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Old 03-06-2014, 12:24 AM   #1
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Can't Make Up My Mind on an AC Unit

So I'm pretty indecisive at times and this is one of them - I need someone to decide for me, or at least push me one way or the other. I'm redoing a 1964 Sovereign. I painted the tongue and bumper dark gray, have black glossy rims with VTS cones and chose the smoked vent covers, including the astrodome from Inland RV. So I have that dark gray/black thing going.

The decision I have to make is the air conditioner. I really want low profile because a big box on top just looks off to me. I also want it in black - a white unit would seem like it doesn't fit the theme. But I also don't want to pay an arm and a leg (but I could). Looks like I can get a Dometic Brisk in black. Or I can get a Coleman low profile in black for roughly double the cost of the Brisk. I didn't see a black Dometic Penguin II but a white one is about in the middle of the two, maybe closer towards the Coleman.

So, which one? Is the Coleman worth the extra? Do the Brisks really dominate up there with the extra 5 inches over the Coleman? It's really about aesthetics at this point.... and noise level. The quieter the better obviously.

Any help is appreciated. Am I the only one with this aesthetic indecisiveness with the AC? I've read the technical indecisiveness posts but haven't found an appearance based discussion.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:38 AM   #2
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Why not buy the one you want and have the cover painted with automotive paint?
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:40 AM   #3
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I would have been forever finding a red air conditioner...
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:32 AM   #4
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How about buying the low profile unit and taking for a vinyl wrap? Probably very cheap, removable when you decide to and you could most likely get it in silver, grey, black or maybe even mirror foil look….
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Why not buy the one you want and have the cover painted with automotive paint?
That is an excellent idea for anybody, even those who want a white one. Painting the shroud slows down the inevitable UV degradation of the plastic, and will make the AC shroud last longer.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:58 AM   #6
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Since no one will ever be up close to the shroud, even painting it with Krylon paint for plastics should work just fine. I have had excellent results with that paint. A lot cheaper than having an auto paint put on it.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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We bought a Penguin in white and painted it gray with Krylon paint. That was 2 years ago, and the paint has held up just fine.

Chris
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:49 AM   #8
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Do yourself a huge favor and get one that is thermostat controlled. Then you do not have to listen to a fan blowing all night! Manufacturers have been slow at picking up this idea but they are finally catching on.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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I know a lot of folks like the black color, but I always wonder how much cooling power this costs when one is parked in full sun.

Even a 15K BTU unit is only limited to reduce temps by less than 30 degrees, so if the area compressor is working in is 75 degrees warmer because of a black enclosure, how much cooling power is one giving up?


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Old 03-06-2014, 11:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
I know a lot of folks like the black color, but I always wonder how much cooling power this costs when one is parked in full sun.

Even a 15K BTU unit is only limited to reduce temps by less than 30 degrees, so if the area compressor is working in is 75 degrees warmer because of a black enclosure, how much cooling power is one giving up?
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The higher temp you mentioned would not be sustained as soon as the fan turns on. The heat would be blown out almost immediately and the temperature of air through the exterior coils would drop to ambient outside air temp. The surface area of the shroud that is available for the sun to work on and increase heat is minimal in comparison to the volume of the air passed through the unit.

Bottom line, the shroud color will make no cooling difference on any rooftop AC unit.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #11
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I always thought a darker shroud would make a difference, but Idroba's argument seems sound. Anyone else have an opinion or experience on this issue?
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:29 AM   #12
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I always thought a darker shroud would make a difference, but Idroba's argument seems sound. Anyone else have an opinion or experience on this issue?
The shade cast by the shroud is more important for lowering the temperature of the coils than is the color of the shroud for raising the temperature of the coils. Considering how many openings there are in the shroud for ventilation, heat won't build up in the shroud anyway, unless it's a completely windless day.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:46 AM   #13
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I understand the theory you are applying, but still wonder about true application.

Space under a black sunscreen is warmer than space under a light color, even with a fan moving air.

It would be interesting to see real data.


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Old 03-06-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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Hi, buy the air conditioner of your choice and buy a life time shroud in black or white from Icon-Direct. Also, too many times, people say you should buy this type/size air conditioner because of where you live; That's fine if you only camp in your back yard. We travel and our trailer needs to work where ever we go with it.
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