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Old 07-31-2003, 07:50 AM   #1
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understanding A/C options

I have tried to read all I can here and elsewhere on my A/C options for the '67 Safari. Apparently it has had 2 A/C's from the parts that came with it [part of one is still in the hole] and I guess I would be interested in a Carrier since Inland has a drain pan available for it.

I just can't figure out how to find a Carrier dealer in my area. I have gone to the company site and found no help there with RV A/C's.

The RV shop here says that the Coleman he would install would be fine but the condensation runs down the side and that's how all the RV's handle it. Do some Airstreams have A/C units with free flowing condensation? Maybe the trailer gets so hot it evaporates and is not a problem.

We would be willing to try to install one we buy from the net ourselves if we could figure out a way to get it up on top of the unit. How do folks do that? Can you rent a lift of some sort like a crane or 'cherrypicker' from equipment rentals?

If I bought one and had to get help, is it the kind of thing that a regular A/C installer can help with or do I have to go to an RV shop and they don't want to fool with a model they didn't sell.

It is tough when you live in the boonies of GA and they think you are crazy to try and make something worthwhile from this old trailer.

I had no idea that getting A/C would be such a problem...it looks like so many others have A/C units on their trailers. There must be someone who installs them.

Does anyone know how I would look for a place that is familiar with A/s's besides calling all around the whole south? Perhaps they are listed somewhere I haven't looked yet.

I'm about ready to just live without A/C and sweat it out or just not use the A/S in warm weather but my Mr is determined to get it installed.
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Old 07-31-2003, 08:14 AM   #2
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Lexxy,

The carrier can be ordered off the web.

Try here:
http://www.rvcatalog.com/

or here:
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...%20-%20Carrier

These places seem to have good pricing on stuff. Rvcatalog usally ships for free.

Getting it on the roof is not that hard it depends onif you can get some help and a few ladders. The unit weigs 100+ lbs so 1 person cannot do it. At the RV places they use a forklift. Some folks have built an A frame to lift off the old, drive the rig out and lower it. Hook up the new, hoist it up, and back the rig under it again. Or if you have a local contractor that could lend you some scaffolding for a weekend 2 or 3 people can get it up there without too much trouble.

Install is not that hard since you have one there already. Once you get the old one off the new one goes in the same hole and is held in place by 3 or 4 bolts that tighten from the inside. The wiring is already there and you just need to hookup the drain and go.
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Old 07-31-2003, 09:07 AM   #3
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well...I wish you were my neighbor!!! The scaffolding is a good idea.

I will do some checking
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Old 07-31-2003, 09:08 AM   #4
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Before any new styly AC is installed on an older trailer, the roof must be braced in that area. To not do so, will allow the roof to cave in partly.

We suggest that the 15000 BTU Carrier be installed.

Two people can easily carry it up to the top of the trailer using step ladders.

Andy
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Old 07-31-2003, 09:13 AM   #5
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understanding A/C options

Greetings Lexxy!

I have Coleman air conditioners on both my Airstream and Argosy. The Airstream has a Coleman Mach 3, while the Argosy Minuet has a Coleman Mini-Mach. On the Airstream, the condesate hasn't been a problem - - no greater problem than the moisture from rain (the coach is Walbernized twice a year and was polished and Plasticoated by the Ruth's two years ago); on the Minuet, the condesate has uncovered problems with steel rivets that were used at some point in the rub rails as there is rust streaking around the rub rails (waxing with a cleaner wax removes the streaking but it is a nuisance). In both cases, the air conditioners were installed by my regular Airstream dealer; and I accepted their recommendation of the Coleman product with knowledge that the condesate would not be routed to a drain pan.

I have to admit that I miss the wall thermostat control for the Bay Breeze more than I miss having the condesate pan to drain the accumulation of moisture from the evaporator unit. If I were to repeat either of my air conditioning decisions today, I don't believe that I would choose to change my decision to go with the Coleman units.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 07-31-2003, 09:38 AM   #6
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How far are you?

Lexxy

I just got off the fone with Airstream service dept and, to completely install a new A/C at the factory w/drain pan is only 1400$. You have it done right the first time and, no water draining off the side of your unit.
Plus, you'd have the peace of mind knowing the factory did it.
ciao
PM for the fone number
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Old 07-31-2003, 12:56 PM   #7
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too far!!!

Cloud, we are way too far from Ohio, if that's what you mean.

Kevin...did you mean that you have the type where the condensation does flow freely and it's not too bad? I got admit I am not fastidious about the finish...it's pretty rustic now and we may just bring it up to average. We are not looking to enter any A/S beauty contests but we don't want water flowing in inconvenient places. I might be able to deal with that like you do if a Carrier is too outrageous. I am also gonna call the Airstream dealer in SC to see what he can do....but I'm prepared for it to cost an arm and leg!!!

