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Winnebago / Itasca Itasca Navion, Winnebago View.


 
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:29 PM   #1
shake202
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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Default Navion 23 H replacing A/C and adding Easy Start from Micro Air- complete!

I just recently bought a 2006 Navion 23H with the air not working. It had the original Coleman Mach 13,000 BTU unit on it, the fan still worked, but no cooling. It might have just been a capacitor, but I figured by the time I got it looked at and fixed, it would end up costing me $200-$300 since I have no A/C experience and was not going to be able to fix it myself. And this thing had been used by a retired NY snowbird who wintered in Florida, so I knew it had been well used. Thought it was time to get something that would last for a long time.

I started looking around for options to replace the unit, which were going to be at least $700-800 range for a simple A/C only 13,500 BTU unit. I thought the Mach 8 low profile unit looked interesting, and that was before I read a lot of bad press about them. Loudness issues, fan issues, etc. Then I started looking for best pricing, and on Ebay found a factory refurb 15,000 BTU heat pump with a condenser pump for $540 shipped! I liked the idea of the larger BTU and the heat pump even though I have gas heat. Thought it would be nice to have another heat option, especially on shore power, and the condensate pump option allows you to direct the water and collect it vs it making the campsite a muddy mess. Noticed it was an or best offer auction, I offered $500 and RV Product Sales accepted. Quick freight shipping, got it in about 6 days.

Also had been reading up on the Micro Air Easy Start that dramatically reduces the amps needed to start the unit. Sounded too good to be true, run an A/C on one 2000 watt generator? I already have 2 Wen 2000 watt generators I had used to run the A/C on my old camper in parallel, but only having to lug one around as a back up to my propane Onan seemed like a good idea, and having a gas option in certain situations seemed like a good idea. I also thought putting it on while on the ground would be easier, and would I do it later if I didn't? Probably not, so I ordered and put on before we installed it on top of the RV. A couple of great videos on install that really helped on You Tube, and I did it by myself in about 1.5 hours. It would have taken me much less time, if I had not checked, rechecked, and then rechecked again to make sure I did it correctly. Second time, I could do it in 30 minutes. Overall, install of Easy Start was not hard, and I am not a super handy person or very experienced with A/C or electrical stuff. I will add the videos I used later to this post.

I had some friends that are more mechanically minded that me, and one of them had replaced a Coleman unit before and said it was very easy. We did the swap out in about an hour. Hardest part is getting the old one off the roof after it was disconnected, which is 4 bolts that connect to the inside baseplate and one wiring harness plug. Also have to remove the controller that is inside the intake plenum of the old unit, but that is only 2 thumbscrews.

Cleaned up the hole opening a little and was ready for the install of the new unit. Once on the roof, it is just a matter of lining it up inside for a good fit on the opening and tightening it down so the install tabs in the inside are flush with the inside roof and plugging in the wiring harness from the old install. Easy! It was challenging to get the controller back in the intake plenum of the unit, so I instead opted to put in farther down. I will take a pic later and post how I put it in, my unit it ducted, so there was room lower down to fit it. Original controller worked fine, but I already had a heat pump thermostat, so I am assuming the controller was for a heat pump as well. Could never figure out if the old unit was a heat pump or not, the info label on it was blank or the print had totally disappeared.

Running the condensate line was the hardest part, and that was not terrible. It has to run from the inside, and I did not know this when I ordered it! We figured out we could run it through the ceiling ducts to the pantry cabinet beside the fridge then punched it through the floor next to the condensate line for the fridge so it comes out underneath the RV and can be collected in a bucket. All done! Next had to give it a try and see if it all worked.

On shore power, tried the A/C. It cranked right up and cooled nicely. I had heard how loud these Mach 8s are, and how people changed out fan blades, etc to quiet them. My refurb is not any louder that the original unit or my other camper sounds. After looking at it, they made some changes on the refurb that look different from the pictures and videos I have seen of Mach 8's. Biggest difference is the fan mount. Instead of being connected with tiny little feet at bottom, it had a huge mount that is super stable and beefy. I am sure this solved some of the noise and balance issues, because this thing is not going anywhere. Looks super strong and is a huge improvement over the old mount. I will take a picture of it once I get back up on the roof. Refurb did come with a 5 blade fan, not a 3 blade. I have a dB meter I will do readings on inside and outside and post later. Do feel like it is as loud as people say these are.

Heat pump at 48 degrees outside is cranking air at almost 100 degrees. I was very surprised it was so warm. Like the heat pump heat option!

Last step, checking the Easy Start and the 2000 watt Wen. It starts it and runs! Now it is running pretty much full speed to do it, but it worked! Tonight I will try it with the converter/fridge breaker off, no reason to have it trying charge the batteries or run the fridge trying to use this small generator. Success!

I have been the beneficiary of help from others in the past, I hope this post helps a few folks that are thinking about doing any of the above. I am super happy with my decisions and how everything is working. Almost ready for the road with my new rig!

Last edited by shake202; 04-17-2019 at 03:32 PM.
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