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Old 11-08-2003, 01:42 PM   #1
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add AC?

I am off to look at a nice old (69) Airstream overlander. Our plan is to make a summer cross country trip. We have thought air-conditioning was a must for such a trip. This trailer never had it. Any idea how much it might cost to add, and would I be asking for trouble in the form of leaks, structural problems etc…

Rick
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Old 11-08-2003, 01:52 PM   #2
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add AC?

Greetings Rick!

Welcom to the Forums!

Adding air conditioning to a Vintage Airstream/Argosy is a fairly common task. My '78 Minuet wasn't equipped with an air conditioner from the factory, but did have the air conditioner prep package (optional on the Minuets). All Airstreams beginning in the mid-1960s had factory air conditioner prep packages that can be identified by the existence of an extra circuit breaker in the breaker box that is not connected.

The biggest problem in adding the air conditioner is getting the proper measurements for the cut-out. Unlike other RVs, Airstream did not install its air conditioners in an existing vent opening. There is a measurement from the front main bow that determines where the cut out needs to be made for the air conditioner. At that position, you will find the built in drain tubes for the condesate pan that can be purchased from Airstream for a limited number of current model air conditioners as well as the electrical wiring for the air conditioner unit. The condesate pan allows the condesate to drain through the tubes between the skins (where it will exit to the ground) rather than draining down the sides.

For my Minuet, the approximate installed cost for the air conditioner was $750. This did not include a drain pan as I went with an air conditioner for which Airstream does not manufacture drain pans - - didn't think it would be a major issue with a painted Argosy. The installation was handled by my regular Airstream dealer, Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, IA.

Good luck with your inspection!

Kevin
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Old 11-08-2003, 03:06 PM   #3
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hi rick,

welcome to the forum.

if you need any assistance checking out that trailer, there is a list of volunteer inspectors.

it can be found in this thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forum...&threadid=7387

good luck with your future purchase.

john
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:24 PM   #4
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Add AC?

I am also planning to add AC to my '59 Tradewind. I ordered the 'pan' from Airstream so I could determine where to put the condensate line. I you need a picture of the pan let me know.
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Old 11-08-2003, 06:19 PM   #5
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On a '59 you encounter a new set of problems. It will not have the structural supports, nor drain, nor electrical. This is covered elsewhere in these forums, and adding the necessary structure is not all that big a deal, but it is one of those things that has to be done correctly.

Mark
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Old 11-08-2003, 06:30 PM   #6
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AC

I added AC to my '67 Tradewind. The factory rep said it would be prewired, etc for AC but when we installed there was no wiring. Spliced into the outlet by the sink and the unit drains down the outside of the skin. I'm planning on running a hose from the unit on the roof and drill into the sink vent to let the condensation drip down.
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Old 11-09-2003, 02:37 PM   #7
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All 1964 and later trailers were "prewired" for AC.

However, the wire at the circuit breaker panel was left in the wall.

The wire in the ceiling was paced in a specific location. That location was dictated by the length of the trailer.

The wire "WAS NOT" located at a vent, as some installers had hoped for.

As I recall, drain lines were installed within the walls starting with the 1970 models.

Andy
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Old 11-12-2003, 02:39 PM   #8
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Andy,

I want to add a second a/c in the back (bed room) of my 34' Excella 1000. Is there existing wiring and drain hose already installed in the AS awaiting for the second airconditioner?

What is your opinion of installing a heat pump AC?
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:12 PM   #9
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Heat pump AC

Quote:
What is your opinion of installing a heat pump AC?
I used my new heat pump AC for the first time last week. It did a great job of keeping the trailer warm in the 50s. It does tend to blow a puff of cold air when it cycles on, but it circulated the heat a lot more evenly throughout the trailer than my previous ceramic heaters did.
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:25 PM   #10
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CJ.

Airstream wires and all the trailer, for "one" AC.

Installing a second one can be done, but with great caution.

Installing the wire and drain along with the change in weight and balance, is all very important.

I would us caution as to who you may choose to do the job.

Andy
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Old 11-12-2003, 04:23 PM   #11
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I am going to use the A/S dealer in Greensboro (Out of Doors) to do the installation of the 2nd AC.

Are you recommending not installing the 2nd AC? I have seen several longer trailers with dual A/C. I assumed they were installed from the factory.

What specific modifications are required to install the second A/C.
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Old 11-12-2003, 05:01 PM   #12
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Chris.

Reinforcement of the roof where the AC will be mounted may be necessary.

A sepatate 20 amp circuit breaker must be used. If your breaker panel does not have room for another breaker, then you will need to add another single panel, or, replace your panel.
The wiring if done properly, can be hidden. The drain line should be installed so that it is not seen.

A drain pan should be used with the Doutherm Penguin.

And finally, DO NOT attempt to run both airs at the same time.
The total current demand when the compressors are running far exceeds the 30 amp power cord.

It is possible to wire the second air totally independent of the trailer. You can use a separate breaker box, AND, a second city power cord. With that arrangement, you can plug both cords into a campground hookup, and run both airs at the same time. Usually a campgroung has two 30 amp outlets that are independent of each other, meaning that each one can supply 30 amps, at the same time.

Andy
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:07 PM   #13
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2nd AC

Anyone have a recommendation of a competent MidWest shop that can add an additional AC unit like Andy suggests in this older post? I have a 2010 Classic.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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Greetings boodalu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by boodalu View Post
Anyone have a recommendation of a competent MidWest shop that can add an additional AC unit like Andy suggests in this older post? I have a 2010 Classic.

Thanks in advance
My suggestion would be to consider contacting Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, Iowa. They were a long-time Airstream dealer and are now (or at least to the best of my knowledge) an authorized Airstream Service Center. They have been my home for all major repairs to either of my coaches since 1995 -- and I have been pleased with their work whether it be panel replacement, air conditioner installation/replacement, water heater replacement, furnace replacement, refrigerator replacement, rear end separation repair, new axle(s), etc. You can find them online at: Ace Fogdall RV.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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