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Old 06-28-2002, 05:23 PM   #1
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1964 22' Safari
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frig and a/c suggestions

Hi Everyone,

I'm a new Airstream owner and am currently renovating my 1964 Safari. I took my first trip to Camping World yesterday (everything's so small!) to look into a new refrigerator and an air conditioning system. I would appreciate any suggestions you more experienced folks might have about what would be the best systems to look into considering my needs.

I would like the refrigerator to be somewhat small - I'm currently looking at the Dometic rm4223 because its small but deep. The problem is it doesn't have a freezer compartment which seems like it would be important if you like ice and ice cream. Does anyone know of a frig that's small which does have a freezer compartment? Is Dometic the way to go? Or are there other brands I should look into?

In re: to the a/c, the units are so big! Does it ruin the "look" of the Airstream to have that big white unit sitting on top of it? Are there a/c's that are strong (15,000 btu's) which aren't so big and noticeable? What are the best brands to look at and where are the good deals? Also, are the existing vents in the top of the trailer going to accommodate the a/c or am I going to have to cut another hole? Any input on this would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks so much in advance for the help!

Nina
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Old 06-28-2002, 06:07 PM   #2
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Small refrigerators

Be real careful about getting a refrigerator that is too small. My last trailer had an under-counter fridge and it didn't take me long to hate it. It filled up too soon and there was no place for a milk carton or a pitcher of iced tea.

My present AS has an RM2452 Dometic with plenty of room for my use although it still isn't a full-height fridge. The front is about 37" high.The freezer compartment is big enough for ice cream and the like.
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Old 06-28-2002, 09:59 PM   #3
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Dear Nina,

I agree with John, too small of a refrigerator is not a good idea. 35-37" is about the minimum of a refrigerator that still gives usable space.
On your a/c concern: It's a tough one. I have seen Airstream trailers with A/C systems similar to a home window a/c in the front window, cleanly installed at that. This way you can remove the whole thing if you don't need it in the fall, winter and spring, and put the glass in it's place. The A/C on top is butt-ugly, in my opinion. It does somewhat disturb the otherwise mega-cool airstream line. Mine has the thing on top and I hate it's looks, but love to be cool in the summer. Oh well....
You do have to cut new holes, add wiring and fuses, and possibly roof re-inforcements(??) to an older trailer if you want to put roof a/c on, if the trailer did not have it originally.
Ihave also seen other trailers, mailny the Casitas models, that have A/C similar to the window A/C units, but installed in the lower part of the shell, which the outside then looks a lot like a water heater vent, and the inside terminates inside a cabinet of sorts. I suppose this wouldlaso improve the handling, being that the A/C system is heavy and low to the ground. Just some ideas.......
Ciao,
Uwe
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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I am currently renovating my 1964 Safari also.

Nina. I just purchased a 64 Safari and am in the process of rennovating. I have a similar issue that my fridge does not work. Do you still have your fridge or was it missing ? It might be best to repair the old unit ? I am repairing mine. Do you really need AC ? Mine doesnt have it and Im in CA. Relacing the roof fan and having good ventilation works for me.
Maybe we could share info as we own same vehicles. Thanks JJ


Quote:
Originally Posted by Neenm
Hi Everyone,

I'm a new Airstream owner and am currently renovating my 1964 Safari. I took my first trip to Camping World yesterday (everything's so small!) to look into a new refrigerator and an air conditioning system. I would appreciate any suggestions you more experienced folks might have about what would be the best systems to look into considering my needs.

I would like the refrigerator to be somewhat small - I'm currently looking at the Dometic rm4223 because its small but deep. The problem is it doesn't have a freezer compartment which seems like it would be important if you like ice and ice cream. Does anyone know of a frig that's small which does have a freezer compartment? Is Dometic the way to go? Or are there other brands I should look into?

In re: to the a/c, the units are so big! Does it ruin the "look" of the Airstream to have that big white unit sitting on top of it? Are there a/c's that are strong (15,000 btu's) which aren't so big and noticeable? What are the best brands to look at and where are the good deals? Also, are the existing vents in the top of the trailer going to accommodate the a/c or am I going to have to cut another hole? Any input on this would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks so much in advance for the help!

Nina
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:41 PM   #5
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frig. and a/c suggestions

Greeting Nina!

As you look at new refrigerators, I would suggest considering the option of one of the Dometics with 3-Way operation (12-Volt DC, 120 Volt AC, and LP). My Airstreams are the only RVs that I have owned that didn't have this desirable option (IMHO) as a standard feature. I know that when my Overlander needed a new refrigerator, its 3-way Dometic was number one on my list -- when the original Dometic in the Minuet quits, it too will be replaced with a 3-Way model. I went with one of the larger 3-Way Dometic models that just fit in my existing refrigerator cabinet (its top serves as the location for the television). I have had this refrigerat for going on to its sixth season, and I am totally satisfied with every aspect of its operation.

As this is my third 3-Way RV Refrigerator, I would offer three suggestions to attaining satisfactory performance when operating on 12-volt:
  • Always pre-cool refrigerator for at least 8-hours on either LP or 120-Volt AC.
  • Be certain that the installer runs wire of sufficient size to carry the 12-volt load to your coach's power supply.
  • Be certain that your tow vehicle's alternator is up to the load; and that the tech has installed a charge wire that is heavy enough to support 12-volt operation.
I have followed the above guidelines since buying my first coach with a 3-Way RV refrigerator in 1980. In all of the years that have ensued, I have always had exemplary performance from the 3-Way refrigerator -- and I never have to worry about the hassle of extinguishing the LP flame on the refrigerator before pulling into a gas station; and I have the peace of mind in knowing that the LP is shut off to my coach prior to hitting the road each travel day.

The data page for the 3-Way refrigerator that I have in my coach can be found at:

Refrigerators — Dometic USA

Something to consider with your Air Conditioner is that an option is to have the Air Conditioner shroud painted silver to coordinate better with your Airstream. My notes indicate that 1964 was one of the first years to be pre-wired for Air Conditioning -- a quick double-check is to look in your circuit panel to see if there is an unused circuit -- if there is then that is where the breaker for the Air Conditioner was expected to be added. One caution is that most Camping Worlds are not a great place to have air conditioners installed in Vintage Airstreams that weren't factory equipped with one (Camping World MAY be an option if it is simply a replacement of an exisiting unit). The issue that you run into with a coach that has not had air conditioning intalled in its past, is that you must cut the 14" square opening in the roof that is cut in the center of the roof a prescribed measurement from the front main roof bow. Even if your coach has the pre-wiring for the Air Conditioner (the cable is coiled in the roof near the prescribed place to cut the roof opening), you won't find a condesate drain as you would in more recent coaches -- the internal condesate tube wouldn't be added for at least another year or two -- with these coaches the condesate tube was surface mounted and run along the bulkhead wall, through the cabinets, then the floor to the ground -- it isn't as glaring an addition as it sounds as it tucks in so neatly against the bulkhead wall.

Good luck with your projects!

Kevin
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Old 04-07-2007, 05:47 AM   #6
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This thread's kinda old

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neenm
... I'm a new Airstream owner and am currently renovating my 1964 Safari. ...
I believe Nina finished her project. Looks like it turned out well.

Tom
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:42 PM   #7
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Man, you guys are Airstream Sluths!
How did you ever connect an 2 year old thread with that web site? Never mind I see your # of posts...
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