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Old 04-29-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
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no ac in la

sitting in baton rouge "stewing" literally after finding out my ac unit was improperly installed. i usually travel when its colder and don't need ac, but this trip was an exception. i think i ran it briefly twice and one time noticed dripping from a couple vents. wiped it up and blew it off. that was before being in high humidity and 90 deg temps. dw turned it on today and after it ran awhile rain poured out of the main air handler over the kitchen counter. she was quick enough to throw a couple bath towels under and catch the water and shut the unit off while i was on a trash run. boy, did i get an ear full when i got back. called coleman cust svc and the rep said the only way that could happen is if the factory overtightened the screws holding the unit down and crushed the gasket into the drain tubes blocking them and then the condensate runs over into the ducts......the bungling bros. strike again. i guess i'm slightly annoyed. he said the unit needs to be removed, a new gasket installed (you can't use the old one over) and properly aligned.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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They may be correct and our 2009 had the same symptoms. We didn't use it much the Winter of ' 09/'10 as it was a cool winter. Then we worked the summer of '10 in the cool mountains. When we came back to the Midwest in the fall we couldn't use it without massive water pouring down the vents. We tried moving the temp sensor to a new spot as directed to us by the factory service center, the compressor was freezing up. We took it into the dealer, they said it also does this when it was low on freon, which is why it got worse as time went on. They ordered a new AC unit under warranty & it has worked flawlessly ever sense. Again, the factory rep may be 100% right on in your case, but ours would not produce water on the outside area at all. The gasket was fine.

Since it was low on freon the compressor ran until it froze, just about froze us out. Then when the thermostat cycled off the inside radiator thawed out which produced water where it wasn't supposed to, filled up the inside tray meant just for catching a minor amount of water. Only the outside tray was meant for catching & directing lots of water off the roof. There are other ways to rain inside too, mainly happened to the older rental units when dirt got passed the filter to clog up the radiator fins - not as likely to happen to an Excel in the prime of its life.

Best of luck getting your gasket reset.

Dave
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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thanks for the encouragement. i don't think this one is running long enough to freeze. it was not getting that cold inside. it couldn't have run more than 15-20 mins. humidity here must be 85%+, it rained some outside. momma ain't happy, so no one's happy. she don't like comming home after a day of hard sightseeing and cooking in a 95 deg kitchen. heard her mumble something about getting yellow paint at wally world tomorrow........then calling brian.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Don't know if this will make you feel better.

We had our dealer, put in a ref. a couple years ago in March. They had the REF.running for us when we went to pick it up. Packing for a trip to Michigan. DH reported the the Ref. smelled like it was burning up.Tried again in the morning with the same results. Had to scramble to get all our food in coolers. Got to Michigan and our owner of the Rv dealership was there. Took one wiff and said turn it off now. It was the smell of burning propane.I think the unit wasn't installed properly. RV dealer was able to put it under warranty work. Got it installed correctly.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
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I'd day if it has been leaking every time it rains all along, then a possible gasket issue, but not just when it is turned on occasionally when it has recently rained.

If it is not getting cold inside, then most likely the compressor is freezing up, it creates a lot of moisture in the inside tray when it thaws out & what cooling action it does have is because of the air flowing through the ducts that is also picking up the water on the inside tray area. The inside tray doesn't have a drain to the outside to drain because the inside tray wasn't meant to generate a lot of moisture, only limited condensation. A freezing compressor generates excessive moisture. A compressed gasket would have leaked inside every time it rained, not just when the AC was used.

To confirm what was happening to me I took off the air conditioning shroud, carefully following the U-Tube videos showing routine maintenance procedures. The outside tray was dry as a bone, it has two holes in it that are supposed to drain onto the roof below. My holes were clear & pouring a cup of water onto the outside tray immediately drained onto the roof & out to the side gutter. Then I did a pint, then a quart. Not a drop came inside! The copper coil on the output of the compressor was supposed to be sweating profusely when the AC was running, more specifically when cycling, but mine wasn't as nothing was being pumped through that coil because as I found out the freon was very low.

I couldn't access the inside tray from up on the roof, with the AC unit installed it can only be accessed from inside with the filter unit partially taken apart. All if the humidity & moisture was being created in the inside tray area as the compressor was freezing up, we ran a humidifier inside to lower the inside humidity while waiting for Dealer inspection. Also, ran the AC unit in fan-only mode, this I thawed the compressor which made a lot of water, but helped prove what was happening. I then took rags to soak up the water in this inside tray. When I ran the AC unit again, the inside tray was full again within 15 minutes, the outside tray was completely dry & the coil wasn't generating any moisture in the outside tray.

The best way to confirm it is to have your dealer remove the shroud to inspect the outside tray area. If the outside area drains easily without raining inside, it is not a gasket issue.

