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Old 05-11-2020, 11:57 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Has Anyone Installed A Furrion Chill A/C on Airstream?

Hello,

Just bought my first Airstream, a 1974 Sovereign. It had a Carrier a/c on it which was not working so I purchased a Furrion Chill 14,500btu unit and a manual air distribution box. The roof unit fits the original opening but I discovered, too late, that the air distribution box requires a minimum 3.5" roof thickness for installation.

I called Furrion to see if they had an adapter to allow for the fit to happen and they said no. Basically, I either have to return the unit and use a different brand or fabricate my own spacer. I really want to use this unit (reviews report it being very quiet for an rv a/c) and not have to return it.

Has anyone here ever installed a Furrion a/c and, if so, what did you do to allow for the proper fitting? When I try to tighten the bolts, there is a duct divider piece that hits the bottom of the a/c because of the thinner roof. The ADB will need at least another 1.5" of space in order to fully tighten the bolts and seal the roof gasket. The spacer would be installed between the ceiling and the ADB. Is it as simple as cutting some wood to fit the space or does it need a more intricate solution?

Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:28 PM   #2
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Hi Madhatter, im curious how it ended up. Did you keep the Furrion? If so did you just frame it out with wood? I am looking to do the same thing, so i would love to know what you did! Thank you
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:53 AM   #3
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Hi! Yes, I kept the Furrion. It was only 2 days ago that I finally got power to the lot and tested it. I have a couple of pics but it’s not completely finished, yet.

The retrofit looks like it will work but it isn’t ideal although it is worth it to have a quieter a/c. The Furrion is much quieter than the Carrier that was there previously. It is my understanding that most RV a/c’s tend to run around 75db and the Furrion is around 62db-65db. If a quieter unit is important for you, then a retrofit may be worth it.

I did the following:

1. On my Sovereign, there was an Airstream metal bracket for structural support at the front of the a/c opening between the inner and outer skins but not at the back edge. I added a 10” L-shaped steel bar to provide additional support on the back edge. Previous owner had stuck some wood blocks in there but I felt that wasn’t sufficient. Don’t have a pic but will try to get it for you, later. It’s possible you may not encounter this.

2. On the inside ceiling between the air distribution unit and the inner skin, I installed 1”x2” wood spacers on front, back and side edges. For the side pieces, I cut to a length of 12” and the front/back pieces, I cut to 10” to fit inside the curvature of the roof. Now that I know this solution allowed the Furrion to be properly bolted, I may consider redoing the spacers and cutting to full length pieces for follow the curve of the ceiling. The current configuration has a gap at each corner which you can see in the pictures.

3. I used a heavy duty double-sided tape to attach the wood spacers to the edges of the distribution unit. This was sufficient to hold the pieces in place while the bolting was being done.

Because of the spacers, the a/c cover does not fit flush to the ceiling. I haven’t finished this part out because I still need to paint. I haven’t decided how to aesthetically close it off, yet but it should be pretty simple to do. Also, this means the unit sits 1.5” lower than it should which may be a consideration for taller people. It is still pretty streamlined compared to older units so it may still be within the original footprint.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:17 AM   #4
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1971 31' Sovereign
Orlando , Florida
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I too am considering the Furrion Chill, inspite of the roof thickness issues.

I have two AS's. My first has the Dometic Penguin II 15K low profile. That thing simply too loud. That and the interior airflow panel is awful. So bad I got frustrated and removed it so my cabin would actually get cool. How did that F that up??

For AS #2, I can fab up a solution re the thickness, so I'm not overly concerned with that. What I'd really like to know - is it quiet? and how well does it cool?

I know there is no heating element as of yet, but supposedly "coming".

Any other information you have would be great!

Good job!
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:19 AM   #5
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Oh, one more thing...

Furrion marketing brochure shows their Furrion Chill units on, get this an Airstream! and they don't even fit!

lol.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:18 PM   #6
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This is my first travel trailer of any kind so not a lot of experience with a/c noise. I know the Carrier was very loud. The Furrion is much quieter but not sure I would call it quiet. My understanding is it runs around 60-65db whereas most RV a/c run around 75db (at least in the past.)

