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Old 02-25-2004, 11:49 AM   #1
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New AS Air Conditioning - Does It Work?

This is just another note from visiting the West Palm Beach RV show last weekend. I noticed for the first time that even the 30 Classic does not have any type of ducting to distribute the air conditioning cool air.

Do the small cutouts at the top of the doors allow the system to work properly on a hot, humid Florida night when you are camping with another couple and need to keep the doors closed for privacy?
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Old 02-25-2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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we have a '04 25' Safari Model A with the bath in the center and twin beds in the rear. So far, when we've been camping with our son and daughter in law, we close the folding door to the back and have had no problems with air flow and temperatures. We live in Daytona Beach and know what humidity is all about too.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob. Anyone else thinks their Airstream air conditioning system is adquate or is Bob the only one?
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:40 AM   #4
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Bob may be the only one who's had to close the doors to the front of the trailer. We never have.
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:47 AM   #5
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In our Bambi it worked. It's been too cold out to test in the new Safari (25').

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Old 02-27-2004, 11:03 AM   #6
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Not sure about the newer ones but one of the reasons I got away from Airstreams is the lack of ducted air. They are just plain tough to cool. I had a miserable time last trip to the coast in mine, a 74 Overlander. The non-ducted roof air just couldn't keep up. If I still had it I would probably be painting the roof white like many have done before. Even the furnace ducting was badly designed.

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Old 02-27-2004, 11:54 AM   #7
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Apples to Oranges comparision?....

Our previous SOB was a Coleman Bayside Pop-up. Not a little pop-up, but when it was open, it was 26 feet long and had a slide out. It's interior volume rivals our 28W...

Now, the Coleman had a foam-insulated roof, but the side walls and the wings were canvas. I do not know what the r-value of canvas is, but I am sure it was not much...

It had a Mach 13.5K BTU AC on it. In the shade, it kept the inside too cold, when the OAT was close to 100. Water just poured off of the thing as it cranked its way through the afternoon. It kept the inside comfortable for me and too cold for DW.

In full sun, it did not keep up. We would eat a late lunch with the sun just cranking and the inside temp would be in the low 80's. Uncomfortable to me and just a bit warm for DW. You could feel a temperature gradient as you approached the wings...they were really heating the place up...

There are aftermarket covers like space blankets available to put over the wings.

So, I just bought a couple of tarps to drap over the sides. It seemed to help, and the inside temperature was in the 70's under full-sun conditions.

I would expect an insulated aluminim tube to perform at least as well under the same conditions...with roughly the sime-size AC...

Now, in the Coleman, the furnace (suburban, I think) consumed a full 20 pound bottle of fuel overnight when the temperature was in the 20's. Found it out the hard way one day when the night was longer than the bottle...I do not think it ever clicked off.

In our 28W, I am still on the same 30 pound tank since new,
and probably used the furnace at least 72 hours under very cold conditions...

If you use the gas cosumption to determine insulation differences, then I expect the AC on goonybird to keep up with demand, as the units are similar in size...at least at our latitude...

...just a conjecture, I guess.
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Old 02-27-2004, 12:14 PM   #8
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Dreamstream,
Your question was quite specifically centered about closed doors, and nighttime, and staying comfortable. I believe you will stay cool, easily. Last time I checked, the sun went down a little ways before it got all dark, ( aka night), which means it would heat up Airstream trailers in other parts of the world, not yours. Now all you have to deal with is the outside temp, and the humidity. No sunshine heating up the trailer. I am very sure that you would be ok. My 1971 has the original A/C, and when camping during hot, humid Sept/Aug in California, it keep up fine, cycling merrily on and off, sending tons of water through it's draintube, flooding my outside carpet....another story.
Thing is, I end up turning it off, because it is too noisy to sleep to. I believe a ducted air conditioning system to be substantially quieter. At least that is the impression I get when browsing through different units at the RV dealer.
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Old 02-27-2004, 12:45 PM   #9
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If we ever have to close the doors and that becomes a problem, there are several approaches we could take.

One, something I've heard of someone else doing, might be to mount tiny muffin fans between the door brace and the ceiling to boost the air flow rearward.

Another idea would be to have a thin duct, made up of sheetmetal, or even thin styrofoam, covered with matching upholstery, run from the AC rear outlet, to the first door bracket, angle around the lights and skylight, then angle back to exit above the door bracket in the bedroom.

Another idea would be to wire a jumper with a switch to the furnace fan motor so it could run when the AC was on and circulate air (the digital thermostat doesn't allow that). Putting covers over SOME of the heating duct outlets up front, to boost the bedroom flow, wouldn't risk overheating the furnace like it would when heating, since it's blowing only cool air.

The latter solution would be the easiest.
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Old 02-27-2004, 12:57 PM   #10
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If you could turn the furnace blower on, you can keep the tanks warm if you are running an electric or other heater instead of the furnace.

MY SOB could run the furnace blower without the furnace going...
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Old 02-27-2004, 01:10 PM   #11
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I have not tried A/C, but the heat pump sends the heated air right through those slots above the door. The bathroom is nice and toasty in the morning if bathroom doors have been closed over night.
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Old 02-27-2004, 01:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by hohne
If you could turn the furnace blower on, you can keep the tanks warm if you are running an electric or other heater instead of the furnace.

MY SOB could run the furnace blower without the furnace going...
A simple mod to make this happen is to add an in line switch with the sail switch on the furnace. By Lying to the furnace that the sail is not being pushed by the air it will never light. Of course the heat exchanger will exchange some of the inside heat to the outside air that is being drawn in. But that is a different issue
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Old 02-27-2004, 02:55 PM   #13
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ceiling ducts

If you ever get a chance to look inside a large Hi-Lo trailer you will see that they have added surface mounted ducting to the rear outlet of the a/c. It passes thru the privacy curtain, no interior hard walls in a Hi-Lo, and supplies conditioned air to the rear sleeping area when the door is closed.

BTW, they also use Dometics like the newer Airstreams

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Old 02-27-2004, 03:18 PM   #14
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Ceiling ducts

If you plan to add ceiling ducts, you might review the installation directions. Lots of stuff to wade through, but the basic info starts on page 5
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