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Old 07-08-2020, 07:44 AM   #1
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2019 33' Classic
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2019 Classic 33' FB Air Conditioning

I'm curious if anyone has noticed any issues with cooling when parked in direct sun.

What I am seeing is that the front air conditioner has trouble keeping the bedroom cool. If I set both front and rear thermostats at 76 F, the rear of the trailer will end up around 68 degrees while the front may never get satisfied.

I've tried shutting off some of the vents to force more air flow to the front, but all that seems to happen is that cold air flows out of the rear returns? If I close off the rear returns, then I do get better flow to the front. This however is not a practical solution, nor a very smart one should the rear system come on while the return vents are blocked.

We've done the basic stuff like adding reflective material the windows, etc. The T-stats have been verified to be correct.

I wonder if the front cap is just not as well insulated as the rear?
I'm also not a run of the RV method of one duct for both front and rear systems. It kind of defeats the purpose of having two zones.

Southern GA in July gets pretty warm. It's not TX or AZ, but 98 temp and 98% humidity is rough in direct sun.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:12 AM   #2
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Both ends of my Classic 33 are hotter than the main cabin. You are correct that the FB gets hotter. More Glass than anyplace else on the trailer. I keep the all the shades down during the day, both day and night. And I have a Dyson fan that I use to blow cooler air at the floor level from the main cabin into the front bedroom. That seems to be of benefit to keeping it cooler.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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We are in a 30 and our bedroom is the in rear. Itís perfect back there but our front one will stay on all day. Itís normal from what I understand, itís the lower BTU unit.

All the things you said is good. You can also deploy awnings and seek trees during the hot months so you have more shade. During winter months you will want opposite to heat up the space with minimal alde or heat pump.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:21 AM   #4
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We have a 30. Check the temps on the panels with something independent. Our panel temps are often a lot warmer in the summer. The temp sensor wire is mostly exposed to warm air from the outside. We pulled it out about 6 in and it settled down to the correct temp. Our rear was freezing while the front could not keep up.

We moved the temp sensor and it got much better.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:25 PM   #5
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we have been camping in Southern Utah for the past 10 days and observed the same set of issues. We kept all the shades down and the awnings out. By the evening - we were all good and kept an internal temperature of around 70 in both ends of the trailer.
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Old 07-09-2020, 06:05 AM   #6
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BryonJ

I have the same issue. Both units are 15KBTU. Front is always 4-5 degrees warmer. I stager the temperature settings. I also have a small fan I plug in below the dinette, set it on the dinette, and direct the airflow from the main salon area to the bedroom area. Seems there is a greater airflow from the rear unit than the front as well. I think itís a combination of design, airflow, insulation, and outside skin temperature. Given all of the variable I think itís characteristic of our trailers (33 Classic) but nothing wrong with your individual unit.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSxyWhtGuy View Post
We are in a 30 and our bedroom is the in rear. Itís perfect back there but our front one will stay on all day. Itís normal from what I understand, itís the lower BTU unit.

All the things you said is good. You can also deploy awnings and seek trees during the hot months so you have more shade. During winter months you will want opposite to heat up the space with minimal alde or heat pump.
Thanks.

Both our units supposedly have the same BTUs??

Heat on the Classic is not a problem since we use the Alde radiator system. No fans, just an old fashioned radiator that uses glycol rather than water. Even heat throughout.

Finding shade is obviously the best idea but making reservations in campgrounds we've never visited is a crap shoot, even with google earth. That said, if we like the campground, we mark up a map with the better sites for future reference.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilPeanut View Post
We have a 30. Check the temps on the panels with something independent. Our panel temps are often a lot warmer in the summer. The temp sensor wire is mostly exposed to warm air from the outside. We pulled it out about 6 in and it settled down to the correct temp. Our rear was freezing while the front could not keep up.

We moved the temp sensor and it got much better.
Thanks,

We have checked the temp sensors. The first thing that we found was that on the Alde they had the front and rear backwards. That, however, does not affect the air conditioners.

The other thing that we checked was to insure that the sensor wire was insulated going into the wall and that the bare end was all that was exposed and in the air rather than in the wall.

I have thought about moving the sensors, but first wanted to cross the bridge of why the air from the front unit is flowing out of the return for the rear unit. It just seems they did a lazy job of ducting the system.

