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Penguin II 15K & 13.5K A/C HP replacement units


mandms59
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All,

As we had some down time this winter, we are doing a few upgrades to our 07 Diplomat 40 SKQ,  One upgrade I have been looking into is A/C HP unit upgrade - I started looking back at end of September but put it on hold when it seemed there was no stock availability anywhere for Penguin II units. I have read through the different threads on replacing older penguin  units.  We currently have two older Penguin 13.5K  A/C HP units installed.  The units are original and I am not sure what service, if any , they received  the last 13 yrs (we are 3rd owner). The front unit was struggling to keep up this last spring/summer.  

I had planned to replace front unit with Penguin II 651816HXX1C01  High Capacity (15K) model.  I was not sure if I should go ahead a replace the rear unit at same time ( it seemed to be able to keep up in the smaller bedroom area).  However I know if I replace both units I can upgrade to CCC2 controller all in one shot. I plan to have work done as I do not have the capability to get units up to roof and move around due to current location/weather in SW Washington, and limited use of left wrist for the foreseeable future.

A few questions below:

(1) I am trying to determine if I should upgrade both units to 15K  or just the front to 15K and  purchase a new 13.5K unit for the rear - seems the cost savings is about $100-200 between units.

(2) Does anyone know the difference between Model 651816CXX1C01 and 651816HXX1C01?  From what I have been able to find online I believe they are both Penguin II's; the HXX1C01 replaced the CXX1C01 -  I may have lead on purchasing one CXX1C01 variant at a lower price.

(3) Recommendations for installation shops in Southern WA/ central Oregon area?  I have left messages with a few places to see what they would charge for installation if I were to have units shipped/delivered to them.  It still seems there a shortage for Penguin II units in general.

All comments/advise appreciated.

R/

Mark

 

 

 

 

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Mark,

About five years ago we upgraded both units on our 2006 Diplomat to the High Output Penguin's and installed the new CCC2 thermostat. Before the upgrade we often had problems cooling the coach in hot weather. Have not had a problem since. I would highly suggest that you upgrade both units to the High Output version. For some reason they do not call them 15K units and I suspect it is because they are not quite 15K.

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When you replace just one A/C, you have to purchase the adapter control board for it to function with your original thermostat.  So there is an advantage to replacing both at the same time.  And the new thermostat does have functions that make it nicer.  

I've never heard of anyone complaining about too much cooling so I would spend the extra money and go with two 15K btu units.  

You can call Dometic customer service and ask the question on the two different models.  800-544-4881

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For some odd reason we have had a run on replacing AC's at the shop. We have done 16 AC unit change outs in the last few months. You are correct getting the Penguin II 's has been an issue but we have been blessed with a wholesaler who has " steered " new stock to us. I wanted to upgrade our AC's on our coach so I ordered 2 - 15 K's. A customer came in needing two AC's so he got mine. I re-ordered two more and another customer came in and took them. Finally after reordering the third time was a charm and they got installed. In almost all cases our customers have elected to replace all of their AC's at once. We have done two triple AC unit change outs on a Dynasty and Sig in the last 30 days. My impression of the 2 - 15 K's ? Amazing. I am really happy with them and enjoy that new thermostat. They put out a lot of air - much more then my older penguin's. Living down here in the swamp ( Florida ) you tend to appreciate a healthy AC unit and the new 15 K's are solid performer's.

In regards to installation I would check with Elite Repair & Renovation located in Harrisburg, Oregon. They are the West coast Monaco experts and all of their techs are from the old Coeberg factory. I also suggest you go with two 15 K units and skip the smaller unit.

 

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I just completed the same upgrade myself.  The new 15K "H" models were a direct bolt on upgrade for my old units on my "03 Windsor.  Basic plug and play.  I had to relocate my thermostat to the compartment where my awning control switch was located due to the size of the new thermostat.  The Mrs. likes it better there since she doesn't have to climb over the passenger seat to adjust.  We haven't really had a chance to fully test the cooling ability yet.

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I second Chris' recommendation to upgrade both at the same time with HC units and skip spending the extra money for a conversion board to run the old unit in the bedroom.

Plus there are times when we can run just the rear unit to keep the coach cool during the day which puts all of the AC noise in the back of the coach so it is quieter up front.

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3 hours ago, throgmartin said:

... . In almost all cases our customers have elected to replace all of their AC's at once. ...

