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AC energy effient


Devilishjim

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I also have aged A/C's and have been investigating what to replace them with. If you look at the DuoTherm website, the less expensive Brisk Air II 15,000 BTU/hr unit is rated at 15.89A but the (much) more expensive 15,000 BTU/hr Penguin II only draws 12.9A. That's a pretty significant decrease in power consumption (~19% decrease). http://www.dometic.com/USA/MS-7207-Recreational-Vehicles/PG-9631-Climate-Control-Systems

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We replaced one of our 12 year old units and power usage actually went up. None of the rv style units are very economical. They all are terribly noisy and inefficient. They will cool though with enough of them. The only limiting issue with the mini split is somewhere to mount the interior unit. Living room is a cake walk in mine. Bedroom is a challenge.

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Joel,

 

I replaced my A/Cs with two 15,000 btu Attwood heat pumps. Very quiet and lots of cold air. Many nice features in the construction of these units not in the other brands. Such as the plate that sandwiches the roof unit to the coach are ducts that smoothly change the air flow from straight down to horizontal. Really like them after two summers in Houston heat.

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I also have aged A/C's and have been investigating what to replace them with. If you look at the DuoTherm website, the less expensive Brisk Air II 15,000 BTU/hr unit is rated at 15.89A but the (much) more expensive 15,000 BTU/hr Penguin II only draws 12.9A. That's a pretty significant decrease in power consumption (~19% decrease). http://www.dometic.com/USA/MS-7207-Recreational-Vehicles/PG-9631-Climate-Control-Systems

I like the amperage on the Penguin 11 Whats the price tag on it do you know ?

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I like the amperage on the Penguin 11 Whats the price tag on it do you know ?

 

The 15,000 BTU model comes in two models, one for a single zone thermostat and one with a multi-zone. I only need the single zone one. Here's a link to a typical price (around $1k):http://www.americanrvcompany.com/Dometic-651916-Duo-Therm-High-Capacity-Penguin-II-Low-Profile-Heat-Pump-Air-Conditioner-with-Electronic-Board-Built-In-for-Single-Zone-LCD-Thermostat-Thermostat-Required You need to add the cost of a Dometic thermostat to this; I don't know if a regular one can be used. Be careful when shopping. A lot of the ones on the market are heat pumps which I don't want or need. The 651916 model is just an A/C, not a heat pump.

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The big advantage of the RV AC units is the relatively low cost, and the ability to have them serviced almost anywhere.

 

The do produce cold air, but the noise that comes with it is ridiculous. My livingroom unit - which is fully ducted - when running causes the TV to be barely heard even when turning it up. There is simply no reason to tolerate that, IMO. The RV industry tends to design to a price-point. And that is seen in the airconditioners. It does not bother some people.....but it does bother me.

 

An alternative if you wish to "work" on your rig is the Min-split, as Glenn said. These have been used in RVs, but they are problematic - mainly in where to mount the outside and inside units. Some rigs have space and some do not. Other than that you are pretty much stuck with non-satisfactory rooftop RV units.

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Joel,

 

I replaced my A/Cs with two 15,000 btu Attwood heat pumps. Very quiet and lots of cold air. Many nice features in the construction of these units not in the other brands. Such as the plate that sandwiches the roof unit to the coach are ducts that smoothly change the air flow from straight down to horizontal. Really like them after two summers in Houston heat.

I really like the specs on the Attwood but as far as that adjustable duct I don't think it would work in my living room. My ceiling is high and that AC is ducted but I wonder how much cold I am losing by pushing the air through the ducts before it ever gets into the trailer. I have run the fantastic fan at times trying to suck the hot air out.

The websites jump around in price so much it makes me wonder is it cheaper at that site or is it a cheaper model. Trainer what are your thoughts on that vent that you can open to blast air straigh down ? could I hang a dowel from it to pull it open and the use it to push it back closed ? My AC is 8'6" from the floor. Which model did you get. And why in the blue blazes are these companys so afraid to put the amperage in the specs !

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The big advantage of the RV AC units is the relatively low cost, and the ability to have them serviced almost anywhere.

 

The do produce cold air, but the noise that comes with it is ridiculous. My livingroom unit - which is fully ducted - when running causes the TV to be barely heard even when turning it up. There is simply no reason to tolerate that, IMO. The RV industry tends to design to a price-point. And that is seen in the airconditioners. It does not bother some people.....but it does bother me.

 

An alternative if you wish to "work" on your rig is the Min-split, as Glenn said. These have been used in RVs, but they are problematic - mainly in where to mount the outside and inside units. Some rigs have space and some do not. Other than that you are pretty much stuck with non-satisfactory rooftop RV units.

Hey Jack haven't seen you in quite awhile.. What we do is run the AC in the bedroom with a floor fan pushing towards the living room, then when we have no choice the big one comes on and there goes your hearing until bedtime where we can shut the bedroom one off and just run the ducted one. The owners of this place that we are babysitting have offered to buy a more efficient unit, which I dont want them doing but in the meantime we're in very high temps here Cottonwood,CA high 90s is a nice day :)

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I am frequently on the coastal area of Texas to Louisiana. This is where the best money for welders is. So we are in high humidity/temps in the summer months. Really 2 Dometics struggle to keep us cool in July-August. They do but we best start early cooling or it won't. Also they are too noisy. We will be going with the mini split and I'll keep the forum informed.

