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Old 11-18-2005, 09:50 AM   #1
GGW
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AC unit for 1961 Globetrotter?

Hello:

I have just joined the forum, as my husband and I are hopefully soon to be Airstream owners! Thanks for this resource.

We are looking at a 1961 Globetrotter. It does not come with an AC unit. The seller says that one can be easily installed, but while doing some research, I found someplace that said that earlier than 1962, the roofs were not reinforced for roof AC units... can anyone confirm this for me? Are there any other options? I have left a message with Airstream asking this, and plan on calling some RV places too, but thought I would check here as well.

We live in Texas, so AC is a must.


Thank you so much for your help!

GGW
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:50 AM   #2
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We have a 61 Overlander with no AC - and encountered the same information along the road.

I suspect that if it was not an option at the time - which I believe it was not - then there was no need for extra "joists" to support the weight.

Basically to ad one in you will have to install extra "joists" ribbing in the roof and possibly double up on the ribs closest to where you might want to install the AC.

The newer streamlined AC/Heat Strip units are not as heavy as the older 60's early 70's ARmstrong units so there should not be a problem framing it up to take the weight.

But it will be a big job if you are not a DIY as you will have to strip down portions of the interior wall as well as remove any cabinetry first.

Maybe a smaller more portable unit might be easier - or install 2 fantastic fans with a bowl of ice cubes
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:52 AM   #3
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Ac

Saw you're in Austin. Not sure about the frame work on your vintage. However, right up the road from you in Weatherford is Roger Williams Airstream and if you're looking for someplace that you can rely on to do a topnotch job I'd contact them (ask for David Tidmore). I saw an AC that the installed in a 62 globetrotter and they installed the remote thermostat as well. Also, they painted the shroud silver to match the trailer which on a small unit helps the AC to blend in much better. One of your Austin folk (Gunnyusmc) just had some work done on his unit there a couple weeks back and had a good experience as well.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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Wow, thanks!

Thank you so much for the quick and helpful responses! Looks like I will be frequenting these forums a lot... ;-)

Tin Hut: I called David Tidmore, and you are right, he is very knowlegeable. He told me if definitely could be done, that they do it alot, but it does require cutting the roof in a place other than where the vent is. As GT6921 said, it is a big job, and he gave me an estimate of $1500. So, we will need to factor that into our decision.

There's a lot to think about when you are considering these vintage models...

Thanks again for your help! I can't believe I got the answer I needed in less than an hour!

GGW
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:33 PM   #5
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GGW

Check with member "Insideout" for their solution to the AC - they installe a portable unit and had an innovative window venting solution. It was a temp unit so it could be removed when the AC was not needed.

Also check with member "ewe" he installed a "basement" type AC system - that could quite possibly be more economical for you - just loose a bit of storage space and do a bit of venting under cabinets and beds. Your unit is small enough that it should work great. The only real cutting would be a new vent to outside - say beside the water heater. Marine products have some great SS vents that can be used when you need new vents on the outside of your vintage unit. Anyway this unit is a couple hundred more than the conventional AC's - but would certainly save you the 1500 on installation of a roof unit.

We still have not decided on ours yet - but don't want to part with the 99 AC unit until we make our minds up. I too have to chat with ewe to see how his unit is working in his Overlander - and the location. Check out his thread "A 63 for me." Under Overlander 60-63.

And you pegged this place right on the money! There are so many "great" minds here - each with their own opinions and skills - way better than any library I've been too

Good luck with your research - but if you have a line and a nice looking 61 they are hard and rare to come by - and would be a real nice find if she is in relatively good shape.

The key to saving money though is if you are handy - or as you will see you will be paying some pretty big change to have someone do the work for you.
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:47 PM   #6
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I added an AC to my '59 TradeWind without much difficulty. Actually, I did not do the work personally but had it arranged through a local RV place that I trust but I did the work on re-enforcing the roof to support the newer AC. I added aluminum channels between the ribs that run between the skins starting on one side and up and over the top and back down the other side to the opposite floor. Follow the rows of rivets and you'll quickly see where these channels are located.

I recommend the Dometic Low Profile AC because its smaller and weighs less. It will require a drain pan and you will need to install a condensation drain tube unless you want the condensate running down the side of your trailer. Really an issue if your trailer is polished to mirror.

You'll love vintage ownership.

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Old 11-18-2005, 04:22 PM   #7
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I'm thinking about getting one of the new Carrier A/C's for my unit. Airstream has a knack for not putting a thermostat on the A/C. All I have is the "Warmer/Colder" knob. I've found that this knob, no matter how low you set it, continues to freeze my brain! Also your fan never kicks off which I find really annoying.

Carrier's unit has a remote control with a digital readout that you can put in a holster affixed to the wall. You set the temperature and forget it. It also has a de-humidifier option. I saw one on ebay for $600 for a 15Kbtu with heat pump.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:35 PM   #8
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HI, and welcome to the wonderful world of Airstream. We're almost neighbors, since we live in Georgetown. I have a 61 Overlander(26ft) that came equipted with what I believe is an original AC unit installed. I have learned that the 61 model was the first year to offer AC units, and that they did have the extra bracing in the roof. It's possible that your unit is already so equipted. It might have been an option to prewire and brace, but worth checking out. Mike
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #9
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Hi! and welcome to the forums!

We are in the process of installing AC in our 61 overlander. We are using a $100. Sams club window air conditioner. The process is as follows....we are placing the unit under one of the beds that has an outside access door. The unit is placed under the bed enclosed in an aluminum insulated box, the bottom of the box has a drain that is ran to the outside with a hose. When in use the outside access panel is open to allow fresh air in, and hot air out. If your opening is large enough, you can mount your unit on rails and slide it outside when in use. In our camper, the outside access panel is in line with an interior drawer, so the unit has access to the inside space (so it is mounted flush with the cabinet). That way you have access to the controls and the cool air. There are lots of variations on this theme to fit your needs. You might want to run flexible mini ducts to channel the cool air. Consider this before you spend big bucks, and cut a hole in your vintage camper. It's not perfect, but it works.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 11-20-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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Thanks all!

Just wanted to thank everyone for their responses and info. As it turns out, we decided not to get the '61 Globetrotter... after giving it a thorough look, it just would have been to much of a project for us to take on right now. So we are going to keep looking for one in a little better condition, perhaps a later '60's or early 70's model.

Thanks for the help; I'm sure I will have more questions, and am so glad to have this forum to come to! I do appreciate all the AC info in the event we come across this situation again.

GGW
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