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Old 06-16-2021, 03:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2018
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A/C not cooling

We are in Alabama on vacation for a few weeks and the front AC on our 2005 Monaco has quit cooling. It is a Dometic Duo Therm. It blows air but not cool. Previous owner had replaced this unit sometime in the past. I do see a slight amount of oily residue under the compressor. One shop I called here said if it needed Freon it was illegal to recharge them. I called a shop I trust in Texas and they said they highly recommend replacing and not trying to repair. I would like to hear views on repair/ replace and also recommendations on a good brand AC to replace it with when we get home in a few weeks.
In order for this to not screw up our trip, I went to Home Depot and bought a. Portable AC unit for $400. Mounted the six inch vent hose bracket in a window and plugged it in. Takes up less room than one of the dining table chairs and we are cool again.
I've been RVing since 1973 in twelve or more RVs and this is my first AC failure.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:20 PM   #2
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I haunt the 3 big RV'ing forums and have for the last 18 years and I've read a few times about people being told to toss their AC and then them doing a DIY deal where they add saddle valves, then add leak detector, evacuate and store the Freon if required, fix the leak or replace a compressor, then charge it up and off they go.

Of course I don't ever recall hearing back that it worked. These were HVAC techs or they hired a friend who was. Usually they'll pull the AC off the roof and have it set up on sawhorses or a picnic table, plugged in ready to test.

Myself, if I were needing to do that, if I determined it was a slow leak (weak cooling, not completely stopped), I'd add the saddle valve than use Enviro-Safe coolant. Bigger molecules so not likely to leak around the saddle valve. Likely to get several more years that way. I'm using it in the dash air for my DP and it's working good so far.

In your case, you should maybe buy a set of Start/Run capacitors. Might be that one is bad and the compressor can't start. Could be as simple as that. Or it could be a broken or loose wire to the compressor.

Really might be better to help yourself out if you could arrange to have it removed and setup next to your RV. Gives you many more easy to accomplish options, plus easier to determine if it can be repaired and you're ready to install a new one as well if that's the decision. Maybe the RV park has a forklift? Or a scissor lifter? If it's removed, a cardboard cover taped in the hole would work unless it's raining all the time. Then I'd opt for a piece of 3/4" plywood inside a plastic garbage bag, and a couple screws to hold it in place.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:24 PM   #3
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Rob, it is not illegal to add refrigerant to a unit but if it has a leak and it isn't repaired, it will just leak out again and you will be in the same predicament at some point in the future. My rate for a technician is $105 per hour and refrigerant isn't cheap so your guy that recommended replacement probably has a good idea as locating and repairing a leak can take some time.
If you are handy, replacing a RV a/c is quite easy.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:59 PM   #4
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My brother just replaced his rear a/c unit, I think cost was about $800.00 for new unit, he and a friend pulled it up a ladder to install, if you are by yourself you could call a small sign crane company to remove and lift new unit on roof. May cost a little more but a new unit will save you $$ over the years. HVAC repairs can get expensive.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:39 PM   #5
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Jim thank you for the ideas on how to procede. If l could bench test it that would certainly make the on where to go with it. I think I'll give that a try when we get back home.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:47 PM   #6
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I really thought the illegal part they told me was bull. I'll check prices on a new unit and may figure that's the easiest way to go
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:21 AM   #7
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I have come to the point where I think the rooftop A/C is a disposable unit. Unless I can tell that the compressor or fan are not coming on and I am getting room temperature air out of the vents, I opt to replace. I would check the capacitors, but if they are good, my course of action would be to get a new one. I just did. The previous replacement of the new one from 2003 was in 2016. I got 5 years out of it. I have read of some only getting 2 years. Penguin II with 2 year warranty.
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