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Old 05-25-2015, 10:38 AM   #1
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Ducted air- cooler/more efficient OR just quieter?

Hi everyone!

We have read through LOTS of the ducted air threads and the consensus seems to be QUIETER, but I haven't seen a lot of discussion about COOLER?

We looked at a 27' unit without ducted air and only one unit yesterday here in TX and it was warm. It was 80 degrees and sunny and we were worried about the single AC. If you stood directly underneath it, it felt great, but it didn't seem like enough air was reaching the living room and the bedroom.

My question is-- for either a 25 or 27FB unit WITH ducted air, will it be cooler with just one AC with the ducted air since it might better distribute to all areas of the trailer or should we plan on two units with ducted air? Just trying to determine all thing equal with one AC unit if the ducted air makes the trailer cooler or just quieter?

Appreciate your input! Sorry to bring up this topic again!
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Old 05-25-2015, 10:54 AM   #2
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We have been Airstreaming for almost ten years with two 25FB's, a 2005 Safari and a 2015 Flying Cloud. The '05 had the through the ceiling a/c unit and the '15 has the ducted air.

We spent over 1,300 nights in the '05 and found the air conditioner adequate. We have now done almost 100 nights in the '15. The new ducted air conditioning works significantly better at evenly cooling the trailer.

Brian
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:09 AM   #3
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You always make me feel better Moose! Enjoy your posts... I too was wondering about the same thing. It's good to hear from someone with practical experience.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:31 AM   #4
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Plasma, do you have a 2015 27' with ducted air now?
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:38 AM   #5
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Thanks Mr Moosetags, as I debated going with double air/50AMP, but decided to stick with the single 15K/30AMP. The thought of lugging that 50AMP power cord around was the deciding factor along with past experiences.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:44 AM   #6
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The 50amp cord is the only drawback but it is also nice to be able to make a pot of coffee turn on the hot water and do just about anything else you want without worrying about popping a circuit breaker. Yes, the ducted air seems to be much more efficient at heating and cooling.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:54 AM   #7
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In talking with my dealer in his experience the overall ability of the air conditioner to cooling maintain temperature is no different. However he did note that on cooling down a hot trailer, the cooling seems to take a little longer. Most likely it was because the air flow is being more evenly spread across the entire trailer rather than the area where the main unit sits.

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Old 05-25-2015, 11:59 AM   #8
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You always make me feel better Moose! Enjoy your posts... I too was wondering about the same thing. It's good to hear from someone with practical experience.
Have you picked up your airstream yet?
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:05 PM   #9
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Plasma, do you have a 2015 27' with ducted air now?
Pick it up next week. Left it at the dealer for a bike rack install and a couple of fixes. But the ducted AC was a huge consideration when deciding new or used.

My 15 must be recent, cause it has the vents on the ducts. I just only wish I could aim them downward.... but I'll live
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogfan View Post
Hi everyone!

We have read through LOTS of the ducted air threads and the consensus seems to be QUIETER, but I haven't seen a lot of discussion about COOLER?

We looked at a 27' unit without ducted air and only one unit yesterday here in TX and it was warm. It was 80 degrees and sunny and we were worried about the single AC.

Appreciate your input! Sorry to bring up this topic again!
Regarding A/C capacity, if you are camping in temperatures consistently with temps in the 90's and full sun, 2 A/C 's might be a good recommendation. You didn't note the BTU of the air conditioner on the 27' trailer you were in, but if it is 13,500 BTU's, you need something bigger.

We had a 27' Safari with a 13.5K A/C unit and had it out in full sun with temps around 100. It was bad and it couldn't keep our Safari below 86, until the sun went down. We opted for the 15 K unit when we bought our 30" slide out Classic and never have had any cooling issues. Also note that awnings help quite a bit with the heat. The Safari only had a patio awning. I added a full length Zip Dee awning on the street side of the Safari, which helped greatly cut down the sun load. The Classic has awnings all over and I always extend them.

