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Old 06-17-2020, 08:12 PM   #1
Bud
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Default Traveling with Cool Cat Air Conditioner

When I leave New Orleans, I can deal with most B and Express Van failures but not all. What is concerning me with an old Dometic Cool Cat a/c, is how I can deal with it traveling. It is Not a roof top a/c, much simpler it would seem.

If I leave and find that it has failed when I plug into shore power in Louisiana, east Texas, I'll head to a motel. Then I'll go home and deal with it. But what if I'm 2000 or more miles from home? I think that it is unlikely that I could go to a Roadtrek or exRoadtrek dealer. Even if, I hand them a new Cool Cat, or any other dealer these days. That leaves finding someone to install an a/c, or I assist that person, or we assist each other. How likely is that? What would you do?

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Old 06-17-2020, 09:14 PM   #2
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When I leave New Orleans, I can deal with most B and Express Van failures but not all. What is concerning me with an old Dometic Cool Cat a/c, is how I can deal with it traveling. It is Not a roof top a/c, much simpler it would seem.

If I leave and find that it has failed when I plug into shore power in Louisiana, east Texas, I'll head to a motel. Then I'll go home and deal with it. But what if I'm 2000 or more miles from home? I think that it is unlikely that I could go to a Roadtrek or exRoadtrek dealer. Even if, I hand them a new Cool Cat, or any other dealer these days. That leaves finding someone to install an a/c, or I assist that person, or we assist each other. How likely is that? What would you do?

Bud
I carry a spare reversing valve solenoid with me. That is a common failing point with the CoolCat.

Here is a writeup of the repair. I have printed it and have it on my computer. If I am not in a position to do the repair myself I would try to find an RV repair shop. These instructions should help them to easily do the repair if they are not familiar with the CoolCat. The trick is finding a good repair shop.

So I don't fret over the CoolCat. Yes, if it has this failure I may have to spend a night or 2 at a motel. But there are many other things that can fail and put you in the same position. Just don't worry and enjoy yourself. Be grateful also that you have a Chevy vehicle that can be repaired most anywhere.

Don't forget you have a backup AC: the Chevy vehicle AC system. You can run this into the evening to cool the inside down and hopefully make it through the night with fans blowing air over you.

AC Repair - Reversing Valve Solenoid Failure - Roadtreker
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by peteco View Post
I carry a spare reversing valve solenoid with me. That is a common failing point with the CoolCat.

Here is a writeup of the repair. I have printed it and have it on my computer. If I am not in a position to do the repair myself I would try to find an RV repair shop. These instructions should help them to easily do the repair if they are not familiar with the CoolCat. The trick is finding a good repair shop.

So I don't fret over the CoolCat. Yes, if it has this failure I may have to spend a night or 2 at a motel. But there are many other things that can fail and put you in the same position. Just don't worry and enjoy yourself. Be grateful also that you have a Chevy vehicle that can be repaired most anywhere.

Don't forget you have a backup AC: the Chevy vehicle AC system. You can run this into the evening to cool the inside down and hopefully make it through the night with fans blowing air over you.

AC Repair - Reversing Valve Solenoid Failure - Roadtreker

Thanks peteco.

Understood, and that might be fixable while traveling since it is kind of easy to diagnose - hotter than ambiant air temperature. Trying to prepare, also considering a new B with all having a roof air today.

imho unless someone can explain, your failure should never have happened. What the heck is a Heat Pump doing in an RV that can fail? My understanding is that heat pumps are to save on electricity, but in an RV. Wear out your ac? Loud vs an electric heater.

I don't really want a low-oil switch in a LOUD onan either.

Enough venting here.
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:24 PM   #4
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Thanks peteco.

Understood, and that might be fixable while traveling since it is kind of easy to diagnose - hotter than ambiant air temperature. Trying to prepare, also considering a new B with all having a roof air today.

imho unless someone can explain, your failure should never have happened. What the heck is a Heat Pump doing in an RV that can fail? My understanding is that heat pumps are to save on electricity, but in an RV. Wear out your ac? Loud vs an electric heater.

I don't really want a low-oil switch in a LOUD onan either.

