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Old 03-12-2019, 09:09 AM   #1
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1972 Argosy 22
Valrico , Florida
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Poll: what BTU window unit do you use?

I know the pros and cons of using a window unit in an airstream (or argosy 22 in my case) has been discussed extensively on this site, but I wanted to get a sense for what size window units are using in their mods. I've seen posts of anywhere from 5k-8k btu size units out there, but only a handful and I'm curious if anyone out there also uses a window unit and what size unit you use.

Long story short, I'll be posting a build later in the coming months of the window unit I'm permanently installing in my Argosy 22. Prior to our argosy, I built a totally wooden teardrop and we used a window unit in that without a hitch for years. I know, they're not meant for a moving/bouncing trailer, but honestly, they're cheap and easily replaceable if anything were to happen. I'm adding mine to the tongue of the argosy, with the guts mainly outside, and a cover on the front that resembles the propane tank cover that airstream makes. But, I'm stuck on what size window unit to use. We currently have a failing 13.5 btu coleman on the roof - so is a 12k-15k window unit comparable btu to btu? We've decided against replacing the coleman since that'll give us a nice open area on the roof for solar panels...

But anyway, back to the question at hand....

1. What size BTU window unit do you use?
2. How big is your rig?
3. How does it handle hot/humid weather? In the shade or in full sun?

Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:18 PM   #2
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Poll: what BTU window unit do you use?

I have a thread covering the installation and performance of a 5,000 btu/hr unit in our 66 Tradewind. The thread is dated 5/16/12 and is titled 5,000 btu/hr AC and 1,000 Watt Genny. Here is a photo of the AC installed.Click image for larger version

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We store it in the bottom of a closet. We donít use it very often, but when we need it we have it. I designed the installation so the AC center of gravity is essentially over the window lower support. No outside support is needed. This has worked well for us.

This unit is very efficient and very quiet. Frigidaire also makes a 6,000 btu/hr unit. Here is a photo and description from Amazon. I would install this unit in your Argosy. It is quiet, efficient, has remote control and is inexpensive.

Dan Click image for larger version

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Old 03-12-2019, 06:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Dan! Yes, I remember seeing your install during my search of all things window units. My only main concern is the BTU size of that unit (or even a 6k unit) and whether or not it could keep up down here in muggy ol' Florida. We usually go north to camp but I want to make sure that if we're somewhere hot and humid, and possibly without shade, that it could keep up and keep the trailer Cold, not just cool, but cold....

How has yours stood up in really hot/sunny weather?
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:10 PM   #4
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Mine is a roof, not a window mount, but bigger is better. I replaced a 13.5K 6 year old Coleman with a new 15K Mach 8 Plus last Spring. The new unit is more efficient and uses approximately 1Amp less power.

Long story but this is installed in a tiny AS Avenue class b. I was shipped the bigger unit in error. After worrying the unit would be oversized, advice on this forum convinced me that even the 15K unit was substantially smaller than the dash capacity. It runs quieter than the old unit (due to a true low speed). It runs enough to remove humidity so my fear it would be over-sized was unfounded. I guess that only applies to a home a/c unit.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Bigger is better. I replaced a 13.5K 6 year old Coleman with a new 15K Mach 8 Plus last Spring. The new unit is more efficient and uses approximately 1Amp less power.


Long story but this is installed in a tiny AS Avenue class b. I was shipped the bigger unit in error. After worrying the unit would be oversized, advice on this forum convinced me that even the 15K unit was substantially smaller than the dash capacity. It runs quieter than the old unit (due to a true low speed). It runs enough to remove humidity so my fear it would be over-sized was unfounded. I guess that only applies to a home a/c unit.
.
Yeah, that would be my concern too. But, as you and others have mentioned, a house is way better insulated than a 45 year old Argosy like mine. I have an 8k unit now but was maybe looking at a 12k or 15k to install. Many have done great on 5k units too though...
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:22 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Poll: what BTU window unit do you use?

