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Old 06-21-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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Front A/C Leaks Water

I returned my MH to the dealer here in Colorado because the cover on the front air conditioner flew off on my last trip and they had previously installed it. However, I also asked them to find an occasional water leak coming throuogh the front air conditioner from rain or snow.

Here's the interesting part ...

First they told me that the MotoSat dish cable (an add-on) has been routed through the front air conditioner mounting area thus preventing a proper seal. This is somewhat understandable since the MotoSat was an "add-on" and may not have been a factory install. The original manual dish is still there in addition to the new one.

Now they tell me that the air line(s) for the air horns is also routed through the front air conditioner and also preventing a proper seal. It will take them 5 - hours alone to reroute the air line(s).

I'm assuming that WRV would have installed the air horns at the factory. Has anyone experienced this situation? It seems hard to believe that anyone but WRV would have installed the air lines and ran the lines improperly. But then, perhaps I'm just naive!?
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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My "BS--meter" is going off and so should yours. Most/all Alpines use the air duct to route "lines". The only thing you have to seal is where the "lines" / wires go thru the fiberglass roof. Unless they can explain precisely why this routing is a "problem" when the same application in other coaches works fine, I think I'd find a new service provider!

PS--think you first hint about the quality of their work is when the A/C cover "they" installed blew off.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Old Scout!

I think the dealer is reputable but that doesn't mean they know Alpine Coaches very well. I also spoke to someone else who owns a 2000 Apline Coach and he didn't have any extra ordinary cables or lines running through the front air conditioner.

It looks like I'll be making a trip to the dealer in the morning (long drive!) and look over the situation first hand.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Front A/C leaks

Bob - if you take it back to the same dealer, get them to put a ladder beside your coach and show you where the cable and air line go through the hole for the A/C unit - if they do not want to do this take your coach somewhere else - 'Old Scout' is right - why did the cover fly off? - why didn't they tell you about the cable and air line when they did the AC before???- the AC cover could have hit someone behind you in traffic making you liable - - they can also take off the inside ceiling cover and you should be able to see the cable and air line coming into the coach (if they both are routed through the A/C opening) - the seal between the A/C unit and the coach roof depends on a flat surface to seal on top and bottom - did you have this problem before or did this just start? - it is possible that the seal may have to be replaced (regular tightening of the fastening bolts that hold the AC to the roof, accessable from the inside is a maintainance procedure) - it does not matter what type or make of RV any reception cables or wiring or air lines have their own openings to go through and are sealed totally seperate from the AC - it is possible someone has done this before you if you are not the original owner so check it out at the dealer when you take it back and let us know what you find.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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Bob or Connie,The air conditioners should have two seals on them. The top one goes against the A/C unit and has a notch cut in it on each side for the drain tubes that go from out side to the inside to attach to the drain tube that exits out the bottom of the coach (on yours I think it comes out by the utility bay). The second one goes against the first (no notches) and it seals against the top of the coach. If there are added wires or hoses they should be able to go through the top seal with out leaking. Must be caulked properly. I'm not saying this is the best way just that it should work.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:37 AM   #6
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Ok, I agree with Old Scout, my BS meter is also going off. On the front part of my roof-forward of the A/C, there is a round cover. It actually was installed so close to the a/c that the A/C cover will not go on it correctly. Wires from the Kingdome, air horns, and a couple of antennas go into this round cover, and I have not taken it apart. However, I think this is a single place for all those connections to penetrate the roof so WRV only had one hole to open, instead of 3 or 4 which would have been necessary if the single place was not used. I think you should get up there and take a look before you spend any more money. The a/c cover you lost, would have had 2 or 4 each 1/4" screws holding it down. I smell something bad in the situation you describe.

My problem with most (not all as some repair shops now see the benefit of RVIA Certification-which is better than nothing but RVIA’s online training has got lots of problems as well) RV repair shops is: 1)=99% of the technicians have only learned the duties "one the job", with no basic electrical theory, and no education in an environment where someone who has experience and been to schools conducted by manufacturer of equipment or the motorhome itself can show you what the parts and pieces look and act like. And 2), many times even having a few years under your belt, you won't know what the MH manufacturer did, or how they hooked up a particular device. With WRV gone, it's very hard to contact anyone from the mother ship.

Although I have been to 10 weeks classroom and hundreds of hours of hands on training for all the RV systems there is no way I could know every system’s layout on all the varied RV units on the road. That statement is also made with 28 years of RV’ing experience, with several needing to be half rebuilt because of their age when I purchased. FWIW I passed the final exam as a Master Technician; however, I won’t just barge my way into a unit, without investigating all he possible scenarios on how the unit was put together. Now in the years of your coach, I think WRV quality was higher, so no, I don't believe they put the air horns wiring through the front a/c. My feeling is that cover was there for one hole through the roof, albeit it could have been real close to the front a/c, but no reputable tech would take a chance that the A/C’s sealing gasket would keep the water out if there were wires under it.