Enough venting here.
I donít understand why RT put the heat pump in as it has more parts to fail vs an AC only unit. If the default mode was AC we would be ok if the solenoid failed. I have considered experimenting with a permanent magnet to keep the reversing valve always in AC mode. So far mine has been working, though it Sometimes takes moving the thermostat to on and off to get the reversing valve to activate.
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:55 PM   #5
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I donít understand why RT put the heat pump in as it has more parts to fail vs an AC only unit.
What RV manufacturers choose to include has little to do with the actual use of the rig. What they aim for is curb appeal, i.e., things that will impress the (typically inexperienced) purchaser while standing in the van in a dealer's lot. A long list of not-too-expensive "features" that sound impressive at first blush does the trick nicely. "Heat pump" is a fine example.

From comments I have heard (first and second hand) I sometimes wonder whether they really even believe that owners actually use their rigs. In many cases, they may be right.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:51 AM   #6
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in the old roadtreks defense

the original air conditioner was a fedders.

then= i forget what company because they kept merging- but the coolcat was born. it was 12000 btu.

then another merger and a new coolcat when owned by dometic, 10,200 btu

BUT.

coolcat is a name used only in North America.

Worldwide it is a Dometic ac/heat pump.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:48 PM   #7
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I carry a spare reversing valve solenoid with me. That is a common failing point with the CoolCat.
Peteco, would you please provide a solenoid part number or link to one?
07C210P with original Cool Cat.
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:28 PM   #8
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Peteco, would you please provide a solenoid part number or link to one?
07C210P with original Cool Cat.
I had purchased from Camping World in 2017, but they don't show it now.

I did a search for CoolCat solenoid. This site has a review that says it fit their Roadtrek CoolCat.

https://www.ebay.com/p/1373061351
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:56 PM   #9
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Thanks Peteco. It is ordered. Going to get some spare Wellnuts and bolts to go with it. Just need to determine the length bolt to get.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:18 AM   #10
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Thanks Peteco. It is ordered. Going to get some spare Wellnuts and bolts to go with it. Just need to determine the length bolt to get.
Please post the wellnut and bolt specs when you figure them out.
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Old 06-26-2020, 02:03 AM   #11
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Please post the wellnut and bolt specs when you figure them out.
Will do. It appears some people have have metric and others English thread. Maybe OEM was metric and when work was later done changed to English Wellnuts and bolts.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:57 PM   #12
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Please post the wellnut and bolt specs when you figure them out.
These are the well nuts we used - sorry don't have the bolt length...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040CVR1K
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:22 PM   #13
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I have created a situation! After ordering a reversing solenoid, I thought about getting spare cover fasteners. Need to know if I have metal Rivnut or rubber Wellnut. For the first time, I removed the A/C cover today. All screws came out, but one that just spun.

I was able to protect the roof with thin cardboard and used a hacksaw blade to cut off the screw head. Now I have about 1/4" of screw threads sticking up.

Thought I would remove a "Wellnut" to see what it is. There was Dicor around it that I loosened with a thin screw driver blade under the Wellnut flange. Inserted the screw, tapped on its head with a hammer and then tried to wiggle it loose. Even used a claw hammer to pull it out like a nail, to no avail. Tight as a drum, won't budge. No apparent access to the underside of the roof to get at it from below. Forced the thin blade under the Wellnut flange and only succeeded in bending it up a little.

I have read that people have removed the flange to then force the Wellnut out of the hole and leave it wherever it falls to.

My questions are:
1. How to deal with the spinning Wellnut with missing screw head?
2. How to remove the other Wellnuts that are stuck in their holes.

I'm now thinking that changing a reversing valve when 2000 miles from home will be a real PROJECT!!

The screws are 7/8" long and are not 10x32, probably metric
The Wellnut flange has 1/2" diameter. Probably an equivalent 3/8" Wellnut.
07C210P Roadtrek
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:16 PM   #14
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CORRECTION: It is 10-32 thread.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:43 PM   #15
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I have created a situation! After ordering a reversing solenoid, I thought about getting spare cover fasteners. Need to know if I have metal Rivnut or rubber Wellnut. For the first time, I removed the A/C cover today. All screws came out, but one that just spun.

I was able to protect the roof with thin cardboard and used a hacksaw blade to cut off the screw head. Now I have about 1/4" of screw threads sticking up.

