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Old 02-26-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Do I need two AC units on a 30' or 31' trailer?

We are considering a new 30 or 31' Airstream trailer and we live in Florida.
Some come with one 15,000 btu air unit and others have an additional 13.5 btu unit. We won't be living on it and in summer we might be heading up to the mountains, etc. Do you think we will be satisfied with just one AC unit? We are more concerned about the resale value, we are not the type of user who sits in AC comfort, we like to get out and do things. Thanks for your help!
LJD
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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one should be fine
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:03 AM   #3
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I haven't wanted a second one bad enough to go through the hassle of installing one, but there are many times I wish I had one. If I were ordering new, definitely a second!

I know you said that you might be heading up to the mountains, etc. That also implies that you might not. Hot southern days in full sun will make use of a second AC.

And yes, I know that this is a moot point in Canada, northern states, and high altitudes in the rest of the lower 48. You are in Clearwater, and there is a lot of the US near you (and not) that have hot weather.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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One AC should be able to keep your trailer at 20 degrees below ambient temperature in full sun, so yes, you'll be fine. Sometimes people put in a second AC when they expect to camp in the desert southwest in summer, where temperatures routinely exceed 110 degrees. That requires major modifications, including a 50-amp power connection.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
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From my experience summer camping in a 29' 14,000 BTU 'stream in Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle...I would get a second AC if possible.

We camped last June at Perdido Key and struggled to keep the interior cool. The only way to keep the temps below 85 degrees was to close the rear bath. July in Biloxi had the same issue. Granted we were in high humidity, direct sunlight but my only other option was to stay home...

The times we were able to get shade or when the humidity wasn't so high we were fine, the compressor would cycle as expected.

We might be the exception to the rule but we do camp all during all 12 months, summer usually consists of trips to the coast and we will take a full sun location if it's the only option...your milage may vary.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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Air conditioning serve 2 purposes, lower temperature and lower humidity.

If money is not a question and comfort is I would install 2 10,000 BTU units if they were available. Run both at first to lower temperature and then 1 to reduce humidity, which is really the bigger problem as far as comfort is concerned.

Also this gives you the option to run the one farthest from you, the front AC while sleeping and the rear while in the living room. This is for noise considerations.

This would also extend the cycle time and thus level out the temperature swings.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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There are times I wished for two but the reality is that for me it's way more trouble than it's worth. The things that help us deal with the extreme heat are:

Start cooling with the AC well before the heat of the day sets in.

Use window awnings.

Park in shaded areas if possible.

Cover or insulate the windows.

Insulate roof vent covers.

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Old 02-26-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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In high heat and humidity, the 13.5 unit in the 25FB SE is INSUFFICIENT (due to all the windows). A dehumidifier has solved the problem, but it does take up some valuable floor space. If I ever order a new one, which will be a 28 ft., if weight is not a factor, I'll spring for the second a/c.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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If you are going to order a new unit, order the 2 ac's with 50 amp service.
I think that option can increase the resale value later on.
It will help with our humid summers.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:10 PM   #10
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Duel AC or not??

When we were shopping for our new Airstream two AC units was on the "must have" list. I wanted to make sure that regardless of which part of the country I was in during the middle of summer, I could always have a nice cool trailer inside. Since making our purchase in 2008, we have learned another advantage. Often, we will only use the rear unit when in the front end of the trailer... watching TV. Having a trailer with duel units puts one of them right near the TV and you are constantly adjusting the audio when it kicks on. We finally figured out to run the opposing unit instead. At bedtime we turn the front unit on. That makes from a more pleasant sleeping condition if noise bothers you. Then again, the single units are mounted towards the center of the trailer. So direct sound from the fan unit will be further away than a trailer with duel AC's. May not be an issue for those owners. We love ours. We have never hand any regret in going with the duel units......steve
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:12 PM   #11
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I ordered the dual AC setup.

I expect, from having window AC in my stick house, that the problem will not be capacity but rather the distribution of cool air. It's not realistic to expect a front AC to cool a back bedroom effectively unless you're going to use fans or cool the front to 65 degrees.

Besides, then you get the 50a service, which has its own advantages.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:35 PM   #12
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From my experience a 15,000 in front and 13,000 in rear is the best option.
Second choice would be two 13,000 units but for the price difference first option is best.

A 31ft with one AC requires extra fans to move the air for comfort.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #13
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Consider minimizing the number of skylights and/or vents in the roof.

Our trailer has 2 fantastic fans (which are great) and 2 skylights which I wish we only had 1 of.

Also location of the vista-view windows may be another consideration to minimize holes in your roof where the sun-does-shine .

The solid roof does a better job of blocking the sun than any of the skylights and vents and windows.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJD View Post
We are considering a new 30 or 31' Airstream trailer and we live in Florida.
Some come with one 15,000 btu air unit and others have an additional 13.5 btu unit. We won't be living on it and in summer we might be heading up to the mountains, etc. Do you think we will be satisfied with just one AC unit? We are more concerned about the resale value, we are not the type of user who sits in AC comfort, we like to get out and do things. Thanks for your help!
LJD
We didn't order two, but I have not decided yet if that was good or bad.
One thing to consider is that if you decide later that you want two, it will be a lot more work to put one in, than to order it with two.

regards,
Ken
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