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TOPIC: AC Problems with a 2012 39HH

AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 3 days ago #1

  • Paul Bridges
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All, I'm copying this post from an owner who asked the question on the ROG Facebook page, which many of you don't regularly see. Can we help?

Has anyone had to install another no duct work ac in their Redwood and if so which one did you buy? We have a 13500 BTU and it is terrible. Between the fan breaking and then the motor...which we had fixed the motor has failed again! Never again..Redwood 2012 39HH...toy hauler....yep we have the toy hauler. I only have two ..one installed with duct work and the bedroom one that is non duct work....Coleman brand and have had nothing but trouble with it and actually never worked properly...So now I need to know what brand to get to replace it. Camping World put in the AC unit in the bedroom and at the time I questioned them on why they couldn't put a ducted system and they said it didn't have the duct work...which after talking with you I think they just wanted to do a "fast" job.....know if we can get the schematic's for installing the duct ac? Afraid it is to late now since we have a hole in the roof and probably would leak if putting one in another location...

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 2 days ago #2

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Greg, you are the most resourceful individual I know of when it comes to research. When I read the plight of this lady, I first thought “there is no way you could aftermarket install the race track ducting without tearing the coach apart.” But I do wonder if there is a 15000 btu non-ducted AC available. I have a smaller nonducted unit on the roof of our vintage trailer and it has frozen us out in 100* weather. But I know it’s not 15000. Just curious if you’ve ever come across something like this.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 2 days ago #3

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Paul,

While I haven't seen inside a toy hauler, I suspect that the roof is probably similar to the other floorplans and that it has ducts in the bedroom.

They should check the bedroom ceiling and I suspect they will find the 4" A/C vents. The older models only had the option of 2 A/C's, but if only 1 was factory installed, I believe the coach should be prepped for the 2nd A/C. It should also have the wiring. Only extra required should be the thermostat. From memory RW only ever installed 15,000 btu A/C, so installing a 2nd 15,000 A/C into the existing ducts should not be a big issue.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 2 days ago #4

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The owner said they only have two ducts in the bedroom but it's a smaller bedroom because of the garage. I suggested pulling down the vents and looking with a boroscope to see what is up there. She might be surprised to find ducting and wiring.

Do you know if they also prepped the wiring for the thermostat behind the wall for units with one A/C?

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 2 days ago #5

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Paul,

In our 36FL, we only have 2 A/C vents in the living room, which is the equivalent of the bedroom on the HH. If the vents are present they should have the 2 ducts in the ceiling.

They probably also have the A/C return vents in the kitchen, which would be the location for the 2nd A/C.

Regarding the wiring, I'm not 100% sure. I believe they installed the power supply with the standard wiring harness, but not sure about the control wires down to a thermostat.

Tony might be able to answer that question.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #6

OK...My 2-Cents worth...

If it ain't there already, you would have a heck of a time installing it!

Here are the issues...

1) If the duct work is not there, you would have to remove the roofing material and plywood decking to get access. In the Redwood models, the interior ceiling paneling is glued in place. In addition, the panels are over the top of the wall(s). So, the ceiling panels are not an option. The roofing panels are, but that is a lot of work one will undertake. Time is money. But, let's assume that money (and time) is not an object. After you peel off the roof, you will need to install a Supply and Return route. You cannot use the existing duct and that would put too much pressure on the duct and probably blow it apart. More than likely, there are all kinds of wires in the way. So now you would have to reroute them. But that run down the wall. That would be an impossible task. If one goes forward with this plan, the ducting needs to be correctly sized to the airflow. Generally, it is 5 to 6 Supply vents to a 15,000 BTU Unit. The ducting will vary with Supply, Return and overall distance. I could calculate that, but this plan really should not be considered.

2) Then, there is the thermostat and power wiring for the A/C. There can be routes available, but it would require mounting the A/C near one of the interior walls and hopefully, that can get the wire to the correct spot in the basement or side wall for a thermostat.

3) Next, a third A/C will require sacrifices of one room or the other or one will need to install an energy management system. 3 units are not supposed to be run at the same time. 2 can run and 1 fan can run as long as most everything is off. Our current A/C's pull about 13-14 Amps. That is dependent on what else might be on. The higher the load, the less volts. The less volts, the higher the amps. And one is assuming that the park voltage is high enough. In many cases, they are not.

By the time you take just these three issues into consideration, you'll be ready to sell the RV and get one that is already set up (price-wise and money-wise).

Now, if you want to install a unit that is a roof-thru unit, you stand a better chance of making that work. But again, you can't run all 3 units at the same time for very long.

1) As discussed earlier, one will experience a voltage loss on the RV Panel. That again, in turn, drives up the amperage load. Once again, you could manage by turning on two units and the fan of the third unit. But is that practical? Especially when you might be in and out all day. The power management system would be the only way to effectively pull this off.

