Portable Air Conditioner - Anyone Try It? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2020, 07:39 PM   #1
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Portable Air Conditioner - Anyone Try It?

Has anyone tried one of these portable air conditioners? We cooked this last weekend in our 13 Scamp & was hoping this may work.

Thanks for your info & please let us know how to attach to window etc.Click image for larger version

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Old 07-07-2020, 06:23 AM   #2
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https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...amp-51948.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...per-88168.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...-rv-59659.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ner-42817.html
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:18 AM   #3
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I tried one a few years ago in my home and was not impressed. After two nights with very poor performance I returned it. A small room air conditioner worked far better.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:51 AM   #4
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We tried a 8k BTU unit in our Bigfoot TF20, about 16ft of living space plus the overhead area. During a real hot spell, it was barely able to do the job. The issue I have with these is the air used to ventilate the hot side is sucked from inside the camper, then it blows it out that duct. This in turn pulls hot air from outside into the camper making it harder to keep it cool inside.
So if I were to do it again I would not get one any smaller than 9k BTU, and if you look hard you can find one that has a accommodation to add a second hose that sucks the air for the hot side from outside too. That would make a huge difference.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:19 AM   #5
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My two sons live in San Jose, CA and both have these air conditioners in their bedrooms and they work very well. The house they live in does not have AC and becomes quite hot. Get the largest available. We were shocked when we went to visit and learned that almost no one has AC in the San Jose area.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:28 AM   #6
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The problem with these is the hot air has to be expelled outside. The tube used to expel the hot air is not insulated and acts like a radiator. It does get quite hot. My next door neighbor used to wrap an old blanket around the tube to cut down on the heat being radiated back into the room.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:40 AM   #7
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Bubble wrap works also. Simple hacks to increase efficiency. Wish I had one of these when we were young and tent camping. I suspect these would work well with a smaller Big Foot which is well insulated. Also they are quite large relative to a small FB trailer.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:29 PM   #8
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Barry,

Instead, I might suggest mounting a 5000 BTU Frigidaire window unit in the back (slider) window of your Scamp after you arrive at a campsite (you can't [or at least shouldn't!] travel with one of these in the back window.)

We have used a 5000 BTU window unit in both our 2014 Scamp13 and our 2017 Scamp16 Deluxe Layout A. It isn't as convenient as a top-mounted unit but, it is much quieter, cheaper, and it has cooled both trailers very well.

You can probably find several designs of mounting platforms on earlier forum posts.

It took a couple of design attempts but, I've now created a mount that protects the window and window track, supports much of the weight down to the rear bumper of the trailer, and prevents rain and bugs from coming into the trailer.

I think that I've heard that the rear window of most/all Scamps since 1985 will open (both glass and screen) wide enough to accommodate the Frigidaire 5000 BTU unit (possibly other small units as well?). Still, you should open your glass and screen, measure the opening, and compare dimensions to whatever window AC you decide on.

After opening the window and screen, I pad the window track (bottom) and the top and side edges with either split pool noodles or rubber pipe insulating foam. I then put a 2-piece wooden frame (1/4" plywood + 1" x 2.5" to 3" pine) into the opening that pulls up tight against the foam/pool-noodles (with bolts and wing nuts) to seal out rain and/or bugs. (That frame also protects the side glass and trailer fiberglass against any damage that might otherwise happen while lifting the window AC into place.)

I then put a wooden platform over the wooden window frame and support the back edge down to the rear bumper of the Scamp (with a PVC pipe) to support some of the weight.

Most of the time, we don't need/want AC but when heat and humidity are too much for fans, we can still have a relatively quiet and cool/comfortable trailer.

I'm still trying to make the whole thing even easier to mount and prettier ... but it works!

Try not to be too critical but, the pix in the following Google Drive link may help you design your own mount:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...4L?usp=sharing



Ray
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:42 PM   #9
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My stepson had one for a very small studio apartment. It was ok, but not great. Different brand though. We just scrapped it a few weeks ago after it was sitting unused in the garage for a couple years.
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Old 07-07-2020, 01:13 PM   #10
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We used a portable A/C unit and also found it to be very inefficient, takes up too much space in our small camper and the vacuum it makes draws in water past the door seals when it rains. We are doing without until I figure out a way to properly install a 5,000 BTU window unit.
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Old 07-07-2020, 01:36 PM   #11
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Portable AC

I have a 5K portable in my Northern Lite TC. It's cumbersome but we find it works OK. You do have to provide a vent source to allow outside air to compensate for what gets blown out the exhaust hose though.



