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Old 02-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
sanford , Florida
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Replacing A/C-Need feedback

while changing out the ac unit on my 71 27ft airstream I noticed that the ribs were about 6in away from where the ac unit actually . I do not know if that was the original design or not but I do not like the idea of the sitting just on the aluminum on top . Because I could not frame out the opening because wiring in the way I decided to put a bigger piece of sheet aluminum about 32in x 43in x 1/8 thick on top to distribute the weight. my question is how to attach it . I have a few ideas and I just wanted to get a little feedback . should I use self tapping sheet metal screws ?? or olympia rivets ? or aluminum screws ? feedback would be highly appreciated .

FL Jackson
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #2
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I would suggest that you re-think the frame. I replaced the A/C on my 75 TW and boxed the hole with some wood pieces that another member fabricated for me.

The new A/C is secured by clamping the two halves of the unit to the outer and inner skins of the trailer. Without putting something solid between the halves the skins are going to buckle and you will not get a good seal to the roof.

Adding an extra layer of aluminum will not help when you tighten the bolts that clamp the A/C top and bottom pieces together, IMO.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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Thank you.
I forgot to mention that I was going to put 1x2 around the hole , but attaching them to the ribs seems like an impossible task because of the wiring in the way .
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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We did not attach the boxing to the ribs. It was made of four pieces that were installed to create a 14x14 box that was installed between the inner and outer skins to give it support. Two of the pieces were curved to match the contours of the skin and the side pieces were flat. The pieces were secured to the inner and outer skins with screws. Two holes were drilled in the box, one for the power and one for the drain tube.

When the pieces were in place you could hang from the opening and there was no give or bend in the skins.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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1966 22' Safari
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We used scrap .032 aluminum bent into a channel to fill the gap between the inner and outer skins. Holes through this in the correct places for the wiring and the drain tube. Rubber grommets to prevent chafing on the wires. Also added an additional outer skin of .040 aluminum to add strength and stiffness.

No problems clamping our (then) new Carrier unit to the resulting 14" x 14" hole. No leaks since.

Inland Andy had a post on here that gave us guidance on this. A search might find it for you.
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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The OEM air conditioner was quite a bit heavier than the replacement unit.

Click the link below the picture to read how I did the installation.




Air conditioner - Airstream Forums
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