AC option for UHaul CT - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #1
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Name: Michael J
Trailer: U-Haul VT
Indiana
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AC option for UHaul CT

Since there has been some discussion on whether it can be done and there are a few examples of it being done ,I offer the following for the collective amusement and inevitable reengineering discussion.
I had the chance to thoroughly examine a retrofit AC installation this weekend and offer the following comments on that installation.

Is the roof strong enough to support the weight and dynamic load while traveling? In my opinion, Not without reinforcement. As is shown in the first two pictures, the retrofiter agreed and his solution appears to consist of gluing a reinforcing piece of what appears to be 1/2" strand board to the area where the vent/swamp cooler was previously with what appears to be fiberglass resin. I think this is a good start but the area needs to be reinforced and stiffened with fiberglass cloth to help transfer the load across to the inner walls. this is especially needed at the front.

The later pictures show how the installer took advantage of the solar panel and used it to bridge the load to the 4 elevator bolts located on the edges one of which can be seen near the light cord in the first picture. there were no signs of fiberglass fatigue on the exterior that I observed so I don't think it bounces too much.
I think that I would take the solar panel off and use aluminum angle to extend out for mounting brackets to attach the AC and they could be used to cantilever a small solar panel out over the back of the trailer. a better option if solar is desired are the stick on panels but they are more costly. This AC also included a heater strip which is a plus.
Michael J.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul 13 ft CT
Northwest Arkansas
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I have always thought that technically the added weight is not good for the structure of the roof or roof supports. But I also thought that while the camper is being transported and the additional weight is bouncing on the roof and causing an additional flex in the roof, that a support could be added under the a/c. It seems to me that an adjustable pole (similar to a screw type expandable shower curtain rod) could be installed under the a/c from a/c to floor, while the camper is either in route or parked in the driveway back home. While the camper is in use for camping, merely remove the rod and set it aside. When you leave and are back on the road, reinstall the screwed adjustable rod under the a/c.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Name: Diane
Trailer: u-haul ct13
Virginia
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A Fantastic Fan is great! Some prefer Max Air Fans. I boon dock and have never needed the air conditioner. On days when it is extremely hot I don't want to be camping anyway. Maybe if Iwere Beach, then it would be nice.
I also have a CT 13 and bought a Coleman Mini Mach to install on the roof but after research decided against installing that kind of weight on the roof. Sold the Roof mount air conditioner. It's up to you, your choice of course. I would listen to all other owners on this topic as well. By the way I did try to use an adjustable shower curtain rod thing it could be used to hang things off of but it works loose. Good luck in your research.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul 13 ft CT
Northwest Arkansas
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I too enjoy off the grid camping, so I kind of redesigned my two electrical systems. I set up the 12volt system with a Fantastic Fan in the ceiling for ventilation with a Vent Cover over the fan to keep out rain, an Olympian 3000 BTU catalytic heater, 12" x 10" x 3 Ĺ", for heat (propane), a new Kyocera KC 50 watt/3 amp solar panel, with a Go Power GPM-30 solar regulator/ controller, a new group 29 RV deep cycle battery. I replaced all the overhead car type light bulbs with new PBC series LED lamps, it has a built-in radio/cd player, a CB system, and I also installed some cigarette type plug-ins for various 12volt type needs. I tried to make it as self-sufficient as possible. I also have an a/c, but I put it on the floor and out the bottom front of the camper.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #5
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Name: Bernard
Trailer: 2007 uhaul ct13
Quebec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris and Ame View Post
I too enjoy off the grid camping, so I kind of redesigned my two electrical systems. I set up the 12volt system with a Fantastic Fan in the ceiling for ventilation with a Vent Cover over the fan to keep out rain, an Olympian 3000 BTU catalytic heater, 12" x 10" x 3 Ĺ", for heat (propane), a new Kyocera KC 50 watt/3 amp solar panel, with a Go Power GPM-30 solar regulator/ controller, a new group 29 RV deep cycle battery. I replaced all the overhead car type light bulbs with new PBC series LED lamps, it has a built-in radio/cd player, a CB system, and I also installed some cigarette type plug-ins for various 12volt type needs. I tried to make it as self-sufficient as possible. I also have an a/c, but I put it on the floor and out the bottom front of the camper.
