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Old 01-30-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1970 31' Sovereign
Springfield , Missouri
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12
Air conditioner advice

I am purchasing a 1970's Airstream from my daughter this spring. When she bought it, the owner told her the ac was working. However, the "repair guy" in our area said it was not working and offered to replace it for $1200. I would like to try to do the replacement myself (with help of a couple of knowledgeable friends). Any advice? Is there any testing of the unit we should do first before just believing the "repair guy"?

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #2

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....


Take a look here...see if it may be something you want to attack.


AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #3
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2004 16' International CCD
Orem , Utah
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 213
on youtube there is video

it has more modern unit no selant used install looks simple 4bolts holding it down under bright metal cover underneath $1200 seems rich. Classic rides rebuild
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:54 AM   #4
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1999 25' Safari
Denver , Colorado
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Not sure on how you test AC to see if it's no longer any good. But I have installed 2 AC units in SOB's and if you can change a flat tire you will have no problem. You will need a extra set of hands.
Jim D.
AIR # 56543 TAC# CO-10
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,020
Hi NevaH. Welcome to the forum.

The Duo-Therm Penguin 15,000 BTU air conditioner would be the standard replacement unit to use. A web search will give you prices. There are cheaper units that will work but they are higher profile and lack drain connections so condensate will drip down the skin of the trailer causing staining.

It should not be necessary to replace the air conditioner unless there is a refrigerant leak or the compressor has failed. Such failures though not unheard of are fairly rare. More commonly, the potential relay, start capacitor, and fan motor will fail. These can be replaced easily and parts are inexpensive.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,169
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Another thought; if it's the original Armstrong unit, those are quite repairable. Starter caps are often all that's keeping one from getting going.

There is even a member here that, when he repaired his Armstrong, added a Heat Pump function to it!

Here's a link to that thread:
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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I would at least get another repair guy to look at it. Bill Thomas camper sales enjoys a good reputation among the people I know.

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