To Aircondition or Not Aircondition that is the question - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by John Hall View Post
Hey Everyone,

We are getting ready to buy a trailer and are undecided on one last point. Do we need the airconditioner or not? We are both tall and worried about headroom. Interested to hear your take. We generally camp and backpack, but were thinking it might be nice to splurge a little. Not sure if it is worth it if we are bumping into it though. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
What you need to consider is the same issue with any product...
No really balanced person wants a drill, he wants holes!
Do you want cool dehumidified air?

I did and I love my A/C on my Scamp 13. It's prefire and I'm 6ft tall.
Another point to consider is that you can order your A/C with a heat strip
which provides convenient, even heat without taking more space.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:16 AM   #30
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If I had reliable and consistent access to power I would want AC. The places I travel and camp that is rarely the case. The power consumption becomes an issue. Mostly I'd be hauling around the weight and expense with little benefit. I have just learned to live with fans and they do a surprisinging good job, even in humidity. Seems like over the last couple summers I have hit every record breaking heat event in the country . From SC to the Midwest. 90 degrees in the Moab desert at 2am! I woke up every hour or so and sprayed myself and the dogs with water till we were wet, then back to sleep. This winter I'm installing high efficiency fans in the trailer to keep air moving. I have a fantastic fan in the ceiling, but you need direct airflow when it really gets hot. I can sleep real well with a fan blowing on me too. Luckily the computer industry has driven the development of some very quiet, low power fans at very low cost.
David
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:42 AM   #31
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Hey, this is Debra's not as good half. John. I want to reiterate how appreciative we are for your input. I want air because I am a wimp (like most guys are), Debra on the other hand does not care either way. That said, I will have to duck regardless (I am 6'3 and a half). My concern is my wife needing to bend down when making my food I want, washing the dishes for my next meal and warming my water for my sponge bath she will give me when I want her too :-) She also has two bad disks in her neck. On the Trillium website it states the interior height of the units are 6'3 which would imply that it would give her head room to stand up strait under the air conditioner (she is almost 5'11). The only option is to mount it over the stove and sink. It hanges down three plus inches. However, it appears there may be some inconsistencies among the units relating to floor to ceiling height. Any tall trailer owners out there who want to weigh in on whether the floor to ceiling height with an air conditioner is an issue for you? How big an issue is it?
I suppose that A/C could be nice under some circumstances. I don't have A/C, but I did get a "Constant Breeze" 12Volt fan. So far I've used it twice.
If your style of "camping" is always pull into an RV resort with power and you're one the "stay inside" people the cost might be worth it. If you're style is be "boondocking" or someplace without power most of the time, why bother or spend the majority of you time outside it might not be worth it.
There's a third type that just wants it to have. That's willing to put up the the extra weight, the drag, the leak problems, and it maybe not working when you want. Which means additional cost to maintain.

So it's all up to you.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:42 PM   #32
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I purchased my 16 FT. Scamp used . It came with a rooftop AC with strip heater.
I'm glad I have both ,in Spring and Fall the strip heater is great for taking the chill off and when it's 90 deg and humid the AC makes it a lot nicer sleeping. I have a Fantastic fan also which helps cool the Scamp but does little when the humidity is high. When it's 95 deg and 95% humidity even in northern Minnesota it's uncomfortable

Thanks Steve Dunham
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:16 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I suppose that A/C could be nice under some circumstances. I don't have A/C, but I did get a "Constant Breeze" 12Volt fan. So far I've used it twice.
If your style of "camping" is always pull into an RV resort with power and you're one the "stay inside" people the cost might be worth it. If you're style is be "boondocking" or someplace without power most of the time, why bother or spend the majority of you time outside it might not be worth it.
There's a third type that just wants it to have. That's willing to put up the the extra weight, the drag, the leak problems, and it maybe not working when you want. Which means additional cost to maintain.

So it's all up to you.
There is a certain appeal to the ...if you don't have it , it can't break philosophy.

The weight argument has a bit of legitimacy, but it applies to every onboard and take-along accessory.

