Window A/C unit mod

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by StanAramus, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. StanAramus

    StanAramus New Member

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    Hey everyone. I've been a member for awhile, been lurking but haven't posted much at all. Last year my wife and I bought an older Starcraft PUP on a spur of the moment and only used it once before being stored. One of the projects I'd like to do is install an A/C unit. This is mostly for my wife and the soon to be addition to the family. I've priced used and new rooftop units and don't like what I see. Also, I'm afraid of modding the roof for several reasons. Back in high school my brother and I bought and old camping trailer and gutted and remodeled the inside. We also cut a hole and installed a window unit A/C in the rear wall. This is what I'd really like to do on my PUP, BUT my rear wall has a rounded shape to it and it also has a tube that stores the bunk support tubes. Another problem would be that the vents on the sides of the A/C on the outside would be blocked. The front of the PUP is out because of the LP tank, battery box and winch for the lift system all reside up there. Now, the idea that I saw on an almost identical PUP once while camping last year:

    In between the bench seats for the table, down on the floor cut a hole the size of the A/C unit. Save the siding for later. Mount the A/C unit on something (wood, metal, etc) and then mount that to some kind of rail system/slider. Kind of like in those big professional tool boxes. On the outside of the PUP, use some flashing to trim out the hole and install a hinge, probably on the top. Cut out a piece of wood to fit the hole and then use the aluminum siding from the PUP that was once there, cover this door panel. There's other obvious final details, but then attach this all to the pop to create an outside storage door with latch, lock and etc. It works like this, open the door, slide the A/C out until it butts up against the inside wall, latch it in place for security and stability and crank it up. When you leave, make sure all condensation is dried up from the drain area, push the A/C back into the PUP to it's resting location under the table during transit and storage until next trip. Close the door, latch and lock.

    Now, to make this post even longer, I know of the different obstacles. With that older camper my brother and I messed with, I found out if at ALL possible, don't remove, move, bother, touch the outer siding on the camper, because it doesn't always like to go back right. Also, this will make the A/C blow in a cramp area and might work harder to cool the PUP and also, it will be damn cold on our legs and feet if we are at the table. I don't want a portable A/C and I would prefer something more professional and/or normal looking, but when on a budget, you do what you got to do.

    All questions, comments, ridicule and joking accepted. If anyone just happens to have an old working rooftop unit that they don't need and live near me in Missouri, let me know. All of these ideas in my head, who knows when they'll see the light of day. With the baby on the way, it'll probably be further than sooner, especially with the financial side of it. Thanks for taking the time to read, sorry to have wasted at least an hour of your time with this long post.

    Mike

    1999 Chevrolet S-10
    1978 Venture
    Me = 30
    Ol' Lady = 21
    Mini Me = ETA July '08
    Mutt = Zoey (lab mix)
     
  2. James

    James New Member

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    Portable floor A/C. Can be purchased at wal-mart, home depot, lowes, ect.

    James
    91 Coleman Roanoke Royale
     
  3. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

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    Install a portable AC unit and vent it through the floor.
    Here's my install in my '79 Starcraft. Think about it before you start cutting that wall!


    <img src="http://inlinethumb06.webshots.com/40325/2311180790095305960S425x425Q85.jpg" border=0>

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV

    Edited by - Tekboy46 on March 13 2008 00:24:48
     
  4. RATHERBECAMPIN

    RATHERBECAMPIN New Member

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    i bought a small 5150 that fit perfetly in the small area nest to the door. I just took canvass loose from rail and attached to top of air conditioner when in use. When not using just leave it at home and fold canvas back down and re-fasten. does a great job.!!! Pics on web shots.

    Sandee

    "HOME IS WHERE YOU PARK IT"

    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2433847900100497892SqXMsl
    http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2358965960100497892IakoJS

    Edited by - RATHERBECAMPIN on March 13 2008 00:27:38
     
  5. Yooperwannabe

    Yooperwannabe Active Member

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    We have also done the A/C mod like Ratherbecamping. Works well for us during hot weather and we leave it at home when it is cooler. No permanent changes to the pup.

