newer units are sealed and there is no "Taped Port" for recharging the units... the older AC units had the ports

On hermetically sealed systems(speaking residential/light commercial) units have hardly ever had any service ports. The only refrigerators I ever worked on with service ports(read very old)were GE and I don't recall ever working on a window a/c unit with factory service ports. Now Understand I only worked on a hand full of RV units.

and the part of being expensive and hard to get a "license". The refrigerant recovery certification wasn't/isn't expensive or hard to get. It just took time and energy to get. I have two certifications for recovery... no big deal. The Montreal Protocol encompasses a bunch of stuff. Most is good. The only part I don't agree with is the TAX! I am not a tree hugger...

all my opinions of course
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