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Old 09-09-2015, 08:36 AM   #1
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Do you run your AC when hauling people?

I'm on the verge of buying an EXT lounge as a family haul to baseball and road trip vehicle. Live in Texas. I just can't get past my worry that I'm going to have to always mess with running a generator to run rear ac - any wisdom there? Can blasting the front dash make the back bearable? Also worried from threads on here that ride is so bad in back that hauling kids back there is impractical ...?

Tempted to go with a Midwest express day cruiser that has engine compressor rear ac to avoid the genset, and it has the seating forward of the rear axle ...but I've always been an airstreamer. Thanks for all the great advice on the forum (although a lot of the threads have educated me to the point of fear!).
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
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The sprinter is a truck, it will never ride like a limo. Why not buy a smaller half ton sprinter with all the seats and a factory air in the rear like the cars have. The ride would be better and it would be designed to carry passengers from the factory.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:48 AM   #3
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The current Interstates can be ordered with Air-ride rear suspension, that mostly solves the rough rear ride problem. However rear AC is still an issue. The new Roadtreks and Advanced RV vans with large lithium batteries allow you to run rear AC off the inverted while driving. They don't even have generators.


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Old 09-09-2015, 10:06 AM   #4
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The sprinter is a truck, it will never ride like a limo. Why not buy a smaller half ton sprinter with all the seats and a factory air in the rear like the cars have. The ride would be better and it would be designed to carry passengers from the factory.
Good point - however the interstate has a bathroom.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:38 AM   #5
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An Interstate would be an awesome tailgating vehicle.
We have friends with both an Interstate and a 34' Allegro Bus. They just run the generator and run the a/c while traveling. When we go to eat at a restaurant or attend church services, they leave their Pekapoo in the camper with the generator and air running.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:47 AM   #6
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Interesting thread, "first world problem" as my children would say.Running a generator and AC for a dog!
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Old 09-09-2015, 03:40 PM   #7
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The front A/C can't keep the rear cool when outside temp. is over about 80*. I even put two 9" fans over the galley to help blow air to the rear which helped a little.

The installed A/C is about one ton and it would take about 2-3 tons to properly cool the rear. Of course that would either take a larger generator which wouldn't fit or an engine mounted rear A/C. Not sure what the reason is that Airstream doesn't use the Sprinter rear A/C.
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:34 PM   #8
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Not sure what the reason is that Airstream doesn't use the Sprinter rear A/C.
Because the OEM Sprinter rooftop A/C only works when the engine is running. Fine for a passenger van, not so much for an RV. And I imagine that having two rooftop A/Cs, one for driving and one for camping, would take up too much of the limited rooftop real estate.

Also, Interstates are converted Sprinter cargo vans, not converted passenger vans, and the rooftop A/C is not standard equipment on the cargo vans.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:27 PM   #9
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Optional maybe?
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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We live in Florida and travel mostly summers with ours. Outside of short trips and tailgates.

The front AC does NOTHING for rear of coach. My son actually likes hanging in the back while traveling but insists on stripping down to just shorts to survive.

I've been puzzled by this since day one of our interstate.

After some research there are some outfitters/up fitters that can add the secondary alternator to run house AC. Never gotten an actual quote but some research shows could be done for around $2,000-$3,000.

Going through our 4th summer now I certainly considered it but, now maybe next years project.


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Old 09-09-2015, 08:56 PM   #11
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It is fairly easy to retrofit a Sprinter with a second alternator. Here is a popular source:

Extreme High Amp Output Sprinter Van Alternators

But, you also need an inverter with enough capacity to run the A/C.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:25 PM   #12
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We drove our AI to Indiana for Thanksgiving last year. The temps were in the 30's and 40's with sunny days. Besides the rough ride, the people in the rear were saying it was very warm. They were opening windows and we had the truck AC on.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:02 AM   #13
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Thought about up-fitting my own sprinter so I could do the factory rear air AND a rooftop rv air on shore power... but thought better of suffering through the build process and worried about the resale value.

Wonder what it would cost to add an engine-run pro air type unit to the interstate?

Maybe the only thing we Texans take as seriously as football is good air conditioning!
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:00 AM   #14
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Coming back from OBX a couple of years ago when it was close to 95 degrees with seven people in the AS, you really don't hear the generator running on the highway. The back kept cool and didn't even need to run dash air at full blast.
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