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Old 05-13-2020, 01:17 PM   #1
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Smile Chevy Roadtrek AC replacement video

My entry in this growing number of DIY AC replacement videos, this time for my 200 Versatile, year 2000. This one is kind of long but as a result it gives a lot of details and I tried a slightly different attachment method and electrical hook-up. It includes the exact opening dimensions on my RT AC area which helps when buying a new AC.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:56 PM   #2
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Well done!
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:49 PM   #3
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As a fellow owner of a 2000 200 Versatile this is hugely appreciated.

If I may, though, touch on the extension cord. Your misgivings on it are real for two reasons.

A, you really do need a weather proof junction box there.

B, I would not count on flex tape being permanent. Having the cords plugged in and that junction being at the bottom of a "water loop", I think, is not the preferred way to do this. I assume that tape will degrade over time(how long is a guess) and let water leak into the electrics. JMO, but I wouldn't wait more than a year, sooner would be better, and then you will be done. At a minimum, I would tie that junction up so it is not at the bottom of the loop. Perhaps attach a tying means on the side case of the AC unit.

But other than that, what a totally awesome job and video.

BTW, I think the 10k units are no longer available in this size is due to efficiency standards. To be more efficient the AC units require larger coils. I have a Fridgidare 10k unit that looks identical to the current 8k units in my RT that was installed at a shop by the previous owner in 2012. The shop apparently knew what they were doing as there have been no issues. We have the "fancy" one with a remote, filter, and automatic delay start. This 10k unit had a tough go of it when the temps got up to 109 in OR. It kept the cabin at about 80, with no reflectix except the windshield. We have since added a set of drapes that close off the front cab area.This really helps on cold nights and hot days.

Again, thank you for doing this.
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Old 05-13-2020, 06:18 PM   #4
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Thanks! I appreciate constructive feedback! I think what happened was that I ran out of energy to make it perfect toward the end, hence the lack of a junction box. I think after a year of use I will re-open the roof and check to see if the FlexTape has slipped. That's the one issue we've had with FlexTape on other projects: it seems to move in the heat. We've used FlexTape to seal a big gap in our other trailer's cassette toilet/shower enclosure a couple of years ago and it's held up really well - it's just moved a little. I also appreciate your idea of moving the low point of the cord.

We also do have an insulated cab curtain and other exterior window shades that are really helping in the heat - especially on that huge rear window and on the skylights. I might post a video someday. They use the 1/2 inch R-Tech foam board. It seems like we're usually in a windy spot so the awning isn't always feasible. We also made the rear window operable to a point so we can get a little breeze through there...what a huge difference that has made! Plus the typical magnetic screens on the front cab windows (this is when we can't use the AC). These vans do get kind of hot...
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Average_alice View Post
Thanks! I appreciate constructive feedback! I think what happened was that I ran out of energy to make it perfect toward the end, hence the lack of a junction box....
BTDT.

Useless extra characters to meet the 10 character minimum for posting.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:01 AM   #6
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Wow Alice. I don't think that you are very average at all! I realize that time will tell, particularity if you have solved the condensation/rain issues involved in this mod, which I recon and hope that you indeed have, but in my opinion you did such a really excellent job here, and I mean that wholeheartedly. I am really impressed in the way you tackled all of the issues involved. I really doubt that you have any electrical problems associated with rain or heat in your cord connection, and based on my experience with upgrading to an 8K btu ac from a 5.2K btu fedders in my Xplorer 230XLW I think that you will find that this will both be sufficient and no worries for what I am guessing is a 2.8 KW onan genny, which is the same as mine. That ac is just so much more efficient than the old Fedders in both cooling capacity and compressor starting load that I'll bet you will never have a problem in either of these regards. I live in Texas and 8k btu does the trick for me cooling wise for sure. It was super important that you realized the importance of the exhaust heating panels that separate that heat from the side intakes too. That makes a huge difference in how this thing is going to function. Way to go girl!!!!! I am looking forward to hearing updates from you in the future. Saludos, chica!
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thanks! Good to hear that 8K might work going forward! I just hope I don't have to replace it again anytime soon...
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:26 AM   #8
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This is a helpful video. The job does not look as awful as I was anticipating. I recall accounts on the old Cyberrally made it sound like a terrible job.

I looks like you did not do anything specifically to handle condensation from the air conditioner. My understanding is the old Fedderses disposed of condensation with a slinger that threw the water onto the hot condenser coils and evaporated it. Evidently you are allowing condensate to drip into the pan under the A/C and hoping it either evaporates or flows out the back like rainwater. If that works, it simplifies the replacement.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:38 AM   #9
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Well done!
Agree, nothing 'average' about it.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:13 AM   #10
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Agree, nothing 'average' about it.
I see what you did there.

Alice is another example of the helpful folks on this forum.
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Old 09-04-2020, 03:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
This is a helpful video. The job does not look as awful as I was anticipating. I recall accounts on the old Cyberrally made it sound like a terrible job.

I looks like you did not do anything specifically to handle condensation from the air conditioner. My understanding is the old Fedderses disposed of condensation with a slinger that threw the water onto the hot condenser coils and evaporated it. Evidently you are allowing condensate to drip into the pan under the A/C and hoping it either evaporates or flows out the back like rainwater. If that works, it simplifies the replacement.
. I forgot to show in the video I did carefully drill a few small holes in the bottom tray that catches the condensation, careful to miss the Freon lines. Iím guessing over time they will clog with dirt from our trips so Iím not sure if itís worth attempting. So far condensation hasnít been dripping out the back or on the inside of the cabin and I think our AC is designed, as you say, to evaporate with the help of a fan. Weíve run it a lot this summer.
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Old 12-22-2020, 01:03 AM   #12
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UPDATE: My Frigidaire AC unit has stopped cooling and it is not yet 1 year old. The compressor seems to kick on (there is a surge) and the fan works, but it's not putting out cold air. I'll try to get warranty service. We have driven a lot of miles with it installed but haven't used it much to be honest. A lot of those miles were on washboard, bouncy dirty, dusty roads so maybe it wasn't built for this kind of abuse.
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Old 12-22-2020, 06:14 AM   #13
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Bummer. My Frigidaire lasted about 9 years with extensive boondocking. It went out just when I placed it for sale. I wound up discounting it a grand because of that.

Good luck and thanks again for that awesome video work.
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