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Old 08-21-2016, 05:49 PM   #1
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,411
Images: 12
Replacing my AC

Well after 25 years my AC went south. It was a simple problem with the control board but a replacement was not to be found. So bite the bullet and buy new. That is where the excitement begins.

After some research I found that the currently available Air Conditioners are not what they used to be. The original unit had built in protection features such as a 2 min time delay after lose of power, designed to save the compressor, a low power indicator, again designed to save the unit, and the simplest of all, directional air flow controls, yes, they are gone to.

Well, back to the install. The first unit arrived in a timely fashion and I went to work installing the drain kit, an add on to allow the use of the Airstream inter body drain system. That went well with only minor corrections to the direction. If you have worked with almost anything these days it is not uncommon for the directions to be incomplete. After the drain system install and with the unit upside down I glanced at the frame of the unit. It was bent and bent to the extent that the motor mounts were also bent. The fact that the shroud was in good condition meant it was replaced after it was dropped or before it was installed at the factory.

Never the less, I called for a second AC. It came in in one piece. After corrections for several manual errors, all dimensional measurements were completely out to lunch, it was ready to be mounted. With a little planning the unit was removed and the new one was set into place. Well, close to in place. The mounting instruction limits the hold down torque on the mounting bolts to 40 inch pounds. The reason being, the ceiling frame is so lightly constructed it will bend if bolts are tightened beyond that. To correct this, I cut the C channels off the old AC ceiling plate and set then inside the new ceiling plate to give much need strength. Back to the drain system. The Airstream tubing hit the electrical box which had to be cut and bent out of the way in order to connect it to the drain kit. The resulting configuration of tubing almost cuts the delivered air to the front of the trailer in half. Remember, I mentioned there is no longer any air movement controls in the newer units. I will have to modify the rear vent by reducing its cross section in order to get cool air forward. Again the directions with the drain kit do not caution you to the fact that the unit will now sit an inch higher on the roof. There is no mention of this additional height with regard to a piece that came with the unit and has to be cut to fit.

Well it is in and it runs. Not a job I would want to trust the average RV shop to do.

The following are some pictures of the first unit and pictures of the modes necessary to install a generic air conditioner on a curved roof Airstream with self contained draining plumbing.

The first picture is the bent frame of the first unit.

The second picture shows the deflection in the frame under the motor mounts.

The third picture is where I had to cut the electrical box and before I had to crush it down enough to clear the Airstream drain tubing

The fourth picture shows the drain kit configuration and support strapping I installed to carry the thermostat bulb which was just dangling out there on the end of the very light tubing. It also shows the C channels from the old unit that add additional strength to the ceiling plate.


The first picture is the bent frame of the first unit. Old unit.

The second picture shows the deflection in the frame under the motor mounts. Old unit.

The third picture is where I had to cut the electrical box and before I have to crush it down enough to clear the Airstream drain tubing. New unit.

The forth picture shows the drain kit configuration and support strapping I installed to carry the thermostat bulb witch was just dangling out there on the end of the very light tubing. It also show the C channels from the old unit that add additional strength to the ceiling plate. New unit.

The fifth picture show the routing of the electric line and support of it to allow the very tight bending to reach the junction box. This was done before the original unit was removed because of better access. New unit
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WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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