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Old 06-22-2015, 10:01 PM   #1
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retro fitting a ducted A/C unit?

Has anyone retro fitted their AS to accommodate a ducted A/C unit?
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:39 PM   #2
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Nope... not that I have heard...
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:22 PM   #3
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The A/C units themselves are not ducted, it's the air distribution box that delineates ducted from non-ducted by the way the the exhaust air is separated from the return air.

You would need to create your own duct system and create the interface between the ducts and the air return vents.


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Old 06-23-2015, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thank you all for the information.

With the modern innovations and technology, What would be the best recommendation (brand and size) as a replacement for the A/C in a 1979 31foot sovereign?
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:32 PM   #5
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In all honesty there are very few innovations and technology changes in AC units used in RV's. Unfortunately they are built down to a price and to be very competitive due to the low cost RV's made out there. They are not energy efficient as everyone thinks they get "free" electricity at campgrounds.

I don't think there is much difference between units available today. Noise maybe, but that is very hard to evaluate. A large number of them are made off shore today, not that they are any worse than any others, but RV AC units tend to be a 5 to 7 season device these days.

My thoughts only, others may see it differently.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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Are you saying that you think these Dometics only last 5-7 years? Is that the experience of others as well?
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:58 PM   #7
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The 5 to 7 years is a number others have mentioned here on the Forums. I think it is the people who have to use them most every time they go on a trip, like living in hot parts of the country. I almost never use my AC units as I boondock mostly so really do not have personal experience. Others should chime in here please.

I will repeat that there is no innovation or high quality being put into the RV AC units I have seen. For a while they did make a "high efficiency" unit which took maybe 20% less power to produce the same cooling, but even those units are rare and maybe even non existent now. I have not looked recently. But no one is advertising wonderful quality, quiet units for the original or replacement market. The market is very price driven by the OEM trailer makers. They want the least expensive AC unit they can find and so the manufactures of AC units only produce price competitive units, not innovative, efficient, quiet quality ones. So there is little choice in the market.

The Dometic Heat Pump unit on my 2014 FC 20 operates OK when I have used it, but it is so noisy that I don't want to use it. There are lots of complaints about noise on new RV AC rooftop units.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:12 PM   #8
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If Airstream still used Armstrong units in 79, and it is still there, consider fixing it as the best long term fix.

The stock unit on my 72 is working hard in the New Mexico sun, but keeping my trailer nice and comfortable 24/7...

I am a little bit leery of bragging on it so much... But it is working great for now.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #9
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Outstanding information-----Thank you

It is an Armstrong.

Is there a universal shroud and interior distribution box that would fit the unit?

I might be able to fix the interior distribution box. If I can fix it, can a standard household filter be used with the box? And which one would work best?

Thanks again for all the information
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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I'm not certain about this, but it may be that AC units intended to be used within a ducting system rather than the more common setup with no ducts may incorporate a different lower fan design.

Some fan designs work well with a "free output" but not so well when pushing the air into the frictional resistance of a duct system.

The point being that possibly may get quite a drop in the volume of cooled air if you add ducts and if the fan is not best suited for such an arrangement.


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Old 06-24-2015, 11:42 AM   #11
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Nope. There is absolutely no difference in the design of the upper unit. There is no differentiation regarding ducted or direct blow use for an upper unit when it's ordered fr Dometic.

The only specification is for the lower unit, or air distribution box (ADB) and on occasion, the mounting hardware.


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