Originally Posted by Robertbaker
Question regarding an Avion 1966 trailer. This is coming without ac our heat, is this something that can easily be installed?
For Peter - we have so few Avion owners on here, that it really doesn't matter how "old" the thread is - we'll still help a fellow Avioneer (if that's a word). So he's fine to ask on here, since we look out for each other!
Robert - I agree with Redtheis - you can add AC & Heat to your Avion. You don't say which model & length Avion you have, but the location of them would vary. If you're qualified - you may be able to install some or all of them.
The options will be both original & new equipment options.
For AC it was a basic box then - as it is now - so I'd recco going with a new one using R134 Freon (or the newer stuff) that's low profile for easier clearance, & if you want it to blend in more, then get the white shroud & paint it or have it painted Silver to match the skin. We have ours in the forward vent, but all Avion vents were wired for fan &/or AC (1 AC unit in shorter Avions, 2 in longer ones).
A 1966 Avion will have the anodized aluminum skin which can't be polished, without stripping off the anodized layer chemically/manually then polishing, which IMHO is not worth it - just get the anodized aluminum cleaner & wash it regularly thereafter (IIRC they started anodized skin in the 1963
or 64 model year, which is in those Avion documents). So an Aluminum Silver spray paint compatible with the plastic type used in the shroud will give you a great match from ground level, & close up.
If your vent fan is missing or non-op, then get a Fantastic-Fan vent fan with either the smoke, clear or white plastic or stainless metal lid - depending on if you want daylight from the vent or not &/or the look you want.
For heat -
You can do partial & maybe full heat in the AC unit(s) - but the so called "heat strips" are pretty useless even here in mild SoCal. Many of the Dometic, Coleman, etc. AC units can be had in heat pump form, which will give you both heat & AC from the same unit, but that may not be enough for you in NY & the Northeast/Northern Tier States if you do winter camping.
Other "New" or modern heat options are either the catalytic heater(s) (1 or 2+ depending on your trailer size, or to add an RV forced air unit.
Olympian is catalytic that I've seen installed in the same cabinet/wall spot as the original tall heaters in Avions & other vintage kin (the bottom combustion air, top exhaust air & LP is all already there - unless a DAPO ripped them out), with a cabinet/door added above.
One source is VTS -
The other is to add one of the compact RV forced air heaters at or near the original heater space, or where the water heater or Fridge are already plumbed with LP gas & in/out air as noted above, but they can be placed anywhere if you really want to replumb & add vents, etc. Then you can run the forced air vents in the cabinetry, kick space, etc. to where you want to place the outlet vents to suit your particular Avion.
The Atwood/Dometic is the make/model recco'd to me for our 1960
Avion T20 by a well respected AS/Avion/etc. Restorer (Uwe S. at Area 63 Productions here in SoCal, formerly a mile from us here in Orange CA), which he feels are better built & better size than the Suburban units.
One source is VTS -
But if you're into the originality & vintage thing, then you may be able to find one of the original tall vertical wall mounted LP radiant heaters that came on them originally by checking the vintage trailer restorers, parts sellers, evil-bay, Tin Can Tourists, & the Silver Avion, etc. websites/spacebook for the parts.
Avion expert Dr. Gradeless Avion website:
Those are actually pretty good heating for our Avions, since they were all insulated in the floor, walls & roof - although not to today's energy efficiency standards.
The Silver Avion website has a section with original documents, photos, sales brochures, trailer & appliances/options owners/user manuals, etc. that you can download to help with your Avion.
Also, Vintage Trailer Supply sells parts etc. for vintage AS & Avions, etc. & they have a CD for sale called "Silver Beauties" which also has a section with period Avion brochures, pix, documents, ads, etc. - which is an excellent resource.
Avion used all the same appliances as their other Silver Twinkie cousins including AS, as well as used on the same era Canned Hams. So you just need to look for the same make, model, size/capacity for any of the heaters.
Here are a couple of vintage parts sources, but there are many more local in NY & around the country for the above & other used vintage parts - as well as new items.
Make sure to comparison & sale/coupon shop for the "modern" appliances Heater, Water Heater, AC etc. at places like local Trailer/RV shops, Camping World, eTrailer, etc.
Water Heater -
You didn't ask about it, but it may be another appliance due for work or replacement - or it may become one of your "while I'm in there" items to do with the heater.
Also the 6 or 10 gal Atwood/Dometic 2-way Water Heater is the LP + Electric water heater that we have, & as recco'ed to replace non-op/non-repairable originals - since they mix their over-heated hot water with cold water to get the equivalent of a 10 or 16 gal water heater respectively (not their more pricey Exothermic Units).
However, you do have to maintain the mixing valve, & may need to replace it every few years. Our 1960
Avion T20 was restored with one in2007, and I've had to replace the mixing valve in 2018 - so 10-11 years lifespan & about $70-100 for the part/kit to replace it yourself or by a shop. There are topics on here about the Atwood Mixing-valve.
Again - one source is VTS -
Also FYI - there's a Avion Travelcade camp-out in Elkhart IN, coming up in mid-July, & you may find some other vintage Avion owners, parts, fun times, etc. there. Look for their Facebook page.
2019 Video FYI -