One of the things Airstream has really focused on in the last couple of years is making the heating and air conditioning systems in our travel trailers as quiet and as residential as possible. Our QuietStream™ ducted air conditioning system has been a standard feature on the Caravel, Flying Cloud, International, Globetrotter, and Classic since the release of the 2020 models (May 2019).
Strong, Equal Distribution of Air
QuietStream distributes air throughout the travel trailer using a ducted system that is quiet and reduces the amount of ambient noise. QuietStream circulates air evenly with multiple vents across the trailer ceiling and has return vents making the system very quiet compared to other systems where there are singular shrouds hanging down inside the cabin.
Depending on the model floor plan, there are 8 to 9 vents throughout the ceiling that evenly push cool air (or warm) throughout the cabin. All models except Classic are equipped with a forced air furnace with electric ignition but they do not use the QuietStream system to distribute the air. The furnaces use LP (liquid propane) for the heat source and 12V for the electric ignition and fan. When we highlight that the QuietStream system distributes warm air, it's because the air conditioners have heat pumps included inside of them. What is a heat pump? A heat pump is A/C working in reverse and takes ambient air from the cabin to provide warmer air when the temperature is above approximately 40 degrees fahrenheit. This method takes the chill out of the air and can work very well if you don't want to have to turn your furnace on.
Our ducted air conditioning system reduces the number of hot spots throughout the travel trailer where cooler air may not be getting, giving you much better temperature distribution and control whether you’re relaxing in the bedroom or preparing food in the kitchen. Although it's included on every Airstream model, it's important to also call out that the drip tubes run from the A/C directly to the ground instead of running water down the roof and wall line.
Confidence and Comfort on the Road
The overarching goal of QuietStream is to create a comfortable environment that you would expect in your home, but now you can confidently take that feeling with you in your home on wheels. All models that come standard with QuietStream include an internal thermostat that give owners the ability to control temperatures with a few taps. If the travel trailer includes two A/C units (optional front and rear), owners can set two different temperatures depending on preferences for each zone.
Supply and Return Air Vents
There are supply vents and return vents evenly located on the ceiling throughout the entire length of the travel trailer. Supply vents push the air outward and send the freshly conditioned air into the cabin. On each of the small, sleek, and stylish QuietStream supply vents (pictured above) there are two manual controls 1.) Primary direction the air is being pushed 2.) How much air is being released from each vent. The air flow direction is controlled by the outside tab and comes in handy if there's a specific area you want to focus the flow. The inside tab allows you to control how much air is being forced out of each individual supply vent and is especially useful if you want to send more cooled air to one section of the travel trailer versus another. By closing off a vent that is in between the air conditioner and a further supply vent, you're more or less doubling the output for that open area.
The supply vents are connected to the aluminum foil insulated foam core ducts in the ceiling which are hand-assembled like most components of the travel trailer. All models with the QuietStream system have custom aluminum roof bows that are precisely cut to accommodate the two ducts that run the length of the trailer.
Each air condition unit has 2 intake "return" vents which means there could be a max of 4 return vents (2 A/C units) in an Airstream. As the supply vents feed the cooled air to the interior, the return vents pull air out out of the indoor space which removes the "unconditioned" air and also feeds the air to the cooling system.
The ductwork that makes up the QuietStream system is lightweight, non-toxic, humidity resistant and has two other thoughtful benefits that may sometimes get overlooked.
The QuietStream ducts are constructed from foam core and wrapped in aluminum foil to efficiently transfer cooled air, but they also provide more insulation to the trailer by adding thickness and separation from the exterior roof to the interior aluminum sheet. More insulation means a cool temperature can easily be maintained without running the air conditioners as much when temperatures spike outside.
More Interior Height
The supply and return vents that make up the QuietStream system are essentially flat which ultimately means there is an increased interior height. Take one quick look on the inside and you'll notice the clean, sleek ceiling that isn't cluttered with air conditioner shrouds or low-hanging louvers. This simple but important concept is engrained in our focus to design products that utilize every inch of the travel trailers interior space, plus we understand there are some taller people out there that appreciate not having to avoid hitting their head.
Learn more about Airstream travel trailers and discover which models have the QuietStream A/C system included as a standard feature.