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Old 08-19-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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A/C Unit

Can any one tell me if the A/C units on top of the alpine can be charged. I have one that is not blowing as cold as the back unit. I was told that the A/C works better when the coach is plug in ver running off the gen. is this true.

Jack & Brenda
2010 Tiffin Pheaton
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jackduncan View Post
Can any one tell me if the A/C units on top of the alpine can be charged. I have one that is not blowing as cold as the back unit. I was told that the A/C works better when the coach is plug in ver running off the gen. is this true.
Can't answer, however a dirty filter or coil fins will produce your symptoms.


Cliff,Tallulah and Buddy ( 1999-2012 )
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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I can't see any reason for the AC to work better plugged in to shore power versus the gen. I have used it both ways and never noticed any difference.

What I would suggest is looking at the connection point between the air conditioner and the ducting through the coach. Many have leaks in this area, and some of the cool air just recirculates right back into the AC instead of coming out the duct. Aluminum tape will fix this condition. It made a big difference in mine, and I also have an '04 like you. You might find the old thread in a search. The thread was 5-6 years ago, in the Alpine Coach section.
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:18 PM   #4
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I'm going to ask a stupid question only because you're a new owner as I still am and discovered after purchasing the coach that the top cover on the front air conditioning was missing thus preventing it from circulating air. In fact, the front air conditioning cover has been my #1 nemesis since it flew off on our 1st trip and then started coming off on our 2nd trip.

If you happen to be missing the top cover, you need to contact me about the "REASONS" why the cover may have come off and will likely do so again unless specific counter measures are implemented.

Hopefully, the top cover is NOT your problem!
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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Jack - It will not make any difference where the power source comes from...gen or ground. Also, I ask this only because it is easy to overlook, do you have the front A/C in cool mode rather than fan? The temp settings could be different for front and rear. To answer your refilling question, yes the A/Cs can be recharged but it is not economical to do so. They are a sealed unit and cost to recharge is much more expensive than a car A/C because they actually have to brake into the sealed freon lines and seal them up again. And this doesn't even address what might need to be replaced (the cause of the leak).
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Though any Air Conditioner can be re-charged, due to modern EPA rules and restrictions it takes a professional technician to do it.. And.. Since they are a sealed system it will need to be done over and a over and a over again and the cost will surly be a drag.
(Take off on a song there)

HOWEVER, as others have pointed out.. I climbed up on the roof (Yet another song) the other day and removed the cover from the A/C.. Found an amazing layer of "Crud" on the condenser fins.. Hosed it off. and man did those puppies work better.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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Front AC may have a degraded start capacitor; compressor motor will cycle a lot if this is true and won't get up to speed.

If it is blowing somewhat cold air, probably OK on the capacitor, but hot coils need cleaning and/or the plastic shroud needs new foam to seal it to the coils. The shroud is the upper side of the hot coil air path box, and the cheapo OEM foam seal us usually not properly seating to some extent. Yours may have come unglued totally and be spinning hot air around the coils on the roof rather than running air thru the coils and out the side per the design. I fixed my rear AC w/good strip foam from Lowes and dropped the air temp coming from the unit by 5 degrees or so right off. Did the front a while ago but its been so cool I haven't had a chance for a test.
The discussion about sealing hot vs. cold is good advice also; could be old sealing tape has come undone over the years.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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WRV sucked when they sealed the incoming cold air from being re-circulated back into the warm air return, since they share a common wall in the unit. I put lots of new foam around the inside of the unit under the cover and this improved my "Delta T Split" temps a lot, almost got it where it should be about 20 degrees apart. However, the best cold air you will get will be in the area of about 20 degrees colder than the outside temp, so if it's 100 you will only get about 80 out of it.

Now, if you can monitor the incoming voltage of your a/c, it should never drop below 108 for the a/c's to work properly, they will run, but it might stress them to try to start with that low of voltage. I would guess if the incoming voltage is that low, you are only getting 12-14 amps per leg on a 50amp circuit. That is bad in my opinion, I would switch over to the genset, and I have done so when the power is that bad. Low voltage causes electrical devices to heat up more, and that causes early failure.

You can have what is called a "Service Port" added to an a/c unit, but it's expensive, only a certified a/c technician should do it, and he should use the solder on type, not the bolt on type. The solder on type (yeah really solder) on type goes over the outside of the line, is soldered on, then an inner screw punches into the line and allows the gauge set to be connected without losing any additional coolant. However, if it's not under factory warranty it's going to cost more in the long run than a new unit is, so just get a direct replacement for the one which is bad, if the old one needs coolant. The data plate of the a/c will have how much to add, how much oil to add, the proper type of coolant to add, etc. My guess is you won't be able to get the coolant if it's older than 5 or so years. EPA rules are horrendous concerning this type of stuff and it's also very expensive if it's real old.

The ducting fixes are most likely what is going on here so if you’re handy you can add some foam in places where it’s leaking and that should take care of the problem. Watch those fan blades if you check it without the cover and its running, you don’t want to lose a finger.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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I too have lost the front A/C shroud but my problem is finding a replacement. The old one is held on with only four screws and has no vents. I got the part number but all the replacements (including Eldon's) look different. IMHO a missing shroud makes little difference in the cooling because only the condenser is outside. The evaporator is inside and the air does not mix. I have been missing that shroud for a year or more and it cools fine. This is good because the rear unit will not operate at all. It has AC voltage. I suspect the thermostat but have no way of checking it. I also suspect the thermostat is mis-wired because in heat mode it checks zone 1 (front) temperature. Usually the heat mode uses zone 2 (back) so you can close off and heat only the bedroom.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #10
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If you have a missing shroud and it rains you will get a very wet ceiling in your coach.
The default for the furnace is Zone 1 not Zone 2.
John and Mary Knight
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Algoma View Post
If you have a missing shroud and it rains you will get a very wet ceiling in your coach.
The default for the furnace is Zone 1 not Zone 2.
The shroud does not keep rain out. It is just a cosmetic cover to improve the appearance and to keep leaves, birds etc out of the roof unit.
Bruce Dickson 2013 Thor Challenger 37GT, 5 Star Tune, Safe-T-Plus Steering Control with Air Trim, Roadmaster front and rear Sway Bars, SuperSteer rear Track Bar, Crossfires, 2018 Honda CRV . Full timers since Jan 2012.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:50 PM   #12
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You should be able to get the shroud easily. Send me the model and serial number and manfacturer, I can find it I think. I can get one for a 12 year old unit, yours should be a piece of cake, count on 100 dollars as the starting price, the 12 YO one is 97 from the manfacturer. The back one might need new start/run capacitors, those can be checked by any knowledabble A/C person. He will know to discharge them first.

Take a picture of the Thermostat, so I can tell which one you got. Then I can tell you what to do to make it work if he caps are good. Basically, the mode switch needs to display cool or heat, then you choose which zone, 2 is the rear of the coach, zone 1 is forward area (kitchen, LR, etc). The rear a/c takes about 1 minute longer to start then the front one if both have been selected (both zones for cool). If that still does not get it. There are some dip switches in the rear A/C which may be set wrong, the owners manual should have that diagram. Send me PM if you need more assistance.

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