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Old 01-19-2004, 01:51 PM   #15
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Re: blower

Quote:
Originally posted by john hd
wondering if there is cold air being left in the cooling coils, not being utilized when the unit cycles.

how do others operate? i am postitive mine if original factory wiring.

perhaps constant air flow = cooler trailer.

waddya folks think?

does your 13.5 run 24/7 or does it cycle the blower on and off?

john
John as quoted above the unit in my Safari was 13.5 and ran continously. My new 15K unit in my Classic cycles. Its just a matter of the type of thermostat that is supplied. Most Airstream's with the wall thermostats that control cooling will allow for a fan shutdown once set point is hit. I have always found that this method produces a more comfortable trailer since it does not reintroduce humidity into the air like continously running fans do.

I've spoken to a lot of folks where the 13.5K unit is marginal in very warm climes on trailers 30+ feet. I never repeated the circumstance that occured on my first trip when my initial disatisfaction occured. I had both Airstream at Jackson Center and my local dealer look at the unit and both pronounced it working perfectly. Jackson Center did realign my door which could have caused some air intrusion thus affecting the unit's operation.

We camped one additional time at temps near 100 but were in the shade and the unit stayed cool. Personally I never understood how a 13.5K unit could cool effectively from 25' to 34' Airstreams. It didn't surprise me that the 15K unit was developed.

Jack
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:22 PM   #16
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Just as a reference point, my old Bambi had the standard 10k Penguin. At times it struggled to even cool the Bambi. When looking at the pros and cons and listening to all the warnings here about getting a unit that would be too big, I saw that the Classic 25' units had the 15k BTU A/C units as an option-- in which NO ONE could explain why the 15k unit was too big for a 25' Safari, but not too big for a 25' Classic (must be all the added luxury that takes more to cool ). Everyone less two or three folks just said it's too big without stating any fact.

To me, it seemed only natural based with my 10k unit that the 13,500 BTU units could still be a bit underpowered in the 25' units or larger in the warmest of temps. Jack's situation only made the idea even more attractive. To me it was well worth the $250 upgrade to the 15k BTU unit at the time of production. Given the fact my Safari has the same Comfort Control System and 15k BTU A/C unit installed as the Classic lines receive, I am certain I will be more than pleased with the performance in even the warmest of temperatures given how it cycles itself.

It just goes to show how folks need to listen to what others post here, but understand that you have to do your homework yourself. Had I listened to some of the folks, I'd have kept it to the standard non Climate Controlled 13.5k unit which IMHO would have been underpowered like my 10k unit was for the Bambi.

My opinon FWIW:

22' or less 13.5k BTU A/C unit
25' to 30' 15k BTU A/C unit
34'- one 15k unit up front and one 13.5k unit in back.

The only exception I can see is the 16' units. Perhaps the 10k unit might be ok there, but in direct sun, I can see the 13.5k unit doing a better job. The 16' is the wild card.....




Eric
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Old 01-19-2004, 06:37 PM   #17
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I think the thing the surprised me Eric was the heat absorbtion of the Aluminum. I never considered that my old white trailer actually reflected more heat than the silver Airstream. On that hot sunny day my new Safari was next to my old SOB at a campground in Hannibal Mo. Both trailers were the same length both had the same sized A/C units (13.5K). Both Duo-Therms, the one on my SOB was a Brisk Air, and the Penguin on the Safari. The interior on my old SOB was at least 10 degrees cooler in the full sun, 100 degree outside temp than my Safari.

I can understand the frustration in trying to size the A/C units to the length of the trailer. I have an email I received from tech support from Airstream who told me that they have no data which would give you an idea of the expected performance level of an A/C unit in a trailer. Contrary to a house in the midwest where you engineer the BTU factor to maintain a 20 difference between outside and inside air temperatures.

Personally I'm glad I did the 15K upgrade too!

Jack
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:48 AM   #18
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Jack and others, I agree with what your saying about allowing the fan to cycle on and off with the compressor so as to not reintroduce humidity. However, if we are parked in the sun on a 95 degree day, the unit will run all day anyhow. Left to its own devices, it defaults to the low fan speed and stays there until it gets to 10 degrees or so warmer in the trailer than the thermostat is calling for then switches to high. I have found that we stay much more comfortable if I manually switch to high fan before it starts getting uncomfortable. I am not trying to start a debate, just passing on my experiences.

