Silly little awning question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-04-2017, 12:17 PM   #1
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
California
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Silly little awning question

Hi -- I have a 13' Scamp and when I'm not camping in it I actually like to use it as an office (lady cave so to speak). Unfortunately I'm having a hard time keeping it cool enough to work in. I installed a Climate Right a/c unit and unfortunately it doesn't do the job! The heat just penetrates through the thin walls.

Do the awnings that attach to trailers solely provide shade for the people sitting in front of it, or does it actually cool down the trailer itself?

I may opt to install a large awning system over the entire area, but before I spend that kind of money I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone who has experience with the retractable awnings that attach to the side of trailers (especially Scamps).

Thank you!
Cindy
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:03 AM   #2
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbank View Post
Hi -- I have a 13' Scamp and when I'm not camping in it I actually like to use it as an office (lady cave so to speak). Unfortunately I'm having a hard time keeping it cool enough to work in. I installed a Climate Right a/c unit and unfortunately it doesn't do the job! The heat just penetrates through the thin walls.
Do the awnings that attach to trailers solely provide shade for the people sitting in front of it, or does it actually cool down the trailer itself?
I may opt to install a large awning system over the entire area, but before I spend that kind of money I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone who has experience with the retractable awnings that attach to the side of trailers (especially Scamps).
Thank you!
Cindy
Hi Cindy, kind of surprised no ones answered you yet. I don't have an awning on my Casita but have had them on all the stickies I've had. They did keep the sun off the side of the MH but I don't think it made any real difference to the overall inside temp. They were nice to sit under to have some shade or rain protection. Don't know where in CA you are or what rules there are in your neighborhood but have a couple thoughts for you. Sounds like you use this for your lady cave at home. A permanent carport type cover/roof would be the easiest fix. A "portable" garage or canopy from Harbor Freight would do it also. $130 to 200 on sale.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:06 AM   #3
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One thing you didn't mention is what kind of ambient temperatures you're dealing with. I agree with Dave- I think just a side awning is unlikely to make an appreciable difference. Something that covers the top, such as a portable carport canopy, might do better. But with any kind of fabric canopy, you will have to be concerned about wind.

Honestly, a bigger A/C, mounted temporarily through a window, might end up being cheaper. Depends on the year of your Scamp- if you have an older one with fixed front and rear windows and side jalousies, you don't have a window that will take an A/C unit. It you have a rear slider, that's the perfect place.

I have also used my Scamp that way. My home office was taken over by a house guest for 3 months several years ago, so I used the Scamp as my work space.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:15 AM   #4
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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For a while we used a temporary carport shelter over our Uhaul 13. Not only for shade, but because of leaks around the windows. It was a Shelter Logic 10 X 10 from Northern Tool, about $100, and just covered the trailer. Went with a bag awning after replacing the windows.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:40 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
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Sorry should have posted pictures. I'm in Ventura county which gets some hot temperatures. It originally had an a/c unit in the side window which I replaced with an original window. If I put the at back in the window, it'll just blow on my head when I'm working or my face---not ideal. But indeed I would have to cut the back window (no slider) to put an a/c there. The roof does not support a unit. So that's why I opted for the Climate Rite.

I could go with a basic carport style pop up, but since we are using the camper less at the moment I'd kind of selfishly like the shade to be a little nicer. I liked the idea of a retractable awning to keep the skies above in view.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:03 AM   #6
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How about suspending a large triangular shade cloth over the trailer? It would look attractive, resist wind if strung tightly with shock absorbers, and shade the top of the trailer. I'll bet a patio store could put you onto some stylish poles. Just locate the poles so you can get the trailer out when needed.
Click image for larger version

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If I added any awnings to the trailer itself, it would be small, removable ones on the front and back windows, which capture a lot of heat. Because they'd be small, you could make them yourself out of any kind of fabric you want, use mounting hardware attached with VHB tape (no holes), and remove for towing. I think I've seen a couple of people that have done it like that.

Beautiful trailer and patio!
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:56 AM   #7
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Florida
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I think the best course of action for temporary use is the portable garage, but it would also inhibit the view of the sky when you step out.
I see you live i California and that is a possible large range of climates, but the harsh sun is the thing that will heat the shell and the insulation is really there to prevent condensation in the cold.
I have a 9000 BUT heat pump mini-split unit mounted in the rear and it has performed well in the humid hot South.
I have the outside mounted on the tongue and the inside across the back.
It would be overkill for the 13 foot unit and a lot more work involved.
One of your limitations is the airflow through the vents and also some heat/gain/loss.
I imagine that the airflow is relatively limited on your unit and the airflow has to "Sweep" the hot air out to the unit and cool it to do any good.
If the intake and exhaust are next to each other you may bee pulling the already cooled air back into the unit and not exchanging the inside air.
You might try adding some duct to pick up the hot air near the roof and extend the cold air duct to blow where you need it.

