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Author Topic: Basement A/C  (Read 4400 times)

taoshum

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Basement A/C
« on: January 08, 2015, 10:58:50 AM »
Where would you go to get an Itasca "basement style" A/C re-charged?  Can a refrigerated air tech that usually works on residential units do this?  Or, do I have to go to a RV shop?  I know the roof top A/C units are much easier but...

Thanks for any advice.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

emiddleb

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 11:46:45 AM »
Everything I've seen in other threads say the unit cannot be recharged per se.  There are no recharge ports as it sits.  Some have had them added after-market. 

In my case, when I needed work on mine (bad thermo-couple) the local RV shop called in an AC guy they knew who worked on these units.  The biggest issue it getting the unit out to do the work.

Having said all that, why are you thinking recharge?  If it's lack of cooling, there are several reasons that might have caused it.  The unit has a two-stage compressor and sometimes the 2nd one goes out.  Some have had problems with ducts coming apart.

If you have more info, perhaps someone here can help better.  If you Search (basement AC, basement Air etc) you'll get a ton of info.
Ed and Joie
2004 Vectra 40KD
Freightliner Chassis and Cummins ISC

John Canfield

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 12:06:20 PM »
Everything I've seen in other threads say the unit cannot be recharged per se.  There are no recharge ports as it sits. ..
Yup - there are no service fittings but an AC tech can easily add them.

Please describe your symptoms instead of assuming the system is low on refrigerant and what if any troubleshooting steps you have done.

--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
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John Hilley

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 12:41:36 PM »
Another common cause of poor cooling is a condenser packed with dirt. A residential HVAC technician is more likely to be able to do the job than an RV service center. Most will balk at working on it in the RV though. So getting it out and accessible to the technician is important. There are a couple of complete write ups on line and a couple of men can do it in a couple of hours.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

Ray,IN

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 07:11:20 PM »
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis.  USA 1SG, retired, Good Sam Life member.
The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

taoshum

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 08:48:21 AM »
Yup - there are no service fittings but an AC tech can easily add them.

Please describe your symptoms instead of assuming the system is low on refrigerant and what if any troubleshooting steps you have done.

As best I can tell... the symptoms mimic past experience with refrigerated A/C units where the cooling effect has gradually diminished over the past 18 months...typical of a slow freon leak somewhere... the air is not as cold as it used to be when coming out of the ceiling vents and it takes longer for the air to get cool after turning it "on".  Also, when we tried to use it as a heat pump for light heating instead of using the propane furnace, it took even longer to get some warm air.  The blower seems fine, the condenser fan seems fine, there are no strange noises that I can hear, the air flow seems normal and it still cools some, just not as much as before.  I have looked for debris or whatever in the condenser coils and they look normal to me.  If there are "troubleshooting" steps to take for a better diagnosis, I'm not aware of any but super open to suggestions.

I guess I could get the unit lowered to the ground per the tutorial using a small hydraulic lift we have for motorcycles and then call a refrigeration tech to come take a look??? 

It's very cold here right now so all this will have to wait until spring if the work gets done here, if it can get done here???  I could drive it to a repair place on the way to Moab in the spring???
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 08:50:26 AM by taoshum »
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

John Hilley

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 08:55:11 AM »
If you go through Mesa, AZ on your way to Moab, here is an RV AC repair and service business

Gene's RV and AC Repair
http://genesrv.com/
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

John Canfield

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2015, 09:12:03 AM »
.. If there are "troubleshooting" steps to take for a better diagnosis, I'm not aware of any but super open to suggestions...
You need to check the ducting for air leaks (inside the rear cap) - these are notorious for coming apart and reducing unit performance.  Next, check the running amperage - you can only do this on 30 amp shore power or running on generator power.  Put the unit in heat mode and adjust the thermostat to where it starts.  In heat mode both compressors will run and your OnePlace ammeter should indicate 21-23 amps (be sure you turn the water heater electric element off before this test.)

