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Old 04-27-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
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1970 31' Sovereign
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Do you think 2 able body people can install a Coleman 135000? Will it be a fit where the old Armstrong was? I don't know if we can afford someone to put it in especially if coming from Raleigh!!!

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:00 PM   #16
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Air Conditioner replacement advice

Greetings cnsilver!

Originally Posted by cnsilver View Post
Do you think 2 able body people can install a Coleman 135000? Will it be a fit where the old Armstrong was? I don't know if we can afford someone to put it in especially if coming from Raleigh!!!
I don't know whether the mounting method changed between 1964 and 1970 for the Armstrong Air Conditioners, but if it didn't it is a little more complicated than just remove and replace. The Armstrong installed on my '64 Overlander had thee small, round holes through the roof rather than having been placed in a 14" x 14" square opening as would be the case with a modern RV air conditioner. What this meant was that when my dealer installed my new Coleman Air Conditioner, it was necessary to cut a 14" x 14" opening for the new air conditioner that encompassed the three round holes that the Armstrong utilized. Then it was necessary to brace the 14" x 14" opening with pressure treated lumber around its circumference. Then, all of the screw and rivet holes that the Armstrong drain pan attached to had to be cleaned and filled with Olympic Rivets to insure that there wouldn't be future leaks.

Once the Armstrong Air conditioner is removed and the opening as well as the roof have been prepared for the installation, it is a matter of your air conditioner selection in regard to what is next. If you wish to retain the condesate drain that flows from the roof opening through a hose in the wall that exits just ahead of the streetside wheels . . . you must select an air conditioner make and model that is compatible with the drain pan(s) available from the Airstream parts department. If you choose a new air conditioner with built-in drain system, you may be able to hook your existing hose into its drain fixture and be good to go . . . but it will take some investigation. My Coleman RV air conditioner did not have a drain kit nor was a drain pan available for it from Airstream . . . with this installation the condesate drains down the side of the coach . . . my Overlander has Polish and Plasticoat by P & S Trailer Service, and I haven't encountered any problems with the moisture draining over the side . . . but it has caused streaking of the paint on my Minuet . . . so the problems that such an arrangment might cause will vary according to coach.

If you haven't already made the final decision to go with a new air conditioner, you might try contacting a local Refrigeration Technician (not necessarily someone from an RV dealer) and have him/her take a look at your Armstrong. I can't tell you how many times that I wish that I had been told to do this as the Armstrong is very rebuildable and with proper attention from a refrigeration technician your Armstrong may live on for decades more. The Armstrong was built with commercial grade components and their are modern alternative replacements for virtually every component that will keep your Armstrong purring along happily. My Armstrong was so much quieter than any of the modern roof air conditioners that I have experienced, and I really like that it had a wall thermostat to control the temperature.

Good luck with your investigation!


P.S.: If you go through with replacing the Armstrong, I would suggest considering a 15,000 BTU unit if you anticipate any travel East of the Rocky Mountains . . . it takes the 15,000 BTU of my newer Coleman AC to keep my Overlander cool.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:16 PM   #17
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Just a quick update on the Coleman versus the Dometic. The new Low Profile Mach 15000 Coleman with drain pump that DOES work with the tube drain system is great. Not really much difference in noise from Dometic, but used it last weekend in 85 degree heat. I could hang meat in there if I had wanted too. Now that's what I call a/c. haha. (I've had numerous Dometics and will never buy them again). Coleman is absolutely my a/c of choice!!!

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