Non rooftop A/C solution alternative - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-28-2017, 09:07 AM   #1
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Non rooftop A/C solution alternative

For everyone who has considered putting a roof top a/c on a Scamp, Boler or other similar fiberglass rv, we all know that they were not designed for the weight of these big units. While you can do a simple mod to add a window unit a/c, which I did as well, another option for climate control is Dometic's Under Bench A/C unit. This unit appears to be specifically designed for under bench installation in RV and offers a number of benefits including not adding to the height of your trailer for those who still wish to put it in the garage, no worries of sagging roofs or water leaks, no running of wires under the ensolite or rat fur to the ceiling...

Now I am sure it may not be as inexpensive as a window unit but at 10000 BTUs for their 3000 watt model, I would have definitely considered this when renovating our '71 Boler. If the 5000 btu unit I have ever goes out I may just consider replacing it with this one for the large btu capacity alone, as I know I can't fit a 10000 btu window unit in the space of my existing unit.

It seems to me like this would be the ideal unit for Scamp, Casita, Parkliner and other fiberglass rv manufacturers to install in their new units. If we ever upgrade to a new unit this will definitely be an option we ask for!

For some reason I can't find it on Dometics USA site but it is on their UK site so it may take getting a Dometic dealer involved to get it here in the US.



https://www.dometic.com/en-gb/uk/pro...l-3000-_-21027
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
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Johnny, I don't think the freshwell units are available in North America - and electrically they use 230V mains.

Another case of a nice piece of equipment that's available almost everywhere but here - like a tropical rated absorption fridge.

If I were rebuilding an old Boler or similar and wanted a permanent AC solution, I'd seriously look into retrofitting a small mini split unit.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:56 AM   #3
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There are small marine V berth units out there
Marine Air Self Contained Air Conditioning Systems | Tropical Marine Air Conditioning

https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-p...ing-solutions/
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:19 AM   #4
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Johnny, I don't think the freshwell units are available in North America - and electrically they use 230V mains.

Another case of a nice piece of equipment that's available almost everywhere but here - like a tropical rated absorption fridge.

If I were rebuilding an old Boler or similar and wanted a permanent AC solution, I'd seriously look into retrofitting a small mini split unit.
I did see the 230v input voltage but I also saw it listed a 12v input voltage. I bet they might have a 120v model available, if not it could be converted over.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:21 AM   #5
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Very interesting! I see they offer a DC only solutions but requires a dedicated bank of batteries at 29 amps...
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:27 PM   #6
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That was just a quick google example, a good marina parts counter will be able to find one to fit your needs. They are out there if you are willing to pay. I like to look around and learn about non window and roof top options too
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:49 PM   #7
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I'm sticking with the good ole roof top unit. It's been up there 17 years and thousands of miles and is still kickin
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:54 PM   #8
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Has anyone used the portable room units that vent through 4" hose? Wondering about getting one, and only taking it when we go in hot weather, save weight, and they are available for a $150-250 depending on size etc.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:05 PM   #9
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https://climateright.com/air-conditi...-heater-2.html
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Old 07-28-2017, 04:14 PM   #10
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Have been some folks with the front bath Scamps/Casitas that have set them on the shower floor and vented them through the bathroom window with the type that expends the moisture through the exhaust. 8000 to 9000 btu
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:25 PM   #11
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For everyone who has considered putting a roof top a/c on a Scamp, Boler or other similar fiberglass rv, we all know that they were not designed for the weight of these big units. While you can do a simple mod to add a window unit a/c, which I did as well, another option for climate control is Dometic's Under Bench A/C unit. This unit appears to be specifically designed for under bench installation in RV and offers a number of benefits including not adding to the height of your trailer for those who still wish to put it in the garage, no worries of sagging roofs or water leaks, no running of wires under the ensolite or rat fur to the ceiling...

Now I am sure it may not be as inexpensive as a window unit but at 10000 BTUs for their 3000 watt model, I would have definitely considered this when renovating our '71 Boler. If the 5000 btu unit I have ever goes out I may just consider replacing it with this one for the large btu capacity alone, as I know I can't fit a 10000 btu window unit in the space of my existing unit.

It seems to me like this would be the ideal unit for Scamp, Casita, Parkliner and other fiberglass rv manufacturers to install in their new units. If we ever upgrade to a new unit this will definitely be an option we ask for!

