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Old 08-15-2010, 10:57 PM   #15
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11,000 btu

Hi, so far we haven't had any problems cooling our 25' trailer with our 11,000 BTU air conditioner. But we have small windows, no sky lights, mouse fur walls, and a padded vinyl headliner in our Safari.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post

Part of the problem is that the fancy thermostat will not run the A/C all the time and at high fan unless there is at least a 9 degree difference between the thermostat setting and the indoor temperature. At 7-8 degrees it will switch between low and high fan. At 5-6 degrees it will stay on low fan and cycle the compressor.
Jammer,

I don't think ours does that, so they must have changed the thermostat between '08 and '10. When it's very hot, it just stays on, when the temp has gotten down to a reasonable level, it will go on and off. The fan stays at the same level whenever the A/C goes onówe have set it at high and leave it there.

Two A/C's will certainly make a difference. Have you checked the temp coming out of the forward one? I think it should be around 45-50˚, but don't hold me to that. Compare temps from each A/C.

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Old 08-16-2010, 10:37 AM   #17
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I added the 15k unit to my 25er at the time of production nearly 7 years ago. I had a lot of folks here on this forum tell me it was a bad idea. I countered with the fact that the 25' Classic had it as an option and that dimensionally there is no real difference in my 25er and other model 25ers of the day. Airstream agreed to do upgrade it for about $200 and it was the best decision I have made in terms of HVAC for my Safari. Like someone else said here, you can hang meat in the trailer in a 100 degree day (in my case with or without the one main awning deployed). I have no doubt that the awnings do make a difference.

Flash forward to about the 2006 or 2007 model year....you started to see a lot more 15k units on the 25 and 28s across the model lines, which until then was really only a Classic offering.

My first suggestion would be to make sure you have any gaps or air leaks addressed first. Even with a 15k unit, many leaks in the window and door gaskets can even be too much for a 15k unit to overcome. After you've done that and the 13.5k unit still can't hold it's own, then I'd consider a 15k unit. Your story of a 13.5k unit not being able to hold it's own is not an uncommon story that I've heard many times in the roughly 9 years I've owned Airstreams which is why I was very persistent in getting that 15k unit put up there. Skylights and vista view windows also can play a significant role in allowing heat into the cabin. These areas should have their shades pulled and in some cases some folks have placed buffers or insulation type material into these areas to keep the heat and/or cold out. The windows themselves are not thermopane like some other higher end trailers, so keep in mind that they will allow far more of the opposite desired temps into the trailer as well. Keeping the shades closed there too is a good idea.

On my trailer, I have the Comfort Control System which controls both the furnace and the A/C (which includes control of the A/C's heat pump feature). On any service provided by the A/C unit (A/C or heat pump) you can set the fan speed to low, high or auto. I don't know if this is still the case but is how mine operates. Additionally, my unit does not stay on all the time. It gets to the temp and then turns completely off.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:36 AM   #18
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I have the Comfort Control System too, and yes, it does have manual overrides for the fan speed. I would like to be able to set it on auto and just have it do its job but, alas, it's not that smart and I end up coming back to a hot trailer too often.

Climate makes a big difference and if you're west of the rockies, or in Texas, where humidity isn't such a problem you'll probably do fine. It's the east cost and the midwest where there's a problem.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:50 PM   #19
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Going to the 15 helped us while we lived in Texas; however, as you've discovered by reading the previous posters, many other steps factor into keeping the trailer liveable....awnings, added window insulation etc etc. Even with the 15 we cool off the trailer interior in steps i.e. main salon first, opening the bath and finally the bedroom. Insulating the skylight(s) works wonders as well. I used styrofoam laminated with foil duct tape and with the outer side completely foil wrapped. Parking in the shade of trees when possible helps as well. Small cooling fans placed here and there work wonders moving the air to keep the body feeling a degree or two cooler. Enjoy your new Airstream and have fun out there.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:27 AM   #20
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Thought I would offer an easy do it yourself fix to air conditioner. I noted the first post on this thread said their AC "froze up". I am not sure if they meant froze from ice, or if the fan just stopped working. Our fan froze up from non use and when turned on, whole unit would just hum. Mechanic that does our wrenching has been in the biz since dirt and showed me how to unfreeze the fan. He said lots of RV mechanics think the ceiling AC is toast when this happens but it is a simple fix.

Here is what he showed me.

