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Old 08-26-2015, 09:11 AM   #1
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Replacing Your Dometic Penguin Air Conditioner

Because Dometic no longer provides technical support for end users, and most dealers prefer that their techs do your work for you, this write up is for those who choose to save time and money to replace their Dometic Penguin Air Conditioner as I did. Below are some solutions to issues that you may encounter:

(1.) Know your all of your part numbers before you place your order
(2.) Thermostat considerations before you place your order
(3.) Drain Kit Double Gasket will raise roof unit to protect drain cup from roof vibrations – Normal 8” bolts supplied with ceiling kit will be too short
(4.) Changing the PC Control Board to keep the 5 button thermostat
(5.) Getting the old roof unit down and the new one up
(6.) Dometic gives the end user 10 days for mailing warranty registration

1.Part Numbers for replacing a Dometic 13.5K BTU Penguin Air Conditioner:

A. Roof Unit new p/n: 651815.CXX1C0
B. Retro PC Control Board p/n for 5 Button Thermostat: 3313107.107
C. Polar White Ceiling Kit p/n: 3105935.047
D. Drain Kit p/n: 3107688.016 (will raise roof unit an additional inch)
E. P/N for the 9” bolts to bolt ceiling kit to raised roof unit: 3101538.001

2.Thermostat considerations before you place your order:If you choose to upgrade to the new Dometic Thermostat (CCC2), you will need to replace all of your old Penguins at the same time.If you choose to keep your 5 button thermostat you can keep your remaining working Penguins but you will need to purchase and replace the PC Control Board (1B above) in the new roof unit.Additionally, the new thermostat is wide (5-3/4”w x 3”h) while the 5 button thermostat is tall (3.5”w x 5.5”h).The new thermostat will only cover up only one of the mounting holes from the old thermostat.I choose to keep my other two working Penguins and keep the existing 5 button thermostat.

3.The Drain Kit will come with gaskets that will raise the Penguin an additional inch above the roof to protect the drain cups from breaking off the plastic drain spout.Don’t plan on removing your existing drain cups and reinstalling them without breaking the spout.Buy the new drain kit to get the gaskets that come with it.You will need to drill holes in the bottom of the new roof unit to mount the drain cups.Raising the roof unit an additional inch requires longer bolts than those provided with the ceiling kit.You can special order these bolts (1E above) when you place your order or use ľ” threaded rod from Lowes with two nuts on one end that are jammed together.The rods come in 3 foot lengths so you’ll need two rods and 8 nuts total.

4.Changing the PC Control Board to keep the 5 button controller:Dometic has moved the Control Board from the Ceiling Unit to the Roof Unit inside the metal housing with the run and start capacitors.All of your current RV interface connections will still reach as Dometic has brought all of their connections down to reach into the ceiling unit.Dometic provides no documentation and no end user technical support to install their new retro board in place of the Control Board used with the CCC2 thermostat.The retro board will come with only 4 plastic standoffs to mount the board and a replacement ambient temperature sensor with a connector that will plug into the retro board.Before removing the existing control board, take a color photo for insurance and future reference.You may want to remove some of the wires from the board while it is still fastened in place.WARNING: You only get 4 new plastic standoffs to install the new board, so make sure you’re really ready to install it before locking it down in place.To remove the existing control board, cut the plastic standoffs on top of the board that protrude through the board at each of the four corners.Be careful that you install the new standoffs one for one in the same place as the old ones as there are a lot of other holes to confuse you.At the top of each board are the connections for the fan power (Blk Hi speed, Yellow Med speed, and Red Low speed).Cap and stow the yellow wire. DO NOT CONNECT THE YELLOW FAN WIRE TO THE NEW CONTROL BOARD.If you do connect it, the fan will shut off after 5 to 10 minutes of operation with the compressor on.There will be violet wire (one side of the reversing valve) and a white wire (common) that will not have connections to the retro board even though they were connected to the original new unit board.These two wires need to be connected together, so I just made a short jumper wire with a spade connector on each end.This provides a common return for the reversing valve.The other violet (reversing valve power) wire will plug onto a spade between the black and yellow fan power connections and is labeled violet.Before installing the replacement board, remove and replace the ambient temperature sensor (red connector) that is mounted just to the left of the Control Board housing as well as the other connections at the bottom of the board that will be difficult to reach after installation.

5. Getting the old roof unit down and the new one up:I looked at renting a material lifter but they don’t fold up and can only be carried in a pickup so I used my 40’ extension ladder as a ramp from the ground to the middle of the Camelot with a pillow.I used a 1” diameter hemp rope and the box from the new roof unit to move the old unit down and the new unit up.This method requires someone on the ground just to make sure the box remains centered on the ladder as it is moved up or down.