Curious-where did you move your sensor? On the 33' FB it is mounted on the dresser about midway up. Ironically, this area tend to be the cooler part of the bedroom. If I move it forward, the unit will definitely never shut off.
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Old 07-09-2020, 07:59 AM   #9
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Crazy

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Originally Posted by WA_Airstream View Post
we have been camping in Southern Utah for the past 10 days and observed the same set of issues. We kept all the shades down and the awnings out. By the evening - we were all good and kept an internal temperature of around 70 in both ends of the trailer.
Yes, once the sun starts to set, it does level out. I know that these units are typically only capable of cooling 20 degrees from the ambient, so 75 inside on a 95 day seems reasonable. It's more the issue that the front will never get cool and the rear is freezing. In full sun with both sensors set to 76 it cam be 84 in the front and 68 in the rear. Crazy.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JDG View Post
BryonJ

I have the same issue. Both units are 15KBTU. Front is always 4-5 degrees warmer. I stager the temperature settings. I also have a small fan I plug in below the dinette, set it on the dinette, and direct the airflow from the main salon area to the bedroom area. Seems there is a greater airflow from the rear unit than the front as well. I think itís a combination of design, airflow, insulation, and outside skin temperature. Given all of the variable I think itís characteristic of our trailers (33 Classic) but nothing wrong with your individual unit.
Thanks,

I think you are probably right. I did notice that the interior roof in the front is much warmer than the interior roof in the rear.

I've played with the vents quite a bit trying to tweak the air flow but all I get is more air flow out of the rear intakes? I'm sure it's just the way they do their racetrack or open ducting system. Too much pressure in the discharge just flows right out the intake. We had a similar problem on Newmar Class A Coach. The techs at the factory had a fix using plastic cut-outs to modify the airflow within the ducts. Unfortunately the ducts on the airstream are not as accessible as those on the Class A. I think that if I can figure out how get better separation between the discharge and intake ducts that the airflow to the front would greatly improve just by adjusting some vents.

We have a whisper quiet fan in our home gym that will now find its way into our Airstream.

Bryon
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:03 AM   #11
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You would think that twin 15K units would be able to easily cool a 33' model. My concern with the Airstream ducting has been the restriction present when you try to duct that A/C output. Sort of why I've always liked my single 15K unit that cools my 30' Classic that is not ducted. That unit has little if any restriction and while I admit is not as quiet as the ducted unit, its airflow is not restricted by ducting.

I always deploy all the awnings when I'm in sunny locations and I'll always take the site with shade vs the full sun...but sometimes you don't have a choice.
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Old 07-09-2020, 09:27 AM   #12
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Following...

Thank you!
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Old 07-09-2020, 10:26 AM   #13
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I have owned three AS. Two of which has the new ducted air. The ducted air was a great idea but Airstream couldn't have implemented it in worse of a design. The AS is one of the worse insulated trailers on the market. The ductings in the roof is basically and barely insulated. You loose the majority of your cooling in the roof before it gets into the coach. Plus the wall insulation is very poor. Add them together and you have almost the worse cold and hot trailer on the market. My first AS was not a ducted model, had it for 20+ years and it also had the soft wall liners vs the bare aluminum as we have now, pretty but zero functionality. The non ducted versions in 100 degrees direct sun hold 3/4 cold and half fan you could hang meat. If there was an option today to have ducted or not ducted...I would not flinch getting the non ducted.

My one inch thick Yeti cooler holds ice for 4-5 days, come on Airstream take a hint.

PS: on my 25' RBT model, got rid of it, the light switch on the side of the wall near the front door quit working. I pulled the panel off to check. There was NO INSUALTION anywhere to be found on the wall. Either not insulated or the 'hung wall' style insulation fell down.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:28 AM   #14
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We are full timing in a 2020 33’ Classic and have had no issues with our AC units after learning how they work. Generally our night shades are up during the day and I avoid trees. I use our RS Awnings when we are onboard when I remember to use them. We have easy starts on both AC’s and keep our internal temp at 67 degrees. I keep both AC units set to automatic. The AC units automatically adjust the fan speeds depending on the job they are performing. I keep the internal roof filters clean and the door SHUT when the air is on! One thing I noticed was that our front door wasn’t closing completely with a gap around the lock latch. Once I noticed the gap and addressed it the AC functioned even better. I hope this helps
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:35 PM   #15
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We are full timing in a 2020 33í Classic and have had no issues with our AC units after learning how they work. Generally our night shades are up during the day and I avoid trees. I use our RS Awnings when we are onboard when I remember to use them. We have easy starts on both ACís and keep our internal temp at 67 degrees. I keep both AC units set to automatic. The AC units automatically adjust the fan speeds depending on the job they are performing. I keep the internal roof filters clean and the door SHUT when the air is on! One thing I noticed was that our front door wasnít closing completely with a gap around the lock latch. Once I noticed the gap and addressed it the AC functioned even better. I hope this helps
Curious as to where you are and what is the outside temp?

