HVAC maintenance

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Pat

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Mar 17, 2005
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Payson AZ
Like about everybody, I have the usual roof air conditioner, heat pump, fan.  Does anybody do anything for regular maintenance?  I asked at the local RV repair place, the the proprietor said do nothing. 

--pat
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
Nothing except to use it periodicallly.  Operating it lubes the compressor, dries out accumulated moisture and maybe even scares off whatever may have decided to nest in that nice box up on your roof.
 

Ron

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Jan 29, 2005
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Home is where we park it
RV Roamer said:
Nothing except to use it periodically.? ?Operating it lubes the compressor, dries out accumulated moisture and maybe even scares off whatever may have decided to nest in that nice box up on your roof.

Gary has provided Excellent advise to operate the Ac periodically.  Like many things lack of use causes problems in air conditioners.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
I will add one comment to that "Operate from time to time" line

If, like me, you live in an area where it gets, well, COLD,,, DO NOT OPERATE THE AC WHEN THE TEMPERTURES OUTSIDE GO BELOW 40 DEGREES (actually it's 30 something but Iforget what) as it may damage things.

I worked in an office that was designed to have the AC running year round.  it was a very special AC unit with the compressor and accumulator tanks INSIDE where it was warm.  The working parts of your RV's AC are outside and can and do "freeze" (note quotes) in the winter, this freezing is not, in and of itself, damaging to the AC (I do not think it turns solid, like water does, I think it just remains liquid, and the comnpressor is not designed to compress liquid, only gas, what's more even if it does turn solid, refiigerant does not expand when it freezes like water does, busting pipes, it contracts so it does no damage)

But once the mercury rises,,, Fire it up  BTW.. Mercury also freezes outside in the winter, and I mean SOLID
 

Pat

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Mar 17, 2005
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Payson AZ
I thought it was 42 below which the A/C should not be operated, but it's also nice to know why.  The advice to run it now and then is exactly what the guy at the RV Store in Springfield OR said.  I do make a point of running the air and the heat pump as each is warranted. 

I may have to drive back to AZ in the next few days.  Mesa area.  I think the temp is something like a hundred fifty there this time of year.  My Chinook is only 24 feet long.  1.  Is the air conditioner going to burn out trying to keep this place below 120?  2.  Is there anything I can do to the windshield, such as one of those white plastic covers, to help with the incredible heat?  3. I have 16rpf insulation and double pane, tinted windows.  Anything else I can do to help with the heat?  4.  What about tires and caulking and so forth in that heat? 

My biggest worry about having to return in the summer is the damage that the heat will do to my motorhome.  For example, the satellite dish receiver in the overhead bin says that temperatures above 130 will start to damage the equipment, and above 150 will fry everything.  I assume any other electrical components and wiring could be damaged or at least have a shorter life due to the heat.

If I have to stay in Mesa throughout the year, with intermittent travel, is the motorhome probably going to survive those summers?  Would cold winters be preferable? 

(Single daughter-elderly parent situation that may be long-term.)

--pat
 

Karl

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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Pat,

Is the air conditioner going to burn out trying to keep this place below 120?

No, the compressor cools itself internally, but the ambient air temp. and humidity will limit its coach cooling ability. 150 degrees??? Get a motel room! ;D


Is there anything I can do to the windshield, such as one of those white plastic covers, to help with the incredible heat?

Anything you can do to reduce the heat load will help - windshield covers, awnings, the direction you face it when you park, etc. Double pane/tinted windows are good, but white shades/drapes/blinds or that silver-colored insulating material will help a lot.


I assume any other electrical components and wiring could be damaged or at least have a shorter life due to the heat.

There are two temperatures you need to be concerned with: Storage temperature and operating temperature. Almost anything, electrical or otherwise, can withstand some pretty high temperatures. Appliances and electronics however, generate their own heat and can be damaged when operated without adequate ventilation. Some units will automatically shut down when their maximum safe operating temperature is exceeded, but others will not. Keep cabinets that contain electronics open and, if temp's are very high, just turn them off and don't use them. Coach wiring and plumbing has quite high temperature tolerance, and you'll surely melt before they do!  ;D

Same with tires. They generate quite a bit of heat when driving, so you may want to restrict your travel to morning and evening hours during periods of extreme heat.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Karl said:
Yeah John - at minus 38F! What part of the Acrtic Circle do you live in? ;D

I live in Michigan, (S.E., Detroit to be exact) -40 is not usuall here, but it is very clearly not unheard of either, I've seen it at least 3 times, once before coming to Detroit and twice since  It gets coooooold here long about January/Feburary  (Both of the -40 readings I saw here in Detroit were in January... I don't remember the month when I lived in Battle creek but I do remember the sign on the back wall of the church and Fr's Sermon that day

The sign: "For your comfort and health the fuel fund deserves your generous support"
The Sermon: Annual "state of the parish" finincial sermon

The punch line: "So the boilers are paid for,,, they don't work, but they are paid for"

Yes, over 40 below zero and the boilers were not working

The refired the boilers the next morning, it was 2 weeks before the church got warm again
 

Pat

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Mar 17, 2005
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Payson AZ
Karl:  Thanks.  I've printed that info, which I'm saving among my manuals. 

I think the biggest problem in AZ in the summer would be the fridge.  I bought one of those canopy tents to stand next to the motorhome to shade the fridge.  The awning doesn't provide sufficient cover, and it has to be rolled up in strong winds.  Granted I have to anchor down the canopy.  I also bought a pair of moveable side walls for the canopy, so they can be moved to block the repositioned sun during the day.

--pat

P.S.  Your signature statement is one of my favorites.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Pat said:
The awning doesn't provide sufficient cover, and it has to be rolled up in strong winds. 

I got a "Sun Blocker" shade for my roll up awning, Alas, I have to take it down before rolling up the awning (it will auto rull up in high winds but it won't go all the way up,  Just far enough to be very secure)

It made a hugh difference last week when we first tried it out
 

Pat

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Mar 17, 2005
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Payson AZ
John:  I think I saw a sun blocker shade on somebody's awning in Mesa this winter.  The next day when I biked over there to look at it, lots of people were partying on the patio, so I went back a day or so later.  The RV was gone.  Where did you get the sun blocker shade and is it something that creates side walls around the awning? 

--pat
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Well, there are two seperate products, The "Sun Blocker" I got at General RV, it slides into the extra slot in your awning roller (the one the pull strap slides into, or the hangers for the party lights) more or less filling the slot.

They also sell "Side Blockers" which are the same product but for the ends of the awning (Side walls) these will not work on my automatic awning near as I can tell however.

I've also seen them at camping world

You should be able to get them most anywhere

Interesting item about General RV.... I've done some compairson shopping...  They have decent prices

(Coleman water heater.. Coleman outlet store regular price 179.95  General RV regular price 179.95
 
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