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Old 08-08-2015, 02:47 PM   #1
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Front Door & AC Ducting Answers

Well, I've got good news, and bad news....LOL! The bad news is that when we went to pickup our 2015 38RL at the dealer yesterday, after they have had it for 8 weeks, the AC issue (trouble staying cool, diagnosed as need to add another return) was not repaired.

The good news is that I was able to have some real, quality time, nose to nose, with my service adviser and the worker doing the front door repair (I'll get to that one in a sec). I was shown what the AC ducting problem with many of our rigs is...if you take the return grate off of the return just above the front door, you can stick your cell phone camera up into the duct and take a picture. You may see that inside the duct is a secondary duct that is about 80% smaller than the duct it is in. This is the amount of area they have designated as the return! There is no way that the AC unit can draw enough return air to operate properly. The solution, which he said was actually taught to RW by them, is now an approved warranty retrofit! They simply block off the return ducts, two for each unit, and run a new, dedicated return which they locate in the middle of the ceiling, between the old ducts. If one is willing to wait long enough, they will order a new ceiling panel and completely eliminate the old ducts. They were also very aware of the foam gasket issue between the intake and exhaust sides of the AC units.

As to the sticking front door problem that I have experienced and read so much about, this was explained as a very simple mistake made when the door is originally installed. The door comes in the frame as one unit. It is imperative that the whole door assembly is INSTALLED WITH THE DOOR IN THE CLOSED POSITION. If the door is open, the frame is allowed to move, causing it to be out of square. This is an assembly problem made during the manufacturing process at the factory. The dealer said that they have replaced so many doors due to this problem (on new units) that they are slam-dunk experts and have it down to a one hour repair! It only took four weeks to get approval from RW and the new door to arrive. Oh, did I mention that the new door, which operates perfectly now, arrived with a dent in it and has to be replaced? At least now I have confidence that I can have it swapped, reliably.

I really felt for the poor guy working on the front door when I arrived. These guys work in an open bay with nothing but fans. It was 103 here yesterday!

Hope this helps some of y'all!
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Good news kent. Even though we suffer through the inconvienience you are getting these problems fixed
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 4happyfeet View Post
The solution, which he said was actually taught to RW by them, is now an approved warranty retrofit! They simply block off the return ducts, two for each unit, and run a new, dedicated return which they locate in the middle of the ceiling, between the old ducts. If one is willing to wait long enough, they will order a new ceiling panel and completely eliminate the old ducts. They were also very aware of the foam gasket issue between the intake and exhaust sides of the AC units.
That is NOT a solution and I would run! That is a HUGE step backwards in technology to what AC used to be in an RV when they sounded like a hurricane in the living room when they were running. The whole idea of the ducted return is it finally eliminates the noise from the AC itself in the occupant area that the ducted supply/direct return could never achieve. That is a huge selling point of Redwood, as well as other brands if you watch the videos- you can have a normal conversation with the AC running! This is out of the brochure for Redwood:

Heating & A/C
•Seamless One Piece in Floor Duct
•40,000 BTU Furnace
•Heat & A/C Duct in Bathroom
•15,000 BTU A/C w/Quiet Residential Returns

Don't let that tech blow smoke up your tail with his stories of teaching Redwood how it is done - he is a hatchet job and he will ruin that Redwood for you. Take it to someone that will correct the issue as it should be. Undersize ducts mean they are undersized, not that you need to retrofit your rig to 2007 technology!

Our Montana had center returns, ducted supply, back in 2007 and they called it AC with Super Cool. All it was, was super loud and I will NEVER go back that noise again!

Here is an example - the Standard 2015 Montana has the center return with ducted supply:



If you get the "Legacy" Option - or Big Sky, you get a "Quiet Cool AC System" which eliminates the center return and ducts it in from the edges - creating a sound buffer between you and the operating AC:



Montana Legacy Edition (Optional)

•Metallic Nickel Painted Fiberglass Rear Cap (N/A 3790, 3791)
•Exclusive MOR/Ryde LRE 4100 Suspension
•Premium Ultra High Gloss ‘Noble Classic’ Fiberglass Exterior
•Solid Hardwood Residential Cherry Cabinet Framing
Quiet Cool Air Conditioning System
•MCD Day/Night Roller Shades (Living Area Only)
•Under Floor Heated Upper Deck Bedroom and Bathroom Floor (N/A 3710, 3711)

Heartland has the same thing - it's called "Whisper Quiet AC systems" and it's STANDARD on Big Horn, Landmark, all the luxury lines.

