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Old 08-11-2014, 11:30 PM   #183
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The ongoing topic of ducted AC. I viewed RV forum on the topic as many of them have been living with this sort of thing for a while and here is what owners say: The best part about most ducted air setups is that it can cycle the fan to cut down on noise. The worst part is that in most of their posts they talk about how they have to use their switch to distribute the air directly or run another unit to do so to cool down the coach. In other words, they have to get the air directly from the unit to cool the coach down more quickly but once they do that, they can switch it to ducted (apparently some systems have the ability to bypass the ducts or they provide a second non-ducted unit to do so as both options were mentioned) The challenge though for some has been trying to maintain the cool temp in hot weather as per posts.

I believe Airstream is on the right track with this. It all matters on how it is implemented and also how R&D impact future RV AC unit design.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:33 AM   #184
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Here is my relevant post from another thread ... written first person as someone who has lived with the new 2015 AIRSTREAM ducted air for a month ... not speculation or he said, she said ...

There is no need to cycle the fan in 90+ weather to cut noise; see the numbers below. It is really quiet! We leave it on high for most of the cooling time (thermostat set to 72); however, if you might want the fan to cycle on and off with the compressor - set it to auto (either the fan or the A/C). There is no switching between ducted and any other alternative for A/C or bypass ... ducted is the only option we have with a single A/C unit for the heat pump. The furnace is still the familiar unit behind the axles at floor level with flex hose to various outlets near the floor. But talk about a nice even temperature from one end to the other with the ducted air! WOW !

Ducted Air Conditioning; Sound Level Numbers
Quote:

Originally Posted by mefly2
Of course these sound level readings for this central air 2013 will be relative...but from a SmartTools sound meter app on my phone, I measure: 63 db at 6' while seated at the cushion juncture of the dinette; all a/c vents are open and fan on high. Directly under the main a/c vent and in front of stove: 84-85 db. Sitting on the bed: 65 db. So, as would be expected, the sound level drops inversely by the square of the distance (if you could hear that accurately).

Note that reducing the fan speed lowers the 6' reading to 59db; significant but not quiet nor sufficient flow to keep us cool (75) when the outside temps climb in bright sunshine.
For comparison ... Normal conversation at 3'= 60-65dB
City Traffic (inside car) = 85dB

As promised ... we finally took a break from enjoying / playing in our EB w/ ducted air to get the
following ducted air conditioning sound level background readings;
* fan on high, compressor running *

Seated at the cushion juncture: 54-55 db; down from 63 db / 59 with fan on low; reduction of 8-9 db.
In front of stove directly under inlet for ducted air: 60 db; down from 84-85 db; reduction of 24-25 db !!!
Sitting on the front bed: 54-55 db; down from 65 db;
reduction of 10-11 db.

Even by this unscientific means, those difference numbers are significant and dramatic for sound reduction.
The ducted air is also very effective in cooling (and heating) both ends of the trailer (and even the Head).


It is really now quite amazing that we can be sitting in cool comfort and listen to Pandora or a movie at the same time as the AC is on with the fan on high. I can now talk to my wife when she is in the galley area under the ducted air intakes and not even need to raise my voice to communicate. It eliminates the stress of the loud A/C background noise when inside the AS trying to do much of anything other than sleep... we spent much of last weekend just sitting inside of the Eddie Bauer listening to the quiet while the outside temps were above 90 F. Do we like the ducted air and is it worth the depreciation on our trade in ??? YES !!! Emphatically; however, YMMV.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:20 AM   #185
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I just put a deposit down on a 2015 International Signature with dual Acs which I am set to pick up next week, I am so excited! I'll be sure to let you know our first impressions of her on our trip back home.

Thank you all for sharing so much information, you're the reason I didn't sway when a 2013 came on the market for 16k less, I know it will be worth it to be more comfortable, especially when getting ready in the bathroom, it gets hot in there without ducting! And I'd like to be able to hear Jason, though I think he was looking forward to blaming the AC on not being able to hear me... HA!
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:39 PM   #186
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I predict that you will be very glad that you waited for the 2015 - if for no other reason than the ducted air ...
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:54 PM   #187
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Ducted Air

I find my new Serenity with two A/C units is a huge improvement. What I would like to see is a tinted cover for the skylights. It seems a lot of heat enters during the day, especially in a place like San Antonio, Texas, where I have parked on several occasions with my previous 2009 27FB. I think if anyone knows of a way to tint the skylights this may reduce the work on the A/C units.

Also, I believe there are filters in the return ducts, although I have not specifically checked this out.


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Old 08-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #188
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Msmoto.... Yes... someone from down south ... understanding that the skylight is simply an inferno from above... I had a 2011 25FB with one skylight and that was a giant heater... I had an old windshield heat shield from AutoZone and I cut it and placed it in-between the pleated shade and the skylight.

