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Old 02-26-2019, 11:49 PM   #1
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1976 27' Overlander
Milwaukie , Oregon
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Supporting two air conditioners

Hello. My millionth question here it seems, but not finding the answers through searching. 27í Overlander currently gutted with an old duotherm AC. I am in the process of removing this and am hoping to install two separate Dometic Penguin II AC units (13,500 btu with heat strips). Iím noticing that the current AC install site is placed between two ribs that are spaced closer together than most of the other ribs. Iím not sure if this is to help support the air conditioner, or unrelated. Also, the configuration on the roof is two vents up front, AC in the middle, and a vent in the rear. I plan to use a Maxxair Maxxfan in the frontmost and rearmost vent holes, and place the ACs in between. I can put an AC in the middle vent hole, but this will not give enough clearance for the other AC if place in the existing AC hole (if that makes sense). Thus, the way I see it, I will need to place a sheet of aluminum over the existing hole (or 14Ē skylight) and cut a new hole for the rear AC.

Are there any guides to cutting in the second AC as far as where exactly to place the hole and how to properly support both of these 100 lbs units?

I can post a diagram if Iím not explaining this well. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JoleneAS View Post
. . .
Are there any guides to cutting in the second AC as far as where exactly to place the hole and how to properly support both of these 100 lbs units?
. . .
This would require the expertise and judgment of a very skilled Airstream mechanic, with the necessary tools and shop to do the work right. [IMO] The work required [cost] may outweigh the benefit? With your gutted interior, however, adding new ribs and ceiling frames can at least be done without much further demo.

What did the old AC weigh? The addition of extra weight may be more than your trailer's roof can bear IMO. Keep in mind that, when bouncing down a bumpy road at highway speeds, the forces generated by extra weight in the center of the roof are geometric or exponentially greater than the extra weight.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:25 AM   #3
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1976 27' Overlander
Milwaukie , Oregon
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I see, thank you for the helpful reply! So when people have these threads about 1 vs 2 air conditioners, itís orimarily for Airstreams that are designed with two air conditioners in mind from factory, or those that have been outfit with extra ribs? Thatís a bummer but makes sense.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:25 AM   #4
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1976 27' Overlander
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It’s funny, I see post after post of people recommending two ACs on vintage Airstreams, “two is the only way to go!” Yet I am hard pressed to finding anything discussing the logistics of this or even so much as a photo of two AC units on a vintage trailer. I might not be searching properly.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:41 AM   #5
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Older Airstreams were usually not designed for 2 AC, and do not have the proper roof structure to add 1 AC IMO. You are probably searching well, but the "2 AC" well is empty!

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Old 02-27-2019, 10:40 PM   #6
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1976 27' Overlander
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Iím wondering something. On my frontmost vent there was wood that was underneath the skin, apparently to support the tv antenna maybe? Anyways, looking at this, it made me wonder if the weight of an air conditioner could be supported if I ran a couple pieces of aluminum bar across, sort of like how that thin piece of wood spans the two long rails that extend down the center of the ceiling. Would that be enough to support a 100lbs air conditioner, or does that seem like itís just too much weight without adding an extra rib?

I donít think Iíd be up to the fees associated with adding a rib, but if I could just get away with some cross members to support it, I might be cookin.

Oh and as for the weight of my current AC, itís still attached so not sure just yet. Per the shroud itís a Duotherm Quick Cool, but thereís no info about this unit online.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:50 AM   #7
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Two 13,500 BTU AC units should mean 240/120V 50A shore power service. Is this also in your renovation design?

73/gus
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:53 AM   #8
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You are somewhat near Colin Hyde Airstream Restoration...I would consult him and you could take it to him for just the reinforcement.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:06 PM   #9
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Two 13,500 BTU AC units should mean 240/120V 50A shore power service. Is this also in your renovation design?

73/gus
Yes, definitely have 50A service in mind.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:07 PM   #10
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You are somewhat near Colin Hyde Airstream Restoration...I would consult him and you could take it to him for just the reinforcement.
Isn't Colin Hyde in New York? I'm in Oregon.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:04 AM   #11
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1976 31' Excella 500
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I solved the issue of adding a second and third AC to my 31' Excella 500 by purchasing two 14,000 BTU Black/Decker portable heat pumps for under $500 each. Located one in the rear and the other in the front. Secured to floor with tie down straps, and ran separate 115 VAC 20A power cables behind the cabinets. We camp in central Texas and now have complete control over the interior environment of our AS.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:12 AM   #12
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I solved the issue of adding a second and third AC to my 31' Excella 500 by purchasing two 14,000 BTU Black/Decker portable heat pumps for under $500 each. Located one in the rear and the other in the front. Secured to floor with tie down straps, and ran separate 115 VAC 20A power cables behind the cabinets. We camp in central Texas and now have complete control over the interior environment of our AS.
How do you remove the hot discharge air from inside the AS? Air conditioners are on the roof mainly for that reason.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:31 AM   #13
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1976 31' Excella 500
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How do you remove the hot discharge air from inside the AS? Air conditioners are on the roof mainly for that reason.

Thanks,

Peter
Peter,

The exhaust was vented through the floor to the underside of the trailer. I purchased a through the wall/rain proof vent from Amazon to supply fresh air to the condenser. Send me an email address and I'll send pictures of the installation.

Tom
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:41 AM   #14
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1976 31' Excella 500
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Yes, definitely have 50A service in mind.
Renovation of the electrical system was part of the project. I installed a 4-prong weather-proof electrical receptacle on the outside of the trailer and mated it with a new electrical panel inside. Since the trailer doesn't have any 230V appliances, the panel was laid out as two 120V 50A feeds with the first unit being connected to the first 120V leg, and the second connected to the second 120V leg. At the end of the day the trailer actually has 100 Amps of 120V service, more than ample for the two ACs, electric stove, electric hot water heater, charging system, simulated electric fire place, sound system, video system and internet system, with plenty of current left over. Going totally electric eliminated the need for bottled gas and it's cost and potential for accidents.

Tom
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