15k BTU Dometic AC compressor bearing failure and more

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Stewie Griffin

Well-known member
Mar 9, 2010
Okay, so the wife and I took our 43' Road Warrior, that only has one AC unit for some reason, to the KY horse park cg in Georgetown, KY for Labor day weekend.
As soon as we fired up the AC unit I knew we had a problem. I heard chirping and felt a vibration. Bad shaft bearing. I called around and found a dealer that had a slightly bigger replacement motor. Everything is the same, just a bigger case and a higher amp rating.
So I noticed when I was removing the bad motor that I really had to pull hard to dislodge the shaft from the squirrel cage and through the housing.
Didn't think anything of it at the time. But when trying to put the new motor in, I had to peel back some sheet metal to access the squirrel cage from the back and pull up really hard to get the center arbor lined up with the hole in the case so I could seat the motor shaft in. I was able to get the motor bolted in and was able to spin the shaft and cage by hand, albeit with some resistance.
So we fired it up and the motor refused to spin, just got hot. I checked power at the motor and all was good. Problem was heavy storms were coming and it was really hot and really humid. So I threw the case back on, went to Home Depot and bought a floor AC unit to get us through the weekend.
I got the RV back in my driveway today, went back up with the old motor to prove that the problem is not the start/run capacitor. Undid the wiring to the new motor and wired up the old motor. It fired right up and ran just fine. I rewired the new motor and had the DW fire up the thermostat. Confirmed power to the motor and actually saw the fan blade move just a touch. So I reached in and picked up on the motor and voila, the fan spun like it was supposed to. But I had to really pull up hard to get it to spin.
I know the problem is a binding issue at the housing plate and squirrel cage. Anyone ever had this happen? I don't know what I could have done to cause the issue and I bet it had something to do with the first motor blowing a bearing.
Is there a way to adjust the squirrel cage positioning inside the housing?
What's funny is one of my neighbors, who goes RVing with us and actually came down to visit us this weekend, is a Dometic regional manager. She can get us employee discounted parts, but I'm hoping she can get us in touch with a tech guy.
One thing is for sure though, one AC unit cannot keep up with this size rv when it gets really hot outside. I'm going to put at least one more unit in. I see that the bedroom vent is already pre-wired for an AC. I just hope there are ducts in the ceiling there too.
Hopefully someone has a suggestion on adjusting the squirrel cage. I had to call it a night before I had the chance to really dig into it.

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