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Old 06-12-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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AC replacement questions

I still have my original AC on my 87 trailer and it still works well but, being that it is so old I feel like it is on borrowed time.
Should I just replace it with a like unit that is new or should or could I consider a heat pump unit?
The one I currently have is a Coleman Delta TX and is 13,500 btu roof air.
What is the longevity of these units?
I usually don't replace stuff till it's broke but just want to check what my options are at this point.
Any suggestions?
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
I still have my original AC on my 87 trailer and it still works well but, being that it is so old I feel like it is on borrowed time.
Should I just replace it with a like unit that is new or should or could I consider a heat pump unit?
The one I currently have is a Coleman Delta TX and is 13,500 btu roof air.
What is the longevity of these units?
I usually don't replace stuff till it's broke but just want to check what my options are at this point.
Any suggestions?
The current more popular roof AC is made by Carrier. You will not need a drain pan to use their products. Airstream is presently using Dometic AC's but you must use a drain pan for them.

The Carrier has a couple of features that no other AC has. They have a built in "air shower", which is like a water shower, if you come in hot and want to quickly cool off. Just flip a switch and you turn the air shower off or on.

They also have front and back louvers that when activated by a switch, slowly move up and down, to really circulate the air.

The big problem with heat pumps, is they cost more money, and the compressor runs for both cool as well as warm air. That puts a lot of extra mileage on the compressor. That does not happen with the heat strip.

When in the heat mode, the heat strip heating draws less power than the heat pump, which saves electricity, and money.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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Hey, you still chasing Olive Oyle? (Couldn't resist that )

My rig is a 1987 and it had a Coleman Delta T. I'm not sure what the difference is between the Delta T and the Delta TX, but the Delta T was pretty much universally considered a clunker. When I got the coach two years ago, we had to hot wire the a/c because the control boards were fried and they were just too expensive to try and replace.

Mine got progressively worse. We got it working in on/off mode; as in I had a toggle switch where it ran full bore, or not at all. That got us by for a year; but then it got to where it would just die all of a sudden. I'd turn it off for a few hours, then it would run for a few hours just fine; then die again.

A couple weeks ago I replaced it with a brand new Carrier AirV 15,000 BTU unit. It's quieter, works much better, and is good stuff. I bought it from Palomino Parts. The number is on these forums. Those guys have the best prices, bar none. I got the rooftop unit and the indoor unit, all of it, for $475. Check Camping World and see what it'd cost you there....probably closer to $800. You do have to pay shipping, but those guys will treat you right.

Anyway, if it's working, I'd milk it along as long as you can. But if it's on its last leg, call the guys at Palomino and have them send you a new Carrier. They're not that hard to install. And man do they work nice!

Take care,
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:11 PM   #4
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My coleman on my airstream was built in 1976 and it still works. I feel I am playing Russian Roulette with this thing. We only had to use it once two weeks ago and it did the job. I know I will need one pretty soon. I have leak up in that area also. I do not want to take it off and put it back on. Once I take it off I want to replace it.

So you like the Carrier airconditioner? Keeps the coach nice and cool?

Lothlorian
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:19 PM   #5
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My coleman on my airstream was built in 1976 and it still works. I feel I am playing Russian Roulette with this thing. We only had to use it once two weeks ago and it did the job. I know I will need one pretty soon. I have leak up in that area also. I do not want to take it off and put it back on. Once I take it off I want to replace it.

So you like the Carrier airconditioner? Keeps the coach nice and cool?

Lothlorian
Please be advised that the only factory AC brand used by Airstream, up to and including the 79 models, was Armstrong.

Your Coleman may not be as old as you might think.

Maybe you could call the Coleman people with the Model and serial number, and they could perhaps tell you when your unit was built.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Brian,

My current rig is a 34' triple axle. The Delta T wouldn't keep it cool in 90 degree plus heat.

I took a two pronged attack. First, I painted the roof white. This sounds simple, and it is. But you have to do it right. For aluminum, you need to etch it before you can paint it. Use airplane stuff. I got some special aluminum cleaner/etcher and went over the roof with that, then got some etching primer through a buddy that works at U.S. Air. But you can get it from Wicks or Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. The key is to clean it with the special etching cleaner (Wicks or Aircraft Spruce either one has the stuff...get about a gallon) and then paint the roof with the etching primer (it's like a zinc chromate kind of stuff). Once you do that, you can then paint over the primer with any good oil based paint. I used Rustoleum gloss white and it's holding up great. The high reflective white really does help a good bit with the heat gain. It's reduced it a good bit.

Now for the a/c. I can't speak for the new Coleman's. They may be great machines. I know that Coleman the original company doesn't own it anymore; they were bought out by somebody else. But anyway, you've got three major players: Coleman, Dometic Duotherm, and Carrier. Duotherm has the best warranty. But Carrier seems to be the most popular. I got a Carrier. They offer the low profile and the regular in both 13,500 BTU and 15,000 BTU. I like the lines of the low profile, but it's a lot more expensive and I'm not convinced that it's as efficient. Plus, it exhausts out the top rather than out the rear; looks like potential leaks to me. So I got the Carrier AirV 15,000 BTU normal height unit. It's got the condensate slinger so it has this little wheel that throws the condensate across the coils to help with the heat transfer. Benefit is that you get less water dripping across the roof of the coach. Basically, you get none until you turn it off, then it just drips down to the drip rail.