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Old 05-25-2015, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
In talking with my dealer in his experience the overall ability of the air conditioner to cooling maintain temperature is no different. However he did note that on cooling down a hot trailer, the cooling seems to take a little longer. Most likely it was because the air flow is being more evenly spread across the entire trailer rather than the area where the main unit sits.
Bingo. It should not be better. If anything, quieter and more residential. I have been following this AC thing as it is, IMHO, the most interesting news for AS in a while. That said, I often read and follow and post on RVForum as well. I know that people do not like for others to make comparisons but here goes. Ducted air, while new to AS, has no new engineering factor- it is the same type of setup other manufacturers use, just in an Airstream. If you read their posts, you find the same discussions. I've read about basement air, ducted air, direct unit air, etc. This interests me as right now, the bulk of my camping is during summer in high humidity and heat.

There are certain engineering rules to AC unit matching to room size, etc. that are often ignored in the RV world. Our walls have an R rating. Having a stove, the average number of people inside and the volume area and window number and size all contribute to an area BTU rating. People unfamiliar with this often think I want more BTU- bigger the better right? WRONG. If the unit is too big then it will quickly cool the room and leave it damp not pulling the moisture out before it cools. My unit, for example, using this formula (I know I am a geek) a 25, like mine, same windows, stove unit, with 3 adults, etc needs around a 10,000 BTU unit to cool AND draw humidity out effectively. I also calculated for the lowest R rating insulator.

Keep the news coming!
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:27 PM   #12
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I had a long conversation with Airstream tech support back in 2001 after my unhappiness with the performance of my 13.5 air conditioner in my 27 Safari. The dealer had checked it out and told me it was working fine. The dealer measured the drop across the coils and noted that the discharge temperature was 20 degrees which is well within specs. Problem was the inside trailer temps were 15-20 degrees below the outside temps. When you are sitting in full sun at 104, 86 isn't acceptable. I asked if I could bring the trailer up to Jackson Center and let them test the unit. They agreed and on the return from a cool campout up in northern Michigan, and the addition of the additional full length awning on the street side of the Safari, we stopped at mother Airstream.

There was some concern that possibly the heat from the refrigerator was migrating back into the trailer, but that was checked and no leakage was found. The air conditioner was checked and no problems were detected. The drop across the coils was the same as what my dealer had shown. The factory did realign my door, but they said that it really wasn't the issue.

What we did learn was that Airstream really didn't have a standard as to what they expected for air conditioner performance. In our locale, most home air conditioners are sized to provide about a 25 degree difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures. Airstream couldn't quote me what their engineering goal was. Bottom line I soon learned thereafter that aluminum conducts heat very well. I didn't state this earlier but on that hot camping trip, i was sitting next to my sold SOB with the guy who bought it. It was 30' with a 13.5K air conditioner. Same situation, full sun, 104 degrees and he was comfortably cool. The difference? My SOB was white.

So with all this in mind, your Airstream is going to conduct heat from the sun. You need to use awnings, available shade, and if you order new and live in the hot climes, consider the size and/or number of air conditioners you will have. Airstream has no flying idea of the conditions that you will camp in and it's entirely up to you to insure that you have sized the air conditioner properly. The 13.5K unit that was standard on my Safari, was clearly undersized based on full sun 100 degree temps.

Note that my 30' Classic Slide Out came standard with the 13.5K air conditioner. Learning my lesson from the Safari, I opted for the 15K unit. I could have gone with a second unit, but based on how I camp and the many awnings that came on the Classic, I felt that the 15K air conditioner would be sufficient. So far after 10 years, I've never felt that the unit was undersized based on the locales I have visited.

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Old 05-26-2015, 12:56 PM   #13
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A 50 amp trailer is handy for other things besides running 2 a/c units. In a 50 amp trailer, you can also run the microwave and a hair dryer without turning something off or tripping a breaker. The only drawback to a 50 amp trailer is that big heavy unruly black snake.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:13 PM   #14
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We have a 2015 27' FC. We live in FL. and love the ducted air. It's 92 direct sun as I write this and it's cool in all areas. One less AC to worry. We love it.
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