Portable AC solved after 4 years...I hope!

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by dannyv11, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. dannyv11

    dannyv11 Member

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    Hi all,

    It's been a long time since I've posted anything. We started having kids a few years back and the pup was put to the side for a while (for good reason, I love my family)!

    I have a 1995 Fleetwood Coleman Utah and it is not capable of a roof AC without having reinforcement. Not to mention the cost of the unit itself. Add to that not really wanting to cut a hole in my roof. So I decided to buy a heavy and ugly used 10,000 BTU portable ac unit and I set it over my sink and let 'er rip in the summer.

    That means I don't have a sink or inside cooktop while I use the AC, which isn't a huge deal because we've got an adequate setup outside under the awning for cooking and cleaning. The AC drains into the sink and it vents outside at the bunk closest to it. I undo a few bungee hooks and lead the hose out that way. Maybe 3 feet of exhaust hose max is inside the pup, we haven't noticed much of a problem with the vent hose getting to hot or radiating heat.

    But, I want my kitchen counter back, with the AC on it, it takes up valuable real estate for storage and shelving...with a family of 5 we need all the space with can get. That and, it's a loud unit. I'd like to not have that right next to my head when I sleeping.

    So I came up with a plan. I'm going to put the AC unit under the rear bunk the protect it from the elements (hopefully) and vent the AC into the pup AND hopefully not look too bad.....but I doubt that.

    Here's what I came up with some far, and soon as we get a dry day, I'll set it up in the driveway and give it a test run, and post more pics.

    If this works for me, it will have only cost about $35 in materials (on top of the Portable units cost and some tools and hot glue sticks I already own)

    Let me know if you have questions, comments, suggestions, ridicules, or anything else.

    [​IMG]
    Above is the Portable units I own.

    [​IMG]
    I cut a hole the corect size and hot glued a container lid to the output on the unit.

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    I then cut a hole the correct size and hot glued a larger container lid to the return on the unit.

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    Then I cut 2 holes on the side of each container and hot glued these 3 inch vent hose connectors to the kids (1 output to each bunk and 1 input from each bunk)

    [​IMG]
    This is what the modified unit looks like through this evening.

    I have to install the 4" flexible vinyl duct next then cut everything to length. Place the unit under the rear bunk and test it out. I will hopefully post pictures of those steps soon.

    Thanks for reading!

    DannyV
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  2. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    A truly unique and creative solution. I'll be waiting to read about how this works out.

    EDIT: Why did this turn up in my "New Posts" feed?
     
  3. noahnsteph

    noahnsteph New Member

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    Definitely want to see the finished product and hear how it works.
     
  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Of course they already make roll around portable air conditioners with the same thing in mind...

    The problem being finding something that would fit the particular operating place...

    [​IMG]
    Google image

    I have on a few occasions brought along my small 5K BTU window unit which is very light weight and set in the unused tent bed area. Then fashioned the window flap material around using duck tap. This would run very easy off my 2KW portable generator. The water drain from it would run off onto the ground...

    Back in the tent camping days you would see one fitted up to a second tent door all sealed off with duct tape and sitting on a wood pallet.. Looks something like this

    [​IMG]
    Google Image

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    That looks great, the only issue I see is the ducting may warm the air up quite a bit.

    I could see blowing the cold in one end and have the return from the other end. or blow the cold into the bunks and the return from the middle of the pup.

    I like the set up, it would be central air. Does the unit have a remote control?
     
  6. rocksncactus

    rocksncactus Member

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    Just be sure to find a way to get it up off the ground in case of rain/rivers through the campsite.

    Years ago when a Tampa drive-in movie theater closed my brother-in-law bought an air conditioner from there. It was so hot and muggy in the summer that not only did you hook a speaker to your car window but you also hooked an air conditioner so you could watch the movie in comfort. He would hook the AC up to his boat through a window and set the unit on the dock; he did this on lobstering trips. One year we arrived in the Keys at the same time as he was leaving and he loaned us the AC to use while we were there. It was really hot and humid even by Keys standards that summer. We were tent camping at the time. We put the hose through one of the tent entrances and tightened the zipper around it. Wow! That AC only had one speed/temperature setting, full open, and with it on we were almost cold at night -- a nice change from the previous soggy nights where pillows were soaked with sweat, etc.

    At any rate, the second day a ranger appeared in the campsite and told us we couldn't have that unit sitting on the ground like that because when it rained there was a possibility of electrocution. Our solution? We set the AC in the rear of the pickup truck bed with the truck backed up as near the tent as possible. There was a Leer cap on the truck, so the unit stayed dry. Problem solved. But I always knew that ranger was probably right about the electrocution, so I've never forgotten about it.
     
  7. infernisdiem

    infernisdiem Member

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    I would suggest something besides hot glue, it tends to breakdown when it gets wet (a few homemade RC boats taught me that), but it looks like you could use a dryer hose to feed the cold air into your camper, maybe even look at adding a pipe that feeds through an access door outside into the inside of your camper, when not in use, close the door, and you should be all set.
     
  8. Natureangel

    Natureangel Everythings better outdoors...

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    Just FYI Gorilla glue makes glue sticks! I haven't tried them yet!
     
  9. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    They make glue sticks for different uses. I used a glue stick(for plastic) to seal the ballast tank(30 gal) on my daughter's basketball net for the last three or so years
     
  10. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    That is great work. I am curious though, is it necessary to have the hoses to the return? I may not fully understand how these units work. Would it be possible to just open a window a little?
     
  11. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    Using the return would make it more efficient. That way it cools the air inside and recirculates it, vs cooling outside air.

    Just like using the recirculate option in most cars for the AC.
     
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  12. sawdusty

    sawdusty San Antonio

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    Thanks! I did do some research and but your answer helped clarify. :)
     
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  13. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

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    interesting idea, perhaps some sort of bumper mount shelf to set it on
     

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