6. Don’t overlook mailing in your warranty registration form hidden behind the 2 year Limited Warranty page.I assume 10 days means 10 business days, but it can be easily overlooked if you don’t know it’s there and time limited.
C.C.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
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Coincidentally enough, it just crossed my mind last week that I hadn't seen you on here in a long while and was wondering if all is well.

Back in '08 when you did that terrific write-up about replacing the center vent with a 3rd AC unit, I couldn't wait to do it. Got 'Er Done, as they say, and it's been essential to our travels and comfort ever since. I hope I thanked you then, and I'm going to sure to say it again now... THANK YOU!

I'm going to bookmark this write-up as well. Dunno why Dometic, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the CCC and AC boards when they came out with the new models (could it be so's we had to buy all new parts? ), but I bought 2 old-style boards and CCC unit, so hopefully I can stave off progress for awhile if needed.

In any case, this is terrific and much appreciated! I'm sure others will agree.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
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thanks for info
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
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Saved...thank you for taking time to write up.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Very nice post explaining the replacement circuit board. Your post makes me think of something that's been rattling in the back of my head. Our new to us RV has two ac units. The system was set up for ducted Dometic units with the 5 button controller. The rear unit was replaced with a manually controlled, non ducted Penguin (unit model 991762734). Can I replace the non ducted, manual switch ceiling unit, unit with the ducted ceiling unit and replacement circuit board? If not, is there any other way to convert the non ducted ceiling unit to a ducted unit?

As is, the manual rear unit is too muck for just the bedroom, too noisy and really doesn't help with cooling the rest of the RV. I would really like the option of using the ducted system to send the air where I want to.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:52 AM   #6
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X2 Good write up!
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:24 PM   #7
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Shown in this photo is Dometic's solution to the 9" bolts needed for those using a drain kit. Oh, and they want $22 for their four 9" long threaded rods and acorn nuts. This may look and work good when you're putting the bolts in, but can you guess what happens when you try to take the bolts out?

I've started applying blue thread lock on the bolt end that goes into the roof unit so it won't loosen up, and I was thinking of putting high strength red thread locker on the acorn nut end but have never used red before. I don't have a spot welder and I'm not sure that Dometic plans to ever provide a real manufactured 9" bolt like their 8" bolts.

Any suggestions other than using the double jam nuts I described above for under $5?
C.C.
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyTools View Post
Coincidentally enough, it just crossed my mind last week that I hadn't seen you on here in a long while and was wondering if all is well.

Back in '08 when you did that terrific write-up about replacing the center vent with a 3rd AC unit, I couldn't wait to do it. Got 'Er Done, as they say, and it's been essential to our travels and comfort ever since. I hope I thanked you then, and I'm going to sure to say it again now... THANK YOU!

I'm going to bookmark this write-up as well. Dunno why Dometic, in their infinite wisdom, decided to change the CCC and AC boards when they came out with the new models (could it be so's we had to buy all new parts? ), but I bought 2 old-style boards and CCC unit, so hopefully I can stave off progress for awhile if needed.

In any case, this is terrific and much appreciated! I'm sure others will agree.

Thank you for the flowers and I'm happy that my effort to post my work helped. Most of my activity occurred in the first two years after we purchased the Camelot new and then it seemed like there just weren't any more improvements to make. As a result, we've put over 90,000 miles on it traveling nation wide and loving it. My wife and I are both Yankees so we like it colder than most, hence the three ACs on a 36' rig. Oh, and our dogs, Maggie May and baby Daisy May, like it even colder.
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImNuts View Post
Very nice post explaining the replacement circuit board. Your post makes me think of something that's been rattling in the back of my head. Our new to us RV has two ac units. The system was set up for ducted Dometic units with the 5 button controller. The rear unit was replaced with a manually controlled, non ducted Penguin (unit model 991762734). Can I replace the non ducted, manual switch ceiling unit, unit with the ducted ceiling unit and replacement circuit board? If not, is there any other way to convert the non ducted ceiling unit to a ducted unit?

