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Old 05-29-2023, 10:24 AM   #1
Hedgehog
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2016 Montana AC question

My 2016 Montana 3160rl has always had less than adequate air conditioning and was wondering if anyone here has any advice. Let me first say that I like it cold when I sleep. I set my front ac between 64 and 66 at night and the rear between 66 and 68. I sometimes wake up sweating and when I go down in the living room it is cooler down there. I always clean my filters, I did the pvc pipe mod in the rear ac, I used foil tape to close and gaps between the hot and cold side in the front ac and I have replaced all ac registers with ones that I can close the louvers. During the daytime the acís seem to be adequate.
Should I maybe trouble shoot the front thermostat sensor? Any input would be appreciated
 
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Old 05-29-2023, 01:23 PM   #2
GAinaMontana
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Check your coils to see if they are freezing up at night. Also completely open the louvers on the bottom of the front ac and run the fan on as high a speed as you can and tolerate the noise. The bedroom has always been the easiest section to cool on my rig.
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Old 05-29-2023, 01:58 PM   #3
Hedgehog
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I have removed the covers on the roof also and cleaned the coils
My front ac has the quick cool with the filter on the ceiling unit. The rear ac is the quiet cool that just has the two intake filters at the outside edges of the ceiling.
What would cause the ac to freeze up? Iíve never had this problem with any other rv
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Old 05-29-2023, 02:49 PM   #4
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HedgeHog,

Where are you doing most of your camping? Hot and humid or dry? An option to consider is a stand alone 3rd a/c. Here is an example: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hisense-His...IFI/5005522281
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:08 PM   #5
GAinaMontana
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A lack of sufficient air flow thru the coils will ice it up when the temp setting doesn't allow the unit to cycle off. Crank up the fan setting and completely open the louvers and see if it doesn't get down to your temp setting.
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Old 05-29-2023, 05:04 PM   #6
Hedgehog
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I always leave fan speed on high for both acís. In the next few years my wife and I are considering a new Fifth-wheel and I have been looking at the alliance paradigm because of the 3, non ducted acís. I see the never montanas have that racetrack duct system which my Montana doesnít have
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Old 05-29-2023, 06:25 PM   #7
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I was at the river this weekend. The high was around 80. I noticed the air flow was insignificant. I inspected the filters to find both plugged.... It's only 15 months old and I have only used the AC's a handful of times. Obviously in dusty conditions....I replaced both filters and air flow was noticeably better.

However, they struggled keeping it cool inside. I did notice the evap drip start to slow and now wonder if they were freezing up. As a former mechanic (in another life) I have a lot of AC experience. Typically a condenser freeze up would indicate a faulty temp prob or no air across the evaporator. Guess
I'm going to have to run it and open up the Ac case for inspection.
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Old 05-30-2023, 06:19 AM   #8
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Here's a quick simple test to see if further testing is required: If you have an IR laser thermometer, or even a digital BBQ thermometer, take the air temperature measurement at a return and another at a supply. If the difference is somewhere between 18-22 degrees, the AC is performing pretty good.

Use the least restrictive filters you can find. Their job is primarily to keep the evaporator coil clean, not clean the indoor air. I found some fiberglass mesh or "horse hair" filters on Amazon that I'm pleased with. Keep them clean; I tried rinsing these and realized they are pretty durable so I put them through the washer on gentle cycle.

There are a few components in an RV AC that are replaceable, mostly electrical. Unfortunately if it's anything in the refrigerant circuit; they aren't made to be serviced.
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Old 05-30-2023, 09:37 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bourbon County View Post
Use the least restrictive filters you can find. Their job is primarily to keep the evaporator coil clean, not clean the indoor air. I found some fiberglass mesh or "horse hair" filters on Amazon that I'm pleased with. Keep them clean; I tried rinsing these and realized they are pretty durable so I put them through the washer on gentle cycle.
Can you provide a link to these filters on Amazon?
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Old 05-30-2023, 10:44 AM   #10
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Here's the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Conditioner-F...7ac75816&pf_rd

They are actually polyester, I stand corrected. As I mentioned, I've washed these on gentle cycle in the washing machine. Yes you do have to cut to fit.
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Old 05-30-2023, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourbon County View Post
Here's a quick simple test to see if further testing is required: If you have an IR laser thermometer, or even a digital BBQ thermometer, take the air temperature measurement at a return and another at a supply. If the difference is somewhere between 18-22 degrees, the AC is performing pretty good.

Use the least restrictive filters you can find. Their job is primarily to keep the evaporator coil clean, not clean the indoor air. I found some fiberglass mesh or "horse hair" filters on Amazon that I'm pleased with. Keep them clean; I tried rinsing these and realized they are pretty durable so I put them through the washer on gentle cycle.

There are a few components in an RV AC that are replaceable, mostly electrical. Unfortunately if it's anything in the refrigerant circuit; they aren't made to be serviced.
I have a temp gun in the battery bay to check the batteries...didn't even cross my mind to check the AC temps. I will do next time out. I also replaced the new fangled air vents with the original style adjustable vents. That made a world of difference.
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Old 05-30-2023, 12:46 PM   #12
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I have a temp gun in the battery bay to check the batteries...didn't even cross my mind to check the AC temps. I will do next time out. I also replaced the new fangled air vents with the original style adjustable vents. That made a world of difference.
Let it run for 5-10 minutes to let the coil get good and wet, that's when it's at peak efficiency. If you're getting a 20 degree drop across the coil, that's about the best you can ask for. If the unit is doing it's job, air flow is the thing that needs to be addressed. It sounds like you've already done that. I found the OEM diffusers in my Monty to be very restrictive. I found some that were 1" larger in diameter and had much less restrictive vanes.

