AC Maintenance Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2002, 12:40 PM   #1
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AC Maintenance Question

With respect to the Casita's top and front mounted ACs,
and assuming you're living in your rig fulltime, what sort
of maintenance is required to keep these ACs running
well?



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Old 11-07-2002, 12:58 PM   #2
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Based on general a/c maintenance, I would suggest the following:

1. Clean the filter and circ fan blades regularly. Less stress on the fan motor and the cleaner condensor fins will work more efficiently.

2. If at all possible, occasionally spray the condensor with a mild solution of bleach and water to clean it, impede the growth of mildew. The runoff thru the condensor drain pan will do the same for it and keep the drain tube clear.

3. If you cannot spray the condensor, find a way to put mild solution of bleach and water in condensor drain pan for reasons above.

4. If drain tube becomes clogged and overflows, use light air pressure to clear tube, then mild bleach treatment.

Note: You should determine where the condensed water exits the trailer so you can occasionally check that it is working OK by seeing a drip and get a head start on overflow water if it isn't.

Pete and Rats



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Old 11-07-2002, 01:47 PM   #3
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A/C Maintenance ???'s

Pete, thank you for your input. I guess the real question
I'm asking is which AC unit would be easier to maintain,
the roof mounted AC or the floor mounted AC?

In light of your instructions, my guess is the floor mounted
AC is much easier to get to and therefore maintain, I'm I correct
in thinking this?



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Old 11-08-2002, 12:39 PM   #4
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Back when I had a roof-mounted a/c on my Jayco (before I chucked it into a dumpster in favor of a lighter and more useful second roof hatch/vent), the filter was changeable from inside, but one had to get on a ladder and take off the cover (also vulnerable to low trees) to occasionally hose it down).

Depending on design and level, runoff from roofmounted units may create the dreaded Black Steak, bane of Compulsive Cleaners, whereas wall mounts may be more amenable to tubing to direct runoff.

Pete and Compulsively Clean RatLadies (they spend more time groomiing themselves and each other than do cats!)



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Old 11-08-2002, 01:09 PM   #5
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Thanks Again...

I'm operating on the theory that "less is more" and
that includes maintenance. While I've changed my
mind a dozen times, as this minute, I believe I can
easily get away with full timing it in a 16' Casita
Liberty (I like the galley location, but need to view
one in person...per Don Willis suggestion) or even
a Spirit.

Take care,



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Old 11-09-2002, 10:18 AM   #6
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AC economics

Tom:

To replace the 'plastic shroud' covering a roof mounted AC will cost just over $100. (Sometimes they vibrate, crack and come apart).:spin

The entire AC unit can be replaced for about $150 on a front mt. (plus labor).......and you don't need a ladder.:inbox

Who replaces the plastic shroud??? On the last trip from OKC to Florida, I counted 7 different recognizable AC shrouds (or pieces thereof) along the roadside.:weep

The roof mount AC mounting bolts should be checked regularly for tightness (if you're travelling a lot) and also the shroud mounting bolts. :wink



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Old 11-09-2002, 03:50 PM   #7
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Thank you Pete & Don...

It seems to me that a floor mounted AC (8K BTUs)
would be more than adequate for a 16' Casita, whether
a Liberty or Spirit Deluxe. The maintenance of course
favors a floor mounted AC as does does replacement
costs...just thinking long-term.



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Old 11-13-2002, 09:51 PM   #8
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Well...If you get the front mount A/C like I have in my '97 Spirit Deluxe, then you need to stop by Wally-World and pick up a small cheapie fan. Seems the cold air gets trapped over by the 'fridge and doesn't circulate well until that wall is cooled off. I read on the Casita Owners page (where did that go anyway) that a small fan sitting on the side table increased the A/C efficiency. I must say it works. Now...the bad thing about the front mount A/C....see the thread about "Water Leak" That's me. The front mount A/C can leak condensate (water that drips out the back) onto the carpet inside and underneath the A/C unit...then, well see my new to be started thread on fibreglass laminated floor repair. I have a 'rotted' out section of the floor running from the door to the bath door and all the way to the front of the trailer. Sooo....I was thinking of getting a top mount A/C (well, until I read about the new Coleman units not running)...At least you can see or feel the drip before the wood rots!!!



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Old 11-14-2002, 12:28 AM   #9
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Coleman AC Units...

There appears to be a lot of folks having problems with
these Coleman roof mounted AC units. Coleman units
are used in other RVs, is it a specific model or production
run? Seems like a fairly recent problem to me!



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Old 11-14-2002, 07:28 AM   #10
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Roof mount a/c

One other thing to consider: If ceiling height might be a problem, the roof-mount a/c protrudes down from the ceiling about 3 inches. That would be more of a concern in a 16' than in a 17' Casita, since the ceiling is lower. Ours is a 17' and we're very happy with the year-old Coleman Mach ceiling unit. Its placement allows more effective cooling than the wall mounted unit would, plus you don't lose closet space. We also have found the electric heat element in the Coleman to be a worthwhile feature.

B.t.w., is the Scamp ceiling higher than the Casita 16'?



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Old 11-14-2002, 08:51 PM   #11
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AC

Hi Tom, I have the 16' SD with the front AC and it works great. Yes the AC that came with it did blow (whcih can happen to either the front or the top. It was like a little over $200 to get a new 8,000 btu AC. I got one with a remote. It was not easy to take the old one out and put a new one in. Luckily I have a buddy who does AC's for a living and he helped out not once but twice. I of coarse floated him a few bucks for helping.

