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Old 04-27-2019, 10:58 AM   #1
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1973 Argosy 22
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76 Argosy Seeking Air Conditioning

Hey all, I've got about 5 camping trips planned for this summer already (4 dates already booked!) and I want to get a cooling solution in place before my July trip. The campsite we have for July is nice, but it's under the open sun. I have little kids and a tiny dog coming with us, and I could use an AC.

So first question, can I even install a rooftop AC in my argosy? I'm not sure it's structurally built to house an air conditioner on the roof, and the RV centers in my area (Des Moines) pointed me to one dealership in the area with a guy who's good with airstreams about a half hour away.

If I can't do a rooftop install, what's my next best option? I've seen some people do modifications to units and build it under the dinette and add ducts to vent air. I could probably manage this with some guidance. I've also seen some people suggesting doing window units.

My rig is a 1973 Argosy 22'. Any recommendations and insight is welcome!
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:27 PM   #2
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I think you will find the Argosy is pre-wired for AC and installation is a matter of cutting a 14" X 14" hole in the roof near a middle rib, then bracing the roof with wood (old Airstream way) or metal to support the AC unit, mounting the AC unit and connecting to the electrical system. Shop the Dometic AC units and get a 13500 or 15000 btu unit. It is best to get someone who is familiar with Airstreams to do the install for you. As an aside, my 1966 Caravel was wired for AC so your '76 Argosy is probably wired as well.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:45 PM   #3
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Go with the roof top AC installation, as mentioned above, the structural support is no different than any other Airstream trailer of that genre, and you are likely to find that you have the wiring and the drain tube already in place.

You want your air conditioner on the roof because cool air is denser than warm air, and therefore it sinks. So you want that cool air as high in the trailer as posssible so that you end up with cool air from floor to ceiling. A floor mounted AC will give you nice, cool ankles, but won't cool the whole trailer.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:42 AM   #4
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To add to the previous posts, the air conditioner should be installed above the axles. So if you have a roof vent located directly above the axles the hole is already cut and you will find the wiring and a drain hose in between the skins. Like mentioned above make a wooden frame to put between the skins.
If there is no vent above the axles, you might have an electrical box with a blank plate in the ceiling above the axles. Then you will have to cut a hole.
My 1974 28’ Argosy had a vent. My 1978 20’ Argosy had an electrical box.
I added air to both.
The idea is to keep the weight of the air conditioner above the axles so you don’t add or subtract much from the tongue weight.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:14 AM   #5
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Good advice on roof mounting AC.

As an alternative used in many other (non AS) trailers your size consider the Dometic CoolCat AC/heat pump. It can be vented or direct.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:40 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Rooftop Air Condition for 22-foot Argosy

Greetings Brettmancan!


Your Argosy should have the factory prep package for air conditioning. You can contact the Airstream factory and they can give you the measurements to follow from the main bow to place the 14" x 14" opening for the air conditioner -- at this point, you will find the factory provided 120-volt Air Conditioner wiring as well as the drain tube that routes the condesate to the wheelwell area of your coach -- the Airstream factory can also tell you which air conditioners have base plates/adapters that allow them to utilize the condesate collection tube.

For years, I would have recommended Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but they sold out to Camping World in 2013. It is my understanding that Camping World retained most of the Ace Fogdall staff at the time, but I have no idea whether any of them are still with the company -- but they were an excellent source of Airstream repairs and installed air conditioners in both my Airstream and Argosy prior to being acquired by Camping World.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:40 PM   #7
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Update

Thank you for your help friends

I did manage to get in touch with Ketelsen RV and they have someone there who is fairly knowledgeable around Airstreams and seems to know his way around an Argosy. What amazes me is that they're not trying to nickel and dime me like a certain RV dealership down the road from me.

They told me we could do it one of two ways - either they could do the research and find an AC for me that they would install, or I could find one to install. The latter is less work for them and probably saves me a dollar.

Does anyone know if there's a specific type of rooftop air conditioner I should be seeking out?
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:04 PM   #8
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Look at Vintage Trailer Supply air conditioning page (Systems category). It shows a Dometic Penguin II which is low profile. Dometic Penguin seems to find favor with folks because of the low profile, but it is likely that any of the Dometic AC's will work on an Argosy. I put a Dometic on the Caravel and it does a fine job of cooling. All of the AC units (Dometic or not) are noisy so get used to it.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:16 PM   #9
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You might look at this at Adventure RV. The Brisk Air II is taller than the penguin on the roof of the trailer, but this is a good price including the interior panel.
https://www.adventurerv.net/dometic-...pmlc4hig9vi9b3
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:20 PM   #10
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With a 22’, you could get by with a Coleman Mach 8 Cub. Search the forum and you find others that have had good experience with it. It was a among a few rooftop units that I considered for my 26’ which never had AC.

https://www.airxcel.com/coleman-mach...h-8/mach-8-cub
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