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Old 04-07-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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1989 25' Excella
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Replace roof A/C with a window unit?

This might be crazy, but......

My wife and I hate using the A/C on our '89 Excella. It is noisy and makes us feel claustrophobic with all of the doors and windows closed. Also, we usually end up somewhere without electricity. But, once in a while we really need to keep a little cooler so do run the A/C.

Here is the thought. Remove the roof A/C and replace it with another fantastic fan. Buy a window unit and build some sort of adapter so that it can be easily installed in a "cosmetically appropriate" fashsion. Then, for the few times we need A/C we can pull the A/C from the truck, hang it on the window and keep cool. This also has the added advantages of lower wind resistance when towing, no ugly pod on top of my shiny polished trailer, and the possibility of running the A/C with my single Honda EU 2000 generator.

I think the alternative is to try and find a new roof A/C that is much quieter and has a lower profile. I am always perplexed by the problems that the A/C unit and the awning cuase to the "streamlining" of the Airstream.

I'm looking forward to other's thoughts.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Well roof A/C units are not the most quiet things in the world. My SOB had ducted roof air which really made a big difference in sound levels and comfort. The newer Penguin units don't provide that much of a wind block and technically you could paint them to make a better color blend. I just replaced my shroud Saturday with one which is grey in color and without all the Airstream/Duo-Therm advertising on it. I think it looks a heck of a lot better.

Quite honestly putting one in the window means potentially pulling the screen and maybe some glass and getting the window frame to support the weight of the window unit. This could booger up the window frame if it weighs too much. The other issue is BTU's. Consider you would need to unit that does at least 12K BTU's (maybe bigger) to cool the whole trailer dependent on locale. Finally consider electric and what circuit that window unit would have to run on. You probably would need to run a new one to intercept the same breaker that your ceiling unit runs on.

All in all, I just don't see this as a positive move for you.

Jack
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:46 PM   #3
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Agreed. There are some other threads that discuss this.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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If you really, REALLY didn't want the roof unit, there are some split-type units out there that MAY work for you. The compressor and condenser are on the tongue, and the evaporator and interior fan are mounted inside.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #5
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- I've seen photos of really slick little AC's put under cabinets in a couple of Globetrotters that hardcore vintage-heads fashioned to keep from ruining the purity of the roofline... but these were permanent installations.. a search should yield details

- I think maybe it was Fred Coldwell who also had a semi-removable little ac that he used at one particular rally, along with trim pieces to make it fit right...although I can't remember where I saw that exactly... maybe someone else can supply some info...

-down here in the jungle we take AC any way we can get it, hoss! roofline-shmoofline! ;-)
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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Dometic makes a self-contained 7K BTU AC that may replace your central heat system. (11.75H x 10.25W x 19.25D and only 53#) Your generator should power this size AC without a problem. It has a heat strip available, but, it would make more sense for dry camping to add some type of gas radiant heater. It will not provide the same cooling capicity as your current 13.5BTU AC, but, it sounds like you are not spending much time in extreme heat. They have larger units available. Dometic Truck Products can give you more info.
This unit would be built into your existing space (in place of your furnace) and use your existing ductwork.
Best of luck, and let us know when you pitch the old roof AC!
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musketeer
This might be crazy, but......

My wife and I hate using the A/C on our '89 Excella. It is noisy and makes us feel claustrophobic with all of the doors and windows closed. Also, we usually end up somewhere without electricity. But, once in a while we really need to keep a little cooler so do run the A/C.

Here is the thought. Remove the roof A/C and replace it with another fantastic fan. Buy a window unit and build some sort of adapter so that it can be easily installed in a "cosmetically appropriate" fashsion. Then, for the few times we need A/C we can pull the A/C from the truck, hang it on the window and keep cool. This also has the added advantages of lower wind resistance when towing, no ugly pod on top of my shiny polished trailer, and the possibility of running the A/C with my single Honda EU 2000 generator.

I think the alternative is to try and find a new roof A/C that is much quieter and has a lower profile. I am always perplexed by the problems that the A/C unit and the awning cuase to the "streamlining" of the Airstream.

I'm looking forward to other's thoughts.
A window AC, is exactly that. It's supposed to be mounted in a window opening, that does not travel down the road.

Certainly, window units were "not" made to take the punishments that highway travel imposes on equipment.

Andy
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Certainly, window units were "not" made to take the punishments that highway travel imposes on equipment.

Andy
This is the same reason we have absorption-type fridges, rather than household units, but that's a subject for another thread--or twenty.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:10 PM   #9
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Contact forums member rideair. He has a setup for a front window AC unit that uses a piece of plexi and window clips. It looks good, and supposedly works like a charm,

Steve
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:30 PM   #10
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Oh, I'm not planning on going down the road with it in the window. If I did this the window A/C would be stashed in the truck. I was thinking maybe I would build an aluminum fixture that would be fitted temporaily to the window only if I need the cool. Last summer I used my A/C exactly once. Maybe I will just pull the roof A/C, get another fan and call it good enough. Here in Minnesota we have a great place to camp to beat the heat, the North Shore of Lake Superior. Last summer it was ninety when I left home and 54 when I pulled into Temperance River State Park four hours later!

Thanks, everyone for the advice!
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:48 PM   #11
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Check out this thread here.

Rideair's window AC unit

Steve
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:37 AM   #12
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I think a temporary slide in unit is a great idea. One possibility is to install a cargo hatch big enough for the unit. Then fabricate a frame inside it to mate up to the unit. The hatch door would serve as a rain guard. The little window units are insanely cheap now. You can buy one for $89.99. Roof units cost between $500 and $900. You could do the whole conversion for a 1/3 the cost of replacing the roof unit, and next time the unit fails, it's a $89.99 bill
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:03 PM   #13
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I have been thinking the same thing about not running the roof A/C when the Sovereign is parked down at the lake. Actually I was thinking about (now don't laugh) putting it outside the rear street-side storage area on a stand and ducting it under the twin bed into the bedroom. Granted cool air tends to hang low, but with a well placed fan I am thinking I might even get it to cool the front of the trailer relatively well. Of course I haven't worked out all of this yet. I've also thought about putting one in the front street-side window. I do want to point out that the street-side of the trailer cannot be seen from the road because I wouldn't want anyone to think I was trashing up my beautiful Airstream, or that an Airstream owner couldn't afford a roof A/C. LOL
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:43 AM   #14
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I have tried everything and I cannot find the model number on my Thermo pengwin RV AC. I need it to order a shroud. The hail damage it. I have gone on the top took off the shroud and no model number. Went inside and cannot find a model number to match the one's on stock. If you know the answer please email me at lvcantu@sbcglobal.net

Thanks
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