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Old 07-13-2009, 04:29 PM   #1
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Roof air does not work

After running the rear roof air on my 2006 34ft Alpine for a couple of days I found that it would not start on the following morning. The fan comes on and then the compressor tries to engage but then cuts off. This will happen repeatedly. The front roof ac works fine. I have heard that this may be a compressor start capaciter issue. Has anyone had this happen? Your thoughts and comments are appreciated. AC has always worked well up to this point.

Jerry Smith 2006 34 Alpine
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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Sorry, Did not think first message was sent. Jerry
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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Since the front A/C is working fine, it probably is something with the back A/C, eg, compressor or start capacitor. Hard to diagnose unless you have the tools, tester/meter. A/C units these days tend to be "throw-aways" rather than fixable. As an outside chance, if you are on 50 amp [think the A/Cs are on separate legs when using the 50 amp plug], one of the legs might be "browning out" due to bad connection [in coach --see forum notes on loose wire connection] or problems elsewhere in the park. Compressors and start capacitors dont like low voltage and tend to heat up. Dont know if they will reset once cooled down or have to be replaced--then see "throw-away".....
PS--as a test you can: 1) unhook from shore power and start the generator, or 2), drop back to yr 30 amp plug, turn off charger/inverter, water heater and front A/C, then try rear A/C alone. Using the 30amp plug, you will have a 50/50 chance of getting the leg with clean park power to test your rear A/C [neither will work if the problem is a bad connection in the coach].
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:23 PM   #4
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I don't recall if this is a problem that rebooting the inverter ever solved. But rebooting makes me feel like I'm doing something and in control. So try rebooting inverter. (Yeah, I know, the AC is not on an inverter circuit, but I need to feel I'm in control.)
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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I would bet your problem is the compressor start capacitor. When the compressor would not start on my rear AC a year or so ago, I watched the tech change the start capacitor. "Heck, that's easy!" So I now carry a spare start capacitor which I recently needed when the front AC quit cooling. 20 minute job to change it. When you are on the Oregon coast, a dead AC is not a problem. In places like the Texas Gulf coast this time of year it is a CRISIS!!!

Sweating in south Texas (not by choice),
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
I don't recall if this is a problem that rebooting ......ever solved. But rebooting makes me feel like I'm doing something and in control. So try rebooting .......
Rebooting.....Is that the same as a "Swift Kick"????
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #7
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So Basil- where did you buy the capacitor, how large of a sweaty wad of money req'd, what's the part#, and what model AC does your Apex have?
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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After having the same symptoms that you describe, I had to replace the start capacitor on both my front and rear roof-top A/Cs in less than 2 years from new (at different times). The technicians who did the first one, told me that Dometic told him that they had a bunch of bad start capacitors around 2006. I now carry a spare start capacitor, but not the one from Dometic. I can look on Tuesday to get the name and part number.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
So Basil- where did you buy the capacitor, how large of a sweaty wad of money req'd, what's the part#, and what model AC does your Apex have?
Most if not all Apex coaches have Coleman AC units although no two are alike. Mine has three (1st and last coach to do this) 15K heat pumps model 9024-879.

I buy the start capacitors at my local RV dealer got $25.29.
Part number 8333A9201
RVP
RV Products
a division of Airxcel, Inc
Wichita KS

This is no doubt one of many sources for such parts.

It was 96 and HUMID down here in Corpus Christi today where we are parked in our driveway. Our coach plus our house is spinning our electric meter at a frightening pace. Is Obama offering help for poor old retired people who can't pay the electric bill?
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for your responses regarding my roof air. There seems to be a consensus regarding the possibility of a failed compressor start capacitor. I will go to my repair appointment armed with some knowledge. Will let you know how it turns out. Mike, tried the reboot and it didn't work. Thanks again, Jerry 2006 34 Alpine
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:35 PM   #11
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In the winter, I go over to the coach and run the genset about once a month to exercise it, and it's cold, I have the 15K heat pumps so I turn both on to heat the coach. The rear one would not cycle the last time I tried it, and I posted that here on the forum. Went back over the next month and it worked fine. Go figure. But I know several places where we go camping and park power leaves something to be desired, especially when everyone is there and it's hot, I noticed the A/C's would not run down to the desired set temp. So I fired off the genset after turning off shore power, plus I wanted to annoy the folks across from us since their 30 grandkids kept us up the night before making a bunch of noise. Anyway, with the Genset running, the Ac's worked perfectly, froze us out of there, finally had to turn up the setting. So I can vouch for the fact that those units need lots of power and the voltage needs to be better than 115 if possible. I have not checked the A/C electrical connections, but once I recover from this here little surgery I had, it's bring it home and check them.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:38 PM   #12
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We had a similar issue with our front A/C in heat pump mode. It would run for 3 minutes to about 15 minutes and then go to fan only, sometimes sounding like the compressor was running but couldn't heat. We would reverse it to A/C mode, run a few minutes, then switch back to heat pump mode and it would run again for 3 to 15 minutes before having the same problem.

Turns out our problem was the freeze-up sensor was located to close to the compressor and needed to be repositioned to match the rear compressor. Since we moved it farther away, the unit has worked fine in both modes.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Basil Shannon View Post
It was 96 and HUMID down here in Corpus Christi today where we are parked in our driveway. Our coach plus our house is spinning our electric meter at a frightening pace. Is Obama offering help for poor old retired people who can't pay the electric bill?
We awoke this morning to a warm front of the coach. The AC fan was running but no compressor.......AGAIN! So, I replaced the start capacitor in my usual 20 minutes or less. Since this is the third time this has happened down here in south Texas in the summer, I suspect the humidity may affect the longevity of the start capacitors. Got to get back to Palm Springs where humidity is not an issue. BUT IT'S A DRY HEAT.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:12 PM   #14
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ac com pressor start capacitor

Basil, The start capacitor was my problem as well. Was repaired at Camping world due to CSP warranty. Technician told me that 9 out 0f 10 failues on this AC was the start Capacitor so I ordered a second and will need to learn to install myself. Will post part number when it arrives.

Jerry 34 2006 Alpine
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