Air Conditioning a MUST? - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2015, 08:28 AM   #43
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I am personally a big fan of the doghouse coolers, such as PetCool and ClimateRight. Rooftop air units are aerodynamic disasters, and from a weight-placement perspective are laughably preposterous. They also tend to make a droning noise that permeates the whole camper structure (sensitive ears at play...)

Window shaker units can work pretty well, but they are noisy, and the present a whole world of compromises, not to mention the damage they can do to the structure of a fiberglass rig if they are not adequately supported.

Portable room A/C units are really pretty slick, but they are noisy, and are just awfully large for most small campers. Square footage comes at too much of a premium. The unit itself is about the size of a dehumidifier, but it also has a couple of large, only-slightly-flexible hoses to deal with.

The doghouse coolers, on the other hand, are about the size of a microwave oven, they sit outside where there is plenty of space, and that also keeps most of the noise outside. Plus, as many have pointed out, you only need A/C when you need it. We use A/C probably about 10% of the time we camp. The other 90%, we simply leave it at home. But, for that 10%, it is worth triple its weight in gold.

Our next and final camper will be cooled with a ClimateRight unit.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:41 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by pcrdude View Post

When I finish the vent fabrication (it's in prototype stage), I'll post photos.
Thanks, that would be appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:51 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Paul E Henning View Post
I am personally a big fan of the doghouse coolers, such as PetCool and ClimateRight. ...
The doghouse coolers, on the other hand, are about the size of a microwave oven, they sit outside where there is plenty of space, and that also keeps most of the noise outside. Plus, as many have pointed out, you only need A/C when you need it. We use A/C probably about 10% of the time we camp. The other 90%, we simply leave it at home. But, for that 10%, it is worth triple its weight in gold.

Our next and final camper will be cooled with a ClimateRight unit.
Thanks, this will be a consideration as well.

As I said, there seems to be lots of options out there.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:10 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Paul E Henning View Post
I am personally a big fan of the doghouse coolers, such as PetCool and ClimateRight. Rooftop air units are aerodynamic disasters, and from a weight-placement perspective are laughably preposterous. They also tend to make a droning noise that permeates the whole camper structure (sensitive ears at play...)

Window shaker units can work pretty well, but they are noisy, and the present a whole world of compromises, not to mention the damage they can do to the structure of a fiberglass rig if they are not adequately supported.

Portable room A/C units are really pretty slick, but they are noisy, and are just awfully large for most small campers. Square footage comes at too much of a premium. The unit itself is about the size of a dehumidifier, but it also has a couple of large, only-slightly-flexible hoses to deal with.

The doghouse coolers, on the other hand, are about the size of a microwave oven, they sit outside where there is plenty of space, and that also keeps most of the noise outside. Plus, as many have pointed out, you only need A/C when you need it. We use A/C probably about 10% of the time we camp. The other 90%, we simply leave it at home. But, for that 10%, it is worth triple its weight in gold.

Our next and final camper will be cooled with a ClimateRight unit.
Thanks for the information! The portable AC is bigger than I would like, and weighs 56 pounds. I carry it in the TV to keep the trailer weight down. I only have to carry it when I need it.... When testing, it was not all that noisy, and was listed as 56db by the manufacturer. The "vacuum effect" may limit how well it cools, but I'll find out soon.

I did insulate the metal part of the venting with HVAC foam tape, and that kept the radiant heat from the vent acceptably low. Without it, it was like a radiator...

Here is what I am using:

EdgeStar 8,000 BTU Ultra Compact Portable Air Conditioner - AP8000W
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:37 AM   #47
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....

When my parents moved to the upper peninsula of MI back in my college days I was shocked that their house had no AC!
In the Michigan UP don't need AC because the mosquitos, black fly, and deer fly wings provide a near constant breeze Being surrounded by cold water helps a bit too I guess.

Besides Summer is at best 2.5 months of poor snowmobiling and then you return to your normal status as a frozen north station for the Montreal Artic Express. <_<
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:46 AM   #48
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Because....

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I am confused .Why do you have to have a generator if your trailer has A/C .
We do not own a generator and our A/C works just fine. We pay $5 extra for a campsite
with electricity ,not an exorbitant price in my book. I refuse to go through life judging everything by its monetary cost. I have no intentions of being overly frugal so my kid get a bigger inhertance. Our average camping fee is under $20/ night with electricity. We camp for the enjoyment not as a means to save money!
If one is happy to only being able to camp at sites that have power, the $5 charge is much cheaper and quieter than a generator. However, many places that have power tend to be much higher than the $5-15 I can pay at 1000's of National Forest and National Park campgrounds that don't have hook-ups.


