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Old 06-20-2018, 11:01 AM   #85
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Looks like I have done it. Was able to use this site and upload them on that.

I have added some images that show insulation I have added for the ceiling fans and skylight. I can assure you that adding a few layers of this stuff, has enabled me to get the inside like a meat locker. Those three boxes really let the heat inside. Even the shower and bathroom vents let heat in, so I have done them as well.

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Old 06-21-2018, 12:26 PM   #86
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I know this thread took a very technical turn addressing some specific issues, but I just wanted to thank the earlier posters for the basic troubleshooting info on this thread for the Dometic drain system on modern day Airstreams. We are on day 3 of a 4 day trip to Ft Desoto park in St Pete Fl when I noticed condensate draining off the roof near the door of our Pete, a 2014 27fb. Jumped on AF, read this thread, took off the internal shroud, cleaned the goo out of the drain line T, and bingo, major condensate drain line flow again.

Thatís why I love AirForums. Hunt a little, and you can find SO many solutions to our collective Airstream ongoing maintenance requirements.

Thanks all!
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:36 PM   #87
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Jumped on AF, read this thread, took off the internal shroud, cleaned the goo out of the drain line T, and bingo, major condensate drain line flow again.
I love a happy ending!
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:41 AM   #88
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There should be a plastic cup on each side the air conditioner. The cups collect the condensate and are drained by the tube. If the cups are in contact with the roof, they can crack and allow the condensate to run out onto the roof. Replacing the cups requires removing the air conditioner. This is a job for Airstream service. Make sure they have the proper gasket for a re-install. IT IS A SPECIAL GASKET. If your local service dealer try’s to jury rig the install, you will have nothing but problems. I know, I had to take my Airstream back to Jackson Center after my local Airstream dealer tried to juryrig the re-install.
It is not a special gasket. It is a standard 14" x 14" gasket that has to be modified by the installer. The gasket comes as part of the drain cup kit. This is clearly explained in Dometic's instructions.

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Posters are talking about different A/C's and different trailer models. Please specify what you are advising about because installations are different.

Gene
I've installed 3 different Dometic rooftop units. The drain cups are installed the same way on all three, except on the Brisk Air unit the factory provided screw holes were off a bit where the others fit the cups perfectly.

Even though those that I installed used air distribution boxes, not interior ducted, I cannot see how this difference would change any part of the drain cup install.

I did notice that some mention of the drain pan (the old way). That is a different method of capturing the condensate. I assume some people are not aware of the two different methods. Based on my limited experience, I think any Dometic unit will fit the Airstream drain pan and/or accept the Dometic drain cups.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:00 PM   #89
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Adventure inspired by Airstream!... and you folks

It's me again. About AC issues... again.

I bit the bullet and installed new drain cups and gaskets (note the trailing "s" on that second word).

First off, thanks to all of you who posted ideas earlier in this thread. Without your inspiration I would never have attempted this. Now that the work is done I wish I had done it three years ago.

This may take a while. I'm hoping to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for other unfortunate campers to follow. I also look forward to these creative writing exercises... it's cathartic for me.

After reading your stories I told my wife over coffee one morning that I think I need to pull the AC off the roof to fix the constant drip, drip, drip. She said "Like hell! You're not dealing with ladders and electric issues on the trailer. You'll fall and break your neck... or worse. Don't do it!". So, after she left for her volunteer job at Hospice I headed to the trailer with my tools, ladder and the gasket kit I had already purchased. I thought the odds were low that I would need her services that day, but it was comforting to know she was standing by to make the handoff just in case Wally Byam called me home.

Like most projects AS-related or otherwise, I took this one on solo. As many of you observed above, having helpers is advisable. I just don't have any. A large supply of moving blankets is essential for any of you who want to try this solo.

In addition to the condensate running across the roof I have had an issue with condensate dripping inside the trailer on occasion since the trailer was new, or nearly new. This is a symptom covered in other threads, but I didn't connect the two until I dismantled the unit today. More on that later.

Before working on the unit I turned the AC 120v breaker off and pulled the fuse for the circuit that the thermostat is on.

I first removed the grille and the three long bolts that secure the roof unit to the ceiling plate. I removed and set aside the plate.

I started undoing the wiring at splices, joints and connections where trailer wire meets Dometic wire. LABEL THESE CONNECTIONS CAREFULLY since some are very similar (e.g.: the Dometic wire harness includes two, blue 16 or 18 ga wires. One joins to an identical wire on the trailer side. The other joins a blue wire with a white stripe. Only careful tagging before removal will get these joined up correctly later.)

Unpleasant Surprise #1: When I opened the single gang box in which Airstream joined the trailer's 120 v system to the Penguin II it was wet inside. This wasn't condensation on the surfaces in the box. It was clearly AC condensate that has been blown into the box through any of the many holes in that type of box. There was simply too much water in the box to have condensed directly on the components inside a covered box. This was a clue that would fit together with others later.

