need opinions / advice please

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by jetrail, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. jetrail

    jetrail Member

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    ok im pretty unsure on what to do , i love my little pup , and my wife and i want to go camping from spring till winter but the summer will be rough because we have no ac , i have been debating since we bought our pup on which way to go w/ the ac issues , our coleman is small so a portable ac will take up what little floor space we have , i like the roof top deals, but it will be about $500-$600 for a ac unit with heat also , plus my coleman doesn't have the braces it needs , so im thinking getting the braces also i would be at or over $700.00 , not to sound cheap but thats a little steep for us , i've seen some members who mounted a window ac under the back bunk of their camper and the installs look good , how hard is it to do that ? because the lat thing i want to do is go hacking into my pup and mess up something , plus we habe a pulg out let back there so that would have to be moved , if i went the window ac unit design i'd just spend a little more and get the ac unit w/ heat too to kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone , but i just wanted some opinions and advice on which seems like the best way to go , thanks

    Jay & Lisa
    00 dodge dakota
    97 coleman laredo
    (4) 4 legged children (non camping)
    Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
    all girls , all cats lol
     
  2. suprz

    suprz may you never doubt yourself....

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    the only thing that i immediately think of when i see that mod is that cold air falls downward. so the floor should get really cold it wont help much up top without some sort of fan to push it upwards.

    1996 jeep cherokee 4x4
    2002 flagstaff 228 AKA "cool runnings"
    "just camp!!"
     
  3. east lake hunter

    east lake hunter New Member

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    I'm faced with the same issue. I have a 2007 Flagstaff 206ST with no roof air. Like a dumb a##, I bought the thing last summer thinking I will never need AC. Heck I'm camping. DH and DD are demanding AC for this summer or they are going to jump ship on me. Well I have looked at roof mounted units and portable units, and I'm kinda of leaning towards a portable unit. I'm just trying to figure out a way to duct the exhaust tube out of the camper. As for taking up floor space, I think the unit will set up on top of the cabinet just inside the door. I just can't figure out how to run the exhaust tube outside. Any suggestions????
     
  4. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    jetrail,

    If you're looking for a cheap, easy solution, you can do what my brother did. He cut a piece of 1/4" particle board to exactly fit one of his bunk ends. He zips out the emergency exit, and puts in the board. He has a hole cut in the board that he mounts a window A/C in. He built a platform with legs (that rests on the very end of the bunk) to hold it up outside the camper. He keeps the board underneath the bunk when he's not using it.

    It's not pretty, but it works.


    Joe

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">'96 Rockwood Signature Series 1280
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">'07 Ford Explorer
     
  5. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    Home rigged A/C in a camper or pup that wasn't built for it....

    Will this Ultimate Solution EVER be found??? <hr>
    I sure hope so! Cause I'll be the first to try it, dag nab it!!! I even have and extra Window A/C unit at my disposal! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Shock">

    I agree w/ the OP here. (or rather, suprz, the second poster) How well can the A/C actually work when placed that close to the floor? I suppose it is better than nothing, but I too am afraid to cut into a Major Exterior Wall in order to mount up a Window Unit that might not do the job.

    I've seen folks hang these Window Units off the sides of the pup too, but then I would worry about cutting the hole into the side of the canvas. How to seal that up when the A/C is NOT wanted? Or.. How to effectively seal this method when the A/C is being used?

    I'll be SO happy if/when I can get a solution together for this particular problem.

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper"> ~ Scott.
     
  6. jetrail

    jetrail Member

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    i know this is a hard decision , if i had the extra 700 just sitting around sure i'd do the roof top ac , but what stinks for me is i gotta get the support brackets first , then ocourse im always worried about leaks , i don't know what the best answer but only doing spring , and fall trips isn't it lol

    Jay & Lisa
    00 dodge dakota
    97 coleman laredo
    (4) 4 legged children (non camping)
    Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
    all girls , all cats lol
     
  7. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    I have a 1975 Palomino camper. Extra Roof Brackets/Supports are not even an option for me. Even if I had the extra 700 laying around, I couldn't do it for this mod. <hr>
    So, I wasn't being a smart ass in my first post... I really AM looking for the best solution to this problem.

    I just don't think that mounting an A/C unit so close to the floor will really work. As I said in the first post, it might be better than nothing, but.... cutting into a Major Wall to give it a try really does have me a bit nervous, ya know?
     
  8. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

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    I can't tremember where I saw it, but somewhere in the last 24 hours or so I have seen an AC window unit mod through the street side canvas next to the galley. They had rigged the typical 2x4 support structure outside and used velcro to attach to the sides and top of the AC unit to seal it when the unit was in place. They rolled the vinyl of the window up and it sat on top of the AC, but when the AC was removed, it rolled down to original position and was sealed up with, again, velcro. Looked like it may be the best solution I've seen....no cutting through the main body, not at floor level. If you can get over cutting through the vinyl.....

