Coleman CM16FBS Side wall AC Drain - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-13-2014, 09:19 AM   #1
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Coleman CM16FBS Side wall AC Drain

New Coleman owner here...

We just purchased a 2015 CM16FBS. It has the 6,000 btu Frigidaire sidewall mount air conditioner. We have the camper hooked up to the power box and have been running the A/C wide open due to the 95* temps and 80% Rh.

Noticed that the A/C is draining down the side of the camper, that in itself does not bother me, however the water is also seeping our around the screws that holds the outside cover on. THAT concerns me! That means water has the potential or may already be leaking into the wall.

I have no problem taking the outside cover off, and resealing it, just trying to find out how things are supposed to work first. My wife is all for hauling the camper back to the dealer, but I hate to waste the time if it is something I can deal with.

Questions:
  1. Does anybody elese have this issue?
  2. Where is the A/C supposed to drain?
  3. What is the sidewall framed with?

Aaron
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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Well seems I am in the self-help group

Got a chance to take a quick look at the issue... due to lack of pride in their work, someone at the factory mounted the outer A/C shroud too high which was trapping water. I was all for hauling it off, and correcting the problem, but my bride insisted it had to go back to the dealer. so off it went and we were "promised" it would be ready to go by end of the day on Tuesday. We shall see.

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Old 06-19-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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Got the camper back from the dealer today, it is repaired. Checked the build date... built on a Friday Hope everything else checks out okay.

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Old 07-13-2014, 11:27 PM   #4
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Bought our CTS14FD with wall mount AC in December. AC worked fine until this weekend. Level concrete pad, only some water coming out black shroud, the rest running through the wall, and finally dripping out on both sides of the wheel well! (under the skin, in the wall!) Opened up black shroud, expected to find blockage, but instead found design problem. Tin sheet cut short, and drains into wall, not black shroud. Emailed Coleman. Waiting for fix. Do you guys suggest anything?
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:40 AM   #5
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BTW, the email link from the Coleman-RV site went to KeystoneRV, customer service. Maybe this will help.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:29 AM   #6
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Hi Marty,
Ours got fixed by the dealer. According to them the metal box was mounted correctly just the outer shroud was too low. Hopefully yours is under warranty, water in the wall IS NOT a good thing. I would make them open it up and completely dry it out. Mold is no fun to deal with, as well as rotten wall members if it gets that far.

I wonder if they didn't mount the sleeve far enough out and it just needs to be repositioned? If nothing else it shouldn't be too hard to fabricate an extension and seal it into place. I need to get into the space under our air conditioner to add some wood so I can mount a fan on the underside of that cabinet. So far my bride won't let me take anything apart... but she is leaving for a 6 day international trip...

Aaron
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:09 AM   #7
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Aaron, in my exploring today, I did pull back that panel underneath the AC, looking to find out why it wouldn't budge. (later found out they caulked the whole thing in like crazy) That panel pried downward, it's only stapled up. Very thin veneer, about 1/2 inch before you get to that tin sheet I mentioned. You could slide in a piece of 3/8 plywood, and hit it with wood screws from below, to mount your fan. We bought an $11, 120vac fan from Walmart to get some circulation when we are not running the AC.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:36 AM   #8
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Thanks Marty,
I knew the sheet was thin and stapled (I poke and prod when the boss is away)

We bought a Vornado Under Cabinet Circulator. We had one in another unit that we used to own and like the way it folds up out of the way, swivels and generally moves air. Normally it is mounted with machine screws from the top down.

I have to rebuild the slide bed/dinette base anyway, it is about 3/4" out of square and the slide part binds when you slide it in.

From my observation they think silicone caulking is the cure all for just about everything. Unfortunately I have been taking things apart and fixing them for a living for the past 35+ years and take the time to do them right. Not OCD but not far from it.

Aaron
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Ever hear of, "do your best and caulk the rest"? Or my favorite, "caulk and paint don't make you what you ain't"
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:30 AM   #10
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Got the bottom piece off the A/C cabinet this evening. What a mess. Found out the "pan" under the A/C is actually more of a trough, if you have an unlevel site the wrong way, water is going to run back into the trailer! They had stapled and GLUED the panel on one of the pieces of blocking wasn't screwed to anything. However it is now apart. I am going to put a piece of 5/8" plywood in the gap for a backing block for my Vornado Under Cabinet Circulator. I am going to see if I can match the paneling with something from Lowe's or Home Despot later this week. I also need to pick up some patching putty for the staple heads. I want spare paneling for some other projects I have under consideration, like removing the center mount light over the bed and wiring up a pair of reading lights on the sides.

