Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: I Need An Air Conditioner Expert
RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > General Chat
Beastdriver
We own a 2003 Newmar Dutch Star motorhome. The motorhome is equipped with two Dometic Penguin roof top air conditioners/heat pumps, Model 630516.321, Serial number for the front unit is 23831514 and Serial number for the back unit is 23831519. The system uses a 3106615 Air Distribution Box Kit, and a 3109228.001 Duo-Therm Comfort Control Center.

In early June of this year, we noticed a rattling sound in the vents of the rear air conditioner. I could not locate the rattle, and the unit worked fine. Finally, we had enough of the rattle and called an RVIA certified technician while in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The technician came out and worked for about two hours. He took the rear air conditioner off and found that the shiny aluminum tape that seals the vents had dried out and was slapping around inside the vents when the fan was running. He put on new tape and reattached the air conditioner. After he reinstalled the rear air conditioner, the nightmare began.

All went well for about a week, and then the air conditioner started shutting down, and trying to restart two to three times. The compressor was not humming or under strain--the entire unit just shut down.

Our next stop was Jackson, WY, where we called another RVIA certified air conditioner repairman. He checked out all fuses, wiring, possible loose connections, relays,etc.,and said he could find nothing wrong with the unit. For the new week or so, the rear unit ran fine, but then started shutting down aqain. This time, we observed that, when the rear unit would shut down, the digital thermostat which controlled both units would go blank and neither unit, the front or the back, would work. After a few hours, the thermostat would come on again, and the front air conditioner would work. Then, we noticed that the front air conditioner would shut down and try to start again, but the compressor was not under any strain--both the fan and compressor would shut down simulataneously.

Our next stop was in South Dakota where both units ran fine for a full week, but the back unit started shutting down again our last day in South Dakota.

We then travelled to Petoskey, MI, where we called an RVIA certified repairman. He made several trips out, checked the wiring, all fuses, all connections, the relays, etc., and he concluded that we had a defective thermostat. He replaced the thermostat, and both units ran fine for about three days.

Our next stop was in Traverse City, MI., where the back air conditioner started again shutting down, blanking out the thermostat, etc. We called another RVIA certified repairman. He came out and checked all wiring, etc., plus the capacitors. His conclusion was that the circuit boards on both air conditioners needed replacing. We ordered new circuit boards for both units and the technician replaced them.

This repair job lasted two days, and then the rear air conditioner went out again, repeating the same pattern. We shut down the rear air conditioner, reset the thermostat, and have been running only the front air conditioner for the past three weeks, without problem.

Throughout all this, we have kept our filters extremely clean--cleaning them once per week. And, to the best of my knowledge we have not suffered a power surge or a lightning strike. Both units run very well and very cold when they are running, and the heat pumps work well when on.

We are heading home to Florida in a few days. We have been suffering with this air conditioner problem for three months, through very uncomfortable weather, and have paid out over $1,500 in repair bills, all to no avail. I don't expect these problems to be covered under the warranty which has expired, but I do need help. Before I call my fifth RVIA certified air conditioner specialist, can anyone please suggest to me what I might tell him to look for? Perhaps you have had this problem before and have had some experience with the solution. I would most certainly appreciate your assistance and advice.
Bud in Florida
Have not had that problem, but have had some with my rear A/C-- sometimes I think it would be easier and cheaper to replace the whole thing. There are a number of Camping Worlds here in Fla, maybe you could save time and money and just replace the rear unit! I hate making repairs on the road, because it is very hard to go back and say "Hey I paid you to fix this and it still isn't right!"
Texasrvers
I am probably the most untechnical person on this forum, but I will at least tell you what happened to us. We did have a similar problem (but not as bad as yous) on our last trip. The first night out we plugged into a 50amp site and turned on both of our AC units since it was really hot. The front one ran about 2-3 min and quit. The back one continued to run. We tried to restart the front one 2-3 times with no luck and finally gave up. After about 2 hours we tried it again and it came on and stayed on just fine for 2 days. We did not call a repairman. Then we moved to another location. Same thing happened. Plugged in; front AC went off; finally started again about 2 hrs later and stayed on until we moved again. At the third stop the same thing happened and we started to see a pattern. On the days we drove there was a problem when we set up that evening. On days we didn't drive somewhere the AC worked just fine. We were only gone a week and when we got home we didn't have time to take the coach in right then, but we did talk to a service person who said it sounded like there was a problem with the inverter. Now I don't even know what an inverter is, what it does or why we have one, but maybe this will be a clue for you. We still have not taken our unit in so I can't say for sure if the technician was right or not. We will probably try it here at home before we head out again, but as I said it only seems to do this after we have driven all day.

I don't know if this will have any bearing on your situation, but either way good luck.
John Blue
My Mother board is dead in Dell laptop, two weeks in shop to find this out. New Mac on the way. Can not work anything on this Dell desk top.

Can you check and see if you have a power management system in MH? It may be this comfort control system. It will let you pick 20, 30, or 50 amps of power or could work on its on. Look at wiring sheets or call plant to find out. You have a A.C. power problem not A/C cooling problem. I have worked on auto, window units, R-22 house units, MH units dash and roof. Went to school on A/C units due to problems like you have and no one could fix them.

