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Old 05-28-2017, 03:31 PM   #1
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Holmesville , Arizona
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New AC unit on older Safari?

Have a 1973 23' safari without air. I'd like to add a roof unit. There is a Romex wire at the fuse box that is not being used. My manual says the roof ac is located 93" inches from the first rib. If I cut a hole in the roof at that location will I find the other end of the wire? Might add that cutting a hole in the roof scares the crap out of me!
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:50 PM   #2
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I did a Google search but didn't have time to dig in and research it, but you might see if you can find a wiring diagram.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:10 PM   #3
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1970 23' Safari
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If it were me, I think I would remove the interior ceiling panel before cutting into the roof. Then you would know if the other end of the wire was there as well as the drain tube for the AC unit. You could also verify there are no obstructions in the area where you want to cut the hole. My Safari never had air conditioning either. I expected to find an unused wire/breaker in the panel box but there wasn't one. Looks like I'll have to run my own wire if I ever add ac.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:18 PM   #4
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I have a wiring diagram and it does show a dedicated 120v wire going to the roof location. Also suggest I should have a control wire in the galley. I don't think that's there. Hoping to find out someone had done this already. I've done a lot of work to this trailer but have not removed interior ceiling panels. Is this a mine field or fairly easy?
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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What you need to find out as well is there bracing already installed in the roof to support the new AC unit. Maybe consult a local Airstream dealership or reputable Airstream refurbish business for advice. Google search for both and make some phone calls.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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1972 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbeck11931 View Post
What you need to find out as well is there bracing already installed in the roof to support the new AC unit. Maybe consult a local Airstream dealership or reputable Airstream refurbish business for advice. Google search for both and make some phone calls.

I think this sounds like the best plan ,and this is exactly what I would do ! I installed a 13,500 btu unit with heat pump on my 1972 overlander
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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I think this sounds like the best plan ,and this is exactly what I would do ! I installed a 13,500 btu unit with heat pump on my 1972 overlander
I have seen this done on other trailers, not airstream. Did you place the compressor unit on the bumper? How did you run the line to the head unit?
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Old 05-29-2017, 02:15 PM   #8
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The A/C should sit over the axle(s) somewhat centered front to back. There is extra bracing, running forward and aft, between the rids forward and aft of the axles. You should be able to tell by looking at the rivets. The electrical line and a drain tube will be in that area. DO NOT use a saw to cut the hole. Please use a tin snips. The saw blade might cut the drain tube or wire.
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Old 05-29-2017, 03:36 PM   #9
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That seems to go along with the repair manual location and the wire diagram. Any advise about pulling the ceiling panels?
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:15 PM   #10
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No need to remove the ceiling. Your 14" x 14" hole (some models 14-1/4" follow the instructions) is not centered in the A/C. Center the A/C between axles. So your hole will be forward of center.
Mark your hole on the roof and cut it out. I start with drilling a 1" hole in one corner and use a tin snips to cut the hole. An electric shears is easier. After the hole it cut in the roof I push away the insulation. Then with a drill bit at least 2" long, I like to use 3/8 or smaller, I drill, as straight as possible, down at each corner of the roof hole through the ceiling panel. This marks the four corners for the ceiling hole. Then from the inside I draw my square. I then drill a 1" hole and tin snip the square.
If you are going to use the condensate drain tube (that is already there) so the water doesn't run down the outside of the camper you my need to by a drain kit for you model A/C. Dometic for sure.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbeck11931 View Post
What you need to find out as well is there bracing already installed in the roof to support the new AC unit. Maybe consult a local Airstream dealership or reputable Airstream refurbish business for advice. Google search for both and make some phone calls.
Definitely look into this. My '79 Safari had an original AC sitting on a metal drip pan. The only support was the arch in front of the roof opening. No support was under the rest of the AC. The sheet metal alone can't support that weight. Weight pushed metal pan down pushing shell down. Two rear corners and an edge wore through the aluminum shell metal. Even with foam gaskets up there the unsupported weight will push the shell down.
I made 2 support braces to put in spanning between the 2 longitudinal supports in the roof. If you do remember cutouts for the wire runs.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:21 AM   #12
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1970 23' Safari
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I installed one in my 1970 23ft last summer and it has been great. i had already confirmed the wire when I removed the centre roof panel on another project , but I didn't find a drain tube.
. I used the existing centre vent hole (the wire was to there). With some fidiling around I managed to get a drain tube down inside the wall to the fridge compartment and drain it out under the fridge. When installed I modified the hole some using snips and some aluminium tubing to re-enforce the hole .
It was great having it this year when we ran into some hot weather this past april.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:38 AM   #13
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1972 23' Safari
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the hole is there, the wire is there, the drain tube is there, and there is thermostat wiring to the fridge area already there.

I have a 72 23' Safari, I stripped it to the bare shell (but didn't remove the wiring), so yeah, I have seen

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Old 05-30-2017, 11:01 AM   #14
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Ok starting to feel better about this. I had found wires that had been cut or at least not connected under the fridge vent. Guess those could be thermostat. At 98" front the front rib are two ribs spaced a bit over 15" apart and nearly over the axle.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:22 AM   #15
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1967 17' Caravel
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I recently added a/c to my '67 Caravel (Coleman Polar Cub). My '67 did not have a factory installed condensate drain, but it was pre-wired. I ended up removing the ceiling panels and wall panels in order to install the condensate drain. So, your mileage may vary. If your Safari has a factory installed condensate drain tube, you should be able to find it exiting the belly pan or inside the wheel well.

Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:01 PM   #16
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contact airstream

When I did my 69 Trade Wind I contacted Airstream from their tec section on there web site. They took my Vin # and told me where to cut. I drilled a hole on the inside and the wire was there. Also you will need bracing. Outdoors mart sells a kit for that. you will have to contact them. Or you can make your own.
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:52 AM   #17
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I wondered about bracing. The ribs looked close enough to support the unit but didn't think there would anything running forward and aft. Do believe the drain is there. At least there is tubing exiting the belly I haven't been able to explain
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:55 AM   #18
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Does the center ceiling panel slid out of the channel on the sides or do rivets hold it in?
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #19
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1972 23' Safari
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It has rivets, at the ends and around each vent opening. Not a big deal to drill them out, of course. The plastic trim pieces at the ends will probably break.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:11 PM   #20
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1969 25' Tradewind
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If you haven't already installed an a/c unit I strongly suggest a Coleman Mach 8 13,000 btu. It blows to the front and rear equally.

I made the mistake of installing a Dometic that blows to the rear sides and down But has just about nothing to the front because the return air ducting blocks the flow.

If I were to do it again I would install 2 Coleman Mach 8500 btu units they only pull 8 amps each. You could run one at a a time on a Honda 2000 .
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