But I can honestly say that this baby works like a charm! It cools off my long long trailer very well; much better than the old one. Carrier's install directions are terrible, but it's actually pretty easy to hook up. If you get one, PM me and I'll give you all the pointers. The hardest part was the flex duct between the upper unit and the inside unit, and even that is nothing once you figure it out. The wires are color coded so you can wire it up in about ten minutes; two once you know what you're doing. It's a nice unit.

Mine has had the "Air shower" and the "Air Sweep". The Shower is kind of neat; you turn a knob and it blows cold straight down. So say you're out running or something and burning up; you stand under it and turn this on and it blows cold air right down on you. I haven't really had need for it, but it's kind of cool. But the air sweep is really slick; you flip this switch and the vents on the ends of the indoor unit sweep up and down to blow the air from high to low and repeat throughout the coach. It seems to really help cool it down. The only issue is that you have to get the indoor unit bolted to the upper unit properly for it to work right. The alignment is pretty critical. But again, no big deal.

One thing I got off the Silver Avion Forums is to use a bit of aluminum silicone under the foam gasket on the a/c. I put a new foam gasket under my Coleman and the thing would still leak in a driving rain. I was reading the Avion forums and a guy on there said he had his Delta T (POS) replaced in 1987 when his trailer was about a month old and the guy squirted a bead of some kind of stuff on the roof where the foam was going to stick. Said Avion made them do it, and they never ever leaked if you did that. Otherwise, the foam gaskets would always leak. Well, I did that on my new Carrier; used the GE 50 year silicone that is formulated just for aluminum (about $9 at Lowes) and we've had some terrible driving rains here and not a leak at all. So anyway, I believe in it.

Bottom Line: Call Jevin at Palomino and get yourself a Carrier AirV 15,000 unit. You won't be disappointed. By the way, if your fridge is toast, they are a Dometic dealer. I ordered a new DM-2852 8 cubic foot fridge with the new 15,000 BTU a/c and they packed them on the same shipping skid. Got the pair for a few dollars less than Camping World wanted for just the fridge. They're great guys and will hook you up.

See ya on the road,
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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Jim:

I looked for the number and a link and I was not successful (Palamino parts). If you have a contact could you reply with the number please? I have to save some money before I put a new airconditioner on but I think I can do that.

My refrigerator works, but it is the orginal. How long? I had an RV maintenance man fix some propane leaks and he was shocked that the airconditioner and the refrigerator still worked. I was thinking of keeping the same refrigerator by getting a surplus one which is the same model and color. I would have it rebuilt. Unless it would be cheaper to go with a new one. They are very expensive. I found a place in Alabama where they take the old RV refrigerators and restore them with all new parts. The guy told me I could trade mine in for an exact model replacement for about $700.00 dollars. I have some investigating to do.

Brian
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #8
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Andy:

I pulled the cealing cover off and found the tag with the coleman information on it. It says the coleman was built in 1976. I don't think it was a factory install. The work on top looks pretty messy. lots of old vulkem all over the place.

Brian
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:45 PM   #9
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Andy:

I pulled the cealing cover off and found the tag with the coleman information on it. It says the coleman was built in 1976. I don't think it was a factory install. The work on top looks pretty messy. lots of old vulkem all over the place.

Brian
Brian.

Back then, many Airstreams were ordered by dealers without AC.

It seems that all too many buyers said, "I will buy the trailer, but take the AC off."

Needless to say, that was impossible, so the dealers just tossed it into the deal.

As a result, if you wanted an AC, you had to pay for it.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:43 PM   #10
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I don't chase Olive any more, but I don't chase her any less, either!

Great info from you guys. The Carrier unit sounds like a nice upgrade over the old Coleman unit I use now. If I do go for a replacement I guess I should stay with a 13,500 btu since the old one worked well in my short trailer(23ft). What are your thoughts about the btu output and the size of trailer?
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:09 AM   #11
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:37 AM   #12
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I don't chase Olive any more, but I don't chase her any less, either!

Great info from you guys. The Carrier unit sounds like a nice upgrade over the old Coleman unit I use now. If I do go for a replacement I guess I should stay with a 13,500 btu since the old one worked well in my short trailer(23ft). What are your thoughts about the btu output and the size of trailer?
On a good hot day in Texas, you would really appreciate the extra 1500 BTU of cooling.

I know, as lived in San Antonio for 20 years.

The addition cost at this point becomes a mute point.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:50 AM   #13
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Thanks Andy, point taken!
When the time comes it will be a 15000 btu unit. I'll probably do the fridge at the same time too.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:16 PM   #14
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Smile 1973 armstrong a/c on my 1973 31' international

Above a/c may be failing. If need to replace what btu is recommended ? We spend most of the time in so georgia and florida.
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