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Old 06-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #1
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A/C woes from a newbie

We recently purchased a 2001 Itasca Horizon D/P with basement air.
This motorhome has been taken care of incredibly well ; it's lived in a building when it wasn't on the road. The only real problem is the air conditioner just doesn't cool the coach like two good roof-top units would.
I believe it's working as well as it can considering we are in Texas in the beating SUN!
I am considering adding a roof-air unit ; and my question is ; Will the 7.5K Onan generator be able to run both units without to many issues?The basement air DOES have two compressors. And will all 3 compressors even be enough to do the job? Right now we have one of those portable air units from Home Depot sitting where the recliner goes. It seems to work ok but takes up way to much space. And it looks tacky.
sorry if I'm a bit long winded....any input will be greatly appreciated.
Jeff-n-Cindy Hill Country Central Texas.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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I think if it was me I would have the basement AC checked out. It could be something so simple to get working correctly. Jim
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:48 AM   #3
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Before you start adding another AC unit check the ducting for the one you have. Some models around that time period had a problem with the duct work. Sometimes they became disconnected on the vertical run from the AC unit up the back of the coach.

If you get under the rear of the motorhome and shine a flashlight up the back cap you can follow ducts. If there's a disconnect you should also be able to feel cool air circulating when the unit is running.

To be sure both compressors are running turn the unit off for a few minutes. Then turn it back to cool and set the thermostat about 5* below the current inside temperature. After about a 15 second delay you should hear a click from the thermostat and the first compressor should start. About 30 seconds after the first compressor has started you should hear another click from the thermostat and the second compressor should start.

If you're plugged into 30 amp you can use the OnePlace load monitor to see if the compressors are working properly. If you're plugged into 50 amp the screen will be blank so the following information about the display won't apply.

When the first compressor starts the load meter should jump to about 20 - 22 amps for a few seconds then settle back to about 15 - 17amps. When the second compressor starts you should see the display momentarily jump to about 25 - 27 amps then settle back to about 20 - 22 amps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:53 AM   #4
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Jeff, Welcome, x-2 on having the basement AC's checked by a knowledgable firm. You might want to contact Winnebago for recommendations. The 7.5 Cummins Onan will certainly handle three roof tops as we run them all the time. Just watch your amp loads when using additional appliances. Best of luck!
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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Thanks to everyone that responded ; I am aware of the voltage readings to establish that both compressors are running.
And I have also looked at the duct work ; and it"s in perfect condition. When the coach temp is 90 degree"s ; I can turn on air and let it run all day ; and it will never get below 82. Even with a 17 degree split between intake and supply.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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Other alternatives would be to turn on a roof-vent fan to expel the warm air at the top of the coach while running the AC. You may just need to have a better airflow exchange?
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #7
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Hi,
I agree with what everyone has stated til now plus check one other thing.

That is check the filters for the A/C. I don't know where they are on your coach but on mine they are under the bed. There are 2 panels that lift out and then you will see the filters.

We have a basement air in our Adventurer and it works fine.

Also when temps are in the 100's as you are having in TX it takes a while for it to get cool and I second the idea of checking the duct that goes from the Basement unit to the roof of the RV and it is located on the pasenger side behind the rear cap.

Good Luck!

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #8
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I don't know the model but on our 37g you can see the evap coil with the filter out. If it is dirty it makes a big difference. Those units are great but they had to size it for the power available. Start early getting it cool and an outside windshield cover really helps. If you need service go to a home a/c company and have them diagnose it. The panel on the outside will have all the controls in it. Cheaper
Good luck
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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Alot of good thoughts so far. Just wanted to add that if your basement units are 10,000 BTU's each then they should be able to drop the temp in your coach 22 degrees after three hours run time. That is to say if the outside temp is 98 you should be able to maintain 76 inside. Also, please check the actual temp drop across each evaporator coil - the differential should be 15 - 17 degrees. From what you say you have already checked, it really is starting to sound like a dirty evaporator coil not allowing enough air flow.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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I understand your woes. Some really love the basement air but do to the long run of duct there is some capacity loss due to heat gain in the ducts. Your idea of adding a roof unit should work fine and your 7500 watt gen will handle it just fine. If you are just supplementing the basement air you may get by with a 11,500 btu unit. My son just added one to his 5er and bought for less than $400 on line. Good luck.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrow1010 View Post
Thanks to everyone that responded ; I am aware of the voltage readings to establish that both compressors are running.
And I have also looked at the duct work ; and it"s in perfect condition. When the coach temp is 90 degree"s ; I can turn on air and let it run all day ; and it will never get below 82. Even with a 17 degree split between intake and supply.
It sounds like you have the ability to measure temps accurately. I'm assuming you have an IR gun thermometer. First, since your split is acceptable (but not terrific), I'd look at heat gain within the coach. Shoot some samples by the windows and the windshield. In my HR Endeavor 37, I was able to significantly improve (lower) the inside temp by using Reflectix to cover the inside of windows that were in the sun. A cloth curtain for the windshield will not be sufficient. I can get about 8 degrees lower temp with the Reflectix in place. Here in Florida, with the coach in storage on blacktop and an outside temp of 95, in about 2 hours I can get the inside below 73 with A/C on continuously and hold 76 in non-continuous mode (the compressors cycling with the T-stat at 76). This is with 2 - 13500 roof units. The key for me was reducing overall heat gain. Covering the windshield was the biggest single improvement.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:19 PM   #12
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I doubt 7.5 will be enough for three air conditioners. We have three roof airs on our motorhome and when all three are running they pull right around 45 amps. We have a 12.5 generator.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:23 AM   #13
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I doubt 7.5 will be enough for three air conditioners. We have three roof airs on our motorhome and when all three are running they pull right around 45 amps. We have a 12.5 generator.
Yup ... depending on power factor, you can probably only get 50 amps out of a 7500.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #14
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On some MH's with the basement air there have been problems with sealing the duct work coming up the rear cap. Might want to check that too.
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