Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Cleaning A/C coils: DIY or hire a pro? (See March 8 update)
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 > Cleaning A/C coils: DIY or hire a pro? (See March 8 update)

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frankwp

Calgary, AB, Canada

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Posted: 03/03/22 10:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure to clean the condensate drain pan out as well. Gunk that collects there can clog the drain holes, which will lead to water dripping into the trailer through the AC cover.


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profdant139

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Posted: 03/03/22 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of interesting advice! In answer to one question, we don't use our a/c very often -- maybe ten nights per year. (Mostly we boondock.) But we tow off road a lot, which kicks up a lot of dust. So I am guessing that things are pretty dirty up there.

It sounds like most of our commentators are DIYers. I usually am, too, but I have learned over the years to be careful -- to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, "you don't know what you don't know." (Remember the "unknown unknowns?") To paraphrase another maxim, I don't want my head to write checks that my hands can't cash. [emoticon]

If I were to go onto the roof and remove the plastic housing and spray stuff onto the fins or whatever, what would keep the gunk from dripping down into the trailer itself??


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ken56

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Posted: 03/03/22 05:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's where you need to be a little bit careful. The gunk will drip down into the condensate pan but if the drain holes are plugged up it can overflow into the trailer. Check those drain holes first. You can do that just by putting some water into the tray and see if it drains out. Generally, you don't need to rinse off the cleaner from the fins so just spray on the foam and let it do its thing. Then run the unit for a few hours to let the condensate rinse the fins off.

valhalla360

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Posted: 03/03/22 07:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tvov wrote:

It has never occurred to me to clean out the A/C coils on our camper. How much do you guys use your AC? We usually only use ours a couples weekends during the hottest part of the summer. Going on 20 years, AC still works fine.


If you don't use it, sure you can skimp on maintenance.

The unit will still work but it won't cool as much or as efficiently.


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ajriding

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Posted: 03/04/22 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do yourself. Just spraying water on it will do the majority of cleaning. It all should be waterproof.
Of course, you take the white cover off to do this.

The pro AC guys have use a cleaner they spray on the coils, let sit, then spray off, it gets it clean with little need for a brush. Also, spray from the inside out if you can to blow the dirt out, not in.

Clear any debris or bugs out.

That's about it.

ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 03/04/22 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did mine yesterday. No big deal. Sure miss my old DP with the a/c in the basement. 20 years and never touched it.

Gjac

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Posted: 03/06/22 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Tvov wrote:

It has never occurred to me to clean out the A/C coils on our camper. How much do you guys use your AC? We usually only use ours a couples weekends during the hottest part of the summer. Going on 20 years, AC still works fine.


If you don't use it, sure you can skimp on maintenance.

The unit will still work but it won't cool as much or as efficiently.
I seldom use my AC unit either, however I cleaned it twice in 17 years with simple green and water. I got a fin comb from HF and straitened the fins several times also. I mostly dry camp in remote areas and have backed into sites and hit trees branches that bend the fins. It is an easy thing to clean and comb the fins. Much like my genset I just exercise the AC several times a years at home to just make sure it still works.

profdant139

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Posted: 03/06/22 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac, great tip about Harbor Freight -- thanks!

profdant139

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Posted: 03/08/22 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, we spent the morning on top of the trailer -- got the plastic shroud off of the a/c unit -- and the layout of the components looked nothing like what I had seen on YouTube! (And I watched several hours of videos, prepping for this job.)

The evap coils were inside a well-sealed inner box -- fastened with clips -- and there was a lot of foam rubber glued to the box, making it very difficult to remove the plastic box. So we didn't do anything to the evap coils -- never even got a look at them.

The condenser coils were much easier to access -- they wrapped around the back of the whole a/c unit. (This is a very small Dometic a/c unit, much like the current Penguin model.)

But the condenser coils were clean! Just for fun, we vacuumed them and used an air compressor to blow away any dust -- but there was hardly any dirt.

So, now we will test out the a/c and see if it still ices up (as it had been doing). If it does, we will call a mobile repair guy. We gave it our best shot, and there is nothing more that we can do by ourselves.

There is a time to boldly DIY, and then there is a time when discretion is the better part of valor.

frankwp

Calgary, AB, Canada

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Posted: 03/09/22 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:


So, now we will test out the a/c and see if it still ices up (as it had been doing). If it does, we will call a mobile repair guy. We gave it our best shot, and there is nothing more that we can do by ourselves.

There is a time to boldly DIY, and then there is a time when discretion is the better part of valor.


Icing up indicates insufficient airflow over the evaporator coil, so either the filter is clogged or the coil is dirty.

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