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Old 07-16-2020, 11:24 AM   #1
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Airstream flawed ducted AC

We have a 18 classic rb. We live in Texas, and it is hot to say the least lol. We recently took our rig to the dealer to have them inspect our ac as it just was not cooling off enough. Outside temps 100+ inside temps 90. I’m sorry but that just didn’t cut it. They tested everything and said everything tested to spec.

We got back down to Waco this week and still having the same issue. The problem solving side of me said fine I’ll figure it out myself. I wanted to share what I came up with. At first I removed the return air covers to see if I could find anything abnormal. Sure enough I could see the AC coils were frozen up with ice. So we turned just the fan on to defrost the fins and see if that helped. After they were defrosted we started checking all the registers for air flow and we noticed there just was not enough airflow to keep up with demand. We noticed the registers were extremely restrictive even with every one of them opened wide open. So we decided to try just removing them all since they just pop in and out. We have had a night and day difference with the registers removed from the ceiling. It has been in the hundreds all week and with registers removed we have been able to keep it a nice brisk temperature of 70 in front and 66 in the rear. I know that may be to cold for some, but I’m a big boy and love it cold. Don’t ask why I live in Texas then? Lol. I wanted to share this with others to see if I may just have another underlying issue or in fact the airstream registers are just to restrictive to keep up with demand.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:40 AM   #2
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Another thing to take into account...the lower the fan speed the longer the air stays in the evaporator chamber, the colder the outlet air is.
We use a small secondary fan to move that colder air throughout the AS.
POI...we never use the 'auto' setting.

Bob
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:41 AM   #3
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Do not know for sure. Yours is the first post I have seen on a 30 having an issue with ducted. The original 23s had some reported. That was in 2016. Suggest you contact AS service in Jackson Center and see what their techs have found as issues since intro of ducted.

I'd also keep asking the question. Your experience certainly is amazing and other folks may well appreciate the interim fix you worked out.

I'd also try Colonial and Airstream Adventures, as well as any other recommended service groups to a) get the info out and b) get their info on what service has found on other units.

The problem with the 23s was collapsing ducts. That would/could add to your problem, but does not sound like it is an issue for your system. If it was, pulling the register would have little to no effect.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Do not know for sure. Yours is the first post I have seen on a 30 having an issue with ducted. The original 23s had some reported. That was in 2016. Suggest you contact AS service in Jackson Center and see what their techs have found as issues since intro of ducted.

I'd also keep asking the question. Your experience certainly is amazing and other folks may well appreciate the interim fix you worked out.

I'd also try Colonial and Airstream Adventures, as well as any other recommended service groups to a) get the info out and b) get their info on what service has found on other units.

The problem with the 23s was collapsing ducts. That would/could add to your problem, but does not sound like it is an issue for your system. If it was, pulling the register would have little to no effect.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
Thank you Pat. I did contact Jackson center and they said I was the first to be reporting this. I will check with the others you mentioned.

In my search to find a better replacement register we did find that airstream did start with just a mesh screen cover but people were complaining about not being able to direct the airflow so they upgraded to the current registers.

Since removal of the registers we do have extremely great airflow coming out but I can see how people would not like the air blowing directly on their heads while in bed.

I will see if I can inspect the duct work some but as you mention as I guess it could be possible.

Airflow now is amazing but of course I have big jagged holes in my ceiling lol.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Another thing to take into account...the lower the fan speed the longer the air stays in the evaporator chamber, the colder the outlet air is.
We use a small secondary fan to move that colder air throughout the AS.
POI...we never use the 'auto' setting.

Bob
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Thank you Bob

We have been using the high setting since removal of the registers. Great tip there
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:03 PM   #6
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Inside the registers in the wheel that turns the vent on and off. I saw one guy drilled 1" holes in the triangles that would normally block air if you turned a vent off. Air was able to exit the register thru the normal triangle and the new 1" holes.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:09 PM   #7
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Inside the registers in the wheel that turns the vent on and off. I saw one guy drilled 1" holes in the triangles that would normally block air if you turned a vent off. Air was able to exit the register thru the normal triangle and the new 1" holes.
Got a link to that?
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:04 AM   #8
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Got a link to that?
Been looking for 45 min and can't find, if I do I'll post up
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:09 PM   #9
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Thank you Pat. I did contact Jackson center and they said I was the first to be reporting this. I will check with the others you mentioned.

In my search to find a better replacement register we did find that airstream did start with just a mesh screen cover but people were complaining about not being able to direct the airflow so they upgraded to the current registers.

Since removal of the registers we do have extremely great airflow coming out but I can see how people would not like the air blowing directly on their heads while in bed.

I will see if I can inspect the duct work some but as you mention as I guess it could be possible.

