Fiberglass-specifics of A/C install? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
Trailer: Bigfoot 17, 1988
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Fiberglass-specifics of A/C install?

I am looking to get a Coleman Polar Cub installed on my Bigfoot 17. I would like to get a shop to do it, due to the weight and height problems. Does anyone know what is different about mounting one on fiberglass vs a standard trailer? The reason I ask is that I took my Bigfoot to a regular RV place to get a leak fixed when I first got it and they used silicone, and even convinced me to goop up other parts with silicone that weren't even leaking. I was thinking of trying to find a place that works on boats and RVs, assuming they would be more fiberglass savvy, but I'm wondering if there is even anything different for the a/c install - like maybe it seals without the use of chemical sealants, for instance.

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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Name: john
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well,,,,biggest difference as i understand it is ,,,unless yours already had one up there, there is no support for it.
at the factory they have to put added structure to carry the weight of an a/c unit.
i don't know your brand of trailer,,, but if your talking say 1/4 inch of fiberglass roof, about one gravel road and that a/c might be sitting on the floor.
talk to people at the manufacture, or be very carefull who you ask to do that job.
hopefully someone here has some eperiance with this and can point the way.
i would think about a closet mount myself.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john warren View Post
well,,,,biggest difference as i understand it is ,,,unless yours already had one up there, there is no support for it.
at the factory they have to put added structure to carry the weight of an a/c unit.
i don't know your brand of trailer,,, but if your talking say 1/4 inch of fiberglass roof, about one gravel road and that a/c might be sitting on the floor.
talk to people at the manufacture, or be very carefull who you ask to do that job.
hopefully someone here has some eperiance with this and can point the way.
i would think about a closet mount myself.
Your BigFoot is built much differently from a Scamp 13. Roof A/C fits through a standard 14"X14" vent hole and installation should not be a challenge to a competent tech. You should contact Bigfoot if you doubt the roof strength. Of course you will need 110V power also.
The Polar Cub is a great choice.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
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Thanks. I knew the roof could hold it up, as I talked to someone at the factory about structure when I started remodeling. I was just wondering if I have to stand there while they do it and make sure a shop inexperienced with fiberglass doesn't use silicone or something else they shouldn't. I'm pretty sure there's some silicone up there that I will probably have to remove myself before I take it in because I doubt they will remove it properly.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Name: Daniel A.
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Let use know how you make out as I'm looking at the Coleman Polar Cub as well. Me I would not have concerns about the weight or structure dealing with a Bigfoot, one of the best trailers ever built.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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On a SOB there is a gasket around the 14" opening that is tightened from the interior on the Coleman 9200 polar cub. I could not find any other use of any sealant. There does appear to be a lip around the opening on which the gasket is applied, similar to a fantastic vent opening with out the fan.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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A/C on Bigfoot.

My 1993 17ft Center Bath Bigfoot was retrofitted in 2000 with a 13.5K BTU Dometic Briskaire A/C, which was way overkill and I can't yet get it to run with my propane converted Honda EU2000i generator. It ran before the conversion! I'll try installing my 'soft start' kit and see if that works. The door to the bathroom doesn't completely clear the grill of the A/C, but opens sufficiently to get in/out OK.
The structure of the roof is strong enough as they, apparently, beef up the units to take the A/C from the factory.
From the outside, the A/C looks tilted a bit to the driver's side and isn't perfectly level from the side either. However, it was installed correctly with a rubber (synthetic?) gasket and NO silicon or other sealant was used, that I can see. The roof has angles there and the A/C doesn't sit exactly at the peak.
I installed the heater strip and use that more than the cooling in the 'Great White (?) North'! You 'might' even find that there is a prewire for it when you cut open the roof or remove the vent, if you're lucky!
Good luck.
Mike .....>
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
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Name: Kevin (Ken)
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I don't think you'll have much luck with that unit and that generator. I researched and found the Polar Cub specifically because it is the only model with low enough power draw for the EU2000 to handle by itself. Even 11,000 is too much for it, and I found more than a few people complaining about it who did not research the generator and/or ac unit sufficiently. You'll probably have to buy a second eu2000 to work in tandem with the first to do it, or move up to a 3000.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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The EU 2000 would be close to max for the 13.5 AC with some elevation even worse. Propane conversion would drop the power even more.

This is why I'm thinking about the Polar Cub at 9200 BTU it should not have any problem running or keeping the temp down.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #10
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There are 2 models of the Polar Cub, a high efficiency model pulls something like 1800 watts on start, there is a soft start kit available. We use Coleman 9200 here on the Lance Forums where there are several threads here is one
Login To: The Lance Owners of America
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Honda EU2000i with Briskaire 13.5k BTU!

Interesting enough, my Honda EU2000i, when running on gasoline DID start and run my Dometic Briskaire 13.5k BTU A/C, IF I shut everything else in the trailer off! Quirk or not, it DID work!
BUT, after converting to propane, it, understandably, did not work, as the propane does NOT provide the same energy.
I will try the 'soft start' modification, but, as many said, I really doubt that the propane conversion will run the A/C. It's not a problem, but I will try it anyway!
No big deal, either way, but an interesting experiment. IF it does work, I will surely 'blow my horn'!
Mike .....>
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:20 AM   #12
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If you take your trailer to a smaller shop, and speak directly to the shop leader (or even the person installing it) you can make your point very clear. Have it clearly noted on your work order, and inspect it after the work is complete. Also, you should provide them with exactly everything they need to install and seal it up such as the butyl tape and a tube of calk (with calk gun) that you deem best. It seems anal, but should head off any syllicone goopups. When getting my porch light installed, I too, forgot to mention the 'no silicone' policy and now have a very neatly applied ring of it around my porch light!
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