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Old 07-07-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
Streamer Jabe
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1978 31' Excella 500
Edmond , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 28
A/C Unit - Having problems

Hello Fellow Streamers: I am new to the site and new to my airstream addiction. I just bought a 78 Excella. I live in Oklahoma and travel for work and pull it with me all the time, so I'm sure I am in for some upkeep and upgrades. So, here goes. It's 100 degrees outside and my Penguin 13,500 BTU unit is not getting it done. In my opinion, it hums and vibrates more than it should. I don't know if it is original equipment, or if it has been replaced recently. I know that the inside sides of my trailer were warm to the touch and it couldn't keep up at all. I need suggestions on what to check, and how safe it is to get up on top and not risk causing a leak or other issue while I am up there. I need better cooling ASAP. Lastly, most of my vents on top are either cracked or have issues and I want to replace them and need to know where to look for good replacement parts for my new (old) airstream. Also, my lighting is quite dim at night and with work, I need to have better lighting inside. Suggestions?

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Old 07-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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1984 27' Sovereign
Oklahoma City , Oklahoma
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 64

If you want to have it looked at, see Griffiths RV service at SW 15 and Council Rd, south of I-40. He is an authorized Airstream repair shop and a great asset for OKC. He can also direct you to parts if you want to do it yourself.

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Old 07-07-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1953 32' Liner
1955 22' Safari
Valley View , Texas
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This week is so hot in our area....I'd just get the AC serviced professionally. I second the reference for Griffiths. He may be able to do the AC as well as any other things to get you up and going. On 12v lighting...go to EBAY and get higher powered LED light bulbs....keep the same fixtures, (no heat build up and lot more output) 110 lights just plug in at the outlets....get a few anywhere and put them where you need them. Vents, etc. at Inland and Vintage. Seal that baby up before the rain and cold of the OK winter. Have will like it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:35 AM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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13,000 BTU unit in 100 degree s is just not going to cut the mustard. If you have question as to the age and are going to stay in the southwest I would consider a new unit. The newer units have scroll compressors not reciprocal and are a lot quieter, an advatage that almost justifies itself.

Keep in mind the standard of operation for ACs is 20 degrees below ambient so don't expect 75 degrees.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 07-08-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
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1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
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Originally Posted by Jabreyd13 View Post
Lastly, most of my vents on top are either cracked or have issues and I want to replace them and need to know where to look for good replacement parts for my new (old) airstream. Also, my lighting is quite dim at night and with work, I need to have better lighting inside. Suggestions?

Definately get the cracked vent covers replaced asap, and I would check to make sure the new covers seal well. You can also lose cooling air through door and window gaskets, so it would be good to check these out as well.

If you are able to locate the rig under some shade, you should find things much more comfortable as well. Other things that contribute to your overall comfort include window insulation (we use the silver type you often see displayed in car windshields), or tinting, or window awnings. You can also insulate the roof vents form the inside with styrofoam when not in use.

The Armstrong AC on our 76 is orgininal to the unit. It cools effectively but sounds like a freight train when the compressor kicks in. We're use to the noise though, and it drowns out the Univolt buzz, so we're keeping it as long as she'll run.



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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parts, penguin, air conditioning

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