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Old 06-10-2017, 05:32 PM   #1
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Pix: Both A/Cs and Thermostat Upgrades in '98 DSDP

My quest to enrichen Jeff Bezos continues.

Our '98 DSDP came with [2] Duo-Therm 13.5k A/C units with heat strips and a 4-button thermostat. This being Texas, the A/C units were struggling to keep up in the heat. They were also noisy and came on with a big bang/thud that was disturbing when you're trying to sleep.

I spent some time researching my options, spent some quality time on the phone with Newmar and Dometic, then started buying. I got a CCC 2 thermostat in white (Dometic part 3314082.011), [2] Dometic Blizzard NXT 15k heat pumps (Dometic part H551816), and the replacement plenum (Newmar part 123981) and cross braces (Newmar part 04460Z) from Newmar.

Removing the old units was straightforward. Pull up the silicone covering the lag screws and unscrew them, then disconnect the wiring (did I mention I turned off the electric first?).

I have read a lot about Newmar's snowflake plenum setups, but I don't know if I'd ever actually seen the comparison between their weirdo original setup and the new replacement plenum that's like the entire rest of the world uses.



See that straight part bisecting the new plenum? The gasket on the new A/C separating the intake vs. output plenums (plenii?) goes across there, and there needs to be some support there. Newmar makes some rather expensive ($48/ea.) aluminum support braces for this. I'm not sure what those braces go to, but I can tell you with authority what they do NOT go to - a '98 DSDP. I ended up fabricating some braces myself.





Braces now in place, it was time to mount the replacement plenum base, do a little wire management, and use 3M foil tape to seal up the ductwork.



I must take a moment to profusely thank bruceisla for sharing with me an install manual for the Blizzard NXT (which mine did not come with). Without this manual I'd have never figured out the dip switches. Speaking of which, my unit differed from what was depicted in the manual, as my control box was sealed up in the plenum and not on the side. I'm presuming it was because I ordered the heat pump variety (Dometic part H551816 AXX1C0) It was buried pretty good:



I got the back one set for Zone 2 and buttoned everything up.



Moving to the inside, I installed the new programmable thermostat and followed the instructions to set it - turn it off, hold down "Zone" and "Mode" buttons simultaneously, then after it says "INIT" plus any detected zones, hold down the power button for a moment to exit this setup area. It was now ready to go.



These units are, to my ear, a little louder outside the coach and a little quieter inside. Notably, they come on very smoothly without the WHUMP that the older Duo-Therms exhibited. They put out a whole lot more air through the vents than the Duo-Therms. All in all - a very worthwhile expenditure of a day of my life.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:32 AM   #2
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Nice job Brad!

For those looking at the pictures, Brad's original plenum is the "old style" which was replaced in later production with the "universal plenum" and now needs to be replaced with the newest (1234981) if you are going to use a Blizzard or Brisk II. For a crossmember, I used aluminum screen-enclosure material available in most HomeDepot/Lowes in states where swimming pools are popular.

For those with HydroHot, the Dometic controller for the HydroHot must be replaced to match the new CCC2 thermostat. Mine was under the hallway bath sink and mounted on the back wall of the cabinet. I have 3 A/C units and the HydroHot is Zone 3 .... the A/C units are Zone 1, 2, and 4.

Also, kudos to Brad for posting a link to the Blizzard install manual !!
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Felmey View Post
My quest to enrichen Jeff Bezos continues.


I have read a lot about Newmar's snowflake plenum setups, but I don't know if I'd ever actually seen the comparison between their weirdo original setup and the new replacement plenum that's like the entire rest of the world uses.

.
For those that haven't had the pleasure of working on Newmar A/C units, unlike other manufacturers, the A/C units are bolted from the top and sit directly over 2 full length ducts ( 1 warm, 1 cold) .... hence the plenum assembly. The plenum redirects the front/rear top unit airflow to a left/right airflow that enters the coach ductwork.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #4
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Nice job Brad, I sure miss all the fun projects your into, at least your write ups place me there.
Will add to your master thread and yes I see another project ahead of you, your roof, not sure you have the Brite-Tex roof or rubber but here is a couple of threads to help. #1 ---- #2 ----- # 3
I use to wash my roofs with TURTLE WAX soap solution cleaner that would remove the black stuff and shine up roof very nicely.
Used on my 98-99 coach's roofs.

THANK's for the added infomation Bruce always helpful.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Nice job Brad, I sure miss all the fun projects your into, at least your write ups place me there.
Will add to your master thread and yes I see another project ahead of you your roof, not sure you have the Brite-Tex roof or rubber but here is a couple of threads to help.
From 30,000 ft. at 500 mph it looks terrific
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007
Nice job Brad, I sure miss all the fun projects your into, at least your write ups place me there.
Will add to your master thread and yes I see another project ahead of you, your roof, not sure you have the Brite-Tex roof or rubber but here is a couple of threads to help. #1 ---- #2 ----- # 3
I use to wash my roofs with TURTLE WAX soap solution cleaner that would remove the black stuff and shine up roof very nicely.
Used on my 98-99 coach's roofs.

THANK's for the added infomation Bruce always helpful.
Yes, the roof is hideous and makes me twitch to look at it. It's rubber and probably doesn't have but a few years left in it. At the recommendation of a very experienced professional I have procured a 5 gallon bucket of aliphatic urethane industrial roof coating. It stays pliable and is expected to last 20+ years. He says just make sure the existing roof is clean and dry, then roll/brush on the coating. To that end I made a list of all the roof "stuff" I wanted to do before the final coating:

Remove the old and outdated satellite "dome"
Change out the [2] plumbing vents for 360 Siphon
Replace the [2] vents with Fan-tastic Fan 7350s
Replace the skylight over the shower
Remove the pointless rear luggage rack
Change out the air conditioners

I have everything done but the plumbing vents at this point. I imagine I'll get to this perhaps in the next couple of weekends. It's really heating up here in north central Texas so I don't want to wait too long.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Felmey View Post
Yes, the roof is hideous and makes me twitch to look at it. It's rubber and probably doesn't have but a few years left in it. At the recommendation of a very experienced professional I have procured a 5 gallon bucket of aliphatic urethane industrial roof coating. It stays pliable and is expected to last 20+ years. He says just make sure the existing roof is clean and dry, then roll/brush on the coating. To that end I made a list of all the roof "stuff" I wanted to do before the final coating:

Remove the old and outdated satellite "dome"
Change out the [2] plumbing vents for 360 Siphon
Replace the [2] vents with Fan-tastic Fan 7350s
Replace the skylight over the shower
Remove the pointless rear luggage rack
Change out the air conditioners

I have everything done but the plumbing vents at this point. I imagine I'll get to this perhaps in the next couple of weekends. It's really heating up here in north central Texas so I don't want to wait too long.
You've been busy !!

You are REALLY gonna' love the new A/C and heatpumps. My heatpumps run down to about 34 degrees.

One of my more difficult projects was changing the belts on the 12kw Onan.

Thanks for posting the great pictures!
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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Nice job, it looks like you replaced the shower skylight too!
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:56 PM   #9
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I sure did replace the skylight - good eye! Mrs. Felmey wanted a clear one, and what Mrs. Felmey wants Mr. Felmey does his best to accommodate. Since this photo I've sealed up the new skylight and vent fans.
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:36 AM   #10
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We replace our A/c units from 13500 to 15000 units w/ heat pumps. New thermostat, best decision we ever made.
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