I'm going to try this for adding AC to my Scamp - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-03-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
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Bryan L.'s Avatar
Trailer: 1991 Scamp 16 ft
Posts: 294
After reading through many, many threads about air conditioning I think I have an idea about where I want to go with this. I know that I didn't want an air conditioner sticking out of a window or laying on the ground next to my camper. My wife would never go for either of those ideas anyway! I was OK with putting it in the bottom of the closet but I worry about all of the venting required to keep cooler air separate from already heated air and it looks like it would be difficult to do without having a massive vent right next to the door, which I'm not too hot on either.

In the end, I think I'm going to try this. I'm going to mount the AC in the lower closet but I'm going to have it on a roll-out shelf. This way I can have a solid access door that will have a more weather tight seal than a vented one and sized just bigger than the air conditioner. When I'm not using the AC, it will be in its place inside the closet without anything sticking out of the bottom of the closet and hitting me in the ankle bone. When I want to use the AC I can open the access panel and roll the AC unit back so that the business end sticks totally outside with the access door panel resting on top of it. (Might make for a nice little table!) That way it can get all the air that it needs and I don't have to worry about draining condensation getting in to the trailer.

I'd have a flange around the AC unit that would seal the gaps when I push the unit out to operating condition. I could stick a little fan in front of the AC unit inside the closet to help push all of the cold air out that might get "caught" in that little cavity since the "front" of the AC unit will now be sitting back aways in the closet. It will make the controls a little awkward to use but I think it will be worth it. Anyone see any problems with this?

"The babbling that I brook." - Pink Floyd

1991 Scamp 16'
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:36 PM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
Posts: 1,821
I saw a very similar mod done several years back on a rolling pan. I don't recall where it was posted, but someone here may recall.

The only drawback I'd see is that the cooling might not be as efficient not blowing directly into the cabin, which you'll try and remedy with a fan of some sort. Might want to get a higher btu unit then what you would need with a normal mount and it may help with that aspect.

Just from a personal standpoint, one of our favorite things in the heat is laying on the bed and having the AC blow over us, but living in AZ I'm talking some serious heat.

One thing you don't mention is a traditional roof mount. While the older Scamp would need a bit of reinforcement it would certainly be an easier install and totally out of the way. Did you rule that out?

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Old 06-04-2009, 05:57 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,908
I saw a very similar mod done several years back on a rolling pan. I don't recall where it was posted, but someone here may recall.
The one I'm thinking about was Lance's Blue Boler. He had his pics hosted at Comcast and now they're all gone... See if this description helps.

Lance cut a door opening... to size through the hull. The door had a quality latch and hinges. The opening on the trailer was reworked with a "lip" to provide a water tight seal. The air conditioner was mounted on a rolling rails and when used, the door was opened and the A/C pushed out so the coil portion hung outside the trailer. All the condensation drained to the ground rather than inside or down the side of the trailer. That provided 100% venting. Reverse the process for travel and storage.

Hope this helps.

Here's another great and unique idea from CindyL. Our air conditioining solution Be sure to look at the pics about half way down.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:03 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1991 Scamp 16 ft
Posts: 294
And here I was thinking I finally came up with something original! It looks like Lance's idea and mine are the same.

I like the cooler idea too but I just can't think of a place I'd want that hanging out especially since I like the spare in the back. When I was going through solutions, that was easily the most creative one.

Greg, I thought about the roof unit but that looks like a lot of work having to cut away insulation, rat fur, making templates, then mounts, etc. Also, in my searches I never saw an example where someone pulled it off in a Scamp. It's also a lot more expensive and I'd never get that in my garage, even if I raise the header like I want to do. Hopefully the fan will take care of the "stuck" air. We like to sleep with a fan on all the time anyway for white noise so we might as well put it to work!

"The babbling that I brook." - Pink Floyd

1991 Scamp 16'
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Name: Phil
Trailer: Bigfoot 21ft (25B21RB)
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lucky for me my wife just wanted to have a/c

here is my mod when we had a 1983 16ft casita


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Old 06-04-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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Name: Clive
Trailer: Boler American #3104
Posts: 562

It seems to me that with a 16 footer you have the opportunity to put it in the front under the front bench, like Casita used to install them.

I am considering installing mine under the stove also, but fastened down and ducted and vented out to the street side of the camper, instead of a fridge. Then installing a small fridge in the closet on the wheeel well, like the 13' Casita posted yesterday http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...=35656&st=0.

I figure that way, if my wife wants to get out of the heat and I want to sit outside, I'll have less noise from the A/C. Also the fridge should be easier to get at.

When I get a round-to-it, of course!
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:00 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1983 Scamp 13 ft Standard
Posts: 359
The "hillbilly" AC Mod done on my 13' Scamp by the prior owner was a oversize AC set on drawer rails set in the bottom of the closet. It seemed a doable project but in this case was bound to fail due to the shoddy work and the materals they used. For one, they used sheetrock screws that were too long and were easily pulled out under stress. Second, they used too large of a AC unit which was too heavy when cantelevered out of the closet. For all I could tell, they would of had to add some sort of outside bracing when the unit was in use, otherwise the unit would of simply tore itself out of drawer rails and rolled out of the trailer. Consequently, they eventually just GLUED the unit into the bottom of the closet, where it eventually burnt up due to not getting needed outside air to the heat exchanger. Like I said, a real "hillbilly" mod.

You can put a ac unit on a slide-out shelf in the bottom of the closet, just take in the fact that you'll need plenty of bracing to support SEVERAL pounds of AC on the sill of whatever opening you'll be making in the side of the trailer. Also, since the AC will be essentially able to slide in and out, you better come up with some sure-fire way to secure the unit when traveling, or else a sharp turn may result in a torn-out hole in the side of the trailer and the AC laying in a roadside ditch.

I modded in a 5000 BTU unit into the closet to replace the monstrosity I had aquired, and with some creative ducting on the back-end of the unit was able to get exhaust AND intake air to share the same single opening with any further modification. I also used a paint roller drip-pan as my condensation collector and base for the unit. It's on it's third year of almost constant service and it works just fine. I have a video of the mod on youtube. The AC mod is around halfway into the slideshow.

Good luck on your project.

Check out my Scamp restoration video on Youtube, & my Ham Radio Blog. Or take the 50 cent tour...
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