Airflow now is amazing but of course I have big jagged holes in my ceiling lol.
What a timely thread for me !
The other morning doing my daily inspection I found 4 of the 5 Defusers from the front area ceiling, of our 17' 30' laying on the floor.
Tried to reinstall them but the tabs no longer work and they keep falling out. I contacted Airstream CS but haven't heard back from them.
Meanwhile I lake the full airflow out of the duct and looking for other option in place of the original very restrictive defusers .
The trailer is hooked up on our driveway and I keep the AC running .
Any good ideas out there ?
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:31 PM   #10
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Just another thought, I had a 2015, 27 FB with single air and it did not cool, what I found is the factory left out a separation gasket when the roof unit was installed. To find it I took down the intake screens, then turned the ac on and felt if I was getting cold air, I was, which means the system would circulate the cold air directly back into the intake. 2 ways to solve this, get some foam and close off the area between the exhaust & intake or remove the roof unit and install the missing gasket.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:05 PM   #11
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What a timely thread for me !
The other morning doing my daily inspection I found 4 of the 5 Defusers from the front area ceiling, of our 17' 30' laying on the floor.
Tried to reinstall them but the tabs no longer work and they keep falling out. I contacted Airstream CS but haven't heard back from them.
Meanwhile I lake the full airflow out of the duct and looking for other option in place of the original very restrictive defusers .
The trailer is hooked up on our driveway and I keep the AC running .
Any good ideas out there ?
On our trailer the air conditioner outputs regularly fall from the ceiling. There is one directly over the toilet and we have make sure the toilet lid is closed whenever we are on the road. There are various fixes but none seem to work 100%. This could be a good project for a 3D printer guy.
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:50 PM   #12
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The title of your posting is slightly off. There is nothing flawed about the ducted air system itself. The problem, as you have discovered is with the new style registers.

I seriously doubt this is the first Airstream has heard of this given that there are numerous threads on this forum going back 2-3 model years. If you do a search on "AC Vents Falling Out" you will find several threads of people who have been complaining about these new style vents for some time now.The old style plain screen vents worked great for most people. I'd love to find out who was complaining about their lack of directional control as I'd happily exchange my new style for their old ones.

The new rotatable, louver type vents have two major problems:

1) They fall out of the ceiling with the slightest provocation. If you compare the tabs on them to those on the old style you will see that the new ones are too short to properly and reliably snap into place.

2) As you found out, the new style registers create a very large amount of resistance to airflow making the AC most ineffective.

If the old style vents were available I'd swap out my new style ones in a heart beat. Unfortunately they are no longer being manufactured. One of the forum threads shows some creative solutions including the use of a metal shower drain cover.

I have grown tired of picking them up off the floor and of not having cool air so I have simply removed them for now. This leaves ugly gapping holes in the ceiling and if anyone asks about them it gives me an opportunity to talk about the unexpected consequences of making a design change with inadequate testing.
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:50 PM   #13
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I think I saw a post a year or so ago where someone left the metal covers but removed the plastic inner parts to improve the air flow.
Our covers do not fall, and I don't want to encourage them in any way, otherwise I'd be doing the same (assuming there's no good reason to restrict the air flow?)
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:52 PM   #14
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The new rotatable, louver type vents have two major problems:

1) They fall out of the ceiling with the slightest provocation. If you compare the tabs on them to those on the old style you will see that the new ones are too short to properly and reliably snap into place.

2) As you found out, the new style registers create a very large amount of resistance to airflow making the AC most ineffective.
None of mine have ever fallen out, but #2 might be part of the reason ours doesn't keep up to cool things down very well in 90+ degrees and full sun.
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:04 PM   #15
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None of mine have ever fallen out, but #2 might be part of the reason ours doesn't keep up to cool things down very well in 90+ degrees and full sun.
Same here, our 30' really struggles to stay cool.
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:28 PM   #16
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None of mine have ever fallen out, ...........
None of ours did for the first season we had the trailer but then all of our driving was on good pavement. The second season we drove over Snoqualmie pass in Washington which is a very washboarded section of I90 and ALL of our vents fell out. Haven't been able to keep them in since.

In the numerous threads I've seen there are several "fixes" to the falling out issue but it seems the restriction of airflow can only be resolved by totally replacing them with something else.
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:55 PM   #17
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I have a 2017 30'. 2 ACs / ducted. No issues with vents falling out.

I agree that airflow is sub par.

I am going to investigate removing the plastic register / airflow mechanism this weekend. I strongly believe doing so will greatly improve efficiency. More to come....
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:31 PM   #18
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Here’s a link to a thread with a possible solution for the gapping holes after you’ve removed the diffusers (whether on purpose of from faulty clips).


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...rs-166383.html
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:05 PM   #19
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I have a 2017 30'. 2 ACs / ducted. No issues with vents falling out.

I agree that airflow is sub par.

I am going to investigate removing the plastic register / airflow mechanism this weekend. I strongly believe doing so will greatly improve efficiency. More to come....
I look forward to hearing your results and thought.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:04 AM   #20
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Here’s a link to a thread with a possible solution for the gapping holes after you’ve removed the diffusers (whether on purpose of from faulty clips).


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...rs-166383.html
I thought it was a bad idea to put two dissimilar metals together like this solution does.
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