I had to do it a second time because like stated before it was leaking from the bottom and that is a big no no. So If you look elsewhere here you will find my thread on replaceing my AC and now it works great. We had to do some re-modeling but it does work good now.

I personally like the front ac plus like it is said it is much cheaper to replace.



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Old 11-14-2002, 08:58 PM   #12
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height

I think Casita is 5'7" or 5'9" or something and Scamp is 6' or 6'1" well I'm close, but don't win any nickles. I use to know, but after I bought all that left my brain. :duck I know Mine is 6'. I measured. :)



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Old 11-15-2002, 07:23 AM   #13
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Thank you all 4 your inputs...

I'm physically limited as to what I can do, therefore the AC
question is one I need to get right to minimize my
problems down the road, in terms of both hassle and
costs.

I don't see myself climbing a ladder to tighten the bolts
on the AC shroud, but by the same token, I live in
Mesa, AZ, so AC effectiveness is also an issue as was
pointed out on this thread.

THANKS!!!



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Old 11-17-2002, 08:15 AM   #14
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Casita front mount a/c

I need to install a/c in my trailer and I am still trying to decide what would be best. I was going to hang one off the back escape window but Ellie (wife) said I could install the coleman minimach on top.:banana Man was I shocked that she would let me spend that much money. I am concerned that it may weaken the roof and fall through from bounching down the highway.:helpme If anyone can tell me the make and model of the Casita front mount a/c,I will check into it and see if I can install it somewhere in my Trillium. I'm concerned about destroying the window frame with a window mount and I really don't want it draining near the door so that I step into a puddle when I leave the trailer.:splat Of course if I do the work I will probable hurt myself again:nono and that is why Ellie wanted the top mounted style, I would have someone else install it.
Steve



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Old 11-17-2002, 09:14 AM   #15
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Hi Steve

Hi Steve ... Coleman discontinued the Mini-Mach a/c (but you still can find it) ... and now has new technology model called Coleman Polar Cub.

Unfortunately, the weight also increased. The mini-mach weighs about 75 pounds (34 kg) ... the Polar Cub weighs in at 100 pounds (45 kg).

When Casita started offering roof a/c ... I know they also beefed up to roof ... adding additional support to accomodate the weight.

To be honest with you, unless you add some sort of additional bracing, I'm not sure your Trillium roof would support it.

Now, that's the bad news ... the good news is it is relatively easy (and was the way it was done for years and years in our little fiberglass wonders) to add a rear window a/c.

An idea I always toyed with ... but never attempted would be to use a step ladder (might have to shorten to fit) and some sort of shroud to place a room a/c just outside one of the opening windows.

Might not look to attractive, but it would probably get the job done. Since I do a lot of winter camping, I never wanted a permanent rear-window installation.



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Old 11-17-2002, 09:27 AM   #16
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ac

I think I'm going for the portable one. Saw one that was also a little heater all in one. I've got so many places saved in my favorites, it will take me days to find it. but it was about 32" high x16 wide maybe. Ches listed come companies that have portables, but I haven't checked them out yet. Well you wouldn't have to crawl on the roof to fix it. and all the windows would still be there for viewing.



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Old 11-17-2002, 09:30 AM   #17
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Installing A/C

Steve - Well, Charles beat me to the punch before I finished my post! Thanks Charles. You did explain it better than I.

I think the brand for other than roof mount is not all that important as long as you watch where the drain is and what the amps are. You don't want to overload your circuit.

When I first got my '89 I wasn't all that impressed with it, but I'm here to tell you, I have no plans now on moving it. It is the orginal A/C and so far it works like a champ. I was working in it this summer and ran it almost everyday in 100F degree temps. You could hang meat in there. I still haven't figured out how it has stayed put so well, but that sucker is in there to stay. Now, I'm just hoping it continues to hold cuz I don't want to replace it. That little jobby hanging out the back window kind of grows on you and isn't near as icky as I thought it was the first time ;)



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Old 11-17-2002, 10:20 AM   #18
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pics

Suz, you got pictures of that jobby somewhere? In my mind I keep seeing this 3x2 foot thing hanging at an angle out the back window. Not a pretty picture.



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Old 11-17-2002, 10:25 AM   #19
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Picture

Jana - not on hand...I try and not take pictures of that side:O

Once I got the shine back and everything else done AND I had seen it a million times, it's not so bad. But, I am working on designing a lightweight red and white strip awning to hang over the back window. Then it will be so cute, everyone will want one.;)

I'll try and get a picture today or tomorrow. Okay?



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Old 11-17-2002, 11:55 AM   #20
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Installing a/c

The local r/v dealer recommended a window mount a/c. They make them small and light and he thought it would not look bad. That is where I seen the 1982 Scamp for sale and It has a window mount. I have heard the different discussion of the a/c in the Casita and thought that I might look into it although I will probably buy a window mount. I am not worried about losing a window. We only bought the trailer to sleep in and keep the children in (Pug dogs, 5 ea.) :o They do not handle the heat well and we almost lost one the last time we went camping in a tent. I know who needs that many dogs? We were bredding them and this is what is left and just grew attached to them.



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