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Old 07-25-2014, 01:46 AM   #11
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Aaron, please reiterate. Ours is still in the shop, and the local CampingWorld is coordinating with the Dutchman rep on the AC leak. It should be ready soon. I even sent the rep a link to this thread so he can see I'm not alone.
Last I heard, you were happy with the fix. That is, you believed at the time what you were told, i.e. the shroud was too low.
Now, as you are opening the cabinetry from the bottom, to mount your fan, you are telling me the piece of tin that is supposed to catch water drippings from the bottom of the AC and tilt that water towards the shroud is a bad design? And also poorly mounted? And if, what I think you're telling me, doesn't have much of a slant at all, and if the camper is leaning much towards the door side, the water would run not to the shroud, but into the camper? Is that what you're saying? I'm not trying to pick your words apart, but want to be real clear when I talk to them about my camper. Thanks,
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:11 AM   #12
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The "pan" is open on both ends, IF it is installed the way it should be it will have a downward slant out to the shroud, then the A/C unit should also be tilted, this will make the water drain out the bottom of the shroud, which is slotted. I will have to check my pan and see if it is mounted flat or slanted. I know the A/C unit does have some slant to it. The pan should project past the wall by about 1/2" and drop water on the shroud. The pan on mine appears to be made from aluminum, which may or may not be an issue. If the A/C coils are copper it is an issue, if they are aluminum non-issue. (Galvanic corrosion... copper eats aluminum)

IMHO it should have a turn up on the inside end to keep water from running back into the cabinetry if the trailer were to be too far off level.

I will see if I can sketch up what is the general intent. It will be over the weekend or first of the week. Have to roll early in the am.

Aaron
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:59 AM   #13
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Thanks, Aaron. Your description confirms what I thought I saw when I peeked inside, as mentioned earlier. Agree there should be a lip on the "pan," actually it should be on three sides. Knowing all this will make me more informed when they tell me, "it's all better now!"
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
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Another thing I would like to see on the pan would be a small downturn lip where it goes out over the siding. But that would mean tolerances of less than an inch.

My general background is architectural sheet metal, industrial roofing and wall panel work, along with a lot of industrial general construction. I has seen a lot of stupid stuff in that field too. However I have been well paid over the years to fix other people's screw ups, whether the designers or the installers.

I realize they build these things as cheaply and quickly as they can, so about all we can hope for is a near miss and no major issues.

Interestingly enough I have seen claims that Thor pays bonuses based on production and supposedly reduces them when warranty work is back charged in, while that may be true on the upper end of the pay scales, I suspect that a lot of the floor guys are just there to make a paycheck and nothing else. It happens in every industry, unfortunately.

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Old 07-26-2014, 07:11 AM   #15
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Well, the official CampingWorld/Dutchmen diagnosis was, "could not duplicate malfunction." (remember it did it twice, once at a campground and once at home). No charge, but hours and materials were charged to warranty. Hmm. Acetone and hardener? Seems like they just re-sealed some caulk inside the shroud. Now, it does not leak. "all fixed?" Maybe, for now. But we both know what lies inside, and at the next hint of a leak, I'll pull it apart myself, and install a cookie sheet, with lips (one turned reverse), under the AC.
They could have taken the honest route, and said, "we saw a leak and caulked it up." But my email to Keystone evidently triggered a "we don't see a problem," response.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:17 AM   #16
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Make sure it is an aluminum cookie sheet.

I will get dimensions off my pan for you so you have them for future reference. I had to make a run up to VA yesterday and didn't get back until 9 last night. I am on vacation for the next 10 days and get to do some of what I want to do (as long as I can hide from my bride )

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Old 07-26-2014, 06:35 PM   #17
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Thanks, that'll be handy as I begin my quest for the proper (aluminum) cookie sheet!
On a side note, one thing came with the camper that I've never used. It's a long rod, about 3/16" diameter, about 4 ft long, bent to an eye on one end, and bent to a short hook on the other.
The only time I thought about using it was when the stinky-slinky didn't want to come out of the bumper. Any idea what it's for?
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
Thanks, that'll be handy as I begin my quest for the proper (aluminum) cookie sheet!
On a side note, one thing came with the camper that I've never used. It's a long rod, about 3/16" diameter, about 4 ft long, bent to an eye on one end, and bent to a short hook on the other.
The only time I thought about using it was when the stinky-slinky didn't want to come out of the bumper. Any idea what it's for?
Yup... awning pull hook. Use it to grap the pull strap to get the awning down, the other end can be used to flip the lock/unlock switch too. I don't need it at 6'2" but my bride at over a foot shorter does.

Aaron
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:07 AM   #19
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Tougher than I thought

After pulling the black shroud, and a LOT of work knifing through the caulk, I got the AC out. Sure enough, the tin drip pan wasn't tilting the way it should. (I added a couple of long aluminum strips on the high (inside) track to give it more tilt.
Then after cleaning things up (yes, you could see where water went down the wall! - See if the video I enclosed will open) I reinstalled the AC. I bent the edge of the drip tray down (see numerous needle-nose tweaks). I then put an aluminum angle channel under it, and a piece of vinyl siding J-channel under that. The concept then, is water comes off the drip pan, can go nowhere but the outside of the aluminum channel, and then nowhere but the J-channel trough.
UNTIL I PUT THE SHROUD BACK ON!!! It rides so high that all that water passage is blocked, and the water would get dammed up until it rose up to the ledge of the shroud, and out the water holes.
Tomorrow I will put corrugated material between the bottom edge of the shroud, so water can get past it, down into my J-channel. In these pictures, notice the spacing between the mounting holes, and where the water wants to drain.
When done, the bottom edge of my shroud will allow water to drain into the J-channel, and not have to rise up to the slots to get out.
Hoo boy!
Marty
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:19 AM   #20
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The pictures are in reverse order. Here's another attempt at sending the video showing water coming from where it isn't supposed to.
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