AC installation (hidden) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
Michigan
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AC installation (hidden)

After a hot summer where even in a small bed in our Scamp my wife and I didn't touch each other for 3 nights, we agreed to install AC. Our Scamp did not allow for a roof installation. We were ok with a closet installation because we liked the lower cost, but we are going to miss the storage. I wanted the installation somewhat hidden because I like the look of the lines of the fiberglass trailers and don't like to have lots of cutouts in the side of the trailer. I went with an 12V/120V fridge for the same reason. I decided to put it under the front couch. It added a little weight to the hitch, but was easier to vent. My wife was also more willing to give up that closet space.

The (almost) finished installation from inside. The switch to the left turns on the fan and switches power on to the AC.
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A picture of the box made to go behind the AC. Note the 4" blower fan from a boat that will push the air out.
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The closet where the AC will go. Air comes in the left and goes out the right. The drip pan is the silver thing on the bottom.
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The same closet with the box with the fan that will push the hot air out. A vinyl dryer house connects the fan to the air outlet. The AC will sit right in front of that box.
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The air inlet/outlet from the outside.
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The air inlet/outlet with a cover
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What it looks like outside. The arrow is pointing to the cover seen above.
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I owe many thanks to a variety of people on this forum for ideas that went into this. I have more details if anyone is interested.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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I love it when a plan comes together
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #3
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Great looking job.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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Great design!

Mr. Eric,
I really like your design utilizing the aux. blower, the way you have ducted it down below and saved your Scamp's appearance!

Nice job and thanks for sharing the pics!!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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I will want one of those I think. I don't want a roof mount cuz then it won't go into my garage.....
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Where does this unit obtain fresh air? I always though fresh air was introduced on the sides of window units with exhaust out the back and conditioned out the front.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Where does this unit obtain fresh air? I always though fresh air was introduced on the sides of window units with exhaust out the back and conditioned out the front.
Jim, I believe you are correct with your description of the air flow for this AC. I brought the fresh air in from the 4" hole on the left. The fresh air just fills the entire closet including around the AC except behind the AC. The box behind the AC with the fan captures the hot exhaust going out the back and pushes it out the hole on the right.

If I had to do it again, I would have use a smaller fan - perhaps the 3" instead of the 4". This fan is closer to my leaf blower than a fan that has to move a little hot air. But I do like to be on the safe side and it is designed for having some water around in a marine environment which was another consideration. I actually lowered the voltage to it slightly to slow it down.

Let me know if I was not clear. Questions are welcome.

Eric
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #8
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I will want one of those I think. I don't want a roof mount cuz then it won't go into my garage.....

The garage was a consideration for me to. If you decide to do it similar to mine, let me know and I'll share more details. I'm not a professional so despite some planning I have some lessons learned such as my cheap bits did not do so well drilling a 4" hole in metal. I also have the list of materials and a rough design with dimensions.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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Thanks eric....that would be awesome!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #10
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I'll post more details in a series of these posts since I don't have time to sit down and give you everything at once.

Cutting the 4" holes in the front closet under the coach was more time consuming than I expected. It would have been easier to put the holes in the bottom through wood, but more visible and more vulnerable to the covers of the holes getting knocked off. Therefore I went through the sides which meant cutting through the metal. You have to make sure the hole is high enough to get past the wood floor and leave yourself a little room to attach the 4" flexible hose on the inside. However, don't go too high because you are already drilling at an upwards angle. Front to back isn't too critical. You also have to leave room for the covers to mount nicely. I measured and designed it, but in reality held all the parts up in the end to where they would go to make sure it would work and I did adjust it some. I drilled a pilot hole without issue. I tried a cheap 4" hole saw first and only made a little progress. I went with a Milwaukee bi-metal 4" hole saw and that worked a lot better. A little oil or WD40 to keep the heat down a little helps. I still would drill for several minutes and then take a break to let the drill and hole saw cool down. I also ruined my 20 year old drill due to overheating I think when using the first hole saw. I found a new one with a lifetime warranty. After getting the two holes done, a good cleaning with Dawn dish soap cleaned up all the oil I had used to keep things somewhat cool.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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4" Holes

In the 4" holes I put dryer vent flap valves. Make sure you put them in right side up and in the correct orientation to let air in and out correctly. I sealed these to the metal so nothing could get around them. I also took fiberglass screen material and used electrical tape to hold the screen to the housing of the flap valve. You have to be careful that the screen material still allows the flap itself to fully move back and forth and that the flap doesn't get stuck on the screen.

I covered the flap valves with clamshell covers meant for boats. I used the Nicro ventilation 3" high covers. They are technically too wide, but I squeezed them together to fit and it made the opening higher which was what I wanted to let more air out. They are also soft so they will take some beating without cracking like a harder plastic would with rocks being hurtled at it as I go down the road.

Both the flap valve and clamshell covers are held on by stainless steel metal screws.

Note that all exposed metal and wood that I cut into was first painted for longevity.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #12
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Love the install, I plan on doing the ac install real soon. Is your blower 12 volt? And do you plan on installing a drain thru the floor? Here in KY. the humidity is a killer in the summers so I am pretty sure I will need to install a drain thru the floor. Last question what btu did you use? Thanks
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:59 PM   #13
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Our installation is a thru floor job with an exhaust fan on the output. We do have a drain thru the floor but have never had anything come out of it,at least that I've seen.. Our unit is 5000 btus but have never run it at night.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:12 PM   #14
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Around here it seems window units just pour out the water! Our humidity in the summer months can stay in the high 80 to mid 90% . There are days where I would love to have "DRY HEAT". It gets so humid here that you drip sweat just walking to the mail box lol!
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