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Old 05-21-2024, 06:19 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
Inglis , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 29
Need to add additional A/C to 23í flying cloud

2011 FC23Fb - 30 amp service, single 13,500 Dometic A/C. Iím finding the single unit does not quite do the job. Iím aware of general limitations on my 30 A service. (I also have the isotherm combination fridge/freezer with seperate compressors) so I think I am pretty much at the limit for my 30 amp service.

Here are my thoughts 1) A 15,000 BTU to replace my 13,500. Will it fit? Mechanical, size hole in ceiling, wiring size, etc.? I am aware that going this way MAY not still give enough cooling, and two, it would require me to exercise more restraint on using blow dryers, microwave, induction cooktop, etc than I now exercise.
2) An entirely separate 12,000 BTU unit with an additional 30 Amp service. This would cost me likely two of my existing solar panels, and Iím not sure about the structural integrity of the roof. Also not sure about using a separate AC circuit in the trailer. I would envision completely separated systems, but the ground or neutrals would surely become common at the shore pedestal or even in the trailer. Problems with that? How hard would it be to run the second AC inlet?
3) Other ideas? I WNOW one of you is likely to chime in with go buy a new trailer with more AC, but we are completely happy with our heavily modified 23í flying cloud. Replacement is just not in the cards!
I have even tried to envision an entirely independent power cord for a second unit - exterior to the coach and only plugged in when needed! Might be unsightly, but hey! This is likely my last trailer!
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:09 PM   #2
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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For 1 yes a 15,000 BTU AC will fit the same as a 13,500 BTU AC and if your AC is original and the new one you get is higher efficiency it may not use any more power, like this one that runs on 1500 watts.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:04 AM   #3
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2023 25' Globetrotter
Ancient City , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 208
I think one of the ac companies just came out with a variable speed rooftop unit. Possibly runs more like a mini split in that it runs longer at a lower speed. . Will try and find it.

Quieter is better too!
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:16 AM   #4
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Alamo Heights , Texas
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First let me say this is just the result of casual research I've done because I'm a nerd... I don't own one of these AC units but have been interested in quieter efficient AC options.

A company called Houghton is a relatively new competitor in the RV AC space and they sell through RecPro in the US. They have this model, a 15k BTU unit which they claim runs at lower amperage than competitors for the same rated capacity, and is quieter to boot. The particular one I linked has a condensate collection and pumping system so it'll connect into the condensate drain on an Airstream.

If a single unit was enough cooling for your trailer for all this time, most likely there's something wrong with it (perhaps just age) and it's not cooling as well as it once did. A single higher-capacity high-efficiency unit should get you a cool interior. It uses a remote-control thermostat and states plainly in their description that it doesn't work with other thermostats, so that would be something to consider.
ó David

Zero Gravitas ó 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ó Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:02 AM   #5
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2007 27' International CCD FB
San Diego , California
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I think you can find success with a larger capacity A/C unit. It'll fit just fine as they all fit over a standard 14" x 14" opening.
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:39 AM   #6
19í Bambi Flying Cloud
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2017 19' Flying Cloud
Airstream Coach - Other
Husqvarnia , Husqvarnia
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 420
Iím very much with the posters above. The easy upgrade path is to swap in a modern 15K btu unit. It likely will work fine with your 30A service. No further mods required.

Consider that your original 13.5K btu unit is probably getting tired and nearing end of service life. So you will likely need to swap it out soon regardless. Why not start there and see if a new 13.5-15K btu unit is the simple answer to your cooling problems?
2017 Bambi 19 Flying Cloud
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:32 AM   #7
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2011 23' FB Flying Cloud
Inglis , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 29
Need new AC

I really appreciate the. Help, guys. Actually, this unit is relatively new, having been installed by the PO about six years ago - is that still relatively new these days? I think the issue is my location in the Deep South - Florida, coupled with the noise! Our previous experience with Ďmobile ACí was on a sailing catamaran, where all three 16,000 btu units running at once constituted just a low hum in the background - and they drew 10 amps each! I would use one of them if I had a way to do so! (Boon docking would be out of the question, and space required for both the unit and air handler)

The need to use another remote is a consideration, and I REALLY like the condensate drain collection, pump arrangement that was mentioned. These Dometic units are notorious for cracking drain cups, resulting in condensate running down the side of the coach!

Iím beginning to think the 15K (18K) unit fitting the same space, with a higher SEER rating, comparable power draw and lower noise level may ACTUALLY not be a pipe dream! Heaven!

I think the search will turn now to higher, much higher SEER ratings. What do you suppose the older Dometics were rated at? A SEER of 2 - 4 which I see on some newer ones is not really very high!

Sent from my iPhone
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:23 AM   #8
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2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,321
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Take a look at the Furrion Chill Cube 18K BTU

GrandpaMac, have you seen the new Furrion Chill Cube variable speed compressor dual fan unit? It’s more efficient with a brushless DC fan and worth a look since you’re trying to solve the temp issues. They also claim it’s up to 10db quieter than conventional units.

The guy from Big Truck, Big RV YouTube channel just installed one in his SOB RV to test.

Furrion is going to release several other models with this technology in a few months including a ducted AC/Heat Pump model for newer Airstreams. I’m very interested in seeing how those work out.
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2019 27í Globetrotter FBT Walnut/Dublin Slate
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