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Old 08-11-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
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Ducted Air Conditioning; Sound Level Numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
Of course these sound level readings will be relative...but from a SmartTools sound meter app on my phone, I measure: 63 db at 6' while seated at the cushion juncture of the dinette; all a/c vents are open and fan on high. Directly under the main a/c vent and in front of stove: 84-85 db. Sitting on the bed: 65 db. So, as would be expected, the sound level drops inversely by the square of the distance (if you could hear that accurately).

Note that reducing the fan speed lowers the 6' reading to 59db; significant but not quiet nor sufficient flow to keep us cool (75) when the outside temps climb in bright sunshine.
For comparison ... Normal conversation at 3'= 60-65dB
City Traffic (inside car) = 85dB

As promised ... we finally took a break from enjoying / playing in our EB w/ ducted air to get the
following ducted air conditioning sound level background readings;
* fan on high, compressor running *

Seated at the cushion juncture: 54-55 db; down from 63 db / 59 with fan on low; reduction of 8-9 db.
In front of stove directly under inlet for ducted air: 60 db; down from 84-85 db; reduction of 24-25 db !!!
Sitting on the front bed: 54-55 db; down from 65 db;
reduction of 10-11 db.

Even by this unscientific means, those difference numbers are significant and dramatic for sound reduction.
The ducted air is also very effective in cooling (and heating) both ends of the trailer (and even the Head).


It is really now quite amazing that we can be sitting in cool comfort and listen to Pandora or a movie at the same time as the AC is on with the fan on high. I can now talk to my wife when she is in the galley area under the ducted air intakes and not even need to raise my voice to communicate. It eliminates the stress of the loud A/C background noise when inside the AS trying to do much of anything other than sleep... we spent much of last weekend just sitting inside of the Eddie Bauer listening to the quiet while the outside temps were above 90 F. Do we like the ducted air and is it worth the depreciation on our trade in ??? YES !!! Emphatically; however, YMMV.
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Old 08-11-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
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Thanks for the Info, Mefly2.

We have our new 2015 Serenity coming in October with the new ducted air and two a/c units. Can't hardly wait!
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVDreamer View Post
Thanks for the Info, Mefly2.

We have our new 2015 Serenity coming in October with the new ducted air and two a/c units. Can't hardly wait!
You are welcome RVD. Hopefully this may help others making the decision between buying a 2014 or a 2015 ...
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:36 AM   #4
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We are buying a 2015 23' FC. in just a few days.

I wonder if the 2016 23' model will have ducked air?
Or do they feel is it unnecessary because of the smaller size..
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #5
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Do we now have some conflicting data? I recall in another thread an RV tech measured ducted vs. non-ducted model and numbers were very similar as I recall. Now these new figures read as dramatically lower.

Seems that most people notice markedly lower levels and easier conversation and such with this new design.

Just wondering why the apparent discrepency.

I am intrigued by this new design for many reasons, and am quite envious of you folks...sounds like its going to be awesome. ENjoy.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:13 AM   #6
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"
There is a 27FB with non-ducted air conditioning in the shop now. I took db readings at 4' off the floor at the front, rear, and directly under the a/c unit. The readings for it are:
Front (bedroom):52
Center (under the a/c unit) 60
Rear (at the dinette) 58

We have a 27FB with ducted a/c that is going to be available for testing later today or tomorrow. I will use the same measuring device, at the same elevation and locations in the trailer, and post those figures here when I get them. "

"Okay, I just performed the same test in the same location in the ducted 27, and the results may suprise some people.
Front (bedroom)- 50db
Center (under the a/c)- 61
Rear (dinette)- 57
"
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
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Perhaps more important than the raw db numbers are the frequencies involved.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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Along this same line, I have an observation. For almost nine years we had a 2005 Safari 25FB with the then standard 13,500 btu ac/heat pump unit. We spent almost 1,400 nights in that 25FB, and are intimately familiar with the noise level that it produced. Almost a year ago, we replaced the 2005 25FB with a 2012 23FB with the much newer 13,500 btu ac/heat pump unit. We noticed immediately that the inside noise level was significantly higher than the 2005 unit. Both units cooled and heated with about the same efficiency. The new unit is so loud that it is almost offensive. I would hardly notice when the 2005 unit was running.

What the heck happened??? I have always thought that as technology advances, machinery gets better. This is not the case with Dometic RV air conditioners.

Brian
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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I think it would be more useful to see a comparison using an Audio Spectrum Analyzer. This would be more useful than just db numbers.

Audio Spectrum Analyser - free software
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:17 AM   #10
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On Friday, we took delivery of our 2015 FC 30' Bunkhouse and although I don't have the proper tools for detailed analysis, I can say without hesitation that the noise levels are AMAZINGLY improved. We ran A/C for the entire weekend (single 15,000 BTU) and LOVED it!




