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Old 11-15-2020, 10:57 AM   #1
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A/c unit doesnít work

Hey all, we just bought a 2004 sunline 24rl and the a/c unit doesnít work. My wife and I are brand new to the travel trailer world. Iím a carpenter and have a lot of knowledge in many other areas, but this is all new to me. I have power to the unit and out to the fan when the switch is on, but nothing turns on. Any input on possible diagnostic tests I can run would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance
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Old 11-15-2020, 02:53 PM   #2
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Welcome Mdufresne10!

Congrats on your new Sunny! Fun times ahead.

We are here to help on all things Sunline and glad too! A few things to start with so we know which camper and which roof AC unit you have.

You mentioned a 2004 24RL. During the 2004/2005 model years, Sunline made a product line called Sole. There were 3 floor plans per year in that product line. They made a 2004 & 2005 T-25RL. It would look like this in the 2004 brochure. See this link to our files section on the sales brochure

2004 Sole - https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/d...o=file&id=5516

2005 Sole - https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/d...o=file&id=5519

Check your model number and see if it is a T-24RL or a T-25RL. Not sure if you have a typo or we are going to learn something new that Sunline may have made a T-24RL or you have a prototype. Since this model line was only made for 2 years, and not that many of them, we do not 100% know all how Sunline made these different from the Solaris model lines. I was inside a few of the Soles in late 2004 at a dealer when we bought our 1st 2004 T-2499, but I do not recall the models from that walk through.

Next is the AC unit. In the travel trailers, Sunline would install either a "ducted" AC unit, meaning in the ceiling there are remote vents that can be screwed open or closed some and there are several of them along the ceiling.

Or they installed a "ductless" AC unit, meaning the cold air comes out the same ceiling shroud as the air intake right over the roof unit inside the camper. There are no remote ducts.

The length of the camper and if it had separate walled off rooms helped dictate if it was ducted or ductless. We need to know which you have to help better. The main reason is, the control system is very different between the two styles and that affects the trouble shooting.

Other key features different:

Ducted AC systems had a remote wall mounted thermostat that would have the heat and cool T stat combined in the same wall thermostat.

Ductless AC units did not have a remote wall mounted T stat. The AC controls where on the shroud up in the ceiling where the room air intake was and where the cold air came out. The furnace would have a totally separate wall mounted T stat.

Picture also go a long way. Post a few pics of the AC thermostat and the ceiling shroud inside the camper for the AC unit and we can help better.

Since you know you have power going to the unit, are you electrically handy and have a volt/ohm meter and know how to use it?

Once we know what you have, and your level of electrical friendliness dealing with electrical hazards, we can point you where to start hunting for the problem.

While you are looking for the info above on ducted or ductless, tell us this.

1. Where did you measure/read/know the voltage to the AC unit and the fan? and what was the voltage at each area?

2. Did you have 12 volt DC working in the camper when you did your tests? If you have the ducted system, (which I think you may with the front bedroom) the ducted controls needs 12 VDC to operate the control system. While the fan and compressor run on 120 VAC, the controls run on 12 VDC. If the 12 volts was on, you should of had ceiling lights. That at least means the power converter and or the 12 volt battery was working but may not be going to the control board.

3. When you turn on the AC unit and the T stat calls for cooling, did you hear a "click" up in the ceiling? On the ducted units, there is a separate fan and compressor relay that starts the motors, we need to know if heard the click of those relays.

Let us know and we can help better.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-15-2020, 02:58 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply. It is a t-24RL and has a ductless a/c system with opt heat. Yes I am handy with a DVOM and would be happy to try anything you recommend
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Old 11-15-2020, 03:00 PM   #4
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I have the trailer plugged into 110 and Iím not sure if the battery is working or not. Does that make a difference?
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Old 11-15-2020, 04:40 PM   #5
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Shouldn't make a difference plugged in there should be 12 volt throughout the camper lights water pump etc work?
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Old 11-15-2020, 04:44 PM   #6
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Yes everything works except the a/c unit. It doesn’t click or hum or anything an electric motor usually does
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Old 11-15-2020, 05:14 PM   #7
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Hi
Make sure you have the camper plugged into a 30 amp receptacle and not a standard 15 amp household receptacle by way of an adapter. While this may not cause your ac not to turn on it will not function properly and will cause premature failure of the compressor.

