Tiny air conditioners - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-05-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
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Tiny air conditioners

As summer rears it's hot and humid head here in the deep south, once again, my thoughts turn toward some sort of air conditioning for my Lite*House. I've thought of a few ideas including replacing the front "emergency escape" window with plywood and a small window unit or cutting a hole in the wall below that window and hanging one there.

I don't like the idea of losing that light and the smallest window AC I can find is about 5000 btu; overkill for my tiny trailer.

Some folks have suggested "swamp" coolers but I don't think they would work too well in the humid south.

I've found units as small as 1000 btu that are made for telecommunication equipment racks but they are designed for indoor use and mount opposite of what I'm looking for.

Recently, I came across this little unit in a big box catalog: Shop for American Comfort Worldwide 1,000 BTU Personal Air Conditioner - ACW100 at The Home Depot. I'm thinking that it might be possible to mount one of these in the space where my icebox currently sits. Of course, I'd have to add an exterior vent and perhaps a fan, but it looks like it might work.

Any thoughts, suggestions or reality checks?
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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I had one of these and it worked nice when it was too hot for a fan.
Amazon.com: 12 Volt Portable Air Conditioner: Home & Garden
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Wolf and Martha have a small regular AC mounted in the front of their Little Joe where your spare tire is. They say it works great. It has a vinyl cover on it for traveling and they report no problems with leaks.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-12V-Air-Conditioner---Cheap-and-easy!/?&sort=ACTIVE&limit=40&offset=40

This should be a fun project and I could see it working to keep things cooler. Maybe not in the desert, but other places.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davie B View Post
...air conditioning for my Lite*House. I've thought of ... cutting a hole in the wall below that window and hanging one there.

Any thoughts, suggestions or reality checks?
That's where the Lite*House factory put it, and that's where the Little Joe factory puts it... below the front window but above the mattress/seat cushions. Don't put it on the floor UNDER the bed, you won't get good air flow down there.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Here's an idea if you only need A/C occasionally. Over on the teardrop forum, some folks carry a window unit separately from the trailer. In use, the unit sits on the ground with a special-built plenum on the front to adapt the cold air outlet to a dryer hose. The hose carries the cold air into the trailer. A window unit with a remote control would be perfect.

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Old 04-06-2011, 09:03 PM   #7
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Davie, I think 1000 BTU would be too small for a trailer, unless you just need to drop the temp a couple of degrees and then you'd want it blowing on you, not just into the trailer.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
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Here's an idea if you only need A/C occasionally. Over on the teardrop forum, some folks carry a window unit separately from the trailer. In use, the unit sits on the ground with a special-built plenum on the front to adapt the cold air outlet to a dryer hose. The hose carries the cold air into the trailer. A window unit with a remote control would be perfect.

Marv
It could work but it's not terribly efficient because you have to leave another window open some to let hot air in the trailer out. So you are going to get a smaller temp drop than if you could recirculate the trailer air back to the AC inlet. In a teardrop it's probably no big deal but just a lot of air exchange and wind going through. The AC probably never gets a chance to cycle down because the compressor is working doubletime.

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Old 04-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
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Here's an idea if you only need A/C occasionally. Over on the teardrop forum, some folks carry a window unit separately from the trailer. In use, the unit sits on the ground with a special-built plenum on the front to adapt the cold air outlet to a dryer hose. The hose carries the cold air into the trailer. A window unit with a remote control would be perfect.

Marv
Yes its nice to have it. It really worked for me. It save me a lot of money too.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:10 PM   #10
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It could work but it's not terribly efficient because you have to leave another window open some to let hot air in the trailer out.
Yes, I remember someone was modifying the plenum to accept another hose for a return from the trailer. Great theory but that would be getting pretty complex for me at least. How badly do I really want to go camping in the heat?
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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If you don't want it mounted full time you can hang it in a window like Frederick did in his Fiber Stream or like I did in my Boler. It works great!
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:29 AM   #12
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We traveled in a Casita 16 this winter. The Casita 16 uses a traditional home air conditioner mounted below the front closet. We used it about a dozen times and it easily cooled our Casita 16. I believe a 5000 BTU unit would have been adequate though slower to cool.