First make sure you turn off your 110 hook up. Don't need anything starting while your hand is up in the fan compartment. Turn off your power.
Next, take the knobs off the from controls.
Then take the vent covers off by using needle nose pliers to depress quick snaps. After vents are off, take four phillips head screws out to remove the plastic cover. Once cover off, remove horseshoe shaped heater coil by backing out the two screws. You can look up in to that compartment and access one end of the barrel fan cage.
If that barrel fan will not rotate, grip it and firmly apply pressure trying to wiggle it back and forth. Eventually you should be able to free it up so it spins freely.
Once the barrel is moving freely, plug your trailer back in to 110 power and turn fan knob to low. Should work, if so, reassemble.

Mechanic also said there is another fan on the opposite end of the barrel. To get to that other end, have to go through the roof. Haven't had to do that, and hope not to.

Mechanic told us to run that AC/Heater once per month whether we are living in it or not. Doesn't take much for fan shafts to lock up.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:33 AM   #21
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Great ideas, thank you.

We'll try the insulation ideas, although with panoramic windows on both ends, there is a lot of opportunity for heat transfer. It is probably because we bought the Airstream in Oregon that it didn't have the bigger unit!! Too bad, because everything else is just fabulous. The LED lights are incredible, so high tech. But in reality, we are more likely to be travelling out of TX during the Summer months anyway.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #22
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We just installed a new a Brisk Aire unit 12,500 on our 93 Classic 34 and its seems to be doing the job so far. A couple of notes: our unit has the upright compressor and is therefore slightly taller (maybe 2-3"), but I'm still under 10 feet. The lower profile Penquins look nicer, but cost more upfront w/supposedly less efficiency because of the horizontal compressor.
Also, and this is really important: AC units suck in LOTS of dirt in general and fuzz from trees and it doesn't take to long and your efficiency goes down. It's not the year of the trailer so much as how much it has run. . .sucking in dirt and such. Cottonwood trees around MN and elsewhere can clog up a unit in no time flat, along with just general dirt and such. Gotta remove the cover and clean if you want high efficiency. Just a thought. I'm typing this from Little Rock where its 95 deg and humid. How nice!
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:57 AM   #23
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... I'm typing this from Little Rock where its 95 deg and humid. How nice!
Glad you are here for the cold snap. Trust me, 95 is much nicer than it has been. It's also less humid than it has been.

Are you camped here in LR or visiting "solo?"
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:42 AM   #24
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We also have the 15000btu AC in our 25' Classic and it will turn the inside into a meat locker in the 100+ degree Albuquerque heat.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
We have the 15,000 unit in ours, and in the summer time, it will not cool down all the way. I found it helps to use insulation on the fans and windows you do care about seeing out of. I can maintain about 78 - 80 during the hottest times doing this.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #25
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The large difference between the 13.5 and 15 K units that some report makes no sense. The 13.5 K unit is 90% of the BTU's of the 15 K unit.

I suspect the difference is number of windows, square footage of the trailer, insulated windows and roof openings, and use of heat producing appliances, use of and number of awnings, number of occupants, and heat tolerance of the occupants.

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Old 08-18-2010, 02:08 PM   #26
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We were seriously considering changing out our 13.5K unit for the 15K one. We're planning to stop at Jackson Center next month and we asked how much it would cost to change it out and they said it would be about $2300. Holy cow. I guess we'll sweat a little longer for that amount of money. The trailer is only 6 weeks old!!!
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:03 PM   #27
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I have 5 more windows( Vista View size) than a standard 25' Classic plus skylight and two fantastic fans. None of the windows or skylight are insulated but I do keep the shades closed during the day. Maybe Airstream forgot to insulate some of these units.




Quote:
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The large difference between the 13.5 and 15 K units that some report makes no sense. The 13.5 K unit is 90% of the BTU's of the 15 K unit.

I suspect the difference is number of windows, square footage of the trailer, insulated windows and roof openings, and use of heat producing appliances, use of and number of awnings, number of occupants, and heat tolerance of the occupants.

Gene
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:04 PM   #28
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We were seriously considering changing out our 13.5K unit for the 15K one. We're planning to stop at Jackson Center next month and we asked how much it would cost to change it out and they said it would be about $2300. Holy cow. I guess we'll sweat a little longer for that amount of money. The trailer is only 6 weeks old!!!

Considering that a new unit should cost at retail under $800 (even less wholesale for Airstream) and take about 2 hours (maybe 4-5 for a novice, me included) the $2300 is a way-over-the-top price.

It's a window unit mounted on top of a trailer - electric hookup, drain hookup and a new gasket.

Mike
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