We were in souther GA in direct sunlight with temps in the mid 90s. Shade would have been nice, but was not an option.

We not only had all awnings deployed, but also reflective material in the windows. Door closes well (had the same problem but had it fixed at Jackson Center).
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Old 07-09-2020, 01:17 PM   #16
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I'm blessed with an older 34'er that has the insulated vinyl ceiling material. There's maybe 2 to 4 degrees difference between the ceiling and interior air. Today my AS is sitting in direct sun with 101 degrees outside and my two 15,000 btu Dometic Blizard NXT airconditioners are easily holding the interior temperature at an evenly distributed 73 degrees with no issues. They are kicking on and off as needed and are very quiet compared to the PenguinII series. For the ducted systems, I've come across two interesting articles. Try tightening the tie-down bolts on the a/c unit and also remove the distribution vent at the furthest points in the duct. Check that the duct end blocks are installed and totally sealed. I've got no idea why Airstream hasn't started installing the Dometic Blizzard on all new AS & as the replacement unit of choice. The Blizzard comes in both ducted and unducted models. They blow so cold that it actually becomes a bit painful to hold your hand in the force air of the distribution box. They're pretty cool ��
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:45 PM   #17
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I'm blessed with an older 34'er that has the insulated vinyl ceiling material. There's maybe 2 to 4 degrees difference between the ceiling and interior air. Today my AS is sitting in direct sun with 101 degrees outside and my two 15,000 btu Dometic Blizard NXT airconditioners are easily holding the interior temperature at an evenly distributed 73 degrees with no issues. They are kicking on and off as needed and are very quiet compared to the PenguinII series. For the ducted systems, I've come across two interesting articles. Try tightening the tie-down bolts on the a/c unit and also remove the distribution vent at the furthest points in the duct. Check that the duct end blocks are installed and totally sealed. I've got no idea why Airstream hasn't started installing the Dometic Blizzard on all new AS & as the replacement unit of choice. The Blizzard comes in both ducted and unducted models. They blow so cold that it actually becomes a bit painful to hold your hand in the force air of the distribution box. They're pretty cool ��
New isn't always better!

Thanks for your response. I've tried closing off some of the discharge (distribution) vents. The increased air flow just goes out the rear intake (return) vents. The air is very cold, just not in the right place.

You mentioned "duct end blocks." I think this is where my problem is. Discharge air should not flow out the return vents.

Are these blocks meant to separate the front system from the rear system? We did something similar on a Newmar Class A. The factory installed blocks in the duct between the front and the rear systems. This had the effect of isolating them so that there were in fact two completely separate zones.

I sent a request to Airstream asking for the duct installation drawings. There has to be something they either missed or just screwed up.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old 07-09-2020, 11:00 PM   #18
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We started in Tampa in 95 degree With 70% humidity and then went west on I-10 stopped in Louisiana Texas and Arizona. All of these states are hot. I forgot to also mention that I am a fanatic about keeping my AS level, doors closed and when I turn the AC’s on I leave them set on my desired temp . I don’t turn the AC on and off. Hope this helps
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:54 AM   #19
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We started in Tampa in 95 degree With 70% humidity and then went west on I-10 stopped in Louisiana Texas and Arizona. All of these states are hot. I forgot to also mention that I am a fanatic about keeping my AS level, doors closed and when I turn the ACís on I leave them set on my desired temp . I donít turn the AC on and off. Hope this helps
Thanks. We're the same way and you're in just as hot if not hotter weather. The only changes we ever make is at bed time we drop the temp a couple of degrees.

I think our issue is a duct issue. Too much comes out of the return in the rear. In reality, no air should come out of any return vent.

Happy Travels
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:19 AM   #20
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Last time we camped in west Texas (minimal shade in morning, none in afternoon), we had temps around 100F. We deployed awnings, closed the night shades during the afternoon and with both units running, we held at 75/76F.

Currently near DC with good morning and afternoon shade, only direct sun for 3-4 hours around mid-day. No awnings deployed but night shades down during peak sunlight. Both ACs running hold at 71/72 with rear unit (more shade) cycling on/off as needed.

I also follow other suggestions posted.
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