My guess, but I could be way off base, someplace WRV made a single penetration so they only had one point of entry, some place along the line that has been compromised. When the additional automatic dish was installed is when that could have been done.

Your description of these issues is the reason why I have real problems not doing the things myself, because I know how I want to be treated when I hire someone to do a job, rarely do I get it the way I want unless I watch what is going on. I treat people how I want to be treated, and if I run across something I don't know or like, I'm going to tell you the customer first before I do something wrong. You/I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and your investment is just as important to me as it is to you. I want you to understand what is going on as well as I do before I change something the MH manufacturer did. Notwithstanding, that if the MH was made wrong, not up to code, or if you had someone in doing a repair, and he/she screwed it up, I am going to tell you first. That is one of the reasons I assisted the repair of my Hydro hot unit, which was a removal to replace the mixing valve. I wanted to know how it came apart, and how it went back together. That was before I went to the AH/HH certification training; now I have that as well.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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I visited the dealer this morning to get a first hand look at the situation.

First of all, the dealer is going to replace the top cover at no charge to me but is still trying to figure out how it came loose. Interestingly, one hole in the front a back has broken out and the screws were still in place. The other holes (2) were normal but the screws were gone. Bad workmanship?!

I've attached some pictures taken during my visit but I'm not sure how they'll show up on this post. Here's my descriptions and comments.

The Outside #3 picture shows the air horns mounted directly adjacent to the front A/C. The Outside #4 picture is trying to show the black air lines being routed across the roof an "UNDER" the A/C gasket.

The Inside #1 picture shows the satellite cables (grey) and the air lines (black) routed through a cutout in a plywood block. The Inside #2 picture is trying to providse a close up of the air lines as they route under the side of the A/C gasket. The grey satellite cables route down and "UNDER" the entire A/C unit to get to the satellite dish which is mounted directly behind the front A/C (no picture). The dealer is telling me that the A/C unit is NOT tightened as tight as possible because it would likely crush the cables &/or air lines.

In my humble opinion, this is NOT a good installation of cables & air lines by my standards regardless of who originally performed the work. Yes, you could possibly caulk around the air lines where it routes under the gasket but that is NOT proper installation technique (again, my opinion).

If WRV installed these cables &/or air lines in this manner, I'm going to be VERY nervous about the rest of my coach! If they didn't, then the orignal owner was victimized but I'm the one who has to pay for it. Bummer!!!

As I stated previously, I'm probably very naive when it comes to MH stuff but I know what's "right" and this installation wasn't it.

The dealer will be rerouting the cables & air lines to avoid any further impact to or from the front A/C.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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It is amazing how much I learn with my mouth closed vs when it is open. I "assumed" the horn and antenna config on yr 2003 was similar to my 2003--not so. Generally speaking, WRV used two gaskets around the 14x14 A/C opening to provide clearance between the drain cups [dont see your cups in the pics] and roof (need to ensure if replaced, these gaskets are made of the more dense gray material--as the heavy A/C unit will crush/distort less dense materials).

IF any lines or hoses are routed thru the 14x14 opening [besides the drain cups], they would have to go thru the upper gasket [like the drain cups] to allow the bottom gasket to form an uninterrupted seal against the top of the roof. Some sort of sealing/caulk might also be used for these openning[s] in the top seal.

Again, my bad--most applications Ive seen for air horns and OEM or after market dishes went directly/vertically thru the fiberglass roof with liberal amounts of sealant/caulk added to seal the roof. Accordingly, I misunderstood your description to be about the air ducts inbedded horizontally in the roof foam, not the 14x14 vertical opening under the A/C unit.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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BC Bowers said:
"In my humble opinion, this is NOT a good installation of cables & air lines by my standards regardless of who originally performed the work. Yes, you could possibly caulk around the air lines where it routes under the gasket but that is NOT proper installation technique (again, my opinion).

"If WRV installed these cables &/or air lines in this manner, I'm going to be VERY nervous about the rest of my coach! If they didn't, then the orignal owner was victimized but I'm the one who has to pay for it. Bummer!!!

"As I stated previously, I'm probably very naive when it comes to MH stuff but I know what's "right" and this installation wasn't it."

Welcome to the world of WRV coaches. We have an '01 and it's full of cheesy installations. For one example: in general, the installers would not cut cables, just coiled them up so they didn't have to re-do the connectors. On later model coaches, several had hydraulic hose failings on their slideouts for that reason; they chose a hot place for the excess material coil. Bottom line: do not trust the original installers. Sorry, but that's the way it is - and it's not unique to WRV.
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