Unpleasant Surprise # 2: Although I had removed the grille a half dozen times over the years to clean the drain lines, I had never removed the ceiling plate. Doing so allowed me to see for the first time the point at which the drain line exits the 14x14" opening through the roof and heads into the ceiling on its way to the sidewall and eventually the streetside wheel well where it dumps the condensate. The tube was kinked in the hole where it went through the grommet in the aluminum frame. It wasn't pinched off completely, just seriously constricted. The cause was clear: There wasn't enough tubing extending into the trailer to reach the tee fitting in the line between the two drain cups. The drain tube was pulled to fit anyway. The kink appeared where the now taut drain tube turned the bend and passed through the grommet.

Unpleasant Surprise #3: When I removed the ceiling plate, the very short piece of duct that connects the bottom of the blower housing in the rooftop unit with the grille fell out. That prompted me to explore how to replace it when the time came later. After some inspection it was clear that the upper plate of the assembly had been secured to the bottom of the blower housing with mounting tape. That tape was still affixed to the plate on the upper end of the duct, but the side that was intended to stick to the blower was dirty and stickless. My conclusion was that the duct had not been doing its job for a long time... maybe never.

I moved to the roof. I piled three folded moving blankets between the rooftop unit and the awning. I rolled the roof unit 90 degrees onto its side on the pile of blankets. I confirmed what you followers of this thread already knew. I had only one gasket (not the two Dometic specifies). The drain cups had been sitting directly on the roof and the drain tubes had been pinched between the roof and the bottom of the roof unit as the three bolts were tightened. Neither drain cup appeared cracked or broken.

Reassembly:

I had purchased the Dometic drain kit (which comes with one 14x14" gasket) and a second gasket. That lone gasket turned out to be a Camco product and seemed to be a significantly different foam. The existing gasket on my unit was in good shape. I decided to leave the existing gasket in place and use the new Dometic gasket as the second gasket. I cut the existing gasket with a utility knife in both places where the tubing passed between the drain cups. I removed the old cups and secured the replacements and their tubing in place. I used parbond sealant (ask me in two years if that was a good choice!) to seal the cuts in the gasket. I removed the protective strips and affixed the new gasket on top of the old. I added the two straight gasket sections to the aft end of the roof unit. I was done topside. I rolled the unit back in place but did not attempt final positioning from the roof. (Note: I considered leaving all wiring connections in place and cutting the new gasket to fit around them then sealing the joint with parbond. That would probably work but I was concerned that a break in the gasket could create a point for water infiltration. If you choose that approach I would recommend the cut on the aft side of the gasket. The front takes the wind load and wind driven rain while underway and the sides already have cuts through the upper gasket for the tubing from the drain cups. Using the cut-gasket method would probably save 60-90 minutes given the disconnection and reconnection of wiring that it would avoid.)

Back inside I positioned the unit by lifting it, moving and lowering. It's light enough and balanced well enough to do this for fine adjustment. I removed the old 120v single gang box. I replaced it with a single gang suitable for wet locations. That included a gasketed entry point for each cable and a gasketed cover. I took extra care joining the hot and neutral legs. The trailer wire is 14 ga solid copper. The Dometic wiring is 12 ga stranded. There are techniques to joining these mismatched wires properly. It looked like the factory joints which I cut out were not sound. The wire nuts appeared to have gripped the solid conductor and pushed the stranded down toward the insulated section. I think I got better connections by starting the wire nuts on the stranded then introducing the solid conductor and finishing the tightening on both together.

Given the wiring issues and presence of water I twisted and soldered all 12 v connections (which are in the open and not boxed) then capped them (small wire nuts for the two large ones, crimp caps for the two small pairs) and taped them all with rubber electrician's tape to improve water resistance.

I secured the upper duct plate to the blower housing with 3M extra hold mounting tape.

To fix the drain kink I wanted a 1/2" x 1/2" nylon barbed elbow. Home Depot didn't have one, so I ordered one from Amazon. I'll have it just in case and would install it where the tubing bends through the grommet (don't cut it too short and lose the end into the wall cavity!). Instead, I got a 1/2" x 1/2" barbed brass straight connector and used it to add about 2" of tubing between the tee and the too-short drain line.

With everything reconnected I replaced the ceiling plate, tightened to spec using an inch-pounds torque wrench and replaced the lower retaining plate for the duct. The grille went back on and voila! AC!

Elapsed time about 3 hours not counting a trip to Home Depot which included buying lunch for my wife and telling her she was totally right... I should have listened to her and never, never attempted a job like this myself. Next time I'll be smarter and take her advice.

I concluded that the biggest issues I had were not the gasket or the cups. Those things were not right, but for me they were not catastrophic either. The bigger issues were the kink which didn't block the flow of condensate but probably slowed it enough to back water into the cups during heavy AC use in high humidity (that describes life here in Florida for about 8 months of the year). That slow flow would account for why I would sometimes have drainage from both the wheelwell and across the roof. The other issue was the gap where the duct wasn't sealed to the blower housing. That caused a large part of the blower output to pass directly back toward and through the (very wet) fins of the evaporator coil. That was confirmed when I pulled the cover off the roof unit, removed the foam insulation and the upper housing to inspect and clean the evaporator section. The drains from the pan into both cups were pristine and the geometry and proximity of the blower exit and evaporator made it clear that any air that didn't make it out the duct below the blower was going to spray condensate all over the inside of the evaporator housing. That probably accounts for the dripping inside the trailer and the water penetration into the 120v box.

