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EZRider800 07-02-2018 09:26 PM

A/C Replacement Costs?
Hey Guys!
The front A/C Heat Pump on my 40' 2006 Holiday Rambler Ambassador is out. It makes a God awful grinding noise when it tries to come on and it never kicks in. It's too hot here in Georgia to use the coach without the front A/C unit. It even has to be on when driving or it's too hot to enjoy the trip. The dash A/C doesn't even start to do the job.

My question is for those who have paid a dealer or repair shop to change out their A/C heat pump. How much did it cost and how long did it take? My unit is no longer available and the newer units require a newer thermostat or a circuit board to be wired in. I'm thinking of just replacing BOTH A/C units since they are both 12 years old now and the thermostat is going to be an issue having two different vintage A/C units.

I have the Dometic 13,500 BTU sized units. I see the new Dometic Penguin low profile 15k units are about $1250 on Amazon. I am very mechanical so I believe I could swap the units myself but I am not an Electrician. I can't read a meter. Is this something I could wire if I had a wiring diagram or instructions? My concern is pulling the wires to replace the thermostat. I really don't want to have to deconstruct my coach's interior. Or am I better off letting a professional do this?

WILDEBILL308 07-02-2018 09:29 PM

Is it the compressor or the fan causing the noise. The fan berrings dry out and make a big racket.

EZRider800 07-02-2018 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by WILDEBILL308 (Post 4270355)
Is it the compressor or the fan causing the noise. The fan berrings dry out and make a big racket.

The compressor sounds like it is locked up. It gets VERY hot to the touch. I had an RV Technician up on the roof checking it out while I was operating the thermostat. I was afraid it was going to catch on fire so I turned it off. It never blew the breaker which kinda scared me too. :eek:

Old Scout 07-02-2018 09:42 PM

…..generally speaking, these units aren't designed to be repaired....things like start capacitors, mother boards, perhaps a motor can be changed, but the compressor/ coolant loop is not very doable....Also have to consider that if unit is OEM, is going on 12 years old....these units are easy enough to swap out other than they weigh 90-100lbs so getting them on/off the roof is a also have to be concerned about main thermostat and rear unit compatibility as the two units work in tandem. Depending on age, you may need a different mother board for your new unit to make it work with the older unit. Sources like PPL in Houston can walk you thru it.....good luck....

Roy1 07-03-2018 12:34 AM

If the compressor capacitor is bad I would replace it. If the compressor has an internal problem it isn’t worth fixing. You could change the front a/c to a 15000 btu as you suggest and install a new matching thermostat up front. You could move the old thermostat to the rear to control that unit. Nothing wrong with separate a/c systems in my opinion it is a better way to go.

hypoxia 07-03-2018 05:51 AM

If the fan quits the compressor will get very hot and shut down within a few seconds. I suspect the fan blades are hitting something.

Tankd 07-03-2018 07:51 AM

We had a Coleman Mach15 replaced in 2016 for one of ours for not cooling. Cost including labor just over a grand. The mobile tech checked capacitors, ohms, amp draw and came to the conclusion it was low on freon because of head pressure. Being a closed loop system, he couldn't do a hot tap so we changed it. Seems all straight forward on this one. Wiring was just a connector and some individual connectors to the board inside. The watchout the tech said was to draw down the clamps on the unit to where it compresses the seal. If you do it yourself, take a phone camera take pictures of the wiring and such before you start. Our unit was just over a hundred pounds and the tech basically pushed it up his ladder to get it on the roof. Good luck with yours. --John--

GRedman 07-03-2018 08:22 AM

Had the front unit replaced back in March for $1,500 by a local shop. It's a long way down if you're trying to do it your self and I'd also ask, how are you going to get it up there?

Good luck

gptexas 07-03-2018 09:00 AM

One of my Penguin A/C units stopped cooling--compressor was gone. Since my unit was <12 yrs old and the problem with using the old thermostat I decided to replace both units and get a new thermostat. Had them replaced at PPL in Cleburne, Texas for $3000. Put on two new Penguin CCC2PW HC,15K HP's. They did the job in 1 1/2 days--great work.
They also work wonderful in this Texas heat wave-- GET IT DONE !!!
Best upgrade since the Samsung refrigerator install by Paul.:dance:

MSHappyCampers 07-03-2018 11:11 AM

Hi Curtis! Yes, you can do it yourself without being an electrician.

I bought one of the Penguin II heat pumps from Amazon a couple of years ago for just over $1000. I guess they've gone up!

That unit weighs around 100 lbs so you have to get it up to the roof and the old one down. The easy way is to have a friend with a forklift!

If you have the old 5-button CCC thermostat you can buy a conversion board for the new unit that will let you use it with the old thermostat. The board is about $100.

If your unit has the drain with the tubing through the ceiling you may need to buy a new drain kit.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

phays 07-03-2018 05:55 PM

About $1500 for one of mine 2 years ago. Be aware that you may need to check your thermostat. I had to get the conversion board mentioned by Joe.

Hoosier14 07-03-2018 06:07 PM

I replaced all three 13,500 btu domestics last year with 15,000 btu low profile penguins. The most difficult part was getting them on the roof. I needed to add the drain kit that was separate and then there are 4 bolts that hold the air conditioners in place. I put on the new thermostats and did not have to run new wiring. The wiring was color coded and was simple to connect.

EZRider800 07-04-2018 12:43 PM

Thanks for the responses! :thumb:

BUB1988 07-04-2018 06:24 PM

I just replaced the two A/C's on out coach. I would check with PPL before purchasing the A/C's. We saved almost $600.00 on the two by purchasing them from PPL. Units were on sale and free shipping. If you have a friend, or relative with a lifted 4X4 truck getting them on the roof is a piece of cake. Two of us handed the units to my 6'2" friend and he just set them on the roof. As far as the new thermostat no new wires are needed as the old wiring and new thermostat are marked and tells you which wire goes where. Installation took around 2 hours each. We didn't buy the low profile or the heat pump models.

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