Climate Right AC Install / Drilling Holes in the Side of the Trailer - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-12-2019, 09:20 PM   #1
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Climate Right AC Install / Drilling Holes in the Side of the Trailer

I'm planning on installing a 5000 BTU Climate Right external air conditioner on a cargo hitch rack on my 2018 17B. The main reason I'm going with an external AC is to reduce the noise from the roof mounted units, which drive me nuts.

Can anyone give advice on drilling large holes through the side of the trailer? I'm planning on installing the air intake and exhaust ports near the electrical input (under the seat storage area) and then ducting it into the trailer from there. However, what's the best way to drill a 3.5 in hole through fiberglass? Masking tape and then just a wood rated hole saw?

For some background on the installation, there are some videos here of doing this in a pretty generic looking teardrop (which is likely wood construction):
https://climateright.com/popular-app...ng-and-heating

And, the specific mounting kit I'll use is:
https://climateright.com/teardrop-tr...ation-kit.html
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:19 PM   #2
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I've drilled lots of holes in f.g. boats and my trailer. There's no hard rule but you're approaching a size where I change my technique a bit.

If, for example I'm drilling a 2" hole, I just drill it. Yes, masking tape can help keep the edges from chipping but it's more a case of the condition of the hole saw.

3 1/2" is starting to get to the size where I do one of two things if possible. I add a backing block or I use the hole saw on a piece of 3/4" plywood and tape it in place. This is because the pilot drill is still the same size but the hole saw is much larger in diameter and if it isn't running true it's much easier to make a bit of an ugly hole.

Although hole saws come in even larger sizes I don't use them freehand unless I can use a backing block and even then there can be problems. I'd rather cut larger holes with a reciprocating saw with a fine toothed blade.

Ron
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:07 AM   #3
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When drilling with a hole saw in fiberglass drill your pilot hole first with a std. bit then I run the drill in reverse when drilling with your hole saw. The hole saw does not grab and tear up your glass. Follow the other instructions as posted.

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Old 01-13-2019, 11:40 AM   #4
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That'll work also and another thing that can be done is replace the pilot bit with a steel rod of the same size. It helps keep the bit from chewing a larger hole. If you have a guide block or a thick backing block that's not as necessary.

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Old 01-13-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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Keep us posted. I have considered doing that (though would probably carry the unit in the vehicle and then set it up when needed- I'm leery of driving with it on the cargo rack.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:26 PM   #6
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FYI: just remember if you permanently install the Climate Right unit on the cargo hitch rack, it voids the unit’s warranty. This issue has been extensively discussed on some of the teardrop camper forums.

I agree that the roof top unit is noisy, but nothing foam ear plugs won’t solve.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys. Sounds straightforward with those tips.

I’ll post some photos once I get to it as well.

And yes, appreciate that it will void the AC warranty. Good thing to keep in mind though I’m going to give it a go anyway.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lv4toys View Post
FYI: just remember if you permanently install the Climate Right unit on the cargo hitch rack, it voids the unit’s warranty. This issue has been extensively discussed on some of the teardrop camper forums.

I agree that the roof top unit is noisy, but nothing foam ear plugs won’t solve.

I’ve used the rooftop unit as a big white noise generator to drown out drunk bozos who thought the campground was their own, personal, private party land. I asked them nicely twice, no camp host or other enforcers available, decided it was easiest (and probably safest) to just drown them out for one night then move on in the morning.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:33 AM   #9
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
I’ve used the rooftop unit as a big white noise generator to drown out drunk bozos who thought the campground was their own, personal, private party land. I asked them nicely twice, no camp host or other enforcers available, decided it was easiest (and probably safest) to just drown them out for one night then move on in the morning.
Oh no my mini-split is too quiet to do that!
I guess I'll need to resort to the stereo...
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:54 PM   #11
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Oh no my mini-split is too quiet to do that!
I guess I'll need to resort to the stereo...
Just to throw my opinion in here - I would do a mini split before I would cut holes for a Climate Right.

Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:36 PM   #12
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Just to throw my opinion in here - I would do a mini split before I would cut holes for a Climate Right.

Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit
Another thing to consider is any certifications that a unit has. With my Fujitsu I know it has been tested by AHRI under very specific conditions that essentially guarantees you are getting the heating/cooling capacity and energy efficiency advertised.
https://www.ahridirectory.org/Home/D...PENEoXpteNSA1f

I cannot find any such certification for ClimateRight models. It may be fine, but it is a gamble nonetheless.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:17 AM   #13
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A 5k btu window unit they had over our fridge in our 17b was a bit light duty and really wasn’t able to keep up. I would go with the larger 10k btu ClimateRight. I’d have to see the actual performance, but doubt this would be a solution for any model over the 17.
I’ll be interested to hear how this works over the long haul for the OP
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:20 PM   #14
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The Canadian price for this unit would be very high.

I think I would make a two chamber box out of aluminium that would capture the air coming out of a normal residential window unit and pipe it in the same way. That is sort of what this unit is anyway...just a reboxed residential. Buy two window units as they are cheap and have one on standby for quick swap at home when it fails due to road vibration.

I like that it would be quieter inside the trailer and you could use it on a work cargo trailer or cabin, garage, etc when not camping.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:21 PM   #15
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Thinking about it, why not put the connections for the Climate Right into something that can pop into a sliding window when needed? No holes, easily removable (similar to having a portable inside).
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:46 PM   #16
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Thinking about it, why not put the connections for the Climate Right into something that can pop into a sliding window when needed? No holes, easily removable (similar to having a portable inside).
There are pictures of that being done on the web page.
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File Type: png 96BF9B4A-A3C4-4EA6-8272-59FD0BE30A54.png (62.7 KB, 43 views)
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
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A 5k btu window unit they had over our fridge in our 17b was a bit light duty and really wasn’t able to keep up. I would go with the larger 10k btu ClimateRight. I’d have to see the actual performance, but doubt this would be a solution for any model over the 17.
I’ll be interested to hear how this works over the long haul for the OP
This is a very good point. What I do know is at least one teardrop owner reported needing to go to the 5,000 BTU unit from the 2,500 because it wasn't enough. Likely the 10,000 BTU is more appropriate for any of the larger Escapes. This also assumes you are actually removing those BTU's which relates to my certification comment. My Fujitsu mini-split (certified) at 9,000 BTU is perfect for the 19 as a point of reference.

The good news is that the 10,000 BTU ClimateRight becomes a heat pump rather than just an air conditioner with electric resistance heater. The bad news is the technology is antiquated and it can only be operated down to 40F. The other downside is the unit weight balloons to 104#.
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