Casita RTU A/C repair vs replace...repaired! - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:05 PM   #1
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Name: jon
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' SD
Posts: 139
Casita RTU A/C repair vs replace...repaired!

I regularly read all threads/posts but don't post much as other members have a lot more experience and knowledge to offer. I have learned lots of great information. This site is a wonderful asset for the FGRV owners. Hope this story can help if anyone ever has this same or a similar A/C problem.

In the fall of 2014 my wife and I purchased a pre-loved early 2013 17' Casita SD. We pulled it back from AZ to southwest MO and the Airxcel 49000 Series A/C and heat strip worked fine. We went on several trips in 2015 with all A/C working fine. In March 2016 we went down to FL for a 6 week trip. We used the A/C several times with no problem. One morning we tried and no cold air came out of the ceiling grill. We were out in the middle of nowhere so we found a mom/pop RV repair shop. As I would have thought, he first check the capacitors. No problem there. As he was re-installing the shroud on the roof, he noticed the refrigerant line going into the top of the coil was severed. Hence problem found. (Of course...out of warranty). Being naive and inexperienced and thinking this could be repaired, I immediately put aluminum tape on the severed ends to help keep dust and debris out. He said it couldn't be repaired and the units are just removed and replaced. (How wasteful in my opinion).

He said he could have a new unit in a couple days for about $700 plus tax and labor. Told him I'd think about it and we left as we had campsite reservations 200 miles away. In route, we contacted several private RV repair shops (NOT Camping world.....won't go there) and they all said the same thing. Broken refrigerant lines cannot be repaired. Replace with a new unit.....$700 or so plus tax and labor.

Back in MO I again contacted several RV repair shops. Same answer...replace not repair. Coming from a general construction background I thought this is really wasteful and totally stupid. Why can't this just be repaired? On a whim, I contacted a residential HVAC friend and asked him to take a look to see if it could be repaired. He repaired it, evacuated the line AND installed a fill port. $80 NOT $700 plus tax and labor. System works as good as new!!!

I don't know if the design of how the refrigerant lines attach to the coil is poorly engineered or if we did something to have the line sever. I think it is the engineering not bumpy roads.

Top left corner of the pic shows where he sweated on a fitting and made line repair. Right center shows the fill port.

I don't know if this is a fluke or what but hope someone can learn from this. Moral of the story....don't believe everything you hear. Similar to the totalled humpty-dumpty egg someone repairs as good as new.

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Old 05-17-2017, 07:10 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
Posts: 3,738
Good posting Jon, and thanks for the tip for an HVAC tech. We had an RV repair shop here that was owned for 40 years by an old time RV tech. He only did LP repair work and this was one of them. He wasn't of the R&R mindset. Unfortunately he passed 10 years ago.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:39 AM   #3
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Name: jon
Trailer: 2013 Casita 17' SD
Posts: 139
Thanks Dave, I didn't want to post anything too positive until I was sure the repair was going to work correctly. Over a year and still cooling great!

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Old 05-18-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 1,411
Thats really useful information to know. Thanks so much for posting.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:19 AM   #5
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Name: John
Trailer: Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe
South Carolina
Posts: 18
Thanks for sharing this Jon!
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