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Old 02-23-2004, 02:58 AM   #1
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Dometic Penguin for '66 Safari?

I am a relative newbie to Airstreams and need some advice on replacing the a/c unit that is on my '66 Safari 22' TT.

The current unit is quite old and has a huge profile on top of my trailer - looks like a wart on top of an object of beauty (especially now that I have almost finished polishing the Airstream).

I am attracted to the Dometic Penguin 13.5K BTU model due to its low profile. However, I see more Carrier a/c units in my area (near Austin, Texas).

Would the Penguin be suitable for my Airstream? Are they reliable units? I appreciate any advice that might be offered.
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:42 AM   #2
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A friend just installed a new Penguin (same size unit) in his 1970, 22Ft Safari, last summer. It works perfect. He went with the Penguin because of the lower profile too. Both units are probably about equal in quality but, the lower profile of the Penguin seems to be a selling point.

Others will probably add their opinions.

You can also use the search function for other discussions on the AC units. There's many out there.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:49 AM   #3
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Interior Trim Plate?

NDS - thanks for your response. I notice on a VAC archive of emails that one VAC member had difficulty mating the interior trim to the curvature of his Airstream's ceiling - did your friend have a similar problem? Does Dometic make a trim piece that fits the interior of the Airstream? Thanks...
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Old 02-23-2004, 01:35 PM   #4
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There's no problem with the curvature of the interior ceiling. However, you'll want to purchase a drain pan from Airstream, that goes on the roof and matches the curvature of it and the A/C unit fits on top of that.

Here's a link to a recent conversation on this.
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:37 PM   #5
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Thanks NDS...I will order the pan from Airstream. I can't seem to find a competitive price for the Penguin (online RV supplier PPL offers the Brisk Air at a discount but not the Penguin). Any suggestions for a Dometic dealer with good prices? Thanks again....
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Old 02-23-2004, 04:17 PM   #6
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I replaced mine....

on a '71 Safari.

I have put up some info about it on my website if you care to see it.

You can check it out here.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
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Tim - thanks for the post. I checked out the link to the page with the replacement of your a/c unit. Hmmm, I was thinking that the Penguin unit was not as tall as it appears on your trailer. Is it less obtrusive than the Carrier or Coleman a/c units?

Thanks again for your post.
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:04 PM   #8
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Here is a picture of a new Penguin on the roof of my sister in laws 65 Safari.

Look at me!
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:15 PM   #9
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Mark.

I think the Penquin is the lowest profile one out there.
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Old 02-23-2004, 07:23 PM   #10
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Mark,

I live in San Antonio and I spent $950.00 for a penguin 1500 low profile and the drip pan. My Landyacht is 31' and the unit cools it quick. I did the install myself and it wasn't all that hard. The folks at Camping World would never commit to a price to install it , just $75.00 per hour and they said it might take a while.

Good luck,

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Old 02-23-2004, 07:46 PM   #11
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Dometic Penguin

Tim,
Thanks for the link. I had seen it before and forgot to thank you. I also found it very useful.
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:01 PM   #12
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Guys, thanks for all of the information.

David, why so much? I checked the PPL Motorhomes website today and they had the 13.5k BTU Dometic "Briskair" a/c (with ducted roof assembly) for $531.00.

Is the Penguin unit more expensive than the Briskair? Thanks (and sorry for all of the questions).

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Old 02-23-2004, 11:20 PM   #13
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Don't forget the Drain Pan!

I think the Penquins are more expensive because of the lower profile.

I got mine for under $600 and a free portable picnic table from a deal Camping World was running.

The deal was they offered installation for $1. Once I told them it was for a '71 Airstream the got extermely busy to fit me in their schedule.

So I said wait a minute. That's the deal. Free installation! Or.... take the full installtation price off the price of the Penquin and I'll go away happy.

So they did it

I ordered the drain pan from an AS dealer and put it in myself.

That's the other thing you have to think about. They only make the drain pan for the Penquin. Otherwise you end up with condinsation water running down the side of your trailer

We were using ours on a 100 degree day and I saw a lot of water under the street side wheel. I at first though there was a plumbing leak until I realized it was the drain line from the A/C!

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:35 PM   #14
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Tim...thanks again. I will definitely not forget the drain pan from A/S...BTW, nice trailer (great polish job).
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Old 02-23-2004, 11:42 PM   #15
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Talking

Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2004, 06:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by markh8624

Is the Penguin unit more expensive than the Briskair?
As I understand it the Penguin uses a scroll compressor vs. a piston or other type. The scroll compressors are a more expensive inti to make, so the cost is higher. BTW you AC GURUS if I am wrong please call me on it
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by markh8624
I can't seem to find a competitive price for the Penguin (online RV supplier PPL offers the Brisk Air at a discount but not the Penguin). Any suggestions for a Dometic dealer with good prices? Thanks again....
If you haven't already ordered one, keep an eye on EBay.

My friend that installed his, left this morning with his Safari, for Florida. He'll be gone a couple of weeks. He's getting into vintage motorcycle racing and they race this Thursday and Friday in Jennings, Florida, then he's doing Bike Week in Daytona (or a few days of it) and some camping down in S. Florida. When he gets back, I'll find out where he purchased his... unless you're in a rush to get one installed.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:08 PM   #18
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To those who installed the a/c themselves, how did you lift the a/c to the top of the unit? Seems that would be the hardest part.

Ken
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:49 PM   #19
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Getting it on top.

Ken,

I had two ladders setup on the curb side. My brother on one and me on the other. We both walked up the ladders carring the A/C unit.

Once on the tops of the ladders we *set* it on the edge just over the awning rail. Next we got onto the trailer only standing on the rivits areas and not going near the endcaps, and lifted the A/C unit and setting it into place.

It wasn't that bad really. Just had to have everything ready and in place first. Like a wide bead of vulkum around the opening and the drain pan centered on top of that. The A/C unit was gently set in place in the drain pan. If it need to be adjusted we lifted it again instead of sliding it.
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:14 PM   #20
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Get some rubber backed throw rugs or rubber mats to use on the roof, they're good for parts, tools, and standing.

John
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