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Old 11-19-2020, 11:19 AM   #1
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Portable Air Conditioners

We are in the process of spec'ing our new Escape 19' trailer which will be built starting in December. We have to make a decision about air conditioning. We live in Kansas, and travel to California to see our family. The route takes us through Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, etc . . . places where you need a/c if traveling in the summer months. We use the trailer (just sold our 21 year old Casita) to travel, but don't "camp" for extended periods in any one place.

Escape can install a Dometic 11,000 btu rooftop unit or an upgraded Coleman 13,500 btu unit. The Dometic is extremely loud. The Coleman is supposedly quieter, but I suspect it's really too large for the small 19 Escape and the unit would short cycle - and it's another $300.

With our old Casita, we would cool the trailer down in the afternoon after traveling, then typically, turn it off at night once outdoor temps started to drop. The MaxAir fan and small interior fans were sufficient to circulate the air to be reasonably comfortable.

So . . . after that lengthy intro . . . has anyone used a portable, free standing, plug-in air conditioner? I suspect they are relatively inefficient, but perhaps one of those would cool the trailer enough in the afternoons. Does anyone have experience with these types of units?

Advice and/or input welcome.

Thanks in advance.
R.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:08 PM   #2
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I've used all different types of air conditioners. You are correct in being concerned about the Dometic A/C being loud especially in a 19 with it almost right over the bed. (I ripped ours out and put in a mini-split that is whisper quiet) I also agree that a 13,500 BTU is too large for a 19 and will likely short cycle leading to poor dehumidification. If you do a portable you need to make sure you get a dual hose model - one that brings in "cool" condenser air from outside and one that expels the hot air outside. If you get a single hose model you will put the trailer under a negative pressure that will infiltrate warm, humid air and work against your goal of a comfortable trailer. Unfortunately these units will take up floor space and you would have to get the hoses routed out of the trailer and deal with condensate. Personally if I knew I wouldn't use the A/C that often I would consider rigging up a small window A/C unit in the emergency egress window like Ron in BC did awhile back. Not super quiet but for the amount of use it sounds like it would get it might be a worthwhile solution. Leave it at home when you don't need it. Will save gas not lugging around the 100# Dometic on the roof.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:56 PM   #3
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The only thing I can see negative about going portable is they are pretty big to be lugging around and storing in the trailer or TV. Going to take up a good deal of your very limited floor space.
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Old 11-19-2020, 06:30 PM   #4
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https://www.rvingknowhow.com/portabl...ioners-for-rv/
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:11 AM   #5
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rubicon327: Can you please say more about the mini-split you installed? I'm intrigued. How has it worked? Make/model/etc. Are there any good website on this kind of mod? Thank you!
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OppliSki View Post
rubicon327: Can you please say more about the mini-split you installed? I'm intrigued. How has it worked? Make/model/etc. Are there any good website on this kind of mod? Thank you!
Check out this link for one of our groups mini split installation:
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post153646
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OppliSki View Post
rubicon327: Can you please say more about the mini-split you installed? I'm intrigued. How has it worked? Make/model/etc. Are there any good website on this kind of mod? Thank you!
I'm not rubicon327, but he's got an entire thread about the mini-split mod. Direct link: Custom Air Conditioning Retrofit https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...ofit-8249.html
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