As is, the manual rear unit is too muck for just the bedroom, too noisy and really doesn't help with cooling the rest of the RV. I would really like the option of using the ducted system to send the air where I want to.
Thank you for the kind words. I don't think the Cayman has the drain system so you won't have to worry about 9" bolts and the drain kit. You stated that the ducts are already there but you need to make sure they haven't been plugged up or closed off. You should also make sure that you can find the data line (looks like a 4 conductor telephone line) that will come from the front AC. The power will be there but you'll also need to make sure you can find the connector from the wall thermostat. If you're planning on doing this yourself, you might want to read my post of "Adding a Third Air Conditioner". There are a lot of photos that will guide you through what you'll need to do and how to do it. Plus there's a lot of help and experience on this forum if you need it.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camelot Camper View Post
Thank you for the kind words. I don't think the Cayman has the drain system so you won't have to worry about 9" bolts and the drain kit. You stated that the ducts are already there but you need to make sure they haven't been plugged up or closed off. You should also make sure that you can find the data line (looks like a 4 conductor telephone line) that will come from the front AC. The power will be there but you'll also need to make sure you can find the connector from the wall thermostat. If you're planning on doing this yourself, you might want to read my post of "Adding a Third Air Conditioner". There are a lot of photos that will guide you through what you'll need to do and how to do it. Plus there's a lot of help and experience on this forum if you need it.
C.C
Thanks. I will look at the thread. My big issue is that I am trying to modify my non-ducted, manual control ac to work like a ducted unit. I know I will have to replace the non-ducted ceiling unit with a ducted unit. I just wanted to know if I can do so by changing the ceiling unit and adding the circuit board. I do know that the control wires are there, just not connected to anything. Our RV originally had a ducted rear unit controlled by the 5 button thermostat.
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Old 08-28-2015, 04:13 PM   #11
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The safest thing you can do is call Dometic with the model number of your bedroom unit and ask them for the control board part number that will work with the 5 button thermostat. Also ask them for the part number of the ceiling unit for ducts. I would expect your costs to be less than $200 total for the two parts if they make them.

Because this coach was previously owned, I would inspect the ducts in your ceiling just to make sure they're clear before spending any money on new parts. Ceiling ducts can get crushed by walking in the wrong place on the roof and are difficult to repair. Also look for any breaches in the ducting to make sure air doesn't go into the "attic".
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camelot Camper View Post
The safest thing you can do is call Dometic with the model number of your bedroom unit and ask them for the control board part number that will work with the 5 button thermostat. Also ask them for the part number of the ceiling unit for ducts. I would expect your costs to be less than $200 total for the two parts if they make them.

Because this coach was previously owned, I would inspect the ducts in your ceiling just to make sure they're clear before spending any money on new parts. Ceiling ducts can get crushed by walking in the wrong place on the roof and are difficult to repair. Also look for any breaches in the ducting to make sure air doesn't go into the "attic".
C.C.
Thanks for the advice. I did try calling tech support a few weeks ago but now I have a better idea what to ask. I will also check the ducts to see what's going on there.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camelot Camper View Post
Any suggestions other than using the double jam nuts I described above for under $5?
C.C.

I used the double gasket and drain cup solution on my new Penguin to replace an old drain pan set up.

a. My original 8 1/4" Penguin bolts worked just fine with the additional layer of gasket in place so I did not need to have longer bolts.

b. However, one of my four original bolts was missing, so I used the acorn nuts shown in the Dometic package picture above. But, I put some JB Weld on the threads and let it dry 24 hours. The nut is firmly held on the 1/4" 20 thread rod even when removing it.

c. I did source the drain kit and the additional gasket separately. The total delivered cost was about $44 for the two items vs the $60+ for the combined kit.
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:50 AM   #14
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Because this coach was previously owned, I would inspect the ducts in your ceiling just to make sure they're clear before spending any money on new parts. Ceiling ducts can get crushed by walking in the wrong place on the roof and are difficult to repair. Also look for any breaches in the ducting to make sure air doesn't go into the "attic".
C.C.
That is VERY good advice. Many coaches have the ducts preventing good air flow after a few years. The duct material resembles heavy cardboard with a bit more resin in the mix. They are largely "assembled" with aluminum duct tape.

Two main problem areas I've found:
1) The ducts tend to collapse and droop down in the center. You can check by having someone shine a flashlight into one duct opening while you look into the adjacent one with a hand mirror. If they are sagging, one fairly easy fix is to saw short pieces of aluminum ďTĒ section and trim the height of them to suit the inside height of your duct. Smooth all the ends so they do not snag and use whatever available to push them into the section of the duct that has collapsed.
2) Frequently, the duct material will not be well fitted and sealed to the ACís exit ductwork. You can usually fix this with aluminum duct tape. If your ducts have come apart in inaccessible areas (tape no longer holding them together) the fix might be a great deal more difficult.

Repairing the ductwork made a huge improvement in my air delivery. Cleaning the coils of the AC improved overall performance even further.
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