As long as Airstream has been in business you would think they would have sense enough to use a big enough AC. I thought about adding a rear AC unit but most of the state parks that we use don't have 50 amp service. Luckily for us, we don't camp much in the summertime. When mine dies, I'll upgrade to a bigger unit if I can.

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Old 01-20-2004, 11:22 AM   #19
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Lee,
Thanks for that confirmation on the fan speed. That critical information about how the Comfort Control thermostat works when set to auto is not supplied with new trailer documentation. I had to call Duo-Therm to get something which talks about how the fan speed reacts when you are in auto mode.

Since I haven't been able to use my Classic yet I was curious about summer operation and you confirmed what I was hoping wasn't true. I can understand why at that point you need to take the unit off auto and go to the high speed setting.

Its sort of a shame that it requires that much spread. You would think that once the compressor is running and the thermostat detects that its losing ground it would kick in the high speed. Sounds much like auto is probably only good for situations where you are shaded, night time, or in situations where minimal cooling is needed.

Quite honestly I agree with your statement that once it gets hot and you are in the sun the compressor will be operating most of the time. In these cases humidity reintroduction is minimal with the fan running constantly. My issues were mostly at night or in conditions which didn't require long compressor runs.

Jack
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:38 AM   #20
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Folks,

Can I add my experiences here too. I had a Bambi with the 10K AC unit. Living in Florida, I put in a dryair dehumidifier to support the AC unit. One reason for doing this was that you can run the AC until the air seems dry but then the temperature seems to get so low it becomes uncomfortable. I set the dryair at certain percent of moisture removal and then set the AC. I experimented with different settings and depending on the temperature and humidity factor would set these accordingly. I never had any problems with keeping our Bambi comfortable even on days when the Florida Temperatures were in the high 90s and the humidity in the high 80s. The dehumidifier solution really worked for us. Especially on days when it really wasn't as hot as it was humid - the dryair unit really worked to remove the moisture while the AC cooled us to a comfortable level. I don't have any hard data as to how well the dryair unit supported and relieved the AC but just based on how comfortable the unit felt was convincing enough for us. Has anyone else had any similar experiences with dehumidifiers?

Bob
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:54 AM   #21
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I know that on my SOB in Destin Fla I had some icing problems which ended up to be a thermostat problem. The service person who came to the trailer had commented that the high humidty in that part of the country causes freezup problems on some air conditioners whose owners are running them on low speed. The problem being long run time with the compressor, lots of moisture in the air, and not enough air flow to keep the condensor warm enough to keep that excessive moisture from freezing.

Jack
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:59 AM   #22
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Jack,

That sure makes sense to me as a floridian. I think the combination of the dryair dehumidifier and the AC really make sense when taking in your comments.

Bob
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:01 PM   #23
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Jack, I was thinking about this some more and thought perhaps on really hot days this summer, I might try lowering the thermostat to say 60 or something during the hot part of the day which I believe would force a high fan condition and insure the compressor would stay on. It might get kinda "brisk" in there at night if I forget to reset it before going to bed. The air conditioner has been my biggest disappointment with this trailer. I don't think I posted anyting about it previously but have kept up with your posts about it. I don't think the two skylight help much either. Before this summer, I am going to try and find some styrofoam sheets that I can cut and fit in the holes.

RCCaldwell, is the dehumidifier expensive? Do Lowes and Home Depot have them? I might try that. I've had some moisture problems.

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Old 01-20-2004, 10:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by LeeC
Jack, I was thinking about this some more and thought perhaps on really hot days this summer, I might try lowering the thermostat to say 60 or something during the hot part of the day which I believe would force a high fan condition and insure the compressor would stay on.Regards,
Lee
Woops! Force the compressor to stay on? I'm pretty sure what you are really meaning is the compressor is on, you just don't have enough air volume passing through the coils to keep the temperature stable. If the fan speed is set to auto and the temp is below the 10 degree spread the fan stays on low and the interior continues to heat up till you hit 10 degrees over set point and the thermostat calls for the higher fan speed. Right?

Setting 10 degrees below what you want will do the deed but for all intents its probably much easier to turn the fan from auto to hi. Once it cools down later on in the day you go back to auto which will slow down the fan and also allow the fan to cycle.

I also have the twin skylights but that's part of the reason I went to the 15K unit.

Jack
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