Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit - Page 13 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-31-2016, 09:16 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Yes, it has been welded as per the recall. The steel channel appears about a 1/4" thick when you look where it joins under the coupler. It's amazing there would have ever been any issue with the frame. Probably done out of an abundance of caution.
Escape's Points to Ponder page includes this:
Quote:
The frame is constructed with 3/16” thick 1 ½” x 3” T1 steel tubing creating a solid foundation, eliminating any chance of fatigue.
It is outdated, presumably written when all Escape frames were 1 ½” x 3”; now all current models have 2” x 4” main rails and tongues, with 1 ½” x 3” rear sections. I don't recall a wall thickness statement for the 2"x4" tubing.

3/16" is 50% thicker than my 17-foot Boler's 2"x4" frame tubing. The tubing is more than strong enough in 3" tall or 4" tall sizes; the concern was only with the mitre joint in the 3" tall version, and even then less than 1% had any problem.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:05 PM   #122
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Just a final picture of the outside lines rolling out from under the trailer to the condenser. The one Liquidtight conduit has 120V AC power from a new 15 amp breaker installed in the power center. The other Liquidtight line is the interconnecting power and control wire between the indoor and outdoor unit. You can also see the refrigerant line set. A pre-insulated 15' line set was perfect. It meets the system minimum and there are only small coils at the front of the trailer, tight to the underside. I am enlisting a friend who is an HVAC tech to pressure test with nitrogen, evacuate and charge some time this week. I'll report back when it is running with some feedback on the performance, including a sound comparison.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:12 PM   #123
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Oh and a lesson learned with pre-insulated refrigeration lines. The 1/4" line had flared ends that were absolute garbage and would have leaked like a sieve. My only guess is they do enough to hold the nuts on and assume the installer is cutting and flaring themselves. Interestingly the 3/8" line ends were beautiful. I took the lines back apart tonight and did new flares on the 1/4" line. Quite a bit of work taking the inside unit back out, but it had to be done to have an honest shot at a leak-free system. I didn't have the flare tool during the original installation or I would have done it then.

You can see a good flare on the left that I made and the garbage from the factory line set on the right.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:18 PM   #124
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You're probably right about the factory flare. Doesn't even look like a flare -- more like a bend just to hold the nut on for shipping.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:07 PM   #125
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Looking good!
Any plan to add something to avoid damage (with motion during travel) to the conduit at the edge of the mounting plate?
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:40 AM   #126
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Your installation is looking great, good job!

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Brian you came through again. It is the 120177 box and I had to make it work because it cannot be returned through Fastenal. I slid the box forward enough to keep some storage behind the access door and vent the box out the front. The seat support structure made it difficult to do it any other way. Battery box lid comes off easily for access.
I had my battery box pretty much exactly where yours is. As close to the left as possible, and right up to the support. This left room for lots of footwear.
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The outdoor unit looks like it belongs there, and those corner pads (which Escape uses because the liner material wouldn't fit the interior shape otherwise) are certainly handy!
i think the fact that it makes applying the fabric to the walls a bit easier is a bonus for Escape. They too use it for running wiring. When adding a second set of tail/brake lights it certainly was handy for me.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:09 AM   #127
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Looking good!
Any plan to add something to avoid damage (with motion during travel) to the conduit at the edge of the mounting plate?
Thanks Brian. The mounting plate edge has been filed, but I see your point and will look to add something or shorten the Liquidtight to prevent rubbing. I am also going to extend, cut and reflare the refrigerant lines to eliminate the small coils of excess under the trailer that will have a tendency to bounce and rub unless secured. This way the lines will come straight out of the trailer floor and roll right up to the condenser connections. An installation that rolls down the road needs to consider a few more of these finer details!
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:16 AM   #128
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Your installation is looking great, good job!
Thanks Jim. Many of the custom projects I have seen on this forum has provided some inspiration.

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I had my battery box pretty much exactly where yours is. As close to the left as possible, and right up to the support.
Thanks for adding this. I was flying a little blind and just going with what looked practical. I am very pleased that there is still some room for storage accessible by the end cabinet door.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:52 AM   #129
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Thanks for adding this. I was flying a little blind and just going with what looked practical. I am very pleased that there is still some room for storage accessible by the end cabinet door.
This was very handy for our footwear. I added a shelf so we didn't have to just pile them high.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:07 PM   #130
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Started the system up tonight with the help of a friend who is an HVAC tech. Held nitrogen at 300psi then evacuated with a vacuum pump for about a half hour. No leaks so we released the refrigerant into the lines and turned the unit on. This thing is incredible! I knew it would be quiet, but you can't hear it at all in quiet mode or low when at the back bed. Medium and high are audible, but pleasant. You cannot hear the outdoor unit at all. It throws a nice stream of air down the length of the trailer. While this project is a serious undertaking I recommend it for those that are very handy and have a reason to eliminate the overhead Dometic. Hopefully Escape considers offering a quieter alternative like this as an option in the future. It is well worth any extra cost and it would be great to have a warrantied install. I know a few were interested in how this turned out so let me know if you want anymore info.
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