My AS is currently sitting in direct midday sunlight for about 6 hours. I’m not living in it yet, so, the a/c only runs when I visit to do some outside infrastructure work. Usually, when I arrive, the old thermostat on the wall is pegged at 100+ degrees. Don’t know exactly how much because it maxes out at that setting. I turn on the Furrion and can get it down to about 85 degrees when the sun is still shining down on it. I think if you have the a/c running before the sun heats it up, you’ll be able to get it cooler. There was one day when I got started earlier in the morning and got it down to about 72 degrees and, as the midday sun started hitting it couldn’t maintain it but did not increase past 82 degrees. Despite all this, it feels comfortable when I”m inside - especially, if I’ve been working outside and come inside to take a break from the heat.

In fairness to the Furrion, it may be more efficient once I finish outfitting it because I have not done anything else additional to it from what you see in the pictures above. My focus has been on working on my lot til now. Hopefully, in the next month, I’ll start on some interior work and will be able to close off the gaps and get the insulating pieces around it because I’m sure that is probably creating some leaks that are affecting the efficiency as well as the noise level.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. I think the only way to get quieter cooling with current technology is to consider a mini-split unit. If the inside head units weren’t so bulky, I may have gone that route.
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Old 08-20-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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I had a pretty unsatisfactory experience dealing with the Furrion support team regarding a solution for the Airstream. They basically tell you you’re on your own to make it fit. There’s another Airstreamer who has installed one. I think he has a YouTube channel called the Unhippest Hippy. Might be another resource to check to see how he did his installation.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter843 View Post
Hi! Yes, I kept the Furrion. It was only 2 days ago that I finally got power to the lot and tested it. I have a couple of pics but it’s not completely finished, yet.

The retrofit looks like it will work but it isn’t ideal although it is worth it to have a quieter a/c. The Furrion is much quieter than the Carrier that was there previously. It is my understanding that most RV a/c’s tend to run around 75db and the Furrion is around 62db-65db. If a quieter unit is important for you, then a retrofit may be worth it.

I did the following:

1. On my Sovereign, there was an Airstream metal bracket for structural support at the front of the a/c opening between the inner and outer skins but not at the back edge. I added a 10” L-shaped steel bar to provide additional support on the back edge. Previous owner had stuck some wood blocks in there but I felt that wasn’t sufficient. Don’t have a pic but will try to get it for you, later. It’s possible you may not encounter this.

2. On the inside ceiling between the air distribution unit and the inner skin, I installed 1”x2” wood spacers on front, back and side edges. For the side pieces, I cut to a length of 12” and the front/back pieces, I cut to 10” to fit inside the curvature of the roof. Now that I know this solution allowed the Furrion to be properly bolted, I may consider redoing the spacers and cutting to full length pieces for follow the curve of the ceiling. The current configuration has a gap at each corner which you can see in the pictures.

3. I used a heavy duty double-sided tape to attach the wood spacers to the edges of the distribution unit. This was sufficient to hold the pieces in place while the bolting was being done.

Because of the spacers, the a/c cover does not fit flush to the ceiling. I haven’t finished this part out because I still need to paint. I haven’t decided how to aesthetically close it off, yet but it should be pretty simple to do. Also, this means the unit sits 1.5” lower than it should which may be a consideration for taller people. It is still pretty streamlined compared to older units so it may still be within the original footprint.

Let me know if you have any questions.
What's the height from the bottom of the air distribution unit to the floor?

Did you consider putting the spacer on the roof unit outside? Using 2 x 3/4" thick rubber stall mats cut into appropriately sized gaskets then sandwiched between butyl tape. Would it look ridiculously high or be unstable in anyway?

Furrion are the only units available at the moment, everything else appears to be on back order.
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Old 08-21-2020, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbundi View Post
What's the height from the bottom of the air distribution unit to the floor?

Did you consider putting the spacer on the roof unit outside? Using 2 x 3/4" thick rubber stall mats cut into appropriately sized gaskets then sandwiched between butyl tape. Would it look ridiculously high or be unstable in anyway?

