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Old 10-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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A/C Duct Question

My wife and I just got back from a 3 week road trip, most of which was spent in Texas and Arizona. We have 2 Dometic 13.5K units which did a good job of keeping us cool. Being that we've only had this unit a little over a year and this was our first big trip, I noticed something about the duct work and am curious if this is the way it's supposed to be installed. Basically, there is not divider in the duct between the front and rear A/C. When the rear AC is on I can feel cool air coming out the front ceiling registers. Same if just the front is on, I can feel some out of the back registers. Shouldn't front and rear ducts be separate from each other, even if they are just the same duct but have a seal in them to separate the front from the rear? Wouldn't air pushing from the front and rear meet and defeat the purpose of having 2 A/C units? Negative air pressure? If they are supposed to separate, how would I do that, the ceiling is sealed up.

Thanks for the info
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:29 AM   #2
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One duct. Optional to run front, rear, or both, depending on cooling need.
If you wanted to block the front while running the rear you would have to close the outlet vents if they are of that type. Or vice-versa. You can also replace vents with adjustable louver type.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:38 AM   #3
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Probably is what it is. My guess would be it wasn't designed to be separate zones, just use both as the demand goes up. No on the negative pressure because the fans are both pushing the air not pulling the air. When running both the air will mix and the pressure will go up and come out of all the registers.


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Old 10-21-2016, 11:44 AM   #4
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You have 2 common ducts in a multizone system (1 return (warm) and 1 exhaust (cool)). They are connected and run front/back. This is designed to somewhat balance the cool air throughout the RV on a single A/C unit. Your system is working as designed. As mentioned, you can regulate air with adjustable vent louvers.
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bruceisla View Post
You have 2 common ducts in a multizone system (1 return (warm) and 1 exhaust (cool)). They are connected and run front/back. This is designed to somewhat balance the cool air throughout the RV on a single A/C unit. Your system is working as designed. As mentioned, you can regulate air with adjustable vent louvers.

My coach must be different. The supply duct runs the full length of the coach and is common to both A/C's. The returns are right below each individual A/C and have the filters above the drop-down door.
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:38 PM   #6
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You didn't post the make and model of your RV, so I can't address specifics, however in our Dutch Star, it functions as you've described. The majority of the air from the front heat pump goes out the front ducts, but some DOES come out the rear ducts, and vice versa, so there is some crossover involved in the ducting. This actually worked in our favor this summer when we had a problem with the aft heat pump. It turned out be a burned our start/run capacitor, but until we got it replaced, we still had AC throughout without having to resort to a portable fan to get the cool air from the front AC back to the rear.

That will also assist if you are parked at a site with 30 amp service and are only running one AC because of the reduced amperage available.

Hope this helps. Take care,
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:58 AM   #7
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We find the common duct feature to be useful if only one a'cond needed. At night we run front a'cond and during day we run rear. That way noise level where we are is much lower.
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Old 10-22-2016, 01:20 PM   #8
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One duct system shared by both my units. In newer coaches they have split the vents for supply and return ...instead of using the vent on the unit itself...much quieter!
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Old 10-22-2016, 10:28 PM   #9
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It's not always hot enough to use both air conditioners. Running just one air and having one duct will allow cooler air throughout the coach. But you can alway block it off and only allow air to the ducts you want. You'll probably have to remove the vent where you want to shut it off to block it further up/down stream. Replace the vent after you block the duck.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:49 AM   #10
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OP, please fill out your Signature with your info so that we may help you better.
Different brands and Makes of MH's can have different levels and styles of installations. So by us knowing exactly which Make and Model you have will make a difference.
On mine it's a common distribution header with no return except at each A/C so one A/C could cool the complete MH.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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OP, please fill out your Signature with your info so that we may help you better.
I agree...easily seeing what you own is a big help to solve issues.

In the OP's Profile it states he has a 2015 Coachman Encounter 37LS
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:45 AM   #12
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OP, please fill out your Signature with your info so that we may help you better.
Different brands and Makes of MH's can have different levels and styles of installations. So by us knowing exactly which Make and Model you have will make a difference.
On mine it's a common distribution header with no return except at each A/C so one A/C could cool the complete MH.
Signature is done, I hope.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:30 AM   #13
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My coach must be different. The supply duct runs the full length of the coach and is common to both A/C's. The returns are right below each individual A/C and have the filters above the drop-down door.
bruceisla has a Dutch Star's and they are different than our Monacos. They have return air ducts like a house.
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