Jump to content
JPTUTTLE

Repair or replace 15K AC unit?

Recommended Posts

We’ve had our 2008 Tiffin Phaeton since 2011.  The middle 15K AC unit was diagnosed with a bad coil and compressor.  It has been sitting in the shop for 2 months trying to get repaired. Needless to say, there goes summer and no camping.

We have discussed everything from replacing the unit entirely or repairing it.  It is a Dometic unit, I believe. This particular unit is not on the market anymore and it’s replacement is a little different from what I’m being told.  My repair guy said it was a bad coil and it took several weeks to obtain one. Now that it’s been fixed, he noticed that the compressor unit is also bad. The rotary compressor, Tecumseh model # 2490-879 is not an easy part to locate for purchase or a crossed-reference replacement. We’ve wasted a lot of time trying to repair the AC from above the roof, verses replacing the AC unit and ripping into the interior roofline, which is what we wanted to avoid.  I’ve looked high and low on the internet for this part and I only have 1 potential lead which will probably fall through.

I find it very maddening that these type of EOM parts are not more readily available on the market. It would make repairing much quicker than a full replacement.  Though I understand replacing the entire unit would provide longevity.

Right now, we are without a compressor and our vacation will be here in 6 weeks, so we’ll make due on 2 AC unit’s as it will not be so hot by then, hopefully. Afterwards, if we still have not found the compressor, our only hope it to replace the whole unit.  And if you’re going to do that, you might as well replace all the old units at the same time.

We would love to trade this in for something newer, but will probably go in the hole, even tho we bought this RV $20K under blue book back in 2011.

If anyone can help us locate this compressor, we would greatful!

Thanks,

Jay

 

EEBDD2D6-BF7F-4DF9-BFD2-B1B847A8BE9D.jpeg

99834271-C665-46A7-990C-BDB31551E9E6.jpeg

011AA9B0-CD9A-4004-BA86-0C11F6953C43.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe YOU should call dometic and ask what is a replacement unit for the bad unit. I don't know why you would have to rip into the interior roofline as it is a fairly simple process to replace a unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JP,

Welcome to the Forum.

If you replace your current A/C there are no modifications required to the opening nor the interior. The opening and mounting holes are the same. You may be asked if your A/C is ducted or not. 

The only thing that may have to be done is replace the Thermostat. I remember when I thought I was going to replace my A/C I was told there was a device to adapt the new A/C to the old Thermostat. What it turned out to be was a bad Start/Run Capacitor.

There is something wrong for a shop to have your coach for 2 months and not have a solution. Are they saying that there are lots of modification that have to be done to change out the unit? This by some chance isn't a Camping World is it?

A call to Dometic will get you the information on an upgrade.

Herman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Replacing a roof unit should not be hard at all, normally if the unit is ducted there is an access hole directly below the unit. A new unit will probably cost less than a new compressor if one can be found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the costs you are going to incur for repairs and no guarantee the repairs will last a long time it may be time to replace the unit.  A Coleman Mach 8, 13,500 Btu can be found for under $1000, and closer to $800. What are the repair costs for you now?

We have 3 AC units on the roof. We left Texas June 10, 2018, and went to Florida, then up the East Coast. It wasn't until after we left Fort Belvoir, VA, that the temperatures were below 95˚. If we tried running all 3 AC's the 50 amp pedestal circuit breaker would trip so we just stopped trying to run all 3. The ceiling fan in the bedroom helped circulate the air from the front two AC's and were were very comfortable in the low 70's inside the MH.

This time of year you should not have any problem staying comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jay, You did not mention where the service is being performed, RV service center or a HAVC shop. 

RV service centers are most often, R and R centers. Trouble shooting is not in there skill sets, and rewiring of the thermostat and power control skill depends on who and where. RV service centers are not always employing techs with the proper background.

As mentioned R and R of the unit should not be a big deal, but the tech doing the work is.

Rich. 

Question, Was the Roof AC unit damaged do to a hail storm - that damaged the condenser ?   You might be able to get an insurance adjustment. Compressors do fail, but yours is not all that old and a damaged condenser will cause higher temperatures and current flow in the compressor.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the cost of labor, if the compressor is bad, replace with a new unit.

Call Dometic to determine which new unit replaces your old one and whether your current thermostat will function with that new unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, JPTUTTLE said:

verses replacing the AC unit and ripping into the interior roofline, which is what we wanted to avoid.

Welcome to the forum.

What are you talking about??? You have about 4 screws that hold the cover to the cold air return and filter. 4 nuts/bolts that hold the AC unit to the roof, that and disconnecting the wires is all there is to it. I have changed a unit in less than a houer. Ok you need a foam gasket/seal and clean the mating surface.

You need to get your coach out of that place. I bet they have already worked you for more than installing a new unit would have cost.

Bill  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2018 at 7:26 AM, sstgermain said:

Maybe YOU should call dometic and ask what is a replacement unit for the bad unit. I don't know why you would have to rip into the interior roofline as it is a fairly simple process to replace a unit.

