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Old 08-14-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
Saline , Michigan
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Considering replacing Armstrong A/C

After replacing condesor Fan, start and run capacitors, and now blower fan, my original 1972 Armstrong AC is still not functioning correctly.

In hot weather the Condesor fan will stop running then Compressor stops.

If I do decide to replace AC are there any options besides Dometic Penguin that use the drain hose, I don't want water running down side of trailer.

I am also considering going up to 15,000 since my 27' trailer gets pretty hot and we like to travel in the west.

I want to make sure I can still run AC with my 2 Honda 2000 generators.

Any insight or suggestions are welcome.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loechli View Post
After replacing condesor Fan, start and run capacitors, and now blower fan, my original 1972 Armstrong AC is still not functioning correctly.

In hot weather the Condesor fan will stop running then Compressor stops.

If I do decide to replace AC are there any options besides Dometic Penguin that use the drain hose, I don't want water running down side of trailer.

I am also considering going up to 15,000 since my 27' trailer gets pretty hot and we like to travel in the west.

I want to make sure I can still run AC with my 2 Honda 2000 generators.

Any insight or suggestions are welcome.
One more piece of info. My current armstong has a wall thermostat that contols AC, I also would like my replacement to use a remote or wall thermostat.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:21 AM   #3
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RVP Coleman makes several models that have internal pumps and drain hoses that can work well with the internal drain configuration of Airstreams.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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Since I will probably have someone else install, what should I expect to pay for install. will coleman istall as nice as penguin, I have read other threads that say nothing installs as well and looks as good on top of an airstream as a penguin.

Any suggestions for install in southeastern MI.

I will call jackson center in the morning to see what they would charge for install
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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1972 27' Overlander
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Several questions about replacing Armstrong with Dometic Penguin 15,000.
What is the standard color shroud used by airstream Bright white or Off white.

Dometic says they can also use grey, has anyone used this any pics?

Does anyone have a pic of top of trailer after replacement, what is the proper was to fill all the holes?

Camping world told me they have replaced quite a few of the Armstrongs with Dometic Penguin if I consider them, I want to know the right way to do it so I do not develop leaks.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Considering replacing Armstrong A/C

Greetings loechli!

I appreciate your conundrum regarding your original Armstrong Air Conditioner. Had I only known what I know now, I would still have my original Armstrong Bay Breeze on my '64 Overlander. When I purchased my Overlander in 1995, it had a perfectly operating Armstrong . . . but as a relative novice when it came to RV air conditioners I didn't realize that operating it on a 15-amp circuit would ruin the compressor . . . tried once . . . compressor DOA next day.

In those days, I didn't have access to the body of knowledge on these Forums nor the advice of a long-time reputable Airstream dealer, and I fell for the line from Camping World that the only option was replacement. Today, before I would consider replacing an original Armstrong I would consult a professional air conditioning technician for an option on what it would take to put the Armstrong in perfect order.

I have had a Coleman Mach 3 RV Air Conditioner on my '64 Overlander since 1996. While it cools adequately . . . it is only half the air conditioner that the Armstrong was . . . the Armstrong had a wall-mounted thermostat . . . not so with the Coleman . . . the Armstrong ran without vibration . . . not so the Coleman . . . the Armstrong was quiet (particularly when operated on low speed once temperature had been attained) . . . the Coleman doesn't have the word quiet in its vocabularly. . . the Armstrong happlily operated with a condesate drain . . . the Coleman doesn't support condesate drains.

I tend to like the older devices that were built with the idea that repair or rebuilding would be an option to the consumer. I still have a central air conditioning unit on my home that was installed in 1963 . . . and whenever there is a problem, my technician always responds I can have that part in no more than 48-hours. My parents' home was built in 1973 and its first heating/cooling system was termed non-repairable in 1983 . . . and we just finished the install of a new system to replace the 1983 system that was termed non-repairable . . . . over $20,000 between those two systems in the time that my house has only had to have about $2,000 in repairs to its system. I readily admit that I am biased toward the older equipment in many cases.

My Minuet didn't have an air conditioner so I went with a Coleman Mini-Mach. It is much quieter, but still has the other shortcomings . . . but at least the Colemans seem to be comparably durable while doing a good to adequate job of cooling.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loechli View Post
Several questions about replacing Armstrong with Dometic Penguin 15,000.
What is the standard color shroud used by airstream Bright white or Off white.

Dometic says they can also use grey, has anyone used this any pics?

Does anyone have a pic of top of trailer after replacement, what is the proper was to fill all the holes?