For some reason I can't find it on Dometics USA site but it is on their UK site so it may take getting a Dometic dealer involved to get it here in the US.
Dometic used to sell an under bench AC unit in the US. Their primary customers for it were the long haul truckers. But that market is now gone with the onset of the "no idle" regulations that is in place in a number of states across the country. That regulation does not permit trucks to idle at night while parked which was how they were powering the under bench ACs. But you could look on Ebay for one of those old model units. Not sure what the model name was but most likely it is somewhere in the Dometic website support information section of the website.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EricAllyn View Post
Has anyone used the portable room units that vent through 4" hose? Wondering about getting one, and only taking it when we go in hot weather, save weight, and they are available for a $150-250 depending on size etc.
If you do, the three hose units are better than the two. They pull in outside air for cooling the unit and pump it back out. The two hose unit uses room air to cool and has to suck in outide HOT air to replace it.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:30 PM   #13
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So. I say again, Mine is 17 years old (roof top)with countless miles. Works great. We have limited storage in these things and now we are going to use it up on an AC. 5000 btu will not cool one of these campers and it is a shame to cut a hole to fit a residential window unit or a unit under the seat on the floor . Are they designed to have a window unit under the dinette as I have seen? Don't over think it. Roof top works great.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:56 PM   #14
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I was thinking more along these lines
LG Electronics 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier Function with LCD Remote-LP0817WSR - The Home Depot
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:58 PM   #15
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The idea was to only carry it when it se3emed like it would be needed at night. Most of the time it would stay home and when hauled, would probably ride in the TV.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:40 PM   #16
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It will work if you want the hassle and give up the space.
You need a place to install it and it needs to be well secured when you travel.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:26 PM   #17
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We used a portable AC unit for several years but it took quite a bit of space in our small camper. The portable was 7,200 btu and quite inefficient. I am currently installing a Fantastic Vent so I can remove the warm air.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmartin748 View Post
Don't over think it. Roof top works great.
I would say the rooftop unit cools great, but there are some cases where it won't work - like on certain trailers without adequate rooftop support to add it. The other thing is (and this is pretty much universally true of every single rooftop unit ever) they are very noisy.

A suitably sized under bench type unit (were it available) would fit the bill for lots of different small trailers, with the advantage that the roof doesn't have to be reconstructed/reinforced to support it, and that they are by nature much less noisy when operating.

The best permanent solution in my opinion, for a small trailer, is a mini split unit. Whisper quiet, plenty of BTUs, and no roof support needed.

It's not over thinking it. It's looking for solutions for certain situations that may not apply in your case.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:56 AM   #19
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Under mount AC

If I were starting from scratch and had the option, I would choose an under mounted AC unit for several reasons. Lower height than a roof mount which means 1)the carport you will need can be over a foot lower and it just might fit into your existing garage and 2) lower center of gravity so it behaves slightly less tippy in an emergency maneuver. Also one less leak area and quieter to boot. My new RPod 171(fiberglass and aluminum) came with a roof mounted unit but at $15K really loaded I will deal with it. Gotta get a 10' foot carport though rather than an 8'. Don't under think it.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cmartin748 View Post
So. I say again, Mine is 17 years old (roof top)with countless miles. Works great. We have limited storage in these things and now we are going to use it up on an AC. 5000 btu will not cool one of these campers and it is a shame to cut a hole to fit a residential window unit or a unit under the seat on the floor . Are they designed to have a window unit under the dinette as I have seen? Don't over think it. Roof top works great.
Charles, unless your unit is prepped at the factory for a roof top a/c, most older eggs are not capable of handling the roof mount a/c units (mine included) without causing issues such as roof sag. I also am not a fan of cutting a hole for a window unit although I did it as didn't have any other options at the time. The under bench unit would work and take up about the same amount of space as my window unit but allows me more flexibility in venting without cutting a hole in the shell.

The previous owner did put a roof mount on ours and didn't reinforce the roof unless you consider a 3x3 piece of untreated plywood screwed to the roof reinforcement...it rotted out in less than 2 years, caused roof sag and bowing out of the body that took me 2 years to get straightened out back like original. I contemplated reinforcing the roof to put the roof top back up there as it is 10000 btu as opposed to our 5000 btu window unit install and the space gained would be nice, but overall all things considered these small light weight fiberglass trailers would be better off overall with an underbench a/c designed for that purpose for all the reasons mentioned.
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