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Old 06-15-2013, 11:31 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I am new to RV's...what is the functional difference (in dumb terms) with the 30 vs. 50 amp issue here?

We are looking to buy new this year possibly, and noticing the 28' flying cloud comes with only one 15K btu ac unit...I would need to special order (higher cost) or have it added after...

On the other hand, if we decide on a 30', it already has 2 15k units stock I think....a 10K ish difference in cost of the models....wonder how much cost to add the 2nd AC on the 28 would be both from jackson direct in the first place...vs. after the fact as was done by lylesgl?

On the other
If you order the 28 footer with the 50 amp service with a second AC unit, it's gotta be cheaper than 10k. A 15k AC unit runs $800 -$1500 depending on what you buy and where. The cost difference of a 50 amp box and cord should be fairy small.

If you are running two AC units you would need 50 amp service. My dometic 15 k unit draws 14-15 amps at start up, and runs at 10-12 amps. Add in your power converter, lap top, etc, and your over 30 amps. Plus with a 50 amp service you could run your two ACs, heater, and/ or micro wave at the same time. Now I'm wondering if I should upgrade my panel to 50 amps while Its still easy to get too..

Here in Florida you have more options on camp sites if you stay under 30'. Just something to keep in mind. Check out reserve America.com and see what size sites local campgrounds have. My other thought is, how much more room are you really getting with 2 more feet?
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #44
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So does the second 30 amp run off a second cord, or do both breakers run off of one cord? If its one cord did they upgrade the cord to a 50 amp cord?
It runs off a separate 30 amp cord.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:49 PM   #45
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I found a 28' flying cloud listed right now at a dealer 5 hours from me....with 2 ac units, awnings all the way around, and the interior my wife likes....

I looked at online inventory for like 15 dealers from NJ, to SC, to FL, AR, etc....and there are only usually 1 28 on the lot, and usually with a single ac and no streetside awning, and never the darker leather looking interior that my wife insists on (as we have kids).

Yeah, I dont care for the extra 2 feet of the 30....likely will not go that route.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:14 AM   #46
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I don't know where the extra 2 feet of trailer is- wardrobe, cabinets, open floor space, or all of the above, but I am afraid I would miss them if they weren't there. If you can't find the exact trailer you want, place an order at the factory now. Maybe your trailer will be ready in December. I should have gotten the brown ultra leather because we have a black cat that travels with us. We cover the couch and dinette with towels. With two children maybe you should take a look at the new bunkhouse.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:48 AM   #47
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We purchased our 30ft Classic in Texas back in '04 and camped there and in the south until we moved to VA seven years ago. We replaced the 13KBTU A/C with a 15K unit and it did just fine. On hot days we would start out by closing off the bedroom and bath until the unit cooled the living area then open up the rest of the trailer. The cat loved the warm rooms while we cooled off the rest. Once the interior surfaces were cooled down it was easy to keep the remainder of the trailer comfy. Camping with the awnings out and occasionally under shade trees helps as well.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:01 AM   #48
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... Now I'm wondering if I should upgrade my panel to 50 amps while Its still easy to get too. ...
The simplest retrofit is as previously described... Install 2nd A/C unit, wire it to its own 20A breaker box, then make provisions for an external 3-wire 20A power cord of adequate gauge for its length. Nearly all campground power pedestals offer 30A and 20A outlets and if wired to code will support this configuration. You will need to plug in the 20A cord only when you want to use the 2nd A/C.

If you want a single shore power cord solution then you start by replacing the 30A distribution box with a proper 50A version. A couple of points to consider... This will have (2) 50A main breakers and provision for several 20A branch breakers off each 50A leg. The wiring between the distribution box and the point where the 50A shore power cord attaches to the trailer will have to be upgraded in gauge to support the possibility of 50A loads and here's what is sometimes overlooked... The neutral must be gauged to carry 100A! While not likely in a travel trailer or small motorhome, it is possible to drive a total load of 100A with this arrangement. Going from 30A to 50A service offers a net gain of 70A if all the loads are properly distributed between the 2 legs. You will also find that the 50A shore power cord is noticeably more expensive, larger in diameter and heavier than its 30A counterpart.

Your next decision will be how to distribute the loads between the 2 legs. Obviously the 2nd A/C will go to the 2nd leg but what else? Some campgrounds still don't offer 50A service or if they do, not at all sites. In those cases you would use a 30A/50A dog bone to attach your 50A plug to their 30A socket and you would be back to basic 30A service without the 2nd A/C or anything else you wired to the 2nd leg.

There are many times I wish my TT had 50A service with a 2nd A/C, but the more I think it through the more I like the simplicity of the 1st solution.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #49
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I found a 28' flying cloud listed right now at a dealer 5 hours from me....with 2 ac units, awnings all the way around, and the interior my wife likes....
That sounds like a good reason to pull the trigger while it's in your sights.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:55 PM   #50
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As a science teacher I should understand the principles involved here. Basically I see two things happening with a camper sitting in the heat.

First, the camper is being struck by radiant energy from the sun. As we should all know, shiny surfaces and white surfaces will reflect more radiant energy than dark or dull surfaces. White appears to be superior to polished aluminum in this respect which is why some are painting airstream roofs white. This is logical from a physics perspective because a white object reflects back all light whereas colored objects absorb some light and reflect back the colors that you see. A green object absorbs blue and red light and reflects back green light which is why it looks green. Now solar radiation comes in more wavelengths than just visible light but apparently the shiny white surfaces to the best job of reflecting all of it.