2) You'll still need to mount close to an interior wall in order to get the power wires to the basement where the panel is. If that wall is not over the basement, it won't work.

What one might consider is installing (2) 15,000 BTU Helium based units from Atwood. They are equivalent to 18,000 BTUs. With these units, you can obtain an extra 1/4 ton (each) of cooling at the same wattage as a 15,000 BTU unit. They run about $900 for the units. Probably another $400 to install.

One might also consider installing the aluminum faced bubble wrap that is cut to fit the OUTSIDE window panels. We use these in the summer and Velcro them on. They stayed all last summer.

Next, double check the supply collars. Redwood is notorious for incorrectly installing collars that are too long. Pull them out and cut them to 1/4" length inside the duct work.

Then, double check the foam insert between the Supply and Return air.

Also, double check the front closet (if there is one). The shoe-boxes are void (no pun intended) of insulation.

And, if possible, get out of the southern heat zone and head for the mountains. That should cool things down.

The dealer was right....

Now, as far as brands, everyone has an opinion but there are really only 3 big brands that serve the RV industry. If you want to get rich, start a fourth company and get competitive. Then, let one of the three buy you out. That's how it works in the RV business. But if I have to pick one over the other, the Atwood helium based unit would be first (and that includes the Heat Pump setup). Then Dometic. Coleman has been around for a long time. They still have decent units.

The biggest problem that I see with ANY of these units is the fan motor and capacitors. Perhaps I should also add the contactors. The units are not meant to be serviced really. Use them for 5 years and get new ones (at $750 each). To buy extra time though, just plan on changing the motors out. The Chinese glide bearing are the biggest issue. You can get up there every year and spray some lubricant on each bearing (there are 2). That might give you an extra year or two depending on your usage. Motor kits generally run $130. When you do this, go ahead and replace the capacitor and contactor. Then, you'll be good to go for the next 6-7 years. AND you might as well do both units when you do this. It can save you a headache if they go out in the summer. If you could get ball bearing bearings that could be properly lubed, they would probably last the life of the unit. But we can't have that now. Can we? We gotta keep that world economy going. Personally, I would rather pay a few bucks more and have it built right. But I am not the CEO raking in the cash...

Wish I could offer better hope or suggestions.

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Last Edit: by GipCTravelers.

AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #7

These pics might provide a "visual" so that you can see what it looks like in your attic (less the batt insulation of course)...



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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #8

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Wow Greg, the roof pics are SUPER helpful. That really helps understand how the AC venting works. And thanks for your thorough analysis of the issue.

Just to clarify, I think this owner only has one A/C, not two. The unit was supposed to have a second a/c installed and it didn't happen. So Camping World cut a 14x14 hole and mounted a non-ducted A/C in the bedroom (which I think on an HH is the same position as the living room on an RL. The prevailing thought is that the ducting is probably already there in the HH, maybe even the wiring, but CW took a different way and put a 13,500 btu nonducted unit in rather than tie into the existing ducts. But completely agree...trying to install ducting if it is not there seems to be way beyond the cost effectiveness of the job. Thanks again for the awesome information!

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #9

Good Morning Paul,

It is my understanding that IF there is only one A/C, the second one is pre-wired. I have nothing to back that up with. They are just rumors I hear since dealing with so many Service Centers. Having said this and knowing how chincy and cut-throat manufacturers are, I would doubt this is factual.

So Camping World is probably not to blame in this case.

The owner should consider going back to the Redwood Customer Care Line with their specific VIN and see if Redwood is willing to divulge that information. I can't imagine that a rig as big as these are would NOT have 2 A/C's installed even if the original owner spec out just one. But who really knows?
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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #10

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We ordered dual ACs on both our '12 RL and current '16 MB. Our first fifthwheel was the smallest Montana the 2955RL and since we bought off the lot only had one AC, but we later added the second in the Bedroom. On the Montana all the connections were there, Power, Thermostat, and the ducting to tie into.
So I would hope that RW would be the same, but who knows in this day and age of save a penny.

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Michelle & Ann
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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #11

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The Hobby Hauler is the same as a RL from the kitchen forward. I went back to an old brochure to make sure. In the original posters facebook response she verified that it does have the 2 vents in the bedroom. In the early years, the second AC was an option although almost all units were ordered with it. The unit in question was not purchased New by the current owner, they had CW add the second AC. If CW would have been intelligent enough to contact Redwood, which as a dealer they could have, they would have found out that the prep was already there and which set of roof rafters to cut between. AlLL early Redwoods were built with the pre-wire up in the ceiling. I haven't been able to verify if the thermostat wiring is in the wall but it would not surprise me if it is.

