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Old 09-27-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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One hot trailer!

We just returned from an eight-thousand-mile "shake-down cruise" with our nearly-new 2006 Safari SE FB 25-foot Airstream. We had a few problems like a leaky sky-light, a few other leaks resulting from loose rivets (according to a dealer at which we stopped), a leaky shower door, an ill-fitted screen door and a few other things which made me begin to suspect the quality of construction I had expected from the unit. Two things bothered me even more than these issues. The main one was the time required for the trailer to cool down. The unit is equipped with a air conditioner/heat pump which I believe is 13,500 BTU (I think that is what comes with the SE package). We had the unit checked out twice and were assured it was working correctly. Is this a function of the rig's construction? It does have a lot of glass. I bought this trailer after having two 5th-wheels in which I never had this problem. In this trailer we closed all the blinds and let the AC run full-blast and it never really cooled the rig until the sun went down. What do other people do? Is that the reason I see so many Airstreams with awnings over nearly all windows?

The other serious problem relates to the refrigerator. Every day, after about 300 miles of travel on gas , the temperature rose to around 50 degrees. Once more, that was never a problem with any of my previous trailers. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gneiss Guy View Post
We just returned from an eight-thousand-mile "shake-down cruise" with our nearly-new 2006 Safari SE FB 25-foot Airstream. We had a few problems like a leaky sky-light, a few other leaks resulting from loose rivets (according to a dealer at which we stopped), a leaky shower door, an ill-fitted screen door and a few other things which made me begin to suspect the quality of construction I had expected from the unit. Two things bothered me even more than these issues. The main one was the time required for the trailer to cool down. The unit is equipped with a air conditioner/heat pump which I believe is 13,500 BTU (I think that is what comes with the SE package). We had the unit checked out twice and were assured it was working correctly. Is this a function of the rig's construction? It does have a lot of glass. I bought this trailer after having two 5th-wheels in which I never had this problem. In this trailer we closed all the blinds and let the AC run full-blast and it never really cooled the rig until the sun went down. What do other people do? Is that the reason I see so many Airstreams with awnings over nearly all windows?

The other serious problem relates to the refrigerator. Every day, after about 300 miles of travel on gas , the temperature rose to around 50 degrees. Once more, that was never a problem with any of my previous trailers. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
You must give the AC a "head start" by turning it on, before you really need it.

In that way, the Ac does a much better job of cooling.

If your down south, a 15,000 btu unit does a much superior job.

Your reefer problem, could be a low LPG pressure setting, or a dirty burner orifice, or, inadequate ventilation.

Andy
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:22 PM   #3
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I'm watching RV with Robin Williams and they are dumping their tanks right now. sounds to me like your trip was a great success.
welcome to the forum and I know that someone has some answers for you
Take care
Jerry
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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I have a 2006 25' CCD SS and the ONLY time I had a problem with the AC not effectively cooling the trailer was when I didn't put my reading glasses on and turned the FAN on instead of COOL! Other than that you could hang meat in the thing.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great trip. Sounds as if the problems all have a reasonable solution. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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Gneiss Guy,
Welcome to the forum! I would like to hear more about this trip. I have a 28ft with the 13,500 Coleman and it will run you out, in July, in the South. BUT, you must turn it on early enough in the day that the trailer does not get too warm and yes the windows need awnings or curtains. We can tell a big difference when it is sunny and the curtains are open. Good Luck, I'm sure you will find an answer here.

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Old 09-27-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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I have heard the skylights are like radiators and just bring in the heat. If that is the case, you could get an insulated cover and that would at least keep the heat down from that source.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:27 PM   #8
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Before making our selection we toured an early '05 25' FB SE with a skylight. I'm not going to nitpick on some inherent Airstream insulation issues, but there certainly was excessive heat gain on a Minnesota mid-June morning even with the shade drawn on that skylight. So we did not elect for that option. Of course they made that feature a standard item. So what's to do? Andy has probably hit the target with his comments.

The fridge? I've run mine on the middle '3' setting on both electric & gas but have moved to finer tuning. My experience has been that the gas is more effective given the same setting (your results may vary). I use an inexpensive fridge thermometer kept in the freezer and look for a freezer temp in the desired +4-5 degree range. I have gotten to where I don't use the '3' setting universally. I get used to the differences between electric & propane and manually change the setting when I set up camp and have an electric hookup.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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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?
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:13 PM   #10
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The other serious problem relates to the refrigerator. Every day, after about 300 miles of travel on gas , the temperature rose to around 50 degrees. Once more, that was never a problem with any of my previous trailers. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
Are you leaving the refer one while driving? If so your refer may be blowing out on gas. If not I would not be suprized.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:25 PM   #11
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Andy's remarks fit very closely with my experience. Starting the AC after the trailer is already very hot makes for an extremely long cool down time. Starting earlier it will keep it quite cold throughout the day.

Also, I've got awnings over every window. Lowering them makes a world of difference.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:28 PM   #12
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Gneiss Guy...welcome to the Airforums... The concept of giving the AC a head start in the efforts to stay cool is s good one...we live in the desert and it helps a lot. The other thing we did is get the street side/rear awning package added to our Bambi...this also makes a big difference...more than you'd guess. Now granted, a Bambi is a lot less area to keep cool, but we stay pretty darn cooled down when we use it...sometimes downright chilly.

Sounds like you had a good trip overall...congrats! That's quite a shakedown trip!
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:29 AM   #13
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The other serious problem relates to the refrigerator. Every day, after about 300 miles of travel on gas , the temperature rose to around 50 degrees. Once more, that was never a problem with any of my previous trailers. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
Is the fridge colder before you travel? On 110 or propane?? How's the temp when not traveling?
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:56 AM   #14
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I have a 22 year old Coleman 13,500. It is so cold that we can only stand it on the lowest possible setting.
The sun coming in will make a huge difference in heating up the trailer. Maybe you should draw the curtains during the day to block out the sun.
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