I really like that placement for an ac.
i'm taking notes...
right now i'm not using one but we are considering it for the future..
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:24 AM   #6
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul 13 ft CT
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About the air conditioner, I did think of other alternatives and decided that on the floor and coming out the front was the least destructive and less obvious. Some have put the a/c in the closet with exhaust coming out through the floor. I tried somewhat that idea, but never could get the exhaust heat down to allow the a/c to cool as it should. Iíve seen some people have it coming out the back window, but that means removing the glass and using plywood or plexiglass as it sticks out the back window. I just think itís a bit unsightly. Iíve seen some a/c in the front window or even out one of the side windows. One could use the roof, but I wanted to save that for the Fantastic fan to go off the grid camping. So I decided on the front floor (with an electrical switch where I could reach) was the best route for me. I even saved the cutout portion of the fiberglass just in case I changed my mine someday and remove the a/c, I could re-fiberglass the piece back in place. Just a few thoughts on the subject.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris and Ame View Post
About the air conditioner, I did think of other alternatives and decided that on the floor and coming out the front was the least destructive and less obvious. Some have put the a/c in the closet with exhaust coming out through the floor. I tried somewhat that idea, but never could get the exhaust heat down to allow the a/c to cool as it should. Iíve seen some people have it coming out the back window, but that means removing the glass and using plywood or plexiglass as it sticks out the back window. I just think itís a bit unsightly. Iíve seen some a/c in the front window or even out one of the side windows. One could use the roof, but I wanted to save that for the Fantastic fan to go off the grid camping. So I decided on the front floor (with an electrical switch where I could reach) was the best route for me. I even saved the cutout portion of the fiberglass just in case I changed my mine someday and remove the a/c, I could re-fiberglass the piece back in place. Just a few thoughts on the subject.
So how manu btu's did you install?
How well does it performike that?
with cool air coming down does it cool enough for you to be commfy on the bed?
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 1984 U-Haul 13 ft CT
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I bought one of the big box storeís $100 plus small a/c (5000 BTU Ė 6000 BTU). A 6000 or even 6500 might be better as long as it didnít affect the tongue weight of the camper too much. After all, it is the campgrounds electricity, so a larger BTU is not costing you anymore. Anyway, the a/c is opposite from the bed, so cooling at night is no problem. If as you point out the cold is heavier and therefore on the floor, how does that effect heat buildup in the camper? Most of the time it is not a problem, if it is, I just crack open the fan vent in the roof and let the upper heat escape.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #9
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Name: Bernard
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Originally Posted by Chris and Ame View Post
I bought one of the big box storeís $100 plus small a/c (5000 BTU Ė 6000 BTU). A 6000 or even 6500 might be better as long as it didnít affect the tongue weight of the camper too much. After all, it is the campgrounds electricity, so a larger BTU is not costing you anymore. Anyway, the a/c is opposite from the bed, so cooling at night is no problem. If as you point out the cold is heavier and therefore on the floor, how does that effect heat buildup in the camper? Most of the time it is not a problem, if it is, I just crack open the fan vent in the roof and let the upper heat escape.
Very good infos
People here tend to go for the bigger 8000 + btus....i'm in canada, quebec, i only need to cool down a little at some specific time of the summer, the rest of the time its "livable" i mostly need to take humidity out...5000 will be enough for my needs id say.

One last question, you just cut the FG flush to the ground to have it coming out like that?
Any pics on the inside?

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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You could probably do just fine with a 5000BTU setup. Yes I did cut the ďholeĒ even with the surface of the floor and then followed the dimensions of the a/c very closely in finishing the hole. I do not have a picture of the interior that would have the a/c in it. I also have found that if you crack the windows open and/or the door window open and set your fantastic fan on low, it will cool the camper quite nicely at night or in mild weather.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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Name: Les
Trailer: 96 Scamp 13'
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Here might be another option. Climate Comfort Anyplace Imaginable - ClimateRight
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