My post on Facebook to the OP was that if it was mine, at this point I would find someone competent to install the second 15k unit in the correct place and then probably change the bedroom to a Fantastic fan as it would fit in the opening.
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Vaughan & Tracy and the Critters 2013 Redwood 36RL following a 2013 Ford F350 DRW. MorRyde IS, Kodiak Disc, Comfort Ride Hitch, MorRyde Pinbox, and a bunch more. And coming soon ~ Fred the Focus tagging along behind Tilda the Redwood.

AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #12

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Excellent advice, Vaughan. Hope it helps the OP out.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 11 months 1 day ago #13

Iceman1777 wrote: Wow Greg, the roof pics are SUPER helpful. That really helps understand how the AC venting works. And thanks for your thorough analysis of the issue.

Just to clarify, I think this owner only has one A/C, not two. The unit was supposed to have a second a/c installed and it didn't happen. So Camping World cut a 14x14 hole and mounted a non-ducted A/C in the bedroom (which I think on an HH is the same position as the living room on an RL. The prevailing thought is that the ducting is probably already there in the HH, maybe even the wiring, but CW took a different way and put a 13,500 btu nonducted unit in rather than tie into the existing ducts. But completely agree...trying to install ducting if it is not there seems to be way beyond the cost effectiveness of the job. Thanks again for the awesome information!


Note all of the spray foam located on the return side of the ducting...

Note that the Supply duct travels THROUGH the Return duct...

Now, think about the spray foam inside the return ducting. Do you see how much blockage there is? This is mild compared to the amount of spray foam they crammed into my ducting. There has to be a certain amount of space to allow for proper return air. Otherwise, you reduce flow on the Supply side. I took pictures of mine and did the math calculation. Mine was about 25% reduced beyond the design limit. Between that and the collars nearly shoved to the top of the duct, I was surprised I had ANY flow. After trimming everything, it certainly has been working a lot better. But experience has now taught me that if I want to live in the South during the summer, I really need 3 A/C's with the energy management OR at least the extra 1/2 ton of A/C the Atwoods offer. We're getting by for now. After doing all of the "Mods" (including the shoebox insulation package), we are now able to get to 72-73 in the summer where heat is 100-103. That's not too bad but they run wide open 24 hours. Oh...and we use the aluminum bubble wrap on the exterior side of the windows (NOT inside). Oh again....We keep the canopy open when we can. I would think that under ideal conditions of 90-95, two A/C's would be ideal. They could remove heat a cycle like they should.
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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 8 months 1 week ago #14

This is a great thread for helping me diagnose the poor performance of the AC system in my 2018GK. The sales literature for my coach shows a 3rd 15,000Btu roof air unit as an option. Does anyone know if the coach is pre-wired or ducted for this option and where on the roof the unit is to be mounted? With my luck it will probably be right where they mounted my Winegard Travelr satelite dish! Lol.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 8 months 1 week ago #15

GipC if you don't mind my asking how did you trim or clean up the foam inside the return air ducts? How did you access this area? Thank you.

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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 8 months 1 week ago #16

PunksRedwood wrote: GipC if you don't mind my asking how did you trim or clean up the foam inside the return air ducts? How did you access this area? Thank you.


Very carefully....Take your time as this is a foam duct. You can damage it very easily.

Use a short piece of electrical fish tape. You can control it better. Use a smart phone and shine it up in there while you do slowly cut away at the foam. If you make a mistake, it is irreversible. You'll need someone to hold a light or get a small pen light and place it in the duct.

I don't recommend this method for just anyone.

The alternative is to just cut in a new return air and filter basically in the middle of the RV (2 total). You might consider going up on the roof and remove the A/C. Find the center of the return side and take something very sharp and small and poke it down thru the duct and into the RV. That would help you locate a good spot to cut from below.

The down side to this method is that you will increase the noise coming from what is supposed to be a quiet air system. Once again, a poor way to correct an engineering failure.

The last method to suggest...You could remove the existing Return vent and measure over to the Supply duct running thru the Return duct. The duct size is a 12" (?). Add the 12" (?) to your measurement. Get on the opposite of the blockage and cut in (2) new return vents (4 total). Others have taken this approach to reduce the noise from the unit but get an increase in the return air flow. It seemed to work for them and is a balanced approach. If you don't want to do the other (2) methods proposed, this is the preferred method (based on the others who have done this). It is quick and you reduce risks. You do have to buy the additional Return vents. Let me know if you need a source...
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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 8 months 1 week ago #17

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IF my memory is correct the 3rd ac on the 2018 GK is the vent by the shower/bath area (hallway) it is pre-wired and will need a new thermostat.
The HH if it is wired will be in the front roof vent as in the case in most units regardless of the brand (if set up for the 3rd ac which should be in the owners book)
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AC Problems with a 2012 39HH 8 months 1 week ago #18

Thank you! I have a MaxxAir fan in that location. It seems odd that it would be that far forward since the area that needs more cooling is the rear of the coach. I'm also wondering if the 3rd AC would use existing ducting or would be an unducted unit?

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