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Old 11-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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1.5" I beam or aluminum square tubing for installations???

I've pulled out both the furnace and the hot water tank. At some point, I want to install a roof mounted heat pump.

My question is around the instructions for both the hot water and AC. They both require wood to fill in the space between the inside and outside walls. I believe it's 1.5". I would rather not use wood, I'd rather use aluminum like everything else.

Has anyone done this? (okay, I know you have, I'm really asking what you used and the source).

Also, if I install a new suburban furnace, anyone have pics of what the outside of their stream looks like now? I have the covers from the original units. Probably will convert them.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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I've pulled out both the furnace and the hot water tank. At some point, I want to install a roof mounted heat pump.

My question is around the instructions for both the hot water and AC. They both require wood to fill in the space between the inside and outside walls. I believe it's 1.5". I would rather not use wood, I'd rather use aluminum like everything else.

Has anyone done this? (okay, I know you have, I'm really asking what you used and the source).

Also, if I install a new suburban furnace, anyone have pics of what the outside of their stream looks like now? I have the covers from the original units. Probably will convert them.
Don't use the old furnace cover on a new furnace. Reports say it causes the new furnace to over heat.

You can make your own "stiffners" by bending some alclad to whatever dimension you want.

If you want curved pieces, that's a different problem.

Very few curved main bows still exist.

Andy
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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I build the frames for the a/c units out of the curved side bows for the wide-body Airstreams. Cut to fit the front and rear, and regular Z channel for both sides. Rivet the pieces to the roof skin and ceiling skin, and install the a/c.
The only wood for water heater munting should be a piece of plywood on the floor as a spacer for the water heater to sit on.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Terry, where would you get that material?

Thanks,

Rob.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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Terry, where would you get that material?

Thanks,

Rob.
Rob, I get it out of the parts department, but you can get it at any Airstream dealer. The wall rib section is almost perfect for the compromise between the roof contour (round) and the A/C base (flat).
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:42 PM   #6
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Grainger Link

Something like this?
Search aluminum square - Grainger Industrial Supply
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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That's it. Didn't think of Grainger. I was going to check Lowe's and HD. I hate time change in the winter. It's dark by the time I get home, so I can only work Saturday, and Sunday after church. My garage is full of woodworking tools - but since my cabinets were almost perfect, I don't get to work on those. I guess I'll just be freezing my butt off by floodlight working on the hot water tank.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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Our Lowes and Tractor Supply carry square 6063 profiles...

or

https://www.airpartsinc.com/shopdisp...Channel%2C+Rod
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #9
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I have been told that I am the only source for ribs (1956 to 1966) in the country... I will bend you up the section you need... send me a PM...
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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I have been told that I am the only source for ribs (1956 to 1966) in the country... I will bend you up the section you need... send me a PM...

Thanks! I'm not ready just yet to do the top (the side takes straight sections) but I will follow up when I do my AC.

Rob.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:31 PM   #11
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I've talked this over with the parts department, and I'm going to try making up "kits" with a pair of Z channel pieces and a pair of the rounded bow pieces, along with some rivets, for a/c replacement of 1969 and later trailers with riveted-or-screwed-on a/c units.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #12
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When you do the A/C

Rob,

I wasted money having the Airstream Dealer do the A/C installation. I thought the Engineering would be a challenge.

Here's all they did -- run a couple of support ribs. For clarity, this is an 11,500 btu Low Profile A/C, viewed from inside, with the cover off. The ribs are in the bottom of the pics. Didn't measure the spacing, but all they did was add one new rib on each side. Obviously, they'll be stronger if you buck the external rivets.

Strength appears to come from the curved, floating I-beam. The beam did not attach to any structural member at the bottom, so I assume that the only purpose is to prevent oil-canning of the roof.

John
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:46 PM   #13
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Need one for a 68 Safari

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I've talked this over with the parts department, and I'm going to try making up "kits" with a pair of Z channel pieces and a pair of the rounded bow pieces, along with some rivets, for a/c replacement of 1969 and later trailers with riveted-or-screwed-on a/c units.
I will take a kit if you put them together, for my 68 Safari that originally had an Armstrong unit, but now has a Duo Therm unit that has a small sag.

David
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #14
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Rob,

I wasted money having the Airstream Dealer do the A/C installation. I thought the Engineering would be a challenge.


John
Nothing against the dealer, but I will do it myself. I'm not aware of a dealer in my area, and I will have to cut a hole in the roof and in the International's internal quilting. I love the clean look of my 64 with no AC, but AC seems to be a must. The fantastic fans only seem to go so far. I mainly wanted the curved ribs for just that oil canning effect that I wanted to avoid.
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