Roof A/C -the good and the bad - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-08-2019, 07:59 PM   #1
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Name: KoyD
Trailer: SCAMP 13
North Carolina
Posts: 15
Roof A/C -the good and the bad

I just got this 13' Scamp with a "roof A/C" (coleman-brand)on it. This is my first fiberglass camper with a "roof A/C". I don't know much about these roof A/C, Are they reliable? I know they are expensive. Do they last long? Are they easy to replace and install ? Do they "leak" on the roof ? I have no experience about these A/C. Any advice on this topic will be appreciated, thank you to this forum.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:47 PM   #2
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Shopping For Our 1st
Illinois
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Hi Koy. I'm looking at a trailer without AC right now and have been doing a little research into adding one. The Coleman Mach 8 series seems to be very popular; I am looking at the Cub 9200 in particular because of its low profile and low power draw. In fact when I search for top rated rooftop ACs, the results are dominated by Coleman and Dometic. Not sure how long they last, but you can maximize the lifespan by doing the recommended maintenance: https://www.airxcel.com/docs/default...sn=c8a90e6b_12.

If it goes out for good, you can always replace it with a Fan-Tastic Fan and use a portable AC when needed. Some people use window ACs; I'm considering one of the AC units on rollers that you can use to cool a bedroom. It can exhaust through a window, but you give up some floor space. I saw one post where someone said they kept it in the bathroom of a 13' Scamp.

Along with that, I've looked extensively into adding an AC. The installation instructions are straightforward. There is a flange that's fits on the interior side of the vent cutout, and a gasket that sits on the exterior side. The AC is tightened onto the gasket using bolts through the flange until it is leveled and secured. Then wiring is connected and the control/vent unit is installed. It seems that the most difficult part is getting the unit onto the roof, as it weighs about 90 lbs.

Scamps 16 need to be reinforced to support an A/C, though newer ones have the reinforcement from the factory. Not sure about 13s. I think roof sag with an AC can be a problem over a long period (talking decades) if the roof is not supported. That, however, is both preventable and fixable.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:01 PM   #3
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Name: KoyD
Trailer: SCAMP 13
North Carolina
Posts: 15
hey, Justus- thank for the reply. If this roof a/c ever go out I will replace it with a fantastic fan, like you mention. thank for your reply. Oh, good luck on your hunt for a new camper. I found my camper on "Fiberglass RV 4sale.com Web site.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
North Carolina
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+1 Older trailers were not designed for the weight. So check with Scamp on your trailer.

I find roof A/C units to be very reliable, and VERY LOUD, annoyingly loud (but so loud that I prefer to be hot).

We have both an AC and a fantastic fan on the Escape. A fantastic fan is nice, but when its really hot, its no substitute for AC.

As below, correction, my Escape has the Maxx Fan.

No AC on the Trillium of course.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:08 PM   #5
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We have both an AC and a fantastic fan on the Escape. A fantastic fan is nice, but when its really hot, its no substitute for AC.

You don't have a Fantastic Fan unless somebody replaced the MaxxFan, which is what Escape installs. MaxxFan is considered superior by many.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:13 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Roof A/C -the good and the bad

Back in 2002, roof A/C was a Scamp option. I believe Coleman was the brand they used in that era. If this is a factory installation, which seems likely, it has the reinforcement.

As Bill says, it works fine. Noise and vibration can be annoying due to the small size and thin shell, but when you really need it, you won’t care. It’s a keeper.

A google search might turn up an owner’s manual if you include the make and model. There might also be one in the FGRV Document Center (in the More tab). It will spell out any routine maintenance. Make sure to check attachment of the exterior plastic shroud. I see quite a few lying broken on the side of the road.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:12 AM   #7
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Name: Jennifer
Trailer: Casita
Ontario
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Roof ac

We have a roof ac on a casita. Beats being hot. Re noise, wear earplugs. Problem solved.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #8
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Name: Pete
Trailer: U-Haul 1986 -- got it 7/2013
Virginia
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My '86 U-Haul has a Coleman roof unit, and yes, it's LOUD. Works a treat, though.

One of the first "eggs" I paid attention to, in Vermont maybe 30 years ago, had a domestic window unit mounted in the back window. Kind of a clunky job, boxed out with plywood, but the owner said it worked fine.

