Roof vs. Front Mounted AC - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-16-2002, 01:16 PM   #1
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Roof vs. Front Mounted AC

I've read a lot of posts on the Casita Club forum that a front mounted AC unit is largely ineffective in hot weather, say 100*
or higher. Since I plan to move to Mesa, AZ, and live fulltime in
my Casita, this an issue with me b/c the 16' Casita SD only comes
with front mounted AC. This forces me to buy a larger 17' SD
with roof mounted AC.

So, my question is how effective is a front mounted AC in hot hot
weather, or do I spring for the roof mounted AC on the 17' SD,
which for me means a larger tow vehicle.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 10-16-2002, 01:41 PM   #2
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If you are going to be fulltime in one place, take a leaf from the First Nations People and build a ramada over it to put it in shade. Amazingly effective. Either a semipermanent carport style or just a temporary framework with white tarps.

The more shadow you can put on the ground beyond the trailer sides, the more effective the whole thing will be.

Also, for dry climate cooling, consider evaporative cooler or a misting setup outside (in addition to the ramada).

I have taken the trail in the Chiricauhuas out to Ft Bowie NM in AZ in 100F+ and the yucca ramada on that trail was a welcome respite!

Pete
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Old 10-16-2002, 02:30 PM   #3
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Ramana

Pete, by ramana you mean some sort of awning setup, right! I seen pictures of like these carport-like awnings that folks use for their Casitas on the Casita Club forum, is that you are thinking.
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:32 PM   #4
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front mt vs. roof AC

Tom:

IMHO, the '8,000btu front mt' does just fine in 100* heat!

I've added limo tint :cool to all the windows and block the 'sunnyside :sunny window' with a shade when parked which may help.
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3dadd9d194bc7Casita window tint.jpg/>
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:51 PM   #5
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Thank you Pete, Don & All

That actually was the only issue I had with the 16' Casita Spirit Deluxe was the AC efficiency @ 100*, at least from reading achived postings on the Casita Club Forum, which gave you the impression that front mounted AC couldn't cut it in real hot weather. I may also setup some sort of awning thing per Pete's posting.

Of course, another advantage of the front mounted AC is that it easier and cheaper to replace than the roof mounted one.
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Old 10-16-2002, 05:54 PM   #6
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And

Quote:
Of course, another advantage of the front mounted AC is that it easier and cheaper to replace than the roof mounted one. *
And, you won't bump your head on it.


(We have front mounted AC. But I haven't been out much in truly hot weather.)



:sunny
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:15 PM   #7
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Another Advantage

If you have to replace the A/C cover on the roof-mounted unit, the cost is ridiculous - over $200 if I recall correctly. Yikes!!!!
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:19 PM   #8
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Hi Tom!

Hi Tom!

glad you are here!

Hey, I've owned three fiberglass trailers ... the first two were 16 footers with front mounted a/c.

We usually camp in the mountains during the summers ... but pass through Nebraska, Kansas, etc. and often stayed in 100+ temps. Even made a summer trip or two to Texas with the front a/c without a problem, so I'm not sure what folks are saying on Casitaclub.

Thing to remember is most folks are trying to cool down a hot, hot, trailer ... and it can seem like the a/c (roof or front mount) takes forever ... particularly after a long hot day on the road.

But once it's cooled down, the front air cools just as well as my current trailer with roof a/c.

Some of our Fiberglass RV members, the Collado's, live in Mesa. Maybe they'll chime in with their opinion!
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Old 10-16-2002, 07:26 PM   #9
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location...

Here in NE, that is, New England, we try to avoid using the a/c in the summer, though this summer was very hot.

When we travelled to TN in July, we did use the air conditioning, but found it sufficient to use it to cool the trailer down, then opened the windows while we slept. Otherwise the cold blast from above knocked us out of bed. It was just too much. That would be an advantage to the front a/c - no cold draft for sleeping.

A disadvantage is tongue weight - would imagine that ALL The weight goes on the tongue (although I don't know if Casita has arranged other components to balance the weight). Since our 17' Liberty is already about 400 pounds+ of tongue weight, that's too much for us.

Nathan and Daisy
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:23 PM   #10
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Front AC

Ours did conk out on us this summer so we had to replace our front AC. However, when it was working it worked fine. It was a bit of a hassle to replace the old AC but I believe it was a bit cheaper then replacing a top mounted.

As far as tongue weight Stephen Brown tested ours with a result of roughly 320#'s with about a 1/4 tank of water. Not too bad.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:24 PM   #11
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Ramada

It's ramada, just like the motel chain (which is where they prolly got the name because a ramada provides shelter). The yucca leaf ones are sort of loosely woven roof and partial walls to provide shade and allow air circulation.

The point is, anything that you can put over the rig, esp a foot or so away with provision to allow rising hot air to escape, will keep it much cooler, even with no a/c, and will allow the a/c to be more effective. When it gets *really* hot in some of those places, the a/c units start to fail from the load and won't even start according to the experiences posted on rec.outdoors.rv-travel, esp if all the other a/c units in the CG and the town are starting to pull the voltage down and all the motors heat up.

All I did one summer in Yellowstone NP was run a rope between two trees, sling a blue tarp over it diagonally, tie the other two corners down and was very comfortable day and nite.

One drawback to our insulated eggs is that if they heat up during the day, they take a long time to cool down at nite (without a/c).

Pete and Rats
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:51 PM   #12
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front air

We spent 20 days camped in the desert north of Study Butte Texas in the summer of 01 ( not 1901). With our way to loud coleman generator and our front mounted air conditioner we were very comfortable.
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Old 10-16-2002, 11:01 PM   #13
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Wow!

Nick, I'm impressed! Were you on private land?

I've been thinkin' on staying at that “big” RV park in Study Butte, but I'm thinking they have electrical hookup. (We were there for New Years 2001... but, alas, not with the Casita. Want to go back though.) Of course, in winter we wouldn't need electric (our solar panel keeps our batt'ry charged enough to run the furnace a bit... and it's plenty sunny in Study Butte!)

Did ya check out the hot springs in the park, or was it too warm for that?
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Old 10-16-2002, 11:37 PM   #14
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Study Butte

Mary. It is private land. We will be there Thanksgiving for a week or so and then back for New Years.

Shortly after you pass Wild Horse Junction headed south look to the west. If you see Casita out there it is us.

When in town we stay in the little RV park just north of the Study Butte Store. It is owned by locals. They are slowly improving it.

The big Rv park did have some sites for tents that a Casita would fit in.(no electricity)

We were there New years of 2001 too. Sorry we missed you.

Its been a couple of years since I was at the hot springs. I usually try to get to Big Bend 2 or 3 times a year.
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