1979 Roof Mount A/C install on Scamp 16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Avion 30P and 1979 Scamp 16
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1979 Roof Mount A/C install on Scamp 16

Hi All!

I am looking for information on the best way to reinforce the roof for an A/C install on a 1979 Scamp 16.

Does anyone have any advice or pictures?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:40 AM   #2
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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I do not know anything about reinforcing the roof but am curious why you are choosing to go this route. The side A/C unit can be made to work very well and for a fraction of the cost and trouble of a roof mount A/C. I swapped out the non-cooling 5,000 BTU unit in my 1988 16 footer for a new 6,000 unit and an auxiliary 12V cooling fan to help get the hot air out of the tight compartment for less than $225 all in. A new roof unit is what, $500-$600? And you would need to cut a hole in the roof and run power up to it, in addition to beefing up the roof for the weight. Good luck with whatever route you choose.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:20 AM   #3
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1979 Roof Mount A/C install on Scamp 16

Dave, from another thread, I believe you recently acquired this trailer with roof AC already installed by a PO, but possibly not reinforced, correct? I also recall that it had a cut-out near the door where a closet AC may have been previously installed (which was the normal way back in 1979). I couldn't tell for sure from the pictures whether it had a permanent fiberglass patch or something temporarily fixed over the opening.

You have two options, as I see it.
(1). Keep the roof AC and add reinforcement. I believe the usual way is to add two ribs across the trolley part of the roof fore and aft of the AC unit. If you do a Google site search you should be able to pull up some details. ADV: you already have a (presumably) working unit, better distribution of cooled air, less work. DIS: reduced headroom, towing aerodynamics, aesthetics of add-on bracing, vibration.
(2). Remove the roof AC and reinstall a garden variety window unit in the old closet location. I think - I'm not sure - the hole in the roof for the AC is a standard 14"x14" so you could replace it with a DC-powered vent (Fantastic Fan or similar) for times when you don't have shore power. ADV: bracing not needed, headroom, factory appearance, window AC much cheaper when time to replace. DIS: less efficient air circulation, have to buy new unit & sell old, more work.

I'm thinking your decision will depend on how the old hole was patched, where the AC wires are now, the condition of the roof unit, how much work you want to do, how much hot/humid weather camping you do, and whether you want an "original" appearance.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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Trailer: Avion 30P and 1979 Scamp 16
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Jon,


You are correct. I like the idea of the existing roof mount unit as it also has heat.


The unit will have to come off no matter what since I want to inspect and then reseal. I will know more at that time.


I am not sure what to use for the ribs. Tubing? Carbon fiber arrows shafts, etc.
I spoke to the factory today and they said all I need is an additional layer of glass 3x6ft to bring the area to 1/2 inch thick but I would feel more comfortable with ribs installed and an additional 3x6ft piece of glass.


Any thoughts on rib material and the length I should use?


Dave
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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They make a floor model a/c for trailers that goes through the side wall. We looked at the idea of a roof unit but the weight of even the low profile units and the head room loss inside for the control unit both made us look at a trailer side wall version.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:56 AM   #6
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Dave, I spent a few minutes searching for a thread that showed the ribs, but couldn't find one. My recollection is that they used pieces of wood shaped to the contour of the raised portion of the roof on either side of the AC. What I don't recall is how they were attached to the roof.

That said, I believe they did it as an alternative to reinforcing the fiberglass, because that involves removing and reinstalling a large section of the ensolite as well as the glass work. Since you're proposing to do it the right way, I don't think you need the ribs. If you go with two layers of fiberglass, I'd make the second a bit larger than the first to taper the edge.

Good luck with it, and make sure to post details and pictures of your work. My search revealed there isn't as much information out there as I thought.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:13 AM   #7
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We usually do not camp in a location with hydro; so have decided to construct a 12v unit.

First a locking cooler of the correct size ‘boat unit’; small heater car rad, 12v low amp fan and a 12v pump, some hoses and clamps. Mount the heater core on the lid of the cooler make 2 holes through lid just big enough for the hose into cooler; tight fit best. Run hose from bottom of cooler to pump next hose from pump to cooler rad, the return hose back into top of cooler just enough to go through lid.
Biggest size hose that will work with pump and fan to help flow and lower energy needed for pump.

Place ice cubes or blocks in cooler, cold water to a good level; and enjoy the cool air. Will condensate at rad so will need a plastic tray for under the cooler or rad. This will lower the humidity in the trailer, the tray will need a drain hose out the bottom.

Optional bypass valves above the cooler so that hoses could be connected one intake with filter and an outtake for connection to a cold stream or spring.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:18 AM   #8
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You already have an air conditoner so good luck.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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If I wanted to add ribs to the roof I would remove headliner. Sand the glass clean. Go to the hardware store and get resin, glass, and some closed cell 1/2" backer rod. I would hot melt glue the backer rod to the top where you want the rib. Now mix up resin and wet out the glass fiber and form the glass over the backer rod. I would probably use 3 layers of 6 in wide glass tape. That should give you about 2 1/2" wide bond footing on each side of the backer rod. That would make a very stiff rib. I would plan your rib placement carefully so the rib would land just on the outside of the air conditioner trim ring with the bonded foot under the trim ring so you pretty much hide the rib and don't loose head room. You could use a different size backer rod and split it in half if you want a different shape rib. I would place a jack pole or 2 between the roof and the floor to prop up any sag in the roof before you bond in any ribs so you kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I would make sure your ribs are supported by the side cabinets to carry the roof load down to the floor.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:54 PM   #10
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Gees Steve, what a great idea using backer rod. Talk about forming to a curve made easy.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:17 PM   #11
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Trailer: Avion 30P and 1979 Scamp 16
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Smile Roof Support/Sagging Roof

If I followed Steve's recommendation plus add a 3x6ft piece that the factory suggests I would think you would get a roof strong enough to carry any load you could reasonably run into.
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