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Old 04-20-2021, 03:59 PM   #1
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A/C for Our 17b

We purchased a 2017 Escape 17b several months ago. It was built without an A/C by a family that had intended to use it mostly in the North. Has tank warmers, heavy insulation underneath etc. But...we use it to go to Texas and the Southwest and want A/C. Need advice on the best aftermarket unit for our 17b. Cost is important but more important is fit, function, quietness etc. Any advice appreciated. Know of anyone who could install it ? We're in Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula. Thank you.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:23 PM   #2
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Quietest A/C will be a custom mini-split installation. Might be easier to find than the second quietest option, a rooftop Houghton/RecPro unit, which seems to be in short supply thanks to the current situation.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:55 PM   #3
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Jim: I think you have two identical threads going...
I have studied many A/C systems and installed a custom mini-split myself. The best quality and quietest rooftop A/C on the market right now is hands down the Houghton line that is available through Rec Pro. The 9,500 BTU would be perfect for a 17B. It is out of stock right now but it is probably worth the wait to get ahold of one. Any reputable RV place would be able to install. Your trailer should be A/C ready with 14x14 opening in roof and a 120V AC line wired from the power center up to the roof opening. You will need to install a breaker and wire it in. No need to worry about controls wiring to thermostat because the Houghton unit has a wireless remote.
https://www.recpro.com/rv-air-condit...ol-non-ducted/
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
Quietest A/C will be a custom mini-split installation. Might be easier to find than the second quietest option, a rooftop Houghton/RecPro unit, which seems to be in short supply thanks to the current situation.
Locally, the RV lots are receiving trailers short of furnaces, fridges and AC units. They can't get them and don't have room to keep the trailer. The dealer is supposed to install when available.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:03 AM   #5
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A/C for our 17b

Well, it seems that the original buyer of our 17b did not feel they needed to wire the unit for A/C. At least Escape has checked the build sheet and so advised. So, my question now is ... has anyone here added an A/C to a 17b when the unit was not pre-wired for it ? It's beyond me why the original buyer would omit this but, apparently they did. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:11 AM   #6
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just for your consideration given your challenge ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCJS View Post
Well, it seems that the original buyer of our 17b did not feel they needed to wire the unit for A/C. At least Escape has checked the build sheet and so advised. So, my question now is ... has anyone here added an A/C to a 17b when the unit was not pre-wired for it ? It's beyond me why the original buyer would omit this but, apparently they did. Any advice appreciated.
Perhaps of interest ...
At ~6:35+ in the video below you can see how ETI routed a bunch of wires under the ceiling to the 14x14 opening for the roof-mounted AC when that's installed. You can also see the 'framing' in that area before the interior ceiling is installed. Note that the 14x14 opening in the roof of the shell is not cut-out at this point in the video, that comes later, keep watching the video for completion of the ceiling construction.

If indeed your 17b lacks that wiring, perhaps the video gives a hint how you (or an installer) might, with a bit of innovative thinking and effort, be able to 'fish' the required wires hidden under the ceiling between the vent/AC opening and the overhead cabinet space after the vent-frame is removed to expose the perimeter of that opening/framing. Yes, it's quite possible that insulation installed between the framing in the ceiling will make all of this impossible, it's hard to tell if there's an air-gap between that insulation and the lower ceiling panel.

From review of that video, I'd be inclined to try it by drilling a hole from inside the OH cabinet through the framing strip against the shell roof and 'fishing' from there toward the 14x14 opening. Not suggesting it'd be particularly easy, and it might be for naught, but the 'experiment' would be hidden inside the overhead cabinet.

IF you go with the roof-mounted Houghton unit previously mentioned you will only need to 'fish' a single 'romex' 3-wire power cable from the vent/AC opening to the overhead cabinet (and thence down to your electrical panel via the OH cabinet and behind the removable interior corner-trim in the trailer). That because the Houghton unit does not require any other 'controller/thermostat' wires since it uses a wireless remote for those functions - it only needs the single 3-wire 120VAC cable (+, -, neutral) power feed.

Lacking the ability to 'fish' that cable under the ceiling, IMO you're looking at routing that single power cable from the 14x14 opening to the nearest overhead cabinet space 'surface mounted' against the headliner .... and then doing your best to make that aesthetically acceptable with some sort of (glued-on?) strip of covering material. Perhaps not the solution you would prefer in an ideal world, but IMO 'workable'.

I'm sure there's other solutions, this just came to mind as I considered your challenge. Yes, there's the mini-split option which avoids the ceiling area entirely but IMO the roof-mounted Houghton already discussed is probably your overall easiest solution, IMO.

Good luck!

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Old 04-23-2021, 11:02 AM   #7
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A/C for our 17b

Thank you for the response and the video. I'll watch closely and consider that path forward.

It's kinda interesting that when the second owner (I'm third), checked with the factory, according to him he was advised that the wires were routed to the opening. However, when I checked recently with the factory, they checked the build sheet and advised me that the wires are not there. So...who knows ?

Jim
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:31 AM   #8
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Jim, I'd personally not rely on anything other than an actual eyes-on inspection of the area around the existing vent opening after removal of the entire vent frame. It's a bit of an effort to R&R (remove and re-install) that vent / frame but it can be done without jeopardizing the water-tight integrity of your roof; personally I'd undertake that investigation before proceeding with further plans to get an assured understanding of what you have as your 'actual point-of-beginning'.

Given the 'mixed signals' you've received I guess I'd not be surprised no matter what I do or don't find, but I'd 'cross my fingers and hope to find pre-wiring' and in any case expend the somewhat redundant effort to R&R the vent to find that out for sure before proceeding.

Again, just for your consideration, good luck and have fun!
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Old Yesterday, 09:04 PM   #9
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What manufacturer of breaker does Escape use? I'll be installing a 13.5 Houghton AC unit in my new 21NE. Thank You!
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfschu View Post
What manufacturer of breaker does Escape use? I'll be installing a 13.5 Houghton AC unit in my new 21NE. Thank You!
The ones I have seen are Eaton.
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Old Yesterday, 09:20 PM   #11
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OK, thank you!
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Old Yesterday, 09:29 PM   #12
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Did they reinforce the roof for AC automatically in 2017? Otherwise check on that, too, though I assume they'd have told you if they did not.
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