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Old 05-27-2021, 10:45 AM   #1
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Scamp
California
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Scamp Window AC project.

What we have: 2014 Scamp 13 (second owners) without a roof AC.
What we wanted: An AC solution with low power draw and quiet operation that we don't need to haul around in winter.

Basically, we were looking for a boondocking AC solution, and didn't want to go down the path of installing a roof unit.

After doing a lot of looking around, I decided on a 5K BTU window unit that fits snugly in our rear window.

While I am really still prototyping it, I've been moving forward with paint and gasketing. The unit has worked well on our Westinghouse 2200 generator.

Future: I'd still like to see it it can reasonably run on solar with 400ah of LiIon batteries, but we have not yet bought into those.
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Old 05-30-2021, 05:30 PM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
North Carolina
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I found this.

https://learnmetrics.com/how-many-wa...ditioners-use/

It indicates that a 5k btu will pull about 600 watts. The unknown here is percentage cycle time. Is it running 100% in AZ in the summer or 40% in AZ in the winter.

After that, 400ah is approximately 400a * 13v = 2600 watt hours. Of course also embedded in there has to be a derating to avoid killing the batteries. So let's call the 200 ah batteries really 200 * .85 = 170 ah usable. 170a * 13v = 2210 watt hours.

So you could run a 600w air conditioner 100% duty cycle for 3.6 hours. Factor in duty cycle and how much solar panel you have...

It all gets messy really quick. But you now know how to do seat of the pants estimates.
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Old 05-31-2021, 07:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcolby123 View Post
I found this.

https://learnmetrics.com/how-many-wa...ditioners-use/

It indicates that a 5k btu will pull about 600 watts. The unknown here is percentage cycle time. Is it running 100% in AZ in the summer or 40% in AZ in the winter.

After that, 400ah is approximately 400a * 13v = 2600 watt hours. Of course also embedded in there has to be a derating to avoid killing the batteries. So let's call the 200 ah batteries really 200 * .85 = 170 ah usable. 170a * 13v = 2210 watt hours.

So you could run a 600w air conditioner 100% duty cycle for 3.6 hours. Factor in duty cycle and how much solar panel you have...

It all gets messy really quick. But you now know how to do seat of the pants estimates.
First, 400 * 13 = 5200 not 2600. Next, the OP says 400 Ahr batteries but you derate 200 Ahr batteries. Somehow you arrive at 3.6 hours ? I'm sorry I don't follow but you're correct, it does get messy.
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Old 06-01-2021, 10:07 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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My 6000 BTU window unit pulls 520 watts. That would be 43.33333 amps at 12 volts. Assuming loss lets round it to 50 amps when running. If your 400 ah of lithium batteries are like Battleborn's then you can draw the entire 400 ah of capacity. In that case you could run the AC for 8 hours straight. Bear in mind, that is assuming no other draws. Your solar will need to be big enough to be able to charge the batteries to full while the AC is running along with any other draws in case you have to run the AC overnight.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:02 AM   #5
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Trailer: Scamp
California
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JWColby, I've measured the running loads on this unit and startup is 520w, and with the compressor running its between 420-430w (eco mode ~390-400w), and the fan on and compressor off, about 50-80w.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcolby123 View Post
I found this.

https://learnmetrics.com/how-many-wa...ditioners-use/

It indicates that a 5k btu will pull about 600 watts. The unknown here is percentage cycle time. Is it running 100% in AZ in the summer or 40% in AZ in the winter.

After that, 400ah is approximately 400a * 13v = 2600 watt hours. Of course also embedded in there has to be a derating to avoid killing the batteries. So let's call the 200 ah batteries really 200 * .85 = 170 ah usable. 170a * 13v = 2210 watt hours.

So you could run a 600w air conditioner 100% duty cycle for 3.6 hours. Factor in duty cycle and how much solar panel you have...

It all gets messy really quick. But you now know how to do seat of the pants estimates.
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:14 AM   #6
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Alex, I'm looking for a reasonable duty cycle of 3-5 hours a day. I'm pretty heat intolerant, so if we are seeing 8+ hours a day of need, I'm just going to go back home (LOL!). We have a portable 170w SunPower flex panel now and I plan on two more roof mounted panels by next year. So that could provide 400w on a good day. Other than the AC, our battery use is pretty low, and we also have a 2500w Westinghouse for those afternoon cool-down periods...