    Robin

    Me 55
    DH 58
    DD 83
    DGS 00
     
  6. DXTAC

    DXTAC New Member

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    Hey Tekboy46, how well does the Sunbeam cool your PU?? How many BTU is it? I am looking to do the same as you with my PU but want to hear from someone to see if it works well before the mod. I have a Soleus 9,000 BTU and am looking to cool a 10 foot Flagstaff.

    Thanks,

    Derek & Heather
    Dominic,Dylan (our twin 4 year olds)
    Amara our 2 year old Weimaraner

    '05 Dodge Caravan
    '08 Flagstaff 206LTD
    '97 Jeep Wrangler
    '02 VW Golf TDI
     
  7. spearmint

    spearmint New Member

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    Ratherbecamping and Techboy - I like this unit. Can you tell me how big it is, where to get one and approx. how much they are?
     
  8. Luv2ridebikes

    Luv2ridebikes New Member

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    http://www.consumersearch.com/www/house_and_home/portable-air-conditioners/index.html?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=portable%2Bair%2BconditionersAdvanced&refcd=yh667024521e_sunbeam_portable_air_conditioner&tsacr=yh409265521&OVRAW=sunbeam%20portable%20air%20conditioner&OVKEY=sunbeam%20portable%20air%20conditioner&OVMTC=standard&OVADID=409265521&OVKWID=667024521

    http://www.nextag.com/sunbeam-portable-air-conditioner/search-html?nxtg=1c6aa0a1c0530-A7E03AAB0A657D04

    There are a couple of links to portable A/C and some consumer feedback.

    IMHO - If you have an older pop up that is not A/C ready and are willing to surrender the floor space - this type of unit offers a nice alternative if you don't feel qualified to install a home window unit through the side or back wall.

    If you own a new generation pop up that is A/C ready, I would really consider putting in the rooftop unit before investing a portable unit. There is a reason you see so many of them. Properly mounted on a roof that is designed for them - these units are not likely to ever leak or ruin your camper.

    Steve& Deb (the boys are grown & gone)
    Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
    05 Fleetwood Sequoia THE QSR
    Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Univega <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">
     
  9. spearmint

    spearmint New Member

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    I know a rooftop unit is best and would put one in but the pup I am considering is a 1998 Sea Pine that may have an ABS roof, although I believe that for 1998 the Sea Pine was part of the Destiny series. If the Destiny series, perhaps I would be safe to install a rooftop A/C.

    also, I thought perhaps a portable A/C would be cheaper but I do not want to cut any holes for venting.

    Not sure of the best way to go really.
     
  10. PMEDIC9

    PMEDIC9 Member

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    Sandee Excellent Job I wanted to install temporary A/C during extreme heat a great way to do it and cost effective since I already own 4 portable A/C units how many BTU's is your's and how effective is it?

    Brian, Kristine
    2005 Hyundai Santa Fe
    2003 Rockwood 1980 Freedom
     
  11. spearmint

    spearmint New Member

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    Techboy - I just realized how large that unit must be - AND that cutting a hole is necessary. I was hoping in this day and age it was possible to get a smaller, powerful unit on wheels that didn't need venting but it must not be possible (yet.
     
