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Old 08-21-2023, 04:10 PM   #1
benjburton
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Default How often do you replace your A/C Gasket?

About 4 years ago I finally figured out why my camper was leaking. It was a worn A/C gasket. I'm the second owner, and my camper was 7 years old at the time of replacement. I'm assuming that was the first time it was replaced. Now, 4 years later, it's leaking again. I've tightened the bolts down a couple of times now, beginning about 6 months ago, which fixed the leaks. However, now no matter how tight, it leaks, so I think it's time to replace the gasket again. Just seems that a 4 year interval seems a little too frequent. Is this normal? I always erred on the side of not too tight as not to compress the gasket too much, hopefully giving it a longer life, then tighten when necessary if water leaked. Have you had to replace your gasket more than once, and about how long did it last?
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Old 08-22-2023, 05:13 PM   #2
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If you tighten it down too much, it's for sure going to leak because it distorts the plastic on the bottom of the A/C. Ours is a 2009 (14-years-old) and there is no signs of the A/C ever have been dismounted. No leaks that I'm aware of and we had a foot of snow on the roof last winter, during a campout. Not recommended BTW.
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Old 08-23-2023, 11:29 PM   #3
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Ours is a 2008 and we are the original owners. No A/C leaks though we did have the middle seam leak about 10 years ago. I removed the vinyl molding from the center. The aluminum had delaminated in several spots. I glued and fastened with pop rivets and sealed with 2” wide Eternabond tape. No leaks since. I hope you are able to solve the A/C seal leak permanently
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Old 08-25-2023, 10:55 AM   #4
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Yes, it was a headache of finding this leak when I replaced the A/C gasket the first time. This wasn't even something I knew to look for. At the time, I also placed Eternabond down the seem of the two halves of the camper and caulked extensively around the a/c shroud. Hopefully, the a/c gasket is what it is again. When I brushed the water away from the top of the shroud, where the gasket sits, it stopped leaking, so I'm hopeful this is where the leak is coming from. Not sure why mine is not lasting like some of yours. I under torqued when I installed this. I know this because I had to snug the bolts up a few times, not getting them too tight, when it would leak after installing.
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Old 09-10-2023, 10:15 AM   #5
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I finally got around to replacing my a/c gasket and thought I'd share the outcome. After inspecting, I do not think the gasket was the issue. At first I thought it was plastic that had bent at the top of the shroud, but I don't think this is the issue either. It turns out that the top of the camper is not level with the a/c shroud. I believe that my issue is due to the the inability to tightly clamp the front of the a/c down, due to the shroud not being able to properly hold its place up against the gasket as it's tightened. This is hard to explain, so hopefully the pictures I have attached will help illustrate what I believe is the issue. My fix was to place wood shims around the gap area to help support the a/c shroud. This way as I tighten the a/c down, it will give it a more solid support for it to compress against.

Even though I don't think the gasket was the issue, I went ahead with the replacement since I had the a/c off and the new gasket in hand. Part of me wishes I hadn't! What a pain it was to get the old one off! It took a lot of patience to remove. Also, the new one appears to be of lower quality. The foam is less dense. In any case, it was a new gasket, and I went ahead with the replacement as I didn't want to second guess if that was the issue if it continued to leak and I had not replaced this.

So did this work? I hope so! I did not do a water test. My test will be next time I'm camping and I have the a/c running for a long period or it rains.

As an aside, the biggest pain besides removing the old gasket was the mess I had to clean up afterwards. Before I could get the a/c back on, a downpour started. I covered the hole with a tarp, but the downpour continued for a few hours, and it turned out my tarp was more than a little porous, which I found out towards the end of the storm. Nothing is ever easy!
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:34 PM   #6
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Oh I see what you’re saying. The riser looks like it’s raked forward. Not sure how that happened…

A few notes/questions…

What happened to the lip around the shroud opening? There should be a small lip there but yours looks… melted? That lip is supposed to be a last defense of the gasket fails.

I’m not real keen on the old gasket looking like it’s made from 4 separate parts. The new one hopefully looked like it was one piece?
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Old 09-10-2023, 08:41 PM   #7
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Doesn't look like an original gasket to me. It looks like some 1.5" wide, sticky back weatherstripping from Home Depot.

The original gasket is all one piece, thicker and spongier.
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Old 09-10-2023, 11:26 PM   #8
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Yep I’m with Wayne here. I bet that is in fact your leak. But didn’t you say you replaced it previously?
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Old 09-11-2023, 10:23 AM   #9
benjburton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane826 View Post
What happened to the lip around the shroud opening? There should be a small lip there but yours looks melted? That lip is supposed to be a last defense of the gasket fails.
Very good question! I don't know what caused the ends to deform. They were the same way when I last replaced the gasket in 2019. They're not cracked, but you're right, they do look like they're sort of melted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane826 View Post
Im not real keen on the old gasket looking like its made from 4 separate parts. The new one hopefully looked like it was one piece?
You're right, the gasket is glued at the joints. It came that way as one piece. It does seem pretty solid. I doubt any leaks are coming through this area. The new one is also glued at the corners, but it's much less obvious on the new Camco piece where it uses a 45 degree joint, and the spongier material helps hide it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavery View Post
Doesn't look like an original gasket to me. It looks like some 1.5" wide, sticky back weatherstripping from Home Depot.

The original gasket is all one piece, thicker and spongier.
I can confirm that it's not Home Depot weather stripping since I bought it. It's a Dometic part. I actually bought a much less expensive Camco part this time to replace it with. It was half the cost of the Dometic. The Dometic is much less spongy, but it feels of better quality, like it wouldn't wear as fast and provide much better support. However, maybe this also means it can't seal as well due to it having a harder time forming to my sloped roof I'm trying to secure it against?

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Originally Posted by Shane826 View Post
.... But didnt you say you replaced it previously?
Yes, in 2019.


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Old 09-15-2023, 10:33 AM   #10
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Default Well now...

So in regard to the 4 piece A/C gasket above, check this out...

https://www.amazon.com/RecPro-Univer...20035886&psc=1

Apparently some of the less expensive gaskets are 4 pieces glued together! No thank you!
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