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Old 11-15-2020, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdufresne10 View Post
Thank you for your reply. It is a t-24RL and has a ductless a/c system with opt heat. Yes I am handy with a DVOM and would be happy to try anything you recommend

Wow, we are going to learn something new about your Sunline. Having a 2004 T-24RL is unique. It may be a prototype or they only made a few shorter ones then up'ed them to the T-25RL's. More on that later, lets get your AC unit sorted out first.

Since you said "ductless" Look at these pics and tell us, this is what your AC unit looks like inside. Especially the wording on the AC control knobs. OR if the pics do not looks like these, please post pics of what your is. These are out of a 2004 T1950. If you need help posting pics, let us know. Pics go a long way in helping on these kinds of problems.



A close up on the AC controls wording. (The ceiling shroud is off for removal in this pic. no need yet to take yours off)


And when you take the grill off and the mesh filter out you will see this looking up


Look at these 2 part number stickers and tell us the model and serial numbers of the roof AC unit and the air box part numbers. Or take pics of the labels so we can read the numbers.


Before I type a bunch accidentally on the wrong AC unit, we want to make sure we know which unit/options you have.

If you have the ductless like above, there is no 12 VDC in that unit so we do not have to worry about the DC.

And Roger is correct, you need to be plugged into a full 20 amp circuit with a heavy 12 gage or larger cord and nothing else on in the camper or on that line. Or plugged into a 30 amp RV outlet with a no 10 awg cord to run the compressor and the fan.

To run "only" the fan, that will work on a 15 amp circuit. But that does not seem to be working at the moment.

Lets confirm what you have, then we can drill down into the troubleshooting. The ductless AC controls are very basic.

Tell us how you know there is 120 AC power to the AC unit? The circuit breaker is on or you checked voltage somewhere, and if so, where and what was it?

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:48 AM   #9
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That is the unit I have. The fan will not turn on and I cannot turn it by hand, most fans can be turned by hand when not in use. I do not have a 30 amp circuit in my house other than a 220 circuit
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:50 AM   #10
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I used a contactless tester to confirm power to the unit. When I engage the switch, no matter what position, I then have power leaving that 6 wire connector. I do not know how much I only used my contactless to confirm power as step 1. I will have time later today and tomorrow to continue testing
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:28 AM   #11
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There should be no 220 in the camper the 30 amp is the main breaker it works differently than a breaker in a house the incoming power is connected to the breaker backwards meaning the supply wires are connected to what would be the load side and in turn it powers the 15 and 20 amp. Some really big stuff with 4 pin plugs actually two 120 circuits but no 220 volts. Breakers don't care they work either direction. The fan not turning is not good it maybe the clue to your issue. I kind of remember seeing an ac unit with a manual reset breaker, little black reset button.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:30 AM   #12
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Hmm I’ll take a look later. And I had no intention of hooking up 220 lol
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdufresne10 View Post
That is the unit I have. The fan will not turn on and I cannot turn it by hand, most fans can be turned by hand when not in use. I do not have a 30 amp circuit in my house other than a 220 circuit
I'm not sure if you posted a pic or not as it is not showing. Did you?

But, now you said the fan motor shaft will not turn. OK that helps at least on the fan. The compressor, again not knowing the model air box you have, I have a possible on that.

First off... as Mainah said, there is no 220 V ac in the camper at all.... the RV world uses a special 30 amp 120 VAC plug that is on the end of your shore line cord on the camper. More on that if you ever wire in a home 30 amp 120 VAC RV outlet.