 

When there are two AC's with each controlled by separate thermostats, or three AC's with the front one on a separate thermostat, it's possible to install the newer AC/HP and the CCC2 thermostat and keep the older one or two units on the older CCC.  Of course with coaches with two AC's on the same thermostat both must have boards compatible with either the CCC or the CCC2. 

For those who are not in a position to replace both Penguins but need to replace one: I recall hearing there is an upgrade board for the older penguins to enable it to work with a CCC2.   It would be useful to know the availability, and part number, of this board.

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On 2/8/2021 at 3:18 AM, Bob Nodine said:

Mark,

About five years ago we upgraded both units on our 2006 Diplomat to the High Output Penguin's and installed the new CCC2 thermostat. Before the upgrade we often had problems cooling the coach in hot weather. Have not had a problem since. I would highly suggest that you upgrade both units to the High Output version. For some reason they do not call them 15K units and I suspect it is because they are not quite 15K.

Do you think the new units are quieter or the same noise level? That’s one of the reasons I would change mine. Are any other manufacturers units quieter?

Ed          
‘05 HR Ambassador

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On 2/8/2021 at 1:18 AM, Bob Nodine said:

Mark,

About five years ago we upgraded both units on our 2006 Diplomat to the High Output Penguin's and installed the new CCC2 thermostat. Before the upgrade we often had problems cooling the coach in hot weather. Have not had a problem since. I would highly suggest that you upgrade both units to the High Output version. For some reason they do not call them 15K units and I suspect it is because they are not quite 15K.

23 hours ago, vito.a said:

...I've never heard of anyone complaining about too much cooling so I would spend the extra money and go with two 15K btu units. 

 

6 hours ago, throgmartin said:

For some odd reason we have had a run on replacing AC's at the shop. We have done 16 AC unit change outs in the last few months. You are correct getting the Penguin II 's has been an issue but we have been blessed with a wholesaler who has " steered " new stock to us. I wanted to upgrade our AC's on our coach so I ordered 2 - 15 K's. ....

My impression of the 2 - 15 K's ? Amazing. I am really happy with them and enjoy that new thermostat. They put out a lot of air - much more then my older penguin's. Living down here in the swamp ( Florida ) you tend to appreciate a healthy AC unit and the new 15 K's are solid performer's.

In regards to installation I would check with Elite Repair & Renovation located in Harrisburg, Oregon. They are the West coast Monaco experts and all of their techs are from the old Coburg factory. I also suggest you go with two 15 K units and skip the smaller unit.

 

All

Thank you for the assistance/advice.  I was leaning towards 15K upgrade - answers here from everyone helped to solidify that choice.   Now I just need to find a reliable source to order from.. 

Chris ... hindsight being 20/20 ...wish I would have scheduled Dustin to install these units when we were down at the Shop end of July/beginning of August last year getting Guardian plates installed, replacing seals & redoing one of the toppers.... I will check out Elite Repair up here in OR.

Edited by mandms59
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Can't say that about the new Dometic HC Penguin II's which mine have been going strong for 3 years now. However, the older Penguin's were terrible in output, noise and reliability. Before replacing both in the fall of 2018 I threw some money at my front AC with new start and run capacitors with no luck. Gave up and then on the way home the rear gave out. Once home ordered two new Penguin II's with new CCC-II and never regretted it.

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Just as a follow up, stay far, far, far away from RV Parts Country for replacements.  I ordered my replacements from them September 19th based on their website saying the units were available and they had the lowest price online.  They required full payment in advance.  After the order was placed, they notified me that the units were actually back ordered and would drop ship direct from Dometic. I finally received the first unit just after Thanksgiving.  A follow up with Dometic found that RV Parts Country had only ordered one for the initial order and hadn't even ordered the second unit until mid-December.   Fortunately, Dometic customer service expedited the order and got me the second unit before the new year.  RVPC has to have the worst customer service I have ever encountered online.  Their CS staff was no help and continually lied to me about the order.  They even tried to tell me that Dometic screwed up the order and that they couldn't do anything to rush the delivery of the second unit. They don't even have a phone number to call to try to get help.

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15 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Going by the failure rate of new models, I'm not sure I'd want to replace an operating older unit.

Our new 2019 Cedar Creek Champagne came with Penguin 2’s fitted, 1 with Heat Pump and one without Heat Pump. The non Heat Pump unit failed after a week, and some months later (I live in the U.K.) was replaced under warranty. Apparently the failure was caused by an unsupported pipe between the compressor and condenser that fractured due to vibration. Seemingly the factory missed a bracket from a manufacturing schematic!

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