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Old 03-30-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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Coleman vs Carrier

Hello everyone.

Our 34' Excella has a single Delta A/C unit that I believe is 13.5k btu. I'm not up to rewiring the trailer for 50 amps and wanted to know a couple of things.

1. Which A/C is better...Coleman or Carrier?
2. Does either brand have the interior ceiling assembly for an AS?
3. Can I resuse the Delta Ceiling assembly with either brand?
2. Is this a do it yourself job?

I've scanned a bunch of other threads and found a bunch of comments about the duotherm brand and it seems that Coleman or Carrier are better quality.

Thanks a bunch!

Mitch
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanny
Hello everyone.

Our 34' Excella has a single Delta A/C unit that I believe is 13.5k btu. I'm not up to rewiring the trailer for 50 amps and wanted to know a couple of things.

1. Which A/C is better...Coleman or Carrier?
2. Does either brand have the interior ceiling assembly for an AS?
3. Can I resuse the Delta Ceiling assembly with either brand?
2. Is this a do it yourself job?

I've scanned a bunch of other threads and found a bunch of comments about the duotherm brand and it seems that Coleman or Carrier are better quality.

Thanks a bunch!

Mitch
Mitch,
None of them are really quality units IMHO (but that is another issue) Coleman's DO NOT have the drip pan capabilities that are needed for an Airstream. If you use the Coleman unit you will have water trailing down the side of your Airstream, now that in itself is just a minor aggravation, what would concern me more is that the water contains copper ions from the condenser coils and eventually are going to react with the aluminum and cause major issues.

I would also consider sizing up to a 15k BTU unit.

Aaron
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Old 03-31-2007, 07:09 AM   #3
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The Dometic Duotherm seems to be the 'preferred' unit that most of the big OEM motor home manufacturers use. I see them on a daily basis. RVP (Coleman) is next. I have seen very few Carriers out there on th elarge rigs that I service.

That said, I think that the Carrier has the best design, but the Duotherm has the best warranty.....3 years! Also, from my perspective on the service side, they really stand behind their product. PLUS, it is the brand that the factory uses in all new Airstreams. There is a drip pan available which will let you use the drain hoses inside the walls so you don't get dripping condensate on the outside of your trailer. The Carrier can also be modified to use this.

The biggest problem with new A/C units is their designed-in disposeability. There are no process valves present on ANY roof mounted A/C unit to allow R-22 to be added if necessary. This dictates total unit replacement if there is a refrigerant leak found in the hermetically sealed system and all 3 companies send new units out on a regular basis. We no longer change out compressors or repair R-22 leaks. Just chuck and replace.

With the high cost of labor today, it has been found more cost effective to replace....rather than repair the unit. The only things that get replaced on a roof air today are the blower motor, PC board and capacitors.

I installed a Carrier low-profile unit into a vintage A/S last year and the ceiling package can be scribed and trimmed to fit the ceiling. It looked great. ANY new unit that you get will need a NEW ceiling package from the same manufacturer that exactly matches the unit.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:11 AM   #4
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I agree with Lew (not suprising) about the Carrier unit. The Duotherm has a better warranty, but I like the air shower and self-rotating outlet vents of the Carrier. The ones I have experience with have a slinger that spray the condensate water on the condensor cooling fins to help evaporate the water. This minimizes the amount of water that runs down the side of the trailer. Also, I think the newer A/C units don't have any copper lines in them, the parts are now aluminum.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:19 AM   #5
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Repair Old vs. New

Lew, Terry,

The original Armstrong in my '77 still works, though not really well. My dad does HVAC and he sat in the trailer one time and said it didn't seem that bad, that I was just expecting too much from a little RV unit rather than a house air conditioner.

Anyway, do you guys think its worth putting money into a 30 year old unit to try and get it back up to snuff? Or is it better to just get a new unit?

I've read on here that the old ones were of pretty good quality. I was considering just chucking it and getting a new 15,000 job. But if the new ones aren't as good as the old, I'd be willing to get it looked at. Dad mainly does residential stuff, but the principles are the same.

