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Old 08-23-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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No condensate internal drain line

I ask why do most Motor Home manufacturers not install an internal condensate drain line on the roof mounted AC's. Maybe newer coach's have these but my 2005 Airstream/Thor 39' DP just drains to the roof and more times than not runs off at the door or down the drivers side window. I have installed gutters and gutter extensions but I would like to do something to more effectually route the condensate to the rear of the coach without raising the front a little more while leveling. Has anyone come up with an external drain line concept where a small hose could be run from where the unit dumps the condensate on the roof and then route it to the rear.

Even my 1976 Airstream trailer has an internal drain line line for the AC.

Thanks
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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I've often wondered if there are those drains that have or will plug up.

I'm looking at ringing my roof with the rubber RV Roof Gutter and channeling all roof water towards a couple places in the back. I think part of the trick is to avoid too small of a channel to not cause standing water to build up anywhere. I'm even considering a channel opening at each corner and directing the flow towards extenders.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:09 AM   #3
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It is impossible to retrofit condensate drain tubes down through the coach as they are installed well before while the coach is being built.

As you well know, water flows to the lowest point. So even if you attach the drip cups to the bottom of each A/C to catch the condensate and then install tubing to route the water to a convenient location off of the roof, if your coach is not perfectly level or even a little bit off in any direction, the water will still backup and flow out of the catch cups onto the roof and then off the roof at some location determined only by the level and where the water wants to travel.

My coach has the drip cups and most of the time I will see water draining through the tubes to the bottom of the coach BUT then there will also be places where it is dripping directly off of the roof because the coach is not always PERFECTLY level even though I always try to make it so.

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Old 08-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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Why? Simply a matter of cost and thus the selling price. The condensate drain system includes a pump in each a/c as well as the lines down through the RV. It's one of the little details commonly included in high-end models but left out of low-mid priced rigs. Perhaps "only" a matter of $500 in the MSRP, but there are dozens of such nice-to-have things that you could wish for, and they have to draw the price line somewhere.

Just raise the front of the RV slightly and all the water will run toward the back and out of sight. An inch or two is all it takes and you won't even notice it inside.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:53 AM   #5
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Why? Simply a matter of cost and thus the selling price. The condensate drain system includes a pump in each a/c as well as the lines down through the RV. It's one of the little details commonly included in high-end models but left out of low-mid priced rigs. Perhaps "only" a matter of $500 in the MSRP, but there are dozens of such nice-to-have things that you could wish for, and they have to draw the price line somewhere.

Just raise the front of the RV slightly and all the water will run toward the back and out of sight. An inch or two is all it takes and you won't even notice it inside.
You are telling me what I already know.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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Here is what a RV tech from the Airstream forum told me:

It is certainly possible, as I have done this for several folks with motor homes. Since the gasket on the A/C has been compressed, you will have to remove the existing gasket, replace it with a new one and then install the Dometic drain cup kit, which uses a second gasket to raise the bottom of the unit by a half inch once compressed. You would need to reverse the drain cups so the nipples point outward and then connect drain hose to them. You could have a hose run down each side and connect each unit to the main drain hose with a plastic 'T' fitting. This will allow you to channel the condensate anywhere you like, provided that the slope of the roof is in the right direction for gravity to work.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:22 PM   #7
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And once you retrofit all those new gaskets, drain cups, and plastic hoses, how long will the condensate flow? The condensate is full of dust and pollen. At the low rate of flow, it will build up sediments and grow slimy mold that will plug up the tubing. You'll have to go on the roof with a garden hose, disconnect the drain lines, and flush them out. I've had to do it to various autos over the years and also my home A/C system. That one used to drain by gravity into a drain that wrapped 30' around the basement walls to a wash tub. A new, more efficient furnace and A/C had a 'better' idea, it drains down to a small plastic sump and is then pumped back up into the wall drain. The sump and pump develops a slime that clogs the pump. It requires periodic maintenance that the old system never needed in over 20 years of use.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by adonh View Post

Here is what a RV tech from the Airstream forum told me:

It is certainly possible, as I have done this for several folks with motor homes. Since the gasket on the A/C has been compressed, you will have to remove the existing gasket, replace it with a new one and then install the Dometic drain cup kit, which uses a second gasket to raise the bottom of the unit by a half inch once compressed. You would need to reverse the drain cups so the nipples point outward and then connect drain hose to them. You could have a hose run down each side and connect each unit to the main drain hose with a plastic 'T' fitting. This will allow you to channel the condensate anywhere you like, provided that the slope of the roof is in the right direction for gravity to work.
Don,

The RV Tech is absolutely correct. Reverse the cups, add the extra gaskets however, I would keep the length of hose as short as possible such as directing them to the sides of the coach extended a few inches beyond the edge to allow the water to fall to the ground.

The more hose you use on your flat roof the less effective gravity will be and then you'll have problems.

The condensate lines installed at the factory for the most part almost run directly down from the A/C except for a few feet to get them over to the side.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:02 PM   #9
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They sound real good when they work but if they stop up, can cause real problems. I'd just as soon have my external drains and channel it off where I want it by just touching a jack button.


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Old 08-23-2014, 06:04 PM   #10
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And once you retrofit all those new gaskets, drain cups, and plastic hoses, how long will the condensate flow? The condensate is full of dust and pollen. At the low rate of flow, it will build up sediments and grow slimy mold that will plug up the tubing. You'll have to go on the roof with a garden hose, disconnect the drain lines, and flush them out. I've had to do it to various autos over the years and also my home A/C system. That one used to drain by gravity into a drain that wrapped 30' around the basement walls to a wash tub. A new, more efficient furnace and A/C had a 'better' idea, it drains down to a small plastic sump and is then pumped back up into the wall drain. The sump and pump develops a slime that clogs the pump. It requires periodic maintenance that the old system never needed in over 20 years of use.
Actually Airstream motorhomes came with drain pans and drain hoses. I had two Airstream motorhomes and i did like this feature. The hoses terminated in the wheel wells. I owned one nine years and the 345 for seven years. Dirt daubers stopped up the drain hose on one of the units. I wrapped course screen wire around the ends of the hose and never had anymore problems in sixteen years.
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #11
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Actually Airstream motorhomes came with drain pans and drain hoses. I had two Airstream motorhomes and i did like this feature. The hoses terminated in the wheel wells. I owned one nine years and the 345 for seven years. Dirt daubers stopped up the drain hose on one of the units. I wrapped course screen wire around the ends of the hose and never had anymore problems in sixteen years.
Yes those were the earlier Airstream Motor Homes. But it seems the 2000 to 2006 390 DP models were built by Thor and then Airstream added the finishing touches. All of the Airstream trailers going back to the 60's have internal drain lines like the one on my 1976 Sovereign.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:30 PM   #12
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You can use a bead of caulk on the roof to direct the condensate in a general direction, but you would have to adjust level to assure it runs out the back


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Old 08-24-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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Well, you asked...
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