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Old 09-02-2014, 10:33 AM   #11
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1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
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Great thread.
I'm sitting in my '05 25 at the moment.
Out in the driveway is a '65 26' Overlander I just got
and gutted...but that's another story all together.
I just turned on my AC for a few minutes to give it a test.
Even on "low fan" I doubt I could sleep with the AC/Heat on
unless it was critically hot or cold.
At this time I'm mulling over what kind of climate control to
put in the Overlander.
I full time in the Safari (in a barn so that helps a lot) and
even in the dead of winter I get by with a little Honeycomb
Ceramic heater and only fire up the furnace if I've been away
but just long enough to get up to 70F then the ceramic heater
takes it from there.
I'm not going to put a furnace in the Overlander - it's too loud
and scary.
The basic thing is (to me) that one wants heat coming from floor
level as it rises so I'm considering building in 2 ceramic heaters.
One wants "cold" coming from above as it sinks and I think ducting
to locations near the bed (s), lounge and maybe the shower/head
would suffice.
These roof top installations, though industry standard, seem really
weird to me b'cuz it's like saying "Lets put the noisiest appliance
right in peoples faces".
So I'm just going to throw this out there:
"Why not put the AC unit under the trailer, insulated mounts, and
plenum the AC up to ceiling ducts".?? Seems to me the fan could
"push the air" up 7ft.
I realize that I would have to be very creative in protecting the unit
"in the bilges" but these new thin units would fit in the area above the
belly pan I expect.
I also realize accessing for service would be an issue but I've had
the belly pan down as part of an under-carriage refit and am just starting
to drop the one on the Overlander.
I looked under some SOB's and note that some use a heavy mesh type
material and I've concluded that this Alum. belly pan is a bunch of hard to
remove nonsense...it also conducts heat/cold right through.
The Overlander is getting mesh that can be removed WAY easier.

Moosetags: could it be that in your "05 Safari you had soft fabric interior and
attenuated the noise somewhat vs. your newer one with the Alum. walls?

Any comments would be very welcome.
Del
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Gurney View Post
Great thread.
I'm sitting in my '05 25 at the moment.
Out in the driveway is a '65 26' Overlander I just got
and gutted...but that's another story all together.
I just turned on my AC for a few minutes to give it a test.
Even on "low fan" I doubt I could sleep with the AC/Heat on
unless it was critically hot or cold.
At this time I'm mulling over what kind of climate control to
put in the Overlander.
I full time in the Safari (in a barn so that helps a lot) and
even in the dead of winter I get by with a little Honeycomb
Ceramic heater and only fire up the furnace if I've been away
but just long enough to get up to 70F then the ceramic heater
takes it from there.
I'm not going to put a furnace in the Overlander - it's too loud
and scary.
The basic thing is (to me) that one wants heat coming from floor
level as it rises so I'm considering building in 2 ceramic heaters.
One wants "cold" coming from above as it sinks and I think ducting
to locations near the bed (s), lounge and maybe the shower/head
would suffice.
These roof top installations, though industry standard, seem really
weird to me b'cuz it's like saying "Lets put the noisiest appliance
right in peoples faces".
So I'm just going to throw this out there:
"Why not put the AC unit under the trailer, insulated mounts, and
plenum the AC up to ceiling ducts".?? Seems to me the fan could
"push the air" up 7ft.
I realize that I would have to be very creative in protecting the unit
"in the bilges" but these new thin units would fit in the area above the
belly pan I expect.
I also realize accessing for service would be an issue but I've had
the belly pan down as part of an under-carriage refit and am just starting
to drop the one on the Overlander.
I looked under some SOB's and note that some use a heavy mesh type
material and I've concluded that this Alum. belly pan is a bunch of hard to
remove nonsense...it also conducts heat/cold right through.
The Overlander is getting mesh that can be removed WAY easier.

Moosetags: could it be that in your "05 Safari you had soft fabric interior and
attenuated the noise somewhat vs. your newer one with the Alum. walls?

Any comments would be very welcome.
Del
Del and others....

Read about the split system install Smokeless Joe did in his Argosy. He's decided to retire from RVing so it's currently for sale in the classifieds. Here's the link to the thread on his unique view of restoring.

One thing I really admire is the "totally diesel" Argosy - no "kaboom" factor as can be associated with propane.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ase-18448.html

Paula
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:01 PM   #13
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Spearfish , South Dakota
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I have lived full time (10 years) in an Alfa with the basement air/hp. Aside from the compressor starting whump, quite easy to live with. Now with the 15K unit on the roof, summer in Az, I hate the noise, I have to crank up the volume on everything, headphones help, but the noise of it all wears on me.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
Do we now have some conflicting data? I recall in another thread an RV tech measured ducted vs. non-ducted model and numbers were very similar as I recall. Now these new figures read as dramatically lower.

Seems that most people notice markedly lower levels and easier conversation and such with this new design.

Just wondering why the apparent discrepency.
Listen to Hibby...

... and, I stand by my previous numbers; I took the time to measure and share the information... they were triple checked. I compared apples to apples in a 2013 Eddie Bauer 25 versus our current 2015 Eddie Bauer 25. They were both owned by me and the measurements were taken by the same software using the same device in the same location with the trailer parked in the same spot - not a shop environment. ... we would expect the same background noise to be present. Pick the numbers apart if you wish!

My frequency analyzer between my ears expressed a significant reduction in noise level between the ducted and non-ducted. If it would be more useful and you are inclined to get more specific with a spectrum analyzer, then I applaud you. Apparently my efforts to be helpful do not meet with the approval of all; however, they were good enough for us to make the significant new purchase of an Eddie Bauer with ducted A/C.

Quote:
Seated at the cushion juncture: 54-55 db; down from 63 db / 59 with fan on low; reduction of 8-9 db.
In front of stove directly under inlet for ducted air: 60 db; down from 84-85 db; reduction of 24-25 db !!!
Sitting on the front bed: 54-55 db; down from 65 db;
reduction of 10-11 db.

Even by this unscientific means, those difference numbers are significant and dramatic for sound reduction.
The ducted air is also very effective in cooling (and heating)
both ends of the trailer (and even the Head).
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