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Old 11-12-2021, 09:15 AM   #1
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Dometic Penquin A/C shot? 2000 Monaco Windsor

I have a 2000 Monaco Winsor and both A/C units are Dometic Penguin units, original to the coach to the best of my knowledge. They have always struggled to keep the coach cool on even a mildly hot day and this past summer on a fairly hot day the front A/C would run for an hour or so and then shut off and then kick back in 10 minutes later and run again for an extended period of time. This went on all day until at one point I come back into the coach to find it full of smoke and the front A/C unit off and had kicked out the circuit breaker. I did a bit of checking last weekend and the compressor runs, but fan spins slowly and can see small amount of smoke coming off one of the capacitors.

Questions:
Is the unit completely shot? Or how do I test what could be wrong?
Are the older units worth putting money in or just replace with new?
What is the best replacement option out there? Penguin II or Brisk II or? The coach does have the updated CCC thermostat that was installed prior to me owning it.

Thanks in advance for any advice.... Brad
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Old 11-12-2021, 10:14 AM   #2
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2002 Windsor, I just went through the same thing. Here's a couple threads on what I did
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/rep...ts-559341.html
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/easy...at-559450.html




My front AC did the same thing ~7 years ago and I replaced the motor and cleaned good and it has been working good. Basically my rear unit started to act up and I was going to a PM on by replacing motor etc. I could not find any motors in stock for my Dometic AC. My front AC did the same thing ~7 years ago and I replaced the motor and cleaned good and it has been working good.



So I decided to go ahead and replace both but I upsized to the 15K BTU high capacity Penguin II. I would have had to replace the thermostat anyway so I upgraded to the Micro Air Easy Touch unit, which is Bluetooth and internet compatible, it will actually send alerts if temps vary from set points if you are hooked to internet. My wife travels with dogs so this was a good option for me other monitors charge for subscription type service.
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Old 11-12-2021, 10:42 AM   #3
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It sounds like your start capacitor blew, but replacing it won't fix the lack of cool air from the unit.
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Old 11-12-2021, 11:56 AM   #4
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I wouldn't throw money at A/C units that old. I replaced both of our units with the Penguin II Hi-Capacity heat pumps, with the CCC2 thermostat.
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Old 11-12-2021, 12:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjwurtz View Post
I have a 2000 Monaco Winsor and both A/C units are Dometic Penguin units, original to the coach to the best of my knowledge. They have always struggled to keep the coach cool on even a mildly hot day and this past summer on a fairly hot day the front A/C would run for an hour or so and then shut off and then kick back in 10 minutes later and run again for an extended period of time. This went on all day until at one point I come back into the coach to find it full of smoke and the front A/C unit off and had kicked out the circuit breaker. I did a bit of checking last weekend and the compressor runs, but fan spins slowly and can see small amount of smoke coming off one of the capacitors.

Questions:
Is the unit completely shot? Or how do I test what could be wrong?
Are the older units worth putting money in or just replace with new?
What is the best replacement option out there? Penguin II or Brisk II or? The coach does have the updated CCC thermostat that was installed prior to me owning it.

Thanks in advance for any advice.... Brad
My thoughts.


Something electrical has clearly failed in your A/C unit. From your initial description, it may be repairable as the compressor runs, but the fan is the issue. Maybe the fan bearings went bad and burned out the contacts for the fan motor, or burned out part of the circuit. That's where a tech that is knowledgeable about the workings of the unit is needed, not just a RV tech that wants to replace it.


Still, you need to consider the age of the unit. It is possibly 21 years old and is beyond it's expected service life. However, the older units seem to be built with better components and assembled better than new ones. Don't forget the possible difficulty in getting a replacement as well.


I think if this was my situation, I'd call out a knowledgeable A/C tech to diagnose the problem. If replacement electronic parts are available, or replacement "whatever" part that caused the failure, I'd go with that if the cost was well below replacement.


