Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit - Page 19 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-24-2016, 02:31 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by ReagentGrade View Post
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
...
While this makes sense, it would probably be tough to convince Escape, because it would mean longer rear frame rails. The frame is made by an outside supplier (specifically for Escape), who probably does them in batches for efficiency and may use a fixture to hold the parts; a custom length would not likely fit into that production process very well.

It might also make sense to avoid extending the bumper, because that would restrict the departure angle and would make the corners stick out unnecessarily (because the whole width of the bumper would move back, even though only the width of the air conditioning unit is needed). An air conditioner unit mounted on top of the frame and bumper (the frame and bumper are at the same level) could be protected by a loop of steel tubing just around the mounting platform. The loop and platform could be added later by the owner. I think I would prefer a bolt-on installation for post-manufacturing additions, rather than welding, due to the expertise needed to properly weld the T1 alloy steel (probably ASTM A514, as per previous discussions) used for the frame.

It might be easier to get Escape to just shift the spare. I think it's also worth considering mounting the spare under the floor, between the frame rails, to get it entirely out of the way and to shift mass forward for stability. I'm sure that would be an owner modification; perhaps Escape would be willing to leave the stock spare mount off entirely, with the spare carried in the tug.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:58 PM   #182
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ReagentGrade,
Glad to see the excitement. My hope by documenting it was to inspire others as to what might be possible. I can't speak to what ETI will or will not do, but it is certainly worth asking. Here are a couple of thoughts that piggybacks off of some of what Brian B-P has already added:

1. extend the bumper slightly, move the spare over, and install a mounting plate for the condenser
If ETI won't do it, this can be easily accomplished by enlisting a skilled welder. That might be better anyway because it would be done exactly how you want it and it avoids the time and energy of communicating back and forth with ETI. Additionally, they would have very little chance of getting it right without the actual condenser in hand and they are probably not going to want to handle equipment they aren't actually installing.

2. stub out the two 120V drops (the inside unit could extend from the roof top A/C wiring)
The traditional 120V circuit only needs to go to the outdoor unit from a 15 amp breaker in the power center. From the looks of it the power center is in the rear dinette area of the 5.0 TA so that makes it simple. ETI does "A/C ready" installs so I'd think they would work with you on this. If ETI installed the breaker and left the wire looped in the lower dinette storage area that is really all you would need. Then you take it through the floor and out to the condenser in some flexible Liquidtite conduit. The indoor unit uses a combination 4 conductor power and control wire fed from the outdoor unit.
www.highseer.com/4-lead-wire.html

3. install the digital thermostat with appropriate wiring
Nothing needs to be done in this regard. The unit comes standard with a wireless remote control.

4. adapt the shelf over the dinette to accommodate the dimensions of the air handler
If the shelf is standard this may make the mounting easier than modifying a cabinet like I did but you should keep in mind that you want to conceal all the horizontal piping (2 refrigerant lines and drain) and the combination power/control wire. I would think a cabinet with modified opening would be best. Just make sure nothing else would be in your way (i.e. it looks like speakers are mounted on the face of the back cabinet as part of the stereo option)

5. run the control wiring, copper lines, and condensate tube
Again, only a small gauge combination power/control wire is needed from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. Maybe they would route it from the upper cabinet to the lower dinette storage area and you could take it outside from there in Liquidtite. It would be great if they would route the pre-insulated refrigerant line set and drain for you from the upper cabinet to the lower dinette seating storage area but then again this is kind of tricky without knowing EXACTLY how it needs to be routed and terminated. Mine is routed behind the corner panels on each side and it isn't perfect, but acceptable. The corner panel with the A/C lines bulges out a bit. Would be better if I cut away the wall liner and fit them tighter to the shell.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:56 AM   #183
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Would the optional underside spray in insulation be in the way of this installation?
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:20 AM   #184
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I also have an engineering background and totally agree with what you're trying to achieve.
I'm considering order a new 17B but don't want the noise of the AC plus additional weight.
Also, but aside from your original consideration is the CofG moment that will be considerable
reduces by taking the weight off the roof and placing it in a much improved location.
Aviation background dictates the very important weight and balance envelope that no one talks about in the trailer industry...
Fly an airplane that is at it's gross weight but loaded outside it's envelope and presto...major control problems... i.e (back to trailers) the need for sway bars etc to attempt to control an problem that is outside the design envelope of a system...

Duer
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:55 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by ttseeker View Post
Would the optional underside spray in insulation be in the way of this installation?
I'm not sure if the factory spray foam boundaries would extend to the front or rear corner where I would suggest exiting with the piping and wiring (depending on design and layout of system). Even if it did, I would just drill through it and seal around the penetrations. It is a closed cell foam so no issues with any exposed edges, etc. Although I would cut away a small section by hand first to make sure nothing is embedded in the the foam before drilling.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:55 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duer View Post
I also have an engineering background and totally agree with what you're trying to achieve.
I'm considering order a new 17B but don't want the noise of the AC plus additional weight.
Also, but aside from your original consideration is the CofG moment that will be considerable
reduces by taking the weight off the roof and placing it in a much improved location.
Aviation background dictates the very important weight and balance envelope that no one talks about in the trailer industry...
Fly an airplane that is at it's gross weight but loaded outside it's envelope and presto...major control problems... i.e (back to trailers) the need for sway bars etc to attempt to control an problem that is outside the design envelope of a system...

Duer
Well, Escapes, at least ours, do have an airplane door!
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:04 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by ReagentGrade View Post
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!
Check out these links. The Australian company Kimberley makes some serious off-road caravans with advanced technology. They are doing exactly what you stated above. 2.2kw (~7500 BTU/H) 12 volt split system air conditioning powered via a 480 Ah lithium battery bank and generous amounts of solar (720W). Expensive for sure, but they've proven it can be done. Also note that they started with downsizing the unit from 3.2kw (~11,000 BTU/H) and have what they call a tropical roof that is insulated and integrates the solar. It sits 2" above the actual fiberglass shell.

Kimberleykruiser - Super Quiet Air-conditioning

The Perfect Lithium 480 Ahr Battery Kube for Off-Road Caravans

World First for off road caravan Tropical Roof
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Old 12-11-2016, 11:09 AM   #188
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Wow I am really interested in this unit. Where would you install the main unit on a 5.0TA. Is it under the bench or outside on the modified bumper?
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Old 12-12-2016, 07:41 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Terry H View Post
Wow I am really interested in this unit. Where would you install the main unit on a 5.0TA. Is it under the bench or outside on the modified bumper?
Terry H are you interested in the Fujitsu mini-split that I installed that was the original basis of the thread or the system that Kimberley is using that was the subject of the previous post to yours? The Kimberley system was more for information only since it may not even be possible to acquire.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:30 AM   #190
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Question

I am interested in anything that doesn't make a lot of noise, a quality product and that works efficiency. Your are right the Kimberley system probably would be hard to get. Do you know what I would have to have Escape set up wire wise, electrical. I have a build sheet that is do soon, so I am up for ideas. Yes I would like to know more about your air conditioner.
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