Do you think you need a/c? - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #31
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Has anyone looked into a propane a/c unit, could be an alternate to 12v?
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:08 AM   #32
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I live in the Northern section of a Northern State so the temps in Summer are normally moderate . That being said , we recently had temps of 102 Deg F over the long 4th of July weekend. .Our old trailer did not have A/C ,our new one does . ! Our camping in winter is limited enough by snow & cold so I don't want my summer camping limited by heat and humidity
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:16 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Has anyone looked into a propane a/c unit, could be an alternate to 12v?
Yes, at least tangentially. As observed by the 300+ posts on the other propane cooling appliance that we all own, or will own soon - the frig.

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Old 11-01-2014, 11:23 AM   #34
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One of those pesky government regulations
I'll take any government regulation as long as it is common sense.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:33 PM   #35
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Has anyone looked into a propane a/c unit, could be an alternate to 12v?
A useful air conditioner would need about ten times the cooling capacity of an RV refrigerator, so if it used the same design it woukd be very bulky and likely problematic. It would still need significant power for fans - perhaps twice as much as a furnace. If it used a design more like a typical industrial absorption cooling unit it would work better, but would need power for at least one pump.

I notice that refrigerated trucks and shiping containers - which need a lot of cooling and have no electricity available so they run on diesel - don't use absorption cooling units. They run an engine to drive a compressor.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:37 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by DiamonDiver View Post
When I have my 5.0TA built it will have no rooftop openings...
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I do not believe ETI will agree to build a 5.0 without an escape hatch over the bed.
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Carl is right, it's probably a requirement. One of those pesky govt regulations.
I can believe an escape hatch is required, but I'm sure it is not required to be in the roof. Could an adequately large escape window be fit in one side of the sleeping loft area?
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Old 11-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #37
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When I have my 5.0TA built it will have no rooftop openings and a 12 or 24 DC volt aircon...
This might be expensive to build. The similar systems used in trucks are 120V AC, and use an inverter (specifically chosen for this purpose, to handle the motor load) to run from the batteries.

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Originally Posted by DiamonDiver View Post
... with cooling coils forward in the bedroom and aft in the dining area. I will probably build a box that houses the batteries, compressor and condenser and mounts aft above the rear bumper.

A/C would be available, even while boon-docking. You would be able to run the aircon for a couple of hours before bedtime or until the dedicated aircon batteries ran down to a set low charge level, similar to the system truckers use in their sleeper cabs so they don't have to idle.

The hard part would be running the freon tubing unobtrusively and building evaporator registers with quiet enough fans, dual DC volt computer style fans would probably work well.
The general approach makes sense, but looks like much more custom fabrication than required. The common truck cab systems (such as systems from Dometic's truck division) would work. They are often split systems (separate inside and outside units) - even if you don't get a truck system, small split air conditioners intended for home use are available.

We're talking about a lot of battery. I wouldn't put that - plus the air conditioning equipment - at the very back of the trailer.
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:30 PM   #38
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I think anyone considering battery-powered air conditioning should look at one document from Dometic, whether or not they are interested in a system sold by Dometic:
Battery-Powered HVAC - Guide
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:58 PM   #39
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I can believe an escape hatch is required, but I'm sure it is not required to be in the roof. Could an adequately large escape window be fit in one side of the sleeping loft area?
I think standards require a roof escape hatch. A side emergency exit wouldn't help if the trailer fell over on that side, so I think 2 are required on different surfaces.
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Old 11-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #40
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I was thinking of something like this for the A/C

MasterFlux - Products - Condensing Units

Or this

Cool-It 12 Volt Air Conditioning System - Tiger Tool Inc.

For the aircon system.

I'm sure that an escape window, if necessary, could be installed on the side of the hull. A roof without penetrations is better suited for a solar installation and less likely to leak.

It would be expensive to install, but as I would be providing the engineering and labor of installing the system, cost would be greatly reduced. It would still be expensive, but I enjoy designing and building these types of systems.

I would like to at some point build my own custom fiberglass 5th wheel, but ETI does such a beautiful job with the hull, frame and furniture that sourcing from them and modifying to my needs makes more sense.

I feel comfortable building a FG enclosure to attach to the rear of the trailer over an extended bumper. I'm not concerned about GVWR, I have a 3/4 ton 4wd tug that recently towed a 14K 5th wheel through the Rockies from Arizona to Montana.

I'm looking for a boondocker to camp on BLM land and to dry camp in National Parks. I also want a more compact rig to take advantage of smaller older trailer sites, especially in the National Parks.

Coming from the marine side I'm familiar with DC systems with a minimum amount of AC electrical running off an inverter.

Another thing is that no matter what this rig eventually cost it will be cheaper than a boat.

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