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Author Topic: 03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems  (Read 3320 times)

03flagstaff

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03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems
« on: November 07, 2007, 09:10:59 AM »
Hi, my sisters and I inherited our dad's camper a few months ago.  We've been trying to sell it, but two problems have come up.  The AC doesn't work.  The compressor will come on, but the fan just vibrates and doesn't blow any air out the vents.  Also, the refrigerator doesn't seem to work off of the electricity .. the coils don't get hot, is what my sister found, and the fridge itself doesn't get cool.

Could these problems be related, or does it mean we need a new fridge and new motor?  We can't afford to replace or fix anything, but were just going to take it off the price of the camper.  Its NADA's from 9.7 - 11.7 but at this point we're just going to try to sell it for 7.5 --- that's another question that I have is, is it even reasonable to think anyone's going to buy a camper that doesn't have a working AC and fridge -- even if the price is so low below its value?

It has been a nightmare dealing with this thing ... terrible time to be trying to sell one, I guess.

03flagstaff

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Re: 03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 09:26:41 AM »
Additional information .... they have it hooked up via a drop cord, to a 110 volt power source (I'm trying to use the right words here but I have no idea what all this stuff means, just parroting what they said.  I'm halfway across the country from the camper, so just trying to relay what they're doing out there.)

Could that be part of the problem?  Also, the fridge coil STARTED to get warm, but then after coming back the next morning, were cold again.

Karl

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Re: 03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 09:46:11 AM »
If the rig hasn't been used in quite some time and the a/c compressor runs, chances are the blower motor bearings are needing lubrication. You can try rotating it by hand to free it up, but ultimately it will require some oil. It's also possible that the blower motor uses a capacitor to  start it, and that may be defective. If you can spin the blower by hand with the unit turned on (be careful!!) and it starts running properly, shut it off, wait at least 5 minutes and try it again. If the blower doesn't start by itself but you can get it to run by spinning it by hand again, that would indicate a bad capacitor.

Need more info on the refrigerator. Most rv fridges are a combined LP/electric absorption unit, and you cannot see or feel the condenser coils, and they have no compressor. Sounds like your unit is a 'home' type. If that's the case and the compressor runs properly, there's probably a refrigerant leak which will need repairing. If the compressor doesn't run, it may be a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, or bad starting capacitor. Compressor type refrigerators DEFINITELY have one.

In the case of the a/c unit, lubricating it and/or replacing the capacitor is not a huge job, which you can do yourself if you're somewhat mechanically inclined. Replacing a defective blower motor is more involved, but still doable.

The fridge is a different story. If the unit is a compressor type and only the capacitor is bad, you can do that yourself. If it's a refrigerant leak in either a compressor or absorption type unit, that almost surely would require the help of a professional, and probably not worth the time, money, or effort. Replacement is your best option.

Good luck!
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Karl

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Re: 03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 09:55:50 AM »
Quote
Could that be part of the problem?  Also, the fridge coil STARTED to get warm, but then after coming back the next morning, were cold again.
If the cord isn't too long or too skinny (wire size) and is supplying enough power, it should work o.k. Have them measure the voltage at the fuse/breaker panel with a multimeter WITH the appliances running. If it is about 105 volts or less, there isn't enough juice to make things work properly. Get a larger extension cord or move the rig closer to the power source. Assuming the compressor continued to run, the coil starting to get warm but not really staying warm (or even hot) would indicate a refrigerant loss.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 03 Flagstaff - AC and Refrigerator Problems
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 10:13:20 AM »
First, are we talking about the dash a/c system or a rooftop unit? The potential problems are quite different.

Second, with no 120VAC operation for the fridge, it could simply be a circuit breaker or a burned out electrical heating element. Does it work in LPG (propane) mode?

And yes, if you are talking about a roof top a/c, it could be related to the "drop cord". You need a good heavy duty extension cord, at least 14 gauge wire (preferably 12 ga)  to handle a rooftop a/c, which draws a lot of power. A typical "drop cord" might not do it.   Does anything else in the RV work on 120VAC electric power, e.g. can you plug a light or fan into an electrical outlet and have it work?  [Note: the interior lights in an RV are 12v powered, so merely having the lights on doesn't prove much.]

As for the value, it is difficult to get the average NADA value in a private sale - even NADA Low Retail may be difficult. With major appliances non-working, you probably won't get anywhere near the book value. $7.5 is iffy, in my opinion - I would not pay that much unless the rest of the RV was pristine.   If this camper has been sitting around awhile unused, its tires are likely rotten with age & lack of use and there is a substantial risk of other problems related to age and non-use. I would want a steep discount to accept the risk unless the seller would guarantee that everything else worked or take to a shop to have it all checked out.   By the way, an RV fridge is very expensive to replace - think in terms of $1500+.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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