Camping world told me they have replaced quite a few of the Armstrongs with Dometic Penguin if I consider them, I want to know the right way to do it so I do not develop leaks.

Still hoping for information:
Calls to dometic and Airstream leave me more confused.
1) do new airstreams use polar white or off white for interior of dometic AC
2) What color shroud does Airstream use Polar White, off White or Gray
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loechli View Post
Still hoping for information:
Calls to dometic and Airstream leave me more confused.
1) do new airstreams use polar white or off white for interior of dometic AC
2) What color shroud does Airstream use Polar White, off White or Gray
Surely someone must know what the standard Airstream penguin shroud color is, I have heard 3 different things. Does anyone have a picture of a dometic penguin gray shroud, dometic tech support says they do not, can not find one online, want to make sure it is not a dark gray.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loechli View Post
Surely someone must know what the standard Airstream penguin shroud color is, I have heard 3 different things. Does anyone have a picture of a dometic penguin gray shroud, dometic tech support says they do not, can not find one online, want to make sure it is not a dark gray.
New model Airstreams have the grey shroud and polar white ceiling pack. The grey is a light grey meant to blend in with the silver of the trailer.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:06 AM   #10
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New model Airstreams have the grey shroud and polar white ceiling pack. The grey is a light grey meant to blend in with the silver of the trailer.

Terry,

Thanks for the info, funny thing is I called Out of Doors Mart and one the the salesman said he was looking at a trailer on the floor and "the shroud on the new airstream is bright white" Since that conversation last afternoon I stopped by a new dealer near me and see the shroud is a very light gray.

Do you or anyone else have pic or can point me to a place where I can see "shell white" vs "Polar white" color for interior. My 1972 has a lot of off white in the interior and I am concerned polar white might look out of place.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:15 AM   #11
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Terry,

Thanks for the info, funny thing is I called Out of Doors Mart and one the the salesman said he was looking at a trailer on the floor and "the shroud on the new airstream is bright white" Since that conversation last afternoon I stopped by a new dealer near me and see the shroud is a very light gray.

Do you or anyone else have pic or can point me to a place where I can see "shell white" vs "Polar white" color for interior. My 1972 has a lot of off white in the interior and I am concerned polar white might look out of place.
After I got to work this morning, I walked the lot, and was goong to post an update. It looks like 2 out of 3 have white shrouds.
I can take a couple of photos at lunch of
the two colors and post them when I get home tonight.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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Okay, here are photos of the two different colors. The first two are grey, the second two are white. Honestly, after a couple of years on the roof of your trailer, they're pretty much going to look the same:
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:47 PM   #13
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Thanks for the pic's really apreciate it.

I think I am going with Grey shroud and shell white interior.

Just hope the shell white is not too yellow.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:04 PM   #14
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Thanks for the pic's really apreciate it.

I think I am going with Grey shroud and shell white interior.

Just hope the shell white is not too yellow.
Shell white is kind of ivory in color. Sort of a tannish-grey-ish white.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:22 PM   #15
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I will call jackson center in the morning to see what they would charge for install
What was the quote you received from JC to perform the install? Did they quote the A/C also? Which did they quote?
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #16
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the Armstrong was quiet (particularly when operated on low speed once temperature had been attained)
Kevin,

This is one area where your Armstrong and mine differ wildly. Outside, the AC runs reasonably quietly, but the noise level inside is L-O-U-D to the point that conversation is difficult.

No rattles, or rickey-ticky noises but just a great, deep-throated H-U-MMMM. The difference between HI and LOW fan speed on my unit is minimal at best. When it reaches temp demanded and the condensor cycles off, it's much more quiet, but the fan alone is still louder than I would expect.

Wondering if there is anything I can do to reduce noise in the coach...?
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #17
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What was the quote you received from JC to perform the install? Did they quote the A/C also? Which did they quote?
4 hours labor to remove old armstrong and install penguin @ $104 / hr total $416.00 labor only.

Earlier in the week JC quoted $2200.00 for 15,000 Penguin with Heat pump and CCC thermostat.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:34 AM   #18
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Well,

Finally decided to stop putting money and time into my original Armstrong AC. In the last year I have replaced condenser motor, start and run capacitors, relay, and now blower fan motor. It cools well, but will occasionally cut out in hot weather.

We decided it was not reliable enough as we sometimes leave our small dog in trailer while we are out and were concerned it might cut out.

I bought a 15,000 BTU from Palamino then took it to Jackson Center to have them take off old, replace all the rivets then put on new. I really like the was the Penguin looks and functions, and going from 11,000 BTU to 15,000 will be very nice when we travel in the southwest.
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