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Old 10-07-2010, 09:37 PM   #1
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1978 Argosy 27
Lacey , Washington
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Changing AC from old to new

My wife and I have a '78 Argosy 27ft with the Armstrong 10 as the AC and it has gone out. We just purchased a replacement (Dometic Brisk Aire 13.3KBTU with heat strip). The replacement is 3.5 k btu larger than the old Armstrong AC.
My questions are:
What type of replacement changes must I do to the top of the Argosy? For example extra braces?, the size of the opening smaller or larger? The electrical modification (if any) and anything else I need to know. Thanks for your input. jjustice
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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Do you have the drain set up for the new unit - it will allow you to use the Airstreams drain line.
Brisk Air A/C Drain Pan 3107688-016 [3107688-016] - $59.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjustice View Post
My wife and I have a '78 Argosy 27ft with the Armstrong 10 as the AC and it has gone out. We just purchased a replacement (Dometic Brisk Aire 13.3KBTU with heat strip)...What type of replacement changes must I do to the top of the Argosy? For example extra braces?, the size of the opening smaller or larger? The electrical modification (if any) and anything else I need to know. Thanks for your input. jjustice
Electricals should be OK - if you can use an analog thermostat....check that the 110 line is 12 gauge and that the breaker protecting the ciruit is 15 amps. I am fairly sure that your Brisk Air comes with the thermostat installed in the air distribution box, but IF your new Dometic requires what Dometic calls a CCC (Comfort Control Center) thermostat it is imperative that you use the proper connections between the AC and the thermostat...PM me if your unit requires a CCC type of thermostat. I assume your brisk air will mount in the same fashion as the Dometic Penguin Heat Pumps I installed a couple of weeks ago on the '78 Sovereign.

As happened to yours, my AC crapped out after only 33 years of use - I changed out the primary AC and, since I was on a roll, installed a second AC in place of the vent in the rear bedroom. Your present AC probably has screws holding it down on the roof - all of these screws need to be taken out and the holes sealed. Both the outer and inner shell cut outs need to be modified to fit the compression installation of the new AC (three bolts installed from inside the trailer). Don't cut out any more forward or rearward than absoutely necessary to get the bolts through the shell (two bolts forward, one bolt in the center towards the rear). I initially purchased a kit as Ganglin mentioned to catch the drip from the coils - thought the whole thing was pretty cheesy (especially for the price). I then sprung for the full black plastic drip pan as supplied by AS dealers - something less than $100 a pop with shipping - highly recommended.

2" X 2" aluminum stringers were installed from front to back on either side - these add a little longitudinal stability as well as serve as an air baffle (after caulking) to minimize the AC attempting to draw in air from the space between the shells.

Be sure to step only on the ribs when on the top, as well as throwing an old rug down first and then bringing up some appropriately sized pieces of plywood to spread out the weight while you are working up there.

Luck - post pics of your installation. My scaffolding is currently holding up a '66 shell awating a new frame, so the new AC was carried to the top via two ladders leaned up against the curb side awning (a two person job, for sure).

I found that the Dometic information was sketchy and hard to understand - big learning curve for me.As stated in the first paragraph, you WILL NEED an "Air Distribution Box Kit" - another Benjamin Franklin if not supplied with the AC at purchase - to finish the job. The hold down bolts screw through the plate of the distribution box, so the kit is a necessary structural item (the hold down bolts are supplied in this kit). I did find the distribution box kit (alo includes the air filters) to be robust and very easy to install.
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