We probably have not used it in really hot, muggy, sunny weather. We havenít used it period in the last two years. We generally camp above 3,000 ft in Virginia and North Carolina or we camp in the cooler northern states.

Our strategy is generally to camp in the shade and to face the trailer north. This gives us the cool sun in the morning under the awning and the hot afternoon sun on the opposite side with the trailer between us and the hot sun. We would be under the awning with a tall cool drink and the fan blowing on us. We would not be in the Airstream in the heat of the day, because it would probably be too hot. Now having said that our AC is in the middle area with just 35 sq ft. I believe the AC would cool this area fine, by closing off the front area and the bathroom area, to provide a comfortable area for a grand child to take a nap. I believe the AC would cool the entire Airstream to allow comfortable sleeping at night.

Considering your situation, I would install the 6k unit in the front window with another unit in the bathroom in the back window. Maybe you could make this unit removable, only to be used in the hottest conditions.

Dan
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:17 AM   #7
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Have you considered a mini split heat pump? You could install a 12k mini split. You might want to look at my post in the mini split thread.

Dan
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:46 AM   #8
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Another vote for mini split

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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Have you considered a mini split heat pump? You could install a 12k mini split. You might want to look at my post in the mini split thread.

Dan
If you are not going back with a roof unit, I too suggest you look into a mini split. I have installed them in 2 trailers with good results. 12k BTU unit runs on 9.5 amps of 110 volt power. Easily handled by a Honda 2000.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:29 AM   #9
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If it were me, I'd get a second job so I could do it right and put a conventional rooftop unit in. Window units and mini-splits turn me off.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:35 AM   #10
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If it were me, I'd get a second job so I could do it right and put a conventional rooftop unit in. Window units and mini-splits turn me off.
I'm up for anything honestly. Mini-splits are in the table too but I don't like how the exterior unit looks on the tongue. I'd honestly thought on mounting it to the rear number and installing the inside blower over the bathroom door, butbi didn't want to add so much weight to the rear since these rigs already have issues long-term with rear separation. I like the simplicity of a window unit especially if most of our camping is done in cooler pastures. Spending $1k for something that we'll use a couple times of year and that we can't easily power if boondocking doesn't appeal to me.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:19 AM   #11
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Another advantage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelsonrx View Post
I'm up for anything honestly. Mini-splits are in the table too but I don't like how the exterior unit looks on the tongue. I'd honestly thought on mounting it to the rear number and installing the inside blower over the bathroom door, butbi didn't want to add so much weight to the rear since these rigs already have issues long-term with rear separation. I like the simplicity of a window unit especially if most of our camping is done in cooler pastures. Spending $1k for something that we'll use a couple times of year and that we can't easily power if boondocking doesn't appeal to me.
Another benefit of the mini split is their extreme efficiency. I can run my entire trailer on a Honda 2000 propane genny while boondocking.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:53 AM   #12
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RX,


Just tossing in an opinion. We've tried a couple of approaches over the years. We used a 6K built into the cabinet below the refrigerator, but didn't get adequate circulation with the unit so close to the floor. We were always stepping around a small floor fan needed to put the cool air where we wanted it. (But if you're after cool ankles...) Then we used a 6K ducted unit (entire unit sits inside and a duct carries the hot air out through a window, or in our case, the rear side compartment.) This worked but those units don't have the cooling capacity, since they have only a single duct, some of the cooled air from inside the trailer is used for cooling the coils and blowing out through the duct. Also, it was very noisy because the whole unit is inside. Last summer we used the 22 ft at the beach and temporarily mounted a 8K in the rear bath window with a frosted Lexan insert. It worked great. Note, this was not in Florida where the temps and humidity are legendary, but we did see a day or two in the 90's. In contrast, we installed a 13.5K Power Saver in our 26ft, on the roof in typical fashion. It easily runs on our 2100 Watt Ryobi generator and cools and dehumidifies the larger trailer very well.
So, with that experience, I think an 8K window would work for all but the legendary days, but a split unit or roof top are a better cooling choice overall (for cooling, noise, convenience, and structural support).


Good luck and enjoy,
Roy and Marie
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