Long term usage of Mini-Split A/C units - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
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Long term usage of Mini-Split A/C units

Other than the unit installed by "shawnin99" on youtube, has anyone else put a mini-split system in their Fiberglass campers? I am very curious about the flexing of the line sets through the body of the camper. Is there sufficient rigidity? Do stress cracks become a problem?

The COOLMYCAMPER unit (UK) has flexible lines, but I don't see any North American companies offering a setup with flexible lines.

Anybody know anything about using these units?
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likeair2me View Post
Other than the unit installed by "shawnin99" on youtube, has anyone else put a mini-split system in their Fiberglass campers? I am very curious about the flexing of the line sets through the body of the camper. Is there sufficient rigidity? Do stress cracks become a problem?

The COOLMYCAMPER unit (UK) has flexible lines, but I don't see any North American companies offering a setup with flexible lines.

Anybody know anything about using these units?
An Escape owner added one to his 19. This is a thread on the topic on the Escape Forum. Excellent write up and discussion.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:16 PM   #3
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We have a Mini-Split system in our house.
I don't know how small they make them, but all the ones I've seen have Japanese names.
Since the connecting lines are supplied by the installing contractor, I should think they could easily use flexible (rubber or vinyl) lines for short distances.
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:22 PM   #4
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I installed my mini split with copper lines with no real problems.
You need to pull a hard vacuum and the systems are precharged so little else in needed.
I ran my lines along the back of the upper cabinets.
Personally the mini split works for us and keeps the weight low instead of on the roof.
My frame was extended to allow for the addition of a front bath pan and the A/C unit.
It also would tend to make the tongue weight lower (all other things equal) and the trailer more stable and easier to back up.
With the 16' Scamp and the (K BTU heat pump it is oversized and tends to overcool very easily.
The inverter compressor and internal fan means that there is no starting surge and my Harbor Freight inverter generator easily runs the whole thing.
The A/C draws about 9 amps at 120 vac.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
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Redbarron, I would love to see some pictures of your installation of the mini-split. I am afraid It might be overkill in my egg, since I only have a 13.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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Watching this thread as I am looking to to this when funds allow. Here's what I'm looking at.

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Old 06-12-2017, 07:32 AM   #7
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:18 AM   #8
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Its been a few months but I am going to reply because while shopping at one of my favorite online plumbing supply places, I stumbled across a 12K BTU mini-split heat pump with this description:
A MRCOOL DIY Series heat pump is the only ductless mini-split system on the market explicitly designed for amateur installation. You don't need special tools or training to install this high efficiency heat pump.
See: https://www.supplyhouse.com/Mr-Cool-...17-5-SEER-115V
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
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I have had my 9000 BTU mini-split heat pump for a couple of years and my observations are:
1. A 9000 BTU mini-split is smallest available and it is too big for my 16' Scamp. The mini-split seems to be much more efficient that an roof top system.
2. The Mini-split is MUCH quieter than the roof top. At meets other owners have commented on how quiet the unit is even with high fan.
3. The weight is much lower than the Roof Top .
4. The weight is not much higher (if any) than the roof top.
5. There is no need to get on the roof or reinforce the roof since it is not installed there.
6. There is a problem finding a good place to mount the inside and outside units and this must be taken into account.
7. The clearances for the outside unit seem to be pretty easily enough. My unit does not have the recommended clearance and it has never had any problem cooling or heating.
The fan outside is a variable speed unit and with the relatively low airflow there is plenty of clearance for that.
8. The inside unit moves air better than a top mount unit in my opinion. The problem is where are you going to mount it?
9. The installation was fairly easy once you figure out where to mount it and how you are going to run the refrigerant lines. You need a Harbor Freight vacuum pump and proper gauges. The units are delivered with the proper refrigerant in the the compressor unit.
10. I planned for the space for mounting the outside unit when I extended the frame and made allowances for the front bathroom addition. An extra 18" or so leaves enough room.