Thought I would remove a "Wellnut" to see what it is. There was Dicor around it that I loosened with a thin screw driver blade under the Wellnut flange. Inserted the screw, tapped on its head with a hammer and then tried to wiggle it loose. Even used a claw hammer to pull it out like a nail, to no avail. Tight as a drum, won't budge. No apparent access to the underside of the roof to get at it from below. Forced the thin blade under the Wellnut flange and only succeeded in bending it up a little.

I have read that people have removed the flange to then force the Wellnut out of the hole and leave it wherever it falls to.

My questions are:
1. How to deal with the spinning Wellnut with missing screw head?
2. How to remove the other Wellnuts that are stuck in their holes.

I'm now thinking that changing a reversing valve when 2000 miles from home will be a real PROJECT!!

The screws are 7/8" long and are not 10x32, probably metric
The Wellnut flange has 1/2" diameter. Probably an equivalent 3/8" Wellnut.
07C210P Roadtrek
If the wellnuts are that secure and are not leaking then I would leave them in.

The broken screw will be tricky since the wellnut spins. Options to try:
Drill out the screw. But wellnut will probably spin.
Use Dremel tool with thin cutting disk to cut away the wellnut head. Then dig out the rubber under the metal wellnut head and pry out.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:28 PM   #16
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Just finished cleaning up dirt all around behind the grill and mud dauber mess on the condenser.

Not a great solution, but will get me out of trouble for now. Put the cover back on and put a dab of Dicor self leveling sealant over the screw thread, on the roof. Only I will know it is there. Or would Eternabond be a better choice? Not sure which would be the easiest to remove one day.

I am thinking about putting screening on the inside of the grill to keep the Carolina Wrens out. Would like to use 1/8" mesh to also keep the mud Daubers out.

Any thought on 1/8" mesh constricting the air flow too much? If so, what is suggested?
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:43 PM   #17
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Just finished cleaning up dirt all around behind the grill and mud dauber mess on the condenser.

Not a great solution, but will get me out of trouble for now. Put the cover back on and put a dab of Dicor self leveling sealant over the screw thread, on the roof. Only I will know it is there. Or would Eternabond be a better choice? Not sure which would be the easiest to remove one day.

I am thinking about putting screening on the inside of the grill to keep the Carolina Wrens out. Would like to use 1/8" mesh to also keep the mud Daubers out.

Any thought on 1/8" mesh constricting the air flow too much? If so, what is suggested?
I would think a fine mesh like that would restrict flow too much.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:05 PM   #18
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Received the abrasive discs today. Used one to cut off the headless screw level with the flange. Put two discs on the mandrel to work on the metal rivet nut flange. Got it thin enough to bend up the flange with a screwdriver, and then punch if down through the hole. Wish I could have got it out to see what it was.

The hole is 1/4", not the 3/8" others have. A 1/4" drill bit is a little loose, but a 5/16" won't enter the hole. Looks like I'll get some 1/4" diameter well nuts, but will only use one in this hole. The other rivet nuts will stay in place unless they leak.

One question, would it be a good idea to put just a little Dicor self leveling sealant on the new well nut, for two reasons; Keep the well nut from spinning when the time comes to remove the A/C cover, and to ensure a water tight seal?? Or would it be better to use non sag Dicor, or some other sealant. I don't want the rubber well nut to be super hard to remove some day in the future, either.

The other rivet nuts will not have screws stuck in them (will use never seize). I now have a tree shaped metal cutting burr. Think I will use that when the time comes to remove the others. Plan to put it in the screw hole and remove just the flange corner, where the flange turns down into the hole. Just have to be careful not to enlarge the fiberglass hole.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:42 PM   #19
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I'm finding out that 1/4" diameter EPDM well nuts don't use a 10-32 screw. they use 6-32 screws. This one should work with the 3/16" fiberglass roof thickness.
https://www.boltdepot.com/Product-De...?product=21651

Looks like I have two options to use EPDM well nuts in this one hole.
1. Drill the hole to 3/8" to use a 10-32 screw, or
2. Use the ones from the link above for my 1/4" hole. I guess these are strong enough for one day having all the A/C cover screws the same.

I would appreciate readers thoughts on the two options above. I don't want to use metal rivet nuts.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:15 PM   #20
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Ubbelievable price difference between Bolt Depot and Amazon: $1.42 Vs $7.00! each
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