This is what my repair guys is telling me. He said the mounting points of the AC units can only be accessed from the inside of the vehicle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2018 at 11:06 AM, wolfe10 said:

With the cost of labor, if the compressor is bad, replace with a new unit.

Call Dometic to determine which new unit replaces your old one and whether your current thermostat will function with that new unit.

Yeah, I’m thinking this is the best approach and will probably do all 3 of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we were still changing out ACs we would charge 1 hour labor per unit.  My guys could do most of them in 30-45 minutes plus clean up of 15 minutes.  We used a fork lift to get the exchange accomplished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JPTUTTLE said:

This is what my repair guys is telling me. He said the mounting points of the AC units can only be accessed from the inside of the vehicle.

Yes the mounting points are located under the covers where the air return is. Take the covers and the filters down (4) screws and look up in the corners. If your repair guy doesn't know this you need someone new. Either that or he is lying to you to make more money.  From what you said I wouldn't trust him to change the filters much less a AC unit.

 

1 hour ago, JPTUTTLE said:

Yeah, I’m thinking this is the best approach and will probably do all 3 of them.

Why change out good working units? I am not convinced your one was bad.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do upgrade I would do it with do it with 1500s a little more money and they will not work as hard. Easy to spend your money it grows on trees right???:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 5:58 AM, JPTUTTLE said:

We’ve had our 2008 Tiffin Phaeton since 2011.  The middle 15K AC unit was diagnosed with a bad coil and compressor.  It has been sitting in the shop for 2 months trying to get repaired. Needless to say, there goes summer and no camping.

Sounds like a pretty good reason to me.:wub: Sitting in shop for 2 months!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, the hardest part is getting the new units onto the roof. My first time ever Replacing one was on our old coach, once it was on the roof (ducted system) I was done in 35 minutes. Getting the new one off the roof was fun B). Largest game of shot put ever :lol: and boy was it satisfying :ph34r:.

Current coach is getting upgraded next year to twin 15,000 BTU Penguins with heat pumps and a new thermostat (old 5 button not compatible). Different design duct system which looks to be a little more tricky with a Monaco that the Coachmen was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, jleamont said:

Honestly, the hardest part is getting the new units onto the roof. My first time ever Replacing one was on our old coach, once it was on the roof (ducted system) I was done in 35 minutes. Getting the new one off the roof was fun B). Largest game of shot put ever :lol: and boy was it satisfying :ph34r:.

We accomplished this by breaking apart a 40-foot ladder into the two 20-foot sections. We pulled the coach alongside a loading dock to give a bit of extra height to the lower end of the ladder, and then laid a section of the separated ladder against the coach to use as a ramp. We made a sled from a scrap of plywood and a pair of 'runners' underneath and pulled it up to the roof of the coach with a rope. The runners made sure that the thing didn't go sideways off the ladder and tumble. To make sure that the a/c unit stayed on the sled I bolted a 2x6 to the lower edge of the sled, and then strapped the a/c unit to the sled.

Sometimes when your back is not up to the task creativity is necessary. No way was I going to wait weeks or more for an appointment only to have them charge me an arm & a leg to do a job I could do in an hour. That is, if I had a way to get the thing up there. Took a while to figure out, but the actual implementation didn't take that long. We got the a/c on the roof and installed, and no one's back was injured in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, richard5933 said:

We accomplished this by breaking apart a 40-foot ladder into the two 20-foot sections. We pulled the coach alongside a loading dock to give a bit of extra height to the lower end of the ladder, and then laid a section of the separated ladder against the coach to use as a ramp. We made a sled from a scrap of plywood and a pair of 'runners' underneath and pulled it up to the roof of the coach with a rope. The runners made sure that the thing didn't go sideways off the ladder and tumble. To make sure that the a/c unit stayed on the sled I bolted a 2x6 to the lower edge of the sled, and then strapped the a/c unit to the sled.

Sometimes when your back is not up to the task creativity is necessary. No way was I going to wait weeks or more for an appointment only to have them charge me an arm & a leg to do a job I could do in an hour. That is, if I had a way to get the thing up there. Took a while to figure out, but the actual implementation didn't take that long. We got the a/c on the roof and installed, and no one's back was injured in the process.

Ahh, ingenuity! I might just do the same with these two next year, no way will I pay someone to do that job.

Thanks for the description details!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya, we found a small business with a fork lift.  Paid him $25 to lift the new one and lower the old one.

 

Lots of reasonable options here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I backed my pickup to where I could wedge a ladder up against the coach. Made it an easy lift. 

When working with any of these AC units be very careful as the metal is stamped and has razor sharp burs on all the edges.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used a Bobcat skid steer loader, placed the AC's in the bucket and lifted them up that way. I will be adding a third AC this winter and will use the old bobcat again for the task.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, kaypsmith said:

I used a Bobcat skid steer loader, placed the AC's in the bucket and lifted them up that way. I will be adding a third AC this winter and will use the old bobcat again for the task.

Being that Bobcat up here :P. I’ll redo the flower beds also :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...