We just bought a Scamp 16 without air and are considering mounting a 5000 btu with remote control in the bottom of the closet ala the Casita. One can't beat the price, around $150, a remote control, a low current draw of 4.5 amps and 24 hour on/off timer.

Walmart.com: Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner, Energy Star with Remote Control FRA054XT7: Heating, Cooling, & Air Quality

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Old 04-07-2011, 01:10 PM   #13
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Our EggCamper came with a 5000 BTU home-type AC and I wish it was a little larger. As long as the sun isn't shining on the camper the AC is fine, but if it's in the sun, the AC helps, but it's still too hot inside. My advise is to stick with at least the 5000 BTU unit and avoid anything smaller.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:11 AM   #14
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We are wanting to add a window AC unit to our lower closet area and I had seen the one Norm wrote about at Walmart. It's a Frigidaire 5,000 BTU with a digital display and even comes with a remote. I think it looks great and Frigidaire has been rated as a good brand. Does anyone think the digital model vs the manual model with the knobs/dials may be more risky with all the bouncing and motions from being used in a trailer?
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:19 AM   #15
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We are wanting to add a window AC unit to our lower closet area and I had seen the one Norm wrote about at Walmart. It's a Frigidaire 5,000 BTU with a digital display and even comes with a remote. I think it looks great and Frigidaire has been rated as a good brand. Does anyone think the digital model vs the manual model with the knobs/dials may be more risky with all the bouncing and motions from being used in a trailer?

I am just tired of remote controls! You see them for everything, even car radios. Why?
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:33 AM   #16
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I am just tired of remote controls! You see them for everything, even car radios. Why?
For the back seat? I can see remotes for fans and lights if you have a monster RV... but three steps and I've moved all the way from front to back in my trailer. Walking is good for me
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:39 AM   #17
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Remotes are like cruise control, you don't have to use them. They can be handy to perform functions like auto on/off.

Until I bought a car that came with cruise I thought it was a function for the lazy or inept.

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #18
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Any thoughts from those with more mechanical brains than me on whether the digital readout AC unit would be more prone to mechanical failures than the basic knob/dial model? I just remember my dad always making comments about "more things to go wrong" when electronics started getting more sophisticated. I know there is a lot of bouncing around inside these trailers as they tag along behind us on the road! I don't need the remote, I just think the electric push button control model is more streamlined and looks better and has a few other features that the other one doesn't for not that much more money.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:50 PM   #19
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Any thoughts from those with more mechanical brains than me on whether the digital readout AC unit would be more prone to mechanical failures than the basic knob/dial model? I just remember my dad always making comments about "more things to go wrong" when electronics started getting more sophisticated. I know there is a lot of bouncing around inside these trailers as they tag along behind us on the road! I don't need the remote, I just think the electric push button control model is more streamlined and looks better and has a few other features that the other one doesn't for not that much more money.
We've carried a lot of electronics for the last ten years, TV, 2 laptops, wifi hot spot, sat receiver and have never had only one failure and none in a trailer. In our motorhome we carried a laptop on the front dash desk. On an unbelieveable bad road, the laptop 'jumped' off the desk on to the floor destroying the hard drive. From that point forth we have never carried a laptop like that. Now we simply lay the laptops and TV on the bed when driving.

We have found electronic devices to be very solid even though we've driven some really extended rough roads. Of course past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

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Old 04-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #20
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Any thoughts from those with more mechanical brains than me on whether the digital readout AC unit would be more prone to mechanical failures than the basic knob/dial model? I just remember my dad always making comments about "more things to go wrong" when electronics started getting more sophisticated. I know there is a lot of bouncing around inside these trailers as they tag along behind us on the road! I don't need the remote, I just think the electric push button control model is more streamlined and looks better and has a few other features that the other one doesn't for not that much more money.
Hi Julie,

I'm not sure if this is the same model you're looking at but we've had it in our Boler for the past year without any trouble yet (knock wood).

Russ

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