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Old 07-14-2016, 07:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The linked specs are only for the outdoor unit, so total system weight and power are higher.
Hmm... I only saw the first page of the PDF document the first time - the indoor unit specs are on the second page. I note that weight and even power consumption are listed separately for the two units.

I think one reason that the indoor unit is so big (almost as big as an entire small RV rooftop unit) is that the fan and air passages are large to keep airflow speed down so that it is quiet.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #22
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I like the idea of this (particularly using Dave's money and effort) as a prototype for others.

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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
We are likely going to relocate the batteries and move the dual propane back. The unit will sit where the propane does now.
Interesting: the outdoor unit goes in front, and other stuff bumps back like a set of dominos... but where do the batteries land? Under the curbside dinette seat is an obvious option, especially for a trailer that already has a cargo box on the back.

I don't like the standard propane tank mounting (which is the same as my Boler) because it hangs over both sides of the tongue. The original Escape layout had the tanks in tandem, but that was on the 17' which has no batteries on the tongue, and before the front storage box was introduced. My van can turn quite tightly, and I don't like having the tanks out there to hit the bumper. Admittedly, this is a minor thing which is not an issue for most people.

The propane tanks will no longer protrude beyond the A-frame tongue when moved back, but the outdoor unit might, depending on location details. Are you planning to put the wide dimension across the frame, so that it would occupy just about the same footprint as the tanks? Alternatives could include:
  1. long dimension across the frame, overhanging and protected by a loop of steel tubing
  2. turn the long dimension fore-aft, which might push the propane tanks too far back
  3. run one face of the unit parallel to and flush with one side of the frame, so it sits 25 degrees from the centreline
This will make more sense with a dimensioned drawing - I haven't done that yet.

Some more considerations:
  1. Can the outdoor unit be mounted laying down? (presumably not)
  2. Does the tongue area configuration need to allow for the brackets of a (future) WD hitch?
  3. Does the current tongue jack location work for you, or is this a potential opportunity to change that as well?
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:19 PM   #23
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I agree, I want insulation up there for the really cold nights without hookups.
If there is no A/C installed on the roof, you get a single layer plastic vent which would likely be even less insulating than the A/C unit itself.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Hmm... I only saw the first page of the PDF document the first time - the indoor unit specs are on the second page. I note that weight and even power consumption are listed separately for the two units.

I think one reason that the indoor unit is so big (almost as big as an entire small RV rooftop unit) is that the fan and air passages are large to keep airflow speed down so that it is quiet.
I knew you'd find it. Indoor unit is just the fan at 1 amp draw and only 16 lbs. I don't really consider it that big considering it is providing 3/4 ton of air conditioning. Dimensions are roughly 32"W x 10.5" H x 8" D. I just started to mock it up today and it will certainly take some customizing for sure to integrate it seamlessly into the front cabinet, but it looks doable. Not sure how much I can recess it yet, but the width of the unit is perfect to still allow both side cabinet doors to open fully in any case.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:08 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
I knew you'd find it. Indoor unit is just the fan at 1 amp draw and only 16 lbs. I don't really consider it that big considering it is providing 3/4 ton of air conditioning. Dimensions are roughly 32"W x 10.5" H x 8" D. I just started to mock it up today and it will certainly take some customizing for sure to integrate it seamlessly into the front cabinet, but it looks doable. Not sure how much I can recess it yet, but the width of the unit is perfect to still allow both side cabinet doors to open fully in any case.
Note the indoor unit also requires a drain for condensate........
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:17 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Interesting: the outdoor unit goes in front, and other stuff bumps back like a set of dominos... but where do the batteries land? Under the curbside dinette seat is an obvious option, especially for a trailer that already has a cargo box on the back.

The propane tanks will no longer protrude beyond the A-frame tongue when moved back, but the outdoor unit might, depending on location details. Are you planning to put the wide dimension across the frame, so that it would occupy just about the same footprint as the tanks?

-Can the outdoor unit be mounted laying down? (presumably not)
-Does the tongue area configuration need to allow for the brackets of a (future) WD hitch?
-Does the current tongue jack location work for you, or is this a potential opportunity to change that as well?
Exactly. Tanks would move straight back almost against the front wall of the trailer and would no longer overhang the frame. Batteries could possibly go on welded outriggers with one each on both sides of the A-frame, inside under benches in vented boxes (lead acid Interstates), or even move to the rear with one on each side like the 17 (appears it would work even with our storage box). Since width of the outdoor unit is about the same as the current propane setup my initial thought is the wide dimension across the frame with very similar overall footprint. Supports would be welded on if needed to match unit mounting locations. Unit would blow virtually unimpeded towards coupler (it would be blocked too much if set behind dual propane). We got a trailer and tongue weight baseline today so we are comfortable with whatever shifting of weight needs to occur.

