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Old 09-23-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
Coombs , BC
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9
Repair or replace AC on 1974 Tradewind?

Hi, I have a 1974 25 ft Tradewind. Last winter the original air conditioner was damaged due to snow load on a carport. The repair is covered by insurance. The air conditioner still seems to run fine but the shroud is damaged. Our dilema is should we completely replace the entire AC which is what our local RV repair places want to do or should we just buy a new top & bottom shroud for the original AC? Being that the original one is 35 years old would it be prudent to just replace it in case something goes wrong with it in the next little while? Our original fridge just went and that was a big expense. As we live in BC, Canada the cost for the shroud including shipping from Inland RV is about the same as a new penguin replacement AC. Our AC is hooked up to a thermostat. If we do replace it what would be the replacement Model # to buy? I keep reading about drip pans and drain tubes. Do we need a drip pan and would our unit already have a drain tube? The second issue is the opening hardware on the front vent/fan was damaged at the same time as the shroud and the vent doesn't close properly now. The fan still works fine. Is it possible to get replacement hardware for the original vent/fan or should we just replace it with a new fantastic fan? Would appreciate any help & suggestions as we need to get on with this repair. Thanks

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Old 09-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
SAN DIMAS , California
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Our original AC was wired to a thermostat too, but went we replaced it we bought a Carrier Air V w/air shower (no thermostat). There was a thermostat model available, but it was like $150 more, so we opted to pass. You don't have to replace it with a thermostat model if you don't really need/want it. This model has no drain tube, the excess water just evaporates eventually. We really haven't had any problems with it running down the outside of the AS, because it doesn't get that humid here. I think the thermostat w/remote model has a drain tube setup. The air shower is the best for when you come in when it's really hot out or you are overheated. You just change the vent setting to blow straight down and it really cools you off while you stand underneath it. If you do replace it, and if it gets pretty hot where you are get the 15k btu model. These trailers don't insulate well, so more coolness is better. You'll thank yourself later. If you already have a furnace or other heater, don't waste the extra money for the heat strip models. I've heard they don't really work that well in really cold climates. Get a plug in electric or other type and save your $$.

Regarding the vent I know that Inland RV has the replacements for the motor, plastic shroud & fan blade. Not sure about any other parts, you'd have to call them to ask. The motor runs approx $56, blade $13, and shroud $15? We bought replacements from them for ours a while back. Since your damage doesn't allow for good function of the ext. closing properly, you may want to just replace it with a new fantastic.

I hope this info helps.


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Old 10-23-2009, 07:17 AM   #3
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1990 34' Excella
1990 29' Land Yacht
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Americus , Also Valrico, Fl
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 156
My 1973 AS A/C shroud was in terrible condition.....delaminating and falling apart. I fiberglassed it, sanded and painted it and its now stronger than ever and looks fine. Est. $60.00 and several hours to complete.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:35 AM   #4
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2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
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Earlier this year I replaced the original AC on my 75 Trade Wind with a Carrier Low Profile 13.5K unit with the heat strip. My AC was shot and leaked and the exterior cover was falling apart. The decision for me was a no brainier.

My new unit was under $700 delivered, but not installed. I ordered it from a place called familyRV and they sell these units on ebay.

The install was not easy, but I had a lot of help. Getting the old unit off was the hard part. Then modifications had to be made to the trailer to support the new unit. The inside piece also had to be modified to fit the curved ceiling of the trailer.

I am very happy with the new unit. The low profile looks so much better then the tall old unit. It cools very nicely and it does attach to the original drain line. On a recent trip I found that the heat strip worked very well. With outside temperatures near freezing, the trailer was in the mid 60's inside.

If you have the old unit replaced, make sure the shop knows what they are doing. Someone on the forums recently had a unit installed and the shop charged them an additional $200 to remove the old unit.


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Old 10-23-2009, 08:56 AM   #5
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1984 31' Excella
Olsburg , Kansas
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 118
Smile possible replacement for your AC

I noticed yesterday which I believe was on this site or the WBCCI forum that someone had a fairly new heat pump for sale. It is a 13,000btu and the person replaced it with a 15,000btu. I don't remember the price.

I replaced my original AC with a heat pump and it works well for me. I recently ran the heat pump in the 30 degree weather we were having and it was keeping the trailer at 67-70 degrees and last summer it kept our 24' Tradewind very cool. My heat pump is also used.

Good luck on your decision. Like a lot of the appliances on the older Airstreams, sometimes it might be good to replace with newer items. I have replace my inverter/converter, water heater, the oven doesn't work correctly and I can't get the furnace to burn with a blue flame.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:55 AM   #6
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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I put a 13,500 btu Penguin on my 71 Tradewind. For the Penguin you need a drip pan kit. You can use the existing drip tubing. There are 2 things I would do different. I would go for the 15,000 btu unit and a wall mount thermostat rather than a thermostat on the unit itself . If I have it right with the wall mounted thermostat the fan will only run when needed. With the thermostat on the unit the fan runs all the time when the AC is on.

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