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Old 06-12-2021, 07:13 PM   #1
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2003 Adventurer 38G Basement A/C Upgrade

We just purchased an excellent condition 2003 Adventurer 38G and looking for advise or experience on the basement AC. This is our first RV so what is the realistic expectation of this Central AC unit. It was 94 degrees today with a heat index over 100 and couldn't get camper below 83 on 50 AMP service. seems like it blows cool air but not cold ??? Laser temp O Meter was reading 78 degrees coming out of the vents. As I understand it its a sealed R22 system. possibly going to start pulling it out in the next week and see what I can figure out. I have seen and read of a new Coleman 46515-811 69859 24000 BTU 2 ton plus basement Central replacement unit. Has anyone swapped out for this Replacement system ?? I aint afraid to go custom and install Mini Split and build custom ductwork to tie into factory ducts but would rather leather RV in original condition. Any thoughts , options, experiences and advise would be awesome.
Thanks

Chad
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:01 PM   #2
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The measure to take is at the intake vent, then at one of the air output vents. A good working A/C will have app 20 degrees difference in temp. The basement air unit is adequate if it's in good working order. There are two compressors and with that differential in temperature and on 50 amp both should be running. The other primary issue with them is the ductwork in the rear cap splits allowing a lot of the cold air to escape into the cap area. Sealing the corners of the duct is a pain but can improve the efficiency.
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Old 06-12-2021, 09:12 PM   #3
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okay thanks so how do I access the duct work to inspect will that be accessible after the unit is slid out ?? I will take some more temp measurements tomorrow at return vent under bed and again at supply vents. Thanks for the info
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:25 AM   #4
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The most likely leak area is the duct elbow attached to the unit. Lay on the ground, unit running, and reach up around the duct to see how cold air is leaking out. For the higher seam, use an infrared temp gun on the outside of the cap checking for a cool spot. Use good quality metal tape to repair.
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:41 AM   #5
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I ran a few other checks this morning and verified both compressors are coming in. You can hear them both and also watching amp meter in EMS panel. Only 10 degree differential from return to supply and I’m going to do some
Duct inspections today. Hoping maybe that is the problem
Thanks for the info
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:03 AM   #6
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I would also remove your filter(s) and check the condition of your indoor coil. When I got my 03 Adventurer it had a piece of plastic floor covering partially blocking the coil.
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:11 AM   #7
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I would also remove your filter(s) and check the condition of your indoor coil. When I got my 03 Adventurer it had a piece of plastic floor covering partially blocking the coil.
Is it possible to access the internals without removing the entire unit?
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Camcues View Post
We just purchased an excellent condition 2003 Adventurer 38G and looking for advise or experience on the basement AC. This is our first RV so what is the realistic expectation of this Central AC unit. It was 94 degrees today with a heat index over 100 and couldn't get camper below 83 on 50 AMP service. seems like it blows cool air but not cold ??? Laser temp O Meter was reading 78 degrees coming out of the vents. As I understand it its a sealed R22 system. possibly going to start pulling it out in the next week and see what I can figure out. I have seen and read of a new Coleman 46515-811 69859 24000 BTU 2 ton plus basement Central replacement unit. Has anyone swapped out for this Replacement system ?? I aint afraid to go custom and install Mini Split and build custom ductwork to tie into factory ducts but would rather leather RV in original condition. Any thoughts , options, experiences and advise would be awesome.
Thanks

Chad
There some videos on you tube of an rv tech fixing these units. They braze on charging ports, and recharge/find leaks.

Would likely be way cheaper than replacing a unit...

If you take the unit out, I suspect an AC guy can fix it...
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:23 AM   #9
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Not sure your bedroom layout. My bedslide as on passenger side. I could raise bed platform, remove filters and see the indoor coil when the slide was out.
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:32 AM   #10
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I have worked on these by removing and taking to my shop. The main compressor was bad. I found a replacement, changed it and upon charging it, it had high head and started freezing up in the first few evaporator coils. It had a restriction in the last few coils in the condenser. I took those last 2 loops end tubes out and found a felt filter inside the tube. It was plugged. I was able to use a long screw to remove it. It was right at the end tubes of the condenser. It worked good for years after that was removed. 95 HR. That was about 3 days work just finding the filter and removing it after putting in the new compressor.
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:04 PM   #11
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okay thanks so how do I access the duct work to inspect will that be accessible after the unit is slid out ?? I will take some more temp measurements tomorrow at return vent under bed and again at supply vents. Thanks for the info

Mine didn't cool very well at first with poor differential until I removed the air filter and got into the return under the bed to clean the coils. Also be mindful that with the filter under the bed your AC is almost acting like a central vacuum system sucking down any dust at floor level so that small filter can require more frequent replacement potentially every two weeks and perhaps weekly depending on how dusty the location is. If you do not use a good quality pleated paper filter you will need to clean the coils more often so stay away from those metal screen or fiber strand filters since they will trade off more frequent filter changes for more frequent coil cleaning.
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:20 AM   #12
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Replacing basement ac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camcues View Post
We just purchased an excellent condition 2003 Adventurer 38G and looking for advise or experience on the basement AC. This is our first RV so what is the realistic expectation of this Central AC unit. It was 94 degrees today with a heat index over 100 and couldn't get camper below 83 on 50 AMP service. seems like it blows cool air but not cold ??? Laser temp O Meter was reading 78 degrees coming out of the vents. As I understand it its a sealed R22 system. possibly going to start pulling it out in the next week and see what I can figure out. I have seen and read of a new Coleman 46515-811 69859 24000 BTU 2 ton plus basement Central replacement unit. Has anyone swapped out for this Replacement system ?? I aint afraid to go custom and install Mini Split and build custom ductwork to tie into factory ducts but would rather leather RV in original condition. Any thoughts , options, experiences and advise would be awesome.
Thanks

Chad
I just replaced my unit with the replacement unit listed above. I bought it on line and saved $1,400 compared to the dealer price. Works fine.
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Old 06-23-2021, 12:30 PM   #13
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We have the same 2003 Adventurer 38G and a lot of experience in Arizona high temperatures. The key to keeping it comfortable is to cool it down early in the day. I set the thermostat to 68F at 7:00AM or overnight and leave it there. Then on the hottest days the highest temps in the motorhome are in the mid 70's. The awning and awnings over the windows will make a big difference as will covering the windshield.
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:26 PM   #14
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I just replaced my unit with the replacement unit listed above. I bought it on line and saved $1,400 compared to the dealer price. Works fine.
Mainer, where did you find the unit at and pricing, thanks
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