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Old 08-11-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
Tithy242
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Coleman Roof Top RV A/C

A few facts before I begin. 1] I am not an A/C expert 2] We've had 40 something days in a row above 100 degrees in Texas.

I'm getting ready for a 9 day trip and while going over the trailer and getting it stocked, it seems as if the rear A/C (15K BTU ducted w/ thermostat) is NOT blowing cold air. It seems as if the front A/C (13.5 BTU bedroom only no t-stat) is blowing cold air. Another observation, the smaller bedroom unit is dripping condensate but the larger rear unit is not.

I'm wondering if when I get plugged into 50amp and get them both running if there's a chance things will operate normally. At home I only have a 30amp plug so I can only run one at a time.

Any thoughts, ideas, similar experiences would be welcome.

Thank you everyone.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #2
Ozz
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Hi TC,
That weather is tough to cool down a trailer. To check the unit:
I suggest you open the plastic damper on the rear unit, some call it a dump damper, as it dumps the air down to the floor. Turn the thermostat to 70 or whatever, I know it is around 90 or better in there, it will be 'calling' for cool. You should have 30 to 40 degree difference in the air coming out of the A/C unit. It is hard to determine if the unit is working when it is pulling in 90-100 degree air, but check it with a thermometer, supply and the return where the filter is.
Give it an hr or so and check it again. You could have a problem with it, but this is a start.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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TC, If both a/c units are running I wouldn't think it is a power problem. Generally both running on 30 amp service could cause you to pop the main or pedestal breaker. Shut the front unit off and see if the main a/c produces cold air. I'm betting it won't. I'm not an a/c guy but make sure the cooling coils, and filter are clean, and that the fan is running freely. Somebody reported mud dubbers realy like to target the fan blades. We have a couple of experts on these units a hopefully they will be along shortly to help you out. Based on you MOC # I'm thinking you have a pretty new unit. If still under warrenty and time permits I'd get it back to the dealer before your trip. If you are going to a cooler climate that 13.5 with a fan to blow the chilled air out of the bedroom might make it bearable. Good luck, Jim

My mistake, I guess I didn't read his original post correctly. I do see the statement he is only running one at a time. Jim
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
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He's already running one at a time. In his post he won't run both unless he's plugged into 50amp. His complaint is that the BR A/C is not blowing cold air even by itself.

I'd start with Ozz's recommendation and jimcol mentions some other good ones, then report back what is found. I have a feeling the OP is going to say the same thing is wrong if these first few recommendations don't fix the problem - that the rear A/C is not dumping cold air. Whether one or both are running, there's a good chance that this won't change whether the BR unit dumps cold air, it seems like something is wrong with that unit and it's not cooling.

I'm hoping Ozz or someone else can report back what to do when you know the unit is not blowing cold air and the power is fine.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:22 AM   #5
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This may help on your themostat you will see Auto/Fan don't leave it on Auto when it cycles the fan shuts off when it comes back on it freezes the condisation water on the coils if you switch to High Fan (run all the time) when the compressor cycle stops the Fan will blow off all that water so it can't freeze when the compressor kicks back in . Hope this helps it worked for me. Jack
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:17 AM   #6
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The problem is with extreme heat. Say 100 degrees. That is what he is starting with. If you are only dropping the temperature 30 or so degrees, you can hold your hand under the supply air and it will still feel hot if you are standing there, No condensation will happen until the temperature drops more.
I posted the Mud Dobber posts, actually, that will only 'wobble' the fans, they will sound like they are coming apart, but the system will function OK. If TC does what I suggested and gets back to us we can go further.
If you want to call me TC, PM me and I will give you my number.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:50 AM   #7
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We only have one AC. In triple-digit heat, we use our quick cool feature (as Ozz says "dump") opening the AC to dump the air directly down from the unit, then supplement it by using our 12-volt silent breeze fan to circulate the floor-level cool air along the lower extremities of the living area. We find that we are comfortable even in this extreme heat. We don't even consider adding a second AC.

Orv
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
Tithy242
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Hello again...I really appreciate all the responses and troubleshooting ideas. The 5er is hitched and ready to go so when I "land", I'll get all systems running and then report back. Since I purchased new in Feb. 2011. I'm hoping the biggest problem is just extreme outdoor heat. I'll know soon if a real problem exists. I will report back; again thanks to everyone for your time and energy.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #9
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TC,
You have said the unit in the bedroom is not connected to the thermostat and that one is working as it should, but the one in the living area is connected to the thermostat and is not working. It could be a thermostat related problem. You state your rig is a 2011. Is the bedroom a/c an after market install? If it is not, then your thermostat should have two "ZONE" settings for the different a/c units and I am thinking the "ZONE" that the thermostat is set to for the bedroom is low enough to make the bedroom a/c kick in and the ZONE for the living area is not set up correctly. There should be a selection on the thermostat to select the different zones. When you set the two different zones, you have to set everything i.e. temp and fan speed. Let us know what you find and maybe we can help to troubleshoot this further..

If all of that is babble to you and doesn't apply, then being a 2011, back to the dealer it goes for warranty repairs.

r,
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:09 AM   #10
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An update after the weekend. The bedroom unit was installed by the factory but is not thermostat controlled. It's either full on or off; wish it was t-stat controlled. It'll cool the bedroom to 72 degrees with the door open according to my basic indoor/outdoor thermometer. If I place a small fan on the floor just outside the bedroom door, it'll keep the living area from going above 85 degrees and of course the ceiling fan helps things feel okay. So no one is dying here. The return air from the smaller bedroom unit is cold whereas the return air on the bigger living room unit is basically room temp. So, regardless of the extreme outside heat I believe there is an issue with the living room unit. Tons of condensate from the working unit and not a drop from the other. The filters and coils are clean. Maybe it's a t-stat issue, a fuse or who knows.