Also think back number of days before this problem started, do you remember any lighting storms and if so were you hooked up to power pole at time of storm?

Camping world is a waste of time and money on this problem.

I will e-mail you as soon as new Apple is in and working. smile.gif
mastercraft
We ran into someone at West Glacier that was having the same problem. They had it fixed numerous times and it would work for a while and then break down. If I remember correctly they also had a Newmar Dutch Star. They were in the process of getting Newmar and Dometic involved to replace the unit. They told me that they had gotten it "fixed" around 10 times before Newmar would do anything. Newmar passes the buck to the suppliers on warranty issues, but the same basic problem with 2 people with the same coach seems to be a newmar problem with wiring or something.
ddbradley952
QUOTE(Bud in Florida @ Sep 25 2007, 11:23 AM) *

Have not had that problem, but have had some with my rear A/C-- sometimes I think it would be easier and cheaper to replace the whole thing. There are a number of Camping Worlds here in Fla, maybe you could save time and money and just replace the rear unit! I hate making repairs on the road, because it is very hard to go back and say "Hey I paid you to fix this and it still isn't right!"

ph34r.gif Campers world is the worst. bizarre complaints like this is what campers world is known for causing. Ask around and you will know what I'm talking about.

I would go to the biggest dealer of your model you can find and also file bbb complaints against the people who didn't fix it right asking for a refund. ph34r.gif ph34r.gif ph34r.gif ph34r.gif ph34r.gif
Beastdriver
Thanks, all, for your suggestions and comments. I have a conference call set up with Duo-Therm on Monday and we will see what happens. One thing we all agree on, however, is this: Camping World is the pits for any type of RV work. Before we left on our last trip, we had two new slide out awnings installed by Camping World. Within a month, both had come completely loose from the coach and were dangling down. An inspection showed they installed them with tiny screws instead of bolts and all the screws had pulled out. Never again.
Bud in Florida
I am sure there are really bad camping worlds, but I have had work done at the one near Disney World and they did a fine job installing my Steer Safe system. I have had problems at local RV dealers that sound like some of the problems you all have had at Camping World. I think we can all agree if you can find a good service facility-- spread the word and do all you can do to keep them in business!!!!
Beastdriver
We have repaired the air conditioner problem and I thought that all of you who so kindly gave advice and suggestions would appreciate knowing what the "problem" was. It seems that the very first certified RV technician who worked on the unit (to get a slight noise out of it), when he was putting the unit back together, allowed the communications wire (the one that runs between air conditioners and the thermostat), to drop down into the condensation drip pan where it lay, submerged most of the time underwater. After a few days, the connection began to corrode and turn green and, therefore, the controls kept shorting out. It took us five so-called certified RV technicians, lengthy correspondence with Duo-Therm, over $1,500 in repair bills, a new thermostat, new circuit boards in both air conditioning units, and untold hours of frustration before our local non-certified RV technician found the problem in about ten minutes. Everything runs fine now. Sometimes we need to remember that have machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and, oftentimes, we have idiots working on them.
DXSMac
Holy cow! Your A/C problem sounds like my furnace problem in the first RV I ever owned, which was a Fleetwood Jamboree, 24 foot.

First trip (September), furnace quit in 15 mintues. Took to dealer when I got home, dealer said "loose wire."

Second trip (October), furnace quit again in 15 mintues. Took to dealer when I got home. Dealer gave some other cocka-maimee excuse and claimed it was fixed.

Third trip (November), furnace quit, it was freaking cold, fortunately another RV'r kindly lent me a space heater. Took to dealer when I got home, and I SCREAMED BLOODY H*LL!

Guess what the problem was. You will NEVER guess.

Turns out, my RV had FOUR vents. Similar RV models of that size only had THREE vents. For some reason, having the FOURTH vent was causing the 10 amp furnace to pull TWELVE amps, thus shorting out each time. RV Dealer plugged one of the vents, and after that, the furnace only pulled EIGHT amps.

GO FIGURE! It's a wonder that experience didn't sour me on RV Travel!

JJ
gsbogart
[quote name='DXSMac' date='Oct 21 2007, 07:17 PM' post='8759']
Holy cow! Your A/C problem sounds like my furnace problem in the first RV I ever owned, which was a Fleetwood Jamboree, 24 foot.

First trip (September), furnace quit in 15 mintues. Took to dealer when I got home, dealer said "loose wire."

OK here is an explanation.

Your furnace has what is known in AC/HVAC jargon as a squirrel cage blower. These blowers are designed to only put out as much air as they can take in. Hence a larger return air than supply air. Another interesting thing about these blowers is if you block off the intake air and attach an amp meter the amperage will go down. This is due to the free wheeling of the blower fins in that they are actually acting like a pin wheel and moving no air.

Air produces resistance to motion.

When you balance the system with proper supply,and exhaust, you bring the amperage back into the running amp envelope and basically what it is fused for.

This is what happened in your situation by reducing the output of air through the 4th register.

Physics lesson 105
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.