I wish I could find a Carrier dealer here but I could order one and try to get the shop here to install it. But wouldn't a 15,000 btu blast us into the artic zone in a 22"? Could the pan be modified to use with a smaller unit?

I have read about the bracing and I will make sure to be there and see it to be sure. There doesn't look like any sinking at all in the present unit so I hope it's there.

We have a great metal worker who helped us with the holding tank to rely on.

My Mr just won't bother with installing it...he is handy but has his limits but I haven't given up on him....he says he will read what others have done installing theirs. I would love the challenge but then I'm the one that started this whole idea!!!

We just want this trailer to live in for 6-9 months while we look for and prepare to live aboard a 37" sailboat. It's my fantasy to travel the east coast and enjoy the journey. But we want it to be trustworthy and reliable and are doing a good job at everything we put in to it. We may try to keep it while we are at sea for about 2 years if I can find reliable storage and we can't seem to sell it at a pretty fair price.
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Old 07-31-2003, 01:51 PM   #8
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A smaller unit would work, but being that you are in the humid south the extra 1500 BTU's will help to keep you cool mid day on the hottest days. There are a few threads regarding this on the forum. The cost differences are minor, and most people would want the extra cooling.

The drain pan is a personal preference. The biggest thing that the condensate collects dirt that will then dry and cause the unit to look dirty. The water running off the roof is not a bad thing, just an inconveinence. When you use the built in drain the water allways drips in the same spot . Without the pan the water runs off in diffrent places depending on the "level" of the trailer.

I would bet the 1400.00 estimate that was quoted was for a Duotherm Penguin AC, not a carrier. The Duo Therm is the only one that Airstream makes a pan for. The links I posted above show that the carrier can be had for 525.00. Even if your local shop charged you 200 to install it, you would save a considerable amount of money.
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:13 PM   #9
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thanks for some more good info to think about. fortunately we won't need to do this until fall at the earliest and the dealer won't be so busy then and perhaps be more flexible about it.

I wish I could visualize this pan....does it sit in back of the 14" square hole or under the compressor?
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Old 07-31-2003, 06:34 PM   #10
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understanding A/C options

Greetings Lexxy!

I really have no problem with the condesate on the sides of the coach with the Overlander. It poses no greater problem than water spotting from rain - - since I have awnings over the bedroom windows as well as the main patio awning much of what run-off there is will be directed to the edges of the awning by the awning rail. I do keep a good coat of Walbernize on the coach, and as I mentioned before it has been polished and Plasticoated by the Ruths two years ago.

I am not mechanically inclined and find it much more cost effective to have professionals do most of my maintenance work. The installed cost of the air conditioner was $750.00 at my Airstream Dealer, Ace Fogdall RV - - this included removing the failed Armstrong Bay Breeze as well as cutting the opening for the new unit - - this was all done in 1999. The cost was approximately the same for the smaller Coleman on my '78 Minuet this summer. One of the reasons that I went with the Coleman was my dealer's recommendation - - since he does virtually all of my maintenance work I figure that I will save in the long-run if I take his recommendation barring a strong preference to the contrary.

Good luck with your air conditioning decision!

Kevin
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:57 AM   #11
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That silly pan

The pan is basically shaped like a footprint of the Penguin. It has a 14x14 hole in the middle and really works quite well. When I first saw mine, I was not impressed! It is flimsy and appears to be very poorly made. Once I understood how it worked, I changed my mind. I would highly recomend you going with a 13.5 kbtu Penguin and the drain pan. It is not cheap, but it works very well in my 25 footer..... even in open campsites in direct sunlight with 95 degree heat.
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:07 AM   #12
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Re: That silly pan

Quote:
Originally posted by joecj76
I changed my mind. I would highly recomend you going with a 13.5 kbtu Penguin and the drain pan. It is not cheap, but it works very well in my 25 footer..... even in open campsites in direct sunlight with 95 degree heat.
Do you know where I could look for a shop and dealer to put one in? I might consider it if I knew one.
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:44 AM   #13
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Avoid overkill

I think the 13.5 is plenty for a 22' trailer. My will stay cool at near 100 degrees with the AC running on low.

In another thread, an air conditioning engineer said that too big a unit will result in poor humidity control by putting the condensation on the coils right back in the trailer. Search on "humidity" to find that thread.
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Old 08-01-2003, 08:54 AM   #14
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Re: Avoid overkill

Quote:
Originally posted by Pahaska
I think the 13.5 is plenty for a 22' trailer. My will stay cool at near 100 degrees with the AC running on low.

In another thread, an air conditioning engineer said that too big a unit will result in poor humidity control by putting the condensation on the coils right back in the trailer. Search on "humidity" to find that thread.
That's why I was mentioning it...I know getting too big a unit is a mistake in a house for simular reasons and it causes the compressor to cut on and off more and that's ot got for it or the surge of electricity. It's supposed to be better to run more continously.
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