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Old 07-31-2009, 06:42 AM   #1
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Angry Heat Alert!

Attention all potential Safari 23-25 purchasers in the South and Southwest USA. The factory stock Dometic 13,500 BTU Air/Heat Pump cannot handle 90F plus days in the partial shade settings much less in full sun exposure. While the unit will pump out 50-55F chilled air the volume is not enough to give you anything more than a 15-20 degree temp differential. In other words on a 100F day in with the Safari in partial shade your indoor temp will be around 80F.

I recently camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillio, TX Palo Duro Canyon State Park the high hit 105F and with the air running full blast it was 92F inside. This is unacceptable especially after coming in from a 20 mile mountain bike ride.

The only fix is to upgrade to 15,000 BTU unit from Dometic products - Dometic that fits the same roof opening. Mine is on order now.

You can avoid the heat problem by ordering your Safari 25' or less with the 15,000 BTU unit. Airstream only installs that unit starting on the 27' line. Happy camping!
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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A question please.

Did you leave it running whille you were gone or did you leave it off ?

Robbie R.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:11 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have a 2005 25FB with the 13.5M AC. We camp quite often in extreme heat conditions and have come up with ways to make our air conditioning work quite well.

The first thing that we did was place reflective insulation on the inside of our sky light and both fantastic fans. This helped significantly. We took this a step further and put this reflective material on the inside of our windows. It is held in place by the curtains.

We have found that these steps have made the AC work for us. We have camped southern Arizona earlier this summer and were comfortable at 109 degrees. We also summer camp extensively in Florida and are always comfortable.

Some will tell you that putting reflective material between the windows and the curtains will cause problems. We have not found this to be the case, and we use our Airstream extensively (450 nights and 50,000 miles in 3 years). We also leave this material in place when the trailer is not in use.

We also leave our AC on when we are not in the trailer.

Brian
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We have a 2005 25FB with the 13.5M AC. We camp quite often in extreme heat conditions and have come up with ways to make our air conditioning work quite well.

The first thing that we did was place reflective insulation on the inside of our sky light and both fantastic fans. This helped significantly. We took this a step further and put this reflective material on the inside of our windows. It is held in place by the curtains.

We have found that these steps have made the AC work for us. We have camped southern Arizona earlier this summer and were comfortable at 109 degrees. We also summer camp extensively in Florida and are always comfortable.

Some will tell you that putting reflective material between the windows and the curtains will cause problems. We have not found this to be the case, and we use our Airstream extensively (450 nights and 50,000 miles in 3 years). We also leave this material in place when the trailer is not in use.

We also leave our AC on when we are not in the trailer.

Brian
Good Ideas Moosetags - You could also try putting the reflective material outside of the windows - open them (assuming they aren't the Herr's that don't open fully), tuck the edges around the top and bottom and close the windows. It will be even more effective on the outside than the inside. I've toyed with making a "shower cap" for the skylight - using reflective drapery backing and a drawstring of elastic material. I think I could toss it over the skylight with little trouble, then tie the elastic off over the top door hinge. - Ugly but effective.

I also heard of one owner who used a mister hose on the roof. by cooling the roof, he kept the inside cooler.

Of course, also cleaning the fins of the AC coils helps them be more efficient. Just did that myself - it helped.

Paula
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We have a 2005 25FB with the 13.5M AC. We camp quite often in extreme heat conditions and have come up with ways to make our air conditioning work quite well.

The first thing that we did was place reflective insulation on the inside of our sky light and both fantastic fans. This helped significantly. We took this a step further and put this reflective material on the inside of our windows. It is held in place by the curtains.

We have found that these steps have made the AC work for us. We have camped southern Arizona earlier this summer and were comfortable at 109 degrees. We also summer camp extensively in Florida and are always comfortable.

Some will tell you that putting reflective material between the windows and the curtains will cause problems. We have not found this to be the case, and we use our Airstream extensively (450 nights and 50,000 miles in 3 years). We also leave this material in place when the trailer is not in use.

We also leave our AC on when we are not in the trailer.

Brian
I did this exact thing on ours and it helped a lot, We camped at Cabelas in I think it was Iowa, no shade, last week and it was 102. We turned the ac up to high and I had left the silver bubble foil insulation on all the windows put the awnings down, and we were very comfortable, and most importantly, our Bulldog was breathing just fine,Whew, she is our main concern.
I attached mine with small squares of velcro and for the 3 fantastic fans, put the velcro on all four corners stuck the insulation to them and they worked great. easy to put up and easy to take down. Our unit is also brand new carrier 13,500 low profile.

