By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Imagine being on a long RV trip. Your travels will take you around the country, through all kinds of weather. In the midst of a heat spell, your RV air conditioner suddenly croaks – leaving you stranded with no way to chill out. That’s the case for one reader, Steve. His Coleman a/c failed – and he says he’s not alone.
Air conditioner drops dead
Steve has a sleek Super-C motorhome. Up top, two a/c units keep the rig cooled off in hot weather. Back in June he was visiting family in San Diego, California, when the rear Airxcel Coleman-Mach 8 unit dropped dead. Fortuitously, Steve was visiting his son at the time, and the younger man is a refrigeration technician. When the cover was pulled off the unit, it didn’t take long for Steve’s son to find a pinhole-sized leak in a bend in the unit’s coolant return line. He welded the leak, solving one problem. But RV a/c units are typically “closed” systems, not allowing for a coolant “fill up.” That problem was resolved by adding a Schrader valve, vacuuming out the system, and refilling it with the appropriate coolant.
Happy ending to a Coleman a/c unit fail? For a few days, yes. In Kansas, things heated up when the errant air conditioner conked out again. Steve made his way home with just the one remaining operational air conditioner. “After returning home,” Steve writes, “I found the U-shaped bend had cracked wide open.” At the time of the failure, Steve hadn’t immediately noticed the problem, as he was operating on both a/c units. Because of that, “We didn’t notice the problem until it was too late and the compressor seized up due to a loss of lubrication.”
Others complain of same problem
Steve took to social media with his story. He tells us it wasn’t long before he heard from a lot of upset people. Upset RVers with Coleman a/c unit fails. Many reported that they, too, had a/c units with seized compressors, presumably from a loss of lubrication when a leak took away that necessary commodity that keeps things running smoothly. Reports say that Airxcel, the company that sells and warrants the a/c units, can’t fix a seized compressor. The result – you toss out the bad cooler and replace it with a new one.
Sounds simple, but the problem, says Steve, is that Airxcel is experiencing a shortage of the units, and dealers are suggesting months’ worth of waits for replacement units.
We’d like to hear from any of you who’ve had any Coleman a/c unit fails. Please drop us an email to Russ (at sign) rvtravel.com. We’ll keep on this story and see what, if anything, we can do to help.