The drag, reliability,and leak arguments are Red Herrings.

A broken A/C does, of course,work every bit as well as no A/C.

Many accessory and convenience items on the average Tow vehicle would succumb to the same arguments.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #34
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Last year we had an air conditioner in our trailer for the first time. We had borrowed our son's Casita 16 with the air conditioner in the front closet. Even though we had many 90's days we rarely used it. The first time we used it was for a cake decorating contest, not wanting the frosting to melt - I made a Casita cake and won third place.

When we purchased our Scamp we decided to install a closet air conditioner ala the Casita. They are inexpensive (less than $150), draw relatively little power (less than 5 amps) and are not subject to leaks. We'll be gone from Nov to October this year and figure there will be some time we'll be glad we have it.

I agree that appropriate windows and a fan usually are enough. In general I think roof ac units are ugly but particualrly on a fiberglass trailer they look out of proportion.

As well I think AC units are more valuable to the casual RVers who may tend to camp during the summer and live in a warm climate. For us we usually manage to avoid weather extremes, defintiely the cold but usually the blazing hot.

Interestingly it appears that both the Parkliner and Snoozy seemed to have opted for traditional home air conditioners.

Stay cool and safe.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
There is a certain appeal to the ...if you don't have it , it can't break philosophy.

The weight argument has a bit of legitimacy, but it applies to every onboard and take-along accessory.

The drag, reliability,and leak arguments are Red Herrings.

A broken A/C does, of course,work every bit as well as no A/C.

Many accessory and convenience items on the average Tow vehicle would succumb to the same arguments.
Floyd, how many times have we heard of A/C units on top coming loose? Drag, ok maybe.
Reliability -- everything breaks or wears out, it's just one more thing to break and wear out. The chances are pretty good it will last a long time, but...

I am trying not to advocate one way or the other, only pointing out that some problems have been reported both here and Yahoo Scampers.

Way your options, desires, and drawbacks carefully. One A/C unit is worth a few tanks of gasoline.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #36
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Name: Bob Ruggles
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 2012 Chevy Silverado
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Our Egg Camper has a small home type window ac mounted under one dinette seat. Used it very little since we've had the trailer only since spring. Seems to work well.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #37
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
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I have no a/c on my Scamp but wish I did. it doesn't heat up as much as my friends' conventional campers, but I can't ever get the temp inside lower than the temp outside, no matter what I do with fans and windows. And being in the Northeast, it's humid, and a/c would take care of the humidity too. So I say yes, get it.
Norm, how did you add your a/c unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Last year we had an air conditioner in our trailer for the first time. We had borrowed our son's Casita 16 with the air conditioner in the front closet. Even though we had many 90's days we rarely used it. The first time we used it was for a cake decorating contest, not wanting the frosting to melt - I made a Casita cake and won third place.

When we purchased our Scamp we decided to install a closet air conditioner ala the Casita. They are inexpensive (less than $150), draw relatively little power (less than 5 amps) and are not subject to leaks. We'll be gone from Nov to October this year and figure there will be some time we'll be glad we have it.

I agree that appropriate windows and a fan usually are enough. In general I think roof ac units are ugly but particualrly on a fiberglass trailer they look out of proportion.

As well I think AC units are more valuable to the casual RVers who may tend to camp during the summer and live in a warm climate. For us we usually manage to avoid weather extremes, defintiely the cold but usually the blazing hot.

Interestingly it appears that both the Parkliner and Snoozy seemed to have opted for traditional home air conditioners.

Stay cool and safe.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:36 PM   #38
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Ac

I mounted my Air conditioner in the bottom of the closet. I cut two rectangular holes thru the plywood floor.

The rear hole is for the AC's exhaust. I mounted two 12 volt muffin fans over this hole to blast the hot air out.

The front hole is the intake for the AC. It is seperated from the exhaust section by foam between the AC and the walls of the closet.

(When you look at a window mounted ac unit air comes in the side vents and exhausts out the rear.) These two sections of the AC need to be isolated from each other.)

I also built a duct that heads towards the middle of the trailer so the input draws in cool air.

