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Old 08-25-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
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1971 25' Tradewind
Grottoes , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
Installing Roof Top Unit

It appears this topic has been beat to death, but I'm having a hard time searching for the information I need.

We've got a new Carrier low profile 15,000btu A/C unit (heat pump type) arriving Friday. If at all possible I'd like to install it over the weekend. There are just a few questions I had concerning the install that I can't seem to find a definitive answer to.

Our camper is a 1971 Tradewind, 25'. Serial number L25 D1J, if that helps any.

-I read where some Airstreams will have the necessary wiring installed and left hanging in the roof. Is this the case on a 1971 Tradewind?

-Is there a diagram available, or detailed instructions available, as to where I need to cut my hole for the unit?

-What is the best route to go for draining?

-Is there any reinforcement needed to support the weight of the Carrier unit on the roof?

-Are there any surprises I need to be mindful of?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:31 AM   #2
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1973 Argosy 22
Carleton , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 68
Installin new A/C

I can only pass along some information not specific to your Airstream. When I installed A/C in our Argosy, the Prewiring was taped to the rearside of the second crossmember from the rear ceiling vent. (you can see the rivet pattern showing where the crossmembers are. However, since your trailer is 3 feet longer- you may have to look at a 25' trailer that had the air preinstalled to make sure which crossmember. We didn't have to add any bracing (and we put in a heavy old unit), but we did have to slide some curved peices of wood between the outside and inside skin to maintain the roofs curve when you clamp down the A/C. At the fuse box (and maybe you could start here to see if it is prewired), remove the fuse box, cut a hole in the inside skin just large enough to fit your hand into and that will be covered when you put the box back; reach in the wall and pull out the wiring and connect it to the box. Add another fuse. Hope this helps a little. I know it is scary cutting a hole in your roof.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:52 AM   #3
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1966 20' Globetrotter
1993 34' Limited
Hugo , Minnesota
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How did you deal with the drain on your new unit? Are you letting it just drain out onto the roof; or did you somehow hook it up to the old inside drain that goes thru the wall down to near the wheels.?
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Schererville , Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hank1 View Post
It appears this topic has been beat to death, but I'm having a hard time searching for the information I need.

We've got a new Carrier low profile 15,000btu A/C unit (heat pump type) arriving Friday. If at all possible I'd like to install it over the weekend. There are just a few questions I had concerning the install that I can't seem to find a definitive answer to.

Our camper is a 1971 Tradewind, 25'. Serial number L25 D1J, if that helps any.

-I read where some Airstreams will have the necessary wiring installed and left hanging in the roof. Is this the case on a 1971 Tradewind?

-Is there a diagram available, or detailed instructions available, as to where I need to cut my hole for the unit?

-What is the best route to go for draining?

-Is there any reinforcement needed to support the weight of the Carrier unit on the roof?

-Are there any surprises I need to be mindful of?


Thanks in advance.
You should call Airstream in Jackson Center, Ohio. They will give you a measurement from the front of the first rib going curbside to streetside ways (after the endcap) back. That will give you the place to cut your 14" x 14" hole. My husband & son just installed my daughter's Dometic Low Profile a few weeks ago. She has an Argosy, so the wiring might not be the same as yours. Hers was right inside the hole (but there was an outlet inside the trailer on the ceiling). My husband reinforced the square between the two sheets of aluminum (inside & outside) with wood that he made to the curve of the trailer. My daughter had to purchase a drip pan from Airstream to use the drip tube that is already installed in the trailer. That was an additional $100. I have some pictures of the install that I was going to give to my daughter to post here. She hasn't gotten around to it, but if you need some, I'll put a few up for you.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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Corona , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hank1 View Post
It appears this topic has been beat to death, but I'm having a hard time searching for the information I need.

We've got a new Carrier low profile 15,000btu A/C unit (heat pump type) arriving Friday. If at all possible I'd like to install it over the weekend. There are just a few questions I had concerning the install that I can't seem to find a definitive answer to.

Our camper is a 1971 Tradewind, 25'. Serial number L25 D1J, if that helps any.

-I read where some Airstreams will have the necessary wiring installed and left hanging in the roof. Is this the case on a 1971 Tradewind?

-Is there a diagram available, or detailed instructions available, as to where I need to cut my hole for the unit?

-What is the best route to go for draining?

-Is there any reinforcement needed to support the weight of the Carrier unit on the roof?

-Are there any surprises I need to be mindful of?

Thanks in advance.
The wire within the ceiling can be found in the center of the roof, and 106 inches rearward from station "zero".