    Ðigger
    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - Stony (Still Thinking Of a Name Yet)
    2002 Econoline E-150
     
  9. Pete

    Pete Member

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    When we were tent camping I made a setup for our tent that worked pretty good. I bought a window unit that had a remote. I then bought a small tarp at harbor frieght that covered the window. I cut a hole to fit the unit. I then built a stand to fit the unit. I used bungy cords to hold the tarp in place. I didn't have to cut any holes in tent and if it rained i closed the screen up. I think that is what i would do again if I didn't want to cut on the popup.

    2002 Dodge Caravan
    1997 1224 Starcraft Spacestar
     
  10. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

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    Found it....gotta love the History function:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22319778@N00/

    Note: with the '@' symbol in this address it treats it like an e-mail address. I've tried pasting it a hundred different ways. What finally worked for me was to right click, copy shortcut, paste it into browser address and remove the 'mailto:' at the beginning of the address. If you still can't get it to work, let me know and I'll get it to you.

    Ðigger
    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - Stony (Still Thinking Of a Name Yet)
    2002 Econoline E-150

    Edited by - Digger on January 29 2008 00:37:18
     
  11. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    I wish I had a picture of what I described above.

    The idea is almost exactly the same as the one that Digger is showing, except that instead of being on the side of the camper, it's on the bunk end. The reason he did it that way was because he has a Jayco, and the side panels are one piece. This way there was no cutting or sewing involved.


    Joe

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">'96 Rockwood Signature Series 1280
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">'07 Ford Explorer
     
  12. Micksc

    Micksc New Member

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    I'm not sure where I saw it, Craig's List, I think, but there was a guy locally around here, (Augusta,Ga. area) who was selling new 13.5 btu AC's for around $400. I don't know what the factory roof bracing would run,but the price for the AC was the best that I've seen.
    FWIW, I've been in the Elec/havc field since Moby Dick was a minnow and feel like I know a little about it. Last summer we were at Petersburg ACOA
    on Lake Thurmond. AC was grinding away for all it was worth, but it was 104' outside. I was sitting at the table reading and swilling Bud, when the DW decided to take a nap. She crawled into the forward bunk and lasted about 2 Min.Out she came fussin' about the Temp. "It's too hot in the bunk!!" I told her that canvas is a better conductor of heat than the fiberglass roof, therefore the higher Temp. in the bunk. "well, what are you gonna do about it?" Nothin', I'm not hot, but I'll give you a lesson in thermodynamics 101. Go outside and turn the Aux. hose on the canvas for awile." She did that for about 15 Min. and dropped the Temp. about 10'. Got her nap. Now in addition to being a Menzan, she's a thermodynamics genius too.... :>))
    Mick
     
  13. jetrail

    jetrail Member

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    i understand what you mean cowboy , i love our pup but my wife and i know if we have a child in the future we will go bigger because her brother camps w/ us too , and im not comfortable just hacking on something i still owe on as far as installing a window ac , but if i go w/the roof top ac , braces ect that 700.00 will keep me from camping much at all this yr , im stuck between a rock and a hard place

    Jay & Lisa
    00 dodge dakota
    97 coleman laredo
    (4) 4 legged children (non camping)
    Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
    all girls , all cats lol
     
  14. dawalt71

    dawalt71 New Member

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    I feel sorry for all of you that need A/C to camp. Been camping for 4 years and haven't needed A/C yet. But then I have also been in MT, Canada, Alaska or the mountains camping. Not looking forwards the day when I do head south for a trip.

    96 Ford Explorer/98 Viking
    Me, Wife, 3 kids
     
  15. litehiker

    litehiker New Member

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    My pup had a window unit installed under the rear bunk by the first owner, who, naturally, says it does a fine job. We shall see. Since I have tent camped my whole life, I was glad the pup had A/C so I can tolerate camping in the heat of summer, which I did not do in a tent. I'm crossing my fingers that since mine has hard walls, it will stay a little cooler and that the location of the unit won't be too bad. I also plan on just using it at night, b/c really I can't imagine just sitting around in the pup all day. Maybe I'll get one of those 12V fans to help with air circulation...and I am def going to get/make some gizmos. Ask me in July how the notorious Southern heat and humidity is treating me.

    Just got nu2me 1987 Palomino CXL<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
    '00 Toyota Tacoma<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
    learning as I go, this site HELPS ALOT
    countdown to 1st trip of '08 is ON<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper">
     
  16. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    Hey Carl,

    I've seen a few ways of doing this type of A/C install, but my vinyl windows in the pup roll Down, not Up. So, I'd have to think of something to work around that little detail. I'd have to cut the vinyl too in order to have an opening.

