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Old 07-27-2015, 02:22 PM   #1
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Any real world experience with min split A/C

My "A/C in a closet" portable unit is not adequate to combat Texas heat and I am totally opposed to roof units so I think I am left with a mini split system. I think the "inverter" type units are the best. There are scattered references to them on the forum but I have not found answers to my many questions:
1. What size/brand unit is suitable for my 55 Flying Cloud in HOT Texas summers?
2. Can the outside unit be mounted on the tongue, between my LP tanks and the front of the trailer box?
3. How well do these residential units handle the vibration, dust, etc of mobile use?
4. Can I install these systems myself or do I need to hire a licensed A/C tech? If so, where can I find one that understands travel trailers?
5. If I mount the inside unit on the forward end cap is the fan powerful enough to circulate air all the way to the rear bed?
6. Will the manufacturer honor the warranty in a mobile application?

Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:11 AM   #2
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Here goes...

No feedback. I guess few folks are using these split systems. I took the plunge and bought a Pioneer "Inverter" compressor split system:
https://www.highseer.com/high-seer-i...wye012al5.html
Variable speed means very low current draw at start up. Supposedly very efficient and quiet. It is also a heat pump. Best of all, I can preserve the roof line of my vintage FC.
Downsides:
1. Large compressor on tongue means removing one LP bottle. I will keep the other one in the truck bed and swap if needed. Tongue weight goes up which is a plus for me as the tongue was too light.
2. Need to penetrate shell to run coolant lines, condensate drain and power cable. Trying to find a way to make this as unobtrusive as possible.
3. Indoor unit needs to be mounted in the end cap near the ceiling. Working on solutions.
Will post my progress here if anyone is interested...
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:13 AM   #3
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I am very interested in seeing your progress. Please keep reporting back as you figure this out - you're a pioneer
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:25 AM   #4
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Like your idea. My first thought would be make a tight fitting cover for the unit while traveling to keep dirt off the coils.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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My only feedback is I like it and am glad you took the trouble to post it and the pictures.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #6
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Great idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Like your idea. My first thought would be make a tight fitting cover for the unit while traveling to keep dirt off the coils.
Agree 100%, thanks.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:01 AM   #7
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Update

Here is the inside (condenser) unit mounted to the end cap. Unfortunately it covers some of my beautiful paneling but on the whole does not look too bad. Everything is connected. Just need a buddy to come over with his vacuum pump to purge the lines and leak test before releasing the refrigerant. Fingers crossed.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:12 AM   #8
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Back some years now Smokeless Joe did a long and detailed thread about redoing an Argosy. He definitely DID a split system and IF memory serves did conceal the inside part in a closet. And the link is....

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

now to find the posts relating to the split system... I'll leave that to you, I'm lazy.

It's got to be nearer the end than the beginning. Good luck.

Paula

PS: In a big area with high ceilings it's much better to have heat vents low, a/c ones high... but in a small trailer are you gaining even 2% efficiency? And gravity and rough roads can rattle ceiling mounted stuff loose, but would hold it on the floor nicely!
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Old 09-09-2015, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambiTex View Post
I am totally opposed to roof units so I think I am left with a mini split system.
I've seen others mention this and am curious. Is the the roof structure inadequate for the weight on older models? Or is it aesthetics?


I've seen AC added to classic cars with good results but on a travel trailer... boxes always seem to end up sticking out of somewhere.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:29 AM   #10
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Portable Wheeled A/C units

We have two of these in our office to keep our servers cool.

Portable AC Units : Portable Air Conditioners - Walmart.com

They have an exhaust hose like an oversized dryer vent hose - that I'd bet would fit perfectly in the shower vent fan opening.

Of course moving the dratted thing in and out of the shower would be a PITA. But during the spring and fall you could leave it home. On the plus side, no holes in the aluminum. And they're not expensive.

Paula
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:47 AM   #11
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I saw this at a local RV show: It is a portable type that can mount on the tongue with no interior unit. Can be removed when not needed.However max BTU is 5000.

ClimateRight 5000 btu A/C & Heater

video install
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Old 09-09-2015, 12:25 PM   #12
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The problem with residential mini split AC units units used in an RV is that they are big. The exterior unit is relatively large and about the only place to locate it is on the tongue where it competes with the gas bottles, and the batteries and the hitch parts. The interior unit is also relatively big and designed for vertical wall installation with pipes coming out the back of it. There is not a lot of space inside an AS that can be used in that way. Sure, complete custom interior with the interior part of the mini split designed in could be done, but it is not an easy task.

Most residential mini splits operate on 240 volts, and there are a very limited number which run on 120 volts, the standard RV voltage system. The only 120 volt units I have seen peak out at 12,000 btuh. Often they are not inverter technology compressors, but the more conventional type, which makes them somewhat less desirable.

I can see some great possibilities for better RV AC units but no one is building them at this time. Adapting home ductless mini split units is difficult and questionable. Sure, it can be done, but it is custom work, and very far from plug and play.

The one duct "portable" units are very very inefficient in that they suck hot outside air into the RV to cool the unit and blow the hotter air outside. The two duct portable units, if you can find space for them and the dual input and output ducts make some sense, but again are not easy to fit into the interior of an Airstream.

Unfortunately there is no really good alternative AC systems for RV's, especially curved wall Airstreams.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:19 AM   #13
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Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamachine View Post
is that the refridgerant lines coming up inside the trailer? How do you plan to hide them? Would the unit not fit across the frt of the trailer instead of running length ways of the tongue? Have been researching doing the same thing. I was looking at the LG systems but they are proud of them.
Yes, that bundle contains refrigerant lines, condensate drain and power cable.
Working on a plan to hide them. Not a simple task, but they are not too ugly as is.
My original plan was to run the outside unit width-wise and keep both LP bottle on the tongue but in reality it was not workable.
Looked at LG as well but Pioneer is much cheaper and has gotten pretty good reviews. Will post updates here after it is in use.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Back some years now Smokeless Joe did a long and detailed thread about redoing an Argosy. He definitely DID a split system and IF memory serves did conceal the inside part in a closet. And the link is....

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

now to find the posts relating to the split system... I'll leave that to you, I'm lazy.

It's got to be nearer the end than the beginning. Good luck.

Paula

PS: In a big area with high ceilings it's much better to have heat vents low, a/c ones high... but in a small trailer are you gaining even 2% efficiency? And gravity and rough roads can rattle ceiling mounted stuff loose, but would hold it on the floor nicely!
Here in Texas we use the AC way more than heat. Floor-mounted AC is almost useless as the cold air never gets above waist height. Inside unit is very light weight and well attached to the end cap.
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