I've been holding off on new Li batteries, as our two 125 AGM's are only 3yo. We are also thinking about a move to a Casita Independence Dlx, so I'll be starting all over again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
My 6000 BTU window unit pulls 520 watts. That would be 43.33333 amps at 12 volts. Assuming loss lets round it to 50 amps when running. If your 400 ah of lithium batteries are like Battleborn's then you can draw the entire 400 ah of capacity. In that case you could run the AC for 8 hours straight. Bear in mind, that is assuming no other draws. Your solar will need to be big enough to be able to charge the batteries to full while the AC is running along with any other draws in case you have to run the AC overnight.
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Old 06-01-2021, 12:38 PM   #7
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Wasn't sure what your use was going to be Paul. That sounds like a viable plan. Even better would be to put the trailer in a shady place and use portable panels put in the sun to charge with. Alternately you could get a canopy large enough for the Scamp to fit under. Another thing, if the trailer is in the sun, would be to shade the AC unit. It will be way more efficient that way.
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Old 06-01-2021, 05:00 PM   #8
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California
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Hey Alex. We have one panel that is floating, but in the southwest US, we often have little or not tree cover. The roof mount has the added benefit of charging while we drive or are away during the day and adding shade via the panels themselves. Also, the floating panel is a bit of a pain in the wind and when we leave the trailer unattended. It is rather big for a 13' Scamp, so we usually leave it in the tow vehicle. Having both allows us a wide mixture of options...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
Wasn't sure what your use was going to be Paul. That sounds like a viable plan. Even better would be to put the trailer in a shady place and use portable panels put in the sun to charge with. Alternately you could get a canopy large enough for the Scamp to fit under. Another thing, if the trailer is in the sun, would be to shade the AC unit. It will be way more efficient that way.
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Old 06-01-2021, 10:36 PM   #9
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Smith Valley, Nevada
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Paul,

Have you run the AC on shore power to see if the 5,000 BTU output is enough on a hot day? And if so, did you shade the AC unit or do anything else to help it.

I've been pondering this mod myself, and wondering what size to get.

This system is the same idea as what Lil Snoozy did/does on their trailers, but I don't know what size unit they use/used.

The trailer I'll be doing it on is a 22 ft model with R24 roof, R13 walls and R11 floor. So, it is bigger, but I think better insulated than the Scamp 13.

Which model did you get?
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:39 AM   #10
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California
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Raspy, good morning.

We purchased based on three things, the BTU needed to 1) cool the volume of a 13' Scamp (5K was more than ample with a Scamp 13 being ~80sqft and the unit being designed for up to 150sqft), and 2) a unit that would clear and slide thru our rear window when open w/o any mods to the trailer. After considerable searching and pricing, this was the unit that worked for us. That said, these small units seem to be in short supply, and it was a bit of work to actually find one... We found it "A" HomeDepot, but it was far from us, so we had to have it shipped to us, luckily HD's shipping was free. Last I checked, Fridigare seems to have upped the BTU rating for this unit to 6K while maintaining the same unit dimensions. and finally, 3) a low starting and running load so I might run it on solar.

Indeed I have run the unit on shore and generator power. And while I have not pictured it, I installed a 120v receptacle to a spare 15amp breaker in the breaker/fuse panel.

I've used it in the upper 90's to low 100's at 2000' and also up to 8000' (with the trailer in direct sun) and it works quietly and quickly lowers the temp. I'd say a "hot" 90-95 degree inside temp drops to the mid 70's in less than 5 min, and gets down to the mid 60's (when I need it) in about 10 min. all in direct sun and outside temps around 100 degrees. I have not tested it under direct sun 110-120 degree heat loads... I just avoid traveling in those conditions.

I do have a cover for the unit, but it is mostly to keep debris out when it is not in use. I also have a piece of corrugated plastic that I use to "shade the unit across the top while it is in use. But again, this is to keep out leaves and debris.

While this mount can more than likely be used while driving, I remove it every time I drive the trailer, so it is important to note the proper tilt of the unit so that condensation does not drain into the trailer. I've seen some people who have drilled a hole to drain the condensation water, but others have argued the condensation water is important to the units cooling capacity.

I'm sure this reply was a bit chatty, but hopefully I've covered what you asked.

Link to this unit at HD.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frigidai...3WAE/312546094


Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Paul,

Have you run the AC on shore power to see if the 5,000 BTU output is enough on a hot day? And if so, did you shade the AC unit or do anything else to help it.

I've been pondering this mod myself, and wondering what size to get.

This system is the same idea as what Lil Snoozy did/does on their trailers, but I don't know what size unit they use/used.

The trailer I'll be doing it on is a 22 ft model with R24 roof, R13 walls and R11 floor. So, it is bigger, but I think better insulated than the Scamp 13.

