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Old 06-02-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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AC Sage Advice Requested...

Okay...so we're currently in Texas and it's swelteringly hot and the humidity is almost unbearable. Our old-school 1973 Coleman Mach EL is just not cutting it anymore in trying to cool our A/S when out in full sun (yes, we know, but where we're staying there's not an option at the moment to move to the shade). We're kinda cheap, so we've been calling around to all of the A/S service centers either near us or somewhat along our path to see what we can come up with, and here's the list:

New Penguin 13.5k installed for around $1300
New Coleman 13.5k installed for around $1100
"Used" (not actually used but a take off from a class A) Coleman 13.5k installed for around $750

Now the first two obviously have full warranties, and the third is guaranteed to work, and the installation is covered......what would you guys do if money "IS" an option?
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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No roofmount RV air conditioner will cool your trailer while in full sun on a hot humid day.

If you're going to replace it, find a 15,000 BTU unit, though even that won't necessarily do the job.

The only advantage of the Penguin is that it's lower profile, which means better appearance, bridge clearance, and gas mileage (less wind resistance). The Colemans work just as well.

The new prices you're being quoted are very high, cash and carry for the 13,500 Penguin is around $850 street. I don't know how much installation typically costs but it shouldn't take more than an hour or two. It isn't unusual to see dealers artificially inflate "new" prices when they have "B stock" that they're trying to get rid of (customer returns, demo units, that kind of thing).

Bottom line I'd shop around and find somebody who can install a 15,000 btu penguin for a reasonable price.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
No roofmount RV air conditioner will cool your trailer while in full sun on a hot humid day.

If you're going to replace it, find a 15,000 BTU unit, though even that won't necessarily do the job.

The only advantage of the Penguin is that it's lower profile, which means better appearance, bridge clearance, and gas mileage (less wind resistance). The Colemans work just as well.

The new prices you're being quoted are very high, cash and carry for the 13,500 Penguin is around $850 street. I don't know how much installation typically costs but it shouldn't take more than an hour or two. It isn't unusual to see dealers artificially inflate "new" prices when they have "B stock" that they're trying to get rid of (customer returns, demo units, that kind of thing).

Bottom line I'd shop around and find somebody who can install a 15,000 btu penguin for a reasonable price.
Thanks for the info -- they are saying that it should take around 2 or so hours to install.

The actual cash and carry costs are as follows:

Penguin: $925
Coleman (New): $730
Coleman (Used): $450

Perhaps I should put it this way....when we're in the full sun in the afternoon, temperature yesterday outside the trailer was around 95'ish.....inside the trailer with the unit on since early morning was 88 to 90'ish....once the sun goes down the old unit can get it down to a "reasonable" level -- should I even be looking at replacing it? We're not looking for it to be a meat locker in here or anything, but would like it to be in the low 80's inside if it's only in the mid 90's outside.
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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I would shop around a little more before deciding. I would consider the used one from the moho, but I would want to know how old it is. If it is under 5 years old, maybe; over 10 years old, no.

We have a 25FB with the 13,500 ac unit. It does just fine in the hottest circumstances. One of the tricks that we use is the silver reflective insulation in the windows and especially in the skylight and vent fans.

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Old 06-02-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I would shop around a little more before deciding. I would consider the used one from the moho, but I would want to know how old it is. If it is under 5 years old, maybe; over 10 years old, no.

We have a 25FB with the 13,500 ac unit. It does just fine in the hottest circumstances. One of the tricks that we use is the silver reflective insulation in the windows and especially in the skylight and vent fans.

Brian
Yeah, the "used" one from the moho is less less than 3 years old -- again taken off and warehoused. We have the aluminum vent covers in ours (not see through) so I'm not sure if that will help us. When I re-did all of the screens in ours, I put the residential black-out solar screens in, and it seems to have help a little, but I can just feel the heat radiating from the ceiling once it starts to warm up!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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If I were fulltiming in the hot country, I would go with the new 15,000 btu Penguin, buying less btus or used is false economy.
I have had both Penguins and Colemans. While both work well, I prefer the Penguins because they run more quietly and the outside plastic shield is more durable.
If you can get a good cash and carry price, any qualified r.v. tech can install the unit.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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I would make sure the shop knows what they are getting into with a replacement of a original 70s AC unit. It is a lot more then unbolting and dropping a new one in it's place.

The original is most likely secured to the outer skin with around 40 screws and/or rivets plus a few tubes of sealant. Supports will need to be installed between the outer and inner skins so that the new unit can be attached without collapsing the roof. The inner piece of the AC unit will need to be trimmed to match the curve of the inner skin.

Two hours is a very conservative estimate, I would figure around 5 hours.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:51 PM   #8
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Mine is a DuTherm 13.5. I picked it up from a dealer last summer for $540 including 4% tax. I installed it myself. Mine doesn't have the Airscream water balder.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:01 PM   #9
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I thought that was just the Armstrong A/C. Didn't the Colemans all use the 14x14 square opening?
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