The park I'm in now has a professional RV Tech living there. I talked with him this morning and am willing to let him trace the problem down and if not too expensive let him apply a fix. He understands I'm still under warranty and is just going to "take a look". If it turns out to major, back to the dealer. I'm trying to avoid this because it'll be the fourth trip back to the dealer since Feb. and the third camping trip we've had to cut short due to a mechanical problem on a new rig. First two issues were water leaks and a slide out issue. We still love our Mountaineer 324RLQ and the layout is perfect for us but hate the thought of unloading the fridge again and having to wipe out the mold when we pick it up. What a hassle.

Side question: I'm running the smaller bedroom unit 24/7 mostly because it's not t-stat controlled. How long can these units run like that before I cause another problem? Since my wife and I still work and have a home, I'm talking days, not weeks or months. With two units, at least I can run one during the day and the other at night; that is when they are both running as they should.

Again, thank you for listening.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:14 AM   #11
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Don't worry about continuous use, won't hurt it at all. It will shorten whatever live expectancy it has, but with luck, it will serve your needs for years to come.
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:21 AM   #12
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I'll be interested in what the RV tech finds.

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Old 08-17-2011, 08:05 AM   #13
Tithy242
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We're approaching closure on this A/C issue. The campground RV Tech (RVIA certified) checked everything. Filters, Fins, Fuses, Volts, etc. and all were okay. The issue is the compressor itself. He said it was red hot on the evening of his visit and recommended we don't turn it on. So, what to do now. Option #1 - Cut another trip short, pull up stakes, unload fridge, etc. Option #2 - How much will he charge to fix it right now. He's already processed the return through Coleman and it should arrive hopefully by Friday; $0 dollars. He says ~$150 (I'm planning for maybe $100 more) for the install. This amount is well worth the aggravation in my opinion.

The park host had a portable A/C unit I borrowed for the living room. I wouldn't want to set one up for the long term (vent through window, hose and bucket, etc.) but it's a great backup or supplement option. The RV Tech loaned me a heavy duty extension cord so I could use the 20amp on the outside post.

This is what I like most about RV'ing. 95% of the people we encounter are so nice, helpful and easy to talk to. We reciprocate when we can, it's just that we're on the needy end this time.

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Old 08-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #14
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This acts exactly like a bad spit, or dual capacitor. The compressor will try and start, over and over again until the temperature safety switch cuts out. It could be a wiring problem, or just a bad compressor.
If he is getting you a new unit, that's the way to go, because the compressor windings are bad now, as the overheating is real hard on the compressor motor. I wouldn't be happy with just a compressor change, too many ways for the Tech to do a bad job, this is a major operation on a unit. (I have probably changed over a thousand of them.) To do it right is a major job, there is a quick way of changing the compressor that is a bad deal for the owner.
Good luck on it, sorry that happened to you.
Ozz

Capacitors:


Bad one on right, they are not always bulged out like this when they fail, and sometimes they explode...


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Old 08-17-2011, 11:59 AM   #15
Tithy242
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Great example photos. I didn't mention capacitors before but I recall now that's one of the reasons he went up top. He didn't say anything about the capacitor(s) on his way down so I can only assume he thought they looked okay.

On a lighter note, he asked me how my fridge is working. I said I wish you hadn't asked, it's been working great. He proceeded to explain about airflow and how some folks have installed additional fans behind the unit to improve performance. I'm sure that's not new information for most of the people on this forum.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:23 AM   #16
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TC, we had to install a fan in the outside refrigerator compartment when we had multiple 100+ days. It really made a huge difference.

You mentioned having to wipe out the mold/mildew in the fridge after unloading it and shutting it off. Didn't yours come with some kind of tool to lock the door in a slightly open position? With that in place they can move your rig around or you can tow it to the dealer and back without damaging anything. And it prevents formation of the mold/mildew. I think Camping World or your RV Dealer might have some tool like that. If not, maybe you can fabricate something that will work. You need one for each door, obviously.

The other option is to ask the dealer to keep the rig plugged in because of the fridge. That's what we do when we have to drop ours at the dealer. Being fulltimers we have no place else to put the food. Or, if he's reluctant to plug it in or you doubt he'll do that all the time, then switch it to gas and put a note on the tank to not shut it off without calling you first.

If it will be shut off for just the day at the dealer, it should hold the cold well enough for 8 or more hours. Just don't open the door.

Good luck to you.
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Old 08-26-2011, 04:06 AM   #17
Tithy242
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All is well that ends well as they say. The replacement Coleman Mach 15 arrived late last Friday evening. We started at 8:00am Saturday morning and were done before 10:00am. We now have 50 to 52 degree supply air everywhere; what a relief.

Two observations from the Tech, remember I bought my rig in Jan. 2011. 1] The roof gasket wasn't compressed very well. He was able to hold a driver bit in his bare hand and loosen the long through bolts that hold the inside and outside "halfs" together. This would have been a problem sooner or later. 2]The divider that keeps the return air and supply air from mixing was not sealed very well at the top, and the center screw that draws the inside bezel to the lower portion of the divider wasn't present before so he added this. It looked like to me that this created a tight bottom seal.

So, even if you don't think you have an issue, the next time you do any PM activity, I might suggest you check for air leaks between the chambers and ensure the roof seal is compressed to your satisfaction.

I will probably start a new thread hoping to learn what other smart folks do to lessen heat gain. You start to think about these things when your A/C is on the frits.
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