The only remaining issue is water. AC's contain a drip tray along the bottom. Ours had a drain hole in the back. We installed a drain tube in this hole using Lexel caulk. and drain the unit thru the floor.

You can see more if you go to Preparing a 1991 Scamp 16 in the modifications thread.

Many people have used the closet approach on this site. Some of their approaches are very clever.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:33 PM   #39
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
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If an AC is to be fitted I much prefer the inside schemes. You don't have that weight flexing and working the roof, the trailer ends up with a lower center of gravity, and maintenance is more readily performed. I'm guessing that you get more for your money with the little inside units because they are not RV specific.

Everybody's idea of what is needed is equally vaild I would say. Heck there are people who would say none of us even need trailers at all. My personal philosophy is that anything I don't absolutely need is a burden. My Scamp is pretty spartan as a result.

David
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:45 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
If an AC is to be fitted I much prefer the inside schemes. You don't have that weight flexing and working the roof, the trailer ends up with a lower center of gravity, and maintenance is more readily performed. I'm guessing that you get more for your money with the little inside units because they are not RV specific.

Everybody's idea of what is needed is equally vaild I would say. Heck there are people who would say none of us even need trailers at all. My personal philosophy is that anything I don't absolutely need is a burden. My Scamp is pretty spartan as a result.

David
I see no evidence of flex on mine after eight summers and I usually drop the trailer before entering a roadrace course with my tow vehicle.
Although cabinet space is at a premium in a small fiberglass trailer, I do agree that the small A/C units can be a great value! and with a little thought can be installed in a convenient and reliable way.
I prefer to avoid mounting the A/C close to the floor,where possible, since cold air drops and you get cold feet and a hot head. An open roof vent helps.
It must be said though, that many trailers come that way from the factory.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by John Hall View Post
Hey Everyone,

We are getting ready to buy a trailer and are undecided on one last point. Do we need the airconditioner or not? We are both tall and worried about headroom. Interested to hear your take. We generally camp and backpack, but were thinking it might be nice to splurge a little. Not sure if it is worth it if we are bumping into it though. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
If you do some searches on this forum and the Casita & Scamp Forums you'll find lots of ideas on adding rooftop, window, closet or floor AC units. These can designed as permanent installations in your trailer or loaded into the cabin before departing on camping trips in hotter weather.

The thing about ACs:
  • They are important during resale.
  • When you need AC, you'll be happy you have AC.
  • Every once in a while, you'll need AC!

When looking for my trailer, AC was an important consideration. I have dogs, and travel to the Southwest. AC not only provides comfort on those hot days and nights, but protects my dogs as well. Before I bought my Bigfoot 19, I asked a friend who is taller than my husband, to help me evaluate the trailer. The first thing he commented on is that he could stand up straight when under the roof mounted AC. He thought that was a good thing ...

Consider these issues I experienced with my AC:
  1. it is an older [less efficient] model which requires over 4000 watts for start up. This means that a [quiet] Honda 3000 won't work. My "default" generator is much noisier [albert cheaper and slightly more compact] than a Honda.
  2. because it is mounted on the roof, I'm sure I loose gas milage. But then again, I've opted for a relatively larger, heavier fiberglass trailer to satisfy my creature comforts.
  3. the AC leaked through the roof during a rain storm at the end of my first year with the trailer. But I discovered the problem almost immediately, and was able to protect the trailer from water damage. I know to check that area annually.

If I were ordering a new trailer, I'd definitely include AC. If I were buying another used trailer, I'd look for one with a working AC.

If you dry camp, I recommend researching the efficiency [start-up watts] for any AC unit included with the trailer.

If I were super handy and understood fiberglass trailers and/or trailers in general, I'd factor in the cost of customizing the installation of an AC unit in a trailer that I thought to be a "good buy".

Either way, I'd always go with AC!

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:33 PM   #42
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I would not buy one without air conditioning. Even here in Minnesota I always have the air going on warm to hot days. It does get hot in these little campers. Not many windows in them for air circulation. Resale value alone is worth it.
Just my 2 cents worth.
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