When we got our coach the AC was not working. After some fiddling I got on the roof and pulled the shrouds and found wasp nests filling the coils and blocking the fans. Luckily for me they were all abandoned or it would have been a long stinging fall to the ground!
After pulling all of these out the AC’s fired up and worked well blowing super cold air. We had 2 problems though, they were power hungry and the Onan (still in the coach at the time) was struggling to keep them both running on a hot summers day. The second issue was noise, they were loud, and not just on startup. If you still have the original AC’s you know what I mean.
So the search was on. As with everything on the coach I wanted to do it once and not deal with it again, and the looks matter to us. Everyone seems to recommend the Atwood Air command units, and they do seem to be the top performer in the AC world, but I just couldn’t get past how damn ugly they are! I’m putting thousands and thousands of dollars and hours into this restoration, I just couldn’t have that hideous hunk of plastic eyesore sticking out of my roof! So this basically narrowed it down to the Dometic PenguinII and the Coleman Mach 8.
After comparing specs, prices etc I settled on the Coleman. They are nice and low profile, relatively low amp draw, and they have the same BTU’s of cooling on low and high, which is pretty cool. Also I very much like they way they look, they aren’t so curvy that they look like cartoons (I’m looking at you dometic) but they are small enough and slim enough to still look nice. We got a very good deal on the set from a company in Minnesota (prices have since been raised, I think we got a “someone mislisted that” kind of deal)
The install was pretty straightforward. Pull the old units (and spend an hour and a half removing that nasty gunk sealer stuff they saw fit to put them on with) and put the new ones in. They fit like a glove….almost. The Coleman’s are much longer and thinner than the stock Duo-Therm’s and thus won’t fit into the rear AC space without interfering with the lights. After much debate we decided to mount the rear AC backwards, as we are never going to use it going down the road anyway so it realy doesn’t matter. We are quite pleased with the way it turned out. You’ll have to ignore the horrific state of our exterior in these shots!