Furrion are the only units available at the moment, everything else appears to be on back order.
The outside unit was already in place and I was installing the ADB before I realized the AS roof thickness was a problem. Because I had to get friends to help install the outside unit, I didnít want to ask them to return (my lot & AS are remote) and decided to find a way to close the gap on the ceiling side. I like your idea, though. The outside unit is not low profile but it is also shorter than most of the older RV a/cís so I think it should be stable as long as you are getting a good seal around the gaskets and get it bolted down securely. My plans to live in the AS have moved out a bit so I may redo it using your suggestions.

As for inside measurement, I didnít measure it and the AS is currently an hour away from me. Iím a short woman so it doesnít interfere with moving about in the unit - but, I also donít like the aesthetics of the cover not being flush with the ceiling. This may be a non-issue once I do the finishing work but if Iím able to raise it with the outside unit, that may be a better route.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter843 View Post
The outside unit was already in place and I was installing the ADB before I realized the AS roof thickness was a problem. Because I had to get friends to help install the outside unit, I didn’t want to ask them to return (my lot & AS are remote) and decided to find a way to close the gap on the ceiling side. I like your idea, though. The outside unit is not low profile but it is also shorter than most of the older RV a/c’s so I think it should be stable as long as you are getting a good seal around the gaskets and get it bolted down securely. My plans to live in the AS have moved out a bit so I may redo it using your suggestions.

As for inside measurement, I didn’t measure it and the AS is currently an hour away from me. I’m a short woman so it doesn’t interfere with moving about in the unit - but, I also don’t like the aesthetics of the cover not being flush with the ceiling. This may be a non-issue once I do the finishing work but if I’m able to raise it with the outside unit, that may be a better route.
The aesthetics do look a bit off tbh, but am sure you could make it look much better.

When you're next out at the lot, do you mind taking pictures of the upper unit with the shroud off? I'd be interested to see how the drip pan looks and how easy it would be to connect to the drain pipe so the condensate doesn't run down the side of your camper. Maybe the additional height up top would allow you to drain with gravity instead of using a pump.

I'm eyeing up a Mach8 because there is space for a condensate pump. All other Colemans would have to be rigged somehow. Many say it can be done, but have yet to see evidence. If your Furrion works out for you I may revisit as they are suppose to be much quieter than other units.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:53 AM   #11
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Has anyone had any luck doing this? I'd love to see more pictures of finished Furrion Chill AC installs. I have one waiting to put on my 1986 Excella.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:47 PM   #12
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1977 31' Excella 500
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Good evening.

Old form but glad to read this information. As I just installed two 14.5btu furrion units on my 31 Excella. I was considering ordering a gasket kit and mounting it on the inside to make up the deference. Or look into trimming deflector a bit if no loss to functionality.

Please do share any successful well mounted units that look great.

Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:55 PM   #13
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My Furrion Chill AC install

Well, I now have the Furrion Chill AC installed on my 1986 Excella.

I used 3/4" stable mat I bought on Amazon to raise the AC up on top of the Airstream to give it enough room to mount the inside controller flush to the ceiling. I just put butyl tape under the rubber mat and then tightened the foam seal of the AC down to it. Then I used Dicor around the rubber's edge just to be sure. I don't think it sits too high.

I had some trouble with a bad thermostat that slowed everything down but overall it wasn't a bad job.

Here's my YouTube video of the install:
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Old 07-11-2021, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevRunRegan View Post
Well, I now have the Furrion Chill AC installed on my 1986 Excella.

I used 3/4" stable mat I bought on Amazon to raise the AC up on top of the Airstream to give it enough room to mount the inside controller flush to the ceiling. I just put butyl tape under the rubber mat and then tightened the foam seal of the AC down to it. Then I used Dicor around the rubber's edge just to be sure. I don't think it sits too high.

I had some trouble with a bad thermostat that slowed everything down but overall it wasn't a bad job.
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I went back and reinstalled mine using the stable mat, as well. I messed up and got 1/2Ē mat instead of 3/4Ē so had to use 3 layers with butyl tape between layers. Weíve had heavy rains & tropical storms since the install and no leaks. Looks much better from inside.
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