99 degree boondocking - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-04-2020, 05:08 PM   #1
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99 degree boondocking

It is a HOT Fourth of July in west central Wisconsin. With two thermometers showing 99 degrees, one in the shade of the trees and one in the shade of the awning and a light wind and plenty of liquids it still seems comfortable and it is cooling off at night. (Yes there are THREE Scamps on the lot.)
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:31 PM   #2
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Do you feel that the AC is an unnecessary option? That seems to be an everlasting question here
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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99į Boondocking

Lucky you AC0GV....and 3 Scamps!
Happy Fourth!
Enjoy!

AC is definitely a personal preference. Before going to the Boler 50 a few years ago in 104į heat, I would not have thought I could do it, but I found it doable. The Fantastic Fan over the bed worked very well during the evening and I shut it off in the middle of the night because it got too cold. I think it all depends on how you camp and what you get used to or want to get used to redbarron55.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:39 PM   #4
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It also matters if the weather breaks after sundown. I was in Needles, CA and at 4am it was still 99F.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:47 PM   #5
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A/C

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Do you feel that the AC is an unnecessary option? That seems to be an everlasting question here
With the cool nights no. But I would not be with out it. I'M with in walking distance of my house here. The others are using fans but it is cool at night. Last fall in the south east with the record late year heat I really needed it. You can have it and not use it, but some time it could become a heath need.
AS long as I have my fans I can get by most nights, but the older I get the less I can take heat or cold. (I grew up on a farm stacking hay in a 110+ degree barn with no air flow, Ill take today over that any time.)
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:17 AM   #6
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We were boondocking in central Wisconsin ( Pittsville - the geographic center of Wisconsin) on July 4th , 2012 when temps topped 100 . We learned our lesson , this year with temps in the 90’s we just stayed home . Anytime it gets in the 80’s or higher , I want A/C , a roof fan and an open window just doesn’t cut it !!
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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I think, as others, it will depend on where you are, and your circumstances. High humidity AND high temps - it usually won't cool down enough at night, and sweating isn't the cooling option it is designed for.
And if you travel with dogs (or any other furry critter) like I do, I wouldn't be without ac. I may need to leave them in the trailer for a while during the day. Without ac, that could be the equivalent of leaving them in the car - and dogs don't sweat, so even with a fan on, that wouldn't cool them down much.
For me, if I had to choose, it would be ac. I can always pop a fan by an open window if that's all I need at the time.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:11 AM   #8
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What if you could boondock with out shore power and no generator and keep your trailer pretty comfortable inside at between 72-77 degrees depending on shade with the outside temp being over 90 degrees for up to 8 hrs ? Seem possible.

The new 3900 btu unit Happier Camper is testing is actually doing that right now ,we are able to keep the air conditioning running for over 4 hrs with one 120 watt solar panel and an agm battery and should be able to go over 8 hrs with an extra 100 watt panel and lithium battery . This is the smaller of the 2 units HC is testing and so far it has been quite remarkable.While this is being tested on a 13 foot trailer and probably would not be as efficient on an over 15 ft trailer It has kept the trailer very comfortable. If you are someone who would like to keep your trailer feeling like an icebox than it might not be fore you . This unit will keep your trailer around 20-25 degrees cooler than the ambient outside temp depending if you are in full sun or shade.

The strategy to use this unit would not be to simply turn it on when you get to your campsite and just let it run untill your battery dies but to carefully plan its use ,only run it for short periods during the day maybe to cool off a bit but for really to plan for when youíll need it most like when you are turning in for the night and your trailer is still stifling hot and humid. You could then run it for the few hours untill you are ready to sleep and then switch over to eco mode or if it has cooled enough out side switch it to just the fan which will be no more draw than a max fan ,then just repeat the process the next day

This unit is not cheap but probably not much more than a standard Ac ac Unit and generator combo but has the potential to radically change comfort Level for a small trailer . This has been the norm in Europe and after HC testing some of the European models which required huge and expensive power converters this unit is close to becoming the holly grail.

If anyone would like to see this unit in action you can see the smaller unit at the Amherstburg Ont showroom or the larger unit in LA.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:41 AM   #9
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I didn't like the way snoozy put the air conditioner in their trailers. It looks like a head banger, so I didn't install one in my Lil Hauley build. I did however make a luan cutout that fits the emergency window and cut out a rectangle to fit my 5000 BTU air conditioner. I put some 1/2 wire mesh over the evaporator fins for safe handling. I carry the air conditioner, which weighs 40 lbs and a generator to run it. It only takes a couple minutes to install. We have not used it yet but it is comforting to know its there if needed. My basic philosophy is to build for the 95% usage and prepare for the 5%.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:04 AM   #10
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I was in northern WI in the summer of 2013. I was SURE glad my Casita had air conditioning! When not in a campground with hook ups, my Honda Handi 3k inverter generator easily handled the load. Now a days, install a "Soft Start" module and, an A/C can be started with a 2k generator.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tua View Post
99į Boondocking

Lucky you AC0GV....and 3 Scamps!
Happy Fourth!
Enjoy!

