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Old 12-16-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1978 Argosy 24
MooreHaven , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 75
AC drain question

On our 78 25ft Argosy the air conditioner is a ColemanMach 3 rotary 13,500 btu with heat.The book for the A/C is dated 10-79 so it probably came out of the factory without A/C. Who ever installed it did not connect it to the condensate drain tube,i have determined that the tube is there and runs up close to the A/C but is not connected! There does not appear to be anything to connect it too, the condensate runs out on the roof and down the outside of the body and does not leak into the trailer.Can anyone tell me how they are usually connected? Was there a special install kit? is such a thing still available? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Don

This is only temporary unless it works! Red Green
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Well, I'm no expert on the history of ACs on the roofs of Airstreams, but I can share what I know.

My 1973 had an AC mounted on the roof that was riveted to the roof around the perimeter with about 1000 rivets. I am not sure of the manufacturer, but Armstrong used to make airconditioners that fit this description, so maybe it was an Armstrong. I was under the impression that trailers built in the 70's that had a factory AC would have this type of riveted-on model. So, you might take a look up there on your roof and see if there is a rivet pattern surrounding your AC, or a big patch, and that may indicate that at one time you had a riveted on AC, and it has been replaced by your current model.

Anyway, my original AC was plumbed internally so that the condensate would be captured and funneled into the condensate drain that goes through the wall. The fact that your AC is not plumbed to drain into a condensate tube, but the tube is present suggests to me that your trailer did not come from the factory this way, and the installer was not sorried about the condensate just dripping down the outside.

When Airstream went to a more conventionally mounted AC, they apparently decided upon the Dometic Penguin line, and made a plastic condensate pan that fits the curve of the roof on the underside, and the entire AC fits down into this pan. The pan captures the condensate that would otherwise just drip out like yours does, and funnels it into the 14 x 14 opening in the ceiling, where it can be funneled down the condensate line. As far as I know the only pans that were ever made were explicitly designed to be compatible with the Dometic Penguins (though they may work with other models). These pans are still available from places like, but it seems that they are falling out of favor because they can get cracked or plugged, and cause leaks to the interior.

In recent years, Dometic has offered a "condensate drain kit" that looks like a couple of "cups" that get attached under the AC drain holes, and then these cups funnel the condensate into the interior and down the condensate tube. These may be compatible with other non-dometic models, as they are not very sophisticated. This may be your best bet, but realize that you will have to completely reinstall your AC in order to implement the condensate capture system.

good luck!

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Old 12-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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1978 Argosy 24
MooreHaven , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 75
Well over 100 people have looked at this and not one that knows how the condensate drain is attached to the Coleman a/c.For sure lots of members have had their a/c units off and back on,all the folks that have done shell off repairs had to have taken their a/c off and probably have put it back on had to disconnect and re connect the drain tube.Someone must know how it is connected. On ours the tube is right up there almost touching the unit but there is no nipple to connect to. A little help please.I want to repaint this trailer and dont want the drain water running all over the new paint,i want it going down the tube Airstream provided
This is only temporary unless it works! Red Green
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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1948 16' Wee Wind
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if no you in fact have the coleman and no drip pan is visable , black abs plastic pan .
then your a/c was installed sans pan :-( pan for colemans are no longer available due to jc switching to dometic .
you can purchase an aftermarket kit which has cups and hoses and you will have to double gasket a/c . this is it . the alternative is to replace a/c with duotherm penguin and pan , time its over costs appx 1000.00 sorry but this is all there is.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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As far as I know, Coleman AC was designed to drip down the roof. Sal
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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I installed a new Coleman AC on my 86 three years ago. There was no instruction or provision for draining the condensate down the tube built into the interior walls. So I have condensate running down the side of my trailer. My AC mounting system is the standard 4 bolts that clamp the AC to the interior structural members, so the condensate pan is above the exterior roof skins. I don't know if a guy could rig a condensate drain system down the tube that wouldn't leak.

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Old 12-24-2014, 01:00 PM   #7
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1978 Argosy 24
MooreHaven , Florida
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My neighbor has an Airstream motor home and about a year ago he took off 2 of the original Coleman A/C units and put on the new Dometic type.His original ones had the condensate drains connected to drain out the tubes so it was the way Airstream did it originally,so definitely it can be done. i have not really got into it yet as i have bigger projects going right now and the holiday season and all.When i learn more i will post on here as there are lots of old Airstreams and Argosys around sooner or later i will find one that i can look at how the factory did it

This is only temporary unless it works! Red Green
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