Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit - Page 18 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-23-2016, 09:33 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
One issue with it being too quiet inside is when one of those shade monsters pull in next door and they turn on their dual 50 amp air-conditioning systems while operating their on board generator. Then you may wish you had a louder air conditioning system to create some "white noise"....
That could be easily solved with a portable fan, rain/ocean waves music, etc. but aren't we chasing our tail now?
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:49 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Winnebago sold their motorhomes with a one-unit (not split) air conditioning system mounted under the floor, which they called True Air Residential Central Air Conditioning. It was quieter (according to both Winnebago and owners), and didn't stick up high on the roof. One unit handled a large Class A motorhome, which required two units when rooftop air conditioners were used, and it used less power. They dropped it because they ran out of room under the floor, and now use conventional rooftop units; however, they kept the TrueAir name, and call it TrueAir® Maximum Comfort A/C. The old system wasn't split, and probably wasn't variable-speed, but it was a better and quieter system... and being better wasn't enough to keep in in production.
Brian even if the rooftop and underfloor units weren't variable speed aren't they inherently quieter systems (at least inside) because the units are ducted through the larger trailer and not distributed through a plenum right into the space with hardly any attenuation? Also the method of construction and rigidity of the shell or framing/insulation on the particular trailer would matter in reducing overall noise and vibration.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:10 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Brian even if the rooftop and underfloor units weren't variable speed aren't they inherently quieter systems (at least inside) because the units are ducted through the larger trailer and not distributed through a plenum right into the space with hardly any attenuation?
Yes, the ducting and construction are important, but in these Winnebagos even the rooftop units are ducted. The central system just avoided having two units (in larger motorhomes), and moved the compressor noise to under the floor where it is less audible. Being better wasn't enough to keep it going.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:21 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
One issue with it being too quiet inside is when one of those shade monsters pull in next door and they turn on their dual 50 amp air-conditioning systems while operating their on board generator. Then you may wish you had a louder air conditioning system to create some "white noise"....
Well, they don't really have 50-amp air conditioning systems (just 50 amp capacity per side power cords and panels), but that is the biggest reason for the generator for some owners. Mine has a stock factory equipment generator sized to run both rooftop air conditioners at the same time, but it's only 5500 watts; that's less than 23 amps per side.

Our motorhome's air conditioners have ducted outlets, but direct return and single-speed, so they're annoying loud. They're also out of production, with parts no longer available. Dave's installation would be a nice improvement, and the better efficiency would mean less direct air conditioner noise outside, plus less generator noise when we (rarely, and not in a campground) run the generator.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:33 AM   #175
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Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit

Dave, this is incredible, not just the ideas, but also the quality of execution!

I'm fascinated by the possibilities this raises. The benefits are dramatic and downside seems to be more esthetics than anything else, at least until we have more "in use" data about durability.
I have a 2017 5.0 TA on order for Sept 2017. For me, the optimal place for the condenser on the back and the air handler over the dinette.
Although ETI is not willing to install one, they might be willing to install some of the infrastructure, especially if approached by more than one of us. Perhaps they would be willing to do some the following:
1. extend the bumper slightly, move the spare over, and install a mounting plate for the condenser
2. stub out the two 120V drops (the inside unit could extend from the roof top A/C wiring)
3. install the digital thermostat with appropriate wiring
4. adapt the shelf over the dinette to accommodate the dimensions of the air handler
5. run the control wiring, copper lines, and condensate tube
If they were willing to do these things, the rest of the installation would be a piece of cake for an A/C guy. There might even be an A/C firm in Chilliwack that would be interested in providing the hardware and installing it. All in, this would probably be twice the cost of a conventional A/C, but I'd be willing to pay double to get this on my dream trailer. In Texas A/C is an essential.
The peace and quiet would be priceless!
When it's noisy outside, I could use earplugs (as I do now) or a white sound generator, but that's only an occasional problem.
At some point lithium batteries will become competitive. When Tesla's Gigafactory is fully on line, A/C on solar might be possibile for a high efficiency unit. I'd need more solar panels, but even if I could only use A/C during the day, that would be great.
Technomadia has A/C on solar. Talk about the bleeding edge!
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:25 AM   #176
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I would not give too much hope in this joint venture. Escape must meet certain requirements and leaving a "rough in" with electrical and copper tubing I'm sure is not on their list. I have asked for the spare to be moved in the past and Reace has done a marvelous job in weight and keeping the Escape trouble free and easy to tow. Any structural change on the exterior is frowned upon.
That said, anything you do after taking delivery is fine but asking them to participate, I doubt it.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #177
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Unless something has changed, ETI won't run propane lines unless they're also hooked up to an appliance. I tried and I asked. I wanted the propane line run for the stove, but capped off and no stove mounted. That was a "no," can't do it.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:38 AM   #178
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Exactly, everything has to be hooked up, not roughed in. Same for 120v electrical. They will run a 12v drop, but that is their limit.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:46 AM   #179
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I'd say if you want to tackle this, then the OP has proven it can be done. I don't think Escape would be involved in any "prep" work for such a mod during their build.

As for the stock AC however, we are very glad to have it and it works well. Yes, it's noisier, but it doesn't really bother us. We can sleep right through its cycles on a hot night. It helps however to have the digital thermostat so it doesn't have to run constantly on high.

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Old 08-24-2016, 02:13 PM   #180
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I can't speak for Escape, but I'll note:
  • Low-voltage wiring has been installed at the factory ("roughed in") to support installations by owners of equipment such as battery monitors and backup cameras.
  • If I recall correctly, 120V AC wiring has reportedly been "roughed in" at the factory, as the air conditioning preparation. If the circuit is not connected to a breaker in the panel, there is no risk. This is somewhat different from roughing in a circuit to potential air conditioning unit on the tongue or bumper, because those locations are not part (even optional) of the trailer's electrical system design.
  • Tubing for air conditioning - not connected at either end - is very different from a branch of the active propane system, capped off. The air conditioning tubing (which would be empty at installation) would not affect the design or operation of any other system, including the propane distribution plumbing.
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