ac too small....mfg says void warranty if aftermarket upgrade.....

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dude_chevy

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May 23, 2010
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So about 3 weeks ago I bought a Dutchman Aspen Trail 1800rb.  The A/C is only 8,000 btu window unit.

So here is Texas with the temps running about 95 to 98 this weekend, during the day the A/C will only cool the trailer to 80 degrees until the sun goes down. Cooled it to 65 by in the morning then back up to 80 by noonish. This is also with the bathroom door closed to cut down the area to keep cool. Wish I could return the trailer, but probably too late now that i bought it. So my question is has anyone ever change out theirs 8,000 btu with a 12000 btu and put it where the current A/c is located. What are the other options for my delema?

So I contacted Dutchman rv mfg. They basically told me that if the a/c unit is operating at normal performance, then basically I am stuck with it. They also basically told me that if i added any "aftermarket" items to my rv it could void my warranty.

David

 

Back2PA

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I take it this is a new trailer. It has a window AC as standard equipment?
 

Back2PA

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Wasn?t familiar, just had a look and I see the ?window? AC mounted through the wall. I was not aware that window ACs were being used by any manufacturers.


Even in a smaller trailer 8K BTU isn?t going to get the job done in the TX heat. It seems like you have two options, replace the current unit with a larger one if you can find one that will fit the hole, or replace with a rooftop RV style AC mounted in one of your rooftop vents if you have one available. This option would be expensive as it would entail running wiring to the new AC
 

dude_chevy

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According to Dutchman if i install any after market parts, IE a larger a/c and it damages anything it voids my warranty. So I am stuck according to them with either voiding my warranty or living with an a/c that does not do the job.
 

Back2PA

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If the AC is installed correctly it won?t damage anything, but I suppose you?d have to be ready to fight with them if something came up.


In the meantime you may want to do everything possible to keep the heat out: outside window covers, inside foil/foam window covers, insulated vent plugs, awning down on the south side, etc
 

UTTransplant

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Do you have the windows shielded? Use reflectix tucked behind the blinds. Make sure any vents have a light block in them. You can buy special pillows that fit there, or use more reflectix held with command adhesive Velcro. Make sure any windows in the doors are covered with reflectix too. It can really help. Also keep a fan turned on oscillate all the time to maximize the cooling air moves around.
 

Conquest2011

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If you were planning on up grading your AC to begin with and having said the manufacture would void your warranty, I would purchase a portable AC and run that in addition to the 8K window unit.. However, you will have to run a heavy duty extension cord out the electric hook-up outside, else you will trip a breaker.

When we had a Class C and while at RVing in Las Vegas the temp was around 115 degrees, needless to say 13K BTU AC couldn't keep up either, so I went out and purchased a 9K portable and exhaust it out the small door under the couch. Had to MacGyver an adaptor to fit the opening of the small door, but it worked great.

The only hiccup I see would be if your outside electrical post didn't have 110 receptacle.

Stay Cool my Friend.
 

lynnmor

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Only damage caused by the new, heavier AC would be exempt from warranty.  Ask Dutchman if they ever heard of the Magnuson?Moss Warranty Act.
 

SeilerBird

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I would upgrade the A/C and not worry about the warranty. Most RV warranties are worthless anyhow in my book. Why be miserable because they might fix something for free?
 

steveblonde

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Dutchman is saying you will void the warranty because the wiring and structure is made for that size unit.
If it was made to handle a bigger unit it would be different but that trailer is smaller and leas expensive in nature and thus designed for a lighter type ac unit.

Having said that adding a separate 2nd unit wont void any warranties at all UNLESS it can be proven that it causes a catastrophic  failure of the first unit as per the magnusson act.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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According to Dutchman if i install any after market parts, IE a larger a/c and it damages anything it voids my warranty.
Not true, or at least not categorically true.  The aftermarket part has to be demonstrably at fault - it mere presence cannot void a warranty (per the federal Magnuson-Moss Act).  And having an aftermarket a/c cannot void the warranty on something unrelated, e.g. the fridge or water heater. As Steveblonde noted, it could be a warranty breaker if the wiring is overloaded or the weight of the bigger unit damages the window frame, but only the warranty on those items.
As for the 8000 btu a/c, you bought what you bought. You can't blame the RV manufacturer if the specs are insufficient for your needs.  Maybe you can sue the selling dealer for misrepresentation if he promised you it would be fine in Texas summer heat, but that's usually hard to prove unless it is in writing or recorded.

Go ahead and put a bigger a/c in - a 10,000 btu window unit doesn't draw a lot more power than an 8000 btu unit and it might help. Mostly, though, your problem is sun-loading and minimal insulation.  The cold air coming out of the a/c quickly gets heated up by the walls and ceiling, so there is a limited amount it can do.  Try to park in shade, put insulating covers on roof vents and windows, deploy awning if you have one, etc. Anything to reduce heat transfer.
 

John From Detroit

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The key phrase in that statement Dutchman made was "And it Damages Anything"

I can not imagine how sliding the existing A/C out and sliding a bigger one in would damage the RV unless it was either way way heavier (it should not be) or you make a mistake.

Now adding a 2nd Roof Mounted A/C might damage it.

However there is a "Fix" that is ... Undoable. easily undoable.

Portable A/C units come in a few flavoes. some have TWO vent hoses that go to the outside. You find a DIFFERENT window remove the screen and store it. Replace the screen with a custom piece of plywood (likely about 1/4 inch) and that is where you route the A/C Intake and outlet vent lines.. Plug it in (NOTE if it draws more than 10 amps running you may want to track down a Washer/Dryer outlet) and.. Have fun.

If you need warranty work
Remove portable A/C
Remove plywood
Replace Screen
Tow to dealer.
 

SargeW

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Wow, that's really sad. Even though you have already bought it, I would still write a letter to the CEO of Dutchman and detail your disappointment with the unit and the company.  Don't be nasty, just be factual and state what you believe would be a reasonable resolution.  It may fall on deaf ears, but it's worth a shot. In these days of social media, many companies will be willing to provide a bit of assistance rather than risk the negative publicity. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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According to the Aspen Trail brochure & website, the 13,500 btu is a totally different set-up, ducted air and therefore probably a roof a/c and different wiring.  The 8000 btu is listed simply as "non-ducted" (and a window unit is about as  non-ducted as you can get!).
 

dude_chevy

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Thanks for all the replies. In a way it is a "let the buyer beware". I figured if they sold it here it would be ample......my mistake.

I have ordered a 12000 btu portable a/c. I am going to put the hot air vent out the window over the dinette, and plug the electric cord into the plug for the original a/c unit. I figure that plug is set up to run the most amps. If it blows the circuit breaker them I will have to figure something else out.

I am supposed to get the a/c unit in this week. Will post and update after I try it out.

David
 
S

sightseers

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dude_chevy said:
Thanks for all the replies. In a way it is a "let the buyer beware". I figured if they sold it here it would be ample......my mistake.

I have ordered a 12000 btu portable a/c. I am going to put the hot air vent out the window over the dinette, and plug the electric cord into the plug for the original a/c unit. I figure that plug is set up to run the most amps. If it blows the circuit breaker them I will have to figure something else out.

I am supposed to get the a/c unit in this week. Will post and update after I try it out.

David
Those portable units can work well, the only issue I've had with them is forgetting to drain the condensation pan and stepping on a wet floor.

IMO, a window unit would be cheaper, quieter, works better as for heat/condensation dissipation, and is capable of running off of it's own power source.  you are going to use a window anyway.
 
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