AC is definitely a personal preference. Before going to the Boler 50 a few years ago in 104į heat, I would not have thought I could do it, but I found it doable. The Fantastic Fan over the bed worked very well during the evening and I shut it off in the middle of the night because it got too cold. I think it all depends on how you camp and what you get used to or want to get used to redbarron55.
We were there too! We also camped at FDR National Park without hookups a couple days before that when it hit 106 during the day. Fortunately humidity was low, and cooled down at night.
We find we only really need the AC when we're in the SouthEast where those high temps don't drop much at night, and the humidity is extremely uncomfortable. We try to keep our non-hookup trips narrowed down to areas where it won't be too hot and humid. I can dress for cold weather but hot/humid weather just makes me miserable.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
I was in northern WI in the summer of 2013. I was SURE glad my Casita had air conditioning! When not in a campground with hook ups, my Honda Handi 3k inverter generator easily handled the load. Now a days, install a "Soft Start" module and, an A/C can be started with a 2k generator.
Thank you Fly Guy !! It seems that a lot of people believe that Michigan , Minnesota and Wisconsin only have two seasons - Winter & Almost Winter
We are currently in one of our rare hot streaks ( Temp & Humidity ) and it is a good reminder that if I never see the SE US again it will be way to soon

**Except for the mountains of Northern Georgia in January or early February **
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikmay View Post
What if you could boondock with out shore power and no generator and keep your trailer pretty comfortable inside at between 72-77 degrees depending on shade with the outside temp being over 90 degrees for up to 8 hrs ? Seem possible.

The new 3900 btu unit Happier Camper is testing is actually doing that right now ,we are able to keep the air conditioning running for over 4 hrs with one 120 watt solar panel and an agm battery and should be able to go over 8 hrs with an extra 100 watt panel and lithium battery . This is the smaller of the 2 units HC is testing and so far it has been quite remarkable........
I saw this at Quartzsite in February, and yes it IS remarkable!
The wave of the future.
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
We were there too! We also camped at FDR National Park without hookups a couple days before that when it hit 106 during the day. Fortunately humidity was low, and cooled down at night.
We find we only really need the AC when we're in the SouthEast where those high temps don't drop much at night, and the humidity is extremely uncomfortable. We try to keep our non-hookup trips narrowed down to areas where it won't be too hot and humid. I can dress for cold weather but hot/humid weather just makes me miserable.
Lol Bolar 50....fun times eh?

I agree, the east and humidity would probably be hard to take air conditionerless. It's nice to have a cool place to escape to.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:17 PM   #15
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I didn't like the way snoozy put the air conditioner in their trailers. It looks like a head banger, so I didn't install one in my Lil Hauley build. I did however make a luan cutout that fits the emergency window and cut out a rectangle to fit my 5000 BTU air conditioner. I put some 1/2 wire mesh over the evaporator fins for safe handling. I carry the air conditioner, which weighs 40 lbs and a generator to run it. It only takes a couple minutes to install. We have not used it yet but it is comforting to know its there if needed. My basic philosophy is to build for the 95% usage and prepare for the 5%.
I used that same technique to cool my 13ft Casita. It worked well as far as cooling, but when it rained, water would pour in around the AC. The escape window would channel the water directly into the window channel which then overflowed into my Casita. The 1/4 plywood baffle that I used around the AC did nothing to stop the water penetration.

It might be a good idea to test your installation for water penetration before you actually have to use it. Waking to a sudden thunderstorm in the middle of the night and rushing to "uninstall" your AC is not a fun thing.
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:28 PM   #16
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Thanks Jim. I had considered rain and think I will be OK if the wind is not blowing too hard. The adapter is on the outside of the window and mounts against the part of the window where the seal is. If water hits the insert it will run down to the weep holes and outside. When the AC unit is installed it is underneath the open window, so hopefully the water will not come in contact with the AC unit. If the wind is blowing I might have some ingress. I'm gonna spray some water on things just for s an g and see what comes in.
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:31 PM   #17
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Jim, another thought is the AC unit and adapter can all be removed from inside the trailer, so if it does get bad I can remove them in under a minute.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:32 PM   #18
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One of the problems with putting the AC through the escape window on the Casita was that the Casita shell is not flat. nThat made it more difficult to seal the window against rain than if the walls were vertical. Even so, a light rain was not a problem but a substantial rain would always find a way into the trailer.

Also, the AC that I bought had a water reservoir in back. I drilled a drain hole in the AC enclosure but still had to be very careful when I would lift the AC inside through the escape window.

I really like what you have done with your lil hauley. It seems to be much more flexible than the Casita as far a layout and customization.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:26 PM   #19
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The lil hauley hull design is free standing as compared to other fiberglass campers, which is why I liked it. You can pretty much do whatever you want. When putting screws into the walls I would install the screw then retract it and put some CA in the hole and let it cure then re-insert the screw. We have over 25k on the trailer and everything is still in place. I went with the empty shell because there were so many things I would have changed from the factory built unit that I decided to build from scratch using the wet bath molded enclosure from snoozy.
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:35 PM   #20
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As my California brother says, "It's not the near-term it's the stupidity." Has anyone tried a 12v swamp cooler on these sweltering days? Inquiring minds want to know.
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