Which model did you get?
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:09 AM   #11
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Smith Valley, Nevada
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Thanks Paul, Great report. That looks like a much better system than a roof AC.
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Old 06-05-2021, 11:04 AM   #12
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Name: Brigitte
Trailer: Boler
Kansas
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Paul, what material did u use building ur mount on the window? Looks very slick and nice. When u remove the AC unit, does a plexiglass panel cover the hole?
Also looks like u have an inside and an outside panel making the mount, did u screw it in the window part or the shell's fiberglass?
I'm looking into all options for my boler. Im a Canadian living in the US midwest and my blood boils at 90 degrees!!
Thank u!
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #13
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Name: Catherine
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
California
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Hi all,

I bought the same A/C (small profile 5000BTU, 410W, EER 12.2, HP .55, Amp 3.8) which is a "soft start". I've not yet installed in my gutted Compact Jr (13'). I too am going to temp-install in my sliding H/U side window.

The "soft start" is important, as not as much amperage is needed to kick off the motor as the other models of A/C. The "wattage" or "amps" in the spec sheet are "running" specs. My understanding is that Horsepower x Amperage = Amperage needed to START UP the motor (aka Peak Load / Surge).

So anyone looking to duplicate this, there is a big difference with this model. My understanding is that this A/C will also run on my little 26lb 1/2 gal Sportsman 800W (1000W surge) for 6 hours -- due to it being a "soft start." Some people report their little generators shut down when they start up the A/C. My understanding is this is because they did not buy a "soft start" A/C.


Here are some links with useful info that I've found:


https://midwestconstructionrentals.c...tarting%20amps.


https://www.xenonpro.com/peak-amps-v...-jump-starters


Good luck! Stay Cool!
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Old 06-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #14
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Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
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We've used a Frigidaire 5,000 BTU window unit on both our previous Scamp13 and now in our Scamp16.

It has cooled both trailers very well on even the most hot and humid days. It is much much quieter than a top-mounted A/C.

We do not travel with the unit installed; it travels in a 30 gal. tub in the bed of the truck.

It is a fine solution for stays of 2+ days. Installing for only 1 night takes a bit of effort and time. Also, not something you want to do in a pouring rain.

We slide the window & screen over to create the opening and then pad every side of the opening with split pool noodles or pipe foam. We then install an inner/outer frame that is pulled up snug (with wing nuts) against the foam/noodles padding (to prevent rain leaks) and place a wooden platform over the bottom of the frame and support the back edge of the platform down to the rear bumper with a PVC pipe. Then we set the A/C on the platform.

For a trailer longer than 16 feet, you might need a fan to push the cooled air to the far end of the trailer?

I've posted about our installation before and included pictures.

Good luck with your own installations!

Ray
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #15
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Name: Catherine
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
California
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As an additional FYI, my design to install the 40+lb A/C is as follows (in theory LOL).


Since I can't lug the A/C back-and-forth due to my size and age, and since my 13' Compact Jr was gutted the bed when purchased -- I can do whatever I want. As such, I plan to build a 2x2 frame to house a cranking scissor jack that will raise and lower the A/C up to the side window when needed and down into the cab for transport. I'll have a sliding shelf to push the A/C out thru the window far enough to access venting, taking note of the angle for drainage. And yes, then "pool noodle the openings to death."
In the meantime, I'm going to test out a little personal evaporator cooler, (I live in arid west). I've read that if you freeze the filter, it provides a cooler breeze. And my Compact Jr has a pop top, so ventilation to release hot air will not be an issue.

I've also researched that if you install a vent in the floor with a tiny fan, you can bring cooler shaded air inside (especially at night) -- sort of like the old 30's house pantries that they now call "California Coolers", whereby in a floor-to-ceiling narrow wire-shelved cabinet there is a bottom vent for cool air to come in and a top vent for hot air to escape.... And yes, I grew up with one of these, (fascinating how simple the design and how magical the constant gentle air flow was). We kept produce in it like fruit and root veggies. (I plan to create a pantry in the interior framing where the old Ice Chest was using little usb fans and sheet foam insulation -- we'll see if it works!)

BTW, I consider my pre-gutted trailer a hard-sided tent, so I don't have to be fancy and anything goes in the creative DIY department... LOL
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:33 PM   #16
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Florida
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A cover to keep the trailer out of the sun would help as the insulation is pretty much an illusion.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:16 PM   #17
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Name: Catherine
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
California
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Agreed about the cover keeping the cabin cool.



When I've boondocked with a tent, I throw over and stake down a camo-net, which provides shade, blocks the dust, and holds down the tent from blowing in the wind.


With my new-to-me vintage Compact Jr, I don't have an awning. What kind of covering for shade can anyone suggest to use while camping in an "RV Park," that they will allow me to have? I'm afraid if I use the camo-netting, I'll be told to take it down because I'll look like a homeless emcampment....
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