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APU choices and options


GeorgiaHybrid

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Need some opinions everyone. We are meeting with the dealer tomorrow to finalize our order on a T680 and am still torn on the APU. I know what I will have with a Thermo King TriPac Evolution unit with an espar heater as they are quiet, dependable and have an extensive dealer network. The Carrier APU doesn't use a diesel heater, is a little noisier than the TriPac but does have a shore power option to keep the neighbors happy if we make a day trip to a park as the shore power option will allow us to still run the heat and AC and not run the generator.

 

Any votes for one over the other and why? Right now I am leaning towards the Carrier mainly due to the shore power option. I will also order the truck with a shore power option as well to be able to run AC power on the road or parked from outlets in the cabinets and under the bunk between the two units.

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Have they got you going with the new partial fairings? You may not be able to wait for them but I think they'll be worth it as they move the tanks forward enough to end right at the back of sleeper and puts the fill under the sleeper instead of behind it. So you don't end up with the big hole to try to fit a nozzle in when a bed is built. It also kicks out enough to what should make a pretty smooth transition to a 102" bed. They get better aero than current full fairings but I don't know if that is still valid on a single axle truck as it kinda changes the reattachment area around a lot. But to your point, a TriPac is also guaranteed to fit behind the RH fairing but I don't know if the Carrier fits in there or not. I don't think it has been tried yet. It is a tough choice between the two as they are two totally different philosophies. The Carrier is an all electric cab unit that keeps things fairly simple and also gives you flexibility to switch things off to charge a trailer (with some ingenuity), but that also means you get an electric AC compressor. That is fairly ho-hum andcommon now but just a couple of years ago that was pretty scary stuff to be putting in a truck. TriPac is a little more standard with its engine driven stuff and AC lines everywhere. Either way, be sure to get the APU prep kit on the order.

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Personally, I would still go with the TriPac, but I think that depends a little on the type of RV'ing you do. Quiet and dependable is 'always' paramount to me, but I'm also more of a boondocker and would want the diesel heater. For CG's you'll already have the shore power option installed and a small space heater would be even quieter.

 

On the other hand.. if you near exclusively do CG's.. the Carrier might be the better option. Saving you fuel and running your genset or a small catalytic when dry camping.

 

Points to ponder?

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Scrap, we do have the new fairings on the order but the earliest build date for those starts in the first week of May. Hopefully, it will be finished by the end of May. I will look up the dimensions on the Carrier unit to see how they compare to the TriPac. I might just try to hide it behind the fairing to make things easier for Herrin on the bed. Larry has not done a bed with an APU in place but was willing to try if it had to go on the rails in the rear.

 

Would it be OK if I emailed you the specs on everything to see if I have really screwed the pooch on something and get it changed before the buikd order goes in?

 

Thanks,

 

David

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We have Tri-Pacs on our 2015 Volvo company trucks.

I'm one the only one that dose not.

From what I've herd, we have had a lot of problems with them that is just now getting worked out. Part of it is they require a regen frequently. And they would for no reason stop working. When they are working the drivers love them.

As for camp grounds, I roll into are yard late at night, and do here them running. I would say in a dead quiet environment they are a little loader than say a Onan gen set.

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Looking at your original post. I think having the ability to run shore power would be the deciding factor for me.

Like Jack said most camp grounds aren't going to let you run a Tri-pac if they have hook ups.

And do to the problems I've seen I would rather have the Carrier and if needed run a small Honda generator or plug into your trailer if it has a generator.

I always have wanted to rig up a wired remote start in my sleeper to start the trailer gen set.

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Looks like Carrier it is (which was the way I was leaning anyway) due to the shore power option for sleeper HVAC. The truck also has a shore power option as well to charge the batteries, run the fridge and the TV as well as the 12V outlets using and has an 1800 watt inverter. We also added the extreme insulation package so that should help with the cooling/heating as well.

 

It looks like the Carrier unit is a little taller than the TriPac but is not as wide or as deep so hopefully, Scrap can take a look and see if we can fit the tanks and the APU under the fairings and still keep a decent fuel load.

 

Thanks for the confirmation everyone. I knew that Thermo King has been there forever but was still a little nervous about the Carrier as I haven't heard much about them but it seemed a better fit for our use.

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FWIW - I turn on the inverter (in the truck) and charger the trailer at 120 vac while running down the road. I limit the trailer charge (load on the truck alternator) to 50 amps. I hooked up the remote voltage sense on the alternator to help eliminate some loses (higher output from the alt) so the inverter is fed a solid 14.0 volts. Magnum takes care of the battery charging.

 

I would still do something similar, as my Tripac is 69 amps at 14 volts out but if I had 120 vac -- hands down.

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The Comfort Pro is the one I have been eyeing for the ability to plugin to shore power at CG's. I would like to use the workstation in the truck as an office, away from the crazy kids in the trailer while at a CG. Having AC in the truck is a must for that. The Comfort Pro seemed like the best way to make that happen.

