Mount AC on tongue of trailer?

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by USMarine1108, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. USMarine1108

    USMarine1108 New Member

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    Hey guys, new guy here. I tried to search but didn't find anything.

    First things first, great forum here! I've done much reading in the past few months.

    Anyway, after "fixing" the roof on my popup, it's time to completely scrap and build a new roof. I'd like to leave the A/C off to avoid weight on the lift system and to eleminate leaking. Has anyone ever mounted the A/C unit to the tongue of the trailer and ducted the air inside?
     
  2. Tekboy46

    Tekboy46 Member

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    Welcome to the forum, USMarine. I don't think you got any quick replies because I don't remember anyone posting about actually having pulled off a ducted AC install. Over the years this has been pondered on the forum. Every AC install has advantages and disadvantages and you have to decide what you can do and what you can live with. I understand getting AC weight off the roof. I assume you're thinking of mounting a window unit on the tongue. The problem people run into is moving cold air into the popup from the louvered outlet of the unit. Lots of ductwork ideas look and sound good on paper but the window units end up not having enough fan power to push the air through ducts on into the camper. You'd get a lot of velocity loss. In SC heat, I don't think you'd be happy ducting a window unit. Most of these installs have the unit mounted on the tongue and in a cutout on the front of the camper wall. Most are happy with this but the disadvantage is the cutout in the camper wall and maybe having to sacrifice your propane tank to make room. Others have built frames to set the window unit outside a screened window and blow the cold air through the window. Most have reported success and cooling but the disadvantage is setup time with the framework and making sure the framework is safe and solid. Some have made a back wall cutout and mounted the window unit on the bumper; most report success with that too but the unit can't stick out past the bumper. You read about the portables and that's what I went with, but I got my portable at auction for 35 bucks. New portables are expensive. You read that some people don't like them because they're not cool enough. They just don't have big powerful fans in them and you have to do all the things like popup gizmos and camping in the shade (true for any AC in our hot, humid states). You would need a 10,000 btu portable or bigger or you wouldn't be happy. I cut a hole in the floor of my camper in a corner and vent the exhaust and condensate drain there. We're happy with this as I didn't want to cut a camper wall hole. Some stick the vent hose in an unzipped window and vent that way and most are happy with that.
    As a fellow camper in a hot summer state, I'd say get the largest unit in btu's that you can that your electrical can handle. Don't think a little 5,000 btu unit will do it. They just don't move enough air. It might do ok in the driveway, but trust me... when you get to the lake or campground and it's 100+ and humid outside, you end up wishing you had more btu's. Run a separate big extension cord for it so it's on it's own outlet and breaker at the campground unless you have a newer popup with it's own breaker for AC.
    Whatever you decide to go with you can find help here if you run into a hitch or problem.
     
  3. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Over the last 40+ years of camping (starting when I was a wee lad), my father installed 3-4 window units in the front of travel trailers. When we got our Palomino PUP, it had a rooftop AC - it was totally wrong for the both the roof and the lift system. I installed an 8000btu window unit on the tongue coming through the front of the camper box under a narrow sofa. It worked great until the temps outside rose to the high 80's; even then it still took the edge off the heat. I would certainly shop for the largest unit you can fit in your particular camper layout. Make sure you don't buy a 220V model...someone on the forum did this several years ago and didn't realize it until after he did the installation! I have some photos of it in my picture link. Couple things to keep in mind if you do this. The installation must have any condensate drain out of the camper box! This sounds like a no-brainer, but some thought needs to go into safeguarding any water intrusion. The other thing to keep in mind is that 2/3 or more of the window unit needs to 'stick out' of the camper. I have seen flush-mounted installs that I fear don't work well. These units cool by pulling air in through the side vents and pushing it out the back through the coils. If the side vents are obstructed, you will degrade your cooling potential.

    Good Luck! Please PM me if you have any questions,

    Todd

    Here are a couple pictures -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. heathdavis

    heathdavis New Member

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  5. dupreet

    dupreet New Member

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    Thats cool, but the largest model is 7000btu; not enough to do a whole lot, and is $550.00! It is a cool concept if they could get closer to 12,000btu.

    Todd
     

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