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Old 06-18-2006, 07:30 AM   #1
dma
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AC Problem 1977

I have a 1977 31' Sov and the AC compress is shot. An AC mechanic looked at it and verified. Should I replace the entire AC unit, or just the compressor? The trailer is on a permanent waterfront site, so I can't really move it. Does anyone know what AC model unit I need to get to fit the Airstream? Also, has anyone tried one of those new portable air conditioners on the inside of the trailer?

Dave
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:41 AM   #2
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I have saw the portable one at Sams Club, not very impressed A new one is 400 to 500 dollars ,
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:17 AM   #3
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No to the portable - try a split unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dma
...has anyone tried one of those new portable air conditioners on the inside of the trailer?
I installed on in the '87 345 - exhausted the hot air discharge under the couch to the underside of the beast -

The experiment could be deemed a failure.

The temperature decrease with the AC running was only marginal. Certainly not enough to justify the expense of the portable unit.

I would suggest replacing the roof AC with a newer efficient unit - or - try one of the new "split" units - a friend of mine has one in his jacuzzi room - it is doing an excellent job for him - going on 3 years now of almost constant service.
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Old 06-18-2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma
I have a 1977 31' Sov and the AC compress is shot. An AC mechanic looked at it and verified. Should I replace the entire AC unit, or just the compressor? The trailer is on a permanent waterfront site, so I can't really move it. Does anyone know what AC model unit I need to get to fit the Airstream? Also, has anyone tried one of those new portable air conditioners on the inside of the trailer?

Dave
Dave,

It is very involved to change a compressor. I'll briefly describe the procedure: You first have to add process valves to the lines to evacuate the refrigerant if they are not present. You might have them on a unit of your age, but new ones are hermetically sealed and NEVER have process valves. Then the refrigerant must be evacuated with a vacuum pump and proper guage set.

Next, the old compressor must be removed and the new one brazed in place. Then the lines must be purged with nitrogen to be cleaned before re-charging with the proper refrigerant. New units use R-22. A unit of 70's vintage probably uses R-12, which is no longer legal to manufacture and you need an EPA license to even handle it (BTW, I have one), so it is very $$$$.

After the unit is properly charged, the process valves must be re-sealed to guard against leaks (which they do on a regular basis anyway) and you're good to go....IF..... there is no scale present in the lines from the brazing operation, which happens often! Then there is a good chance that one of your capillary tubes will clog and the unit will not perform to spec....if at all.

The priveledge of doing all this is about $500 for the compressor and 3-5 hours for an A/C tech at $50-75/hour and you get NO GUARANTEE that it will work for any length of time...........................OR................. ..........

You could just spend the $650-900 on a new Duo-Therm or Carrier unit with a 2 to 3 year warranty and have the old one removed and the new one installed in under 1 1/2 hours and you are good to go.

I think the choice is obvious!!!!
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Dave,

It is very involved to change a compressor. I'll briefly describe the procedure: You first have to add process valves to the lines to evacuate the refrigerant if they are not present. You might have them on a unit of your age, but new ones are hermetically sealed and NEVER have process valves. Then the refrigerant must be evacuated with a vacuum pump and proper guage set.

Next, the old compressor must be removed and the new one brazed in place. Then the lines must be purged with nitrogen to be cleaned before re-charging with the proper refrigerant. New units use R-22. A unit of 70's vintage probably uses R-12, which is no longer legal to manufacture and you need an EPA license to even handle it (BTW, I have one), so it is very $$$$.

After the unit is properly charged, the process valves must be re-sealed to guard against leaks (which they do on a regular basis anyway) and you're good to go....IF..... there is no scale present in the lines from the brazing operation, which happens often! Then there is a good chance that one of your capillary tubes will clog and the unit will not perform to spec....if at all.

The priveledge of doing all this is about $500 for the compressor and 3-5 hours for an A/C tech at $50-75/hour and you get NO GUARANTEE that it will work for any length of time...........................OR................. ..........

You could just spend the $650-900 on a new Duo-Therm or Carrier unit with a 2 to 3 year warranty and have the old one removed and the new one installed in under 1 1/2 hours and you are good to go.

I think the choice is obvious!!!!
Lew.

All roof Airstream Airconditioners ever used by Airstream from 1964 until 1979 all used R-22.

From 1980 on, they have used commercially available other brands.

Andy
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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Spend the money wisely

I agree with both Andy and Lewster. Having been in the HVAC market in the past, you should spend the money on a new A/C unit. Putting a new compressor in a 30 year old A/C is like putting a $3,000 paint job on a '72 Chevette.
Joe
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
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Then again, I took a weak Armstrong out of my Argosy and replaced it with Carrier V that never cooled as well and actually made MORE noise. It also promptly failed a month after the warrantee was over.

Lamar
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Lew.

All roof Airstream Airconditioners ever used by Airstream from 1964 until 1979 all used R-22.

From 1980 on, they have used commercially available other brands.

Andy
Thanks for the heads-up Andy!

I don't have a lot of experience on older units since most of the MoHo's and other RV's I work on down here are rarely more that 6-7 years old, with the majority of them less that 5 years old. I'll have to 'brush-up' on the older stuff after I catch-up trying to stay current with all of the new stuff!!
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:02 PM   #9
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Air Conditioner - 1977 Sovereign

Dave,
I am on a similar question. I have an Armstrong AC unit. They are still in the business and are pretty good at it to (from what I can tell). Plenty of dealers but a bit weak in the RV space. Typical replacements are colemand and dometic (penguin I think). I am currently have my Armstrong looked at to see if it is repairable. If not, I think I'm going after the Dometic penquin, low profile.
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:17 PM   #10
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Replacement AC

Hi Dave,
Check out this current listing on EBAY.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...RK%3AMEWA%3AIT
Good luck,
Calvin
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