  12. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

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    Spearmint, the unit is approx. 30" tall and maybe 15" in diameter. This is approximate as the unit is stored in the camper at the moment. I don't know of any portable AC unit that has no exhaust, and I'm sure the reason being that the hot air from the coil and some moisture is vented out of the camper this way. In humid Oklahoma I have to use the floor drain line as a fairly constant amount of condensate from the unit is drained to the ground this way. Emptying the water tray in the unit isn't an option as it would need to be emptied every half hour or so which wouldn't be acceptable.
    DXTAC, the unit does cool the camper down. With a unit like this (9000 BTU) you have to have reasonable expectations of how much cooling you will recieve. It isn't like a 13,500 BTU roof unit that will blow your hair sideways and freeze you out. The fans in the portable units aren't exceptionally strong, and I supplement the cooling with a small fan in the camper that helps circulate cool air around and into the bunkend. We also made two bunkend solar covers (gizmos) that make a tremendous positive difference. The home made gizmos keep solar heat way down on the canvas and the portable unit can keep up with the cooling with them installed. The unit keeps the inside of the camper habitable during a hot sunny day with the help of the small fan. It will not freeze you out, but it will cool the camper. The compressor runs pretty much constantly while the sun is up on a hot day here. After sundown the unit cools the camper nicely and I am happy with it both day and night.
    The PUP is a '79 Starcraft Venture and I didn't want to put a roof unit on with the needed additional braces. I also did not want to compromise and cut the end wall for a window unit. The 4 inch vent hole and the half inch drain hole I cut in the floor can be patched some day if needed if I ever sell the camper without the AC unit, so I don't see that as a permanent mod. The floor space I gave up to install this unit is in a corner that used to house the fold-up wardrobe box. For me, giving up that small corner was a small price to pay for air conditioning without having to cut into and brace the old camper roof or cut a permanent hole in the wall of the camper.
    With that being said, remember that the units come with a decent length of 4" vent tubing that can be attached to the included window vent assembly. This unit is rectangular with a hole where the vent tube attaches. The window vent is designed to be placed in a window and the window above brought down to it to hold it in place. With a little engineering, this window vent unit could be placed in a small opening in the canvas like RATHERBECAMPIN did with the window unit. This would vent the hot air out but you would still have the condensate drainage to deal with. If you live in a humid area the condensate will be considerable. Spearmint, I did see in one of the links to portable reviews that there is a Sharp unit that claims to vent all moisture through the vent tube and doesn't need a drain, but I have no experience with that. If it works, that would be nice.
    I would echo scm46530's statement that if you have an older PUP with no roof bracing and questionable roof condition to consider a portable AC as an option. If you have new generation PUP that is braced and AC ready I'd go with a rooftop unit and not compromise a wall for a window unit. For my '79, the portable was a reasonable compromise and I have a cooled down camper.

    1979 Starcraft Venture
    1996 Ford F150 TV

    Edited by - Tekboy46 on March 24 2008 18:21:28

    Edited by - Tekboy46 on March 24 2008 18:32:55
     
  13. camperkevin

    camperkevin rather be camping

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    hey camper kevin here and getting ready to put a small 5k window unit in my 1985 rockwood in the back wall. also sent my old canvas to rv workshop to b replaced. i bought this pup for only 150. dollars about 5 yrs ago. and also new tires. when i first bought it it wouldnt open. boy was that fun trying to fix the lift system which is in the camper. well got to go for now my better half has supper ready, talk later camperkevin [:D]
     
  14. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

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    Welcome to the forum, camperkevin. Start a thread and post a link to pictures of your AC install when you're done. People here can be hungry to see new canvas and air conditioner installs!
     
  15. camperkevin

    camperkevin rather be camping

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    we"ll do tekboy46 it might take awhile canvas wont be back till maybe first of july. so for the time being i"ll b working on the a/c unit install and yes i will keep updates when i get started, oh an pics also. so happy camping to all this is camperkevin talk to ya later from eminence Ky. Have a great memorial day weekend!!!!!
     
  16. Hanne

    Hanne New Member

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    Sandee or others who use the window units - do you put a container underneath it to catch water? I like the simplicity of this solution, but just don't like the idea of mud or a water container beside the door. I would really like to have the AC unit on the opposite side, but would have to maybe fashion a velcro flap in the canvas.
    We don't intend to do a lot of warm weather camping, or camping with hook ups, so I'd rather have a temporary set-up only for those occasional times when we would need AC.
     

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