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Old 03-21-2013, 03:08 AM   #1
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texasbound's Avatar
1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 149
Hello everyone! Well we are in Santa Barbara well in our way to Austin, and I'd like some opinions from you folks who survive the heat in your aluminum tubes.

We will be setup fulltime in Austin. I'm getting a new A.C. (15k but) and would like some opinions for our vintage 74 sovereign. Mach 8 is where I'm leaning. Can we also run a portable one off 30amps?

Initially we will not be under cover (but will be under trees).... I think we will have to expedite the trailer pole barn... opinions here?

Thanx everyone!!
1974 - 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht "Dudley"
WBCCI # 7616
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
Jim J
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
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1. Get Shade
2. Get 2 Air conditioners for your 31 footer
3. 30 Amps is OK for one air con, may not be enough for two
4. Get LED lamps to cut down current draw and heat.
5. Cook Outside
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,786
Originally Posted by Jim J View Post
1. Get Shade
2. Get 2 Air conditioners for your 31 footer
3. 30 Amps is OK for one air con, may not be enough for two
4. Get LED lamps to cut down current draw and heat.
5. Cook Outside
Everything Jim Said. SHADE is very very very important. Anything you do OUTSIDE is about 80% more effective than anything you do inside - an outside awning versus closing the blinds inside for example. If you have fantastic fans, skylights, etc.. Aluminum foil shiny side out will reflect a lot of heat, ditto on vista view windows - though you might prefer reflective film.

Get the A/C cranked up fairly early before the heat hits the high temps. I think you might get by with one 15,000 btu air conditioner IF you can distribute the cooling well - endless breeze fan or a Dyson could keep it circulating. Pay attention to morning and evening sun - get your unit oriented to get max coverage. Consider putting up a lattice, netting or twine and growing morning glories, sweet peas or something else fast growing to shelter an exposed side if the awning(s) don't cover it. And if your unit has awnings all around that is a huge plus.

Don't run in and out repeatedly during the hottest part of the day - try to take a siesta instead.

Good luck, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
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You'll have the A/C running non-stop except for a once-weekly cleaning of filters, and once-monthly cleaning of evaporator & condensor. Do not expect that the TT will remain cool in the way of a house or apartment. The electrical cost to keep cool temps on a square foot basis is quite high. Expect $100/month for electrical (and more).

Shade is everything. Afternoon shade is mandatory.

I'd inspect the entirety of the A/C 30A wiring. A new circuit breaker as well. Plus, read other threads on the subject.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Jensen Beach , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 12

I can do the cleaning of the filters, but how do I go about cleaning the evaporator and condenser each month? Where are they?
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:03 PM   #6
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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The "fins", the actual heat exchangers inside and outside. Some aerosol "coil cleaner" from Homer Depot (or A/C supply house). Read instructions and finagle some tarps/towels for the interior floor/furnishings. I use a 1/gl pump sprayer with distilled water to help the rinse. On the roof, a very low flow from hose. Doesn't need much. Overdoing it is not preferred (application amounts, or frequency). Try it once to see what you think. High humidity and large amounts of dust make this a procedure well worth knowing/practicing.

Some will not agree with me. Contact Lewster an RV tech who post on here. IMO, one can be confident in his opinion on this type of thing.

A/C unit are also prone to trouble from low voltage (below 120V). See threads on this issue and on autoformers. Life can be reduced by consistent low voltage. Threads also on surge protectors, etc. Randy at is said to be a good source of equipment and advice.

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Old 05-28-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Utopia , Texas
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
I am down here in the oil fields around Cotulla in an non-Airstream RV and can give you a few hints. We've had 107 degree days lately so Austin should be a snap.

* Cover ALL window glass
* Find a bar with good air conditioning. Just figure that you might as well go there in the afternoons.

If you are in the Austin area remember that you are near the northern parts of the Hill Country. The Hill Country is where many Texans flee to when the summer hits because temps are lower than in the cities or deserts, so you might take a hard look at where exactly in Austin you need to be or want to be.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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Longview , Texas
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We've been up in Grapevine, TX this week. Temps in high 90's to 100's. we have a new 28FB International with one AC. It will not keep the AS cool. We've covered all the windows skylights and fan openings, lowered our 1 awning, bought a fan and we are under one shade tree. Does anyone know if its possible, and/or what it would take to add a 2nd roof AC? I assume we would have to go from 30 amps to 50 amps. Is that possible?
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
2012 27' FB Classic
Chesterfield , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
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We have a 27 ft classic with two air conditioners and yes we are 50 amp. So yes it is possible. Ours came with two units but your unit could probably be retrofitted. I suggest contacting the Airstream service center.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #10
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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Aggie90 before I start gigging you about college-level reading skills (as a native Texan Aggie jokes nearly always start from the premise that this college didn't impart such), take some emotional reassurance that pretty well every problem you will ever encounter with this TT type is already covered in a previous thread. Open the subforum on A/C matters and read away. And re-open one of those threads with your specifics as it will alert those who've already posted as well as take in new contributors.

Yes, one can convert to 50A service. You'll be pleased to learn how others did just this.

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Old 06-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
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Two ACs running in one Airstream would be one noisy environment. We've been out in the low 90s and so far the 13.5k in our 2008 Classic has been keeping us comfortable. We'll be out next week to see how it works in the mid 90s. All Airstreams in TX should come with 15k units.

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Old 06-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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2003 30' Classic
Las Cruces , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 94
Upgrade A/C To 15,000

After spending 2 days in Cap Rock State Park at 100 to 101*F we decided it's time to upgrade to a 15000 btu A/C. 84 to 87*F in the AS just wont cut it. We currently have a Penguin 13500. Have been looking at the Dometic Penguin II and the Briskair II.

Looking at the posts it seems most everyone is going with the Penguin II. Looking at the specs the compressor/fan load amps is about the same for both. Of course with the Penguin II you get the low profile with the Briskair about 2.5 " taller. A big difference is the weight with the Penguin at 110 lb. and the Briskair at 74 lb. The briskair also has a much smaller footprint.

I have a couple of questions that maybe some out there can answer.
1) Has anyone installed the Briskair II and are you happy with it
2) Is it quite enough to watch TV with a blower speed of 300 to 350 cfm
3) Other than the low profile what are the advantages of the Penguin II
4) In my 2004 Classic is there an AS drain pan or is the curvature of the later model AS flat enough so leveling gaskets are not needed
5) Can drain cups be used on the Briskair. I don't think they can.

Looking forward to any comments.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:19 AM   #13
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1971 23' Safari
1989 29' Land Yacht
Diana , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 9
Trying to stay cool in Texas ...well nearly impossible in the summer time...its Sep now and still hitting 100 temp days....all advice given previously helps...but I've found that it is something we have to live with. The AC units have a hard time keeping up during the peak of the day and then at night it'll freeze you out of there...shade is an absolute must if you are year round living in the AS...good luck...the climate change is gonna be an adjustment!
Cindy Sullivan
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:50 PM   #14
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Longview , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Hi all. Well we are finally cool. We added a 2nd AC, 13000 btu, a driver's side awning, magna shades on the outside of the back panoramic window and some new custom made curtains for the both panoramic windows. It cost a lot of money but its definitely worth it. We have been able to use our AS, even in the hottest texas weather.
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