Input on buying new Air Conditioner

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Purple Frog

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Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Posts
23
Location
Havana Florida
One of my Dometic Penguin I rooftop units has failed.
It's 16 years old and has old R22 refrigerant.
I'm ready to buy a new one.  :(
It is a 13,500 btu unit with analog thermostat and installed in a ducted system.

I'm very capable of changing out the unit myself.  I even have a 12' Air-Conditioner lift on hand.

Currently I'm looking at a new Penguin II or possibly a taller Brisk II , both by Dometic.
But... I'm open to suggestions.

Especially, who best to buy a unit from?
And is any one brand better?
 
It is 39 feet with two 13,500 btu units.

13,500 is enough for the bedroom (the unit that is out)

I'm finding the Brisk II to be ~$400 less than a Penguin II... but it is 4" taller.  (probably not a big deal)
 
PPL is about $40 more than RV Part Country, when you compare all the items needed to do a replace.  So price wise they are basically a wash.

PPL - you can talk to a real person.  RVPartCountry you have to stay on a PIA online "chat".
Many are recommending PPL.

I'm reading a lot of folks like the Atwood units better than the standard Dometic...  I've seen many posts saying Dometic quality has gone downhill in recent years.  Any thoughts?

I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
 
After almost suffering a severe case of "Paralysis through Analysis" I made a decision.

First.  I decided to shop with PPL in Texas.  So many on this forum suggested PPL.  My main reason they had real people you could speak with, that knew their stuff.  They also knew to tell you all the parts that were need to complete a successful install.  No surprises.  They may have been a bit more in cost, but the service was worth it.    :))

Second.  I went with the Brisk II by Dometic.  A risky decision at best.  I read a lot of grumbling on the web about Dometic quality.  And. I wonder about a unit that is held together by what looks like styrofoam...  But, price won out in this case.  PPL was offering free shipping and the end price of the Brisk was ~$300 less than the Atwood and ~$400 less than the Penguin.  Time will tell if i was "Penny wise and Pound foolish".
At this time our RV has been a black hole for money, and I am possibly facing a Genset replacement... so I am trying to stop the bleeding a wee bit.

I'll report back on whether it works out or not....
 
Coleman has a low power unit that only draws 10A instead of the usual 15A. If you went that route, you can power the AC from a standard outlet at home or staying at a friend's house without frying the outlet.

https://www.airxcel.com/coleman-mach/products/air-conditioners/medium-profile/mach-3-p-s
 
I too have been looking at a replacement air conditioner / heat pump, I am tempted to get an Atwood unit, however I am very concerned about some of the stuff I have seen written by dissatisfied owners, who complain that the fan cycles on and off while cooling, unlike traditional units where the fan runs until the compressor kicks off.
 
I read that "stop - start fan" about the Atwood also.  That needs to be investigated further.
I'd hate that one person's comment somewhere on the internet could be possibly tarnishing a good product.
Maybe call Dometic/Atwood.  There may be a valid reason it does that.

I read a lot of "Best 10 Reviews"...  got to say I question the author's credentials of most of them.  Some seem to be written by employees of certain manufacturers.  They are definitely not Consumers Reports type reviews.

These forums are usually the best source of info.

I believe the Atwood is a better and quieter unit than the Brisk.

As always YMMV
 
Isaac-1 said:
I too have been looking at a replacement air conditioner / heat pump, I am tempted to get an Atwood unit, however I am very concerned about some of the stuff I have seen written by dissatisfied owners, who complain that the fan cycles on and off while cooling, unlike traditional units where the fan runs until the compressor kicks off.
I have and UPDATE to this.  I have the BriskII,  13.5 on my travel trailer.  I have had some of this mysterious Run/stop/start, sometimes 5 in one day.  Someone said it was acceptable, even in the manual.  Well. 2 weeks ago, I was camping in KY, rather warm.  Run / quick cycle, off, on.  happened a few times.  I said screw it, got out my 50A to 30A dogbone, and used the 50A plug on the pedestal.  Never happened again all weekend.  So, I have concluded that there is a great chance, that this mystery is related to poor power.  I do not have a power management plug (I know I should). I do know from this point forward, anytime 50A plug is available, I will use it.
 
Especially in the front I would not go with a unit taller than your current one. I don't think the Penguin II a/c units are compatible with analog thermostats so you may want to check that out especially if you have zone cooling.
 

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