Removing and Reinstalling Parkliner Air Condioner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Removing and Reinstalling Parkliner Air Condioner

Okay, first, the answer to the burning question, why would you want to remove and reinstall the air conditioner in a ParkLiner? In my case, the answer is threefold. The first reason is water dripping into the interior of the camper and in one case completely soaking my wife's sneakers that were left in the kick space below the air conditioner. The second reason is that I have been completely unimpressed with the cooling ability of the Frigidaire unit. Admittedly, the insulation of the ParkLiner is minimal at best, but a 3500 BTU A/C unit in such a small space should be enough to cool it off. The final reason is because it is the only way to clean the air filter which slides out of a slot on the right hand side of the Frigidaire unit. Which, as you can see is pressed tightly up against the jamb to the bathroom door.


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To remove the unit, you have to lie on your side and remove three small Phillips screws with a stubby screwdriver. It's a little easier if you have a right angle drive for a cordless drill or impact driver. These screws go up through the fiberglass under the air conditioner and into what appears to be the shelf that the A/C unit is sitting on. It turns out that it is not a shelf, but rather a retaining block which keeps the unit from vibrating out of place as you travel.


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Once the retaining block is removed, you can get your fingertips into the space at the front of the unit and start wiggling it out. This is easier said than done as the power cord is wedged tightly from front to back along the left hand side of the unit and allows very little movement. You might get only an 1/8th of an inch or so of movement at a time. Clearances are that tight.


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After getting the unit partially out, I noticed several things which did not impress me. The first was that the area of the hot air discharge on the back of the unit measured approximately 13 x 10 inches while the interior of the poorly constructed and poorly attached foam gasket was only 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches. This effectively reduced the area for the discharge of hot air by almost 33%. The power cord was routed behind the unit, down through the rectangular hole and up through the round hole and plugged into an outlet mounted on a typical household plastic outlet box. This trapped the cord between the gasket and the A/C unit reducing the effectiveness of the seal at that point.


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Once I completely removed the A/C from its nest, I plugged it back in and turned it on to determine the location of water discharge. There is a hole in the bottom of the case about 2 1/2 inches from the rear and a couple of inches right of center which drains the condensate. On a humid day like yesterday I was able to generate about 8 ounces of water in about 15 minutes. By my measurement, it would appear that the discharge hole is right over the edge of the rectangular cutout in the unfinished plywood. This allows the water to wick into the plywood and once it is saturated run into the interior of the camper under the A/C unit. The installation guide for the Frigidaire unit, which is specific to window mounting the unit in a house, suggests shimming the unit 1/4 - 1/2 inch higher in the front so that water flows to the back and drips outside. There is probably less than 1/8 inch of clearance at the front of the unit so raising the front is not a possibility. I've make a rough, cross section sketch to illustrate the problem.


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The solution - Using a Sawsall, reciprocating demolition type saw, I notched and cut out a wedge of plywood from underneath the condensate drain hole.


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I lined the area with a piece of aluminum flashing material which I molded to fit into the cut out area and which hangs down past the plywood into the bilge area. I glued this into place with hot melt glue. I also trimmed the foam gasket and reattached it - also with hot melt glue to the very edge of the vent cutout in the fiberglass. This increased the hot air discharge area by about 12 - 15 %. Not optimal but the best I could do. The opening is still about 20% smaller than the fin area on the back of the A/C unit.


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I used a Dremel tool to relieve the fiberglass in the left hand corner where the power cord binds to make reinstallation easier and carefully slid the unit back into place routing the cord down and up through the round hole shown in the 4th picture.



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Lastly, I reinstalled the retaining block, cleaned up all my tools and set the air conditioner on "High Cool." An hour later my wife and I were sitting in our cool, dry ParkLiner, sipping a glass of wine while water dripped on the ground outside from the weep holes in the bilge area. Not a trace of water under the unit on the inside of the camper.
Today I have a sore back, tendonitis in my right knee and some very unusual bruises but I think it was a successful project that I shouldn't have had to do, that will pay us back in comfort many times over.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
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Boy Brian, no kidding. No one should have to go through that, but I sure appreciate your posting this complete with photos. It is obviously something I should allocate some time to replicate. I particular liked your hand drawing notation "Not to scale." A bit of humor that?

