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Old 05-11-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 16
Dash AC not getting cold on 2003 Thor (Airstream)..solution!

Thought I'd post a great solution to what I've read from others is a common problem. My 2003 Airstream motorhome (made by Thor) dash air conditioning quit working. All that came out was hot air. We took the MH to a Chev dealer who also services Workhorse chassis vehicles. The service writer there suggested that the water valve might be the problem and that my husband (retired auto tech) could test it by pinching it off on the right side (to the engine) to see if the AC gets cold. That did the trick!

Now the challenge, to find a replacement! The company that made the AC unit (Specific Climate Systems in Fort Worth TX) is out of business. A search of the internet directed me to a whole lot of very similar looking parts. A call to Buswest produced an actuator that was the right one, but no water valve. An email to Airstream directed me to Victory Climate Systems who had purchased parts from SCS when they closed. After several photos to them and catalog numbers and pics of parts from them, we found the one that worked, and for less than $100! Victory Climate Systems (also in Fort Worth) had the part and Linda Pannell there was extremely patient and helpful.

There were a couple of modifications my husband had to do to get it to work. The original has a jumper cable that connects to the chassis cable. The new one didn't need the jumper. Also, the new one (actuator and valve mounted together on a bracket) was mounted on its bracket backwards from the original one. He had to jerry-rig the new bracket to the old one but we now have dash AC in the motorhome. I know that we could always use the overhead AC (which we have been doing for quite a while), but it is nice to have that dash AC working properly again.

I should mention that this MH only has about 33k miles. It is stored under a cover, although the front gets early morning sun. Who knows why this would happen to a motorhome with such little use!

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 54
04 Essex with the same A/C problem

My 2004 Essex is doing the same thing with the warm air blowing out the dash vents. We took a recent trip and the dash air at night would get so cold I would have to turn the A/C off but during the day we roasted and had to run the gen and roof air. After reading your post and others, I suspect my water valve is leaking hot water into the core so I will try the vise grip remedy and go from there. Thanks for the info!

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:43 AM   #3
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Welcome to irv2 Linda and 04Beast.
Here is another method many of us have used.
You are in the Newmar QT's 1 & 2 and we also have a new QT's # 3.
Enjoy the forums.
98KSCA, 99MACA, 03 KSCA-3740- 8.1 Chev-- ALLISON Trans, now in good hands
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dash, thor

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