I installed a 14k dual hose unit in my dad's house and it works very well. The first hose draws outside air into the unit and the second hose exhausts the hot, moist air to the outside. There is no negative airspace created and no hot air is sucked into the room.



I have a beef/business opportunity for one of the AC manufacturers. Create a 5 - 8k BTU dual hose AC that is small and relatively light in weight. The world would beat a path to your door.



There is one unit out there, the Climateright 5000, but it's pretty expensive and reviews are mediocre at best. Good luck. Maybe someone will make a smaller dual hose AC unit for RVs that comes in the $350 price range and fits under a dinette or storage space. I'd buy one in a heartbeat because I want to be able to keep my Fantastic Fan.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:10 PM   #12
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I think rdickens has the superior suggestion, although perhaps a bit cumbersome if you actually travel and only spend a few days in any one campsite. Alternatives to a roof mount don't seem to have many, if any, advantages.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:42 PM   #13
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room AC in a camper

I am nearing the end of building a new mount for my new AC so I can install it in an emergency exit window. My previous mount fit a 8000 BTU unit which is too heavy and oversized for my Lil Hauley. I used luan for the plywood and reinforced the air conditioner opening and installed weather seal similar to what you find around residential entry doors. I also modified the air conditioner mounting brackets for my application (so much for the warranty). I mounted a piece of wood across the top with a rabbet cut to fit the frame of the window. Two twist latches at the bottom secure the unit in the window frame. The AC unit sits in the opening with a single twist latch at the top to hold it in the frame. When installed I have to tip the AC unit so condensation flows to the outside. I just installed the window today, which is just a piece of lexan and a rabbeted frame to hold it in place. I caulked the outside and will paint it tomorrow.

The air condition weighs 40 lbs and it only takes a couple minutes to remove the screen, install the mounting frame, extend the prop rod and put in the AC unit. In the last two years of camping we have only used an AC unit 5 days. I just carry it in the truck in case we need it.

The reason I took this approach is that the vast majority of the time we don't need it. A permanently installed unit takes up tooooo much room and a roof mounted unit is too noisy, requires a hole in the roof and it wouldn't fit in my garage.

One caveat is you don't want to tip the AC unit when removing it because the accumulated condensation will run out and make you look like you peeed yourself.
Attached Thumbnails
camper ac1 - Edited.jpg   camper ac2 - Edited.jpg  

camper ac3 - Edited.jpg  
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:52 PM   #14
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Cost and noise level are the only advantages. (I've heard my sister complain about the noise level from their top-mounted AC and some folks say that, if the top-mount is running, they can't sleep without earplugs.)

As we both agree, alternatives are not as convenient as flipping the switch on a top-mount. Especially inconvenient for 1 night stays enroute to a longer-duration destinarion.

If we needed AC more than 10% of our trips, I guess I might invest in a top-mount and earplugs.

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Old 07-07-2020, 08:27 PM   #15
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Sorry folks!

I guess Google Drive changed some default permissions for sharing?

Try this link again:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...4L?usp=sharing

And in case that doesn't work, I'll try to attach some smaller embedded pix.



Ray
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20200616_155330_smaller.jpg   20200616_160407_smaller.jpg  

20200616_163006_smaller.jpg   20200616_185546_smaller.jpg  

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Old 07-08-2020, 03:19 PM   #16
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Thanks for all of the pictures!

Our Scamp has the 2 side 1/2 horizontal sliding windows. Would a 500 BTU A/C work for these windows?

My brother asked about a "Slice" A/C system. Has anyone heard of this?
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:46 PM   #17
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AFAIK - The back window is the only one with a large enough opening to accommodate an AC with sufficient BTUs to cool a Scamp.

I have no idea what a Slice is ...
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
AFAIK - The back window is the only one with a large enough opening to accommodate an AC with sufficient BTUs to cool a Scamp.

I have no idea what a Slice is ...
Shoot.... our rear & front window don't open.

Sorry... I meant Split A/C


https://modernize.com/hvac/central-air-conditioner-installation/splitp
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryra View Post
...
Sorry... I meant Split A/C
...
Yes a few have installed mini-split heat pumps... There was some concern that they are not built for the frequent vibration from road travel, but it seems they might survive it long enough to make it practical.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...its-80173.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ces-79339.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...nit-58009.html
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryra View Post
Shoot.... our rear & front window don't open.

Sorry... I meant Split A/C


https://modernize.com/hvac/central-a...llation/splitp
I thought that the rear window on all Scamps since 1985 opened?
Since your profile indicated a 1993 Scamp, I thought yours would open?

Ray
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