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Old 05-25-2004, 11:04 AM   #1
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1964 22' Safari
Sacramento , California
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How to install a new air conditioner?

I have a 1964 Airstream Safari Twin 22' trailer. I would like to
install an air conditioner on the trailer. When I contacted the
Airstream Tech line, a return caller informed me that my trailer is
pre-wired for an air conditioner. The wiring diagram in the original
owner's manual shows a line crossing over the ceiling between the
front and real vent. One service firm informed me that a separate 30
amp circuit is necessary in order to install an air conditioner unit.
My trailer has a 30 amp circuit probably service to the refrigerator
and wall outlets. Is it still necessary to have a separate circuit
and who in my local area (Sacramento, CA) can install an air
conditioner in the above trailer?
>
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Wong
I have a 1964 Airstream Safari Twin 22' trailer. I would like to
install an air conditioner on the trailer. When I contacted the
Airstream Tech line, a return caller informed me that my trailer is
pre-wired for an air conditioner. The wiring diagram in the original
owner's manual shows a line crossing over the ceiling between the
front and real vent. One service firm informed me that a separate 30
amp circuit is necessary in order to install an air conditioner unit.
My trailer has a 30 amp circuit probably service to the refrigerator
and wall outlets. Is it still necessary to have a separate circuit
and who in my local area (Sacramento, CA) can install an air
conditioner in the above trailer?
>
I have a single 30 amp circuit in my coach, split into two breakers once inside the unit.
If you have two breakers in your box, you already have the setup for the A/C. The exact location for the A/C is measured from the first rib on the roof, I think it is 90 inches, it should say for sure in your owner's manual. I, of course, would recommend Inland RV to do the install, if they have time.
Terry
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:44 PM   #3
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Alternative idea: floor mounted a/c

An alternative approach to trailer air conditioning is to buy a low bucks small household a/c unit (5000 to 6500 Btu @ $75 to $99 or so) from a big box retailer and install it at floor level underneath a bench seat or cabinet. Measure the open height under your bench seat or cabinet to make sure an a/c unit will fit. Vent the heat exhaust through the floor and/or outside wall, and run a new thick wire back to the breaker panel. You'll be running a/c only when you are at a trailer park with 125 volt A.C. electrical service anyway, so why carry the a/c weight around on the roof with a trailer a/c unit priced at $800+- when you can carry at floor level for much less initial cost?

Open a door cabinet to expose the a/c unit for use; otherwise, it's hidden behind a door or panel when not being used. I prefer mechanical rotary dials and knobs to an electronic keypad control panel that flashes a "power outage" message every time I unplug the trailer. Mechanical controls also avoid phantom electrical loads when the appliance is off, a great feature more desireable in 12 volt D.C. than 125 volt A.C. appliances. Food for cold thoughts.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:47 PM   #4
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I have a few questions on this. I have a 31 ft AS (rear bath with twins) and the only area that I would think that would be feasible to place a unit would be in the gaucho area, but this would mean opening a ventilation area in the front panel of our trailer. EWWWWWW!! We are replacing our stovetop with a small range for RV's so that area will no longer exist for placement of an a/c unit there....How and where can we place such a unit in order to vent air in the trailer? We still have the duct work that was for the previous heat system. Is there any way to tie into the ducts and have air to circulate there??? How do we go about this and is it even possible? If it is possible, what kind of wiring would you use in order to tie into the breaker panel???? Romex???
One last question--How would you vent the heat from the unit??? PLEASE SEND ANY SUGGESTIONS, PHOTOS, AND/OR DIAGRAMS IF ANYONE HAS DONE THIS. Our a/c is original to our '74 and is really showing signs of it's age. With the old heater going out, I feel like it is just a matter of time the a/c will too....
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
so why carry the a/c weight around on the roof with a trailer a/c unit priced at $800+- when you can carry at floor level for much less initial cost?
--because it sounds like about $10,000worth of work to actually *do* this.

--its a royal pain to fish a wire through an airstream....

--A/Ss from the 60's forward are pre-wired for a roof unit, even if they weren't factory equipped with one...solving the previous issue.

--cabinet space is already at a premium in any TT; roof unit uses no interior space... heck, I'm even thinking of ditching my furnace, because it takes up so much space, and I use it so little.

