Help, a Canadian travelling to a warmer climate? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:43 PM   #1
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Name: Bill
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Help, a Canadian travelling to a warmer climate?

Hello

I have a 1977, 14' Surfside and I need advise regarding how to provide air conditioning?

My thoughts have been to place a AC unit on the roof?? or in the rear window.

Also, previous owners may have 'played' with the wiring and how do I check it out?

Any help/ advise is appreciated.

I live in Hamilton Ontario.

Thank you

Bill
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Hello Bill - It might be worthwhile looking around for a small portable AC unit rather than a permanently installed one. That would be my first idea, especially given the size of your rig.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:39 PM   #3
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AC unit for small trailer

Hi Bill,

it depends on where and when you are going? If you plan on Mexico or south you may need it. I never did since I always stayed near the coast. I spent winters in Florida (Keys & Pt Charlotte) and never missed AC in winter, but heaters at times. I spent time in southern Texas on the beach no AC in winter and never missed it. I replaced all my switches and 110 V outlets when I bought my T4500 a couple of years ago. Have fun remember in the US you can buy cheap AC untits at WalMart anywhere except the Keys.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ckayaker View Post
Hello Bill - It might be worthwhile looking around for a small portable AC unit rather than a permanently installed one. That would be my first idea, especially given the size of your rig.
Thank you for your reply.

I will look at portable AC units.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jokra View Post
Hi Bill,

it depends on where and when you are going? If you plan on Mexico or south you may need it. I never did since I always stayed near the coast. I spent winters in Florida (Keys & Pt Charlotte) and never missed AC in winter, but heaters at times. I spent time in southern Texas on the beach no AC in winter and never missed it. I replaced all my switches and 110 V outlets when I bought my T4500 a couple of years ago. Have fun remember in the US you can buy cheap AC untits at WalMart anywhere except the Keys.
Thank you for the advise.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:46 PM   #6
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Also, you might consider where in the south you're going. If it's normally a humid area, you'll need AC. But, if it's a drier climate, a DIY swamp cooler might be sufficient.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:44 PM   #7
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WE have a Trillium 4500 and I installed a fantastic fan works great and no need for an air conditioner.We go to Flordia in the winter and never had a heat related problem
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:34 AM   #8
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The portable A/C is a good idea. Try to go for one of the "dual hose" ones - they're more efficient.

A roof A/C almost certainly won't work. Fiberglass RVs with roof A/Cs are usually reinforced around that area specifically so they can hold the weight.

DIY swamp cooler is also a good idea, but only if you're going to be in the actual desert. It's hard enough to keep humidity down inside a trailer as is. If you do go with a swamp cooler, do stick with DIY. The small retail ones seem to all be junk.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:33 AM   #9
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We've stayed in FL often in the winter and never needed AC in our Scamp.

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Old 01-05-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
The portable A/C is a good idea. Try to go for one of the "dual hose" ones - they're more efficient.

A roof A/C almost certainly won't work. Fiberglass RVs with roof A/Cs are usually reinforced around that area specifically so they can hold the weight.

DIY swamp cooler is also a good idea, but only if you're going to be in the actual desert. It's hard enough to keep humidity down inside a trailer as is. If you do go with a swamp cooler, do stick with DIY. The small retail ones seem to all be junk.
Thank you for your reply.

At this point, I am leaning towards a roof air conditioner (Dometec?) low profile because of the simple installation. I believe the total weight is 125 lbs. I need more information on the possible problems.

I'm not aware of a DIY Swamp cooler, what is it? do you have a picture or a link, to see one?

Thank you for your help
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:22 PM   #11
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We've stayed in FL often in the winter and never needed AC in our Scamp.

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Thank you for your reply.

My concern is that we are now seeing +30 C + high humidity, here in Ontario.

I want the flexibility to travel anywhere.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:48 PM   #12
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A swamp cooler is something that cools the air by evaporating water. The retail ones you can buy in stores all seem to be terrible quality, so people make their own.

There's some instructions online for various designs. The simplest is to just set up a fan blowing across the top of an ultrasonic humidifier.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:50 PM   #13
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Jokra- we had to run the a/c in our Lake Placid house back between Christmas and New Years when even TWC admitted we had record highs. It is cooler if in a well forested area, but humidity remains a problem. I have heat induced asthma and to be frank, one of the reasons for the Canadian Maritimes trip scheduled for June is to look at alternative living areas for summer. A/C is not always a luxury- sometimes it is a necessity!
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:23 PM   #14
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You probably will not need a/c in Florida from Dec 1-Mar-1, just a good fan. Humidity is low in the winter and a fan can handle those warm days.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:58 PM   #15
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I got by in Southern Cal and Arizona in the winter with no AC.

Also got by in warmer summer months up North with only a good 12V fan over the bed.

You need to be very careful about installing a roof AC as many of the older small fiberglass trailers were not designed to take the weight on the roof. So the roof would probable need to be reinforced in order to hold up the AC. A portable window AC may be an easier option.
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Old 01-06-2017, 05:43 PM   #16
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We installed an AC 5 years ago because we were going to be in the Midwest in the summer. In 1500 days I bet it's been on 30 days.

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