Next, in order to try and spin the fan motor by hand, you had to have the AC shroud off on the roof. Yes/No? A friendly heads up, the Sunline roof on your camper is "most likely" not a direct walk on roof without taking special precautions. You can go through it by accident or damage it. Here is how to service items on the roof.

1. Find a canvas, trap, old carpet etc something to place on the roof to protect from abrasion of the rubber membrane.

2. Then find manageable size pieces of 3/8" thick or thicker plywood to place over the rafters and span the space between the rafters. The rafters are on a nominal 16" center spacing. Some a little more, some a little less. I use sheets of 24" x 48" x 1/2" thick. Wide enough to span 3 to 4 rafters, small enough to haul up the ladder. You can feel the rafters under the roof membrane.

See here.

Using a good solid ladder, take care when going off the ladder onto the roof and when coming off. Keep weight towards the camper side to not tip out the ladder.


Then standing on the ladder , place the tarp etc and the plywood. Then climb on the plywood


To the frozen motor, this may be the Dometic issue. I had this happen to me and it seems they are more known for it or it was a 2004 vintage thing and new coatings corrected the problem.

In the spring or fall of the year when the weather goes below freezing and then warms up, steel sweats from condensation with the warmer moist air hits the cold steel. What happens is the fan motor armature and the stator sweat and good luck or bad luck, the sweating creates corrosion between the armature and the stator and locks the motor up solid. My 2004 T2499 was inside a unheated barn and my 2004 T310SR outside in the weather. The camper in the barn had the issue. Living outside, everything warms more slowly and not so much sweat. Lucky me...

Looks like this:








If you cannot spin the fan shaft up on the roof, this may be part of your problem. Regardless, if you cannot spin the fan shaft, the motor has to come out and that is an operation. Almost the entire roof unit has to come apart in order to change the motor or fix the existing motor. I have pictures of the process if that will help. I did mine all up on the roof, but in my case, the compressor was good so all I needed to fix was the fan.

If your compressor motor is froze up, that is another issue and at that point, a whole new roof unit may be in the cards. BUT, you can test the compressor and that may be more simple a fix depending on what is wrong. Here is where it helps to know the air box model number. Assuming you have the standard ductless air box, it uses a simple mercury type tube thermostat I do believe and they call this "mechanical controls".

If this roof unit part number and air box part numbers match yours, then below is the right info for your Ductless unit. I really need to you confirm this as we can be out in left field with the wrong info.

The air box and controls part number




The AC roof unit part numbers. This is an 11,000 btu unit




The ductless units Sunline put on most smaller campers had the mechanical controls system. The mechanical controls T stat only works between 65F to 90F. Above or below that air temp, the T stat will not allow the compressor to run. That means, if it is colder in the camper them 65F, the compressor will not turn on. Nor if it is above 90F. What is the temp in the camper when you are testing? You may need a hair dryer to warm the t stat probe up a little to get into the operating temp range.

The mechanical T stat looks like this. An old one next to a new one. This is all that runs signal to the compressor motor. It is that simple.


A new replacement.


You can test if voltage or current are going up to the roof compressor if the hair dryer does not fix the t stat issue as there is a start capacitor in the roof unit that can go bad and the compressor not start. To check for voltage or current, find the 6 wire white plug. The blue wire is for the compressor. The white wire is AC common. You can unplug the white plug and probe the female connector for voltage. This will at least confirm power is going up to the compressor when the control knobs are calling for cooling and you are in the correct temp range for the T stat to be on. Since there are no motors attached with the white plug off, there will be no lack of AC power issue not being plugged into a 20 or 30 amp outlet.

This is the service manual complements of northwest RV supply http://www.nwrvsupply.com/manuals/du...at_service.pdf
Page 27 in the manual, PDF page 29 shows the terminals of the 6 wire plug
Here is the main manual page. Northwest RV Supply

This pic is with the white ceiling shroud off, but you can get to the 6 wire white plug without taking the cover off. There is a black casing over the wires coming from the roof unit. HEADS UP! This is all 120 VAC power. Be aware and have the breaker off until you are ready to test.