Coleman gave me the same advise as you, but it turned out the gasket wasn't excessively compressed and under warranty our AC unit was replaced with a new unit that has worked flawlessly for two years now. It was great to discover what was actually happening while waiting for a chance for our dealer to inspect it. I always hate pointing fingers when the guy at Coleman was working overtime to generate pointing fingers at everyone but himself. What he said probably happens, but all of the symptoms present didn't match what was actually happening. As an electronic technician for 30+ years, symptoms have to match the cause or the diagnosis is flawed.

Best of luck getting the accurate diagnosis matching the real cause, keep us updated as you go.

Dave
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padutchmnm View Post
.....called coleman cust svc and the rep said the only way that could happen is if the factory overtightened the screws holding the unit down and crushed the gasket into the drain tubes blocking them and then the condensate runs over into the ducts...... He said the unit needs to be removed, a new gasket installed (you can't use the old one over) and properly aligned.
Not sure which Coleman AC unit you have. On my prior Excel, the Beast, I had a Mach unit. Here are several photos of the drain system for my unit....

Would assume all AC units have a drain for the coil. My was located below and the coil set in/above the pan. The pan has a drain on each side that allowed any moisture collected to drain out.

Mine was located and could be seen just below the cover. Don't know about yours, but mine discharged to the side and the 'tightness' of the gasket would not affect it's function.






With the cover removed....The large opening is the return air port. The metal pan is the 'floor' of the return air chamber and is sealed and will retain any moisture/water that it collects. It has a lip/height of about 1 inch. The white tray is the drip tray/pan for the coil.






The coil tray exits the metal pan through a hole just below the coil tray. A rubber type material on the bottom of the coil tray helps seal the opening that does not allow anything to drain out or prevent outside air from being pulled into the sealed return chamber.






Another view of the coil drain...As stated my drain holes are located sideways and can't be effected by the tightness of the gasket. They might have changed the design on newer models and positioned them at the bottom of the pan ( straight down ) but that would seem like a step backwards.





If possible or able...take a look under your cover and see if you can see the drain holes? They might be different than mine or might not be visible. Being here in Florida it wouldn't take long for one of our insects to find a home there.

I just removed the AC unit the prior owner had installed in the bedroom on my 29 ft Alpenlite. It took two of us to break the seal of the AC unit from the roof. After ten years, the orginal gasket was still soft.

If you think or determine that the gasket is compressing the drain....I would loosen the four bolts that secures the unit to the roof and then tighten them down to specs. After one year, can't imagion it would be compressed enough not to try that.

Don't understand the tech's comments about the gasket being compressed and blocking the drain tubes....unless your pan drains discharges down rather than sideways like mine. The gasket is solid and doesn't have anything pass between the roof and the bottom on the AC unit.


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Old 04-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
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On my 2009, the drain holes on the outer water tray were pretty close to the rubber roof, so it was conceivable that they could become blocked with debris or over tightening of the unit to the roof ... But it was very easy to check & verify that wasn't the case for me.

Once my AC leaked out most of the freon, the compressor would begin freezing on startup which "sort of" cooled the inside because the air was blowing over icy fins. It took at least 15 min to start dripping if the tray inside the unit was dry to start with. I could limit the dripping by running the fan in continuous fan mode, but the moment the fan shut off the amount of water coming down from the filter area was scary. Ralph had me relocate the temp probe in case it was loose, but it became very apparent that the temp probe sensor in the fins was not the problem. There wasn't enough freon going through the compressor to pass any fluid through the exterior coil & thus there was no condensing of liquid outside, no dripping of water in the outside rain gutter, just a waterfall inside. I don't fault the Coleman guy for trying to blame my compressed gasket, just that I was a professional systems troubleshooter all of my life & when someone gives me a blame or a diagnosis I want to see the video & schematic of the problem or fault happening in 3D just the same as a working unit. If all of the tech support people did this then bigger problems could be fixed the first time instead of after 2-3 tries. But the aerospace was more life dependent ... On the other hand I wasn't about to go work in the FL Keys for the winter without a working AC unit, my better half made sure of that!!! ;-)
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Workshop View Post
Not sure which Coleman AC unit you have. On my prior Excel, the Beast, I had a Mach unit. Here are several photos of the drain system for my unit....

Would assume all AC units have a drain for the coil. My was located below and the coil set in/above the pan. The pan has a drain on each side that allowed any moisture collected to drain out.

Mine was located and could be seen just below the cover. Don't know about yours, but mine discharged to the side and the 'tightness' of the gasket would not affect it's function.






With the cover removed....The large opening is the return air port. The metal pan is the 'floor' of the return air chamber and is sealed and will retain any moisture/water that it collects. It has a lip/height of about 1 inch. The white tray is the drip tray/pan for the coil.






