A/C Solution for T@B! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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A/C Solution for T@B!

Ok, just got off the phone from theT@B Factory about installing A/C in the early T@bs. He confirmed that before the Coolcat option there was no support in the walls for an A/C vent. When they started offering the Coolcat they installed an aluminum frame in the wall where the vent is cut. He said to install the A/C in the bottom of the closet, build a catch pan with drain tube, drill a hole in the floor and insert drain tube, build a shrowd around the A/C unit to seperate the fresh air intake and exaust, cut a hole in the side of the T@b for the vent, carve out the foam core and insert aluminum frame in the newly created cavity to eliminate wall flex and then screw vent cover into frame. On the inside use wood trim or something for the screws to bite into from the vent cover. It doesnt matter what it looks like as it's hidden in the closet. I will have a new, shorter closet door made to match the rest of the cabinetry. Now I just have to find somebody who can do this type of work.

Any suggestions as to what type of Shop or Shops I need for this???

Holy Cow! Just talked to one small RV shop and they guesstimate 7 hrs labor at $90 an hour, OUCH! Guess I better troll Craig's List for a handyman. I was hoping to get this done for around $400. Any takers??

Melissa
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Custom work is pricey, all right. But keep shopping around, I bet you'll find a better price. It isn't rocket science; for someone who does this kind of work it should be a snap. A home-handyman/carpenter type person probably would charge more like $25 or $30 an hour, I'd guess.

Idea: talk to any friends, neighbors, or relatives who live nearby and see who they know or have had do stuff for them.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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Craig's List for a handyman

Now there is a RED FLAG. People are going to Craigs List, finding buyers and showing up and getting robbed. People are looking on the list and showing up for a ranch hand position and getting murdered (3 and the 4th got away). Hookers are advertising, showing up at the perverts house and never seen again.

Ask around your neighborhood and friends to find a handyman that has done work for them and has references B 4 you let him close to your home and property.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Ya, Craig's List is getting scarrier and scarrier for sure. None of our neighbors want anything to do with us as they did not approve of the former owner selling the home to "young kids with kids". This is a retired neighborhood even though it's not officially designated as such. Nobody told us when we were house hunting. We are in our 40's so not like we're 20 yr old party animals and our kids are not the typical type you see today. Our High Schooler has been homeschooled since she was in 4th grade and our 3rd grader will be homeschooled starting next year. All at their request b/c they cant stand the other student's behavior, language, lack of integrity, responsibility, self entitlement and "it's all about me" etc. We have lived here nearly 8 yrs and still none of our neighbors speak nor acknowledge us even though we've never once had any noise etc. One neighbor who lives a few doors down was walking her dog as hubby was putting our youngest in the car and asked who that child is. She didnt even know we had kids. We live on a busy corner so they are only allowed in the fenced backyard so that proves how quiet of neighbors we are. None of our friends have ever needed a handyman b/c they are all military, or live in an apt or retired military who still live on the base (retirees do pay rent but are allowed to stay on base if housing is low on occupancy). We attend a very small church so not alot to choose from there but I will ask our Pastor if he happens to know of anybody, it's pretty much my only resource short of commercial places in the yellow pages. So many carpenters etc out of work that I'd like to help them out by giving them a job but you're right about Craig's list. That is just how desperate I am to get this done. I would never allow anyone at our home w/o hubby here , I wonder if a metal fabrication shop could do something like this? My T@b is aluminum and the A/C shroud could be made from metal.......
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:09 PM   #5
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Hmmm. I didn't think anyone was less well-connected than me, but I think you have me beat.

You don't have to stop with just your own church. Other pastors in the community would usually be glad to suggest someone in their church who was qualified and seeking that type of work. Your pastor might even be able to ask other pastors for you, if you don't feel comfortable contacting them yourself; usually a lot of pastors in a town know each other and may even get together on occasion (cooperating with hospital visitation or coordinating food pantry efforts, for instance).

I guess there are always the RV dealers, since they often service any make; maybe one of them will quote a lower price than what you already have.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:50 AM   #6
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Melissa, my sister put one of those freestanding portable room air conditioners in her van and is delighted with it. The only customization she had to do was put a vent in the side so she wouldn't have to run the exhaust hose out of a window.

She originally tried venting it through the floor, but the heat didn't exhaust properly.

