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Old 07-19-2002, 01:16 PM   #1
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Roof AC units Questions

The Armstrong AC unit on our 1979 Land Yacht has self destructed. The electric motor compressor bearings have failed. I have a new Coleman unit for replacement. Some where I once read that some additional roof support is required. With the AC removed from the roof, I cannot find any method of reinforcing/bracing the roof. Has anyone doubled the roof skins for greater strength?? I could also fabricate some external ribs. Comparing the AC units shows the new unit is slightly heavier the the original unit. The Armstrong unit was making lots of cold air....... Any ideas or experiences with same??
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:09 PM   #2
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Frank .Now keep in mind there is nothing scientific my reply ,just kidding. But I did have to add 3 reinforcments to mine when I added my coleman unit. The only thing is mine did not have air at all so im not sure what it was supposed to have. When i did mine I added 2 alum. "frame" pieces that ran for and aft. 14"apart and if I remember correctly a 3rd piece 14" from one of the body ribs, what I ended up with was another 14"x14" opening . Hope this helps. Tom
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Old 07-19-2002, 04:22 PM   #3
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I did basically the same thing but used 3/4" wood. Ran two pieces across the two closest ribs, two more front to back 14 inches apart and two more across the front and rear of the opening. The two long pieces were cut at an angle to match the roof curve, then laid a piece of 1x2" flat on them. Also cut the pieces for the front and rear of the opening to match the curve of the roof. The whole thing is bolted to the two ribs; it is one of the stronger areas of the roof. The gasket on the bottom of the AC is more than thick enough to seal around the curve of the roof.

The top of the inside vent and control (of mine) is flat, but the center of my ceiling will be flat front to rear. It should be relatively easy to put a thin piece of plywood across the wood bracing to match the inner AC sheet metal and cover. It all worked out pretty well.

I have some pictures if you want, but they were really taken to show the location of wiring, the bracing is just in them and not totally clear.

John
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Old 07-19-2002, 05:40 PM   #4
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AC Roof pics are very welcome

Any and all ifo and ideas welcome........
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Old 07-19-2002, 10:48 PM   #5
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Oh I almost forgot ,Frank ! There isnt a drip pan for the coleman unit so you may have to get creative with tubing or make a custom pan ,I have not done this yet but I am planning on it. I just hate getting done waxing the unit only to have all that water dripping down the sides streaking it all up . If you come up with any ideas please let me in on it .
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Old 07-20-2002, 12:13 AM   #6
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ARMSTRONG AC

These all seem like great solutions. I asked about what to do with an Armstrong that wont work. Andy at Inland RV suggested that most of these units can be repaired. He might be a good source for ideas on where to find parts/motors etc. Its worth a shot. Also, there was an earlier post by someone who had a Carrier RVair installed and he said that his AC guy was able to make a custom drip pan.(I think Ive got that right). Anyway, you might check into this before buying a new unit. Thats my plan anyway. Let us know how you make out Frank. Good luck. Steve in NC
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Old 07-20-2002, 07:27 AM   #7
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Drip pan

There is a drip pan, just no drain per say. It goes across the coil, with a small depression on each side and a small hole on the side for a drain. I filled one side with JB Weld, enlarged the other enough to put in a plastic barb (cut the threads down so it sat flush with the bottom of the pan) in and then connected to a drain hose which I routed between the door frame and rib.

A little note: the drain system as designed is pretty crude. The drain hole is on the side and only about 3/16". I can see where these would plug pretty quickly, should be checked a couple of times a year. But to do this you need to tear the covers off the condensor, carefully pull it up, and remove the pan. This would not be a fun job on top of a nice shiny Airstream. If you don't make a drain line setup, I would at least make a larger hole in the bottom and not have to get on the roof so often.
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Old 07-20-2002, 07:41 AM   #8
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I belive there is a drip pan available for the coleman units. I know there was a tread on this somewhere out here. If you want to maintain the drip pan and such you could go with a DuoTherm Penguin model. They come with a drip pan and the outlet is in the right place for an Airstream. I think it was Action who got one from Colaw's for less than $500.00.
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Old 07-20-2002, 07:52 AM   #9
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74 I had thought of doing some thing like that but was worried about plugging one hole would cause water to build up. How is it working? How did you route the the tubing past the seal ? Tom
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Old 07-20-2002, 08:45 AM   #10
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Working great. No more water cascading down the side. There is a channel that connects the two drains so it all flows to the one side. The barb and tube are 3/8" so I figure it will not plug, if it does a little shot of air should clean it out.

Past the seal I don't understand. The barb is exposed because the original drain comes through the bottom of the AC. I drilled a hole in the roof directly below the barb, put a grommet in it for the tubing. The drain is back under the AC quite a bit, should not be real difficult to seal.

I thought I had read somewhere that a drain kit was offered for these. Called a couple of local dealers, they had not heard of it. Emailed RVP, they never responded. The tube and barb cost less than $5, so I figure in the long run I saved money.
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Old 07-20-2002, 10:32 AM   #11
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Carrier AirV drip pan

I had responded earlier about the drip pan fabricated for the Carrier AirV. The polisher in Oklahoma, that is doing a lot of work to our 1981 28' motorhome, recommended the Carrier unit to us. I know that he has installed this unit on more than one Airstream, check out the pictures of the polished 1979 24' that he did earlier. Bill Daniels (check members photo gallery) has two of them and if you notice both have the Carrier AirV units.
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Old 07-20-2002, 11:15 AM   #12
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Seal

Maybe I do understand the seal. My AC is off, getting ready to paint so I went out and looked. If you are talking about the thick seal that mates with the roof, the drain is outside of this and doesn't cause any problems.

John
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Old 07-20-2002, 05:16 PM   #13
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John , You answered my question,I was thinking about going thru the a/c seal . I am lucky enough to have the drain seal factory installed its at least 3/8" as I remember . Thanks for the info.What part of Michigan are you in? Tom
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Old 07-21-2002, 06:56 AM   #14
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SE Mich between Detroit and Flint. Oakland county, AKA Automation Alley (just saw that on a sign on I-75)

John
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