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Old 09-17-2009, 09:05 AM   #1
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Armstrong A/C replacement issues

I am going to replace the A/C on our newly acquired '73 Tradewind 25' Land Yacht.
What are the major issues that I will be looking at?
Which new A/C unit will be the easiest to install as far as hole size in the roof, mounting support, wiring, etc.
I am not ready to take the plunge yet, but am trying to get a firm handle on replacement expenses.
I believe the present A/C is an Armstrong TR25-12

I will have the same questions regarding the water heater, furnace and refer, but am at work right now and don't have the model numbers for them.

The goal is to modernize the appliances without changing the outer appearance of the trailer. (using the original outer vents and shields if possible)

Thanks

Loris
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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Issues:
1. Does your new model need to use the drain hose or does it "paddle" the condensation and evaporate it (and sometimes have to allow it to run down the outside of t he shell and cause a stain)?
2. Are you willing to pay a few more bucks for a low profile?
3. Are you willing to pay more for a more efficient unit. This can be important if you are planning on using a generator to run it.

that's about it. Almost all units are 13.5 BTU.

Here's two threads on how I did the replacement:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...a-c-55715.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...tos-20568.html

Zep
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply and the links. I wasn't having much success in searching
Is any brand new A/C preferrable over any other, or is it primarily a matter of personal choice?
Looks like most will have a smaller footprint.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Both of my new ones are Duo-Therm. Seem to work fine, but the low fan speed is about as noisy as high.

I sometimes wonder why I even have A/C. I very rarely go to Vegas to work, so it's mandatory there, but almost everywhere else I go is either cool (up in the mountains) or it's not summer or I don't have the power when I'm boondocking. I think I've only used the A/C in Vegas three times in 10 years (now that I'm not working there full time).

One thing to consider is the drain. I haven't been in high humidity places, so I really don't have to worry about a drain--no condensation to speak of. I've seen some posts where people in the SE USA say that if the condensation runs down the shell, it leaves a stain.

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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One issue in replacing the AC on an Airstream is the condensation, water running down the top and sides of the trailer. The water will stain and etch the aluminum over time which is not good. That's why your old Armstrong has a drip pan that is connected to a hose that runs down the inside wall and discharges the water just forward of the drivers side wheel well. Newer Airstream's also use a drip pan and hose as well.

There is only one AC toady that can be equipped with a drip pan so that you can connect it to the original hose. That's the Duo-Therm Low Profile Penguin just like the one Airstream uses on new trailers You buy the Duo Therm at most RV supply dealers but you will need to obtain the pan from Airstream or an Airstream dealer. Here a link that has details on the 15,000 BTU unit.

Dometic Duo Therm Penguin Air Conditioners on Sale

The other option that a lot of people has gone with is the Carrier Air V high capacity system. Here is a link that has details on their 15,000 BTU low profile unit.

Carrier Low Profile RV air conditioners on Sale

The Carrier does not have a drip pan but does use a "slinger" method of throwing the condensation up so that some of the water evaporates. But you will still have water coming down the side. However with the Carrier there is a simple and low cost method to drain the water through the existing hose by drilling a small hole in the bottom of the area where the small amount of water collects for the "slinger" effect. Then attach a small brass fitting to connect the hose so the water drains. It works and has been working in mine for about 4 years. So no water down the side to mess of the aluminum.

The Carrier is good solid AC that will keep you cool. The one drawback is the fan speeds. The 2 speeds or high and higher and it can be a little noisy inside.

There are a lot people on the forum that have changed out the old Armstrong to the Duo Therm and Carrier with many threads including step instructions and pictures. Keep searching and you will find them.

Good Luck.

Don
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
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i just installed (July) a carrier low profile unit on my 85 excella; it had a factory provision for the drain-it was simple to hook up and it works absolutely with no problem. Family RV was the place I got the A/C-they sent a "before installing" sheet of information that was terrific. The replacement was quite easy-I did it by myself, only needing some kind of ladder to get up on the outside. I am fortunate enough to have a pallet jack that goes up to 8.5 feet+ and used that-others have used scaffolding, but just about any method to allow you to place the unit on the rooftop will suffice. The only real hard part (more time consuming than hard) was the cleaning and preparation of the roof surface surrounding the hole over which the A/C sits. a good bead of vulkem and then bolt 'er down.
ol' bill
btw-for me, it was a 15 k btu unit-cooler is better imho.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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Great! Lots of good info here.
I have an Airstream dealer only about 60 miles from me so I should be able to get the required items from there.

I always like to have a bit of info. in hand when asking a dealer for something like this.

Thanks!

Loris
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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I was wrong .. the A/C is an Armstrong TR 21-12
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:26 AM   #9
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I took my 73 Armstrong cover off, oiled the motors, cleaned out years if accumulated dirt, fiberglassed the cover etc and added 1/2 # R-22 AND IT WORKS FINE. temp differential is about 25 degrees. G r e a t......Hope it lasts a couple more decades
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Mitzi View Post
I took my 73 Armstrong cover off, oiled the motors, cleaned out years if accumulated dirt, fiberglassed the cover etc and added 1/2 # R-22 AND IT WORKS FINE. temp differential is about 25 degrees. G r e a t......Hope it lasts a couple more decades
I need to update this thread.

I haven't cleaned it properly, and won't now until spring, but I got up on the roof and loosened the siezed condenser motor and it works just fine! I didn't even have to add any freon!
I'll do a proper tune-up in the spring.

They just don't make them like they used to!
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:46 PM   #11
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thermostat

Do you have the old thermostat and do you want to sell it?
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuselage View Post
Do you have the old thermostat and do you want to sell it?
If this is directed at me, if you read just the post above yours, you will see that the a/c works just fine, so yes, I still have the old thermostat, but no, I will not be selling it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:03 PM   #13
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TR21-12 operation question...

This may seem like a dumb question, but here it goes...on the Armstrong TR21-12 unit, when the temperature reaches the desired level, does the fan motor continue to run even after the condenser stops?

I have a '75 Tradewind with the original AC unit as well. Seems to work very well considering its age. The only problem I have with it is that the unit doesn't completely shut off after the thermostat reaches its desire level. It appears the condenser stops, but the fan continues. Due to the noise, I would prefer after the desire temp is achieved that the fan would also stop running.

If this behavior is normal, can replacing the thermostat change this behavior? Meaning that the fan and condenser could both be set to shutoff when the desired temperature is achieved.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #14
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That's the way mine works ... the fan doesn't shut off, and from reading the forums, It seems that this is the way they are designed to work.
Don't know if there is any way to change this.

Oh yeah .. there are no dumb questions ....
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