In Yellowstone NP I paid $15/night for a dry campsite, the sites in the "RV Park" at Fishing Bridge, 6 miles away, started at $47/night, with no Sr. discounts available. (but you did get 2 free showers a day and no discount if you didn't use them!)

In the western states you would be severely limited in the places you can stay as, except at "RV Resorts", no power is more the rule than not, and those that do have power are often over-run by those huge Class "A" motorhomes that seem to flock into places with power.

I don't support generators in campgrounds in general, but for the camping style of many, the choice is to have a generator for the a/c or to stay at home.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:03 AM   #49
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Doghouse Coolers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul E Henning View Post
I am personally a big fan of the doghouse coolers, such as PetCool and ClimateRight. Rooftop air units are aerodynamic disasters, and from a weight-placement perspective are laughably preposterous. They also tend to make a droning noise that permeates the whole camper structure (sensitive ears at play...)

Window shaker units can work pretty well, but they are noisy, and the present a whole world of compromises, not to mention the damage they can do to the structure of a fiberglass rig if they are not adequately supported.

Portable room A/C units are really pretty slick, but they are noisy, and are just awfully large for most small campers. Square footage comes at too much of a premium. The unit itself is about the size of a dehumidifier, but it also has a couple of large, only-slightly-flexible hoses to deal with.

The doghouse coolers, on the other hand, are about the size of a microwave oven, they sit outside where there is plenty of space, and that also keeps most of the noise outside. Plus, as many have pointed out, you only need A/C when you need it. We use A/C probably about 10% of the time we camp. The other 90%, we simply leave it at home. But, for that 10%, it is worth triple its weight in gold.

Our next and final camper will be cooled with a ClimateRight unit.
There has been a bit of "Talk" about those but, the BTU output is sadly lacking for even the smallest FGRV. If you know of any successful installations in one, let us know.....
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:52 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
There has been a bit of "Talk" about those but, the BTU output is sadly lacking for even the smallest FGRV. If you know of any successful installations in one, let us know.....
Also something to consider is the necessity of drilling holes in your camper. Something I am only willing to do if I go with a roof AC (which I am trying to avoid).

YMMV

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Old 07-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
If one is happy to only being able to camp at sites that have power, the $5 charge is much cheaper and quieter than a generator. However, many places that have power tend to be much higher than the $5-15 I can pay at 1000's of National Forest and National Park campgrounds that don't have hook-ups.


In Yellowstone NP I paid $15/night for a dry campsite, the sites in the "RV Park" at Fishing Bridge, 6 miles away, started at $47/night, with no Sr. discounts available. (but you did get 2 free showers a day and no discount if you didn't use them!)

In the western states you would be severely limited in the places you can stay as, except at "RV Resorts", no power is more the rule than not, and those that do have power are often over-run by those huge Class "A" motorhomes that seem to flock into places with power.

I don't support generators in campgrounds in general, but for the camping style of many, the choice is to have a generator for the a/c or to stay at home.
About 50% of the time we camp at sites without utilities .We use solar to charge our battery.
(No Generator) Wisconsin allows generators in their State Parks only if there are no electric sites available, there is a medical necessity and the Park Ranger approves plus the hours of operation are limited. Before this rule was implemented, people would choose non electric sites to save $5 ,then start up their 3000 watt generator , go in their trailer and turn on the A/C allowing the rest of us to enjoy the sound of their running generator.
What I don't understand ,is why some think the most important and enjoyable part of camping is bragging about how cheaply they can camp . I could camp every night in a Walmart parking lot if my only goal was to spend as little money as possible .
We camp without hookups when necessary but we don't camp without hookups in a game to see how much money we can save.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:21 PM   #52
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I see no reason those pet coolers could not have the vent holes brought in through the floor. Might have to do a little bit of custom fittings to make it happen but it would be one way to avoid cutting the shell.

