AC install in 1997 16' Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-23-2020, 09:37 AM   #1
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Name: Bre
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AC install in 1997 16' Scamp

I brought home a project 1997 16' Scamp a couple weeks ago. Previous owners had installed (poorly) an AC unit under the rear dinette via a large hole in the fiberglass. It wasn't sealed so naturally it leaked and destroyed the floor in the rear dinette area. I have removed the AC unit and replaced the floor (photos show original install and after it was removed) and am now trying to decide how to provide AC. I live in the south and with the heat and humidity it is 100% necessary to have AC.

Should I use a window unit that I take in and out of the window for each trip? Should I permanently install a window unit in the existing hole?
Or permanently install a thru-the-wall unit in the existing hole?

I'm fairly handy but don't know a whole lot about AC units. Thanks for any advice!
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:54 AM   #2
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I wouldn't put the AC back in that hole. The cold air is blowing over your legs and cold air stays at the bottom of the trailer. On my 13 foot Boler I put a small window AC in the rear sliding window with the air directed towards the ceiling. That way the cold air doesn't hit me directly and it circulates better. I do have to take it down when traveling.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Name: JD
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Window units are cheap and easily obtained. Perhaps the installation could be better and perhaps you should try doing a better job of it before you scrap it.
Perhaps a tray underneath and fiberglassing the floor etc?
We use a separate small fan to blow air around even with out mini-split (mostly because Connie likes to have air blowing over her all the time and COLD).
There is already a hole there that needs to be fixed so...
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Perhaps the installation could be better and perhaps you should try doing a better job of it before you scrap it..................
There is already a hole there that needs to be fixed so...
Those are my thoughts. Location is not ideal but it is already there, if it works for your style of camping then go fo it. It would not work for me as I leave the rear dinette set up as a bed all the time. Scampís location in the bottom of the closet is another option for still using a standard window A/C.
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your replies so far! The plan is to leave the rear dinette as a bed 100% of the time. That may influence if the existing hole is a good idea or not.
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:08 PM   #6
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My thinking is if you leave the table down as a bed you would be giving up prime storage area. You would need to leave the area in front of the a/c open so it would function fully. I would do as suggested and install it into a rear window.
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:50 PM   #7
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Scamp 2015 AC unit

We installed a mini-split air conditioner on our Scamp. It works great! Its quiet, it has a thermostat and you can direct the air. The outside unit is on the front of the camper. The inside mini is above the table. We lost the cabinet but its worth it.

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Old 09-23-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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It put in the mini-split as well. Heat pump heats and cools.
Works great.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:47 AM   #9
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Window air conditioners produce water thru condensation that requies proper sloping to drain outside. If not sloped, water will drain inside. Either slope it correctly, or, engineer a good drain system to the outside.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:01 PM   #10
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Originally the scamps had a modified window air conditioner mounted in the bottom of a closet on the side. It was actually a pretty small unit, but you should not need much. I replaced mine with one that was about as small as you can get and it still will freeze you out quickly in very hot weather.



Now I would wonder if you had a leak or if the condensation from the air conditioner was the problem. That is a problem when one is done where it is mostly inside the condensation drains out of the bottom a lot of times and onto the floor.



now the way scamp used to do this is like mine. Here are a couple pictures of what I have now. I replaced the old one when it failed. The unit is those grills right to the left of the door and it is in my closet where you hang clothing. Would probably have gotten one that mounts on top if the unit was built for that, but it was not and I didn't want to figure out how to make that work.



Now this is a several day job for a good handyman. And it takes time to find the right unit. It does have to fit. This is the about smallest you can get, but it also is a lot more powerful than the unit that was in there. The way it works is to kind of move the outside into the trailer. See the two grills to the side of the door. The took about 4 inch grill is an air inlet and it goes to the back of the part of the air conditioner that is normally outside. Or basically it comes into the middle of the air conditioner. Then the air conditioner does its magic and shots hotter air that then allows it to make cooler air for the inside straight out the back. That is the bottom section of the grill you are looking at.



You have to design and build a structure that will take travel into the closet to hold the air conditioner. And then you have to rig it so that the air can come in the top and then shoot out the back into the outside without the air mixing. The way I did that was to build a treated wood frame around the back that goes directly to the grill that exits the camper. You can actually get the grills at a home improvement store. Then you have to isolate the air flow of the outside air going through the unit from the inside. And it has to not leak and then has to accept that some water will come in the grills. Not as much as you would think, but some. and water is your enemy.

Then when you do all of that you also have to deal with the condensation I just mentioned. Normally air conditioners assume that most of them are outside and that they can drip water anywhere they want to except inside and right around the inside part. And that is bad. So you have to cut a hole in the bottom and then thread it and add a pipe to hose fitting in the bottom just enough to be full into the bottom where the water will be collecting. Then you have to run a short hose, and keep it short out the bottom of the unit. Then all of this needs to be sealed.


This is not a project for the newbee or the faint of heart. But it can be done. Mine is going on four years now.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:36 PM   #11
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Ray, on your retrofit, how does outside air cycle thru the ac to push hot air outside? There must be ducting in the closet?
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peder_y2k View Post
Ray, on your retrofit, how does outside air cycle thru the ac to push hot air outside? There must be ducting in the closet?

It is a version of what they did in the first place. Can't find my build pictures right now. If I do I will post them.



First it you look at the inside picture you will see a closet above the air conditioner. There is a board floor in the closet right above the air conditioner. It is sloped and the top next to the side is right above the top vent. That turns the whole bottom of the closet into essentually outside air. The rest of the walls of the closet are against the wall of the camper. If you look underneath the air conditioner you will see a small door. That is a small storage area that I generally use on the outside of the camper and emergency repair supplies. It also is part of the section that is in the outside air.


The I mounted the air conditioner as you see it. There is a 2x4 frame that it sits in that sits on a 2x8 that sits flat on the floor of the storage area mentioned above. The air conditioner sits on that frame and is fastened into the frame. By the way the frame is all screwed so it can't pull apart with vibration. The original frame was fastened to the side wall and to the wall of the closet right under the old air conditioner. But that had already caused problems so I did something stronger and the air conditioner is actually lighter.



Now what I think you are referencing is that yes the back of the air conditioner doesn't meet the back wall of the camper. With the old setup that gap was about 1 inch and was actually filled with fiber glass insulation. That forced the air coming out of the back of the air conditioner out the bottom grill I mentioned that you can see in the picture. The new unit lacked almost 6 inches of matching up with the wide wall of the camper. So I built what amounted to a wood duct. Might have done metal, but didn't have good metal working tools. Had good wood working tools. Essentially I built a wooden bow with open ends that fits between the air conditioner and that wall. Took like a half a day to get the contours right. But it forces the air to exit through that grill and not back into the inside of the camper dedicated to outside air.
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