Annette
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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When camping in Santa Fe last month the temp was 91˚ and we left the A/C running all the time and the inside temp was in the mid 70's. In Pueblo, Colorado, the temp was 102˚ and the A/C cooled the inside to 81˚. Having panoramic windows front and rear doesn't help.

I've considered reflective material for the windows and roof penetrations, but haven't pursued it and am not sure where to get it. I've seen something that looks like aluminum foil covered sheets that are cut to fill the opening in trailer windows, but I'm not sure what it really is. I guess something could be laid on top of the retractable shade for the skylight, but I'm unclear how to fill the fan opening with something that is easy to attach and remove. In the southwest it can be very hot in the day and go down to the 50's or lower at night—then we use the fans and open the door to cool the trailer (not in Pueblo though; A/C all the time). It sounds like putting reflective material behind the curtains at front and back and behind the blinds on the side is what people do. Is there a simple way of attaching them to the window? I imagine something could rest on the curtain lower track and lean against the curtain, but I don't know how something could stay up behind the blinds. I've seen a dark plastic material that is stuck to the inside of windows in restaurants, but that would be permanent and I want to see out of clear windows. Photos available?

Gene
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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I missed the velcro idea for the roof and that's a good idea Annette.

Gene
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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I missed the velcro idea for the roof and that's a good idea Annette.

Gene
Gene,
I used the velcro on all of the windows too. I used an foil backed insulation that has bubble in between the foil. It's probably about 1/2 thick. I got mine at the local True Value Hardware store it came by the foot for the wide stuff, 48 inches I believe then I bought some by the roll, 24 inches wide.

At night if we want to turn off the ac, and turn on the fan int he middle of the night , just reach up and pull the velcro off on one side of the one covering the Fan and let it hang down and turn on the fan, works great. I'll take some pictures. I leave ours on while traveling to keep the sun out and it is cooler when we stop.

Annette
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Hay Gene,

You can get the silver reflective insulation material at Lowes in 12", 24", and 48" rolls. It is similar to the stuff that they make the windshield sun reflectors from. I have been using the same pireces now for about 3 years now and it has held up well. The only piece that I have replaced is the one on the sky light.

Brian
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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We camped for 5 days in early July with temps around 105 in the daytime and we were in partial shade. Still the temp would climb to 80 - 82 even with the 15M Dometic A/C. I am interested in the reflective material too. Where do you get it and what is it called?

Dennis
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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Thanks Brian, I was asking the question as you were posting your answer.

Dennis
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
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Wow, there's some dedicated campers here that will camp in areas with outside temps of 95-100! More power to you. I get cranky being outside when it's that hot -- either that or drive further north. I never did get used to our Phoenix summers.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaken49 View Post
Attention all potential Safari 23-25 purchasers in the South and Southwest USA. The factory stock Dometic 13,500 BTU Air/Heat Pump cannot handle 90F plus days in the partial shade settings much less in full sun exposure. While the unit will pump out 50-55F chilled air the volume is not enough to give you anything more than a 15-20 degree temp differential. In other words on a 100F day in with the Safari in partial shade your indoor temp will be around 80F.

I recently camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillio, TX Palo Duro Canyon State Park the high hit 105F and with the air running full blast it was 92F inside. This is unacceptable especially after coming in from a 20 mile mountain bike ride.

The only fix is to upgrade to 15,000 BTU unit from Dometic products - Dometic that fits the same roof opening. Mine is on order now.

You can avoid the heat problem by ordering your Safari 25' or less with the 15,000 BTU unit. Airstream only installs that unit starting on the 27' line. Happy camping!
Not a surprise. I found out in 2001 during my first outing in my new 27' Safari that 13.5K could not support reasonable inside temps when we were approaching the upper 90's in full sun. What was galling was the fact that the guy who bought my 30' SOB which had a 13.5 K Duo-Therm unit was camped right next to me in the full sun. He was nice and cool.

We ran all the tests and it came out that that 13.5 K Penguin just cannot support that size trailer in those conditions. Airstream was really evasive when you try to pin them down about the limits that the standard AC units support.

Bottom line I upgraded to the 15K Penguin when I had the Classic built. I've never regretted that upgrade. If you are going out in full sun or will be in very hot climes, consider an upgrade. Also use your awnings if you have them or consider adding some. I added a full length awning on the street side of the Safari. That made a lot of difference. Aluminum absorbs a lot of heat which was why my old white SOB was a lot cooler.

Jack
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:28 PM   #14
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I used the stuff from Lowes and cut it slightly larger than the inside windows and just push it into the edges and it stays well without any Velcro.
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