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Old 09-28-2008, 06:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Are you describing ceiling skylights or vista view windows ( at least that's what they are called on the 70s) which are above the windows where the side transitions to the ceiling?
I've got vista views too. They do add to heat gain but would be shaded by deployed roadside awnings. Sounds like TBRich is well set up for warm locales! I was talking about the ceiling skylight. With shade drawn, walking under it felt like coming near a radiant heater.


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Old 09-28-2008, 10:35 AM   #16
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We have the 28 CCD with the 13,500 AC, and we have no issues with getting it cool enough. We did get the optional skylight (so we have 2), and as others have said, if the skylight cover is open it really adds heat in sunlight conditions, and still adds heat when retracted. If we are in full sunlight, we keep the window shades pulled shut on the windows that are not protected by the awnings. We also opted for the street side and rear window awning, and they do make a nice difference. When we tow, it is with all shades closed, this keeps the trailer as cool as possible.

As for the fridge, we had issues with the pilot going out while traveling. The techs at JC put in a baffle in front of the pilot light area, and that did the trick. We recently had the recall work done on the Dometic, and they took the baffle out, and they replaced it with some shielding that looks like it will certainly guard the pilot light.

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Old 09-28-2008, 11:12 AM   #17
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A single 13,500 btu unit is adequate for our 34 with two skylights, but then we live in Ohio, not Florida or out west. As others have said, when the trailer is hot we get all the windows open and both Fantastic Vents spinning while I deploy all the awnings. Awnings are a MUST-HAVE! Until you get the heat out of all that thermal mass inside the trailer, the air-conditioner can't win. Just cooling the air inside doesn't do it. Got to let all that wood, etc inside cool down as well. Sometimes we find the AC really isn't needed after it cools down.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #18
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Travel with roof vents open

Originally Posted by RoadKingMoe View Post
get the heat out of all that thermal mass inside the trailer, the air-conditioner can't win. Just cooling the air inside doesn't do it. Got to let all that wood, etc inside cool down as well. Sometimes we find the AC really isn't needed after it cools down.
I get a head start by partially opening the roof vents when traveling. Just make sure you have a type that won't get damaged by the wind.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:45 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the advice. Just a couple of explanatory notes here. First, my hot trailer problems are at the end of travel days, so I don't have the option of turning on the AC before it gets hot. We do keep all shades closed, including the ceiling sky lite cover and vista view blinds. Once we got west the problem was not so great ... unfortunately I live in the southeast and have to drive through Missouri or Arkansas, as well as Kansas, to get west. It looks like some more awnings are in my future.

The frig does okay during the day, although it still doesn't seem as cold as the one in my 5th wheel. We do run it on gas while traveling. Is there another way? I think I will look into a baffle to protest the pilot light and see if that helps.

Thanks for all your help. Gneiss Guy
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:20 AM   #20
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If your air conditioner is trying to cool that super hot air in your trailer after you stop for the day, it can take a long time. In theory, it cools the air to about 19 degrees colder than the air it's bringing in. Thus if you can start out with cooler air, you'll obviously get cold faster.

I use mine as a home office, and during the peak of summer (95+ outside), the thing will be 120 degrees plus all closed up. When I need to get some work done, I go open all the windows 20 minutes before hand and let the air temperature equalize with the outside world (roof fans also). Then I crank on the air conditioner and close the windows and I'm nice and chilly within another 30 minutes.

If I just turn on the air without clearing the hot out first via open windows, it can take a couple hours to get comfortable.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:14 PM   #21
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Your skylight should have a shade that pulles accross and shuts off most of the heat coming through it. My 28' has 2 skylights and if I don't pull the shades on them then you are right, it will run you out of the trailer. Sounds like a good shake down cruise. Welcome to the forum.

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Old 09-30-2008, 02:15 PM   #22
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In addition to closing the shade on the skylight, you can get some of that reflective 'bubble wrap' like people use on their dash boards and cut it to fit the opening for the sky-light. Put it ABOVE the shade - between the shade and the skylight for additional insulation fro the heat. We use these in the Fantastic Fan openings as well.

And we highly recommend the additional awnings for keeping cool but CLEARLY not while traveling!
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:40 PM   #23
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This was one of my concerns when I ordered my 2004. I recall many on here saying the 15k unit was overkill and a bad idea due to excessive cycling.

I went ahead and did it anyway and it was the best decision I made. Without awning(s) deployed, in full sun, with outdoor temps at about 98 degrees, I can hang meat in the Safari and the cooldown takes maybe at worst case, 15 minutes to get 'er down from 100+ inside to a comfy temp.

15k units are now commonplace on most Airstream's 25' and larger...not simply the Classic models.

As for the thought when I ordered the unit was to have as few holes in the skin as possible. I hear regularly how the domes crack, leak, let heat and cool in (or out), etc.

One suggestion would be to make sure all the window and door seals have no gaps. It is very common for the door not to seal completely and this will let heat or cool in or out. Some of my windows also had no weatherstripping at all, also letting air movement in or out contrary to what I was trying to maintain in terms of temp inside.

I also fully understand and can appreciate first hand your frustration having spend all that $$$ and finding these fun things on what I too consider, or considered before I bought a "premium" product...carrying a premium price.

For those who watch the market, Thor is not doing so hot...then again neither is anyone in the industry. Of course, most of the RV builders out there have been getting progressively worse in terms of overall quality for years, unfort, Airstream seems to be no exception.

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