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Old 06-09-2008, 01:07 PM   #1
Me loves da little twinky
 
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1971 18' Caravel
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Lightbulb A/C in other locations than roof mount? Options, brands, tips...

Ok, i want to get rid of my roof mounted A/C, i don't like the look (inside or out) don't like the height it gives the trailer and in general i think it can be better tucked away were it is protected and easy to work with.

I know that some more vintage trails than me do this as they are putting one in a trailer that never had one.

So I would like to chat about options, brands, locations, issues, solutions and anything else that folks need to do this.
Hopefully this be a resource for the next aluminut that wants to do this.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
Me loves da little twinky
 
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Brands of A/C that mount elsewhere in your Airstream

If you know of a brand that is made to mount in a cabinet or elsewhere in a tailer, please post and include a link, i will compile them here in this link for folks
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:09 PM   #3
Me loves da little twinky
 
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1971 18' Caravel
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Ingenious Locations To Mount a A/C

where did you mount yours?
What did not work and why?

Let us know and I will compile them here for others to learn from
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:18 PM   #4
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The A/C in our Base Camp is mounted at the front of the trailer at floor level. It's a regular 5000 BTU window unit. The performance is less than stellar due to the mounting location (cold air doesn't rise). I wonder what A/S was thinking...
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
Me loves da little twinky
 
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ok, my situation, i have a '71 caravel that is already way tall, (high axle configuration, love it)
i also have a original armstrong that has finally given out (compressor blown i have been told)
I am also doing a full remodel and would like to rethink everything. and the more that i can make this tailer look like a perfect one of a kind and not a current trailer, the better in my book, i like to be me.

So the A/C unit, i am removing the stock bathroom and also installing a large rear hatch door, similar to other trailer of my size had, (those that had a rear side bed) but i did not. So my current thinking for location is to build a bench or counter in the very rear center of the trailer under that rear window. That provides me with a cabinet accessible from the outside thru the new door., this was originally going to be for general storage, but now I'm thinking this is the perfect spot to put a cabinet A/C unit so that you could open the door when running it and it would have plenty of air and even still have shade! The cool air could then be pipped up thru the full height cabinets on either side of the trailer so that ht vents could come out nearer to the ceiling and also more mid trailer.

so thoughts anyone?
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Bob, is there any chances for you to pipe the cold air up? i am thinking that this is a crucial part of this project. your experiences seem to confirm this.

Also is the unit inside or outside? is it is a normal window unit and is mostly inside, how is it getting enough circulation?
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
Me loves da little twinky
 
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anyone have any experience with these A/C units?

Dometic Truck Products
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #8
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check out this thread

Although it was a lot of work, this fellow did a great job on his new Air for his Argosy.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ase-18448.html
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckeysor View Post
Although it was a lot of work, this fellow did a great job on his new Air for his Argosy.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ase-18448.html
Thanks for the link, Chris,

I was fruitlessly looking through boatdoc’s posts. Another truly outstanding Argosy restoration. The AC photos start on page 8 of SmoklessJoe’s thread.

I also saw a small ’50s Airstream at the Branson fall rally that had a regular home window unit install at the rear under the bed. They said that they used fans to move the air around. It really wasn’t AC weather, but they said that it worked pretty well.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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a/c on slideout

Rivka-

GSM Vehicles did a great job on a Caravel that was documented on theVap.
See Episode 22 - Complete - The Vintage Airstream Podcast for a picture -- it is the 6th one down.

John
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:53 PM   #11
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I know that Uwe did this on his (original) '63 For Me Thread. That thread is 60+ pages and I don't recall precisely where he discusses the installation (it comes up several times), but the thread is so good it's worth going through to find the various references.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...ler-11687.html


Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2008, 03:24 PM   #12
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I think you could do a split unit like Sergei did. The compressor can be mounted on the exterior and the small interior housing tucked away discretely up at ceiling level. There are other manufacturers as well, so you're not bound to LG.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:16 PM   #13
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Household AC in front window:

Hi Rivka:

Just happened to listen to you last night on the VAP's next-to-last episode, so have your voice in my ears as I read your post.

Being in high and dry Colorado I rarely need AC, so I rigged up a temporary solution for visits to muggier states. My trailer is a 1964 19' Globe Trotter with a custom front dinette. I use the AC only when parked for a few days, so it disassembles for transport and is stored in my locked truck bed when not in use.

I bought a bottom of the line manual knob (thus avoiding phantom loads from an electronic control board) 5,800 BTU household window air conditioner at my favorite big box store. Since I have a spare tire just ahead of my front window, I decided to mount the AC in the front window. I rigged up a small slightly sloping away front ledge (pine board) for the AC to sit on inside the window (after first removing the screen). I filled in the front window all around the AC with painted boards that squeezed in place and are held there by friction, good enough for stationary use. I plug the AC into a nearby wall outlet. The AC is out of the way, above the front "A" frame where I'm not going to walk into it.

It works great in that location. It is high off the floor and directs the cold air lengthwise down the open center aisle of the trailer, cooling the whole trailer. There is a cool breeze when sitting at the dinette, when sleeping on the street side gaucho, or when occupying the non-composting throne at the very rear.

If you will be using your AC often, put it on sliders so it rides inside the front or rear end window when traveling and can be pushed out when stationary, whether or not in use, revealing the dinette, couch or bathroom sink top it rests above when in inside travel mode.

There is a write up on and photos of my installation in the Summer 2006 back issue of Airstream Life magazine. My design can be improved upon, and one friend locally did just that. Good luck with solving your cool problem.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:26 PM   #14
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You can do something other than a rooftop if you want to.

Rivka:

Like you, I did not want to spoil the iconic shape of my Airstream Argosy with a top-heavy rooftop. I also shared other of your concerns, like the noise and quality of air supply.

As others have pointed out, Ive installed a split air system in my trailer.

Click image for larger version

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The inside portion is 5 deep and 22 square. It weighs only 15 pounds.

Click image for larger version

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The compressor sits outside on the tongue. The total weight of the inside and outside parts is the same as a regular RV rooftop.

(So as not to confuse you, the aluminum pieces mounted on and around the black compressor are parts of the diesel heating system. I do not use propane in the trailer.)

You can conduct a normal conversation in front of the compressor. It is so quiet that you sometimes have to look to see if the fan blades are moving.

The inside unit is also very quiet and very sophisticated. You can choose from 4 or 5 types of operation, including one mode that imitates an ocean breeze, all from a hand-held remote.

About window type air conditioners: keep in mind that heat rises and cool air falls. No amount of ducting or fancy footwork is liable to change that basic fact.

The sleeper cab systems you are asking about will probably be more expensive than the residential/commercial type Im using because of sales volume. There are millions of household split units in service now.

The truck type is also a lot bigger in size.


Sergei
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