Monthly Archives: June 2014

Atwood vs Dometic

Interior panel and controls

Interior panel and controls for Atwood 13.5k

After spending a rather miserable summer in my 2012 25FB Airstream last year, I decided to shake free of the mothership once more in search of more truth. This time, it’s all about efficient and plentiful cool air.

The Dometic Penguin 13.5k that Airstream made standard on my 25′ Flying Cloud is 1) noisy, 3) cool – not cold, 3) stingy with air volume, and 4) has a low-profile exterior cover (credit where credit is due). Oh, and 5): won’t run on a single Honda EU2000 generator.

My $68,000 aluminum heat magnet needed something much, much better than what was stock,  further convincing me Airstream’s management spends very little time in their product outdoors under varying conditions – probably just an annual spring camping weekend in Kentucky.

My need fits somewhere else besides what comes standard so, logically, I looked somewhere other than where Airstream looks.

Last year, I found an ad for Atwood’s Air Command air conditioner systems in 13.5k and 15.0k. They said their units were 1) quiet, 2) cold, 3) loaded with air volume, and 4) were not as low-profile as the Penguin. Oh, and the 13.5k would start and run on a single 2000 watt generator. This began to sound like lust was just around the corner so I researched more. This is what the Atwood people say:

Atwood Air Command RV air conditioners are designed to withstand the rigors of the harshest elements while delivering the most cool air in its class.  From an incredible air delivery of 360 cubic feet per minute to the standard digital thermostat with remote control, these units provide function and features unlike anything else on the market today.

Flip-down digital thermostat (non-ducted models) or wall-mount digital thermostat (ducted models) plus wireless remote control.

– Digital thermostats and wireless remotes are standard on all models.

– The two(2) motor concept used allows for an efficient fixed condenser fan speed, while the blower has variable speed.  The result is lower amp -draw and quieter operation.

– Ducted and non-ducted units available

AC-135 Specifications

  • 13.5k BTU Rated, performs as if 16k
  • Installed Weight:  84 lb.
  • Digital Thermostat
  • IR Remote Control
  • 2 Year Warranty

As you can see, this seems like a great product which deserves some attention.

Now for the distributor. I shopped around the internet and found RV Supply Warehouse. Their price for the exterior cooling unit, the interior panel and control, and freight to my doorstep in Nevada was $689.00. The next best rate I could find was $693.00 (very close). The reason I went with RV Supply Warehouse was they packaged the whole system and freight into one low price – no misleading unbundled prices – one straight honest (and great) price.
I’ve made contact with a local RV repairman who says he will remove the Dometic and install the Atwood for $125.00. I’m pleased with that rate thus far. We’ll see how his work is and I’ll report.
Right now, it’s 85 degrees outside and the A/C is on. The little (quiet) floor fan is on also. The A/C fan sound is annoying and it’s 82 degrees inside. $68,000 and there’s a noisy 3 degree difference. Let’s see what Atwood brings, huh?