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Old 07-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
Pensacola , Florida
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Rivet 1969 Air Conditioner Change out

I bought a 1969 A/S Sovereign a couple months ago.
I have never owned a Travel Trailer or A/S so I need to learn everything.
Everything in mine is original, but 41 years old.

I am burning up LOL

Since it is summer the most important item on the top of my priorities is the Air Conditioner.
I think it is an Armstrong minus the motor and fan so I will replace it.
Here are some questions.

1. Do I need to drill the rivets out to remove the ceiling part of it?

2. Will there be a 14" X14" hole or will I have to cut a whole that size and if so what is the best way to cut the whole and what should I beware of damaging in the process?

I bought a Duo therm Brisk Air 15,000BTU A/C (used) from a guy on craigslist, but it is the part that goes on top. I don't think that the old inside unit from the Armstrong unit will work and I did't get the inside ceiling unit with the Duo therm.

I looked on a website that sells RV stuff and it looks like what I will need is a 3109206 Cool Only Ceiling Assembly Airbox Kit. Is this correct and/or what or what else will I need?
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #2
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1969 31' Sovereign
Pensacola , Florida
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The previous post was my first post. I looked under the new posts section and this thread was not showing up. How can I get an answer if no one sees the post. Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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1969 25' Tradewind
Irmo , South Carolina
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The '69 unit isn't even remotely similar to a modern air conditioner, and the trailer will have to be modified to make a new one fit. There is no square hole underneath what's there now, only some small holes for the various lines and wiring to run through the skin. There is also not any sort of bracing underneath the skin to hold the weight up. It's difficult to remove the old unit without destroying the exterior section of it, but it can be done. It's floating in a bed of caulk on the roof that has to be cut loose The interior piece is pretty straight forward once you drill out the rivets that hold it up. You WILL have to cut the freon lines that run from the inside to the outside section. Once those are cut, the inner fan blade removed and the wires disconnected the inside section will drop right down.. If you decide to go for it, please let me know. I'll gladly take the original off your hands for spare parts and will even come and get it. I plan to keep my ancient original A/C running for a while.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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If you go to youtube, there is a video from the old DIY tv series on replacing an AC on an Airstream. It will give you a good idea of what is required and it is a big job.

If your old AC has a shroud, I would love buy it from you. My old Ac works but the shroud is gone.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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South of the river , Minnesota
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While everyone has to decide for themselves, and I've never done it having a newer traylah, it is my view that fixing the Armstrong is generally a better choice than replacing it with modern. No, there isn't a 14x14 opening, there are two small holes, because the Armstrong is a split system with a shared fan shaft. Fan motors and blade assemblies are available and are cheaper and less hassle than modifying the trailer for a new 14x14 unit.

To install a modern A/C there is substantial cutting and patching of the aluminum required, and due to the rounded roof, getting everything to seal is a problem.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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1969 31' Sovereign
Pensacola , Florida
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Now I am not sure what the best thing to do about the A/C. If I have to cut a hole for the Duo therm and reinforce it then that may be too much trouble. Someone told me that one of the other holes in the roof that is used for a fan could be used to install an A/C, Does anyone know if this is true?

I am also wondering if it might be better to try and fix the old Armstrong. I would appreciate any suggestions. I think the compressor is good, but it looks like the fan motor and fans are missing. I have never seen an Armstrong A/C so I can't tell what is missing. I will attach a few pictures and maybe someone can tell me what is misssing.

I looked at a video on Youtube about an Airstream A/C replace, but it was on an airstream that has the 14 X 14 whole.

Thank you for your help and input.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:43 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
Bentonville , Arkansas
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I have a 1964 that is in the exact same shape at your model. With the exception that I am the one that removed the fan motor. I happen to have new parts (Fan motor, upper fan, hub for new fan, and a new capacitor) on the way from Granger. The original fan motor is no longer made, but there are several replacements available. I upgraded from a 1/8 HP motor to a 1/6 HP motor, same RPM, same amps, same sizes, but it should not get loaded down from the twin fans. While I am waiting on the parts to arrive, I have spread a quart of resin and 8 sq feet of fiberglass over the old shroud. When I am finished, it will get a fresh coat of paint and be ready for the install.

My total investment is about 5 hours and less than a quarter of the cost of a new unit. It made my decision pretty easy.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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Irmo , South Carolina
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There are actually four holes. One is for the freon lines, one for the fan shaft, one for the power wires and one for the thermostat wires. The wires go through a steel plate with a couple of copper tubes pressed in that is attached to the skin of the trailer. This is supposed to keep water out, but after 40+ years, the dissimilar metals corrode and cause a massive leak. Something to have a look at while you're up there.
Your fan motor is all that's missing. I'll try to get some photos of mine so you can see how it all fits together. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do that and post them up in the morning.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:13 AM   #9
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Is there supposed to be a fan on the upper unit and a fan in the ceiling unit?

Thank you to all who have helpful hints and tips!
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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1964 26' Overlander
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The fan motor is a dual shaft motor. It mounts on the roof. To a plate that mount to the four studs that are surrounding the 1 inch hole into your camper.

Then a fan attaches inside the camper to circulate cool air, and one attached on top of the camper to help pull air through the coils.

One motor, and two fans.

Hope this helps, do a seach for your AC unit and you should find some pictures to help you piece all this together.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
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Mine had problems starting the compressor in really hot weather. Replaced it with a modern compressor. Gained several advantages. First, the new compressor is so much more efficient that it will run on a small 3000 watt generator. Second, the new one is 30 pounds lighter than the original 45-pound beast. It also simplified the wiring a bit.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:27 PM   #12
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Does anyone know if I can just leave the Old Armstrong where it is and stick the Duo Therm over top of one of the fan openings in the roof?
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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I don't think the vent opening are big enough and you really don't want 2 units up there.
The Camping World store on Hwy 98 over close to Tiger Point has a big service shop. Why not call them and see what they would charge to install it.
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:11 PM   #14
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brooksville , Florida
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I'm in the process of replaceing my Armstong unit, if any one wants parts let me know, but the only thing that might be worth shipping would be the top cover and some of the eletronics from the roof section. The inside pan was rusted out, and the coils on top were really in bad shap. Copressor was dead, and the blower motor as well. So whole new unit for me! If any one has photos of how they braced the 14" cut out that would be great.
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