Consider the expense of the tech as a fixed cost that you would accrue regardless of your final decision.
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Old 11-12-2021, 12:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
It sounds like your start capacitor blew, but replacing it won't fix the lack of cool air from the unit.
Yeah, sounds like mine when the dual-capacitor blew.
There's not a lot that's cost-effective to repair on these units beyond the capacitor, control board and fan motor.
Last year when faced with your choice, I replaced the cap. Had a little trouble finding the right cap, but it's easy enough to replace and not terribly expensive.
Not too long after that... another heat pump totally failed and I replaced it. But I'm not sure the new unit cools substantially better than the old one did prior to failing. And I don't think it's any quieter either.
I guess what I'm saying is, don't expect life to be a whole lot better after coughing up the money for new ACs. I'm not convinced that dometic's heat pumps have advanced substantially in the last 20 years.
A new AC is expensive (to me anyway...). And even more expensive if you're having somebody do the work for you.
Replacing the AC was also a heck of a lot more hassle than I ever thought it would be. Plus you've either got to replace the thermostat or buy an accessory board for the new AC to make it work with the CCC.
Now... if you've only got AC, swapping in heat pumps might be a worthwhile upgrade.

Cheers,
Walter
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Old 11-12-2021, 01:01 PM   #7
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Larry, my fan spins freely so I was thinking either the motor burnt out or the capacitor..... I am guessing a new unit would cool much better, but I use the motorhome sparingly to pull a race car trailer and have used the A/C maybe 5-6 times in 8+ years so if I could get this old unit workable for a reasonable cost I could make it work for awhile.
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Old 11-12-2021, 02:24 PM   #8
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When my capacitor fried, the fan motor turned slow and got hot.
The capacitor had visible signs of failure. If yours is smoking... I'd say that's a good indication that the capacitor has failed!
It's a dual-capacitor, apparently for the fan and also for the compressor.
This is the one I bought;
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C0YSSA8

W
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Old 11-13-2021, 08:15 AM   #9
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The capacitors are only@ $20.00 each. Before spending alot of $$$ I would take them from the rear AC and put them in the front AC and see if that solves the problem.
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Old 11-13-2021, 09:12 AM   #10
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In September, our front HP quit during a trip to MI. I checked the unit and found the run capacitor had failed. Because of Covid shortages, the capacitor was difficult to find but I located and installed both the start and run capacitors. That brought the 20 year old unit back to life, which was good, because the rear HP went out two days later. We had our mechanic order two Pinguin II HV units for when we returned home. When we dropped off the coach six weeks later, the units had just arrived days earlier ( five weeks delivery after he was told the units were in stock ). Now in TN and the new units are working perfectly.
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Old 11-15-2021, 09:49 AM   #11
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Ok guys, got the two capacitors out and the main one is definitely fried.... best place to look for replacements?

Aerovox and Cambridge are the original brands..... see pics attached.

Also, what is the small component wired in line between the start capacitor and run capacitor? It's labeled PTCR on the wiring diagram.... see pics attached.

Does it need to be replaced also?
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:34 AM   #12
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Just go to any heating-conditioner place and get replacement capacitors. They are all the same nowadays. Or one of ebay or amazon.

I did refurbished my 5Hp air compressor motor ( re-varnish , new start switch , new capacitors , new bearings ) and went through same ordeal.
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Old 11-24-2021, 03:46 AM   #13
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This is first one that came up. 25+10 is more common it should work fine as well. The lower run # has to be exact.

https://www.amazon.com/Motor-Dual-Ca...ustomerReviews
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:42 AM   #14
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Update guys......

Got in touch with National RV Refrigeration (https://fixyourfridge.com/) and he had a replacement capacitor on hand and also recommended I add a Super Boost relay and hard start capacitor (https://supco.com/web/supco_live/products/SPP5.html) on both A/C units. I will be replacing the bad capacitor and adding the Super Boosts this coming weekend. I will post an update once completed. Thanks for all the advice and information!!
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