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Old 09-19-2021, 06:41 PM   #1
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RV Air Conditioner, 12V DC/variable speed technology

How would that sound for an AC unit atop of your AI:

BTU: 12,000
Voltage: 12 Volts DC
Wattage: 380W 750W
Noise: 33Db(!)

Batteries required: Yes

Something like this is advertised to operate up to 10 hours on a 12V/250AH LiFePo4 Battery. Also, made (or at least assembled) in the USA.

Can you picture a Lithium battery system of 5KW to maximum 7KW? 2 x 280AH Battery would give you over 7 KW. 560AH certainly would take you to the upper limits with wire size for a 12V system. Though for an RV, 12V leaves you a bit more flexibility than going say to 48V.

An AC unit like this would run you in the mid 2000s or so. On a DIY basis to my estimates you are looking at another 5.5K for battery packs, 3000W Inverter/Charger, 300W to 400W of solar panels, solar charger, monitoring system, battery management, cables and miscellaneous materials. Having something like this done on the outside, it would be hard to guess what it would be.

In any case, goodbye to generators and noise!

Looking at the price of a new AI, which does not even come close to above technology (still has a built-in generator), or a Winnebago Bolt, which has the sophisticated 48V Volta system, does however still employ yesterdays cooling technologies (nothing gained with a 12.8KW battery system, quite the contrary, charging a 12.8KW battery either by driving or by shore power will take double the time) it appears like a bargain upgrade my 7 year old AI to something that is hardly on the market today.

This is not brand new tech. Anyone who has a home with inverter technology AC / Heat pump has experienced how efficient these things are.

RV roof AC with this technology seems to be relatively new (not in EU or AU)

My question to the forum: has anybody done a conversion to 12V AC or looked into this?

Would be great to hear your knowledge and experience about the subject.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:13 AM   #2
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Not quite the same approach, but the Storyteller Overland Mode collection of vans uses a much larger battery array, Volta power system, high output alternator. No need for a generator as this setup powers the A/C and microwave natively through the 3200W inverter.
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:36 AM   #3
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It's already out there and being fitted to many van conversions https://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/.

The new HD VES series is shown as coming soon on their website but already available to preferred partners

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Old 09-20-2021, 04:37 AM   #4
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PS the main downside is the near $5K price tag......
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:42 AM   #5
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Just in case you are interested.......

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f31...ml#post2508827
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
It's already out there and being fitted to many van conversions https://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/.

The new HD VES series is shown as coming soon on their website but already available to preferred partners


Interesting, this is a split system, perhaps not ideal for a straight Dometic Penguin replacement.

The Equipment I referred to, unfortunately does not fit into a class B RV, empty van or Class C would work. Besides "made or assembled in the USA" consists of slapping the Label on the AC cover and that's about it.

Just about all of these units are produced in China and are meant for the trucking industry, cab cooling since they can no longer let the engine idle all night long.

But it is coming, I did at least come across one unit that would work as a Penguin replacement, albeit with changes to the roof opening.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
It's already out there and being fitted to many van conversions https://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/.

The new HD VES series is shown as coming soon on their website but already available to preferred partners
MARTIN,
True - Cruisencomfort has been out there for awhile. Been reading about them since I bought my AI since 2018. I am impressed how this system is designed & executed. But how is this going to be a viable solution for an AI ? Our unit comes with a 13,500btu Dometic Penguin. Where I live (southwest) summer temps can hit 110-115F. That was the exact range when I was at Lake Havasu AZ during the Labor Day week. My Dometic couldn't keep up during the midday heat. Not until sun started to drop the horizon did the Dometic start to cut heat gain. The highest capacity 24v Cruisencomfort is only 10kbtu. As a replacement to the AI unit, would it not come short? But of course, if the van conversion starts from scratch with insulation being addressed so that it is much better than AI, then maybe a 10kbtu would be adequate? In my book, this is the main downside. The $5k pricepoint is never a downside (for me) if it can outperform my 13.5kbtu Dometic at 115F.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:39 PM   #8
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So... You're out in the boonies and run the AC for 10 hours, depleting your battery charge. Options? Plug into shore power, Duh. Better, yet, drive all day to charge batteries. Double Duh. I must be missing something here.