Here I am using an amp probe to see if the compressor is running as it is hard to hear inside with the fan on. That is the 6 wire white connector I am talking about


This what it looks like inside the controls box. If you ever have to take the control box off, there are 2 screws buried on the side


This is the entire control system, all mechanical


If you find you have 120 VAC going up to the roof unit on the blue wire, and the compressor is not running, then the start capacitor on the roof unit may going bad, the compressor motor is shot or the compressor froze up. I never had the compressor froze up, but have has system gas leaks the motor still runs, just no cooling. I have had the start capacitor go bad. If you have an older analog volt meter your can test the capacitor or if you have a capacitor tester on your DVOM. You can also test the windings on the compressor motor for an open circuit. Page 27 & 28 in the service manual I linked talks how to test each.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you make out.

John
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:33 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone so much for taking time to try and assist me. I greatly appreciate it and this is all very helpful. It sounds to me like Iím going to wait until spring then just replace the whole unit, which Iím totally ok with, I just didnít know if there was maybe something stupid that I was overlooking. I will continue to investigate however since it is t in my nature to give up lol
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:01 PM   #15
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You need to resolve why you can't turn the thing by hand before worrying about the electrical situation. But just a note on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdufresne10 View Post
I used a contactless tester to confirm power to the unit. When I engage the switch, no matter what position, I then have power leaving that 6 wire connector. I do not know how much I only used my contactless to confirm power as step 1. I will have time later today and tomorrow to continue testing
The way those testers work is to sense that there's AC power on the hot wire. They don't tell you whether the neutral is providing a return path to ground. So just because it tweets, you can't assume that you have a good circuit. Takes a meter or other known good load to establish that.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdufresne10 View Post
Thank you everyone so much for taking time to try and assist me. I greatly appreciate it and this is all very helpful. It sounds to me like Iím going to wait until spring then just replace the whole unit, which Iím totally ok with, I just didnít know if there was maybe something stupid that I was overlooking. I will continue to investigate however since it is t in my nature to give up lol
Hi,

When the time allows, I would keep testing the system to see how bad it is. If the fan motor is bad, you can get a new one for around ~ $150 to $180 and your time to install.

The start capacitors are not that bad in cost if that is the problem.

Before ordering any parts, you have to confirm the model & serial numbers on the roof AC unit.

If the compressor motor is tested to be bad, or the gas system leaked, then yes it is time for a new AC unit. BUT, there always seems to be a but....heads up, Dometic no longer makes the original Brisk air 11,000 BTU roof unit. They now sell the Brisk Air II roof unit, new and upgraded. And the new roof unit will not interface with the older Brisk Air air boxes & controls. You will have to buy both the roof unit and and all new air box and controls. A new air box can be in the $150 to $200 range. A new Brisk Air II roof unit 13,500 btu as they no longer make the 11,000 btu unit, can run can run between $750 to $850 plus truck freight. It is cost justified to figure out if your existing system can be repaired if you have the skills and time to troubleshoot the AC system.

We are hear to help, and glad to, when ever the time comes.

Here are a few pics of the process I went through when my fan motor froze up. I was selling my 2004 T2499 and the motor froze up 2 months before I sold it. I did not want the new owner to have to deal with it, so I put a new motor in. I may have been able to reuse the old one, freed up, but it was too painfull to take the whole AC unit apart again if the failed in short order.

I have more to share as needed.

New fan motor next to old. They upgraded the motor and I needed a new start capacitor to match the new motor. It came with the new capacitor


Testing the start capacitors and the compressor motor.




Using an analog meter to see if the capacitor was any good.






Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:55 AM   #17
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A stalled motor draws a lot of current.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
A stalled motor draws a lot of current.
Very true, like ďlocked rotorí ratings kind of current.

Unplugging the white connecter from the control box will unhook all the motors in the roof unit. Then probe the female part of the connector in the control box to check for voltage. That tells you the controls are working and sending power to the roof unit motors.

The frozen fan motor needs to be addressed before much more power checks up on the fan should be done.
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