Does anyone have a suggestion as to the best way to install a standard, window air conditioner in a 13' Scamp (w/bunk option)? Is the closet the best place to put it? I saw a couple of posts about installing in the closet, but I wanted to check to make sure that's the very easiest method before I start working on it.
Thanks for any advice/tips/suggestions!
I installed a AC in the closet and love it! Despite some who may question putting a AC in a 13', here in South Carolina it is a necessity. The humidity here is quite high and a AC is about the only way to be comfortable during the summer.
If you install a AC in the closet, please pay strict attention to three things, outside air ventilation for the AC, separating outside air from inside air, & a condensation drain.
The wheel well makes a great base of support for a window AC. And putting it inside the closet puts it right over the axle
, keeping any center of gravity or tongue weight
issues to a minimum.
You can install a AC in the closet in such a way that you can slide it outside the trailer to operate...placing the unit on slides so that the normally exterior part of the unit is outside, eliminating any ventilation and condensation problems, or, mounting it firmly on the wheel well and ducting the unit and providing a drain. (That's the way I installed mine.)
I purchased a 5000 BTU Fridgidare unit from Lowes, (You won't need a larger unit, and it's the BTU size that Scamp
used to install in closets...I asked them.) The unit I bought was chosen for it's size, particularly it's width. At 15" it gave me approx. 1 1/2" on each side inside the closet cavity.( The closet is 18" less the thickness of the sidewall insulation.)
You must be able to provide outside air to the rear condenser coil of the AC. Normally a window AC gets air from the top and sides of the rear of the unit to be drawn in and blown thru the condenser coil. The air transfers heat out of the coolant and exhausts it outside. If you don't allow any outside air into the condenser, the unit cannot cool and you eventually burn up the unit. My unit's width gave me the room to get air around the sides and top.
Most importantly, an AC operates as a "closed loop", meaning that inside room air and outside air do not mix. Room air is drawn into the front of the unit, thru the coolant coil, and blown back into the room. Again, outside air is drawn in the top, & sides of the unit, thru the condenser coil and back outside. Two separate closed loop circuits.
I'm being really lengthy on all this for a reason...here's why. Whichever way you install your window unit... mounted on the wheel well and vented, or on sliders so that it hangs outside when it's working, you must KEEP OUTSIDE AIR OUT & INSIDE AIR IN. If you don't, your unit will not operate properly. Outside air humidity will freeze your coolant coils, the unit will be trying to cool the great outdoors, and you will never be cool enough. Also, if you have only inside air feeding both air circuits, it's a zero sum gain, the unit will only be able to cool itself, not you. I mention this because that is what the prior owner of my Scamp
did when he put in his AC. It was a mess and he burned up his unit...but that's another story.
The last thing I wish to impart is this, be sure you provide a way to let condensation drain out of the trailer, or you will only be causing your plywood floor to rot. When inside air is cooled, it becomes drier since cool air cannot hold moisture as well as warm. That moisture collects inside the AC. Normally, the AC is designed to throw that moisture on the condenser coil to help cool it, but there's always excess. If you do not drain it. It's going to collect in the bottom of the closet and rot your floor.
I'm sure I have given you much more information you need, but I only wish to pass on the lessons I have learned on my Scamp. Installing a window AC in the closet is a smart way to go...if you install it smartly.
I documented my install in pictures...if you wish you can review them. I hope it helps.
Follow this link:
To see the story of my rebuild...still a work in progress... check out: