2003 Holiday Rambler DASH A/C Blows hot air

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Bill54

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Mar 22, 2013
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2003 Holiday Rambler  22K miles - Dash A/C not working. Last summer in stop and go traffic it would just go to hot air - and then when we started driving it would go back to cold. A few months later it would not get cold at all so I had a shop look at it and they said I could be low on freon. They checked it and said it really wasn't low - but evacuated the system and put freon back in - and it cold for a few seconds- and then hot air. So I was told I needed a few parts to replace. So far - expansion valve, receiver/dryer and dryer was replaced and still no cold air. It holds pressure according to gauges so there are no leaks - but still no cold air.  I am out of ideas and the shop charges $125/ hr so I am losing my shirt hear. I brought it home and decided to deal with it in the Spring 2013 and just put the cover on it for the winter. Well here we are Spring is here and I am ready to tackle the beast.  So many suggestions I have gotten, clutch switch, relays, fuses.  I checked the fuses and they are good - haven't checked the relays  -  but one thing is very odd......  There is NO FREON in the system at all  press the schrader valve and nothing comes out  and yet the A/C compressor is turning!!!!  I cannot understand it  it should not be.  So - do I replace the compressor?? Help!!
 
Bill, do you see anywhere that looks like the refrigerant leaked out?  It'll look wet and oily.  You may have a leak in your system.
 
Just because the pulley is turning don't mean the compressor is engauged. The system should have a low pressure cut out that won't allow the compressor to cycle. The compressor has a clutch on it, which freewheels when not engauged. If they replaced the expansion valve, and filter dryer, and you have no refridgerant as you know you have a large leak. Check around all the fittings where they replaced those parts. Take your finger and run around the fittings, you may find an oily residue. You may not, as it leaked just sitting. normally there would be an oily residue where the system leaks when running the system. Either way the system will have to be pressurized to find the leak. I normally use nitrogen for this, as it won't ruin the new drier.  If you have a manifold set, and have access to a nitrogen bottle you can find the leak yourself, with some spray bubbles. You need to put about 120 lbs on the system and spray the soapy water on all the fittings. Was the system low on refridgerant before the did any work on it?  if so you need to check more than just what work they did.
 
It is a 2003 Holiday Ramber Vacationer 36DBD  on a Workhorse Chassis  8.1

I had the freon taken out- it did not leak out.  It was checked for leaks  and no leaks
It holds pressure when they were putting in the freon, but then when we turned it on to see if we got cold air, it did for a second or two then went right into HOT air.  So the tech  took out all of the freon, and checked to make sure everything was tight. and found nothing. So he said  I am going to take all of the freon out - and we need to figure out what else to do. At that point I said - I'll take it home, its October I'll be back in the Spring. 
 
Only the tech knows if you should change the compressor. The compressors job is the boost the pressure in the system. It takes a low pressure cool gas and adds compression and heat = hot gas. The hot gas goes thru the condenser, the fan removes the heat and it is then a warm high pressure liquid. The warm high pressure liquid goes thru the expansion valve, which is a metering device,  high pressure on one side low pressure on the other, when this happens the process is called flash and that is what makes it super cold. So  the metering device, if not adjusted correctly, will let too much liquid in. No flash happens, no cooling happens. If the tech condemned the expansion valve, the compressor must have been working. Now if the condenser was, is, plugged up, not enough heat removed, and there are gas bubbles with the liquid the expansion valve won't work right. It has to have a column of liquid to meter correctly. I'd be talking with the techs boss. If he missed diagnosed and just replaced the expansion valve, they should make it right.
 
Probably a seal. A/C tech told me that even in the winter time just run the A/C a few minutes once in a while to keep seals from drying out and leaking. JMHO. Seal could be a pricey repair.
 
I can't say much about your particular situation, but is sure sounds familiar.  I had the same problem with my tow vehicle (2004 Chevy Silverado).  It seemed to have a mind of its own.  I'd be driving down the road just as comfy as could be and all of a sudden, the heat would come on full and nearly roast me.  It wasn't just the AC going off since the wife was still getting nice cool aior on her side, it was the HEAT coming on for my side.  (My truck has driver and passenger controls) Turned out to be a bad electric actuator that controls the blend door for my side getting confused and not knowing where it was.  The body control computer sensed the confusion and went into a default safety mode (full heat).  Shutting the truck off for 30 seconds and restarting may or may not have cleared the problem.  Replacing the blend actuator did solve my problem.
 
That is another possibility on a newer coach. Especially if it has thermostat controls. my old coach only has a manual control, but the blend doors are vacuumed controlled. May not be the ac system at all.
 
We had the same problem on our 2003 Holiday Rambler. We were troubleshooting the problem, and looked in the electrical bay that is in front of the driver's side tire. There are two boxes in there that are almost identical. We opened them because we were trying to find the fuses for the dash air. One of them was good, the other one was all melted inside. Its the one where the dash air fuse was. Turned out the compressor belt broke, freezing the system, overheating the electrical, which melted everything. Fortunately, we had an extended warranty plan which covered the cost, less our deductable. New belt of course, and new box with new components in the electrical bay. The HR dealer would not deal with it because it was a chassis issue. The local RV repair shop did the work. However, we had to find the part. HR dealer ordered it from Monaco, $316.00. We found it online for $85.00. We had the repair shop install the cheap one (in case it blew again) and kept the one from Monaco that was covered by the warranty. We no longer have the HR, but we still have that new (OEM) part. If it turns out that is your problem, let me know. I'd be willing to send it to you.

Now that I made that offer, I have to think about what happened to that part. I just retired and we sold the big house and bought a smaller one. I will look to see if that part made the move and post.

Stan
 
Could be that the electronic switch that controsl the air/heat direction have quit working properly.  I have had this happen on my Newmar and they need to be replaced.
 

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