A/C install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-08-2002, 10:57 AM   #1
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A/C install

Hi all!
Can you install an A/C in a old scamp? Roof mount or otherwise? Most of the ones that I see don't have an A/C, but here in Ca. it gets really hot in the summer, so I wonder if I need to find one with an A/C already or if it is easy to put one on...
Thanks,
Blossom
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Old 12-13-2002, 11:58 AM   #2
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Installing A/C in a Scamp

I've heard repeatedly that the older Scamp roof is not strong enough to support a rooftop unit. However, I see that the Scamp website lists a rooftop ac for the camper as an option. So, is the roof stronger now, and if so, when did the change happen? Or, is it that the newer ac units are lighter, and within the load limits of the roof? I don't know. Some alternatives I've seen: 1) Install a window unit in the back window. I don't like this one - it uses up a very precious window. 2) Install a window unit at floor level, in the porta-potti cubbie, and cut a vent in the front of the camper, covered with a grill. The unit sits on the floor for support, so it puts no stress on the fiberglass shell. This works pretty well, as long as the ac unit you get can adjust to throw the air upwards. Otherwise your ankles will freeze while sweat runs down your forehead. It does however, dislodge the porta-potti (if you carry one), and it uses up a sizable amount of space. It also increases your tongue weight by numerous pounds. 3) Same as #2, except locate it on the floor below the closet, and vent it out the sidewall. This is better for tongue weight, worse for air distribution, and will most likely require significant modification of your closet.

Have you contacted Scamp? The new rooftop units really don't weigh much, and I suspect that they'll say its ok.
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Old 12-13-2002, 12:52 PM   #3
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I believe the early Bolers, from which the Scamp and Casitas developed, had only a rounded roof, so the really early Scamps may have had roofs like that. When the roofs changed, so that the center section was raised, that certainly increased the strength.

I dunno whether there is even more reinforcement in the current models.

As advised, it's best to call the manf and ask.

Pete and Rats
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:19 PM   #4
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A/C Install...

I actually talked to Scamp about A/Cs this morning
and was told that on their models the A/C is always
roof mounted. However, if you're buying used, best
to check with Scamp 1st before buying.

I've noticed in looking at teardorp trailers, that Coleman
makes a small roof top unit that's sold as an option.
Roof top A/C units for all RVs are rather expensive,
about $750 USD.

Also, a Fantastic Fan could be used as a substitute
for an A/C.

Interestingly, I meet a woman who bought a new 16' Scamp
this year without an A/C, hard to believe someone here
in Mesa, AZ would do such a thing.

She's been into RVing for years and claims that the 16'
Scamp has more room in it than a 17' Casita. I'll find
out for myself this coming Monday morning when she
shows me her rig.

For me, one huge advantage to buying a 16' Scamp over
a 16' Cassita is that with the 16' Scamp you can order a
larger frig like the one in the 17' Casita.

All the arguments about insulation and floors you often
hear when comparing Scamps and Casitas probably won't
make a big impact on my life in the long run, but a bigger
frig at the price point of a 16' fiberglass rig would be real
nice and in keeping with my buying criteria...VALUE!

Just doing my homework!
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Old 12-13-2002, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Blossom S.

Hi all!
*Can you install an A/C in a old scamp? *Roof mount or otherwise? *Most of the ones that I see don't have an A/C, but here in Ca. it gets really hot in the summer, so I wonder if I need to find one with an A/C already or if it is easy to put one on...
*Thanks,
Blossom
:wave Hi Blossom,
When Casita went from the front A/C unit on the floor, to putting them on the roof, Casita reinforced the roof with very strong ribs. This was a very important bit of engineering. I would think you would want to make sure by double checking with the factory. There is always a way to beef up the roof if you need to do that. Fiberglass is very workable, modifiable, repairable and still make it look good.

The trick is to find out what you have and what you need from there. Scamp should be able to tell you what you have. The A/C unit you want, should have its load requirements.
Quote:
here in Ca. it gets really hot in the summer
Boy, I know what you mean. Here in this part of California it is common to be over 100 degrees in the summer. If I had a choice, I would hold out for a trailer with a A/C unit already. Retro fitting I think would be more then I would want to do.

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-13-2002, 09:00 PM   #6
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A/C install

Retro-fitting an AC unit:
I would be very concerned about retrofitting anything onto the roof of a glass camper. I spent a lot of time on the roof of my Boler when I was scraping and painting - and it could never support the weight of an air conditioner without VERY serious modification (which done properly would require pulling all the internal insulation).

If I were to retrofit an AC unit - I think the best solution is to place it into the closet (on top of the wheel well). It'll take the weight, the closet is about the right width for a window-AC unit, and the unit would end up being around 2 feet off the ground so you'd avoid the cold-toes syndrome. (Fairly easily solved by installing a small fan -anywhere- in the trailer to kick the air inside around. Same concept as using a ceiling fan in your house.)

Tom mentions the Casita/Scamp snit fits:
I have to agree that the usual items mentioned really don't add up to a major difference. I can't imagine there being a significant difference in function resulting from the difference in insulation. I think both are using carpet on the walls. That's gonna have a major contribution to insulating properties. On top of that - I personally suspect that the majority of heat gain or loss is gonna be through other channels than the walls. Door leaks, electrical/water hatches or whatever - they'll all contribute.
I also have a hard time accepting the glassed bottom of the Casitas making much difference. My Boler is older than either of them - unglassed wooden bottom (with only the smallest spot of rot right next to the door) and all. It's possible it make make a difference in different environments - but that depends on where you are.
If I ever end up upgrading to a new trailer - assuming a stay glass - it'll be a tough call. Scamp will have an advantage - largely because they're closer to us here in Indiana - but that's a fairly minor one.
IMHO the real breaking point should be the variations on floor plans offered by the two, which do you like better, which is a better fit for you etc. (I'm fond of the Freedom Deluxe - gotta like those chairs!)
Other than that - as I've maintained before - the various glass campers have FAR more in common than they have different (as demonstrated daily on this www site).
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Old 12-14-2002, 12:44 AM   #7
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A/C Install

Blossom: As an alternative to the full A/C in small glass trailers we have been perfectly satisified with our hatch mounted 110v Ventilation Fan. If you check out my post in the Modifications and Alterations Section of this forum entitled "13' Scamp Ventilation" it may give you some ideas. Much cheaper than A/C and much lighter in weight but cannot comment on cooling performance in hot dry climates. Regards
NCL
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Old 12-15-2002, 08:35 PM   #8
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Casita/Scamp snit fits

I agree with you, Mike! It really comes down to floor plans
and features offered at a given price point.

I'll know more this time next week, but I believe Scamp
has an edge, if 16' rig is what you want, plus Scamp seems
to be a little more flexible in customizing a rig to your
specifications than Casita, who's attitude is "take it or
leave".
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Old 12-15-2002, 08:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Blossom S.

* * * * * * Hi all!
*Can you install an A/C in a old scamp? *Roof mount or otherwise? *Most of the ones that I see don't have an A/C, but here in Ca. it gets really hot in the summer, so I wonder if I need to find one with an A/C already or if it is easy to put one on...
*Thanks,
Blossom
Hi------ See thread about portable a/c. It might be an alternative as you could use it as dual purpose.
Ches
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