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Old 11-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
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1968 24' Tradewind
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AC Keep or replace?

My current AC shroud has been beaten to smithereens by hail and UV exposure. It sometimes ices up and has to be unplugged and defrosted to work. As near as I can tell its maybe 15-20 years old. Otherwise serviceable. There is a long list of other items I want to take care of as well but I have to have AC that works.

My question is should I put the money into a new shroud, or get one of the low profiles from Carrier before its to late?

Repair= shroud $105 + shipping and who knows what to fix the other issue.

Replace = $700 + shipping.

What do you think?
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:49 PM   #2
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You want it come and get it

General,

If you find yourself back Estancia way I have an Armstrong shoud in decent shape. Your's if you want it.

They can also be fiberglassed. Up on the roof no one will notice it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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Coil Icing

Icing is usually a result of low airflow across the evaporator (indoor) coil. Most often either dirty filters or coils are the culprit. I would say clean you coil and and see if you can get her to work properly. I was planning on replacing mine but once I saw how well she runs I decided to hold on to her. I have some slight damage to my cover and plan to fix by fiberglassing a patch form the inside and painting the outside.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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I replaced mine this year with a LP Carrier 13.5K with heat strip.

My old Armstrong had a damaged shroud, the compressor did not run and the unit leaked water when it rained. It was an easy decision for me.

The new unit heats and cools very well, does not leak and the Low Profile looks great on a vintage unit.
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #5
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Mine was 15 years old, had similar symptoms, then died in the heat of Summer. Cleaned the filters (an excellent suggestion), but 15 years of service is a long time for these units. Replaced it, and it was about $900 out the door, but the new unit works well and there are no worries next year. I just figured this was normal maintenance cost, and I still saved over $50K in buying a new or newer Airstream.

Good luck!
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Old 11-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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NOt a low profile but standard on ebay about $400
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Rodney,
If it were me, I'd buy the Carrier and part out the Armstrong on Ebay. I just got my 72 Armstrong working and was about to buy a new AC. But my shroud is still very nice and the unit is working fine and the parts to repair were $50. You could recoup $100+ "parting out", the old unit if you are lucky. Keep the Armstrong supports on your AS and use them for the new unit. You will have peace of mind even though some may say the Armstrong could run another 20 years.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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Follow up Qs

For a vintage 24ft: is the 13,500 large enough or is the 15,000 needed?

Go for the heat strip or pass?

What is the ducted upgrade?

Does the 68 Trade Wind have a drain tube? If not, how hard is it to thread one down between the skins?
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
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bump
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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For a vintage 24ft: is the 13,500 large enough or is the 15,000 needed?
I don't camp in Phoenix, but where I have used it (rarely) the 13.5K has worked very well on my 25' Trade Wind.

Go for the heat strip or pass?
I purchased the heat strip for my Carrier LP. Recently in Fort Collins, Colorado it kept the trailer in the mid 60's when the outside temperatures were in the teens. I believe the current draw with the strip is higher then using the AC. It's a nice option when you have full hook ups.

What is the ducted upgrade?
This is for RV's that have cooling ducts to distribute the air. You would not need this option.

Does the 68 Trade Wind have a drain tube? If not, how hard is it to thread one down between the skins?
I believe you should have a tube installed from the factory. See if you can find it sticking out if the bottom of the trailer. On my 75 it exits street side just in front of the wheels.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:38 PM   #11
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My 68 has a drip tube from the factory a/c that runs down along the edge of the cabinet next to the stove.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:45 AM   #12
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Ac

AC should never freeze for any reason if the charge is right.
The reason you get frost on the evaporator coils is because the refrigerant charge is low.
Refrigerant like propane or butane has a pressure/temperature constant.
What this means is that when the material (refrigerant or bottle gas) is at a certain temperature it will read a certain pressure.
With the closed loop that an AC is when the refrigerant is low the temperature of the evaporator coil (the inside one ) will be running at a temperature below freezing and frost/ice will begin to accumulate.
You should always keep the coils clean (both inside and outside) to minimize the loading on your compressor and to allow maximum efficiency.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #13
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My vote / or opinion

a. Get a new shroud.
b. Clean the coils(both of them)(Spray-n-Wash helps).
c. Freon(but I doubt it needs any).

You have all winter to attend this chore.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:09 PM   #14
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After going back and forth on this I finally decided to just get the new one. Part of the finial decision was that while I am in TN I will have the tools and equipment to get the job done.

Carrier 13,500 BTU with heat strip $717.99 delivered.
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