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Old 09-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Remove Air Conditioner to fit in storage?

I have a 1993 30' Excella that I would love to store indoors for the winter. Total height is about 112 inches, whereas the overhead door opening is 108 inches (9 feet). I can easily remove the two fan covers, but what about the air conditioner - is it worth removing it each fall and putting it back on each spring? Or should I look at removing the overhead door and instead putting in swinging barns doors that don't need the extra space for the overhead door hardware? My guess is that option will cost $1k - $2k (I could not do it myself).

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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the chances of, and the costs resulting from, screwing up an a/c unit by removing it multiple times far outways the cost of re-doing your garage door.

i would opt for the new 'barn' door.

some people have even removed the overhead [roll-up?] garage door, altered/increased the door frame height and replaced the roll-up door. some doors already have a little wiggle room on overall length and all you need is about 4" extra.

do you have the extra headroom space in the garage?

good luck
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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Our storage place has a similar situation. Permanently solved by permanently removing the AC and putting it inside but that's a whole 'nuther story.

Until the rooftop was removed permanently, we had to make up about 5 inches. I chose to take the wheels off and use two 'skates' to slide the trailer into its spot. The skates were given to me by a friend that works for a trucking company that specializes in moving very heavy and oddly shaped things. Each skate is rated for 10 tons.

You may want to check with a local trucking company or rental place for a pair of similar creatures. Your trailer would only have to ride on the skates for as long as it takes to clear the door.

Another idea might be a set of sacrificial wheels that have no rubber on them that you could change out just to cover the short distance to clear the door. Moving straight back or out on just steel wheels over a smooth, solid surface for such a short distance, done very slowly and carefully wouldn't cause any damage, I wouldn't think.
Just throwing ideas at you. Moving the AC unit on and off would be a lot of work and chances are great that sooner or later you will damage the trailer or the AC unit by doing that repeatedly.
Good luck,
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
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If it is a standard garage door, and there is enough room above it, the track can be raised and added on to and another panel simply added to the top of the the door. I would have a garage door company come take a look before replacing it.

We have done it a couple times at my work to accomodate larger trucks.

Removing the A/C every year is begging for a leak.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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I would look into into removing the wheels to lower the AS.

Modify 4 furniture dolly's would be not very expensive.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:01 PM   #6
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Bi-fold doors

How about bi-fold doors?


Link below
Farm Door: Farm Building Bifold Doors for Your Agricultural Needs
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:10 PM   #7
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Why not just let the air out of the tires, back it in, and re-inflate them?
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:31 PM   #8
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Measure twice, cut once... My overhead door retracts fully above the opening. I must be missing how replacing the doors without significant modification to the door frame would give you an additional 5" clearance. I agree, performing a regular R&R on the A/C unit is asking for trouble. I like the idea of using bare steel wheels, you could probably get by with only a pair. If lucky you might find smaller wheels with the same hole pattern. Are you able to lower your ball height for the maneuver? Assuming you don't have door opener hardware to contend with, will you have enough clearance once inside to jack up the trailer to unload the axles?
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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I can't get any more height with an overhead door - I've had an overhead door company in already to give me ideas, but the trusses are at 10 feet and they need about 6 to 8 inches for the hardware (below the trusses, as they run perpendicular to the door).
Removing wheels and putting on 'skates' is not really an option either - it's gravel up to the shop floor, so it would be really difficult to roll over the gravel to get into the shop. I'm not so keen on driving on flat tires to get it in either, and its debatable whether that will give me the clearance I need.
I'm pretty much convinced that the barn door option is the best thing long-term - no annual putting on / taking off wheels just to store it, simply open the door and go.
@YankeeDoodle - yes, I would have to modify the door frame by removing the 'bulkhead' - about 8 inches that is there simply to frame up the opening for the overhead door. I may widen the whole opening at the same time, as I only have about 3 inches of clearance on either side of the airstream right now - makes for a tight squeeze when backing in!

Thank you for the input - having never removed an a/c unit I'm glad I asked. I don't want to mess around with it if I don't have to.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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Geo,

The gravel and AS ground clearance may prevent this, may be useful to others. Had a similar problem with a friends sob single axle. Backed up as far as we could, replaced the tires/wheels with a smaller wheels from a scrap yard, (w/o tires) backed slowly thru on plywood.

Bob
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #11
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If you're garage will accommodate a larger wider door, in the long run you will be more satisfied and your Airstream will thank you for a roof over it's head. For you it will be a no fuss process each time, just back it in and unhitch. The technical aspects of removing the A/C is not much more than a few bolts and a couple electrical connections... But it's heavy and awkward to handle risking damage to the unit but more likely introducing water leaks in the roof. Go for the barn doors.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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can you trench the floor where the tires ride?
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #13
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Trenching might be an option - cut the concrete then jackhammer out channels for the wheels. I'm concerned that it would have to be very exact though, and if I were to be slightly off when backing in I would rub the sidewalls and potentially damage the tires. And since I have to trench right from the front of the shop I would be concerned about rainwater filling the trenches, then freezing in the winter around the wheels...
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geobie07 View Post
the trusses are at 10 feet.....
The bifold door can open that whole 10'. The top panel sits above the opening. That's the reason they're used.
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