AIR CONDITIONER - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-31-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
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The holidays are over and we are back at our Trillium project. This came with a 5000 btu window air conditioner. Not very nice looking. #1. Do they make less than 5000 BTU? That seem excessive. #2 Is there another place to install other than window? And if so how is the moisture eliminated. While browsing this site I think I have seen pictures of A/C in closets etc. You have always answered my stupid question before so maybe there are some answers out there. Thanks. georgia
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:22 AM   #2
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I can comment on a couple of points: I installed a 5000Btu unit in a cabinet under the bed of my trailer, and it required fairly elaborate ducting and helper fans to get it into the "stealth" category. This is about as small as you can get in a window unit except for the "dog-house" units.
Our Burro is on the larger side of interior volume for a fiberglass trailer but also one of the better insulated. While the 5000Btu capacity will keep it cool under most conditions here in the Northwest it will not be enough when the temps get into the 90es, when you need it the most.
I find that when you need it the most the ability to quickly bring the temperature down from a heat-soak condition is quite important, meaning extra capacity. In our case it may take one or more hours to do it, which is not that useful for us the way we use the trailer.
I will be looking for a 8- to 10000 Btu unit that will physically fit mine in order to get a more competent setup.

Our current unit was put into a fiberglassed pan with a drain through the floor as backup to the drain from the unit itself. Probably overkill, but I don't like the idea of water collecting where I cannot get to it easily. If I' m not mistaken some of the newer units tend to direct water in a mist through the exhaust air stream, thereby reducing or eliminating the usual drain path.
My recommendation is: 5000 Btu may be enough for a 13 footer or equivalent, but a 16 or 17 footer needs 8- to 10000 Btus to be competent.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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We don't have an AC installed yet, but I have done quite a bit of research trying to find the best solution for us. I have noticed the closet by the door seems to be a popular spot, just on top of the wheel well. This looks like a good place to me because it can support the weight and centralizes the AC, though you do give up a bit of storage space. I searched and searched for a lower BTU solution, and have not come up with anything that looks like it will do any good in really hot conditions. It seems to be commonly agreed upon that 5000btu's is the minimum you want for a 13' to get good results in 90+ weather.

If you don't mind sitting through this video slide show
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
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Hi Georgia,
Happy New's Eve! I replied to your other queston in cleaning you interior ensolite. Did you try that? I restored a total of 4 Trillium's and 1 Scamp that had that same ensolite. One Trillium I bought, the guy installed behind the spare tire, and did a nice job. I have photos I can send you. Let me know.
Dave
"The Trillium King"
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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on our older Casita i mounted in the rear window.. Worked great

install info here

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=26643&hl=
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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one more pic
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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If you don't mind sitting through this video slide show


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Old 12-31-2008, 01:33 PM   #8
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If you do consider a AC install, I naturally recommend putting it in the closet, it's where Scamp originally put em' and unless you have internal renforcement in the ceiling or around the windows already built-in, it's about the only place that you can put a AC without radical bracing or modification.

Mounting a 50-60 lb AC in a window poses difficulties. It will need outside support, a fiberglass trailer windowsill can't handle a lot of weight stress without some kind of framing, and every single bump in the road will add stresses in places that were not originally designed for such loads. Don't do it right and you can risk leaving your AC on the railroad tracks you just crossed. And do you want a window taken up with a AC all the time? The center rear window is the best location IMHO. There's built-in bracing for the dinette table there.

BTW, Phil & Denise's window install is 'bout the neatest I've seen.

Floor mounting is good, but as I see it the front right cheek by the door, directly under the dinette, or dead center over the toungue under the gaucho bench are about the only places to put it, & all don't lend themselves too well to distributing cool air without ducting. Put the AC in the bottom of the closet & it'll be in the center of the cabin. You might get a cool tushy while cooking dinner but that's about it.

Celing's no good unless you have framing support built-in, pretty extensive work if it was not built in by the factory.

5000 BTU is the correct size for 13'rs. That's just about right to cool that much cubic feet of interior space.

My last argument for a closet install is this...next to a refridgerator, a AC is the heaviest appliance you'll put in your trailer. Putting it in the closet will place that 50-60 lb. chunk directly over the axle, and close to the floor where it's weight will have the least effect on loading of the trailer, & it's center of gravity.