 

http://ctsouth.com/posts/product-detail/comfortpro/

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The Comfort Pro is the one I have been eyeing for the ability to plugin to shore power at CG's. I would like to use the workstation in the truck as an office, away from the crazy kids in the trailer while at a CG. Having AC in the truck is a must for that. The Comfort Pro seemed like the best way to make that happen.

 

http://ctsouth.com/posts/product-detail/comfortpro/

 

A rose by any other name...

 

http://www.carrier.com/truck-trailer/en/north-america/products/na-truck-trailer/special-products/auxiliary-power-unit/

 

Looks identical except for the name on the oval sticker and the Carrier lists it as a 6,000 watt gen set and the Comfort Pro at 4,000 watts. If you pull up the specs side by side, they are identical in weight, dimensions, heat and cooling capacity. The only difference in specs is the generator wattage. Any idea on the difference?

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A rose by any other name...

 

http://www.carrier.com/truck-trailer/en/north-america/products/na-truck-trailer/special-products/auxiliary-power-unit/

 

Looks identical except for the name on the oval sticker and the Carrier lists it as a 6,000 watt gen set and the Comfort Pro at 4,000 watts. If you pull up the specs side by side, they are identical in weight, dimensions, heat and cooling capacity. The only difference in specs is the generator wattage. Any idea on the difference?

 

From what I understand, Carrier openly makes the Comfort Pro. My guess is that they have a couple of different wattage options.

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8190005 puts a power, coolant, and fuel junction at back of sleeper.

 

8208612 puts the switch in the dash.

 

Scrap,

 

The Carrier APU has a start button and an auto start option on the panel in the sleeper. Will the switch option on the dash work with that control panel or would the control panel replace it?

 

Thanks

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The truck we bought had a carrier APU installed. Apparently the generator egnine failed, so the previous owner pulled it out and capped the lines off.

 

The CCU is still installed in the driver's side storage compartment and it has a power cord. What's the likelyhood that it'll wok via shore power? Does the control panel need 12V from the generator/battery?

 

Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!

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So I still don't have a warm fuzzy on this APU choice. So out of three choices what does a guy pick??

 

Factory battery based: You get 8 monster batteries and a huge truck electrical system that can handle anything you throw at it. You can use the 'APU' anytime anywhere with no noise. You get shore power or you can set your truck to auto start when it needs. You also get completely clear back of sleeper to end of frame for all your bed, boxes, and RV business. The downside is that it is only 9000-ish BTU. You need to remember to pre-chill your sleeper, live with your sleeper curtains closed, and at WalMart in Texas at noon in August the hell that is outside [i'm talking weather ;) ] starts to catch up to you around hour 6. You'll need to start your truck for awhile to chill it back off. It is also heavy and is all on the front. Big block truck with big sleeper and a car on the back is probably too heavy on the front to go anyhere on its own without trailer balance.

 

APU and 4 batteries: You lose a 26" chunk of bed and a good chunk of underbunk/sleeper toolbox storage area. You only have 4 batts so if you are in a place with no shore power an APU is limited then you are on borrowed time trying to live in your sleeper. You also have an Ultrashift, disconnect switches, and jumpstart terminals so you can't put in an Ultracap, and you have a big block engine so you need all the starting battery you can get. There is no place to install 4 'house' batts except in your bed/drom. Are only 4 batts OK or is this going to be living on the edge? Do you put house batteries in your newly built storage areas?

 

APU and 8 batteries: Same as above, but you change your exhaust to crossover, and get yourself a RH 'storage' box behind the fairing. You buy yourself a mat, a cover, a tiedown, a combiner, and some batts and wala you have a set of house batts under the RH fairing now too. Your DPF is now under the RH rail under the sleeper, your SCR under the LH, and your decomp tube & DEF injector go over the driveline. It also moves a big chunk of weight back to under sleeper instead of under cab doors. Also a good deal for a big block truck with a car on the back. Except there is one thing that sucks - you can't reach a thing under the sleeper to fix it. You can see it but there are 2 big cans and a driveline in your way. They come off easy with $100 in gaskets and a floor jack so it isn't too big a deal in the normal world, but you guys also have a bed full of storage boxes that takes up the whole back half of the truck too. So you can't easily get under 2/3 of the whole truck. Cause for concern or not?

 

Which way would y'all go?

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Maybe I'm just too cynical, Scrap, but, for a guy that had an itch for a new truck, all that would seem to make a pretty compelling argument for going the glider route. That eliminates the DPF, the SCR, the decomp tube, the DEF Injector, and the $100 in gaskets per under-truck repair, although possibly at the expense of having to settle for an earlier model, less sophisticated automated transmission. Fortunately for y'all, though, KW plays in that sandbox, too.

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KW OWNS that sandbox! ;) You know, you made me think about it and the spaghetti that was Aerocab mufflers and crossover elbows used to fill it up just as much. I forgot about that. So maybe it isn't anything new and not really a worry? I dunno, I have a truck lift and a full frame doesn't phase me..... ^_^

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