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Old 01-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #1
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1977 27' Overlander
Portland , Oregon
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Testing an old AC unit?

Hey guys. Renovating a 76 Overlander (I feel like I start every thread with this line, lol). It has a Quick Cool AC unit on it that appears to be fairly old. I'm wondering if I should keep this thing and somehow test to see if it works. Someone mentioned once that the older AC units with freon can be desirable due to their improved ability to cool over modern. However, I don't know if there's a way to remove it and test to see if it works. As it stands, my Airstream has all of the interior skins removed. Can I somehow wire this thing up in my garage and test functionality? Secondly, the shroud needs replacement, and I think it'd probably benefit from a new control / vent cover since the old one is brittle. I see replacement shrouds online that I understand can be fit (sometimes requiring new holes drilled), though I suspect the interior control / vent cover is tough to come by.

Anywho, any pointers?
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:29 AM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Testing an Old AC Unit

Greetings licoricewhip!

I don't recognize the model air conditioner that you mention. Generally when speaking of vintage air conditioners that are worth trying to save, it is one manufactured by Armstrong -- a company that was noted for utilizing industrial grade components in its products. The use of these industrial grade components means that today, that even though Armstrong is no longer around, it is still possible to cross-reference those parts and find modern replacements to keep one of these vintage units going. A qualified refrigeration technician can service an Armstrong unit, but it can sometimes be challenging to find one who is willing to accept the challenge as it is somewhat outside of the usual type of job.

Some of the reasons for retaining the vintage air conditioner include, originality, quietness of operation (subjective), thermostatic control (becoming more available in the replacement market), originality (for pure restoration), cooling capability, and longevity. I would still have my OEM Armstrong Bay Breeze if I hadn't been talked out of it by a dealer's service department after I burned out the compressor by trying to operate it on too low of an amperage circuit -- at the time I didn't realize that the then 21-year-old compressor could be replaced by qualified refrigeration technician.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:06 AM   #3
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1976 27' Overlander
Milwaukie , Oregon
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Probably a confusing reply since this is coming from a different user name (I originally got locked out of the licoricewhip account and created a new handle, but then at work got autologged into licoricewhip and made the post through there on accident). ANYWAYS.

The more I'm reading, the more I think just swapping out the old air conditioner for a new one would be the way to go. For one, I don't even know if the old AC works. I think I could just wire nut on a grounded plug and plug it into a standard 110v outlet to test it, is that right? But the other thing is the original shroud and interior vent / controls are pretty old and brittle and buying replacements would probably be tough, require retrofitting and would negate some of the savings.

I was thinking about going with a Dometic 15,000 btu unit with heat pump. Does this seem like a reasonable option for a 27' trailer, or would I likely need a second AC unit to cool a trailer that large? I don't plan on doing any extreme desert camping for what it's worth.

Thank you!
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