'02 Winnebago Chieftain basement air issue

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Patticakes04

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Posts
4
Location
Arizona
While on a recent trip in Arizona our basement air quit working. Replaced the caps and both relays just for good measure. Also, replaced the interconnect wiring.
The fan works fine, not noisy or any apparent trouble.
The issue we noticed is that shortly after the compressor starts, the amps go very high then it shuts down. I suspect it may be a compressor issue but, we are not AC experts and we don't have the resources to pull the unit.
Any help is greatly appreciated or a referral to any place in Arizona that works on basement air. We are having trouble finding a place that will work on basement air units.
 

John Canfield

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Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,632
Location
Texas Hill Country
Welcome. I think RVP has a dealer locator on their website - did you check that out?

Basement air is a bit of a unicorn, there's nothing particularly esoteric about the HVAC part of it but access is a challenge. Full service requires dropping the entire unit, I've dropped mine two or three times and it's a huge PITA.
 

Patticakes04

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Posts
4
Location
Arizona
Welcome. I think RVP has a dealer locator on their website - did you check that out?

Basement air is a bit of a unicorn, there's nothing particularly esoteric about the HVAC part of it but access is a challenge. Full service requires dropping the entire unit, I've dropped mine two or three times and it's a huge PITA.
No, I did not check it out but, I will thank you.
I will let you know the outcome.
Yes, we don’t even want to venture into dropping the unit. Yikes!!🥺
 

DBarton02

Active member
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Posts
28
Location
Chicago, IL
While on a recent trip in Arizona our basement air quit working. Replaced the caps and both relays just for good measure. Also, replaced the interconnect wiring.
The fan works fine, not noisy or any apparent trouble.
The issue we noticed is that shortly after the compressor starts, the amps go very high then it shuts down. I suspect it may be a compressor issue but, we are not AC experts and we don't have the resources to pull the unit.
Any help is greatly appreciated or a referral to any place in Arizona that works on basement air. We are having trouble finding a place that will work on basement air units.
I'll hedge a bet you have a compressor issue. I indirectly became sort of an 'expert' on these with some issues that I had on the 2002 Adventurer that I bought back in May.

Fan ran constantly on the unit we bought - neither compressors fired up according to the sequences on the manual. Replaced all capacitors and relays still with no success and went all the way to bypassing the relays on a direct wire to see if it would fire-which caused the circuits to trip on the generator (running while testing at home).
I don't know the EXACT formula off the top of my head, but if you have an OHM meter handy, run a check on the 3 wires to each compressor. (Forgive me for not knowing the sequence) but testing a combination of 2 of the 3 wires completely in that series should equal the third - and by that, we were able to determine that the compressors were fried.

Caution on buying a salvage unit as well, as we discovered one of the 2 in that unit were DOA as well.

When I have more information in front of me, I can send it along - but chances are, your compressor (or compressors) are bad.
 

Patticakes04

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Posts
4
Location
Arizona
I'll hedge a bet you have a compressor issue. I indirectly became sort of an 'expert' on these with some issues that I had on the 2002 Adventurer that I bought back in May.

Fan ran constantly on the unit we bought - neither compressors fired up according to the sequences on the manual. Replaced all capacitors and relays still with no success and went all the way to bypassing the relays on a direct wire to see if it would fire-which caused the circuits to trip on the generator (running while testing at home).
I don't know the EXACT formula off the top of my head, but if you have an OHM meter handy, run a check on the 3 wires to each compressor. (Forgive me for not knowing the sequence) but testing a combination of 2 of the 3 wires completely in that series should equal the third - and by that, we were able to determine that the compressors were fried.

Caution on buying a salvage unit as well, as we discovered one of the 2 in that unit were DOA as well.

When I have more information in front of me, I can send it along - but chances are, your compressor (or compressors) are bad.
Thank you for the response. Long story short. We did find a place that works basement air on older coaches and our #1 compressor is fried. Recommendation is to replace the entire unit since, they are not able to replace the individual compressors. The only problem now is that the units are on back order and no idea when they will be available. Apparently Coleman is the only manufacturer that makes them now.
It will be a costly repair. Not sure what else we can do at this point. We don't live in the coach otherwise I would probably just add a window unit.
Cheers!
 

DBarton02

Active member
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Posts
28
Location
Chicago, IL
Thank you for the response. Long story short. We did find a place that works basement air on older coaches and our #1 compressor is fried. Recommendation is to replace the entire unit since, they are not able to replace the individual compressors. The only problem now is that the units are on back order and no idea when they will be available. Apparently Coleman is the only manufacturer that makes them now.
It will be a costly repair. Not sure what else we can do at this point. We don't live in the coach otherwise I would probably just add a window unit.
Cheers!
You might want to check around with some local HVAC Contractors in your area.
I was able to get 2 new Tecumseh Compressors ordered, and have them sitting in my garage ready for install.
Some guys will go ahead and do the work either on the side, or as paid company service (Just need to find the right ones).

Will probably have mine done mid-October once their workload tails off a bit and they can get to it - but it's an option nonetheless.
 

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
13,632
Location
Texas Hill Country
My usual HVAC guy was able to replace my #2 compressor - nothing technically esoteric about parts replacement. I was able to find a compressor but this was about a year ago.

So there's no reason why the unit can't be essentially rebuilt as long as parts are available.
 

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