I Custom ordered my new 2015 w/2 A/C's 27fb from the factory, and had them in place of the rear skylight install a fantastic fan during production, they responded no problem one grand extra... I said do it! I am thinking that for the front skylight since it has a deep sill now, I will have a custom insulated insert about 4" thick to cover up the front skylight for 80% of the year down here in Louisiana. I will have them place the reflective insulated pad on top with foam for insulation in the center and cover the bottom that shows with a fabric that will look good. I take delivery in Oct... Ready! yes! Enjoy your new 27fb! Mark
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:32 AM   #189
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Msmoto,
Sorry enjoy your new 30RB .... I am also sending the bedroom curtains to the sewing room to have light block fabric sewn into the outside facing of the curtains... this should help with heat, and allow to sleep in when needed.... I also will tint all the back windows of the 27fb with 50% tint... last time I used Limo tint. I will also tint the oval windows on the upper side with Limo Tint... this help very much.... Then I will be ready to Roll!
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:56 AM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post

Also, I believe there are filters in the return ducts, although I have not specifically checked this out.
No filter that I have found in our new 2015.

Of course, we never go where the sun "really" (100+degrees )shines ... that is at least so far with the new EB. But as for the skylights - LaD is right on the mark; we have found that the skylights are, indeed, an inferno / heat source whenever in direct sunlight ... even when the sun is not directly overhead. We have done the same as he proposes in insulating that inferno. It seems like the temperature in that area of the trailer is at least 10 degrees warmer and taxes the A/C ... however, with the new ducted A/C we have not noticed it at all! We have had 90+ for the last few weeks and still smiling with just one A/C albeit ducted. YMMV
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:59 PM   #191
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Well, when one removes one of the rectangular return air vents, very carefully with a wooden wedge, one finds a thin piece of foam immediately behind the screen…. and mine had some dirt on it already, having been in the unit about five days on its first outing.

Thus, I suspect i will be removing each vent and carefully hand washing my filters about once a week in very hot weather when the A/C is on continuously, maybe less so in the cooler times.

Also, i may decide to use a different material, especially if the foam is damaged by washing, etc., and this material would most likely be from a standard household furnace filter, cheap, which I have disassembled and cut pieces to fit my Airstream. The disposable filter may do a better job of capturing the dirt, but does require a small amount of time to cut and fit.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #192
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My dealer gave me the attached info sheet on the new "QuietStream".

Not much more than we already know but it does mention more insulation in the roof. That makes sense with the thicker roof. Thats a good thing.

We ordered a 2015 FC 27 FB. It should be off the line in mid Sept.

Dan
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2015 QuietStream Ducted AC.pdf (1,002.3 KB, 197 views)
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:31 PM   #193
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@dcopps

You will love the 27 FB. I had a 2009 and it is one of the best floor plans. Enjoy,
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #194
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We immediately swapped the factory stuff they call skylights for units from Maxim made in Texas. You order them made with each of the three lenses can be clear or a choice of color or frosted. They are hail proof. We installed the unit in the hall ceiling of the bathroom with a frosted white center lens and that blocks the highest percentage of heat gain or loss depending in the ceiling. We had the front unit made with medium bronze so one can still see out but do reduce heat loss or gain over 30% compared to the plastic sheeting the factory calls a skylight.

Airstream Skylights - Maxim SkylightMaxim Skylight

Give them a call.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:17 PM   #195
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Thanks, dcopps ...and enjoy your new 27FB.

... there it is in a factory info sheet for all of the doubting Thomases ...that there is, indeed, more insulation in the roof on the 2015s with ducted air conditioning. You can really feel the difference (just by hand position moving from the sidewalls to the ceiling) that there is less heat transfer from the outer skin to the inner.

Loving it! We address the heat / light from the F.Fans with Maxx-Air Fan Mate vent covers...black over the bedroom area and reflective white over the dinette. The skylight is insulated between the pleats and the translucent plastic; the outer "vista view" windows are covered on the outside...what a difference that makes in the inside temps in summer heat!
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:44 PM   #196
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Technical Commentary

Finally, it seems that Airstream has joined with the rest of the RV industry in offering a flat ceiling, ducted A/C system. These have been in place for many years on other types of RVs and motor homes.

Prior to this new 'innovation', Airstream used the classic mounting method of thru bolting the upper A/C unit to the roof in a clamping manner using their proprietary plastic drain pan to catch the condensate and channel it thru an internal tube to the street side wheel well, with the mounting bolts running thru an internal metal frame at the top of the interior ceiling.

On late '11 models and commencing with the '12 model year, Airstream began using the Dometic auxiliary drain kit that the rest of the RV industry has been using for over 20 years and discontinued their drain pan usage. This method utilized plastic 'catch cups' which are fastened to the underside of the upper A/C frame at the drain holes to channel the condensate in the same way as above.

The 'new' ducting system will not be mounting the A/C unit from inside the trailer; rather, it will be attached to the roof from the top of the trailer as there is no longer any interior access for the clamping bolts to hold the upper frame to the inside of the trailer. Mounting the new system will require the use of lag-type bolts that will pierce the surrounding frame re-inforcement of the A/C's 14 X 14 opening.

Many of the large motor home and high end 5th wheel manufacturers use this method as well. On changing many of these units for replacement, I have found that over zealous techs or line assemblers routinely strip one or more of these mounting holes, creating a loose mounting situation which luckily can be remedied by the use of a larger diameter bolt or lag.

If any of these new A/C units fail in short order, be aware of this situation and be certain to inform those performing the repair about the possibility of over-torqueing the mounting bolts and stripping them. To not do so will certainly invite leaks thru an improperly compressed sealing gasket.
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