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Old 03-16-2016, 12:56 PM   #15
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I would suggest you talk to a local AC mechanic, who can calculate the size of the unit. I am sure he will suggest the 11,000 as the second unit and would not be surprised if suggests changing the front unit to 11,000 BTU.

Air conditioner have 2 functions. Lowering temperature and reducing humidity. Over sizing them and you will completely give up the second function because the units will short cycle against the thermostat. Now yes you are in Texas and humidity may not be the biggest concern but huge swings in temperature as the units cycle is not going to be comfortable.

I spent a significant part of the time in my last job reducing the size of the ACers in the school I supervised to reach reasonable comfort levels in the class rooms. The original architectural designs were grossly over sized.

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Old 03-16-2016, 01:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kstewart23 View Post
Ok So I am faced with another possibility. I found another RV Service Center that is not an airstream dealer, they said they could install the second AC unit and create a new plug etc. There labor price is much less than the quote I got from airstream, no surprise there. I am thinking about getting the Dometic Penguin II 13500 Btu for the bedroom. It would have manual controls on the AC itself, which I am fine with.

So here is my question: They said they would create a second plug for that AC, which is what I want. However, they said it would be a 30 amp. My main plug is a 30 amp. So now I would have two 30's, which kinda concerns me. I would have a total need for 60 amps. How is that going to work when I go to hookup at an RV park? Do you think that could be problematic?? What are the issues I could face with that scenario? And what do you think about someone else outside an airstream dealer service department installing the second AC, would you do it?
Be careful here. You have no idea of these folks familiarity with the Airstream itself. This is potentially a disaster waiting in the wings if they have no experience with the characteristics of an Airstream. It sounds like this is a one size fits all solution with no consideration of condensate dispersal, the fact that the Airstream roof is not flat like an SOB, and if they even know where you stand on an Airstream roof safely without causing damage to the aluminum.

The Penguin II 13.5K unit is rated to draw 15.2 amps and probably will require a little more than that at start up. They are doing this the easy way for them which is treating this with a broad swipe approach. Personally you bring up some good questions and if I were in your shoes, I'd sit down with your local Airstream dealer and ask them to explain the installation in detail, from condensate dispersal to wiring and power in light of the fact of how do they plan to deal with you having to hook up at 50 amp sites. You may find that their cost deals with those issues where the generic RV dealer is giving you an AC and a hookup, and leaving out the difference that your Airstream dealer is addressing.


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Old 03-16-2016, 03:35 PM   #17
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Here is a Furrion power adapter (part F3052Y-SY) that has two female 30 amp connectors going to one male 50 amp connector. This cable would rely on the trailer's two panel's main 30 amp breaker to protect the wires. Not an inexpensive solution at around $231 but there is no freight or tax if ordered from the Furrion web site.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:18 PM   #18
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Blessed are the Trouble Makers...

As it happens I was driving down the boulevard today and spotted one of those fruit bouquet trucks you see in every medium to large town. And Lo and behold on the roof of the small utility van was a very small "Thermo-King" unit. I know just a little about tractor trailers. Thermo-King units are used to provide HVAC and outright refrigeration for the big rig trailers - usually those transporting foodstuffs. This particular unit was tiny. About 30" long, 10" front to back and stood up on legs no higher than 6" above the roofline - about half the footprint of a typical RV A/C.

Now No one wants to turn an Airstream into a meatlocker, but golly that thing was tiny and looked to be really lightweight. I wonder? I wonder what Lewster would say? ...and in the mean time I'm going to look at ThermoKing's website. (And it's designed for commercial use, not the typical crap they're making for RV's).

The truth is we are CAMPING folks. A second A/C might be a real blessing in extreme heat, but why INSTALL one on the roof and upgrade to 50 amps? How often would you actually NEED it? I was at a local appliance store and found a very small window unit. Measured it and guess what, it would fit nicely just inside my EB's storage door that's under the bed. I'd have remove a chunk of the bed platform and replace it with legs, but it would be a one day job with little to no money spent - and it would be easy to undo prior to selling the trailer. (The RV Park Nazi's might not like it? DUH, they'd have to see it to know it was there and putting the whole thing on drawer slides would be pretty much a no brainer. One of the first ones I ever saw mounted in a window was concealed by a custom awning.

And I've been very tempted to completely lose the sideways queen. Here's an idea or six for a single bed. Rockler even sells plans and hardware to make convertible desk beds - which will need some doodling to function with curved walls:

If I had company and needed an extra bed (2-5 nights a year... the options are many - and inexpensive/comfortable enough for a short stay. Of course the Castro Convertible is the top of the line price wise, but there are many knockoffs AND there's always the simple foam bed-chair, though you can easily make a better quality one than you can buy.... And if you don't have a bad back, an inflatable

A solar Battery Minder can recharge our batteries and keep them healthy for weeks when the unit is stored, or we're off the grid. We can cook and heat with propane, we can G.I. shower and use rainwater or water from a creek to bathe (after a boil and a dab of bleach). Air conditioning is NICE and in 99% humidity I wouldn't be without it - except I know I can go up into the hills or mountains and the Fantastic fans and open windows will do the trick. Two Air conditioners CAN be nice in extreme heat, but another option is to make a sail shade (or use an old cargo chute that's been decommissioned by the military).
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:35 PM   #19
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"50 amp" service

FYI, "50 amp" RV park service actually provides 2 separate 120 volt legs capable of providing 50 amps EACH.
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:26 PM   #20
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A simpler and cheaper solution would be to paint your roof with reflective white paint. I should lower the inside temp about 10 degrees. It might not get the temp down where you want it, but it woulds help and you could still install a second unit.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:15 PM   #21
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I wouldn't think there would be a problem with dehumidification if you set the thermostats at 2 different temps. Example: Set one thermostat at 70 and the other at 78. The one set at 70 will run continuously (dehumidifying) while the other will cycle only as needed to keep temps bearable. I have always set my bedroom cooler in my campers because I like to sleep with blankets, but you could alternate if you wanted to cool the living area more during the day.
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:21 PM   #22
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"The truth is we are CAMPING folks. A second A/C might be a real blessing in extreme heat, but why INSTALL one on the roof and upgrade to 50 amps?" Well, for us, we AREN'T camping, we are living. When I go on a Laborers For Christ project I'm going to be there for at least a couple of months to maybe a year. That's one of the reasons why we're about ready to sell the MH and buy an Airstream.

Now, my questions. Are 34' Airstreams from 96-05 prewired for a second a/c? I've seen few such coaches with two a/c units, but a friend with such a coach has told me that, yes, we DO want to have two a/c units. I can change the 30A service to 50A (probably would do that anyway), but can most Airstream dealers handle the installation of the a/c unit, or would I be better off taking it back to the factory? I'm assuming that a trip to the factory will happen within the first year anyway.

What else should I keep in mind in this area?

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