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Old 09-24-2021, 07:10 PM   #9
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You might consider the no-idle tractor trailer cab A/C units. There's a really nice 9,000 BTU (Fresco) unit that is rated for 40,000+ hrs, and can run on shore power with a 70 Amp converter. It's from Autoclima. The dealer is out of Ontario and was very helpful. I'm strongly considering it for my '67 Safari, which has the original Armstrong air conditioner, which only has a small hole for the common shaft for the fan motor. Here's the web page. http://www.autoclimana.com/ When I priced it last summer it was about $3995 CAD for all the parts. Jerry
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AstroBruce View Post
So... You're out in the boonies and run the AC for 10 hours, depleting your battery charge. Options? Plug into shore power, Duh. Better, yet, drive all day to charge batteries. Double Duh. I must be missing something here.

Bruce


Responses like this make me quite happy we have the option to block
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:07 PM   #11
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RV Air Conditioner, 12V DC/variable speed technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by docflyboy View Post
You might consider the no-idle tractor trailer cab A/C units. There's a really nice 9,000 BTU (Fresco) unit that is rated for 40,000+ hrs, and can run on shore power with a 70 Amp converter. It's from Autoclima. The dealer is out of Ontario and was very helpful. I'm strongly considering it for my '67 Safari, which has the original Armstrong air conditioner, which only has a small hole for the common shaft for the fan motor. Here's the web page. http://www.autoclimana.com/ When I priced it last summer it was about $3995 CAD for all the parts. Jerry


Great input - thanks, and hope it works out for your 54 year old, 1967 Safari trailer.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docflyboy View Post
You might consider the no-idle tractor trailer cab A/C units. There's a really nice 9,000 BTU (Fresco) unit that is rated for 40,000+ hrs, and can run on shore power with a 70 Amp converter. It's from Autoclima. The dealer is out of Ontario and was very helpful. I'm strongly considering it for my '67 Safari, which has the original Armstrong air conditioner, which only has a small hole for the common shaft for the fan motor. Here's the web page. http://www.autoclimana.com/ When I priced it last summer it was about $3995 CAD for all the parts. Jerry
The Autoclima Fresco system is available in USA from Badge Air in Chippewa Falls, WI.

http://www.badgeaire.com/autoclima.html
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:32 PM   #13
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After a considerable amount of research, I came to the conclusion that 12V battery operated AC units are not quite ready for prime time yet, at least not for the long wheel base AI.

Most of these units are meant for the over the road trucking market, since idling trucks for heating and AC is no longer possible in most states. First, the AI would not be happy with much less than 12,000 Btu. Of the few 12V ACs available with above capacity, most will not fit as a replacement for the Dometic Penguin II, the roof unit is to wide, but more so the air distribution box will not fit on the inside. AIs already have a Dometic part specially made for Airstream with a width limit of about 21

There is one unit that would qualify as a replacement, this is the Nomadic Cooling 3000 12V @ $4,590.00(!!!) as of today. This unit would certainly cool a stretched AI, it would fit and would be a relatively easy install. Max Cool draw is 65A @ 85F, Eco mode is 35 55A.

The price is staggering, in relation to other systems, which unfortunately dont fit. But it is offer and demand and delivery on these units is several month out.

A step back to 120V RV rooftop AC units, The most efficient one I could find is the Coleman Mach 10 NDQ 13,500 Btu standard draw is 10.4A @ 85F At 120V this works out to 1,248W. This AC has a built-in Softstart, so starting current would not be much higher, which means it can operate on a 2,000W inverter provided no other 120V appliances are operating.

Now 1,248W / 13.2V (typical LFP voltage) = 95A vs 65A on the Nomadic, a good 30% more power use. Typical hot weather camping in my case is where nights usually drop to the low 70s or lower. This would perhaps entail some 4 to 5 hours of cooling. Assuming cycle times of 15 min two to three times per hour would work to 4 x 95A for a good five hours of cooling. A 400AH battery system would be a minimum and 600AH would work great. Of course a full battery recharge would only work with a good day of driving together with solar or generator use.

In any case, the 120V AC option plus 30% additional LFP capacity would cost out to less than half the 12V option and of course the Mach 10 will work great on shore power.

Looks like a winter project
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Old 10-15-2021, 09:22 AM   #14
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I would just settle for a much, much quieter A/C than the one that came with the AI....

As soon as we start using the AI more and more, that will be the first big modification that we will make...
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