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Old 04-05-2017, 09:24 AM   #8
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
How about suspending a large triangular shade cloth over the trailer? It would look attractive, resist wind if strung tightly with shock absorbers, and shade the top of the trailer. I'll bet a patio store could put you onto some stylish poles. Just locate the poles so you can get the trailer out when needed.
Attachment 104684

If I added any awnings to the trailer itself, it would be small, removable ones on the front and back windows, which capture a lot of heat. Because they'd be small, you could make them yourself out of any kind of fabric you want, use mounting hardware attached with VHB tape (no holes), and remove for towing. I think I've seen a couple of people that have done it like that.

Beautiful trailer and patio!
I do really like those sails -- my neighbor had some serious professional ones installed... I guess the poles have to be 1/3 in the ground and the high cost is from punching into the ground 4' to install them. But once they're in the sails could be a really cool look!
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:29 AM   #9
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I think the best course of action for temporary use is the portable garage, but it would also inhibit the view of the sky when you step out.
I see you live i California and that is a possible large range of climates, but the harsh sun is the thing that will heat the shell and the insulation is really there to prevent condensation in the cold.
I have a 9000 BUT heat pump mini-split unit mounted in the rear and it has performed well in the humid hot South.
I have the outside mounted on the tongue and the inside across the back.
It would be overkill for the 13 foot unit and a lot more work involved.
One of your limitations is the airflow through the vents and also some heat/gain/loss.
I imagine that the airflow is relatively limited on your unit and the airflow has to "Sweep" the hot air out to the unit and cool it to do any good.
If the intake and exhaust are next to each other you may bee pulling the already cooled air back into the unit and not exchanging the inside air.
You might try adding some duct to pick up the hot air near the roof and extend the cold air duct to blow where you need it.

I have those mini-splits installed in every bedroom in my house (no central a/c possible) and they are AMAZING. You are right about all the possibilities regarding the intake and exhaust being too close to each other. I ended up having to disconnect the exhaust altogether-- bad design on Climate Right's part I think. The upper fan at the top does a great job drawing out hot air. Honestly, it's a reasonable temperature if camping but spending long hours inside one working is where I'm struggling. I was hoping that using shade would keep the camper cooler -- but it would be a shame to invest $$$ and have it not do a good job.

Thanks for the photos of your cooling system. The price of the mini-split is pretty much the same price as setting up some type of shade. And even if it was over-kill, at least it would be over-kill as opposed to under-kill!!
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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...back in my teardrop days, we used the first gen climaterite...it was called a pet cool back then and was meant to heat/cool dog houses, about a quarter the size of your rig...many of the folks on the THE teardrop forum (tnttt.com) have modded 5, 8 or 10, 000 btu acs by removing the front and building a box to separate the blower from return air and running ducting just like your climaterite has...these setups work wonderfully in cargo trailer conversions....
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:42 AM   #11
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If you are not using the return duct then you have to condition all of the airecirculationr going in and you get no recirculation.
If I were you I would do whatever necessary to get the return air duct working.
Even if I had to run an aluminum dryer duct under the trailer.
You might run a duct under the trailer for the cold air, but I think you might want to insulated them with some Reflectex wrap.
If I recall the Climate Right is 5000 BTU and should be enough to do the job if it is exchanging the air.
Shade would help keep the shell from getting quite so hot as well.
You could cut a hole through that front window if you are careful or right under it depending on what is there.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:48 AM   #12
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Name: Darral
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The only way to cool the Scamp is put it in a shade- trees etc. On a 95 deg day, my 11K Coleman will nearly run continuously trying to keep up. The Scamps are not insulated (in my opinion) for extreme temps cold or hot.

