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Old 06-17-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Suggestions for a hot girl stranded for summer

After remodeling a 1978 Sovereign we headed to the beach. We are a week into our summer stay in Port Aransas and our AC has gone out for the second time. We replaced the capiciter (?) and two days later the ac went out again. We ran the a/c back in San Antonio when we were doing the remodel and it ran well. We had an a/c servive man out and he checked it out and cleaned it up before we left and he said it seemed to be running okay and hopefully we'd get a summer out of it...wrong! It's blowing air, it's just not cold.

So here is my dilemma, it's hot! I do not have a truck to haul the airstream to a shop, we had my dad haul it for us since we planned just to leave it until mid September. I don't really want to spend more $$ repairing the original Armstrong if it is only going to continue to have issues.

Any suggestions? My dad said he would come install a new unit but I'd have no idea what to order. Another Airstreamer in the park has the same model and replaced the front window with plywood and is using a regular window AC unit. Not ideal but it's hot and I'm desperate! He said he's had good luck with his (maybe a temporary summer fix??) I tried a portable ac unit exhausted out of a hatch and the opening covered with plastic but it did little to no cooling.


Thanks. I'll post some remodel pics soon. It's real cute on the inside just hot as ....!
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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One thing that would be cheap and quick to check. Measure the voltage with a voltmeter in one of your outlets both with the AC off and with it trying to start. It should read around 120V in both cases. If it's reading much lower, then the campground electrical system may be starving the AC of power, which is really hard on the motors/etc.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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Forgot to add that we were inside when it went out. Three cold ac days and then I heard the compressor kick off and there was a burning smell.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:37 AM   #4
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I call it quick and dirty. The thru the window AC is fast, easy to do, and will get you thru the jam. PPL in Houston can get an AC for you ASAP....fastest is if your Dad picks it up. Can he install it.?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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There is a Lowes nearby that I could pick up a window unit and plywood at. All my repairmen (family) are three hours away back home.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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After doing more research I'm leaning towards just replacing the whole original Armstrong AC.

Suggestions on a new one? Preferably somewhere that has quick shipping!!
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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If it is Dometic you go with, they all ship from Dometic no mater who sells it to you. No one stocks anything anymore...
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:36 PM   #8
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Dometic won't drop ship..........

Only will ship to a dealer's registered address.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KaseyTX View Post
After doing more research I'm leaning towards just replacing the whole original Armstrong AC.

Suggestions on a new one? Preferably somewhere that has quick shipping!!
PPL would be a good place to start looking. Here is a link to the new model Coleman Mach 8. I don't think you would need the heat pump model and would suggest the 15,000 BTU with the condensate pump. You will then be able to connect the interior drain line that the Armstrong is connected to so the the condensate does not drain on top of the AS.

There are other AC available and PPL has a good supply of the major brands. Regardless of what brand you get the first step will be getting the old Armstrong removed. This is a real chore. The unit is attached to the roof with rivets and a lot of caulking will need to be cleaned up and the old rivet holes will need to filled to prevent leaks. Once the upper and lower units are removed you will need to add wooden supports around the 14" opening between the outer skin and inner skin. you can use a 2 x 4t trimmed and cut to size . The new AC will bolted to the roof with 4 long bolts from the inside and will sit a thick rubber gasket that will compress when the bolts are tightened down to prevent leaks. Since your model year Airstream has a curved ceiling some of the inside ceiling assemblies will need to be shimmed in order to fit properly. You will need some means to get on the roof and somehow to set up a space to work and damage the Airstream roof which is not designed to walk on. You may want to check around for a mobile RV repair service to install the AC. But remember they are most likely not accustomed to working on Airstreams.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:41 PM   #10
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Lew (above) can't push his own products due to forum rule limitations, but I am in the process of buying from him (as I have in the past), and he will ship to me directly. Send him a PM (private message) and see if he can hook you up.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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You will need some means to get on the roof and somehow to set up a space to work and NOT damage the Airstream roof which is not designed to walk on.
Should read as above.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #12
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I areas where there is a lot of camping there are sometimes mobile RV service people that can come on site and replace an AC.
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