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Old 08-04-2019, 08:07 PM   #1
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AC is OUT - worst timing

Our AC blows but compressor does not kick on. Blowing hot air. And yes, it's Sunday night in Fort Stockton Texas, so nobody to come out and look at it, and its gonna be a hot one tonight.

First RV trip since I can remember too. Kinda bummed. Will have to pull chocks and stay in a motel or sweat it out tonight.
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:53 PM   #2
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I had a sudden loss of home AC, and with internet help, I concluded it was the capacitor, but I was afraid to change it. Called a local service, who agreed. He discharged the old capacitor then installed the new one.
Good luck.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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Robert sorry to hear about your A/C troubles. Maybe it's time for a mini-split?!
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:47 AM   #4
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Sounds like rubicon is offering to install one for you
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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Robert sorry to hear about your A/C troubles. Maybe it's time for a mini-split?!
That would surely be nice Dave. I think it's either a capacitor or the control board that went out, although a relay could also be it. No way to know until I have it looked at. Luckily, there was a nice new Hampton Inn close by in Ft. Stockton last night, and I had plenty of points to cover the cost. Now that we're camping in the Forest Service campgrounds outside of Cloudcroft, there is absolutely no need for AC. Just beautiful here. Highs in the 70s, lows 50ish. It's amazing what altitude can do to the temps. We're at 9000 feet. An hour east or west of us, at much lower altitudes, it's 100 degrees. 20190805_183114.jpg
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:58 PM   #6
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That would surely be nice Dave. I think it's either a capacitor or the control board that went out, although a relay could also be it. No way to know until I have it looked at. Luckily, there was a nice new Hampton Inn close by in Ft. Stockton last night, and I had plenty of points to cover the cost. Now that we're camping in the Forest Service campgrounds outside of Cloudcroft, there is absolutely no need for AC. Just beautiful here. Highs in the 70s, lows 50ish. It's amazing what altitude can do to the temps. We're at 9000 feet. An hour east or west of us, at much lower altitudes, it's 100 degrees. Attachment 40877
Beautiful spot and you can’t beat those temperatures. Enjoy.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:16 PM   #7
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That would surely be nice Dave. I think it's either a capacitor or the control board that went out, although a relay could also be it. No way to know until I have it looked at. Luckily, there was a nice new Hampton Inn close by in Ft. Stockton last night, and I had plenty of points to cover the cost. Now that we're camping in the Forest Service campgrounds outside of Cloudcroft, there is absolutely no need for AC. Just beautiful here. Highs in the 70s, lows 50ish. It's amazing what altitude can do to the temps. We're at 9000 feet. An hour east or west of us, at much lower altitudes, it's 100 degrees. Attachment 40877
Good time to escape the Texas heat- triple digits forecast for this week. Enjoy!
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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Not good Robert, sorry to hear. A trip to RV service will very quickly tell you what the problem is. Most issues are easy to fix quickly. Heck, we had mine replaced under warranty in 20 minutes (not counting time to get the replacement in), but my compressor kicked in after it was on 10-15 seconds, but no cold air.........
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:51 AM   #9
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Not good Robert, sorry to hear. A trip to RV service will very quickly tell you what the problem is. Most issues are easy to fix quickly. Heck, we had mine replaced under warranty in 20 minutes (not counting time to get the replacement in), but my compressor kicked in after it was on 10-15 seconds, but no cold air.........
Unfortunately Jim, ours is no longer in warranty, being 4+ years old. We've used it maybe 5 times too - funny thing.

In any case we will figure out how to get it fixed later. Enjoying the cool temps here in the mountains at the moment. Right now I'm sitting under the awning with a very light rain, temps 59F. Ahhh....
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:37 AM   #10
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Sounds like you're enjoying the cool. We are not here in the great white north, our town was the hot spot in Canada yesterday 33C or 91.4F, I know that doesn't sound all that hot for you but for us it is, we've had a week or these kinds of highs. Had to look up Cloudcroft, looks like a great area We were not that far from there a few years ago stopping in Alamogordo for lunch.

Hope you get that AC fixed in short order.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:17 AM   #11
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Now that we're camping in the Forest Service campgrounds outside of Cloudcroft, there is absolutely no need for AC. Just beautiful here. Highs in the 70s, lows 50ish. It's amazing what altitude can do to the temps. We're at 9000 feet.
Agree those are great NFS locations around Cloudcroft. Was there in June 2017 and this June. Had thunderstorms nearly every afternoon. Nice area. Didn’t need AC up there for sure. Alamogordo was 104!

Hope the compressor starting capacitor is the easy solution for you.

73/gus
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:29 PM   #12
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Well, this isn't the best news. Finally got the time to open up the roof unit and have a look. Everything runs, including the compressor. The reason it would not produce cold air is that there's no refrigerant in it. Not a drop. There was a leak.

Unfortunately, even if you manage to find the leaks and solder them, then pressure test, there is no port for recharging these units. They're built kind of like the window AC units. Once they've lost their refrigerant, you have to replace them. I suppose I could find a port and cut the line and solder one in, but it's not something I feel ok tackling, and none of the RV repair shops are willing to try it either.

Ordered a replacement top unit for $749, it'll be here in a week. Ouch.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:58 PM   #13
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Ouch is right, but look at the bright side it would be worse if you lived in Canada Robert. Seriously though by the time you had someone solder in a port, pressure test, recharge etc. and the fact your unit is close to 5 years old you probably made the right decision.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:39 PM   #14
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Robert-- from what I've read on the Forum, Escape trailer owners who have the combination digital heating/cooling thermostat are able to run their A/C unit at a lower fan speed than others, making the A/C quieter. If this is so, I wonder if it would be possible to retrofit this feature into your new A/C during replacement.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:40 PM   #15
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Better yet, get the Coleman polar cub 9200 model, I had that in my first E19 and it is a nice a/c unit.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:28 PM   #16
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RV A/Cs probably do NOT use the same R134a your automotive AC uses. I looked up a random Coleman Mach brand unit, it uses R410a
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:48 PM   #17
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Robert-- from what I've read on the Forum, Escape trailer owners who have the combination digital heating/cooling thermostat are able to run their A/C unit at a lower fan speed than others, making the A/C quieter. If this is so, I wonder if it would be possible to retrofit this feature into your new A/C during replacement.
Yes, we have the digital thermostat, and our fan can run at the lower speed. It's noticeably quieter, although still loud.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:49 PM   #18
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RV A/Cs probably do NOT use the same R134a your automotive AC uses. I looked up a random Coleman Mach brand unit, it uses R410a
The Penguin II uses R410a as well. But I still see no reason why they can't make a unit rechargeable regardless of the refrigerant used.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:31 PM   #19
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By coincidence, a few days ago I was talking with another RV owner in a campground in the Vancouver area, and he mentioned that he had used a commercially available kit to add a port to his air conditioner and recharge it. He had done the work early last year, and it is still working well; although air condtioning is not required for much of the year in that area, he lives in the RV full-time, so it gets lots of use. The kit apparently used compression fittings; I'm sure that his description did not include soldering or anything else beyond the abilities of a handy amateur.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:35 PM   #20
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By coincidence, a few days ago I was talking with another RV owner in a campground, and he mentioned that he had used a commercially available kit to add a port to his air conditioner and recharge it. This kit apparently used compression fittings; I'm sure that his description did not include soldering or anything else beyond the abilities of a handy amateur.
Yes, I asked a friend who's an HVAC specialist about those very fittings. He told me he would not trust compression fittings on the refrigerant lines, and were he to try and add a port, he'd solder one in. I've no experience with refrigerant lines or the fittings, so no idea if he's right.
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