Her unit has a very small footprint. Would something like that work for you? It would require cutting into cabinets, but that is probably something you could do.

Here is a picture of the vent she put in the side of her van. Since it is so small, that also would probably be something you or your husband could do.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:26 AM   #7
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Thanks Mike! I had never thought about other churches and our Pastor does preach at different ones from time to time. That's a GREAT idea! I had already planned on contacting the local woodworkers guild for the cabinet door rework and was trying to figure out if there was a "handyman Guild", LOL. Our local college doesnt teach anything along these lines nor are there any Tradeschools.

Sharon, the portable is my backup route. There isnt a cabinet big enough for it other than the closet which is wear the permament install would go anyway so that is an option. Could you get me the brand of your sister's unit? I've read such mix reviews on these I'd like some first hand experience. Do you know if it has 2 seperate hoses for intake and exaust? I only see one vent in the van so I'm thinking maybe it's a single hose for both? Any add'l pix, specs would be very helpful, Thank you!
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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Melissa,
I have an '08 13' Scamp that I'm looking to put a small A/C unit in the closet. My biggest obstacle is venting. I'm thinking of taking it to a HVAC place and have them model intake/outgo air handlers from what they use in a home. Not sure what the price will be, but it would do the trick.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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Contact a Good Sam member in your area. I belong to the Good Sam club and get 10% on camping and other savings at Camping World.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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Good idea, Alice. Be sure and post if you get a price quote and if you like their ideas. Afraid their hourly rate would be pretty high just but what they charge at the house, lol.

I'll look into Camping World, they are a couple of hours from me but with a 10% discount that just may make up for it. I'll call to see if they do custom work.

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Melissa,
I have an '08 13' Scamp that I'm looking to put a small A/C unit in the closet. My biggest obstacle is venting. I'm thinking of taking it to a HVAC place and have them model intake/outgo air handlers from what they use in a home. Not sure what the price will be, but it would do the trick.
Alice
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Melissa, I just heard back from my sister with most of my questions about the portable air conditioner answered.
Quote:
The AC is an LG 5000 btu portable unit. It is the same as the first one we bought, then returned, thinking it didn't work because it wouldn't cool the van when parked in the full sun on a 100 degree day (interior temps can get to 125).

These air conditions are not like house window air conditioners. With these, it takes a combination of shade and the AC in temps around 100 outside. It is not perfect, but at $300 it is a lot cheaper than the alternative RV roof ac ($2,000) which would have made our clearance a real nusience also.

What I found with this one is that if we park in PARTIAL shade, even though the temperature outside is 100+ degrees, the inside will be 85 degrees, BUT since it is a dehumidifier, it feels much, much cooler than 85. At home, we would be very uncomfortable in 85 degrees, but in the van, 85 degrees feels very cool. On a regular 85-90 degree day, it will keep the temp at around 70 inside with partial shade.

One thing we found is that the heat exhausted through the hose emits heat back into the van, so I made a blanket sleeve with elastic on each end which we slip the hose into. This prevents heat from escaping back into the van so the AC isn't fighting against itself.

All said, it will not bring down 125 interior temp down to 70. On very hot days, we must park in at least dappled shade if we plan to be inside the van during the day.

Considering the alternatives (a roof AC or window AC hanging out the back window), we are very happy with it now that we have learned to work with it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #12
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Just got some additional info on the portable AC from her:

Quote:
At night, it gets down in the 60s and we almost always have to pull a blanket up over us.

As for the 7000 btu that we took back, it was much larger and took up more space, it didn't cool any better, and since the 7000 btu didn't have the dehumidifier on it, the interior temps actually felt much warmer than with the 5000 btu that had the dehumidifier.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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Thought this was neat. New for 2014 T@b both a hot water heater and furnace all in one. It's on their front page and a link to the unit here
Alde 3010 Compact HE Combi Boilers - Alde UK
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:02 PM   #14
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New for 2014 T@b both a hot water heater and furnace all in one. It's on their front page and a link to the unit here
Alde 3010 Compact HE Combi Boilers - Alde UK
That's interesting - glycol/water mixture for space heating and fresh water for domestic use are separately heated in the same unit (that's the "combi" part).

Combined heat (by circulating hot water) and domestic hot water systems are common in high-end diesel motorhomes, but not in small in small sizes or propane versions in North America. The 400LP from Aqua-Hot is smaller and propane, but still huge by egg standards.
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