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Old 02-01-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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A/C replacement photos

Did a total replacement last summer. To start, the "scaffold" consists of two 14' extenable ladders and an 8' long 2x10 with cleats at each end to ensure it won't walk off the ladders. This rig allows the 2x10 to be adjusted to almost any height above the trailer. The boards you can see under the ladders have 1" foam on the trailer side, which has prevented any scratches and absolutely no oil can dents.

The AC had previously been dinged and removed, leaving the old support plate and a new vent to close the hole temporarily. The old flanges on the support plate can be sawed off with moderate effort, but it is effective and easy to bend them over with a hammer. Bending them provides some additional strength to the plate.

Once the vent was removed, you can see the very simple and weak aluminum channels around the periphery. When you remove the channels, you can see that the wiring runs close and thick on the curb side of the opening. You have to enlarge the opening about 1/2" to comply with the new standard vent/AC opening. A hack saw does a good job, but you need to install short pieces of wood rib (just outside of the cut line) and clamp them in order to get a clean cut.

Putting in the 2x4 wooden ribs is amazing! Suddenly the roof is extremely strong--I felt like I could do a pullup on the edge, should I be so inclined. You have to make a decision on whether or not you want to pull the old drain through the rib and make it available as a drain for the plate. You'll also have the old 4-wire themostat connection--I coiled up the wires and stored them behind the ribs. The only connection you have to make is the 110 volt.

Photo 9 you can see the interior plate with the air divertors and the thermostat. The cover fit on perfectly and the roof in my Caravel is essentially flat at this point, so no trimming was required.

The outside view of the installation, totally normal except that the side flanges of the old installation only had to be cut down slightly, so they are still visible, but I can stand it. Taking the old support plate off would have been a real nightmare and probably would have caused major skin damage.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:05 PM   #2
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I have to add that I thought I could get the A/C unit up on the roof by myself. Don't try it. I recognized my stupidity early and called a very strong friend, but it was still a struggle to safely control it.

The real problem is that the horizontal 2x10 can't be directly over the vent hole, so you have a real cantilever problem in keeping the unit off the roof until you have it in a position where it won't damage nearby skin. Once you get the unit up on the 2x10, each of you will be up on a ladder so you can handle it from both sides. This was the only painful part of the whole operation.

Thinking back, this was a two-day job.
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:58 PM   #3
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Here's how I did it........don't try this at home kids!
I pulled the new Coleman Mach something up a ladder and layed it in the hole.
To climb a ladder you need one hand free and that leaves only one hand to lift the A/C with!!!!
I did this by myself and was sore for several days.
The next time I do it........I will rent a helocopter or hire some alien craft to lift it!
Mike
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I really like the idea of using a ladder on each side of the unit to make a scaffold. That appears to be a good way to do anything on top of the a/s.
Wayne
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:23 AM   #5
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Air conditioner jack

I applaud your feats of strength and perserverence. There IS a simpler method. I rent an air conditioner jack from a local equipment rental place. It is like a big manual fork lift that will completely roll under the trail. It extends 18' high and is the best device to remove/replace air units with. I use one about every other week and would be lost without it. If I keep replacing air units at this pace....I might just have to but one!
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:02 PM   #6
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Interestingly enough, I observed the replacement of my A/C unit at the factory in Jackson Center and the Techs didn't use any sort of scaffolding over the roof. Apparently there's a trick to only stepping in the right place!
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:37 PM   #7
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No smoke, no mirrors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker
... Apparently there's a trick to only stepping in the right place!
Not according to Inland Andy. Feeling comfortable with his advice of [paraphrased] "Walk anywhere except the endcaps preferably with soft soled shoes", I have been all over the top of my American Classic.

The only trick in AC replacement is getting the new unit up there.

Andy rocks.

Tom
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:53 PM   #8
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To my neighbors' amazement, I simply left the replacement Courier A/C in the box and PUSHED it up the ladder to get it on top of the Argosy. It almost killed me.

Airconditioners never need replacing when it's 70 degrees out there. It was 100+ on top of the trailer. This turned into a crash course in "getting it running NOW - worry about finishing installing it later."

I also made a 2x2 wooden frame for it to rest on. Unfortunately, I didn't hook up a new drain - I bought into the idea that most of the runoff would be slung onto the coils. Bad idea. Runoff gets slung THROUGH the coils, and then it runs off the side of the trailer. I need to correct that one of these days.

Lamar
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:27 PM   #9
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Piece of cake.

Maybe it was the spinach I had that morning, but the Carrier AirV was really manageable. 2 people and it was done in no time.

