Mini Air Conditioner? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-30-2006, 06:17 AM   #1
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Okay, to me, 5000 BTU seems a little bit like overkill in a tiny trailer. Has anyone seen a smaller AC unit that can be adapted for trailer use? I really hate the rooftop installations, and am looking for something else. I would love something portable that could be taken along during hot weather, or left at home if not needed. The perfect unit would be small, lightweight, and could sit on the counter when needed. Does it exist?
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:02 AM   #2
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Diane:

I have done an install at 5000Btu and the capacity is right. Consider that in a trailer you may need a quicker cool-down than at home, there may be nore in-and-out traffic, and possibly less insulation.

The larger rooftop units will undoubtedly cool the trailer down more quickly, but they take more power (important if you are running it off a generator). The portable units I have seen advertised seem to be heavy and bulky. I don't care for the high-mounted weight either, so what you are proposing might work, with one very important stipulation: get a unit with TWO hoses (or a hose incorporating input and output airstreams}. The single-hose units are mostly a marketing ploy and run counter to every bit of "how-things-work" sense there is. Believe me, they'll suck in just as much hot air from the outside through every gap and opening as they supply cold air to the inside. Close to a zero-gain game.

I would aim for 5000Btu as about right, and a window-style unit would work. The installation could range from jury-rigging it into a window opening (actually not such a bad idea) to a much more involved install (you know who you are ).
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:10 PM   #3
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Here's a really low-tech solution: http://www.kooleraire.com/

Low power consumption, cooling provided by ice. I've got no idea how well this works.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:15 PM   #4
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I had the same idea : to get something smaller than 5,000 BTU.

I searched for such units and didn't found anything. Taking into account my friends poor experience with portable units I decided not to consider them. So... I decided to install a 5,000 BTU unit 2 weeks ago. I installed it in the closet (as per http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ki4hee/album...=/b490&.src=ph.

I made the right choice!!!!

It is under severe testing now and 5,000 BTU is a MINIMUM when outside température is in the 85-90F and severe humidity. As mentionned our trailers are not isolated. There are a lot of losses.

Don't make such an error of getting something less than 5,000 BTU. It won't simply do the job.
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:12 PM   #5
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i installed a 5,000 btu in my uhaul, in florida u need air, it only weights 40 lbs, n fits into my back window, only $99.00 at home depot
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:57 PM   #6
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I had the same idea : to get something smaller than 5,000 BTU.

I searched for such units and didn't found anything. Taking into account my friends poor experience with portable units I decided not to consider them. So... I decided to install a 5,000 BTU unit 2 weeks ago. I installed it in the closet (as per http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/ki4hee/album...=/b490&.src=ph.

I made the right choice!!!!

It is under severe testing now and 5,000 BTU is a MINIMUM when outside température is in the 85-90F and severe humidity. As mentionned our trailers are not isolated. There are a lot of losses.

Don't make such an error of getting something less than 5,000 BTU. It won't simply do the job.
I guess I am the only person that has had success with the "portable units". My Egde Star 9000 BTU works great in the 13' Scamp. And now that we are not on the road, I simply carry the 55lb. unit to my wifes upstairs bonus room and it works great there also.
It is thermostatic controlled so the sq ft difference isn't that much of an issue. I have my '85 13 Scamp so air tight that the Vacuum from the AC will pull the door shut from 2" away. The unit cools so quick because of the small area that the amp draw never gettings that high from the added resistance. And ducting the exhuast out of the 4" dryer termination box is the way to go.
I'll post some pictures.
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 06-01-2006, 05:55 AM   #7
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I guess I am the only person that has had success with the "portable units". My Egde Star 9000 BTU works great in the 13' Scamp.
This discussion is about AC units LESS than 5,000 BTU and NOT a discussion about portable units vs fix units. Your portable is a BIG 9,000 BTU!!!!! No doubt that it could be enough to cool a 13 feet trailer.