    Hold it. I have an idea. Just make an over sized patch to Velcro in place when the A/C isn't being used? Hmm... that wouldn't too hard to do. Thanks for the PM there Carl, you got me to think some more about this one! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper"> <hr>
    Joe,

    Your brother's idea is pretty good too, except that somebody will have to sleep on the bunk. Be it DW and I, or my DD....somebody would freeze. But.... I get your point. This would be a good way to avoid cutting on any canvas or vinyl. And your so correct, storing that piece of wood (the temporary wall) would be so easy under the mattress.<hr>
    Hmm, if I combine these two separate theories, can I think of something as a compromise? Let's think about this a bit folks. Here's what we know.

    A solid wall is best for an A/C unit. The higher up that it's mounted the better, as cool air drops down. IMHO, the Road side is the best place to put an A/C unit, as this can then be plugged directly into the camp site's shore power post.

    So, here's what I have in mind to solve this. (this could also prevent me from even cutting into my vinyl windows...) How about a temporary 'wall' that could be stored under the bunk mattress when not used, but quickly set up when needed? Use Real Plywood (stronger than particle board) and reinforce it against warping by adding 2x2 "studs" along both sides of the A/C unit, and make the cutout for the unit higher up on the wall? This temporary wall could be set up inside the camper when needed, and the A/C unit could be placed closer to the ceiling to allow the cooler air to drop downward. I my case, I would then just unzip a corner of my vinyl window to allow the A/C to blow in through the screening.

    I'm gonna have to consider this some more. I'll think of something. <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cowboy.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Cowboy Camper">
     
  17. Xolthrax

    Xolthrax Franconia, Pa.

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    Check this out.

    I don't know how much the interior piece would cost, but that's a good price. They also have units without heat for $359.

    OK, I just found a ceiling kit here for $138, but I also found them here for $60

    <hr>

    Cowboy, I'm only going by his word, but my brother says that the bunk with the AC doesn't get particularly cold cmpared to the rest of the camper. That's the side he sleeps on. The kids sleep on the other side. He keeps the vents aimed up so they blow over him and into the main part of the camper.

    Let us know how your idea works out.


    Joe

    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">'96 Rockwood Signature Series 1280
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">'07 Ford Explorer

    Edited by - Xolthrax on January 29 2008 22:29:02

    Edited by - Xolthrax on January 29 2008 22:36:33

    Edited by - Xolthrax on January 29 2008 22:37:25
     
  18. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    I installed a window unit through the side of my 86 Coleman Columbia. It did fine at night, but couldn't keep up during the day, even though we were in the mountains. Thus when we replaced the Coleman, factory AC was a must...

    If you do install an AC through the side, let me also suggest a small fan that can be rotated to a vertical position to push the cold air up...

    ______________
    2004 Expedition
    2000 Palomino Mustang SL-SG-FT
    http://www.thecampingchild.com
     
  19. jetrail

    jetrail Member

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    thanks everyone for the opinions and advice , after reading and thinking i called a few fleetwood dealers and i can get the ac prep kit that has the bars that go across the inside for 168.00 so thats alot better that the 220 i was quoted before im thinking about just doing it and getting a roof top ac w/heat , has anyone ever installed the bars that go across on the inside , if so what is involved and how hard is it ?

    Jay & Lisa
    00 dodge dakota
    97 coleman laredo
    (4) 4 legged children (non camping)
    Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
    all girls , all cats lol
     
  20. Cowboy Camper

    Cowboy Camper New Member

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    JMHO Jay,

    I haven't seen any kits like this, nor do I know what the interior of your pup looks like at the roof line, but....

    At my roof line (a '75 Palomino, BTW) I basically have what looks like 2x4's as the main roof framing that are clearly visible. I bet that I could pretty easily reinforce my roof enough for an A/C unit on the roof. I don't think it would be too difficult to install the kit.

    Having said that though, I think a real A/C kit might be more hidden above the ceiling panels, and this would take a little more work to install them. So, why am I even posting to this anymore???

    I have ideas in my head, that's why. I really think it wouldn't be too hard to do this for yourself if you get some decent instructions with the kit, and also if you possess some basic carpentry skills. As far as that goes, you could also install the actual unit itself too, for you will utilize the same basic carpentry skills when cutting the hole in the roof.

    I have these skills, and I bet I could do this in a weekend project if I wanted to put the $$ into this someday. So, I guess my point is, I think it can be a DIY project, but first you must consider what you think you know how to do. Are you handy around the house with repairs? If so, then you can do this for yourself and save a few bucks along the way. Good luck, and let us know how it goes for you.

    On a side note, check out my Webshots Gallery to see my "No Crank Roof", and you will better understand why I couldn't mount an A/C unit on my pup. I'd bet I would have a hard time opening her up with an A/C unit on the roof! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Shock">
     

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