I imagine one of the "chain store" 5000 BTU A/Cs would be plenty.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:19 PM   #9
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by NCBOY View Post
I just got this 13' Scamp with a "roof A/C" (coleman-brand)on it. This is my first fiberglass camper with a "roof A/C". I don't know much about these roof A/C, Are they reliable? I know they are expensive. Do they last long? Are they easy to replace and install ? Do they "leak" on the roof ? I have no experience about these A/C. Any advice on this topic will be appreciated, thank you to this forum.
We have an A/C on our 2007 Casita. We haven't had any problems with it. It can drown out the TV some since the TV sits under the A/C. Otherwise it isn't that loud. You can carry on a conversation without any problem. We have slept with it on and it is above the bed. The main thing is to keep it serviced. Clean the filters once or twice a year depending on how much you use it and how dusty the area is. Pull the inside cover and snug up the mounting bolts yearly. Don't over due the tightening. If snug then don't try to tighten them. They can loosen from the vibration of the unit and towing. Some of the older ones needed a few drops of oil for the motor put into the oil ports. Most do not need that now. We use ours a lot and would not be without it in the summer. The Fantastic Fan just doesn't do the job when it is hot. It moves the air but if hot the temperature stays hot. We use the one in our motorhome a lot also.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
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If it's really hot, and you have power to run it, it can be a nice option. But, they are really loud and many of them won't run on a common 2000 watt generator without modification.

I think it's ridiculous to put it right over the bed where the noise and draft can be the most annoying.

A Dometic was installed in mine because it was quieter than the Coleman, but it's still annoying.

It's likely you could get away with a smaller unit than the most common 13,500 BTU, and a smaller one could run on a generator more easily. But really, I cannot really conceive of running a generator and the air conditioner while camping. And then locking myself in the trailer and enduring the noise. Sheesh.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:53 PM   #11
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If it's really hot, and you have power to run it, it can be a nice option. But, they are really loud and many of them won't run on a common 2000 watt generator without modification.

I think it's ridiculous to put it right over the bed where the noise and draft can be the most annoying.

A Dometic was installed in mine because it was quieter than the Coleman, but it's still annoying.

It's likely you could get away with a smaller unit than the most common 13,500 BTU, and a smaller one could run on a generator more easily. But really, I cannot really conceive of running a generator and the air conditioner while camping. And then locking myself in the trailer and enduring the noise. Sheesh.
I think the placement of the rooftop air conditioner is perfect
I love the feel of the cool air blowing over me when I am trying to sleep
Noise, WHAT NOISE ?
If I am sleeping I don’t hear the A/C or the furnace run
Trying to sleep in 80 deg weather with 100% humidity now that’s annoying .
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:48 PM   #12
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
If it's really hot, and you have power to run it, it can be a nice option. But, they are really loud and many of them won't run on a common 2000 watt generator without modification.

I think it's ridiculous to put it right over the bed where the noise and draft can be the most annoying.

A Dometic was installed in mine because it was quieter than the Coleman, but it's still annoying.

It's likely you could get away with a smaller unit than the most common 13,500 BTU, and a smaller one could run on a generator more easily. But really, I cannot really conceive of running a generator and the air conditioner while camping. And then locking myself in the trailer and enduring the noise. Sheesh.
I don't go camping in places that are so hot you need A/C. I like to enjoy my time away and don't want to burn up. When we travel we stay in some kind of campground with electric if it is very hot. When we had our kitty we had to leave the A/C on for her if we were gone if it was hot. Ours is not that loud. We keep our trailer level and firm on the ground. Maybe that helps it to not be so loud. The Casita is a very solid trailer. Traveling is different from camping. Some of our travels takes us to hot places but not our camping.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:01 AM   #13
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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I have the Coleman 9200 BTU in my Bigfoot noise has never been a problem its quieter than when my kids were growing up, quieter than the dogs, even quieter than my wife.

I sleep well with it on.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:56 AM   #14
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Name: Roger
Trailer: HiPoint Toy Hauler
California
Posts: 8
Lightbulb Exterior A/C

I am considering mounting a A/C unit on the outside and only ducting the cool air to the inside. Keeping all the noise,weight and vibration on a tongue/bumper mount of sorts.
That in combo with the existing roof vent fan should more than do the job. Don't know, it's still in the works but I'm sure I'll be trying it out. I figure if I screw it up it's a smaller hole to patch! lol
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