Here is my installation... AC INSTALL
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:05 AM   #10
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I need some basic instruction in removing an Armstrong on my 69 Overlander. Any info would be appreciated
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:11 AM   #11
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1. take down the inside baffle

2. make sure AC power is disconnected from trailer

3. open the airconditioner power box and disconnect AC leads

4. disconnect the thermstat leads, 3 or 4 smaller wires

5. undo the holdown bolts--the airconditioner is now free (if memory serves)

6. Now you have to get on top--don't press down on skin or you'll oil can it and put in a crease

7. drill out the rivets around the equator of the cover and take the top off

8. undo the bottom shroud piece from the metal flange that runs around the perimeter and is attached to the shell--remove

9. now you have to pick up the airconditioner. it's probably too heavy for one person unless you dissassemble it in place, eg, cut the copper and take off the compressor separately.

10. remove the remainder.

after you tackle it, please note any steps I missed and document them here. Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:42 PM   #12
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mea culpa

I have since learned that there is little wrong with the Armstrong but that my outbuilding electrical service leaves much to be desired. I did replace the 120V >24 V transformer, might need a relay but the unit works if it's fed good juice. Electician on the way to correct that, thanks, all, I'll save the thread for when I really need it
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Old 08-19-2007, 02:26 PM   #13
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Rivet Indianapolis, IN -- A/C install and Castleton sightings

Thank you for your post back in February of '06. I am having a Dometic Arctic Breeze installed in my 24' 1968 Trade Wind, built in Jackson Center, OH. There has never been an air conditioner installed on my Trade Wind, to my knowledge, although the opening they are using is a 14" vent opening. There is a vent in the front, this opening in the center, and a vent in the back. The guys at the place I took it to said they cannot find 110 wiring in the ceiling, nor a drip tube ready for installation. Andy at Inland RV said he could not help with wiring schematics for my model of trailer, either.

I called the factory while I still lived in Dayton, OH, and they did not want the job. No reason, except they were not making those kinds of appointments. Maybe if I were the original owner... who knows?

So, now I am living in Indianapolis, and I have been searching everywhere, looking for a repair center to do not only the A/C, but to check out and overhaul/repair/replace the gas services. After I took the Trade Wind to a repair center (Indianapolis RV Tech), I heard about Edmundson, down in Edinbugh. If I ever get the Trade Wind back (she's been gone all summer, ironically: having the A/C installed), I'll have a talk with the man in Edinburgh.

I found your post and pictures today. I'll take them over the IRVT tomorrow, and if they have not done what you did, I'll throw a tarp over it and take it somewhere else.

I'll take some pictures the next time I go to IRVT to visit my Trade Wind. :-)

Is there any good news for me about service near Indianapolis? I rode my scooter up to a party in Castleton and saw a couple of Airstreams in a storage facilty. Are these owners on the forum?

Thanks,
Anne
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyAnne
Thank you for your post back in February of '06. I am having a Dometic Arctic Breeze installed in my 24' 1968 Trade Wind, built in Jackson Center, OH. There has never been an air conditioner installed on my Trade Wind, to my knowledge, although the opening they are using is a 14" vent opening. There is a vent in the front, this opening in the center, and a vent in the back. The guys at the place I took it to said they cannot find 110 wiring in the ceiling, nor a drip tube ready for installation. Andy at Inland RV said he could not help with wiring schematics for my model of trailer, either.

I called the factory while I still lived in Dayton, OH, and they did not want the job. No reason, except they were not making those kinds of appointments. Maybe if I were the original owner... who knows?

So, now I am living in Indianapolis, and I have been searching everywhere, looking for a repair center to do not only the A/C, but to check out and overhaul/repair/replace the gas services. After I took the Trade Wind to a repair center (Indianapolis RV Tech), I heard about Edmundson, down in Edinbugh. If I ever get the Trade Wind back (she's been gone all summer, ironically: having the A/C installed), I'll have a talk with the man in Edinburgh.

I found your post and pictures today. I'll take them over the IRVT tomorrow, and if they have not done what you did, I'll throw a tarp over it and take it somewhere else.

I'll take some pictures the next time I go to IRVT to visit my Trade Wind. :-)

Is there any good news for me about service near Indianapolis? I rode my scooter up to a party in Castleton and saw a couple of Airstreams in a storage facilty. Are these owners on the forum?

Thanks,
Anne
Anne.

Do not let then install the AC in a vent opening. That is not where they are mounted.

I will check tomorrow and try to find the location of the wires for you.

Andy
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