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Old 03-23-2004, 07:24 PM   #1
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Cool Air Conditioner Replacement

I would like to replace my original ac unit on a 1971 31" International. The unit is not worth the investment to repair. Can anyone recommend a replacement unit that will fit in the exsisting hole such as a Coleman or else? I think it's a 14x14 hole on top.

Also, what BTU's are recommended to cool a 31 foot trailer?

Thanks, for any information

Cheers, JSims
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:35 PM   #2
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The opening will be a 14 X 14. If the AC is an Armstrong AC you are going to have a job ahead of you to remove it. Many of forum members that have removed an old AC have had to drill out many rivets or find all of the screws.

Just be prepared. If you talk to a RV shop they may be reluctant to do it for the same reason. If they tackle it they may also charge more for the job. Camping World WILL NOT install a new AC unless you have the OEM one removed.

If you want one that utilizes the factory drain line that runs in the wall you will need to look at the DuoTherm Penguin. It will require a pan that can only be bought at an Airstream dealer.

This will increase your costs, but you will maintain a low profile unit on the roof, and have a quiet efficient AC. Others will work, but Airstream would not spend the big bucks if they felt something better would work.

The size of the AC depends on a number of factors. Where you camp, and if you have awnings will impact the heat load. If you are going to be south of the Mason Dixon I would go with the 15K. The increase in cost is minimal and when you want it you want it.
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:01 PM   #3
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John welcome aboard.
What part of the country are you in?

I hope you don't destroy or toss the old unit. There may be others in your area that can use part of it. If you are near me I might be interested.
Very important that you save the outside cowling, the inside coach ABS deflector case, the secondary deflector box (sheet metal) with the deflector gates, the vinyl edge moulding to the inside case (if it's still there), any knobs, the control unit (inserted thru the secondary deflector box above). Obviously the ppot and the motors may be very valuable to someone, even the coils.

It is tempting sometimes to just destroy to remove something you are replacing, I know. Hope you can refrain.
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Old 03-27-2004, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaco
John welcome aboard.
What part of the country are you in?

I hope you don't destroy or toss the old unit. There may be others in your area that can use part of it. If you are near me I might be interested.
Very important that you save the outside cowling, the inside coach ABS deflector case, the secondary deflector box (sheet metal) with the deflector gates, the vinyl edge moulding to the inside case (if it's still there), any knobs, the control unit (inserted thru the secondary deflector box above). Obviously the ppot and the motors may be very valuable to someone, even the coils.

It is tempting sometimes to just destroy to remove something you are replacing, I know. Hope you can refrain.
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Old 03-27-2004, 05:54 PM   #5
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Jaco,

I'm located in Northern California. The unit is operational except it does not blow cold air. The shroud blew off a while ago. If anyone has interst I will save the unit and controls.

I'm replacing it because of the cost of a shroud and expense to get it operational is almost the same as a new unit.

Take Care, JSims
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:40 PM   #6
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AC unit

Hi John,
If you still have the AC unit I would be interested in it, as my evaporator motor has failed. I live in Concord near Walnut Creek and have a 1969 27' Overlander that I'm trying to restore.
I'd sure like to hear from you.
I'm a licensed electrician and marine technician, maybe I could give you some suggestions on your project.
Thanks much, Brent
P.S. I'd also give you a hand with the removal if you need it, I'm pretty handy.

Brent Watson 510 290 0289 cell anytime or
home 925 676 9407
brentleew@comcast.net
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:04 AM   #7
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Thumbs up You can do it!

Brett is right. Camping World won't touch it

I used that to my advantage though when I purchased my Penguin from them. They had a sale that offered installation for $1. When I told them I want it installed on a '71 Airstream, they were all of a sudden too busy to fit me in.

I told them, OK, just take the cost I would have saved on the install off my purchase price. And they did it I was suprised to say the least.

I preferred to do it myself anyway. That way I could get the drip pan and do it right. I had to order the drip pan from an AS dealer who had it drop shipped to my house for around $55.

Installation was a snap. Had to remove the old Armstrong and put in what seemed like 100 olympic rivets with vulkem to seal the holes up.

All in all it worked out fine. We used it in 110F heat last year and it kept the trailer around 80F in the full Sun. And the drain tube did its job.

I put some notes about the work on my website if your interested click here.

Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:51 AM   #8
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Pans

When the MachIII forward AC went south on the 345 last year, I replaced it with a 15K BTU Coleman Mach. The replacement was straightforward (except for the forward two mounting bolts in slightly different locations), and (IMHO) easily handled by most any do-it-yourselfer.

I was able to reuse the old pan (barely), but the new Coleman Mach was already self panned. The two pan drains on the 15K Mach are about a foot forward of the 14" X 14" opening, one on either side of the pan, about 6" inboard from the side (the plugged drains exit at an angle).

With a bit of Southern Engineering, a self installer could easily route tubing from these drains to the existing AS drain line.

BTW, I am very happy with the new Coleman Mach in the MoHo. The heating element doesn't have quite the oomph of the old element (just by feeling with "the hand", could be that the blower throws more air, diluting the heat).

The new Coleman Mach has about a 2" higher exterior profile than the Mach III it replaced. I think the old Mach III was rated at 13.5K BTU's, and drew (on paper) the same amps as the new 15K Mach.

As a side note on the shrouds, after 18 years exposure to mostly West Texas desert direct sunlight, the shrouds were brittle and paper thin. Much like an eggshell. I tried to remove them whole, but failed miserably. I would not advise to attempt to repair an older shroud (from the observation of the two Coleman Mach III shrouds on the MoHo). I do not have any experience with different manufacturers.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:18 AM   #9
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My AS dealer said the replacement would take 3 to 4 hours shop time. Should I just suck it up and pay or try to replace the unit on my 1976 25' Caravanner myself. I am a good cabinet maker but not much wood in an AC unit. A restorer in SC said he would replace the unit with a low profile one for 1000 to 1200 depending on size. Speaking of which, is 13.5 enough or should I spring for the 15k unit? I have lots of glass in the main part of the trailer. I think the local dealer said he could replace it with a Coleman for around 800. Comments anyone? Just in case my old unit is an Armstrong, does anyone know someone in NC that works on them?
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Sims
I would like to replace my original ac unit on a 1971 31" International. The unit is not worth the investment to repair. Can anyone recommend a replacement unit that will fit in the exsisting hole such as a Coleman or else? I think it's a 14x14 hole on top.

Also, what BTU's are recommended to cool a 31 foot trailer?

Thanks, for any information

Cheers, JSims
I would go with 2 Dometic Penguin low profile for a 31 footer, the drip pan is a must item from Airstream, the Airstream drip pan will only work with the Dometic Penguin. Camping World just installed one on my 65 Caravel Friday, they cut a 14 X14 hole, wired it, ran a drip tube, and every thing went perfect, let a pro handle it.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:26 PM   #11
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let a pro handle it

Quote:
Originally Posted by toastie
I would go with 2 Dometic Penguin low profile for a 31 footer, the drip pan is a must item from Airstream, the Airstream drip pan will only work with the Dometic Penguin. Camping World just installed one on my 65 Caravel Friday, they cut a 14 X14 hole, wired it, ran a drip tube, and every thing went perfect, let a pro handle it.
toastie,

Did you have the Camping World in Bellville MI do the work? Was there someone at Camping World who worked with you? I see Camping World has a A/C sale and I was thinking about replacing the A/C unit on our 1989 29 Excella. I was hoping the Coleman Mach 3 Plus 13500 BTU would work.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:32 AM   #12
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I'm looking for some instructions in pulling the Armstrong & putting in a Carrier AC unit, getting the drip & fit issues settled as well. Yes, I'll be careful & offer parts to whoever wants to pay the shipping or come over & help. I'm in Kansas City MO
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsshrink
I'm looking for some instructions in pulling the Armstrong & putting in a Carrier AC unit, getting the drip & fit issues settled as well. Yes, I'll be careful & offer parts to whoever wants to pay the shipping or come over & help. I'm in Kansas City MO
Jeff Miller
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search for user pattersontoo and Carrier. He's got good details on the installation. Also, search for user pizzachop, he's got a lot of pictures too.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:41 AM   #14
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I have installed several rooftop units and from what I have seen the new Carrier Low profile is the most up to date. It is quieter and smoother than the Dometic and it has provisions for an internal condensate drain. The internal components are also very easy to access. Family RV on Ebay was selling the
13.5k btu for $600 or the 15k btu for $660. Just search carrier rv on ebay.
They are very easy to deal with. Ask for Ted

steve
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