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Old 02-01-2018, 09:59 AM   #10
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I have yet to find a 5000 BTU split system. 9000 BTU is the smallest I have found.
Though, I did find this at Wayfair.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:24 AM   #11
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I have yet to find a 5000 BTU split system. 9000 BTU is the smallest I have found.
Though, I did find this at Wayfair.
My guess is that there would be a very large difference in the efficiency of the two units.
The Mini-Split I bought is pretty efficient and there are no long un-insulated hoses connecting to the trailer that would restrict airflow.
The inside unit has the air inlet across the entire top that would funnel the hot air at the roof in for cooling and distribution along the entire trailer.
This is a possible drawback in the winter when it is very cold.
We find that in the winter we are better served by cracking open the vent in the roof so that some heat escapes and the heat runs more to keep from stratifying the warm air at the top.
The Scamp is not really insulated for very cold weather, but I added extra insulation along the wall by the beds that help a little in some upholstered pads.
The outside unit weighs about 68 lbs and the inside about 16 lbs with maybe 10 lbs of lines and wiring.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:22 PM   #12
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Just be aware that A/Cs made for home use, in a stationary application, may not have the internal structures to withstand the vibration of road travel.
Automotive and Heavy Off road equipment A/Cs are made of sterner stuff.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:38 PM   #13
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Having looked at both I don't think that is a particular concern.
Probably the shipping is more stressful.
The environment might be worse, but I there is probably little there as well.
Mounting the equipment is probably more critical than anything else.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:19 PM   #14
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Mini-Split A/C

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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Having looked at both I don't think that is a particular concern.
Probably the shipping is more stressful.
The environment might be worse, but I there is probably little there as well.
Mounting the equipment is probably more critical than anything else.
Still looking for one of these. Can you give us more details on the brand, price, BTU's, mounting the two parts, where purchased?

I'm in Canada and haven't found anything yet.

Much obliged.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:53 PM   #15
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Still looking for one of these. Can you give us more details on the brand, price, BTU's, mounting the two parts, where purchased?

I'm in Canada and haven't found anything yet.

Much obliged.
You really need to check out the link sent in post 2 of this thread. Lots of info there.

What I have found out where I live in Canada is that no one will warranty them if you do the install. So it is a big risk right from the start.
If you do find someone to install it...most want upwards of $550. I found that they are not honest on the phone saying that the charge is very expensive etc...but the units come pre charge so there is no cost for that. Once I catch them in that lie things go down hill from there as they want you to believe that they are god like and only they have the knowledge to install them. When actually all you need them for is to evacuate the air out of the system.
I just can not risk that the constant move movement on ruff roads will not crack the lines and loose the charge. Just the evac and charge alone is over $250.
Good luck
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:45 PM   #16
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Go to a HVAC dealer,
All things considered, you are better off with a roof mounted A/C which is is made for the trailer. It is self contained with no need for charging at install.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
You really need to check out the link sent in post 2 of this thread. Lots of info there.

What I have found out where I live in Canada is that no one will warranty them if you do the install. So it is a big risk right from the start.
If you do find someone to install it...most want upwards of $550. I found that they are not honest on the phone saying that the charge is very expensive etc...but the units come pre charge so there is no cost for that. Once I catch them in that lie things go down hill from there as they want you to believe that they are god like and only they have the knowledge to install them. When actually all you need them for is to evacuate the air out of the system.
I just can not risk that the constant move movement on ruff roads will not crack the lines and loose the charge. Just the evac and charge alone is over $250.
Good luck
Thanks for the heads-up on the link on the previous page. I missed seeing that. Lots to read from the Escape clan.

As for cost, I'm fortunate that my son-in-law is an HVAC electrician so he can get a unit for me at wholesale and do the installation for the price of some beer! Not too worried about the warranty issue as I'm sure he will choose a unit that has a good reputation and will install it with this in mind. I'm thinking rubber feet for the jostling of the exterior unit and an appropriate water/dust proof cover for when travelling, for example. I'll let you know how things proceed.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:14 PM   #18
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That is great news that you have someone in the bizz. That is what the Escape owner had. It will make all the difference. If I had someone like that, I would have installed one myself for sure. Very low noise and being able to power it with less than 15 amps is a big plus.
Hope to see it at the Boler 50th!
Good luck
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:40 PM   #19
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Thanks Ed. I'll be there. In the generator area if I get this unit set-up in time!

Will you be in the caravan heading East?
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:58 PM   #20
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Buy a vacuum pump at Harbor Freight or borrow one.
Gauges and line set.
Evacuate the system. Make sure it holds a vacuum.
Ease the valves open and you are done.
I bought mine on my trailer several years ago on a Spring sale from Johnstone Supply.
There are numerous for sale on ebay.
I liked mine in the camper so much I bought one for my Florida room.
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