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Old 05-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
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2004 19' Bambi
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AC collecting water

Our 25' 79 Ambassador was dropped off for service at the closest airstream dealership. (2 hours away) We have been communicating via phone. We have had lots of rain during the last 10 days....the manager called to say our unit was finally in the shop....ahead of our scheduled service date.
He stated that water had collected in the ac unit during these rains... there were no leaks what-so-ever....until they moved our unit into the shop..lots of water everywhere coming from the AC unit... Yikes!
He is saying that the gasket around the unit most likely has deteriorated...causing water collection and leaks.
He has recommended removal of original ac....replace gasket...with no guarantee that something will not be cracked/ crimped??? upon replacement of the old one. ( Which is in working order.)
We love this Airstream and plan to keep it for a long time....We are O.K. with replacing the old AC with the new. Obviously we would rather not do something that isn't necessary. We're sceptical, due to several comments from these guys about other issues ..leaving us to wonder how competent they are.
We plan to make the trip for a visit on this issue this weekend. Anything we should ask while we're there?
I've read all the threads about an AC to choose.
Lastly....
We noticed a collection of water in the pan under the fresh water tank....I remember reading that this could come from the AC causing a body leak....so...maybe the Bubbas are on the up and up.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:20 PM   #2
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If the a/c unit is the original, there really is no gasket. The unit is riveted in place on the roof, with the seam sealed with Vulkem. It is very possible the drain tube is clogged, causing the rainwater to collect, and run into the coach by overflowing.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #3
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Having just replaced the AC unit on my 75 Trade Wind, I would not remove the old unit unless I had a replacement ready to go back on (which I did).

The old unit did not want to come off the roof without a fight. The chances of removing my old unit and returning it were pretty slim. There were over a dozen rivets holding the shroud in place and several dozen screws holding the drip pan to the trailer as well. All of these screws were covered with massive amounts of vulkem which had to be heated before it would budge. Maybe your unit is not the same as mine, but if it is, it's a major job. My unit was no longer functional, leaked and had a broken shroud. It was an easy decision to replace it.

Your problem could be as simple as a clogged drain line from the drip pan. You can get to that be removing the inside cover and check it from there. The drain line should exit the trailer just in front of the street side wheels.

The drain line is shown here after the interior cover was removed as well as other stuff. The other picture is where I spent most of my day...
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Your problem could be as simple as a clogged drain line from the drip pan. You can get to that be removing the inside cover and check it from there. The drain line should exit the trailer just in front of the street side wheels.
A quick and dirty way to check for a clogged drain hose is to shoot some compressed air up the hose, then stand back. If a bunch of crap comes spewing out, along with a lot of water, it was clogged.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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good info

Thanks for the info....we'll go check out the situation yet again....it concerns me that they mentioned a gasket when there is none???? What's up with that?
Oh well....can't wait to sit back and relax next to the campfire soon.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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lots of water everywhere coming from the AC unit... Yikes!

I can see lots of water coming from the AC. The condensate pan can only collect water while the AC is running and will drain off to the ground. The pan that the unit is constructed on has drainage to the roof. Neither has a path to the inside of the trailer.

If it was a leak during heavy rain it would have shown up before they moved the trailer. I would look for a different source for the water before removing the AC.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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frustrated

Thanks, just got off the phone with this _____________. We asked that they just blow out the drain tube....leave the AC....and we'll find someone else to take a look once we bring her home...even if we have to travel many more hours and miles to find competent people. He STILL insists that there IS a gasket around the AC... not just rivets and vulkem seal ( AGAIN this is the original AC)?????AND he states that there is a danger of causing damage if they shoot compressed air in the tube for a cleanout???? AND that they can't guarantee that (I'm almost embarrassed to print this) that the tube will break apart causing lots of damage and all kinds of issues in the walls
Any thoughts? Besides moving to Jackson Center Ohio???
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutterbug View Post
Thanks, just got off the phone with this _____________. We asked that they just blow out the drain tube....leave the AC....and we'll find someone else to take a look once we bring her home...even if we have to travel many more hours and miles to find competent people. He STILL insists that there IS a gasket around the AC... not just rivets and vulkem seal ( AGAIN this is the original AC)?????AND he states that there is a danger of causing damage if they shoot compressed air in the tube for a cleanout???? AND that they can't guarantee that (I'm almost embarrassed to print this) that the tube will break apart causing lots of damage and all kinds of issues in the walls
Any thoughts? Besides moving to Jackson Center Ohio???
Pickup the trailer and say "see ya."

That mechanic is blowing smoke all over the place.

Thank him for his advise, and move on.

It does not take much air pressure to blow out the drain line. And if it did blow off the AC. it would be in the ceiling where you could easily reattach it, from inside the trailer.

If you can simply take the exhaust from the vacuum cleaner you have at home, that's usually enough to blow out the line. Hook it up to the tubing that's near the rear wheel on the road side.

Andy
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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This just in..... from "our friends" down at "ye olde aistream shoppe"....this is a Coleman AC....so not the original....wrong info for 2 weeks now....
I'm headed down to pick up the unit....this weekend. These guys are truly scaring me.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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I got a thought...

Apropos of human nature in general and not Airstreams or their repair in particular, it is human nature for a person who considers himself an authority to immediately posit the direst of consequences if things are done any other way than the one he prefers.

Teenagers are abundantly familiar with this phenomenon, particulary in matters automotive and in relation to the male parental unit.

Al ittle closer to the material rather than social issue at hand, I own a 1979 31 footer with a similar A/C installation. When I got it after many years sitting, the drain tube was indeed plugged up, with mud, insect nests and Lord knows what other stinkiing debris. There was no internal leaking from it, but condensate did overflow the lip and run down the side of the trailer in the vicinity of the refrigerator vent.

The tube was cleared by running about eight feet of 10 gauge fence wire up the tube, eventually disloging all the aforesaid gunk. If I'd had an compessed air blowgun at hand, that's what I would have used. It's not like you would be pipe threading the drain tube straight into 350 psi or something. It's easy enough to control th pressur by just backing away the nozzle from the tube until results are achieved.

Or, for the timid, use a wire as a tube-clearing snake.

Except, of course for the dire. dire consequences of doing that. Okay, Dad. Time for your nap.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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Thanks

Andy ...thanks....that's just what we're going to do.
I am really trying to be polite here....I would like to warn others about this place though.
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutterbug View Post
This just in..... from "our friends" down at "ye olde aistream shoppe"....this is a Coleman AC....so not the original....wrong info for 2 weeks now....
I'm headed down to pick up the unit....this weekend. These guys are truly scaring me.
The Coleman AC's had a drain pan, that the drain hose is connected to.

If that drain pan was not there, then water would always be running down the sides of the trailer when running the AC.

Andy
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:05 PM   #13
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Andy is right, I take a little 80 psi compressor every year and blow the lines from the bottom. Our replacement Dometic ACs have the pan, also.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #14
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This has been a nightmare

Latest update....
So....__________called to apologize...the tube in fact IS clogged "he says" and can't get it unclogged.
Yesterday, I gave EXPLICIT directions to complete the planned items we took it there for initially. (pack bearings.....replace electrical cord....replace vent ordered from Inland RV)AND to leave everything else ALONE!
NOW....he says there is a dent on the roof!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had no dent.
Said he would e-mail a pic for me. No e-mail.
WHAT! In the name of BYAM should I do now??????
Has ANYONE EVER experienced this before? I am truly livid.
Saturday we pick the unit up.
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