We ordered our Scamp
without rooftop AC since we seldom camp in warm weather; and the cost was a factor as well. Recently we attended a June wedding in Virginia and we knew the temps would be unpleasant without air conditioning
. So I scanned the site for window mounting ideas and spoke with a couple of folks who had traveled this path before. Thanks to all who made this a better and easier project. Really.
First I had to choose a window unit to fit the window above the dinette. I chose the efficient 5000 BTU Frigidaire Model FRA054XT7. The cost was $120.00 with a coupon from Best Buy. Its only about 16 inches wide and easily fit the window without any modification. Also it only draws about 500 watts in operation and can easily be supplied via shore power over my #12 power cord. I do like the included remote control to allow full operation while laying in bed. Someday I will borrow one of those 1000 watt Honda i generators to see if it can start this air conditioner. I doubt it, but will try anyway. Buying a genset is way low on my list so its not really gonna happen. Still would be fun to know.
Since our AC will be seldom used I wanted a mounting that can easily be taken in and out with little fuss and without changing the Scamp
much. So far the only lasting change to the Scamp
is the bolt in the bumper to hold the supporting prop.
Some of the pictures below show a black electrical
cord. This is my battery
minder power cord. The AC power comes from inside the Scamp. I will probably move the battery
minder cord to the water heater hatch eventually.
I still haven't figured out how I want to seal the two large gaps between the AC unit and the window frame. I am pretty sure some thin plywood and foam will be involved or maybe even a pool noodle or two.
This type of AC mounting is for parking only, not for a moving RV. It has to be taken out and stowed in the TV to travel (aways stow in an upright position, AC units don't like to be tipped). Taking it in and out is OK with us since we usually stay in one place for several days and rarely use AC anyway. Road warrior campers may be better off with the rooftop factory option or the many closet/dinette seat options described on this site. The rear window mount does solve the cool air distribution issues that accompany a floor mounted AC.
My AC unit rests on a plywood platform supported at the window edge and the bumper. The platform has a wooden cleat on top the fits nicely in a recess on the AC's bottom surface, making the only connection needed for fastening to the platform. I use an aluminum angle strip to secure the platform to the slot where the glass slides into when the window is closed. The large hole in the platform is to allow for the condensate to drain. The thin Oak prop keeps the AC tilted a few degrees down at the rear to allow the condensate to drain properly. The prop has holes on both ends to fit over the ¼ inch bolts in the bumper and the plywood platform. Gravity does the work here, there is no fastening.
I do want to purchase some RV gutter to go over the window for the rare occasions when we need AC during rain. Sealing the AC/window to be rain proof could be problematic otherwise.
I will post more pics when I have solved the closing the gaps issue. The curtains worked for the wedding but are not really a long term solution.
If any ideas occur to you I am all ears. There are always many things I forget to consider.
The 5000 BTU of cooling was plenty at the wedding when temps were 90 degrees though we were in the shade of trees. Compressor seemed on about 50% of the time. I will report again if I ever have to camp in full sun at those temps. Sounds like terrible camping conditions though. Shoulder season mountain elevation or cool oceanside campsites are more to our liking. We usually stay in Madison in the Summer as its a good time to be in a great place; despite a crazy governor.
Thanks all, john