One thing to consider is how much "better" is good enough? Is reduced humidity and keeping it at 80 degrees sufficient to be able to sleep or be comfortable sitting? Or do you need to get it down to 76 degrees required.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:38 PM   #53
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I see no reason those pet coolers could not have the vent holes brought in through the floor. Might have to do a little bit of custom fittings to make it happen but it would be one way to avoid cutting the shell.

One thing to consider is how much "better" is good enough? Is reduced humidity and keeping it at 80 degrees sufficient to be able to sleep or be comfortable sitting? Or do you need to get it down to 76 degrees required.
I thought about venting my AC through the floor, but decided against it. Currently, four screws on the frosted crank out window to attach the vent, or remove it like it was never there....
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:28 PM   #54
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Camping Costs

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What I don't understand ,is why some think the most important and enjoyable part of camping is bragging about how cheaply they can camp . I could camp every night in a Walmart parking lot if my only goal was to spend as little money as possible .
We camp without hookups when necessary but we don't camp without hookups in a game to see how much money we can save.
I don't think that many strive to camp "cheaply" other than for the very reason we are careful about camping costs. We are retired on fixed income and know that each dollar, once spent, is gone forever.....

Last month we were out for a bit over 30 nights, and 28 of those were spent in campgrounds. Our "Budget" is $20 a night for overnighting. That comes out to about $600 for the month. Our nightly costs ranged from $5 a night in several beautiful Forest Service campgrounds, to $65 a night for two nights near Bryce Canyon in a private RV park. Our average cost for the 28 nights + 2 nights in motels ($174.00) came out to $22.65 a night.

Had we elected to stay in full service parks, where minimum fees in the west start at about $40 a night and go up, it would have cost us over twice what we had budgeted, meaning that we would have spend fewer nights on the road or, considering other expenses, may have shortened or not even attempted the 5000 mile trip.

There may be some that thrill in having free overnighting, and I too will stay anyplace that's free when the opportunity presents itself. But conservation of resources, from water to money in the bank is very "In" this year, especially for many retirees who want to travel and are not financially independent.

Beside that , I don't like commercial RV Parks/Resorts anyway.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:08 PM   #55
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If I go to relax then spending buckets of money is not generally helping as that money represents something else I'm not going to be able to do (possibly more important or desirable). Listening to or having to babysit a generator is not an enhancement either.

There are crowded locations closer to home if I want to be elbow to rib cage in an RV parking lot campground. Which I don't. I might go to one if having AC was required for my comfort but otherwise not my thing. Not needing electric hookup to be comfortable and functional is to me a huge advantage.

Funny and true story, camping on a July weekend with many of our family we stayed in a "resort" park so their would be "stuff" for the assorted cousins and kids to do. But they could not swim in the lake it was decorative, had to use the pool with its massive load of chlorine but I digress.

Place was so much a resort it did not allow campfires and it was so packed with large jumbo motorhomes all running AC on that hot weekend that the main circuit breakers kept blowing. Having a camper set up to go boondocking I depended on 12 volt to move air and windows, plus large shade tarp. I was still as comfortable as usual. The folks that depended on AC for comfort were all running around in circles or standing around in the shade of their motor homes discussing how awful it was. With many going out to purchase fans.

There is a point there. If you have AC it becomes an option, if you require AC it limits your options and thus imposes a cost on you. Need balance grasshopper, balance in all things.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:13 PM   #56
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There has been a bit of "Talk" about those but, the BTU output is sadly lacking for even the smallest FGRV. If you know of any successful installations in one, let us know.....
I have a 2500 BTU PetCool that I use to heat and cool our teardrop camper. It works fantastic in all conditions, including 100F and soupy.

I had a 5000 BTU window shaker in our Scamp 13, and it was plenty for all occasions (how well a 5000 BTU unit will work is TOTALLY dependent on how well it breathes. If you have found it inadequate for a FGRV, it surely wasn't breathing well. Either that, or you are a penguin).

ClimateRight makes 2500 and 5000 BTU units. A few months ago, they also had an 8000 BTU unit, but I don't see that now. Not sure what the story is, there.

Yes, the standard installation method is to drill holes in the camper, somewhere. But, you can also simply make up a panel that fits into a window, to which the hoses connect. No modification to the camper whatsoever.

The REAL downside to the doghouse units is that they are spendy. You can buy about 4 window shakers for the price of one of these. I wouldn't do that for one weekend of camping, for sure. But, as a long-term investment in our camping pleasure, it has been worth it for us.
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