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HVAC, Air Conditioners, Aqua Hot, Primus, Webasto, Chassis Heaters, Furnaces and Water Heaters Questions and information about the wide variety of Heating and Air Conditioning as well as Water Heater systems available are discussed here.

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2020
Stick Miller's Avatar
Stick Miller Stick Miller is offline
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Default Rooftop Air Conditioner covers

I was up on top yesterday and noticed that all three a/c covers are getting in pretty bad shape. Most of the damage is in the vented areas where “teeth” are breaking.

Everything looks fine from the ground. I have no leaks and like my a/c units just fine. They are all oem, so they have 35+ years of usage.

So, my question is: should I be trying to find better covers or just wait until the unit fails? As I said, these certainly aren’t bothering me, but should I look for trouble down the road?
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2020
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DFB052686 DFB052686 is offline
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I just bought new A/C units and have years of experience with many vintage(s) of rooftop a/c.

depends on your electrical demands and how much cooling you need. I live in california, we pay pirates prices for electricity from SC Edison. so new a/c units are way more efficient vs their real world cold air output. (most circumstances)

the flip side is that new a/c units are $700+ each. so if yours cool well enough for you and you exist in places with sufficient power at low rates. I'd clean them up, wash the fins etc. and run them until they fried. new covers can be about $120/each. the units are almost entirely non serviceable, so when they go, they just go.

the old cracked up top half inevitably flies off in traffic out here in the mohave desert if left in a similar state that you are talking about. I saw an FC31 once that had neat metal covers on them that I hadn't seem before or since.
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-Dennis (direct email please! dennis@wanderlodgeowner.com)
Hesperia, California

1987 FC31 “A Rare Bird”
(300HP 3208TA/ZF)

1983 FC35SB
(225HP 3208T/MT643/Jacobs Retarder/Cruisair

Towables:
2006 Liberty CRD

Last edited by DFB052686; 02-13-2020 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020
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Default Mod to Roof AC Increases Efficiency

This guy cuts out his exhaust plastic “teeth“ and replaces with wire mesh to improve roof AC exhaust airflow efficiency. End result needs some white paint & looks Rube Goldberg, but he proves it works. Never got around to trying, so if you do this let us know if it works: https://youtu.be/aWUqQnEw-8Y

This guys over-the-top video shows him doing basic maintenance on his roof AC unit: https://youtu.be/fv5KBhdEvNg

OR you could just wait until you need a new unit
.
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Old 02-13-2020
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icondirect.com

I replaced all three ac covers last summer.
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Old 02-13-2020
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Thanks all. I guess my question was more to the point of how much water proofing those shrouds do. My units cool just fine. I just don’t want water in the bus.

I also don’t think these old girls have unlimited life, so not sure I want to spend the money for new shrouds.
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Old 02-13-2020
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Covers keep "most" water out of the units themselves. not much chance at all of intrusion through to interior.

I suspect they don't last long without covers in rain. but the electrical is enclosed in inside a metal box under the plastic shroud. so it should be fine.
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-Dennis (direct email please! dennis@wanderlodgeowner.com)
Hesperia, California

1987 FC31 “A Rare Bird”
(300HP 3208TA/ZF)

1983 FC35SB
(225HP 3208T/MT643/Jacobs Retarder/Cruisair

Towables:
2006 Liberty CRD
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Old 02-13-2020
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Here is my take on it. The old roof airs were made to last. The ones on my FC even had oil lube holes on the motor bearings. New A/Cs are not made to last. I struggled with the idea of replacing the shrouds because they were not cheap, but my ACs work well, and I replaced all three shrouds for less than one roof AC.
The old roofair conditioners on my FC had lots of metal in them, copper lines, good old quality. New ones are cheaply made by comparison, in my opinion. If they work well, I would have a hard time throwing them away for "new" ones.
My shrouds were cracking, which leaked water into the interior. I covered the cracks with eterabond tape, but they looked like ****.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2020
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DFB052686 DFB052686 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susanmarycamilleri View Post
Here is my take on it. The old roof airs were made to last. The ones on my FC even had oil lube holes on the motor bearings. New A/Cs are not made to last. I struggled with the idea of replacing the shrouds because they were not cheap, but my ACs work well, and I replaced all three shrouds for less than one roof AC.
The old roofair conditioners on my FC had lots of metal in them, copper lines, good old quality. New ones are cheaply made by comparison, in my opinion. If they work well, I would have a hard time throwing them away for "new" ones.
My shrouds were cracking, which leaked water into the interior. I covered the cracks with eterabond tape, but they looked like ****.
those a/c units are built a bit different than the style with pass through side vents. and they allow water into the interior from the shroud!?! wow.

the older "side vent" mechanical register type's i've dealt with in the past, were no better quality built than the new R410a brisk air 2's I've just bought. actually much less "robust". coleman, duotherm's same stuff from what I saw on the SOB's. also have a carrier unit now that seems pretty well made, on a camper. but its LOUD.
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-Dennis (direct email please! dennis@wanderlodgeowner.com)
Hesperia, California

1987 FC31 “A Rare Bird”
(300HP 3208TA/ZF)

1983 FC35SB
(225HP 3208T/MT643/Jacobs Retarder/Cruisair

Towables:
2006 Liberty CRD
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFB052686 View Post
... also have a carrier unit now that seems pretty well made, on a camper. but its LOUD.
Loud is not a problem for us. We both like the noise coming from those overhead units. We run the bedroom a/c fan winter and summer and sleep like dead pigs in the sun.

My dad got wise once, put central air in the house, and did away with several window units. One night was all it took. He couldn’t get the room cold enough and heard every dog in the neighborhood. It took buying a new window unit to fix the problem.

Lesson learned.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2020
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carrier stuff is generally good quality. I believe they left the RV market (could be wrong). so no more general/commercial brand a/c units. all specialty "camping" stuff now. Dometic calls it "mobile living" though, so maybe it'll be ok

(entirely almost off topic: the three cruisairs in the 83 35' all work from 1983 and are teeny tiny industrial quality repairable things that I am gonna miss...)
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-Dennis (direct email please! dennis@wanderlodgeowner.com)
Hesperia, California

1987 FC31 “A Rare Bird”
(300HP 3208TA/ZF)

1983 FC35SB
(225HP 3208T/MT643/Jacobs Retarder/Cruisair

Towables:
2006 Liberty CRD
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