I had to fix my broken bath door latch over the weekend, but that really didn't take long. I also finished my second coat of liquid electric tape on the exposed crimped connections under the trailer. That job was similar to your AC work - not fun!

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:07 PM   #3
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Good to know! I haven't needed mine yet, but this coming weekend it might happen. I know my ac unit doesn't do a great job, and might be from the limited amount of heat being discharged out the back. I "knock on wood" didnt get any water dripping inside last year...but I have a suspicion that each of our trailers are slightly different depending on millions of factors lol...but I need to pull mine out...I have an 8000 btu unit that has the same footprint as a 5000... might want to pop that guy in lol.

Thanks for the pictures Brian!
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by deryk View Post
I have an 8000 btu unit that has the same footprint as a 5000... might want to pop that guy in lol.
Wouldn't that draw a lot more power Deryk? Nevertheless, not a bad idea. These campgrounds don't charge per kwh...

Frank
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:17 PM   #5
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Well Frank, I haven't camped in a campgrounds that offered enough power to run an air conditioner....so I run my Yamaha....and yeah will use more power...but possibly cool me down more. Right now if I totally top off the tank I get about 9.5 hours of run time... honestly I seldom sleep more then 6 hours...add an hour to cool it down before going to bed...and 20 minutes in the morning to make a good pot of coffee...I think if it shaved an hour of runtime I would still be ok lol
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #6
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Nice job Brian. Nothing ruins a camping trip like water in the camper. Been there done that.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #7
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Hummmm, since Parkliner is a "new" all molded towable manufacturer (whatever that means), shouldn't you be asking the manufacturer about their solutions instead of us? I mean.... really? I'd give Parkliner every opportunity to solve the solution. Which makes that good for them and every other Parkliner owner. AND fortunate for future owners....

YMMV
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:33 AM   #8
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I had a similar setup in my T@da with a heat pump, if the trailer was level or high on one side I got water inside, had to keep it off level and the condensate would drain easily. Also my EggCamper had an underseat a/c. Here is the link to address sealing off the cold winter air from entering.New egg hatch....
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Hummmm, since Parkliner is a "new" all molded towable manufacturer (whatever that means), shouldn't you be asking the manufacturer about their solutions instead of us? I mean.... really? I'd give Parkliner every opportunity to solve the solution. Which makes that good for them and every other Parkliner owner. AND fortunate for future owners....

YMMV
Donna, I didn't think Brian was asking anything from "us." It seemed to me he was offering some solid suggestions to other ParkLiner owners. I may be missing something here though. It seems to happen more and more often!

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:42 PM   #10
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Frank,
You pretty well nailed it. I really was offering my solution to a problem, not asking advice. Unfortunate as it may be, my experience with ParkLiner involves their continuing failure to respond to emails and phone calls and the need to return the unit to Gibsonville for major stuff like retrofit of the tongue mounted battery box. That's about a 1300 mile round trip for me and simply not practical. Wish it weren't true, but I consider that going forward, I'm on my own.


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Old 08-05-2014, 09:01 PM   #11
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Agreed! Also as we are out of warranty, suggestions like this are what the rest of the site is all about. Perhaps at some future date ParkLiner(along with every other manuf out there) will look at forums like this and look at the praises and the complaints and see what they can do to better satisfy the customer(or at least you would think that would be the plan lol).
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #12
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Wow , reading posts like this one have discouraged me from considering a Parkliner.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steveinnc View Post
Wow , reading posts like this one have discouraged me from considering a Parkliner.
And THIS makes me very, very sad....
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveinnc View Post
Wow , reading posts like this one have discouraged me from considering a Parkliner.
Remember Steve, this is a new company and I know they have made some changes in design (like the larger wheel wells etc) so might not be an issue any longer. No matter what you buy you will almost always find something about it and say to yourself "what were they thinking."

I don't regret buying my ParkLiner...december will be 2 years I have had it and have a few thousand miles under the axle and enjoying every minute of it!
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