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Old 09-03-2015, 08:16 AM   #1
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1970 18' Caravel
Lexington , Massachusetts
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Help with installing roof ac unit in my 1970 caravel

Hi Everyone,

I'm a new owner of an awesome 1970 Caravel. However, it does not have ac. I want to install a roof ac unit, but I'm not sure where to install it on the roof. From what I've read so far there is a specific spot Airstream designed for the ac to be installed and that the wiring may also be already run.

There is a square panel on the roof behind the roof vent that looks like the correct place to install it. I want to be sure before I cut anything. I want to be sure that I install it in the place that can structurally handle the weight of an ac unit.

Anyone's help will be most appreciated!

I would have posted pictures but it won't upload correctly for some reason.

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:28 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums!

Can you post a picture of what you see when you look at the roof? This will help clarify what you are looking at and location. Something else to look for is along the edges of the trailer, on the sides, just below the lower belt-line, there may be a black plastic tube poking through the belly skin, or at least a mysterious hole. What you are looking for is a factory installed AC condensate drip tube. It is usually located (from front to back) pretty even with the location of the air conditioner.

good luck!
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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Hi,
On my 65 Caravel the factory Armstrong unit was right in the middle just above the wheels. Right in front of the first overhead bin. Most modern units are made to fit on the 14" fan openings. I personally think mounting on the rear fan places the unit to far back. Please don't ruin the looks of your Caravel by installing one of the giant Colman units. My condensate ran to the curb side through the cabinets to the left closet and down. The overhead bins had shorter arms around the AC. To keep the door from hitting. But the Armstrong evaporator hung down pretty far.

If I was doing it. I would locate the ribs by following the rivets on the outside. Once you locate the ribs layout a hole and cut it out. You could add a structural metal stud to the sides of the hole and rest it on the ribs. Hold it in place with a rivet on the inside. My guess would be that Romex wire should be on the road side near the center. There maybe supports there too.
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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Help with installing roof ac unit in my 1970 caravel

here is a square panel on the roof behind the roof vent that looks like the correct place to install it. I want to be sure before I cut anything. I want to be sure that I install it in the place that can structurally handle the weight.

Doesn't the fan sit near the bath in the back? Do you mean in front of the fan? You could always drill the rivets out and look. If it's not the right place, rerivit it.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:39 AM   #5
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My 66 AC move

You can see how the rear location makes the Caravel look like it has a big wart. The position is unstable and ugly. I pulled it and installed a Fantastic Fan in the same spot. I called Andy at Inland RV, Corona Calif, and found the location for the move of the location forward....close forward as you can see. Wiring and drain lines were easy to find and install. A much better, overall, installation for a Caravel.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:50 AM   #6
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You could always just use a window AC unit for the very hot days out the front/rear window (many threads on this subject) that way you're not cutting holes, and will not be riding around with a big wart on top of your trailer screwing up the overall lines of the unit. Plus, for the size trailer you have you'd only need a 5K BTU unit to make it into an icebox which will also run off a standard 110V plug, with the trailer hooked up to a standard 20amp breaker taking away the need for a 30amp connection.

Just a thought,

Enjoy,
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:19 AM   #7
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I would also check into portable A/C units. I'm thinking of adding a small one to augment my roof air on these really hot Florida summer days. I figure that I'll remove the furnace, pack it away carefully, and use the space under the stove top for either unit. So far, it seems that if I run the fridge on gas, I won't throw the 30A breaker on the shore power outlet
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:08 PM   #8
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1970 18' Caravel
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Pictures of the roof

Here is a picture of the roof. I attached it

Thank you everyone for your help.
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