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Old 03-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #1
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1971 25' Tradewind
Dawson , Georgia
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A/C and heater replacement

I have a 23' '71 Airstream Land Yatch that I am beginning restoration on. The A/C blows air but does not cool. Given the age I doubt it can be fixed because of all the changes with freon. I am looking to replace it but I am not sure of the BTU rating. Anyone got any idea? Also I am considering converting to a heat pump. Has anyone tried that? Would it be better to just replace the A/C and install a new propane heater where the old one sits.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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My trailer came with two heat pumps and I only ever use them in "cool" mode because they are much louder than the furnace. I would not recommend them.

I believe your Tradewind is new enough that it would have the standard 14x14" roof mount opening, which would allow you to replace it with a modern A/C. The low-profile Dometic Penguin in 15,000 BTU would be the best choice. Any smaller won't cool your trailer sufficiently, and other makes and models don't have the condensate drain hose and will stain the outside of the trailer as condensate drips down the sides.

If you don't have a 14x14 open, but rather the two small holes, one for the fan shaft and one for refrigerant lines, you're better off fixing your existing A/C because of the hassle of switching everything around. It's easy to tell which situation you're in by removing the indoor air distribution box on the ceiling. If there's a fan and coils visible, you have the old setup and fixing is your best bet. If there's just ducts going up to the roof and some wires and control boxes, you have the 14x14 setup. Post a photo if you're not sure.

You should plan on replacing the propane heater if it doesn't work. You'll need it on cold mornings in the hill country.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Also either way you should be sure that it isn't something simple and cheap like the starting capacitor or potential relay. Those fail frequently, and they're just electrical parts that anyone can replace.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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1971 25' Tradewind
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Also either way you should be sure that it isn't something simple and cheap like the starting capacitor or potential relay. Those fail frequently, and they're just electrical parts that anyone can replace.
Thanks Jammer:

Where are the starting capacitor and potential relay located and how can I tell if they are bad?
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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They're accessible under the exterior shroud, usually in a wiring junction box. If the A/C is old and the compressor isn't working you're probably better off just replacing them and seeing if that helps rather than running a bunch of tests.
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