So, that's my story. If you actually read all of that I think you might do better with a prescription for Ambien, or it's time to pull your AC apart. Go ahead, you can do it! Just make sure your spouse is understanding of the effects of your bad case of "it-ain't-right-and-I'm-gonna-fix-it-itis". Mine is.

I took pics of many of these steps including the top unit with all of its insulation and covers removed. If you got this far and need more detail just add a post here or PM me and I'm happy to share if it helps someone else.

Happy 'streamin!
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:40 PM   #90
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GammaDog,
Great post!
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:58 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
It's me again. About AC issues... again.

I bit the bullet and installed new drain cups and gaskets (note the trailing "s" on that second word).

< anip >

I took pics of many of these steps including the top unit with all of its insulation and covers removed. If you got this far and need more detail just add a post here or PM me and I'm happy to share if it helps someone else.

Happy 'streamin!
Wow, 'Dog... what an excellent write-up! Please add your photos, you are really adding to the brain trust here!

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GammaDog,
Great post!
Yes, indeed!
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:11 PM   #92
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< snip >
Unpleasant Surprise #1: When I opened the single gang box in which Airstream joined the trailer's 120 v system to the Penguin II it was wet inside. This wasn't condensation on the surfaces in the box. It was clearly AC condensate that has been blown into the box through any of the many holes in that type of box. There was simply too much water in the box to have condensed directly on the components inside a covered box. This was a clue that would fit together with others later.
< snip >
GammaDog, this is really troubling (maybe it shouldn't be, but I'm a worrier). I'm still thinking about your theory that the cause was condensate water being blown around. After having my A/C installed correctly (as you did yours), I found that after a couple of hours operation, the condensate ran freely from the drain in the wheel opening, BUT there was also a little bit of water on the roof right up against the gasket that's toward the back of the A/C. It was clear that this water did not come from the drip cups.

So, back up on the roof I went. I turned the A/C off and took off the shroud expecting to find sweating suction-side copper tubing. Nope, that stuff, while predictably "cool," was Sahara dry.

But, I did see that parts of the fan housing were cold and sweating. Apparently, this "sweating" was working its way down onto the roof. Now, I'm talking about only a very small amount of water, but after fiddling with this for a while, I'm super-sensitive about ANY roof water.

I should also say that during all this fracas, I had left off the plastic inside grille, and I could see that no water was working its way into the inside of the trailer.

Maybe I need to get a hobby, and quit worrying about such stuff.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:26 PM   #93
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I have condensation dripping inside of my airstream when Ac is on. I called a local Airstream service department and he suggested checking the ďflapĒ that separates the hot and cold area of the ac to see if itís loose. He said it looks like aluminum foil. Anyone ever hear of this and is it something we could fix easily. He said to remove the cover to check it?
Patty413... I see that you haven't been back to the Forum since just a [very] few minutes after you posted about your condensate drip. I'm wondering what, if anything, you discovered and if you solved the problem. Please let us know.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:28 PM   #94
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I have condensation dripping inside of my airstream when Ac is on. I called a local Airstream service department and he suggested checking the ďflapĒ that separates the hot and cold area of the ac to see if itís loose. He said it looks like aluminum foil. Anyone ever hear of this and is it something we could fix easily. He said to remove the cover to check it?
Patty413... I see that you haven't been back to the Forum since just a [very] few minutes after you posted about your condensate drip (25 days ago). I'm wondering what, if anything, you discovered and if you solved the problem. Please let us know.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:30 PM   #95
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Rob,
On my new unit after running it for a while I notice a small amount of condensation on the roof around the gasket. After examining the moisture I determined it to be the metal sweating due to the extreme temperature difference of the roof metal around the gasket.

Also when I removed my old AC the handy box that has the 120 volt wires showed signs of being wet. When I reinstalled I used silicon greased wire nuts to protect against water intrusion.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:37 PM   #96
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Ronnie, my little bit of water on the roof was definitely coming from the A/C unit. I could see that there was a little 'droplet' hanging from the bottom of the A/C.

My 120-volt connections were dry as was the handy box. Is your electrical box just pushed up into the return air cavity? Mine was; now it rests on the ceiling plate just behind where the condensate drain tubing runs.

Yikes, what am I doing up so late? Nighty nite all
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:39 PM   #97
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Yep, handy box just hanging out in the return air hole.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:46 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
<<snip>>
So, that's my story. If you actually read all of that I think you might do better with a prescription for Ambien, or it's time to pull your AC apart. Go ahead, you can do it! Just make sure your spouse is understanding of the effects of your bad case of "it-ain't-right-and-I'm-gonna-fix-it-itis". Mine is.
<<snip>>
I read the whole thing! Excellent write up!!
It's almost 1am as I write this. You might be right about the Ambien
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