I have the awning and IF the sun is shining on that side, it MAY help a deg or two...but that's doubtful being that it does not shade the top of the Scamp...only a partial of the side.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:07 AM   #13
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Mounting overhead sails

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I do really like those sails -- my neighbor had some serious professional ones installed... I guess the poles have to be 1/3 in the ground and the high cost is from punching into the ground 4' to install them. But once they're in the sails could be a really cool look!
I mounted temporary poles for some canopies like that. I used a posthole digger to go down about three feet, put in a scrap piece of 2 1/2" PVC pipe and made pole with dead saplings. I whittled down the base to fit tightly into the pipes. When not using it, I store the poles and put a plastic container over the pipes to keep out bugs and dirt. Cost was basically nothing. (Pipes were scraps from a plumber friend)
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:11 AM   #14
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Name: Billy Sharpstick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbank View Post
Hi -- I have a 13' Scamp and when I'm not camping in it I actually like to use it as an office (lady cave so to speak). Unfortunately I'm having a hard time keeping it cool enough to work in. I installed a Climate Right a/c unit and unfortunately it doesn't do the job! The heat just penetrates through the thin walls.
Is it a 5k or 10k Climateright? Is the scamp insulated at all? (I'm concerned because I am in Florida and looking for an AC for my Burro 14)
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #15
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Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
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Is it a 5k or 10k Climateright? Is the scamp insulated at all? (I'm concerned because I am in Florida and looking for an AC for my Burro 14)
It is the 5000 BTU - Item Number: CR5000ACH
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:46 AM   #16
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Trailer: 1978 13' Scamp
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
If you are not using the return duct then you have to condition all of the airecirculationr going in and you get no recirculation.
If I were you I would do whatever necessary to get the return air duct working.
Even if I had to run an aluminum dryer duct under the trailer.
You might run a duct under the trailer for the cold air, but I think you might want to insulated them with some Reflectex wrap.
If I recall the Climate Right is 5000 BTU and should be enough to do the job if it is exchanging the air.
Shade would help keep the shell from getting quite so hot as well.
You could cut a hole through that front window if you are careful or right under it depending on what is there.
Hi RedBarron - Could you explain a little bit what you mean by having to condition all too the air circulation going in? At the moment, I have cold air blasting in through the a/c duct, and a roof fan pulling the hot air out the top. Does that suffice? The return duct was so close to the other duct it kept drawing in cold air and shutting off the thermostat (not to mention taking away valuable cool air). I tried diverting it further, which helped, but then it was in the way of the walkway.

Overall the a/c helps to keep the inside fairly cool, but sitting in the scamp, especially at the desk working, you can just feel the hot air penetrating through the walls (and the a/c doesn't cool down the walls). I was hoping shading the camper might do the trick.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:03 AM   #17
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A carport or similar shelter will work best for protection from the sun. A canopy on the side of the trailer towards the sun will keep that side of the trailer from heating up and will provide some benefit. AC will be taxed to provide sufficient cooling for a trailer in direct sunlight.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:13 AM   #18
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I have those mini-splits installed in every bedroom in my house (no central a/c possible) and they are AMAZING. You are right about all the possibilities regarding the intake and exhaust being too close to each other. I ended up having to disconnect the exhaust altogether-- bad design on Climate Right's part I think. The upper fan at the top does a great job drawing out hot air. Honestly, it's a reasonable temperature if camping but spending long hours inside one working is where I'm struggling. I was hoping that using shade would keep the camper cooler -- but it would be a shame to invest $$$ and have it not do a good job.

Thanks for the photos of your cooling system. The price of the mini-split is pretty much the same price as setting up some type of shade. And even if it was over-kill, at least it would be over-kill as opposed to under-kill!!
The mini split you have must be operated off of 120 volts?? I've never seen a 120v here as they are all 220 volts which rules out RV usage.

Mike in NS
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:53 PM   #19
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Boler
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A few years ago we were visiting Utah and the temperatures were hot non stop. Our A/C unit had trouble keeping up too. We took our dining shelter (tent) and set it up overtop of the trailer. When the sun doesn't have direct contact with the hull of the trailer, it seemed to make a big difference. I'm sure suspending a tarp overtop the trailer would have a similar effect.
Cheers.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:59 PM   #20
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
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The air conditioner you have may or not do the job but the way you have it wont work. You need to extend your hoses or raise the unit up on a pedestal at roof line and have the air conditioner hoses go through the roof vent. The discharge hose blowing out needs to be directly situated to blow into to your work area from above. The return duct needs to stay at the roof but extended so it sucks in the warm air furthest from the discharge but at the roof line.

Cold air drops to the floor, hot air rises so suck up the hot so it doesnt mix with the cold and let the cold air fall in your work space then mixes with the room air and as the air warms up it gets sucks out. You don't want hot air leaking in and you don't want cold air leaking out. Cooling the warm air going into the suction duct is much easier than cooling 100F air from outside. Open your roof vent, remove screen, put in your suction and discharge hose and then pack the opening with some soft foam like from a sofa cushion.

Any shading for the trailer will help as will light colors which is why these trailers are predominately white to reflect heat. Get a 10 X 10 or larger easy-up and extend the legs and put it over your trailer to block the heat of the day. Dual purpose, take it camping with you.
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