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I am frequently on the coastal area of Texas to Louisiana. This is where the best money for welders is. So we are in high humidity/temps in the summer months. Really 2 Dometics struggle to keep us cool in July-August. They do but we best start early cooling or it won't. Also they are too noisy. We will be going with the mini split and I'll keep the forum informed.

 

I would be very interested to see how this works out. Any timeline on getting it done? I am strongly considering this for my future build with what is looking like Spacecraft. If I do not have to have rooftop air I can have taller ceilings and a cleaner looking trailer.

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I would be very interested to see how this works out. Any timeline on getting it done? I am strongly considering this for my future build with what is looking like Spacecraft. If I do not have to have rooftop air I can have taller ceilings and a cleaner looking trailer.

What I'd do is to do the basement air/heat pump and supplement that (redundancy) with the minisplit. This keeps stuff off the roof. I'd probably do the minsplit in the bed/bath area. And consider adding one to the living area, but I don't feel I need redundancy there so much.

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Not sure how this would work as I havent tried it in my 5er, BUT, in my house(~2900SF) they installed a 5ton ducted system that has trouble keeping up with 100+ temps esp considering that we have cathedral ceilings. So, a few years ago, we were given a 10KBTU portable unit that we use to zone cool/heat our master suite and when it gets hot, we open the door to supplement the rest of the house. Can these portable units help in RVs? The noise levels arent too bad. I do know that if we consider that most RV furnaces are about 35% efficient and NOISY, I have replaced using it with a ceramic brick heater with excellent efficiency. Perhaps, that space could be used for the condenser part of a mini split. Why carry it around if it wont be used.

 

Any input?

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I've not used the specific device in the link, but I have a lot of experience with swamp coolers, having lived in Albuquerque for five years.

 

First of all, the statement that "swamp coolers work with relative humidity levels <75%" is a bit of a stretch. Heck, the relative humidity here in Rockport TX this morning is only 77% and it already feels like a steam bath! :P Swamp coolers work very well when the Dew Point is low, humidity by itself really isn't the best measure. In Rockport it is currently 83F and the DP is already 75; by contrast in ABQ it is 63F and the DP is a pleasant 54F!

 

Second, swamp coolers use a totally different ventilating principle than A/C's. They work best if they can suck large quantities of cool air through them and into the house. A swamp cooler is a single-pass system, if you aren't familiar with them. Hot air from outside goes through the cooler, the temp falls as water is vaporized and it is blown through the house. Our ABQ house had a pair of swamp coolers with blowers rated at 6,000 CFM each at max speed. Modern coolers with several inch thick pads can easilt drop the temperature of 90-100 degree air by 20F. I seriously doubt that the device advertised for RVs has a fan capable of providing enough air flow to keep an RV cool in very hot weather unless it is located in an extremely dry desert environment where the temperature drop of the air will be the greatest. The advertised device has a fan rated at 4.6A at 12V running at its maximum speed, in contrast, my MH's dashboard A/C fan draws 15A on the HI setting!

 

Third, this device is clearly oriented at boondockers using solar energy, etc, but no where that I can see does it state how much water it requires on a daily basis. Water is continuously being used by a swamp cooler when it is running. Yes, it is a slow flow, but some operating off-grid would want to know.

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Since we have gotten used to ACs and yes a stand alone in the bedroom will be noisy, I wouldn't even consider an evaporative cooler.

They may do some good in the very driest of areas but not many and I am very sure that you would not be happy with the results.

There are times, summer in Livingston, where both ACs run all day just to keep it cool. I must be getting old and not hearing as good as I once did

because the noisy ACs that Jack wrote about above don't bother me as much as they once did.

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So, a few years ago, we were given a 10KBTU portable unit that we use to zone cool/heat our master suite and when it gets hot, we open the door to supplement the rest of the house. Can these portable units help in RVs? The noise levels arent too bad.

Does the portable draw fresh air from outside, or just exhaust it's heat there? If it's just an exhaust, it will have to suck in inside air to feed the exhaust.

 

In a stick and brick the amount of inside air that's vented outside might not be noticeable. But in the confines of an RV the air being sucked out of the RV will have to be replaced by hot, outside air being sucked in, either through an open vent or window or leaking in through cracks, etc.

 

I think this would seriously impact the effectiveness of a portable a/c in a small space like an RV.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I Agee with the "too much noise" comments. The AC technology in RV's is pretty old. When they start there is a pretty hard "hit" as the compressor motor starts ... then the whole unit is practically in the room with you. Very noisy. In my S&B we had two "Inverter Drive" AC units installed. They use variable speed D.C. Compressor motors that are whisper quiet when they run. This is the same technology used in the mini split systems. Great technology which will certainly work it's way into the RV industry ... someday. Very efficient also, mine at the house, are 24 SEER.

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If looking at a portable unit, this is the best and most efficient you can buy. It uses mini-split DC inverter technology and 2 air exchange hoses.

 

https://www.practicalpreppers.com/online-shop/air-conditioning/portable-a-c-units/climax-v12-portable-ac-unit-detail-view

 

Here's the spec sheet: http://www.climax-air.com/documents/Climax-VS12-SpecSheet.pdf

 

Chip

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Actually in a high humidity area, a slightly undersized unit works better. The unit will run longer and will pull more moisture from the air. If the unit is oversized, it will cycle off as soon as the air reaches temperature and not have the opportunity to pull much moisture from the air.

 

The slightly undersized unit will let the room temperature slip a bit, but while running, it will be dehumidifying the RV which will make it more comfortable.

 

Ken

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