Unit cannot be mounted laying down. We do not foresee a WDH setup as the trailer tows beautifully without. Current manual jack works great with no plan to change as spatial benefit would be minimal.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:42 PM   #27
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Note the indoor unit also requires a drain for condensate........
Yes, it will be able to drain by gravity. The concept is that the tubing will follow the path of the refrigerant lines and then exit out the bottom of the trailer. No more condensate running down the side of the trailer....another (albeit small) benefit I didn't even consider.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:24 PM   #28
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(If no A/C you get a single layer plastic vent in the roof)

Why a vent if there is a MaxxFan in another location?? Is there a hole in the mold which either needs an A/C or vent?
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by SFDavis50 View Post
(If no A/C you get a single layer plastic vent in the roof)

Why a vent if there is a MaxxFan in another location?? Is there a hole in the mold which either needs an A/C or vent?
If you do not get A/C you get a vent. This 16" square hole can be converted at any time, as they have power stubbed up to the hole the A/C. Some have put a second MaxxFan in that location too.

There is no hold in the shell when it is moulded, but is cut out later. The roof is designed for the hole though and the weight of the A/C.

Besides, there really is little heat loss there compared to all the windows.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:48 PM   #30
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(If no A/C you get a single layer plastic vent in the roof)

Why a vent if there is a MaxxFan in another location?? Is there a hole in the mold which either needs an A/C or vent?
It's common for 17-foot and larger trailers to have two roof vents, just for better ventilation; my old Boler has two basic opening vents, and I replaced one with a MaxxFan. If an Escape had only one vent (even with a MaxxFan) and the other location was not open, ventilation might not be good enough to handle hot conditions without an air conditioner because that one roof vent would not be central. On the other hand, the Lil Snoozy has no roof vents - the high-level power vent (a Fantastic Fan) is near the top of the rear wall in the bathroom, and I haven't noticed owners complaining.
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:51 PM   #31
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Besides, there really is little heat loss there compared to all the windows.
... and you can make an insulated pad to put in the vent area if you want. It's a common 14" square vent.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:16 AM   #32
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... and you can make an insulated pad to put in the vent area if you want. It's a common 14" square vent.
RV places sell them also.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:08 AM   #33
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Jim, Brian, Cathy;
Thanks for the information about the vent. I have pretty much decided I want a 5.0TA, now I am working on convincing my wife. She still likes tent camping so I keep reminding her that she can still sleep in the tent.
I have several questions about the 2017 build of the 5.0 TA but I will ask them on another forum topic.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:09 AM   #34
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I've read through the entire thread and noted a considerable amount of inaccurate information. The current technology in heat pumps is very different than just a couple of years ago. Manufacturers have many model offerings to address cooling operational efficiency and heating performance. Some currently offer models that provide up to 100% of the rated heating capacity at 5 degrees f and run to -20 outdoor temperatures. All offer both indoor and outdoor units that are extremely quiet. While most of these systems are installed in stationary applications they are not limited to stationary applications. In the example or an RV installation there would be no concerns beyond those with the conventional roof mounted units. Anyone considering doing this modification should have some HVAC background and access to some professional advise or assistance as the OP does. I would also recommend thoroughly reading through both the manufacturers specific product data and installation instructions prior to purchase and installation. That will insure critical things like proper clearance and electrical requirements are able to be met. Google is your friend. These documents and other helpful information from each manufacturer are easily sourced.
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Old 07-15-2016, 08:25 AM   #35
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She still likes tent camping so I keep reminding her that she can still sleep in the tent.
Yeah, and just how well did that go over?
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:37 PM   #36
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So I started the install today. Quite a bit of surgery to modify the front cabinet to hold the indoor unit. I was able recess the unit about 5" into the cabinet so it only protrudes about 3". I think it came out very well. The additional openings to the sides that were left from the original cabinet door openings will be infilled with oak grilles to allow for some air circulation in the cabinet void. It fits snug, but I still have to figure out how to secure the unit since it would typically mount on a plate on a wall. I notched the upper left corner cabinet and the lower dinette seat to allow the refrigerant piping to route down the wall behind the removable trim piece. I'll probably take the condensate drain the opposite direction and down the other side due to space. Started to think about the outside tongue arrangement too, but that will need to another post.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:01 PM   #37
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Looks very nice- I bet those who need A/C are thinking this could be a really good thing. What tow vehicle do you have?
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:33 PM   #38
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Well Dave, now you're committed. Thanks for documenting this. Looking forward to more.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:18 PM   #39
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So I started the install today. Quite a bit of surgery to modify the front cabinet to hold the indoor unit. I was able recess the unit about 5" into the cabinet so it only protrudes about 3". I think it came out very well. The additional openings to the sides that were left from the original cabinet door openings will be infilled with oak grilles to allow for some air circulation in the cabinet void. It fits snug, but I still have to figure out how to secure the unit since it would typically mount on a plate on a wall. I notched the upper left corner cabinet and the lower dinette seat to allow the refrigerant piping to route down the wall behind the removable trim piece. I'll probably take the condensate drain the opposite direction and down the other side due to space. Started to think about the outside tongue arrangement too, but that will need to another post.
Now that is thinking outside the box ! Pat
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:32 AM   #40
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I was able recess the unit about 5" into the cabinet so it only protrudes about 3". I think it came out very well. The additional openings to the sides that were left from the original cabinet door openings will be infilled with oak grilles to allow for some air circulation in the cabinet void.
Is there any need for air circulation in the cabinet space? I assume that the intake and exhaust are entirely exposed.

How about the remaining space - any creative idea for making use of that? Maybe a drop-down rack for something...
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