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Old 01-25-2007, 11:38 AM   #1
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1986 31' Sovereign
Waynesboro , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Choosing the best Air Conditioning Unit

My Airstream is a 31' Sovreign 1986 model.

The original air conditioner was violently removed when the previous owner took it through a railroad underpass that was too low. A new Coleman was installed to replace the original unit which I believe was a Coleman, 13,500 BTU unit according to the owners manual.

The cooling produced by the current unit does not do as well as I'd like. I know it's suppose to lower the air temp. 20 degrees but the unit can't keep up and the heat strip no longer functions.

I'd like to replace it with a good heat pump 15,000 BTU unit. The trailer does not have a duct system so I believe it must be a 'Flow Through' type unit. I've not been impressed with the temp. control mounted on the overhead unit but if the unit is flow through, do I have to opt. for on unit controls?

I've learned that Carrier has a device called a slinger wheel that slings the condensate generated by the cooling unit. This sounds like it's smart use of the water and would give improved cooling. On top of this, the cost for the Carrier is $710.00 FOB the dealer. This compares to over $1,000.00 for the Dometic, 15000 BTU heat pump, Penguin.

Since Airstream used the Dometic currently, their must be a good reason to pay the added price for the Dometic but I'd like to know if anyone has experience that says what Carrier can do?

Should I go with Dometic or Carrier is what I'm looking for? Will a Carrier fit the 1986 trailer with no duct system?

Thanks in advance for your response.


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Old 01-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #2
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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Do a search on the Carrier AC. I remember Inland RV Andy discussing it in one of the threads a couple years ago.


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Old 01-25-2007, 09:18 PM   #3
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Airstreams don't use ducting for A/C, so any unit you buy will blow down and out from ceiling unit... Similarly, I doubt many aftermarket units will link to wall mount thermostats..

Airstreams did use plastic pan to hold A/C, with drain hose that ran down side of trailer between inner and outer walls, but "violent" removal of prior unit may have altered that installation arrangement.

Beyond those criteria, choices are really between Dometic low profile or standard profile units at 13K or 15K BTU, and Carrier units. Coleman no longer makes the units used in the 1980's. Carriers have slingers which tend to promote cooling of heat exchanger fins in unit, and also seem to move more air around inside trailer. As noted above, if you search for "Carrier" and "Penguin" and Air Conditioner you'll find strings of messages from others who have installed one or the other, or repaired existing installations.

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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Can I re-use existing drain pan for new Penguin AC without breaking it.

I recently purchased a new penguin ac for my AS. It already has the original drain pan from 1992. Can I re-use the original pan without getting a new one. or is it a cheap throw away unit?

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Old 02-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #5
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AC Penguin pan

If the old pan looks like the one below, it is the correct one for the new Penguins.

The pan costs about $60.
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