I, personnaly, rejected the idea to have a portable unit because those of my friends who tried it were unsatisfied. Your installation is quite particular as it is a semi permanent one and you have adapted the trailer in order to make it efficient. Price wise this is not also the best deal in town. You can get a window unit for less than 100$. A 9,000 BTU unit like yours may easily be in the 400$. But I must admit that you have made a super job!
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:31 PM   #8
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Here's a really low-tech solution: http://www.kooleraire.com/

Low power consumption, cooling provided by ice. I've got no idea how well this works.

-- Dan Meyer

I have a friend who bought one and I've been waiting for months to have her try it out before I buy one. She bought it to put it in the back of her truck (camper shell) for the dogs while traveling. She called me this weekend and told me not to waste my money.

Pat (who doesn't have an egg, but loves the ideas y'all have) who has a friend that has a fiberglass trailer.

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Old 06-01-2006, 03:58 PM   #9
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I replaced the frig ( no great loss, could only hold a six-pack and stick of butter anyway)in my Burro with a Wal mart 5000 btu Air Cond 2 years ago.
Works just fine. I'm non- insulated and sometimes if it gets over 95 it seems to me it could be cooler in the trailer, but then again I am spoiled.

It takes a while to cool down on a really hot day if you start too late, but eventually cools it off.

At night we have always turned it down to low or off.

I see now Sam's has one even smaller in size that I could maybe have squeezed into the closet. This could still happen but it would be very close. ( Burro's closet very skinny)

Maybe next year there will be even a smaller unit.
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:53 PM   #10
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Nice job, Normand. Looks like an installation made to last. I did something similar, but even cheaper and easier.

The 5k BTU AC came from a pawn shop for $25, but my installation doubled my investment. As I've described elsewhere, I secured the unit to a shelf in the cooking-side cabinet with a cam strap. To catch the condensation (and there was a lot of it on that Kentucky trip!), I used a rubber dish drain pan, which has its own slope and drains through the old openable vent for the refrigerator (removed). To control air flow, I tried cardboard, duct tape and even pillows, which worked ok. The front of the unit sits within the cabinet, so I removed the door because it would block the aisle to the dinette if I had to leave it open.

The best idea I had was to sanwich a 12" box fan between the back of the AC and the vent louvers, where it boosted the hot exhaust air flow. You know when it's working; you can't hold your hand there long. Then my wife had her bright idea. Since the unit is mounted at knee level, she put a small fan on the floor in front of the unit, blowing the fresh, cold air straight up.

So I have a $50 AC system that I can install or remove in 15 minutes! You just can't beat that. This summer, I'm camping in the mountains and leaving it at home. Since I have to watch my tow weights, dropping that 50 lbs is a neat feature, too.

Next I want to try out a tabletop swamp cooler in The Skimp. That might be more useful in the dry-baked Utah Canyonlands, where I just might go and sample the August monsoon season. I love to see the desert all wet and shiny like that-- heck, I'm just drawn by "bad" weather in general-- but I never considered the trip until I had this cool, shady place to sit out the heat of the day.
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:05 AM   #11
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Diane,
Here is an alternative. 2000 BTU AC meant for a dog house. It should work, but it's expensive.

http://www.seefido.com/html/dog_hous...onditioner.htm

Tom Trostel
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Diane,
Here is an alternative. 2000 BTU AC meant for a dog house. It should work, but it's expensive.

http://www.seefido.com/html/dog_hous...onditioner.htm

Tom Trostel
I seen one on ebay for $130.00 USD less. Don't forget it is also a heater.

Found another on still active on ebay for $199, looks like the seller has more. I'm wary of the zero feedback though.

Roy
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:45 AM   #13
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I really can't see spending over $400 for 2,000 BTU's, when you can get 5,000 Btu's, for $74. I don't think you would be happy with 2,000. Just my tuppence. (2 pennies)
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:59 AM   #14
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Diane,
Seems like all these suggestions are for large units, and you are looking for small. Well, here it is, the ultimate in small, and quite reasonably priced too.

Obtain an 8 X 11 inch sheet of ordinary printer style paper.
Fold back and forth, forming an accordian shape.
Squeeze one end down, forming a rudimentary handle with which to grasp.
Wave frantically in front of face.
Enjoy.
Don
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