However, I like the idea of spraying condensate on the coils. That's really smart.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Lew, Terry,

The original Armstrong in my '77 still works, though not really well. My dad does HVAC and he sat in the trailer one time and said it didn't seem that bad, that I was just expecting too much from a little RV unit rather than a house air conditioner.

Anyway, do you guys think its worth putting money into a 30 year old unit to try and get it back up to snuff? Or is it better to just get a new unit?

I've read on here that the old ones were of pretty good quality. I was considering just chucking it and getting a new 15,000 job. But if the new ones aren't as good as the old, I'd be willing to get it looked at. Dad mainly does residential stuff, but the principles are the same.

However, I like the idea of spraying condensate on the coils. That's really smart.
Jim, if you can find someone to work on it, I would repair the Armstrong unit. They may be a bit noisier than the new units, but they will run virtually forever.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:01 AM   #7
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Great Advice

After looking around my AS for a bit I think I may have found some of the cause of low cooling.

The fridge has been replaced by the PO with an electric only. Because of this there is NOT a good seal around it. I think the AC unit has been pulling hot air in from the open seams.

One other question I have is why does this unit always freeze up? We're here in Texas and once it cools everything down it will freeze up in the middle of the night. I've tried running it on high fan, low fan and even fiddled with the temperature control.

Mitch
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:13 AM   #8
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Well that does it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Also, I think the newer A/C units don't have any copper lines in them, the parts are now aluminum.
If this is true than I guess I have to go with aluminum

One question (I know I've had about 10 of these). If I get a Carrier that has the 'slinger' technology and route the condensation throught the OEM drain tube, do you think that will negatively impact the unit?

Perhaps the slinging is aimed at helping the unit.

Mitch
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:34 AM   #9
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The slinger helps the unit cool, cold water on the warm coils will positively affect the temp of the "treated air" going inside. Your unit freezing up is most likely caused by low freon charge, although there could be some other factors.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:06 PM   #10
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There are a bunch of causes that will create evaporator freeze-up. One of the primary causes is cooled air discharge being sucked back into the return, either by a leak in the evaporator blower housing or close proximity of the cold air outlet to the return.

Also, this can be created by insufficient ducting of cold air or a blockage in the cold air exhaust path. Another cause is leaving a window open, or having an exterior air leak on the outside casing of the evaporator. This defeats the purpose of recycling the dried return air and will also cause evap. freezing.

On newer units, it can also be caused by an inoperative freeze switch. I would have to say that the low refrigerant case is at the bottom of the list, as I have only seen 1 case of this.

That said, I would get the Armstrong running properly, as they are the ONLY roof air that can be successfully re-charged and are generally considered to be bullet=proof once they are running properly.

Look for a minimum of 20* temperature differential between the discharge air and the ambient return air. If you're getting that or better, you're doing great. If not....re-charge with R-22 and try it again!
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:13 PM   #11
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I have the Carrier 15,000 BTU AC installed on my 1976 31' A/S. Very good unit and produces very cold air. My only complaint is the 2 speed fan, it's High and Higher. This thing will blow you away and can be noisy. I wish it had a good quite low speed fan.

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Old 05-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #12
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I just had a Carrier Low Profile 15000 btu installed on my '86 345 Silver Bullet. It has a drain that hooked right up to the old drain tube. It moves a lot more air than the old 13500 Coleman and my wife said it's a lot quieter and colder then the old one. Anyone need a drain pan? I done sold the old Coleman to a happy fightfighter from OKC.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #13
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I have the 13,500 Carrier on my 78 Argosy. It's done a good job for me in these Oklahoma Summers; however, I too would like to have a quieter unit. I think this new Carrier is about the same noise level as my original Coleman, but I didn't care for that noise either. Kind of ruins the camping experience when you're stuck in a wind tunnel. A necessary evil in Oklahoma, I guess.
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