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Old 07-29-2009, 12:11 PM   #11
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

It's possible you don't have a second switch if your main switch is on the dash. The switch behind the driver is there for convenience so you don't have to reach to the dash. Maybe you can PM John K. He might be able to give you somewhere to start.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:45 PM   #12
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

The rear thermostat should be off unless you are hooked to 110 shore power
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:01 PM   #13
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

I just asked that question 2 days ago and SMB said it doesn't matter. They could be wrong. I heard someone say that if the inverter is on with the thermostat on it will try to run the compressor. That may be true on some models but not mine.
I'm currently having trouble with my 110 compressor.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

It is recommended to turn the thermostat off, but if your breaker is off it really should not matter. Also if everything is working correctly it shouldn't matter if the breaker is off. The problem I had was that I had left the Starcool AC breaker on, I had left the thermostat in cool, I had my inverter on and running. The blue wire (12 volt fused ignition on) going to terminal 2 on the Starcool relay panel was loose. The best that I can tell, was as contact of the blue wire went away, this pretty much tells the Starcool that it is not operating in 12 volt only mode. My trip-lite inverter tried it hardest to provide the AC for the Starcool. I can only imagine that there was a pretty good current surge as all this took place. The result was the PCM blew on the van. This happened at the 3061 mile mark, it was repeated by the technician fixing the van (on the test drive) and then one more time at 6000 mile mark. The first time it blew was right after I started the van, the second time all I was told was the tech was taking it for a test drive after replacing the PCM. The third time I was rolling down the highway and it went going over one of the cement seams. After I got it back to Oregon I found the loose wire. I repaired it and drove around town trying to simulate the failure again for a few weeks. I never could but now I make it a practice of turning off the Starcool AC breaker, leaving the thermostat off, and only turn on inverter if needed. I now have over 36,000 miles and have never seen the problem again. The problem is that the PCM rarely goes bad, so if it does they have to order it, which was 4 days each time while in Montana, and 10 days while down in Virginia. So that is why my Starcool AC breaker has red tape on it and is part of my start up checklist to make sure that it is turned off and thermostat is off also.

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Old 07-29-2009, 08:21 PM   #15
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

Thanks Greg, I seemed to remember somebody posting about it maybe you or John K. Until last week I've always kept the thermostat off unless needed, but with the problems going on with my compressor I asked SMB about it and they said it's ok to leave it on. It's a major PITA to crawl in there and turn it on but would rather not develop more trouble down the line. My fan on the Starcool condenser has froze up and the unit will not work on shore power. Maybe a rock got in there and the motor burned up. Back to SMB...crap.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:12 PM   #16
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

Thanks daveb, and everyone else for the input. Thats what I like about this forum. you'll always learn more than you asked for. Much appreciated. bobbyv
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:04 AM   #17
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

SMBDAD, confirm which Starcool you have by looking under the van on the drivers side, just forward of the rear wheel. If you have a black 110VAC compressor in this location, then you probably have the Starcool III. Usually, when the additional Blower switch is at the dash, the system is a 12VDC only A/C system, which means the engine needs to be running and the dash A/C "on" for the rear unit to cool. Some Starcool III Blower switches were located at the dash, but normally on earlier models.

If it is Starcool III and the blower is not working, confirm the 30 amp blade fuse on the 12VDC fuse panel under the sofa/bed is good (it's possible there may be an inline 30 amp fuse located under the dash since the blower switch is there). Also, check for a loose wire at the blower switch. I have seen the ground wire at the blower corrode to the point it was not making contact any longer, so check that too.

Dave, I would not leave the Starcool thermostat switched "on". As Greg has experienced, if the "ignition on" power is interrupted, the Starcool will try to operate on 110VAC power if the thermostat is "on". Even if the breaker is "off", there is a 12VDC signal that goes to the normaly opened solenoid valve under the hood, which closes when energized. When closed, it prevents refrigerant from flowing to the dash evaporator. If this happens, you'll have hot air coming out of the dash vents.

I'm not able to monitor the forum as much as I'd like to, so please don't hesitate to PM if you have any specific Starcool question, I'll answer as soon as I can.

John K.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:28 PM   #18
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

Yes John, I remember you or Ryan saying something about that when I bought the van but SMB just told me it was OK. I'll relay that to them when I take it down next week. The Compressor is working but the fan on the condenser will not spin and while plugged into shore power it gets pretty warm. Needless to say, the air coming out isn't very cool. It might have been this way since new. I might have been giving the Starcool shore compressor a bad rap it might not deserve
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:26 PM   #19
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

Thanks John. The search for my problems were narrowed for me. The Lojack guy came to install. He was working around the alt fuse panel. Bingo! Now the micro, air, and traxII are back. I just ordered the new trax II to replace the old system, Damn. I dont know what he did, but asume there is a loose wire/ bad ground for the panel (guess).
As far as my air system, there was no compressor under the van. There was three hoses running up into the ass end. I believe there is a compressor in the rear cabinet behind the subwoofer. Amazing how much cooler the van gets.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:46 AM   #20
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Re: Can I run my van AC without turning on starcool too?

After reading the these posts,it's been a big help to me. I do have a related AC question. Is it possible that the Starcool AC unit has R134 and my engine AC have R12 ? I'm quite sure the engine AC has R12. It is 1992 Dodge and still has the old fittings on the AC unit. I've brought a Retrofitting kit and wonder if I can change it over with affecting the Starcool unit?
Thanks,
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