Well the season is over for us.  This morning I spent 10 minutes and winterized the unit for the season.  Since it was a fairly nice fall day, I decided to dig into my AC units a little bit to see if I could improve their performance some.  For the most part, my AC units have performed ok however I’ve had some terrible luck with them on occasion.  What happens is, at random, the AC units will reach the desired cabin temperature, shut off, and never come back on again.  The only way to resolve the issue that I can figure out…so far…is to turn off the thermostat, wait 20 seconds and turn it back on again.  The unit would return to service.  

You can’t take this to the dealer because all they’d do is turn on the unit, have it blow cold air and tell you it’s fine.  The Dometic thermostats that come standard with these campers is much to be desired.  They are pretty worthless actually.  There are pieces of foam inside the cover that have to be aligned just right.  If they are not, the display will do random things.  Let’s just leave it at that.  This year I had decided to replace them with some Easy Touch Micro-Air Thermostats which set me back about $500.  My hope was that the issue would go away.  On our last trip to Wilson Island, it was confirmed that indeed it did not resolve the issue as the issue repeated itself.  

That’s the bad news.  The good news is with the Easy Touch Micro-Air Thermostat, I can simply cycle the units, as described above, with the app on my phone and we are off and running again.  The app will alert me if the temp goes to high or I can proactively monitor it when I’m out.  Now I can leave pets in the camper and not have to worry about them.  That’s all good and I’m fairly happy with the upgrade.  I also like that it has a blue tooth connection and a network connection that I can pair with my hot spot.  

Even with the new upgrades mentioned above, the AC units struggled to keep the cabin cool.  If they got behind, then it would be warm inside for the better part of the afternoon.  It just didn’t seem like two units should struggle so much to keep the camper cool inside.  I’ve read a little bit about folks modifying the duct work, reinsulating and raving about the improvements.  There’s plenty of YouTube videos about this if you poke around some.  I decided to tear mine apart and check it out.  

The day before, I went to Home Depot and spent $45 on some foil tape and some vinyl foam duct insulation.  The next day, I lured my dad over to see what I was doing and we worked on removing the cover off the rear unit.  The rear unit was the one I was worried about the most.  It was very loud and really didn’t provide much air movement in the cabin. The front unit did keep the room cool. 

When I removed the cover and opened up the cavity, I found that there was already some foil tape installed in there but it was very thin.  It was like aluminum foil with backing tape.  I also noticed some holes where the wires come in.  So I removed all the tape, reinstalled new thicker tape and even stretched the vent tubes a little to make the opening more rounded.  Then we reinstalled the duct insulation on both sides of the divider (between the hot and cold side), leaving extra on the top and the ends, re-adjusted the height on the divider so it reached the top of the cavity and put it all back together.  

When we turned the unit back on (I had pulled the breaker), it was a night and day difference.  The air came out of the vents with a lot of force.  The rear unit was considerably quieter too.  That is because we covered up, with the duct insulation, the cold air vent that points straight down.  The entire fix, took us 90 minutes to complete.  

I was so impressed with the change that we tore into the front unit and performed the same update.  On this unit there were actually golf ball size holes on both sides on the cold air side.  This means I was cooling my attic.  That’s great.  Now the air comes out even faster and colder than it ever did.  The air comes out much faster on the curb side than the street side on the front unit.  I theorize the reason for this is because the curb side duct ends at that vent while the street side flows into the bathroom and to the front.  I know all the duct work is ducted together between the two units and I still don’t get much circulation into the mid rooms unless both units are running.  

Anyway, I didn’t think to take a lot of photos during my project but I did take a few before we buttoned up the last unit.  I will attach them below.  


There are some updates to this post HERE.