Don't let this guy put you back to the dark ages, you won't like it.
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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Wow, what a beautiful trailer! Hey, I agree with Brad, be careful about some tech guy who wants to chainsaw a hole in your ceiling. FWIW: Ours had the loud vibration in the ceiling, which was finally fixed after they found the problem-which has been disussed on this forum-the AC unit was not installed at the correct height or something like that, and it was cutting off the access to the duct and causing a loud vibration in the ceiling. They were able to easily fix it from the outside and our AC works GREAT now. No complaints. Just be careful! :-)
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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Wow! Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize that that was what they were talking about. I surely don't want the noise, either. I'll call first this Monday morning and have a talk with my service adviser. Seems to me that if the duct-within-a-duct is the problem, they could run a new duct to the returns. We haven't had any vibration or noise, but I will mention that.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:10 PM   #6
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I can only assume that is what he was talking about - the ACs are normally designed to draw return up from the bottom.

If he offsets a center return far away from the AC you may be OK with the noise, but the circulation would not be as efficient as they are now having the returns on the outside edges. Try to find out exactly what he has planned. If he is installing the return direct under the AC, you will be disappointed.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4happyfeet View Post
Wow! Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize that that was what they were talking about. I surely don't want the noise, either. I'll call first this Monday morning and have a talk with my service adviser. Seems to me that if the duct-within-a-duct is the problem, they could run a new duct to the returns. We haven't had any vibration or noise, but I will mention that.
Well, we like to think we can trust the experts, but sometimes a second (or third) opinion is in order! I have lost count of how many times other RW owners have helped us...
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:39 AM   #8
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Ok finally got the rig back from dealer with AC fix. Apparently there was a run built like ours but has been corrected in late 2015 and later models. The fix is a new return in the ceiling, between the old returns, which have been blocked off. I was very concerned about noise, as warned on this blog, but am very happy to report that there is virtually no change in noise, but much better air flow. This is the 5th RW that they have done this to. No complaints from others, either. If I can figure out how to post photos, they will be forthcoming.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:03 AM   #9
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Ian, that's fantastic! It's nice to get that resolved, and I'm glad the fix was different than I might have led you to believe!
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:14 AM   #10
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No problem. I appreciate the advice. I'm not the mechanical type, you helped me think. Will just be glad when this weekend is over and we're all snuggled in. This will be our first stay longer that 10 days. Will be fun!
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4happyfeet View Post
Ok finally got the rig back from dealer with AC fix. Apparently there was a run built like ours but has been corrected in late 2015 and later models. The fix is a new return in the ceiling, between the old returns, which have been blocked off. I was very concerned about noise, as warned on this blog, but am very happy to report that there is virtually no change in noise, but much better air flow. This is the 5th RW that they have done this to. No complaints from others, either. If I can figure out how to post photos, they will be forthcoming.
Looking forward to the pictures
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:00 AM   #12
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When cleaning the A/C return filters on our 38FL, the rear unit over the bedroom has quite a suction and a lot of air flow, the middle A/C unit over the kitchen area has much less suction at the filter registers and much less air flow.
When sticking a camera up and taking a picture of the return chamber, it looks like the flex foil has fell down on the A/C ducts and is blocking a lot of the air return.
Any ideas suggestions ???
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:03 PM   #13
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Kent, how is that AC working? Pics?
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:53 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rob_fla View Post
When cleaning the A/C return filters on our 38FL, the rear unit over the bedroom has quite a suction and a lot of air flow, the middle A/C unit over the kitchen area has much less suction at the filter registers and much less air flow.
When sticking a camera up and taking a picture of the return chamber, it looks like the flex foil has fell down on the A/C ducts and is blocking a lot of the air return.
Any ideas suggestions ???

Ours is just like this. I tried using spray adhesive up there to hold the foil in place, it seemed to help. Now the suction is better balanced between the two intakes whereas before one had hardly any suction at all due to the problem you mentioned.


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