--even camping world's list prices for roof a/c units aren't that high...I'm sure you could get one cheaper. certainly more expensive than a houshold unit, though.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:39 PM   #6
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The more I talked to my husband, the more work we realized we were going to get ourselves into--and you are SO very right about the space issue....guess we are going to have to save up more money to get another roof a/c because you just cook in the AS without it....Besides, we are working on the interior and the roof a/c will probably still be the very best option---I need to win the lotto guys!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-26-2004, 06:55 PM   #7
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imeynstein
The more I talked to my husband, the more work we realized we were going to get ourselves into--and you are SO very right about the space issue....guess we are going to have to save up more money to get another roof a/c because you just cook in the AS without it....Besides, we are working on the interior and the roof a/c will probably still be the very best option---I need to win the lotto guys!!!!!!!!
I just got a Duotherm 15,000 BTU roof A/C with a heat strip for less than $800.00, installed. At Camping World. If you are working on the interior, it would be a very good idea to get it installed now, and plug it in while working inside. It makes the work much less of a pain, if you have A/C.
Terry
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Old 06-18-2004, 06:08 PM   #8
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Hey Terry,

When you had your Duo-therm installed at camping world, did it automatically come with the drip pan, or did you have to have them order it specifically for an airstream? We are getting a Penguin installed at CW in two weeks and now I'm wondering if they will be up to the task. There was an air conditioner on our unit previously, all the wiring and the drain tube is still there, so it "ought" to be do-able for them if it comes with the drip pan, but you never know.

Virginia
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Old 06-18-2004, 10:02 PM   #9
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towster
Hey Terry,

When you had your Duo-therm installed at camping world, did it automatically come with the drip pan, or did you have to have them order it specifically for an airstream? We are getting a Penguin installed at CW in two weeks and now I'm wondering if they will be up to the task. There was an air conditioner on our unit previously, all the wiring and the drain tube is still there, so it "ought" to be do-able for them if it comes with the drip pan, but you never know.

Virginia
The Duo-Therm I got has a splash type drain. That is, it splashes the evaporator water on the condenser to help cool the unit. Any excess drains off the outside of the roof. The drain tube is not used in this unit, nor does it need a drain pan. The Penguin requires one, IIRC, and must be purchased separately. I have used it twice so far, it seems to work well, it kept our trailer @ 72 degrees when the outside temp was a brisk 97. I can let you know how well the heat strip works when the temp dips below 90 again here.
Terry
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:14 PM   #10
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New A/C for an old Argosy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by argosy20
The Duo-Therm I got has a splash type drain. That is, it splashes the evaporator water on the condenser to help cool the unit. Any excess drains off the outside of the roof. The drain tube is not used in this unit, nor does it need a drain pan. The Penguin requires one, IIRC, and must be purchased separately. I have used it twice so far, it seems to work well, it kept our trailer @ 72 degrees when the outside temp was a brisk 97. I can let you know how well the heat strip works when the temp dips below 90 again here.
Terry
Terry,
Do you have a 20 foot Argosy that you had that A/C installed in by CW?
If so, did you already have an A/C in the trailer?
I have a 1977 20 Minuet that I am in the process of restoring. I am in the middle of replacing the fridge, (it was nasty inside and out!).
After I am done with the fridge I would like to mount an A/C unit. It has never had one but just like all of the A/S's out there it is prewired and the drain tube is in place. I just need to have the hole cut and the unit plopped in. I was wondering if CW is up to task as well. Do they know exactly where the unit is to be placed?

Thanks,
Lou
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Old 08-16-2004, 10:21 PM   #11
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Lou,

I know that CW does NOT know where to cut the hole and they do not want to do it. I have cut the hole, it is not hard, getting the unit up there is. CW is not into doing a high quality install. Terry's unit is not mounted straight and they will not correct it. Their excuse is a square AC on a round trailer is just not going to fit well.

The Dometic drain pan will help to make the curve flat, but then you will need to buy a Dometic penguin. The Carrier seems to fit, but does not drain thru the inner tube.
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Old 08-17-2004, 08:44 PM   #12
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the dometic drain pan will fit all dometic units . that is what i was told by Jackson center. it is being used with the penguins and 15000 heat pumps.
call and verify first, i does work with the penguin. also ask about the install you will scratch your head. i didnt do it as they suggested and had to redneck modify to make my way work. follow Jackson centers directions it will be much less work . use a PU AND WORK OUT OF THE BED AND THE INSTALL WILL BE A BREEZE TWO PEOPLE. do it off a ladder on the ground and it is work.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
.... use a PU AND WORK OUT OF THE BED AND THE INSTALL WILL BE A BREEZE TWO PEOPLE. do it off a ladder on the ground and it is work.
Please explain a little further.. seems that a pickup is only say 30" off the ground. You still have 7 more feet to lift it up there.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:49 AM   #14
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this site is getting to be a pain in the xyz. i lost a post last nite and now again today.
i did one ac off ladders and that was an experience. i was sore as heck the next day. using the truck bed as a platform to work of it was a breeze. we lifted the ac on top of a six ft step ladder and then one person went on top and sit the unit on boards. the person in the truck bed could also assis by pushing the unit up.
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