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Old 09-25-2019, 08:21 AM   #1
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AC size

Is the 11,000 BTU Air conditioner enough for the Texas heat, or would a 13,500 BTU AC be better.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:34 AM   #2
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Is the 11,000 BTU Air conditioner enough for the Texas heat, or would a 13,500 BTU AC be better.
More than enough. Your trailer's interior space is quite small for such a unit. The biggest problem isn't the cooling capacity of the AC, but that the trailer isn't insulated as well as one with a thicker wall. That means the trailer loses the cool air more rapidly, and the AC runs more often.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:37 AM   #3
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Is the 11,000 BTU Air conditioner enough for the Texas heat, or would a 13,500 BTU AC be better.
We decided to "camp" in Big Bend National Park this summer - famously known for cooking campers and hikers. Prior to this time we did not have an A/C but our Escape 21 was A/C ready with a second Maxx fan in the cutout. Without an A/C the interior of the trailer easily reaches over 100F in mid-afternoon - with all the windows open. Its HOT here - but very dry.

Our decision to go with a 13,500 BTU unit was more of a guess than an informed decision. Would I do it again I would have chosen the smaller unit for a couple of reasons. First, I assume it would make less noise. Our Coleman will disturb the whole campground and we can not hold a conversation inside. Second, it discharges enough cold air to convert the whole trailer into a refrigerator. After 30 minutes of use we are reaching for sweaters and have to turn it off.

Bottom line - if we decide to do another summer down here I will look into downsizing to 11,000 BTU unit.

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Old 09-25-2019, 09:50 AM   #4
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I removed an 11,000 BTU rooftop Dometic and did a custom install of a 9,000 BTU Fujitsu mini-split. It works fantastic even on the hottest of days in making the trailer comfortable (Classic 19 with extra insulation and regular non-thermal windows). I could have went with a 12,000, but since I'm experienced in HVAC I knew 9,000 would be enough. The advantage of a unit that is not oversized is you get much better dehumidifying which is critical if you are in areas that are humid. If I had Alan's 13,500 BTU unit it not only would be ridiculously loud it would be cold and clammy inside because the unit cannot run long enough to wring out the moisture before the thermostat is satisfied. Another thing to consider is if you will ever be needing to run your A/C on a generator. The 11,000 BTU units can generally run on the Honda EU2000/2200 units or equivalent (some have needed to add a Micro Air Easy Start depending on their circumstances). For the 13,500 BTU unit you would definitely need a larger generator. Also you should know that no matter the brand or size of rooftop A/C that you get it will be loud. The only rooftop unit that I have found where they really seemed to try to make it quieter is shown here, but this is expensive and may only be installed by Advanced-RV in Ohio:
Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit
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Old 09-25-2019, 11:14 AM   #5
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I removed an 11,000 BTU rooftop Dometic and did a custom install of a 9,000 BTU Fujitsu mini-split.
I assume the Fujitsu is intended for stationary use in a building. How does it handle the rigors involved with towing? I would worry that vibration would kill it, but then I don't know anything about HVAC, other than it is necessary for life on the Gulf Coast.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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I assume the Fujitsu is intended for stationary use in a building. How does it handle the rigors involved with towing? I would worry that vibration would kill it, but then I don't know anything about HVAC, other than it is necessary for life on the Gulf Coast.
Mike: Yes, the Fujitsu is technically designed for a stationary application such as a house or business. That said, a Dometic rooftop unit doesn't appear to have any unique design features that would help it survive vibration better than the Fujitsu. I have had the Fujitsu mini-split on the trailer for over 3 years now and it is doing just fine. I'm not worried about any warranty. This works so well and is so quiet I would try to fix first if I had a problem, but would also have no hesitation to just replace the entire outdoor section if needed. I was out in front on this installation and taking some risk, but we have been rewarded with super quiet cooling, dehumidifying and heating. Would never go back!
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #7
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That said, a Dometic rooftop unit doesn't appear to have any unique design features that would help it survive vibration better than the Fujitsu.
You can say that again Dave. My AC lost all of it's refrigerant and had to be replaced. I'd used it maybe 8 or 10 times since new in 2015, since we don't like camping when and where it's hot. Also, the unit was stored inside the entire 4 years. The tech who replaced the unit told me he has to do this all the time with Dometics. I might hesitate in tackling a retrofit of a mini-split due to my lack of know how, but certainly not because of vibration concerns.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:23 AM   #8
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I have a 2G 19 with extra insulation and dual-pane windows. I don't think I've seen the 11500BTU AC duty cycle more than about 70% even when it's a bit over 100F outside. I'm not surprised 9000 is enough, and even 8000 would probably do. 5000 would probably be pushing it for Texas summers, though.

In terms of vibration on the mini-split.. it's not quite the same thing, but it at least has to be constructed to withstand the vibration from the compressor.
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