I'm very happy with my closet install.

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Old 12-31-2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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My last argument for a closet install is this...next to a refridgerator, a AC is the heaviest appliance you'll put in your trailer. Putting it in the closet will place that 50-60 lb. chunk directly over the axle, and close to the floor where it's weight will have the least effect on loading of the trailer, & it's center of gravity.

I'm very happy with my closet install.
Good Luck,
ConwayBob
We like the closet installation best. Could you tell me if you have an outside vent? Does it need an air vent? Did you attach a hose to eliminate moisture? Through the floor?
We have the place for it but not sure how elaborate the installation has to be. Thanks again. georgia
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:21 PM   #10
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Hi,
I restored 4 Trillium's. One had a 5,000 BTU installed and mounted behind the spare tire. I can e-mail you photos, it worked out nicely.
Dave
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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We like the closet installation best. Could you tell me if you have an outside vent? Does it need an air vent? Did you attach a hose to eliminate moisture? Through the floor?
We have the place for it but not sure how elaborate the installation has to be. Thanks again. georgia
In my video on youtube you can see that I took a paint-roller pan and made it into a moisture collector, I made a drain hole in it, and routed tubing from it into the wheel well. Then I built a baffle for the back of the unit so that outside air could get to the unit from the sides and top, while exhaust air could vent directly out. This way I only had to have one opening on the outside. The external opening was covered with a port door bought from Scamp, but most RV Parts dealers have such access doors available. I operate the AC with the access door open. Since that video I've added an additional deflector that sends the warm exhaust air up & out.

All my materals came from Lowes...
Scrap OSB Plywood for the base frame
$1.98 paint roller pan
1' piece of 1/2"rubber hose
2 sheets of aluminum furnace duct materal
1 roll of real metal duct tape, (the kind used to make metal air ducts...they sell rolls of the stuff next to the sheets)
assorted screws, nails, ect.

No need for fancy tools or a sheet bender or such...it don't have to be pretty, you're gonna be putting everything in the closet. Hammer, pliers, drill, skill saw, tin-snips...simple hand tools.

The outside access door will require drilling and riveting.

The important points to work for is to get a AC unit narrow enough for air to get to the sides in the closet, mount the unit with at least a 5/8ths inch rise to let condensation to run to the back of the unit, some way to trap & drain consendation to the outside, and most importantly, COMPLETELY isolate the front of the unit (and the cabin air), from the rear of the unit (and the outside air).

There are some who put a window AC on drawer-rail contraption that'll allow you to push the AC partially out the outside hole to work but as long as you allow good ventallation to the heat exchanger portion of the AC, (it's rear radiator coil), as well as a good drain, you can mount the AC in the closet & make it look almost factory installed.
Mine was installed GEFM, (Good Enuff For Me)

Drop me a line anytime if you go this route & have any more questions.
Good Luck,
ConwayBob
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:40 PM   #12
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The important points to work for is to get a AC unit narrow enough for air to get to the sides in the closet, mount the unit with at least a 5/8ths inch rise to let condensation to run to the back of the unit, some way to trap & drain consendation to the outside, and most importantly, COMPLETELY isolate the front of the unit (and the cabin air), from the rear of the unit (and the outside air).

Drop me a line anytime if you go this route & have any more questions.
Good Luck,
ConwayBob
One more question. Been online shopping for an inexpensive A/C unit that meets the right dimensions. Which make is yours. It looks nice and compact. Thanks,
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:47 PM   #13
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One more question. Been online shopping for an inexpensive A/C unit that meets the right dimensions. Which make is yours. It looks nice and compact. Thanks,
It's a Fridgidare, bought it at Lowes for $89 (On Sale)
It's width is 16", and it gave me 2" of space between the closet walls on each side.
Before you buy, take a tape measure out to your closet and jot down what you find. You will be resting everything on the top of the wheel well. I found that to get the AC front to clear the sill of the closet opening, I had to build a mount that was about 4" high, plenty of room for a moisture collector tray, (my paint roller pan). My mount rests firmly on the wheel-well with one corner (the left front) with a leg piece to extend down to the floor.
This is a great little project, you'll have fun.

ConwayBob
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #14
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thanks for your comment Bob, and for what its worth if i had seen your install i would have done mine in the closet.
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