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 > Are my A/C's working correctly?

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rickydennis01

North Carolina

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Posted: 09/04/19 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2018 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 38N with 2 13,500 BTU A/C's. The RV is a little over 39 ft. I am new to RV'ing and don't really know what to expect concerning the cooling capacity of these units. I have heard they should be able to keep the coach 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Back in July, we were at the Outer Banks and it was hot. The outside temperature was 91 degrees. The inside temperature according to the display reading was Zone 1 95 degrees and Zone 2 88 degrees. I know that these readings were incorrect and that the interior of the coach though uncomfortable was not that hot, but I did not have separate thermometers to verify the actual coach temperature.
A few weeks later during a service call, I had the dealer check the A/C units and they said they were working fine.
I was not convinced, so this past week I decided to run a test. I had the thermostat set at 75 degrees for both Zone 1 and Zone 2. Over the last few days, I have registered the following results with the RV closed (entered only to check temp) and all shades pulled. I was using separate thermometers for each zone as I know for sure I can't trust the temp reading on the display panel.
1) Outside temp 84; Zone 1 77; Zone 2 75
2) Outside temp 88; Zone 1 77; Zone 2 75
3) Outside temp 83; Zone 1 75; Zone 2 75
4) Outside temp 87; Zone 1 80; Zone 2 79
5) Outside temp 85; Zone 1 76; Zone 2 76
6) Outside temp 90; Zone 1 82; Zone 2 80
7) Outside temp 89; Zone 1 79; Zone 2 78
8) Outside temp 90; Zone 1 81; Zone 2 75
I am concerned that there were several instances where the A/C's were not able to maintain the 75 degree setting even with the RV completely closed up and no one going in and out the door. I have, again had the dealer check the A/C's and am being told that they are functioning correctly. I contacted Fleetwood with questions about the cooling capacity and they were absolutely no help.
My question,am I expecting too much from these A/C's and is this pretty typical or do I have an A/C issue that is going to make camping unpleasant when the weather turns hot again?
Thank you all in advance for any comments you may have.

Cocky_Camper

Rock Hill, SC

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Posted: 09/04/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 35ft class A with a 15k and 13.5k btu. Both can keep it 69* with no problem when it was close to 100 outside and humid during July. We do use reflectix material in the windows and added a thermal curtain behind the front curtain. But it cools without a problem.

Now it may take it all day into the night to get to that temperature when we first set up, but it maintains it once it gets there.

And I was told by our A/C guy that the A/C should cool the air 20* cooler than the return air, not the exterior air temperature.


2004 Sea Breeze by National RV - 8341

Former Coaches:
2006 Keystone Zeppeline 291 - TT
2000 Aerolite Cub F21 - Hybrid TT
1991 Coleman Pop Up

Formerly known as: hybrid_camper

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 09/04/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You need to check the temperature right where it blows out of the air conditioner, NOT where the thermostat is. You may find the air blowing at the air conditioner is 65 degrees, but 5 feet away it could be 75 degrees and 10 feet away it could be 85 degrees.

There are many factors that would cause the camper to be so hot and why it appears the air conditioner is not keeping up: the size of the room, the insulation value in the walls and ceiling, single pane windows, how well the slide out seal, and outside temperature. It's not that the air conditioner isn't blowing cold, it's just trying to cool too much hot.

So, check the temperature right at the closest place the air blows out of the air conditioner.

There could be other factors too why it's not keeping up with the space to cool. Sometimes air ducts are not installed properly in the trailer roof. Sometimes there is an ice build up on the coils on the roof. Sometimes there is a blockage of dust and dirt on the coils.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 09/04/19 11:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

18-20*F DIFFERENCE between Air Return (at filter) and AIr DIscharge (at plenum) is best that an A/C Unit can do

TWO 13.5K btu units and 39' RV is going to be marginal ....should be Two 15K btu


Is it time for your medication or mine?


2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
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rickydennis01

North Carolina

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Posted: 09/04/19 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the response. As soon as this hurricane goes by and I can get the RV opened up again, I'll check and see what that temperature reading is.

lenr

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 09/04/19 12:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aggree with Old-B on the temperature difference range. However, my experience is that the difference between intake and out blow will drop toward 15 degree as the outside temperature approches 90 degrees or as the AC unit ages. I use my wife's internal meat thermometer to measure the temperature up in a duct.

zigzagrv

Nazareth, PA

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think two 13.5k BTU a/C's SHOULD be fine. My 33' has a single 13.5k a/c and it has always kept us comfortable in 90+ degree temps. Spent two months a few years ago, July and August, in Branson with daily temps in the upper 90's to 100+ degrees and it kept us comfortable. Granted, we were in the shade about 70% of the day.

Recently returned from a trip to Mo, Tx, Al, and N.C. and it was hot and humid, but my single 13.5k unit kept us comfortable even in full sun much of the time. I don't have double pane glass or extra insulation....just a plain mid-level coach.


Ron

2003 Gulf Stream Ultra Supreme 33'
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dougrainer

Carrolton, Texas

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Posted: 09/04/19 02:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first thing you have a problem with is your reliance on the SET Temp of each AC. Setting a RV tstat at 75 in hot possibly humid weather and expecting the unit to get to 75 degrees is not feasible. There is a big difference between an RV and a HOME in insulation factors. What you should do is simple. Set BOTH Zones at 65 degrees and do your test again. You also need to start the test at night to allow the RV to get to temp without the trying to overcome the daylight sun and heat. Starting out at a good cool 65 to 70, then see how it keeps up. There a 2 tests for correct AC operation on a RV
1. NOT completely accurate but close is a 17 to 22 temp difference between the intake filter and the nearest Cold air exhaust to the AC unit
2. A Compressor amp draw test corrected for outside ambient. This is how a qualified RV Tech should do it.
3. Since you have ducted ceiling units a common failure by the maker is to NOT install the hot intake and cold exhaust separator in the roof mount plenum. This allows cold air to be drawn and lost back into the intake and will drastically lower cooling capacity. Doug

Big Katuna

Deland, FL

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Posted: 09/04/19 02:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did either you or the dealer check/clean the evaporator coils?

Made a big difference on mine.

And once again Doug is spot on. My acs are set on 71-72.


My Kharma ran over my Dogma.

DownTheAvenue

Sunny South

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Posted: 09/04/19 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dougrainer wrote:


3. Since you have ducted ceiling units a common failure by the maker is to NOT install the hot intake and cold exhaust separator in the roof mount plenum. This allows cold air to be drawn and lost back into the intake and will drastically lower cooling capacity. Doug


Definitely check this. The A/C's may very well be working correctly, but if not installed correctly, they will suffer in their ability to cool the RV.

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