If your evaporator or condenser coils are dirty, that will also reduce heating/cooling performance.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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Ray,IN

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 09:47:55 PM »
The battery charger also draws amperage, it should be turned off during this test of the A/C unit. A basement unit will also cool very slowly/heat very slowly if the 2nd compressor is not working. Mine had a corroded connection at the wiring terminals on the 2nd compressor and was not getting signals from the thermostat.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis.  USA 1SG, retired, Good Sam Life member.
The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

codgerbill

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 03:50:52 PM »
We recently had our basement ac/heat pump replaced with a brand new unit. 2 years ago we had the compressor replaced during the GNR ta the Winnebago factory. The weather cooled and the next chance we had to use the Ac we found we were not getting adequate cooling. We took the coach to a Workhorse dealer and they said the recently replaced compressor (compressor #1) was bad. Winnebago had a 90 day warranty on the unit and they so they sent a new compressor and rebated the labor to the Workhorse dealer. The weather did not get warm enough to really test the unit until June last year. The cooling was, again, not adequate. We ended up taking it to a place a couple miles north of Shipshewana Indiana. This Amish gentleman explained compressor #1was bad and when the compressor  was replaced that the system needed to be thoroughly purged to remove any acidity from the system. He also mentioned that whoever replaced the (I think) run capacitor put the wrong size in. The compressor would have failed from the wrong size capacitor if the contaminates had killed it first. He did mention that he could replace the compressor and install a valve in the systems for future use. He also mentioned that  Coleman still manufacturers new units. Given the problems we were having we opted for a new unit. The unit came with a two year full replacement warranty.   The Company in Shipshawana is " National RV Refrigeration" and the website is WWW.fixyourfridge.com. He specializes in the Dometic and Norcold refrigerator rebuilds.
2005 Itsca Suncruiser 37b
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taoshum

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 09:38:10 AM »
You need to check the ducting for air leaks (inside the rear cap) - these are notorious for coming apart and reducing unit performance.  Next, check the running amperage - you can only do this on 30 amp shore power or running on generator power.  Put the unit in heat mode and adjust the thermostat to where it starts.  In heat mode both compressors will run and your OnePlace ammeter should indicate 21-23 amps (be sure you turn the water heater electric element off before this test.)

If your evaporator or condenser coils are dirty, that will also reduce heating/cooling performance.

Some data:  We had a warmish day, 36 deg F in the afternoon so I verified the 30 amp connection and turned off the inverter.  The amp meter showed 1 amp which is probably the float amps for the charger... anyway, then I raised the thermostat to 50, the thermometer showed 42, and moved the slider switch to "electric heat" which activated the heat pump system.  The blower came on and had "normal" flow through all the ceiling vents.  The amps read about 13 amps for about 30-40 seconds and then went to 20 amps.  I assume the higher amps indicate compressor #2 kicking into action???  After about 3-4 minutes, the temperature of the air coming from the ceiling vents started to warm and the thermometer started gradually rising, reaching 46 in about 30 minutes.  I checked the air coming from the bottom of the heat pump and it was blowing "normally".  The air coming across the condenser coils seemed normal... I flipped on the engine heater and the amp went up to 26, then I turned the engine heater off and let the heat pump run. 

Then I shut it all down and started the generator, it needed to be run anyway...  after it settled down, I repeated the heat pump test and it behaved just like the test on the shore power. 

This seems consistent with the summer cooling performance... it still cools or heats but takes much longer to "get going".  The air from the ceiling vents is not "hot", but "warm"...

I cannot see the inside of the refrigeration unit but from the outside all is clean and not clogged.

thanks, G.
07 Itasca Meridian 34SH.  '08 Jeep Sahara.
Taos, NM.

John Hilley

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 10:04:05 AM »
The heat pump output in the ceiling vents is never hot, probably 110 to 120 degrees F. Here is a good Winnebago Service Tip from April 2004

http://winnebagoind.com/resources/service/pdfs/2004-04%20True%20Air%20(Central%20Air%20Conditioning).pdf

Service Tip from July 2007 Central Air Conditioning

http://winnebagoind.com/resources/service/pdfs/2007-07%20Central%20Air%20Conditioning.pdf
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 10:17:14 AM by John Hilley »
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

Evpraxia

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2017, 12:14:33 AM »
Thank You for the links! Tomorrow we will be checking the items it mentioned. Hoping it works.

We just brought our "new-to-us" Vectra 1998 home and the AC is not cooling. The seller does not know much about the inner workings of the motor home and her husband has just gone into a memory care facility, so no help from the (likely) most-knowledge part of the previous owner team.

The fan part works great but it does not cool, on a day in the high 80s maybe low 90s.

Best regards,

Evpraxia
1998 Vectra by Winnebago, 34' 8"; purchased June 2017
Staff to a beautiful Siberian cat
Full Time RVer as of July 2017

John Canfield

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Re: Basement A/C
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2017, 07:35:08 AM »
Welcome! Be sure and look over the Winnebago and Chassis Resources thread near the top of this board, lots of good references and info there.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

 

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