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Old 02-04-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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1964 24' Tradewind
Peoria , Arizona
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Posts: 23
Question Real Answers for Real A/C questions

I know that there are some extremely knowledgeable folks here, and I would really appreciate some help with some A/C questions. I have searched high and low on these forums and can't really seem to find what I need. I hope this thread will provide some good reports for everyone to use.

I just purchased a 1964 Tradewind AS and have just finished gutting the interior. One of the major upgrades I plan to add is a new A/C unit as the old Coleman does not operate (per the PO - I think it's ugly and gross anyway...) After significant research, I have chosen to go with a Carrier Air V unit as my replacement. (Thank you Andy from Inland RV! - great advice)

First Question: Did my Tradewind come originally equipped with an A/C unit? What years did? (I think the answer is no, because I have all the original documentation and manuals and the only A/C info I have is a warranty card dated 1976. The other thing I found was a 110v romex line running down the refrigerator vent with a plug on the end plugged into the refer outlet.)

Second Question: If not originally equipped, is there a hidden drain line somewhere?

Third Question: If no drain line, I want to add one. (do things right the first time) What's the best method to add one?

Fourth Question: I hear alot of talk about "drain pans" for A/C units. Do A/C units come with their own drain pans (which I assume connects to the drain line) or is a drain pan an added part that's necessary?

Fifth Question: I will be living part time in our AS located in South Carolina (hot, humid summers with occasional freezing spells in the winter). I need to know the most energy efficient and mechanically efficient BTU size for my 24' trailer. 13,500 or 15,000? With or without heat strip?

My understanding is that a heat strip in an A/C will keep things warm down to about 45 degrees (outside) and that a 13,500 unit should adequately cool things down in 100 degree weather for a 24' trailer. Anybody have this setup?

Thanks in advance for the intense wisdom!

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Old 02-05-2007, 10:04 AM   #2
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Dear nbk3ad2,

1. I don't think it came as standard equipment. Sounds like the romex and plug is a later addition. Supposedly, some '64 units were prewired for AC, but that doesn't sound like what you have. The prewire sould have come from the breaker box, not the refrigerator outlet.

2. I doubt you will find a drain line installed in a 1964 Tradewind.

3. The best way would be to run a 1/2" pex line inside the wall and out through the wheel well. That requires disassembling a lot of cabinetry and wall sheeting. Unless you are doing other major rehab work, I would find a way to surface mount the drain tube and hide it near the kitchen/bedroom partition.

4. The only drain pan I know of is for the standard Dometic Penguin A/C or Heat Pump. You need to order it through an Airstream dealer from Airstream. It costs about $70. Part number is 961270.

An alternative is a different brand, such as Carrier, and let the condensate run down the outside. Some models recycle part of the condensate by slinging it back onto the condenser coils. I don't know if this gets rid of 100% or not.

5. Can't help you with the sizing. I put a 13.5 w/heat strip in my Tradewind, but I don't live in SC. Sometimes smaller is better because it doesn't cycle as often.

Here is a picture of the Penguin drain pan.
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:15 AM   #3
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Hello... I would not bother with the heat strip... we did that when we put the new ac on our other Argosy. It was a waste of money..
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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1964 24' Tradewind
Peoria , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 23

thanks for the reply and the pics - I pretty much agree with you on the factory "non-setup" Hoewever, my only issue is that I definately don't want the unit to drain on the outside of the trailer. I am doing a COMPLETE renovation including new wiring and the trailer is already gutted, so I will install a drain line and dedicated circuit for the a/c. I need to know if there is a way to drain from a Carrier unit down a line in the wall, rather than on the outside of the trailer...?
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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I think you would need to fabricate a drip pan to cover the bottom of the evaporator coils. If you're handy with pattern making, you could make a mold and sell a Carrier drip pan on the forums.

If you look at the pan for the Penguin, it's about $2 worth of vacuum formed sheet plastic, with a few aluminum angles and a hose nozzle held in with Vulkem.

I'm not saying it's feasible; I don't have a Carrier Air V so I don't know where the drain points are. There might be a reason why it can't be done.

Or maybe you can talk Inland RV into making one?
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Old 02-05-2007, 09:41 PM   #6
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Another option for the drain line would be to run it to a vent pipe for the plumbing. There's one in my streetside closet about 2 feet away from the AC. Sure beats removing cabinets and taking of the upper skins.

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Old 02-05-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
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What is the reason for ordering a drain pan from Airstream? Is it curved to fit the top of the trailer better?

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Old 02-05-2007, 10:17 PM   #8
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1964 24' Tradewind
Peoria , Arizona
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thanks guys,

I have no problem installing a new drain to the A/C - my more specific question now is - i've seen that Carrier units say they don't need a drain pan. So how does the condensation go away? Does the slinger get rid of it completely? I don't see how that's possible. if anyone has one of these units, I'd love to know how the condensate issue works out...
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:06 AM   #9
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Check this thread, esp. posts #19, #25, #26, 29 and #54.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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I recently added a drip pan and drain line to a 63 Globetrotter. I successfully was able to fish a drain tube from the AC hole through the wall to the top refrigerator vent and then ran the line down the side though the frig cooling area and on down through the floor.

Just examine your trailer for possible paths from the area where the drain pan tube will be to see if there is an easy way to get to the floor. Look at Mark's pixs. The working part of the drain pan is the cavity by the white blob of sealer. Note the tube where the hose will go exits to the driver side of the trailer so your drain line will probably be on that side.

BTW I couldn't figure out of what use the rest of the drain pan was. Note the little holes around the perimeter of the big pan. If water gets in that area its going to still drain out onto the Airstream skin.
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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1964 24' Tradewind
Peoria , Arizona
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thanks for the post link markdoane -

my understanding now is that the Carrier units take the condensate and pour it back onto the fan which in turn "slings" it onto the hot coils and evaporates the condensation and also cools the coils, thus making the cooling more efficient. From what I'm gathering, this process works for the most part, except for areas where the humidity is high. In those areas (like where I will be in South Carolina) there might still be runoff onto the trailer.

What Andy from InlandRV did was to drill a hole in the bottom of the basin and install a fitting which attaches to the trailer's a/c drain so as to NOT allow the condensate to drip onto the fan at all - thereby eliminating any possible condensation on the sides of the unit. It may only slightly affect the efficiency of the unit but does not appear in any way to hinder it or cause damage to it.

What thoughts do ye have on this....? Does that sound like it works?

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