Station zero is the very first front main bow, or you can also measure from the forward edge of the awning rail.

Andy
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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Valley View , Texas
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Carrier low profile drain fitting

I am doing today.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:10 PM   #7
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Woodstock , Georgia
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This is good info, thanks Andy
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:09 PM   #8
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1971 25' Tradewind
Grottoes , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 20
Finished the A/C install over the weekend. It was pretty painless, really.

We got the Carrier low profile unit that seems to have been discontinued. We found on in Florida, brand new, at a reasonable price. We had ordered the heat pump version, however, after installation, i found out (too late) that we did not receive what we had ordered. We received the cool only version. Pretty disappointing, but I'm not going to remove it....

I found the A/C wiring 104" from station zero. I used a 1.5" hole saw to start with so I could get a peek at what I was cutting through. After drilling the hole I was able to see the wire I was looking for; it was just laying in the ceiling and was not attached to anything.

I used the 104" measurement to center my 14"x14" hole. I was not sure if this was correct or not, but it worked out ok. I cut my 14"x14" hole with a skill saw and fine tooth blade. It made quick work.

Before cutting the outer shell of the coach, I took a 3/8" drill bit and drilled holes in the four corners of my opening to the outside. Once on top of the coach I used a straight-edge, lining up my drilled holes, to mark my next cut.

Inside of my 14" x 14" hole I found not only the 12-2 wiring for the A/C unit, but there was also a 3/8" drain hose and the wiring for the thermostat. I had to use a brass adapter and a short piece of rubber hose to make my drain hose connection because the Airstream hose was too small for the Carrier unit. Cost about $3.00.

Inside the breaker box I found the other end to my 12-2 wire. I had to buy a 20amp breaker at Lowe's to make my breaker box connection ($4.75).

The hardest part of the job was trimming the ceiling unit cover to fit the curve of the Airstream's roof. For lack of a better suited tool, I used an angle grinder with a thin cut-off wheel attached. I had to go really slow to keep the cover from melting, but it worked. I would not recommend it, but it got the job done.

All-In-All, this project was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I did everything alone, including getting the unit on top of the roof, by myself. I did have some help with final wiring from an electrician friend of mine, and motivational support from the GF. Now we have nice and cool A/C just in time for Fall/Winter.

Thanks everyone for your comments and tips.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1hank1 View Post
Finished the A/C install over the weekend. It was pretty painless, really.

We got the Carrier low profile unit that seems to have been discontinued. We found on in Florida, brand new, at a reasonable price. We had ordered the heat pump version, however, after installation, i found out (too late) that we did not receive what we had ordered. We received the cool only version. Pretty disappointing, but I'm not going to remove it....

I found the A/C wiring 104" from station zero. I used a 1.5" hole saw to start with so I could get a peek at what I was cutting through. After drilling the hole I was able to see the wire I was looking for; it was just laying in the ceiling and was not attached to anything.

I used the 104" measurement to center my 14"x14" hole. I was not sure if this was correct or not, but it worked out ok. I cut my 14"x14" hole with a skill saw and fine tooth blade. It made quick work.

Before cutting the outer shell of the coach, I took a 3/8" drill bit and drilled holes in the four corners of my opening to the outside. Once on top of the coach I used a straight-edge, lining up my drilled holes, to mark my next cut.

Inside of my 14" x 14" hole I found not only the 12-2 wiring for the A/C unit, but there was also a 3/8" drain hose and the wiring for the thermostat. I had to use a brass adapter and a short piece of rubber hose to make my drain hose connection because the Airstream hose was too small for the Carrier unit. Cost about $3.00.

Inside the breaker box I found the other end to my 12-2 wire. I had to buy a 20amp breaker at Lowe's to make my breaker box connection ($4.75).

The hardest part of the job was trimming the ceiling unit cover to fit the curve of the Airstream's roof. For lack of a better suited tool, I used an angle grinder with a thin cut-off wheel attached. I had to go really slow to keep the cover from melting, but it worked. I would not recommend it, but it got the job done.

All-In-All, this project was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I did everything alone, including getting the unit on top of the roof, by myself. I did have some help with final wiring from an electrician friend of mine, and motivational support from the GF. Now we have nice and cool A/C just in time for Fall/Winter.

Thanks everyone for your comments and tips.
The "heat" option can be added anytime.

It's also simple to install.

Andy
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:16 AM   #10
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1971 25' Tradewind
Grottoes , Virginia
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Are you referring to the heat strip?
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