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AIR CONDITIONER REPLACEMENT


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Ron P., 2004 Monaco Executive 

I have been traveling since May and now I'm in New Mexico after spending time in Arizona, and Palm Springs/Palm Desert/Indio.   San Diego was cool.

My air conditioners(13,500 BTU) are struggling to keep up.

Has anyone had any experience in upgrading to 15,000 BTU? Any modifications,  etc.

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I you search the posts you will find many concerning replacing A/Cs with lots of options and suggestions. As to the specific question of going from 13.5 to 15K btu, this is often done, especially by those that camp often in southern states in the summer. Fit is generally not an issue. Make sure you a/c wiring can handle the energy demand of the larger unit you are considering. Usually if your current A/C system is protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker and the new A/C is designed to also be protected by a 15 amp circuit breaker you are OK for the switch.

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Posted (edited)

We have a 2004 Signature.  I replaced the center 13,500btu Penguin heat pump with a 15,000 btu Penguin II heat pump.  40' long coaches have two A/C's and 42' and longer have three. 

Your current wiring will work fine with a 15,000btu unit.  Some of the new 15,000btu units use less power than the older 13,500 unit. 

The issues you need to work through are the original 5 button Dometic Comfort Control thermostat will not work with new units unless you install a retrofit control board. 

Your other option is to replace all your A/C units and also install new CCII programmable thermostats.  So the thermostat version must match the A/C version (or use a retrofit board.)  

Your other issue will be finding new A/C units.  Most places are out of stock.  I had good luck with PPL RV parts in TX.  They shipped directly to me. 

Once you decide to replace all, or just one unit and a retrofit control board the next hurdle is getting them on the roof.  I used a long extension ladder and pulled the box up the ladder with a rope.  After that it's pretty simple.  The four bolts holding the unit down are accessible from inside as well as all the wiring. 

Link to detailed thread: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/replacing-a-dometic-ac-heat-pump-on-a-monaco-coach-405503.html

Edited by vito.a
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I replaced my front AC with 15000 btu and added soft start to it. It’s working great. 

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I replaced a 13,500 with a 15,000. You need to get the model number of the 13,500 and the thermostat that it uses. Send an email or call Dometic and they will tell you the model number for the 15,000 you will need. You more than likely will also have to get a new circuit board which Dometic will give you that part number also so it will interface with your existing thermostat. Be sure and get the dip switches set in correct positions. I also added soft starts to both units.

Some people are changing there units to a Houghton sold by Rev and say it is much quieter plus about 1/2 the price.

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The extra 3000 BTU of cooling capacity will help you, but not by much.   So, making that big investment of ~$3000.00 for new Penguin 15000 BTU AC/Heat Pumps plus installation fees will not buy you much more cooling capacity.

My rig configuration is like yours (2 X 13500BTU Cooling). When I am stationary, I recommend and use this unit that you can vent out our your RVs window:

You will need to fabricate a small plywood partition for the intake and exhaust hoses to utilize your RV window.  I fabricated mine with a 1/4" piece of plywood with a reciprocating saw and painted it to match my rig.

Now the effective cooling capacity is 41000 BTU (13500 X 2 + 14000).  I use this configuration when travelling to Florida in the summer and can easily maintain 65 degrees inside when the outdoor temperature is 110 degrees.

 

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As CAT Stephen saidIf you are having to replace an A/C anyway, it is worth the upgrade but to do it just to gain the added BTU is not worth the expense.IMO

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I had two 13.5 Dometic AC/heat pumps, they struggled to keep up.  I was in ND last year when temps were +100F, running wide open the coach got +85F on the inside,  Miserable.  Then my wife took a trip and said the rear AC was making  noise, I knew what it was since the same thing happen to the front, the rubber supports were gone.  So I tore into it and was going to replace the motor but could not find any, every part I searched for was not available.

So decided to bite the bullet and change both AC's.  Went with 15K BTU AC/Heat pumps.  They were on sale at PPL.  $2717 including tax and shipping.  I decided to upgrade to a Easy Touch thermostat, bluetooth/WIFI controllable.   He's a post I did last year.  https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/replacing-a-c-units-559341.html

 

I took another trip and temps were in the high 80's, I could get by with one AC running.  The Easy Touch thermostat works well, last winter I didn't winterize my coach and monitored the temps from my easy chair in the house. 

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