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Old 06-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
Minneapolis , Minnesota
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New AC install in '61 Tradewind, Advise

I'm about to embark on yet another project updating my Airstream. I have a 1961 24' Tradewind. I've read Marzboy's post and still don't have all the answers.
I know I want a Dometic Penguin (now called Penguin II, I think). I'm considering going with the black shroud.
I'm still undecided about heat pump or not. I plan on using my camper in the fall for hunting season. It adds about $300 to $400 bucks to the cost. It would be good to take the chill of without running the furnace.
I'm undecided about 13,500 or 15,000 BTU.
I have already purchased the Airstream drip pan P/N. It sounds like I might not need it if I use the drip kit from Dometic. I do want the lowest possible installation height. I can't exactly figure out if the Airstream drip pan mounts on top of the trailer, or between the skins, or what?
It sounds like I'll have to add a drain line either way.
It sounds like I'll have to add wiring because my '61 didn't come pre-wired. My circuit box has only two breakers and what looks like an un-used, screw in type, fuse on the side.
It sounds like in order to add a drain line and wiring, I'll have to open up the skin inside. Is there an easier way that looks OK when done?
I have choices for the air distribution box and thermostat as well.
Maybe I sould just keep it simple, a/c only, contols on the airbox, no thermostat.
Decisions, decisions.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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The PO of my Bambi II installed AC when he got it. I have two issues with the installation. 1. He put the AC in the same location where the roof vent was without installing another vent. There are times when some ventilation would be good without having to run the AC blower or unable to not being plugged in to AC power. It is very noisy even on low speed.
2. The drain is not very efficient. It works up to a point, then the water in the pan gets ahead of what the hose is able to drain off and I get overflow into the interior. I have tried to blow the hose out with compressed air a couple of times and it does not seem to help for very long. Annoying to say the least. I am still trying to figure out how to run a new larger drain hose without taking the interior part.
Sections of the interior skin were removed for installation of the wiring, etc.
Just some lessons learned from the install in my trailer.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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1962 24' Tradewind
Buffalo , Wyoming
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I recently acquired a '62 Tradewind that is also in need of AC. I have many of the same questions you do, so I'll be watching your post with much anticipation. My trailer has three vent holes, two in the front (one long one, and one 14"X14" square one), and one square one in the back near the bathroom. The front 14" hole has 12 gauge Romex type wiring to it, so I assume there was a fan in there at one time. I plan on installing the AC in the front 14" hole. I initially planned on running 10 gauge wire to the AC through the front closet and inside the wall that crosses the ceiling (where the accordion door hangs). That way I wouldn't have to remove any of the interior skin. However I found that the Penguin II only reqiures 12 gauge, 20 amp power, and that's what is wired to the 14" hole already. So using the existing wiring is my current plan. I also thought that if the condensation pan doesn't work, I could run a drain hose through the wall in the same manner I had planned on doing for the larger wire.

I also think I may have the same circuit box that you have. On mine, the "side screw-in type fuse holder" has a light bulb in it from the PO. It appears that that is the intended use, as the way it's wired inside the box, it couldn't be a fuse. However, there is no switch to turn the light off/on.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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1950 21' Flying Cloud
Allen , Texas
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I too am about to install an AC. I need to do the prep. What side is the drain and is it mid, fore or aft the opening
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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1961 24' Tradewind
Minneapolis , Minnesota
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I found this post which answered several questions
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f205...tml#post842067
It looks like the pan goes on top of the skin, under the A/C unit.
I think I can run the drain and power wires back to the rear closet on the street side.
Lewster says this pan is BS. Will the Airstream pan increase the installed height?
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #6
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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My drain in on the door/right side of the trailer. It is fed from the AC to the frig vent and comes out under the trailer.
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