Trailer clearance with AC on top - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-04-2014, 07:07 PM   #1
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Name: Paige
Trailer: shopping
Georgia
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Trailer clearance with AC on top

I wasn't sure where to ask this question. I have been looking around and reading info on this site for ages. I have so many questions and find alot of my answers here. This is a wonderful site with tons of info.

Is there anyone who has any pros, cons, first hand experience with problems with AC on top of trailer? I would like to eventually see some of Washington state and have read that ferries can be very expensive depending on your height and length. Do they count AC in height measurement? Also do they count length of entire trailer including hitch? Does AC in floor cool very well? I am looking at small trailers 13-18 feet and would prefer high axle (i realize this raises my total height more too). I will most likely be solo, therefore i'm concerned about bridge height too. I won't have anyone to stand outside and make sure i have clearance. Has anyone run into any of these problems?

Also, why do I not see many fiberglass TTs for sale in the southeast? It seems most are further north or west. Are they not as good in hot, humid weather? I am getting a bit frustrated that i will never find anything used down here that i can afford. If i had any power tool aptitude i would build my own.

Thanks for all the info posted here. I am traveling vicariously for now.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:47 PM   #2
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Hi, And Welcome to the group. I am sure you will get lots of replies to your questions.

First, what will you be towing with??? That can have a considerable impact on what you can select from. And be warned, manufacturer's weights have little to do with actual camping weights. There is a list of real world weights at the top of the General Discussion forum.


There are usally a number of FGRV's offered in FL as retirees outgrow them or stop using them.

Be sure to follow Craigslist.org as well as <<<fiberglass-rv-4sale.com>>> listings.

I have been to WA 100's of times, and lived there for several years, and think I used a ferry twice. It all depends on where you want to go. Most places are connected with bridges.

Good luck in your search.....
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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Welcome to the group Paige.

That's quite a list of questions you have. Since I've never travelled to Washington, I don't have answers on the ferries.
My uhaul just barely fits under an 8foot door. I do not have a roof ac. As you know, there are many people that do not do a roof ac, and simply retrofit a window unit into their trailers. This would keep the overall height down for you.

Good luck on finding the perfect trailer for you
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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Here in BC the Ferry system no longer charges for over heights but when you make your booking you need to state you are over height & yes they change from the bumper of the car to the bumper of the trailer or what ever is the furthest back. They have one base rate for the 1st 20' then it is per foot after that.

On the Washington State ferry's there is an extra charge for anything over 7' 6" - believe it is about $60 surcharge and they have lump rates that run in increments from under 30', 40' and 60' etc in length.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paige M View Post
Is there anyone who has any pros, cons, first hand experience with problems with AC on top of trailer?

... I am looking at small trailers 13-18 feet and would prefer high axle (i realize this raises my total height more too). I will most likely be solo, therefore i'm concerned about bridge height too.
I just measured my 16' (Hitch ball to back wall) Fiber Stream height. (Its axle has been raised 5" above what the factory set it at.)
Measuring from the pavement:
  • to the floor (measured at the open door) is 1' 10".
  • to the roof surface is 8' 4".
  • to the top of the A/C is 9' 4".
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I have never had any worries about low bridges, but I definitely won't take the trailer through McDonald's drive-thru.
I have not used a ferry...
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:31 PM   #6
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Washington ferries charge for height and length. Anything over 7 foot is a surcharge so don't let the roof air deter you. Length is based on the overall length of the TV and trailer. on most runs, the length is calculated in increments of 10 feet. Fares vary for each route and there are surcharges during the summer. Go to the WSF Web page to calculate the fare for different routes you might take. Example ~ our Casita 17 and Ridgeline cost $55 from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend and about $35 from Whidbey to Mukilteo.

2009 Casita FD - Sold
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:31 PM   #7
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Name: Paige
Trailer: shopping
Georgia
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Wow. Thank you all for the welcome and the detailed information in your responses. I have been reading your posts for about 2 years trying to learn what i can. I have never owned a trailer of any kind and have no experience.

I have a jeep grand cherokee v8 with tow package. I've read that my short wheel base may also be a limiting factor for me, and the more i read the smaller TT i think i can safely tow. I don't need much space, but want security of sleeping inside with basic necessities like potty and ac. I want to see parks, and areas of the country i've never been and always wanted to go (which is mostly west and PNW maybe even alaska if i live long enough ) I would love to boondock some to save money and avoid crowds. They tend to scare away animals that i like to watch and photograph.

I am curious how the ac in the window holds up during travel. I'm guessing it is more secure than it looks, or do people remove them before driving?

Thanks for the time you all took for measurements, etc.
Oh, btw, i'm now in Georgia. I need to update my profile.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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Many Eggs have a home type a/c installed through a wall rather than in a window. Scamps used to put them at the bottom of the clothes closet, with almost all of the unit inside and only a vent cover on the outside.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:43 PM   #9
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Got in late on this one. Great answers. Welcome Paige.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paige M View Post
I am curious how the ac in the window holds up during travel. I'm guessing it is more secure than it looks, or do people remove them before driving?
Before I installed the roof Air Conditioner I had a 5,000 BTU window unit. I started out carrying it inside the trailer and only putting it in the front window while at the campsite *IF* I needed it, which was only half the time. That worked well until I took a cross-country road trip that involved several 1-night stopovers, and then the repeated in-and-out got tiresome. Then I installed it semi-permanently in a side window. That was OK for a couple of years until I discovered that due to the size and layout of my particular trailer, It didn't cool the whole trailer as well in the side window as it did in the front window. Then the seal between the unit and the window frame started to leak in the rain. That's when I bought the 9,000 BTU roof unit with the "heat strip." While I have some angst about how tall it makes the trailer, I am happier now about it being permanently installed. I wrote about my window air conditioner:

My Easily Removeable Window Air Conditioner

*Note*
The most important aspect of my window air conditioner was how the installation was balanced with half inside and half outside. They don't make that particular model anymore, but they're available reconditioned...

Amazon.com - Zenith Zw5010 5, 000 Btu Window Air Conditioner -

Most window air conditioners now are designed to totally stick outside, which would require extra support bracing on a trailer, and might be a problem sticking out on the side instead of the front or back. This is why in-cabinet or in-closet installations with vents to the outside are better than in-window installations.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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Name: Paige
Trailer: shopping
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Your answers have helped me so much. Thank you all. I can focus my search better now. I think I've been too worried about the height issue, and a roof unit will be better for me to cool TT and for my physical abilities too. Ideally, i would travel where weather is nice, but I have an old kitty that deserves to be comfy even if i make mistakes. : )
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:28 PM   #12
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Trailer: Prius camping - want an Oliver
Virginia
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Hi Paige - also look into the Lil Snoozy, built in South Carolina. The AC is attached to the back of the trailer, so no height problem. There's a used one for sale on the forum.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:59 PM   #13
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Paige, you stated that you have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V-8 & tow package. I don't know the year or the size of the engine, but the smallest version that they put out had a tow capacity of 6500 lbs. You may have gotten some false advice from someone who automatically thought of a "short wheel base" Wrangler when they heard "Jeep" for towing, which then WOULD limit you to 2000lbs. Your fiberglass trailer of choice should almost be limitless.
Good luck
Dave & Paula
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