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John&Stacy 07-17-2013 11:40 PM

A/C Problem
I have a used Providence '08 40X and yesterday I came back to the RV park and found the front unit blowing hot air. These are the standard RV Products: Colman Mach M/N 853408796. The first thing we noted was a sweet smell that was slightly like a ammonia smell. All measured temps were room temps in and out (hot) and no icing. Suspect I lost the Freon change. Electrical seems to be working.
Question: What is the usual expectation? Whole new unit (same model) or perhaps an upgrade? Could I expect unit could be fixed? Where?
Looking for your experience, thoughts and expense.

TX, John and Stacy

TXiceman 07-18-2013 12:31 AM

A few things, ammonia is not a sweet smell and the only place you can get an ammonia smell is from a leak in the refrigerator or your wife used some ammonia floor cleaner.

The roof mounted units use a "Freon" (Trade name for a refrigerant by E.I. DuPont) and 2008, they were most likely R-22.

The roof top units are sealed units and are not easily recharged.

You need to get a volt-Ohm meter and an amp meter and get some more information as to voltages, currents, is the compressor hot, are the filters and coils clean.

The sealed roof top units seldom loose the refrigerant charge. If there is a leak, you will find an oily spot, usually near a joint.

If it is a refrigerant leak or a bad compressor, I'd junk the unit for a new one.


wa8yxm 07-18-2013 07:00 AM

On some roof units (Carrier Air V for example) There is a "Trap" Like arrangement in the pipe, this is in fact a vibration trap and as such it does a good job. However if the pipes touch (As they did on both of mine) they rub together and let all the coolant out. When this happens. a new upper unit is indicated. Since Carrier is no longer in the RV business. I went with Advent Air and an adapt-a-kit.

TXiceman 07-18-2013 07:35 AM

John, I wish you luck with the Advent unit. Having been in the refrigeration business (and some A/C) since 1970 I have seen all kinds of equipment and many manufacturers. The Carrie V was a well designed unit and the Advent is a cheap copy of the Dometic unit. My feel is that the Advents will last 5 to 7 years and be shot by then.

My preference for an A/C unit now is the Coleman.


JFXG 07-18-2013 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by John&Stacy (Post 1646942)
... found the front unit blowing hot air... All measured temps were room temps in and out (hot) and no icing... Electrical seems to be working...

John, I had somewhat similar symptoms this past winter on our rear unit, and the conclusion was that my compressor section had failed, requiring complete replacement. My unit was OEM, so it was 11 years old. Also, it was a covered failure under my service contract, so it was replaced in kind (Dometic). Good Luck with it.

Daytripper63 07-18-2013 08:34 PM

I to have a 2008 40x and last weekend I had the same problem and all I had to do was replace the 30mfd compressor capacitor and all worked well again. While I was in it I replaced the 7.5mfd motor capacitor at the same time

John&Stacy 07-29-2013 08:41 AM

Thanks for your comments on my A/C running hot and smell. Found that the RV Product (Airxcel/Colemen) with Heat Pump had 3 caps in the electrical compartment under the top shroud with the Fan and Run caps ok and the Start cap and its PTCR (the attached little black plastic box) blown apart. That caused the smell and when I replaced both, everything works again. PTL and thanks to you all.
John and Stacy

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