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Old 07-15-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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A/C Compressor

We have a Dometic Roof Top Air Conditioner on our T 1950. The compressor doesn't seem to want to cycle on and off. Is this an easy fix and should I take it to a Dometic dealer or can a local RV shop repair it. I am pretty picky about someone getting on top of my trailer to fix the A/C.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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If the compressor is gone, you will most likely be looking at a new AC unit. The compressor units can't easily be replaced, and by the time you get the entire assembly, it costs almost as much if not more than an entire new AC unit. I was told a while back that the compressors aren't repairable, though maybe that's different now.

It might be electrical though, in which case you'd probably need a new control board. Not much cheaper though :/

I think there's a few steps you could look into first:
- Pull the inside panel off and inspect for any loose/broken/disconnected wires.
- Pull the outside cover off and inspect for any loose/broken/disconnected wires.
- Talk to a dealer to try to find a way to diagnose it.

I think most dealers have a shop labor charge around $100 or more an hour, so be prepared for a 1-2 hour diagnosis charge.

If they diagnose anything major wrong with the unit (beyond just finding a loose wire, etc.) it may just cost you more than purchasing a new unit. As long as you can find someone to help you get it on the roof, installation can be a DIY job and is fairly straightforward. Many times you can find these entire units on sale (or sometimes a take-off unit from a new RV that someone upgraded) that will make it much cheaper. As long as it has a new gasket, you'd be good to go. And as long as you stay with a Dometic of the same model, your inside lower unit should work with a new A/C unit (assuming that wasn't the problem). The lower units were like $150 alone a couple years ago if I remember correctly.

Personally, I would go through an RV dealer that sells new units before I'd go to an RV repair facility. I personally wouldn't use either, but if I had to, I would go that route. New vehicle dealers/service centers work on a lot of these jobs for warranty issues on new RVs, especially those that sell/service the cheaper/lower quality brands. They see more issues that could really be anywhere so they have to know to diagnose the entire system, and chances are they might have seen the problem before.

JohnB might have some tips to help you diagnose some yourself, but I believe he's on vacation at the moment.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:23 AM   #3
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Does it even try or just does nothing?
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:10 AM   #4
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The compressor works great and the A/C will freeze you out of the trailer. It is just that you manually have to turn the A/C off and on in order to keep the trailer at a certain temperature. The compressor won't cycle on an off by itself. The controls are Low Med High and Fan Only.
Thanks
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #5
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Question Would like to help, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOKID View Post
The compressor doesn't seem to want to cycle on and off.
What do you mean by "cycle on and off"? That could be two separate issues.
Does it come on and stay on? (failing to cycle with the thermostat)
or
Does it not come on at all?
Does the circulating fan turn on?

More info needed.

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Old 07-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
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Okay, maybe I am not explaining it correctly. I turn the A/C on low. The fan comes on cold air comes out. Cold air comes out until I turn the A/C off. It will freeze you out of the trailer. You manually have to turn the A/C off in order to get the cold air to stop. I thought on most A/C's that the compressor kicks on and off to keep a certain temp in the trailer but the fan should run constantly.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:39 AM   #7
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Yes it sounds like the thermostat is not working it should cycle if it's getting that cold. It's nice that it gets that cold that's an easy and cheap fix.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Yes it sounds like the thermostat is not working it should cycle if it's getting that cold. It's nice that it gets that cold that's an easy and cheap fix.
Exactly. I understood it that the compressor wasn't working.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for the help. I fill more informed in trying to fix it myself.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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Maybe we can clear the confusion. I think you're saying that you set the A/C with the knob on the left. Here it's on medium. Then the fan and compressor comes on and the compressor does not turn off cooloing the unit more than desired and continuing to cool.

The knob on the right is the thermostat. Setting that control clockwise makes it cooler. You should be able to turn it counter clockwise and the compressor will turn off when the temperature is reached but the fan will continue to run.

If you have the knob on the right turned all the way counter clockwise and the compressor continues without cycling on and off maintaining temperature, then your thermostat may not be working properly but your compressor (the expensive part) is okay.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:28 PM   #11
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YesYes Thanks Paul for explaining it. That is exactly the problem.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #12
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Cheap Fix

Well, I took the lower unit off of the A/C inside the trailer and pulled out the thermostat and replaced it with a new one for $23.99 and now you can hear the compressor kick on and off which it wasn't doing before. The compressor just stayed on and made it too cool in the trailer. Thanks for all the help. This forum is great.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:43 AM   #13
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That's what this thing's all about. The collective knowledge of almost 3000 people. The rest is new friends, old friends and friends you haven't met know yet.
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