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Old 08-15-2014, 08:36 PM   #1
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A tale of my A/C replacement

An interesting tale about my Dometic A/C replacement. My coach came with a 15K Dometic Penguin II 15K BTU air conditioner. After 8 ˝ years, it wasn’t cooling properly. I went up on the roof, removed the cover to check for clogged cooling fins. They were pretty clean, but I did notice at one end where the copper tube running to (or maybe from) the compressor was oily and dirty. Right away I knew there was a Freon (yea I’m dating myself here; I still call it Freon) leak. I called my Good Sam ESP right away to open a claim so I could call an RV shop for repair. Got the claim opened and visited the local RV Dealer service dept. to discuss a plan of action. They sent a tech back with me, he verified the leak, took some pictures and went back to call Good Sam. Within 24 hours the work was approved and a replacement AC was ordered. Here is where the story gets annoying.

The dealer promptly got the A/C unit, scheduled the appointment and replaced the unit. Now my old A/C was so quiet the only way I knew it was running was by feeling the air flow. This replacement unit was the noisiest A/C I ever heard. It produced a low frequency droning hum that was profoundly annoying. The locking brackets for the bedroom slide (lock the slide with pulled in) would vibrate. The ceiling fan blades noticeably vibrated. After a few days I could feel it in my eardrums. My wife and I was going to a local store so we stopped in at the dealer. They sent the tech out the next day. He removed the cover and saw the entire compressor and tubing vibrating violently. He told me what was going on and went back on the roof and called my from his phone. He started applying pressure to the compressor and tubing until the vibration and noise stopped. After taking video of the A/C unit and my fan blades vibrating he went back on the roof and using some soft styrofoam packing material I had, he used it to cushion the tubing and compressor. When he left it was very quiet. He and the service manager called Dometic and after Dometic reviewed the video, they sent another replacement A/C unit. We packed up the coach, took it over and they installed the 2nd A/C unit. The tech showed me the styrofoam he packed in the first unit; it was literally eaten away by the vibration. So the new unit is installed and to say this new one was louder than the first one is an understatement. In fact a 2nd tech went inside my coach and came out less than a minute later saying he wanted to stick something in his ears it was so noisy. While I was there they called Dometic again and once again Dometic sent another A/C unit. The 2 techs and I discussed what was possibly wrong with their design and we packed up and left again. The third A/C unit arrived last Friday and I made my service appointment for Wednesday. The tech opened up the new unit and saw it was a different model number that the previous 2. He called Dometic to insure that he had the correct one. Dometic assured him it was. He installed the 3rd unit and it is absolutely quiet. Very much as the original one was.

I would have to say that Dometic knew there was an issue with the design of that unit and didn’t want to admit it. I am very happy that the dealer, and this particular tech, went so far out of their way to insure we were happy.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:05 AM   #2
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Care to share the model numbers of both the noisy and quiet units?
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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Sure. The noisy units were model # 1816C85130. the unit now installed is model # 641816CXX1C0. In talking with the tech, he told me that the new unit is constructed much differently than the other 2.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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When I had my 2 old Dometic penguin AC's replaced last year my RV shop recomended that I go with the Dometic Brisk II units. They said that they had a lot of problems with the new Dometic Penguin units. It had something to do with the new "coolant" (freon) that they were required to use. The Brisk II units did not have that problem and are very quite. So maybe Dometic is still tryong to get rid of these old Penguin II units they still have left before they corrected the problems. But they would not do that would they.
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