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Old 11-27-2005, 08:44 PM   #1
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A/C, Ventilation, and Heating Choices

I will be starting the renovation process on a '53 Flying Cloud this winter. I have a number of system questions.

1. A/C - My wife and I definitely want good AC based on our travel plans. I've thought about "basement A/C" and have read all the threads on this. But I want good performing A/C and with the newer low profile units I'm more comfortable making the sacrifice to the clean roof line. The two best low profile choices seem to be the Carrier and the Dometic Penguin. The Carrier has the lowest profile at 7.5", but I've heard about drainage problems. The Dometic is 9.5", comes in smaller sizes (11K and 13K more appropriate for my 22 footer), and seems tried and true. Recommendations?

2. Ventilation - I will be installing two roof fans. The fantastic fans with the rain sensor seem to be the most popular and everyone talks about their great customer support. But MaxxAir has a new product called the MaxxFan that has a much lower traveling profile than their previous products and can be used in any weather condition. Recommendations? Does anyone have pictures of this new MaxxFan installed on their Airstream? Were there any install issues with the MaxxFan?

3. Heating - My FC has the original panelray heating stack. I don't know yet if it works. Was this a great heating solution in its time that would still be great today, and worth the effort to restore? Or should I move on to a modern furnace or catalytic heater? The catalytic heater seems to be the least intrusive, but I'm concerned about keeping basement tanks from freezing with this solution. We spend about one week each year in 30 to 40 degree conditions. Comments please.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 11-27-2005, 09:28 PM   #2
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Mike,

Iím considering the air conditioning and ventilation questions just now for a 1976 Argosy 24.

I have nothing to offer but perhaps something to gain by watching this thread.

What are the specific issues with the Carrier drainage?

I, too, note the rave reviews for the Fantastic but I wish they had a model with a less square edged, chucky, dial-obsessed look. I think it looks out of place in the flowing Airstream lines, even in the CCD.

What is stopping me from buying Fantastic is the lovely retro look of the fore and aft original pair in my trailer. The one in the galley has a nicely working motor.

Iím doing a very contemporary remodel of the Argosy and I think the original fans better suit this, strangely enough, than a brand new Fantastic.


Sergei
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:43 AM   #3
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Mike, most roof A/C's will drain over the roof, instead of through a tube in the walls, which yours doesn't have anyway. I replaced my A/C on our Argosy with a DuoTherm 15,000 BTU A/C, with a heat strip. The heat strip kept us warm in weather down to 35 degrees or so with no problem. Your one week in the 30's shouldn't be a problem for it.
About your basement water tanks...As-built, your coach doesn't have any. You should have a fresh water tank above the floor, and (maybe) a black water tank, also above the floor. Grey water is dump-on-ground. Also, it would have to get below 32 degrees for a significant amount of time before it froze your tanks, a brief dip into even the upper 20's shouldn't be a problem (note I said brief).
I am also staying away from the Fantastic, but for more practical reasons. My main vent is a large rectangle, and Fantastic doesn't make anything to fit the hole, and I am not keen on hacking apart the roof to install one.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:14 AM   #4
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Sergei - Pattersontoo and Andy from Inland RV have commented about installation solutions with Carriers. Check out Pattersontoo's thread called "Installed the A/C...". By the way if someone can point me to the technical info on how to attach previous threads into a response like this I would appreciate that - just PM me.

Terry - Trailerworks will be doing a complete renovation for me on this unit so we will be able to put in a drain tub for the roof A/C as well as the additional support, wiring, etc. They will also add a basement grey tank. So I will have at least one tank, if not all three tanks down below. Do you still think with my travel plans that I can get by with just the Catalytic and the Heat strip and not worry about this basement plumbing?

- Mike
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:39 PM   #5
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On my '77 Argosy 20' MH, I installed the Carrier AirV Low Profile unit with heat strip - it's GREAT! On such a small coach as mine, it now looks "in scale" - before it looked like an A/C unit with a motorhome underneath! Of course, I already had a unit up there, so I just attached the existing drain line to the new unit - don't anticipate any trouble there. The heat strip works fine here in CA down into the 50's - haven't tested it any lower than that yet. . .

I too chose NOT to replace the two roof vent units with FantasticVent or others. As stated, I kinda like the "treatment" of the existing roof vents the way they are.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air19
2. Ventilation - I will be installing two roof fans. The fantastic fans with the rain sensor seem to be the most popular and everyone talks about their great customer support. But MaxxAir has a new product called the MaxxFan that has a much lower traveling profile than their previous products and can be used in any weather condition. Recommendations? Does anyone have pictures of this new MaxxFan installed on their Airstream? Were there any install issues with the MaxxFan?
We have installed two Maxx Airs in our 1983 Excella, 31 foot. We began with one, liked it so much, we changed the bedroom one too! We love them! I like the way they look from the outside, and I like I don't have to worry about rain and the like, or a senser going bad. And trust me, I HAVE heard of that happening! With my luck it would happen just after I left for the day and it started to rain. We have left them open even in a downpour with no water inside. Our RV tech, an old Airstream hand, installed them the same as a Fantastic Fan. He was ho-hum about the project, being a dealer for FF, and never having seen one of the MaxxAirs. Once in, it was a totally different story! He kept commenting about how much air they moved. The other thing he said that I hadn't even thought about, that he actually liked better than the FF (!) was that the fan would not need to be come out if it ever needed work.... something about how it could be accessed from above rather than having to be removed. Something about eventually doing the bearings? Anyhow, he was impressed, and I was impressed he was impressed! LOL!!
Let me look around and I'll see if I can find the pictures Ryan took as he installed... if not, maybe I can brave the cold and take some for you!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:31 AM   #7
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Thanks Elizabeth.

I knew there would be someone out there with the MaxxAir fans installed.

I would love to see pictures at some point with them in the down/traveling position. But being from Vermont, I can understand what it could be like in Iowa right now.

- Mike
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