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Old 04-22-2002, 02:46 PM   #1
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A/C replacement?

I am going to replace the A/C in my 1971 31' Excella. I am not sure which A/C to buy. I want one that will keep up without any problems in 100 degree temps, I live in Texas and it gets pretty hot in the summer. I am not sure how many BTU's an A/C needs to cool a 31' trailer well. I am looking at the Coleman Mach 15, Coleman Mach 3 and the Carrier AirV. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would prefer the Coleman Mach 3 or the Carrier AirV because they are cheaper but the Coleman Mach 15 has about 1500 more BTU's.

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Old 04-22-2002, 03:54 PM   #2
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I DO NOT tolerate heat well. And you know what they say…if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

It’s been about eight years since I replaced the A/C in our ’77 31’ Sovereign. At the time I was told that the best I could expect from an RV A/C unit was ten degrees cooler than the outside temp.

I purchased the largest (BTU) unit I could find. The unit was oversized for our coach. I know that in this case bigger is better, because the less the unit struggles the better it cools. I also added awnings all the way around and a dark window rock guard.

All our curtains were very insulated, and we looked for shade to park in whenever possible. I was very happy with the results. The coach air was always dry, no matter the humidity. And it stayed fairly cool.

I am sure you’ll receive more technical responses. But I thought I’d share my experience, too.

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Old 04-22-2002, 07:15 PM   #3
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Let me add a bit more information to Edie's post. With the 15000 BTU Coleman, in the very humid air of Florida, the trailer skin would and windows would sweat! In the mornings we would get up and all the windows would be fogged over from the outside. When we would pull into a campsite from the road, the rig never took more that 15 min. to get comfortable, and 30 min. to be cool.

The 15000 BUT unit will require a GOOD 30 AMP hookup, or else you could damage the compressor. With the 13500 you can get away with more marginal amperage. We also had the heat strip option added to ours and it was wonderful to warm up the rig on cool mornings that did not really need the furnace.

I know there is a minor weight difference between the 13500 and the 15000 BTU but our 77 handled the unit just fine. Also you will want to talk to the installing dealer and get the drain kit that allows the drain pan on your new unit to be connected to the drain line already run in the coach. The water running down the skin of the coach is annoying and depending on the condition of your skin you will be creating a maintenance issue.

Good luck, let us all know what you get and why as many of us with older rigs will someday have to do what you are doing.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 04-23-2002, 03:34 PM   #4
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1500 btu

Just to add to the others I agree whole heartdly with them. I installed a 1500 btu colman about 3 years ago " in a 25 footer no less" and have never been happier.I wish you well with your endevour and hope you find the right a/c unit for your needs .Oh BTW the water dripping is kind of a pain but can easily be fixed with a little work. Tom
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Old 04-24-2002, 08:34 AM   #5
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A/C replacement

Thanks for your replies. Sounds like the Coleman Mach 15 is the way to go. I will place a order for one and let you know how it turns out after I install it.

Thanks Again, Jaime
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Old 05-07-2002, 01:55 PM   #6
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I just read in the current issue of Trailer Life that Dometic now has a 15,000 BTU Penquin AC. Could be a good replacment unit that I assume will have the drip pan as with their 13,000 BTU unit.
Don Hardman
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:14 AM   #7
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15000 btu Penguin as replacement unit?

The 15,000 btu Penguin looks good and is low profile and fits the AS drip pan, but unfortunately there is not a model offered to fit the Air Distribution box with the manual knobs on it, only for the duct system found on much newer models. So my choice was to stay at 13.5 or go to the Carrier 15 that is easily modified to fit the drain tube as explained elsewhere here by Andy of Inland RV, or put up with water draining over the outside. Hello Carrier and Welcome. Thank you Andy!


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