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Old 07-25-2016, 01:43 PM   #1
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Have you mounted your own AC unit?

I may have to install a new AC and have questions.

The currently available ceiling distribution panels appear to be flat across the top. Was this a problem, air flow, when installing to the curved ceiling?
Is there a special number for the ceiling panel that would be used if the AC has a heat strip? Are the controls standard within the 2 knobs?

I have asked Airstream and Dometic these and other questions and could not get an answers from Customer Service. They just want to sell a wall thermostat system.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I may have to install a new AC and have questions.

The currently available ceiling distribution panels appear to be flat across the top. Was this a problem, air flow, when installing to the curved ceiling?
Is there a special number for the ceiling panel that would be used if the AC has a heat strip? Are the controls standard within the 2 knobs?

I have asked Airstream and Dometic these and other questions and could not get an answers from Customer Service. They just want to sell a wall thermostat system.
HowieE,
I installed a Dometic in the rear of my 34', a colman low profile in my '63 Overlander and a new style Penguin on a '55. The interior curve didn't cause any issue in any trailer, the panels snugs right up to the ceiling.

Now trying to decode what interior part number is needed to match up with the main unit, well, that's sorcery.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:18 PM   #3
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Did you use a drain pan kit when installing on an original Airstream roof pan? Those pans have a collection area connected directly to the drain hose and I don't see why the kit is necessary working from the limited pictures I can find.

I found a vendor on Amazon that had far more knowledge than Airstream or Dometic as far as part number compatibility.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:41 PM   #4
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Lewster on these boards may be more help than anyone.

I've removed interior air boxes and find that they have a certain amount of flex which allows them to accommodate the curve of the roof.

I have one of the unnecessarily complicated wall thermostats and wish I just had knobs.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:07 PM   #5
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Have you mounted your own AC unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Did you use a drain pan kit when installing on an original Airstream roof pan? Those pans have a collection area connected directly to the drain hose and I don't see why the kit is necessary working from the limited pictures I can find.

I found a vendor on Amazon that had far more knowledge than Airstream or Dometic as far as part number compatibility.

On my '91 when I installed the rear AC I used the plastic drain pan, kinda fragile and fiddly. The last one I installed I used the 'drain cups' and it was much better. It needs a second gasket to slightly raise the unit so the cups clear the roof. I think the cup kit came with the extra gasket. The unit was a 15000 btu heat pump and has a wall mounted thermostat and also controls the furnace. Really slick. I was able to fish the wires thru the ceiling into a cabinet and down to a location on the wall.

I will probably have to replace my original front AC on my '91 soon, low speed doesn't work anymore and it's got a habit of eating start and run caps. I'll consider a heat pump with the external thermostat when I do.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:19 PM   #6
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Not sure if my experience would interest you since I installed a Coleman instead of a Dometic. Used a heat strip and a condensate pump kit. Had to do a little fiddling to be happy with the intersection of the curved roof and flat AC, but I'm happy with the results. Relevant blog posts are here, presented in reverse chronological order: http://thegreatleys.com/?category=Mach+8+Cub+AC+Install
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:58 AM   #7
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I paid someone to install a new A/C on mine. I would have spent person days and weeks on it and still would never done nearly as good of a job as the person that did it for me not to mention that I don't have the scaffolding to get above it and the equipment to properly lift and locate an A/C unit on top. And - I figured that I only get one chance on a project like this. As a rule of thumb it is the cost of the unit X 2 for the unit installed. Mine was extra work due to the original being an Armstrong unit and those of you that have dealt with that know that there is significant extra labor for metal work, trim work, and reinforcement for a new A/C but once that's done the future units should be much more straightforward.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Not sure if my experience would interest you since I installed a Coleman instead of a Dometic. Used a heat strip and a condensate pump kit. Had to do a little fiddling to be happy with the intersection of the curved roof and flat AC, but I'm happy with the results. Relevant blog posts are here, presented in reverse chronological order: http://thegreatleys.com/?category=Mach+8+Cub+AC+Install
Has that heat strip worked out for you? I found that on my Dometic, it just blocked the air flow and didn't give out much heat. Worthless!
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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I installed a Penguin unit on my '79 Ambassador. Used the drip pan that I ordered from a dealer in Kansas City. At the time I did the project (probably 14 years ago) there weren't many places to get the drip pan.

The project was a bit of a pain because the original unit was a beast to get off. Needed to modify the opening for the Penguin. You may not have to deal with any of that.

As for the curve inside, my unit was not a wide body so the curve was pretty good and did cause an issue. Tightening the cover up to the curve caused the vents to not pivot correctly and the foam filter covers would pop off because the latches would not engage correctly. Eventually is also caused some cracks in the cover. If I did it again, I would make plastic curved shim pieces to add on to the cover to allow the cover to be flat but seal up the open areas the curve creates.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:12 PM   #10
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After a day of phone calls and extensive searching on the net things are coming together.

Neither Airstream or Dometic customer service were of any help. There was no knowledge of the subject what so ever.

I will be install a Penguin AC, with the drain kit and no Airstream roof pan if I can't find a control board for my old unit. Thanks to knowledgeable help from Camper Paradise in Charlotte, NC.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:20 PM   #11
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Have ro researched the new Dometic Blizzard NXT?
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Has that heat strip worked out for you? I found that on my Dometic, it just blocked the air flow and didn't give out much heat. Worthless!
So far it's been great. My expectations were pretty low since it's designed to be a "chill chaser" and not a primary source of heat. It doesn't blow hot, but if you let it run for a while, it does gradually warm up the coach. When I had the interior skin out, I was working in a short sleeve t-shirt very comfortably with 20 degrees outside and the heat strip running. Now that have insulation, I expect it will work even better.

I also have a wood stove, so I'm not depending on the heat strip exclusively.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
After a day of phone calls and extensive searching on the net things are coming together.

Neither Airstream or Dometic customer service were of any help. There was no knowledge of the subject what so ever.

I will be install a Penguin AC, with the drain kit and no Airstream roof pan if I can't find a control board for my old unit. Thanks to knowledgeable help from Camper Paradise in Charlotte, NC.
I just 3 weeks ago,installed a new Penquin from CamperParadise,and found the sales guy knew about installing the unit correctly,drain cups for the A/S,two gaskets and the new 2- knob faceplate.Dometic customer service was useless,as was A/S for info( only would give A/S part numbers).The 2 knob faceplate is too cheaply made to withstand the strip heater.It also doesn't fit the inside contour,even if you use all the side screws to attach,the ends still won't pull the inside metal up flush.Poor re-design as every part is made cheaper and less value.I wish I had bought and reworked the A/S to fit the Coleman.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:38 PM   #14
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The 2 knob faceplate is too cheaply made to withstand the strip heater.It also doesn't fit the inside contour,even if you use all the side screws to attach,the ends still won't pull the inside metal up flush.Poor re-design as every part is made cheaper and less value.I wish I had bought and reworked the A/S to fit the Coleman.
Mike

Who's ceiling box did you use? Dometic makes two for the Penguin, one that will support the heater and one that will not.
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