Second is the separate issue of heat conduction. Even if there is no sun, if a camper is sitting in 100 degree heat, some of that heat will pass through the camper walls via conduction. Camper walls that are well insulated will do a better job of preventing heat transfer via conduction than those that are poorly insulated. Here is where aluminum becomes an issue. Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor which is why many frying pans are made of aluminum. Therefore it makes a poor insulating material compared to the plastic or vinyl materials that some campers are sheathed with. So a properly insulated airstream would need to have a layer of insulation between the outer aluminum skin and every inch of the interior walls and ceilings.

Now as to the my original question. It seems that the airstream is perhaps less than ideal for camping in very hot climates. Although no one in this thread seems to have done any kind of direct comparison between an airstream and SOB camper with equivalent air conditioners and interior square footage. My guess is that most campers are going to get pretty hot in 105 degree heat no matter what they are made of and I am not sure how much better or worse the airstreams are than other brands. That said I have picked up the following pieces of advice on this thread

1. Painting the roof white is a good idea
2. Awnings are good because they shade the side of the camper from direct sunlight and if one has a choice in positioning i would think that parking with the awning side facing south would be best if one doesn't have two awnings.
3. You mostly have to beat the heat through brute force by installing the biggest air conditioning units available and perhaps adding a second one.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:00 PM   #51
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Here in San Antonio we place reflectix foil bubble insulation in the astradome and windows. Yes...it blocks the view, but the AC unit (which is a hidden window unit) has an easier time keeping the trailer cool. We have been in full direct sunlight in triple digit temps while being cool inside.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:39 PM   #52
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We placed an order for a 2014 27FB Classic with twin beds to be built starting on January 15 so I can photograph the build process. We opted for a custom order to get just the 1,000 watt inverter and second AC which includes the 50 amp electrical service. Being based in Arizona, a second AC makes sense. We have dual 2,000 watt Honda generators, so they could only power one AC unit at a time. A second AC is not a standard Airstream item, it is an extra cost option that must be installed at build time to get the factory 50 amp service.

Dealers order the $564 microwave for a few dollars more profit, but it absorbs 1/3 of the 27FB model's pantry space (that is true of all 27FB trim levels). We think pantry space is more important than a microwave. We also did not want the overpriced ($2,950) meager 106 watt factory solar system, but will have a third party install either a 300 or a 400 watt system depending on roof space for around $3,700.

Another item some dealers will push will be the $3,551 electric main awning. For me, that is another electric item to maintain.

As of last week, I heard that the November build slots are starting to fill up. If you find a local dealer you like, have them show you the 2014 Price list for the trim level you like and order it "Your Way" with only the options you want and omit the ones you consider unnecessary.

These Airstreams are not chump change, so get it the way you want it makes a lot of sense.

Airstream charges every dealer the same freight charge for each specific model. Thus, the cost to the dealer is the same nation wide on each model with the same specifications and options. Some are more "hungry" for sales than others.

Good luck on your search.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:22 AM   #53
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Around here we have some campsites with shade and others without. In the spring/summer we camp on a shady spot. In the winter we camp with no shade because I am always afraid of a tree limb falling on my trailer.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #54
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Our 2001 Limited had the second air unit in the rear bedroom added (dont know who did it) Anyways, it is on it's own 30 amp circut. In the pic you can see the main 30 amp trailer wire on the left and the additional 30 amp wire for the rear air unit only, on the right.
Also our roof has the white roof from the factory, we hit our first near 100 degree days a week ago & the 2 air units kept up fine. It didnt take me long to realize that for some reason nobody plumbed a drain line to the rear a/c unit's condensate pan. It just overflows down the side of the Airstream. NOT good! The front unit is factory plumbed to drain out near the drivers side wheel well.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:19 AM   #55
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I guess that's one advantage of 2 factory installed a/c units. Both are plumbed to drain through the wall. The front one drains in front of the roadside tires. The back one drains behind the roadside tires. I am not aware of any other brand that does this. Another reason why Airstreams are awesome.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #56
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Our 2001 Limited had the second air unit in the rear bedroom added (dont know who did it) Anyways, it is on it's own 30 amp circut. In the pic you can see the main 30 amp trailer wire on the left and the additional 30 amp wire for the rear air unit only, on the right.
Also our roof has the white roof from the factory, we hit our first near 100 degree days a week ago & the 2 air units kept up fine. It didnt take me long to realize that for some reason nobody plumbed a drain line to the rear a/c unit's condensate pan. It just overflows down the side of the Airstream. NOT good! The front unit is factory plumbed to drain out near the drivers side wheel well.
I had JC not install the drip pan due to the complexity and possible kinking of the drain line that can cause condensation water to backup and spill into the cabin. I had a 25' SS that did this and it was a real rain shower that was a real problem to resolve. When the techs at JC mentioned this possibility, due to the post construction install of the second A/C not allowing for desired installation of drain line to wheel well (or other location). I decided to let the condensation be ejected onto the roof. Thus far it hasn't been a problem. The a/c in installed such that the water flows to the gutter channel and is deposited at either end of the channel. It is not pouring off the sides or ends of the trailer at random.
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