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Old 11-06-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
65will
 
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1969 25' Tradewind
Greenwich , New York
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Cutting the hole for AC

Hello All,
I have a new Dometic Penguin A/C for my 69 Trade Wind, contacted Airstream for the location, They give 103 inches from the center of station 1. ( first rib) to the center of the fan shaft. I know the old A/C units didn't have a 14 x 14 hole. So I'm going 103 to the center of the 14 x 14. What do you think? Also how would you cut the hole? Tin Snips? I'm planing on cutting the inside panel first. I have the removeable center way in the ceiling of my trailer. Should I drop this and cut that hole with the panel down? I know the wireing runs down the center. Quite nerveous about this operation, but it has to get done!
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
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I would start your cut by using a 3 in. or so drill hole saw at the center point. This is a safe way to open the ceiling and will give you good access to look and feel around above the ceiling. You can insert a ruler and find the ribs and cross members an mark them on the ceiling before you start with the shears.

Once you have marked the cut you can work slowly towards it reaching in and checking for wires as you go. The wire should be off to one side but keep checking anyway.

Before you start cutting with the shears extend the center point of the hole saw cut up to the underside of the roof and make a mark. This will allow you to drill a small hole through the roof to center the roof cut before go up on the roof.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
cwf
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Make sure you do not have AC power to the trailer.. just in case you snag a power line.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
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I'm getting ready to do the same install on my 66 Overlander. If you haven't already purchased any type of reinforcement for your 14x14 opening, Out of Doors Mart has put together a nice little kit with pre cut aluminum pieces to reinforce your opening. The kit has two curved and two straight pieces to keep the inner and outer skin from collapsing when you mount the inner and outer units together. In my opinion, this is a better option than using wood as some have mentioned in other posts.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kline1966 View Post
I'm getting ready to do the same install on my 66 Overlander. If you haven't already purchased any type of reinforcement for your 14x14 opening, Out of Doors Mart has put together a nice little kit with pre cut aluminum pieces to reinforce your opening. The kit has two curved and two straight pieces to keep the inner and outer skin from collapsing when you mount the inner and outer units together. In my opinion, this is a better option than using wood as some have mentioned in other posts.
Do you have a part number or know what it is called?
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
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1966 26' Overlander
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Part number 104408 AC. It is called Terry's AC kit. This item was not on their web site as of a couple weeks ago when I ordered it, so you will most likely have to call them.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:37 AM   #7
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1969 25' Tradewind
Greenwich , New York
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update

I installed the A/C last weekend. I cut the hole on the inside first, found the wire and thermostat wire, right where Airstream said they would be. I opened the breaker box in the forward end cap, and the other end of the wire was there and hooked up, except the black. I had to buy a breaker. I framed the 14 x 14 opening with wood.I cut the 2 sides with the radius in them. They were 24 inches long, and span the ribs that run length wise. I had to drill holes for the wire and drain tube. The drain tube was not there. I ran 1/2 clear plastic tube for the drain. The outer skin was brittle, I ended up useing a cut off wheel to get a nice smooth cut. When all was said and done it is in and runs fine.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:39 AM   #8
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Pictures??
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:47 AM   #9
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Richmond , Virginia
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Do a search for my post. I did the job this past summer (or was it last summer....?) Anyway, scary stuff, but it worked out perfect. The other thing I did was go up and look at the rivet row of the ribs on the roof. Then, I draped a line down the side of the trailer, went back inside the trailer and just double checked it was where it should be. Then drilled a small hole in the inside, then squared it up. That's when I drilled the 4 holes through the roof (the 4 corners) I drilled those about 1.5 inches from the corners. Went back up to the roof and made sure the 14 x 14 was marked out with sharpie and square to all the ribs and rivet lines before finally cutting it out. I would recommend an air nibbler or shears - both you can get cheap from Harbor freight. Nibbler might be the handiest tool, but it doesn't cut straight lines very well. tin snips can be hard to use as it's thick aluminum, but i've cut plenty of areas with the tin snips.

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Old 12-22-2014, 09:13 PM   #10
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1967 22' Safari
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Hey guys. I'm planning on installing my AC/heat pump this weekend (dometic penguin II).

It's going into the center vent on my 67 safari. Question is: do I need to remove the 2" vertical lip that the existing vent cover sits on or can I leave it????

Haven't uncreated my unit yet so that may tell me, but I know you guys would know for sure! Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:15 PM   #11
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I should add that all my interior is gutted right now. No inner skin at all. Access is easy. Thanks again!
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:06 PM   #12
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that 'lip' is probably the 'curb' we reference here a lot. It is where the fan or skylight is typically mounted. post a pic so we can be sure..
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tentmaker View Post
Hey guys. I'm planning on installing my AC/heat pump this weekend (dometic penguin II).

It's going into the center vent on my 67 safari. Question is: do I need to remove the 2" vertical lip that the existing vent cover sits on or can I leave it????

Haven't uncreated my unit yet so that may tell me, but I know you guys would know for sure! Thanks in advance for the help.

I'm not sure you're ready for that yet. I may be mistaken, but doesn't the unit mount in a way where it sandwiches the inner and outer skins during the installation? You stated your inner skins are removed.


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Old 12-23-2014, 05:37 AM   #14
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1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
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I'm just tagging in here to follow the dialog. I just started working on our 1968 Overlander 26' and plan to install an AC unit. I'm a couple of months from that, but have been thinking about the installation location and whether the preinstalled wiring is likely aluminum (as is the rest of the alternating current system.)
Robwok, Thanks for the lead, I'll search for your posts. It looks like your install will be very similar to what I need to do.
65will, Congrats on successfully completing your install.
Tentmaker, Please keep us posted as you progress, if our Overlander goes well, I may eventually attempt the same with our Safari.

Thanks,
Roy and Marie
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