The coil tray exits the metal pan through a hole just below the coil tray. A rubber type material on the bottom of the coil tray helps seal the opening that does not allow anything to drain out or prevent outside air from being pulled into the sealed return chamber.






Another view of the coil drain...As stated my drain holes are located sideways and can't be effected by the tightness of the gasket. They might have changed the design on newer models and positioned them at the bottom of the pan ( straight down ) but that would seem like a step backwards.





If possible or able...take a look under your cover and see if you can see the drain holes? They might be different than mine or might not be visible. Being here in Florida it wouldn't take long for one of our insects to find a home there.

I just removed the AC unit the prior owner had installed in the bedroom on my 29 ft Alpenlite. It took two of us to break the seal of the AC unit from the roof. After ten years, the orginal gasket was still soft.

If you think or determine that the gasket is compressing the drain....I would loosen the four bolts that secures the unit to the roof and then tighten them down to specs. After one year, can't imagion it would be compressed enough not to try that.

Don't understand the tech's comments about the gasket being compressed and blocking the drain tubes....unless your pan drains discharges down rather than sideways like mine. The gasket is solid and doesn't have anything pass between the roof and the bottom on the AC unit.


workhorse
X2 what workhorse says....the first thing I'd do is pull the top cover and run it and see what is happening. I think you find the issue real quick. Be careful of moving parts like fan blades and etc. Does your unit have a "chill grille"? If so you have the old style Coleman-Mach unit (I think that's what they installed in the Winlows). It is much like what workhorse sent pix of. Good luck and let us know what you find. rockin'
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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I had a similar problem where water was leaking inside. It turned out that the drain hole was in the bottom of the tube. The repairman drilled hole in from the side so that it looks like the one in the pictures above, and I've not had a drop since!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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yes ,i do have a chill-grill and the tech said the drains are out the bottom. also he did say the unit could be that over tightened enough to contact the roof.....great, i can see it now, drain tubes puncture roof membrain. he asked do i have a ladder.....yes....then told me what to look for as i sighted across the roof. i should see the tubes sticking down like your pictures. all i see is black....no tubes. i'm not messing with it, its under warranty. we're headed home wed and right back to fretz with very simple instructions.....ac doesn't work.......FIX IT. i'm really not a complainer and i haven't told you guys a quarter of the things i already fixed myself. but this put me over the edge. especially since dw is now unhappy. she usually blows me off as too picky and isn't interested in things she doesn't understand. hitchhiker and new horizon are looking better more every day.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:15 PM   #11
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yes ,i do have a chill-grill and the tech said the drains are out the bottom. also he did say the unit could be that over tightened enough to contact the roof.....great, i can see it now, drain tubes puncture roof membrain. he asked do i have a ladder.....yes....then told me what to look for as i sighted across the roof. i should see the tubes sticking down like your pictures. all i see is black....no tubes. i'm not messing with it, its under warranty. we're headed home wed and right back to fretz with very simple instructions.....ac doesn't work.......FIX IT. i'm really not a complainer and i haven't told you guys a quarter of the things i already fixed myself. but this put me over the edge. especially since dw is now unhappy. she usually blows me off as too picky and isn't interested in things she doesn't understand. hitchhiker and new horizon are looking better more every day.
Mitch,

You need to take a breath, relax and take this all in stride. My last rig had 98 issues in 18 months. You need to contact Ken and Lee Marks on their custom built New Horizon. Ken and Lee's RV Adventures Now do you feel better???.........I thought you would. It's all relative..... I've found when you're dealing with RVs.......it's just the way it is.... rockintom
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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RV= Rolling earthquake... all of them...Service after the purchase is what you looking for.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:49 AM   #13
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RV= Rolling earthquake... all of them...Service after the purchase is what you looking for.
Chief, I knew sooner or later......we'd get some wise words out of you!!! I'm just kiddin'...please don't set my Charm on fire!!! rockin' likes to pick on folks!
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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well we bailed on la today. the humidity was so bad it was like a pea soup fog at the campground this morning. now we're at meridian miss. with much lower humidity and thought we'd try the ac again. it took almost an hour 'till it rained inside and i checked the roof.... bone dry. i also looked at the manuals on the unit and the installation tells you about the gasket placement and a compression indicator tab that lets you know when its right. i took the return air filter screen down and you should be able to see the foam gasket around the inside edge of the roof opening...... guess what.....no foam showing on the road side. called the dealer and can't get in for 2 weeks. curiosity will get the better of the cat, so i'll probably take it apart myself at home where i have everything i need and all the time in the world. vacation time is precious, so therefore upsetting when interrupted by things that should'nt happen. rockin', i'm better but still not happy
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