I'm not a real big fan of their racetrack duct system, but understand why they designed it that way. If both units are running, it tends to push most all of the air to the center of the coach where the 2 blowers just but heads. If conditions allow or maybe 1 unit is out, it theoretically will cool the whole camper. I was able to partially close off some diffusers mid coach and that made a notable difference at either end. Mine is a rear living, front bed and that adjustment put the air more in the areas I wanted it. I also bought one of the spin down adjustable diffusers and installed in the bathroom.
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Old 05-30-2023, 01:07 PM   #13
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HedgeHog,

Where are you doing most of your camping? Hot and humid or dry? An option to consider is a stand alone 3rd a/c. Here is an example: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hisense-His...IFI/5005522281
I wonder where you would vent that AC unit?
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Old 05-30-2023, 01:16 PM   #14
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Sheldon,

Out one of the windows. There is a kit for it.
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Old 05-30-2023, 03:18 PM   #15
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I'm not a real big fan of their racetrack duct system, but understand why they designed it that way. If both units are running, it tends to push most all of the air to the center of the coach where the 2 blowers just but heads.
That explains why our half bath is a meat locker most of the time. I always leave the bath door open to share the blizzard with the rest of the coach.
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Old 06-04-2023, 07:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
HedgeHog,

Where are you doing most of your camping? Hot and humid or dry? An option to consider is a stand alone 3rd a/c. Here is an example: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Hisense-His...IFI/5005522281
You kinda have the right idea, but you’ve recommended the wrong product. There are a lot of brands of air conditioners like the one you referenced at Lowe’s. All but one brand have a flaw that should eliminate them from consideration. If the cooling unit only has a single 5” tube that ejects the condenser portion heat, don’t buy it! Every cubic foot that flows out the 5” window vent tube (and there are a lot of them) creates a negative pressure in the camper and thereby exterior heat and humidity from every nook and cranny are entering from somewhere to replace that which is being ejected. Whynter is the only portable a/c I’m aware of that incorporates a second 5” vent tube that brings in outside air to remove the adiabatic heat created by the refrigerant being compressed…..not sucking out cabin air that the other two roof units are struggling to cool. While a single vent tube does blow cold air, it is simultaneously siphoning room air to liquify refrigerant in the condenser coil. We keep a dozen of Whynter units on hand as loaners for customers who have lost a/c on a weekend till a crew can replace. Think how a RV roof top unit draws outside air in from the sides then forces it rearward through the condenser coil. What would happen if instead air was drawn in from inside the camper then pushed outside? There is an application where the single tube portable unit can be useful to cool a computer server room, but that’s for another discussion.
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Old 06-04-2023, 11:27 PM   #17
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Think how a RV roof top unit draws outside air in from the sides then forces it rearward through the condenser coil. What would happen if instead air was drawn in from inside the camper then pushed outside?
Thanks for posting this; I would never have thought about this. If I understand correctly, since the portable unit is entirely inside the living area, ideally, there should be two air circulation systems.

One is the recirculating system that draws air from the living area, cools it, and returns it to the living area (recirculating).

The second is the air flow needed to get rid of the heat removed from the air. With a single hose portable unit, the air comes from the living area (creating negative pressure), passes over the heat exchanger and is exhausted outside; not a great idea. With a dual hose portable unit, air comes from outside, passes over the heat exchanger and is exhausted back outside.

Correct?
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Old 06-05-2023, 06:08 AM   #18
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Thanks for posting this; I would never have thought about this. If I understand correctly, since the portable unit is entirely inside the living area, ideally, there should be two air circulation systems.

One is the recirculating system that draws air from the living area, cools it, and returns it to the living area (recirculating).

The second is the air flow needed to get rid of the heat removed from the air. With a single hose portable unit, the air comes from the living area (creating negative pressure), passes over the heat exchanger and is exhausted outside; not a great idea. With a dual hose portable unit, air comes from outside, passes over the heat exchanger and is exhausted back outside.

Correct?
Couldn’t have said it better!!

Whynter ARC-14S (cooling only)

Whynter ARC-14H (heat pump)

For those who may have a toy hauler, the sidewall vent in the garage area is perfect for attaching an aluminum plate with two 5” holes to attach the vent tubes. The outside hatch door can be left closed when the Whynter unit is not in use, hiding the vent openings.
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Old 06-05-2023, 09:04 AM   #19
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Cold air will naturally flow down hill The bedroom is higher than the living room so the bedroom AC will cool the LR below the set point. If both AC units are required to keep up, because the LR is not cycling on, the bedroom AC will not be enough by itself.
Two ways to help this.
1 set the LR to fan on. This will pull some of the cooler air from the LR and the LR compressor will only run when the set point is above temp.
2. Set the LR to the same or lower temp as the bedroom.
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Old 06-07-2023, 11:25 AM   #20
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We did the same mods that you did.

Air flow was awful our main cabin. As bad in bedroom vents. Thankfully we have a dump/quick cool in the bedroom that worked great. Ours was an air volume problem. Hope you find a good solution.

This is nothing new with manufactures. AC is an achilleas heal for us since we live in the south and travel only to hot destinations. We manage to keep the rig at 62' Thank God.
Do not listen to "if you can get it 10degrees cooler than outside temp that is the best you can do." NOT TRUE.

Wish someone would address this problem and fix it. Instead they bow down to people who complain about their AC being to loud (boo hoo) and change to "quite cool" to appease them.

Won't bring up the problem with no ac reaching the cubby hole area of the bedroom slide. We purchased a tower fan to try to circulate some air back in there.

Please come back and offer your fix. It will help others.
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