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120 Volt A/C for Volvo Cab


txdslshop

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I have searched a ton and have not managed to come up with a plan. I would like to be able to add either a Coleman Mach 8 low profile on the roof of my 630 or perhaps a window unit through the back wall of the sleeper. (Possibly a bit Redneck and that fits me fine) Anyways, I was hoping someone on here could point me in the right direction. I have been tossing around the window unit idea for quite sometime and I am now to the point of building out the interior seating for the kiddos in the sleeper. So, I have to move forward with something. I think the 8 inch tall Mach 8 would look fairly slick in black on the midroof. But, I am not sure if the roof could handle the extra weight? Any input would be appreciated. I removed a junked APU from the truck and won't be going that direction. I have a place to mount a genny on the truck and don't mind running it to cool the cab when the truck is shut down. Thanks. Jeremy

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Would a split system be possible? The inside units are small and quiet. You'd have some flexibility in placing the outside unit.

 

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A split system (mini-split) is "possible" IF and ONLY if the outside unit is mounted on the cab. The lines connecting them will fail fairly fast if they are not all cab mounted. And even then, you may have vibration-induced failures. Use on HDTs of residential units is a mixed bag. There are HDT-specific units that are based on mini-split technology that are available and have been "hardened". But you will be paying a premium price, akin to the APU based units. You do not indicate if you will have shore power or not....but I assume not since you discuss a genset.

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Thanks. I believe I have seen RandyA's install before and I am certainly not opposed. I was, however, quite excited about the thought of a rooftop coleman and whether or not the roof could support the weight. I will check out SClord2002 shortly. As for Shore Power, I will definitely be adding shore power either way to keep from having to run a genny on an overnight stop where shore power was available. The split system was considered as I have a 2 head mini split heat pump on our home addition that is amazingly efficient. It is a fairly high end unit and I don't think it would appreciate being bounced around for extended periods of time. It just doesnt seem like a very robust build. So, I kind of gave up on it considering I could buy a rooftop for under a grand or a window unit for much less. You guys never disappoint!! Jeremy

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I have heard of many failures on hdts with mini splits. But they were commercial. We typically just don't generate many miles. Have not read of a failure from our group. As you know these units is low power comsumption. Big plus for this. I intend later this year to install on my Teton.

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Thanks!! I am going to break out the trust ladder this morning and climb my happy butt up there to see how strong it feels. Looking at the drawings of the MAch 8 mounting, it appears that the cutout would be at the front of the unit and that would allow me to push it to the rear of the roof. That should look aesthetically better and possible have more support as it is closer to the back wall. I guess I better get busy taking the headliner out to have a look as well. I was wanting to insulate up there anyway. Texas Summers are a bit toasty!! LOL

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Jeremy, I've seen quite a few RV rooftop units on commercial trucks. SO there must be some way of getting them up there safely and securely. I just have not seen the details of how.

X2

And I would rather have it roof mounted myself.

I've seen a few window units also, but you really need a lot of good support for the back wall bouncing down the highway.

Shoot for the roof.

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I spent some time yesterday removing the headliner and measuring for the roof a/c. I am starting to think this is going to be doable. The roof is very solid and has three main supports running fore and aft. I would have to cut the center support and then brace between the outer two supports to give me the framed opening I would need to make this work. I feel like I can still stabilize the roof as long as I connect to the outer supports left and right. Anyone care to weigh in? Only other problem I can see is the forward slope of the roof. Coleman wants the Mach 8 to be mount level or nose high to 15 degrees. I know I have had a 5th wheel with the forward a/c nosed down and didn't have any issues. I have a couple pics and can't seem to get my login for "Follow My Build" so I can post them. I will work on that. Thanks for all the input. Jeremy

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I haven't seen a Coleman unit so this may be irrelevant. The Dometic that I am familiar with has a drain pan for the condensate to collect in and drain. Off level could cause a problem as it isn't very deep. They are so inefficient I really don't see a desire in one. They do work. I would think low power use would be desired. Unless truck running you are on battery. Just saw a truck with a window unit in back.

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I have had a ton of different roof top Coleman a/c's and have always had great luck and the ability to hang meat in the summer on most of the units they were mounted on. I had a toterhome with 14 foot living quarters that had a 15K Coleman on it and it would cool the entire unit and the cab in Texas heat. It was a lifesaver on a long summer trip when the cab a/c compressor locked up. I just ran the genny and finished out the trip.

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txdsishop If you feel like you might need some extra bracing just get some 2" alum strips 1/8 " thick that are longer than you roofs width and run them side to side and then run braces forward and aft that are a little longer than your needed opening and west system glue and then glass over. That should hold all you need. Hang in there you will find away! Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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The RV rooftop units are designed to duct to the inside through a 14" square opening. The ceiling flange has the metal to poke up through the 14" opening and slide inside (overlap) the one from the top with a rubber seal. It can be trimmed some for a thinner ceiling but you will probably need shorter mounting bolts (4) than the ones that come with the inside/mounting kit. any gaps can be sealed with metal foil duct tape.

 

The Redneck window unit I have in the back of my Volvo is a 6,000 BTU Samsung with a remote control. It is on the weak side as far as cooling the cab enough to hang meat. I selected this unit because I could power it from my inverter and AGM battery bank. This has allowed us to leave Oscar (dog) in the truck for short trips into the grocery store or to grab a bit of chow. Toyhauler has an 12,000 BTU in the back of his cab that he runs while driving powered from a 4KW gas genny - it replaces the engine A/C which does not work. Anyway, my unit continues to operate well after many rough roads and bouncing around. I gave considerable thought to disassembling the evaporator from the condenser and putting the evaporator in front of the rear heater core/engine evaporator/fan and then putting the condensing unit including the compressor in the space under the rear seat/bunk. You would need to add a bit of copper tubing, eliminate the OEM fan, add a new fan to the condenser, vacuum down the system and then recharge with coolant. Window units of this type are not hard to reconfigure (yes, I have done it.) Proper induction of outside air and venting of the condenser/fan was the only real roadblock - as well as losing some valuable cab storage space. I decided the window unit would be the simpler and most efficient of the two.

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Thanks for all of the input!! I am on shift at the FD today or I would have been working out the bracing and would have most likely gotten my dinette roughed in. The roof supports are somewhere around 2" thick if I am remembering correctly. So, that should be fairly easy to frame up the opening for strength and give the similar thickness to an RV roof for good overlap between the two pieces. Pat, I may have to brush up on my fiberglass!!! LOL Either way, I will do some last minute measuring and order my rooftop unit next week. Once I have almost a grand worth of A/C sitting in my shop, my wife will make sure I get it put to good use!!! She sure won't let me change my mind and have it just laying around.

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Maybe a silly thing to throw in but...... what "usually" is done by sales people is to price the roof unit as a single piece and the inside shroud and thermostat as yet another piece. You gotta have both and they normally do not come together in one package.

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Thanks for that RandyA!! I have bought a couple of them to replace broken units and I had planned on having to buy the inside piece as well on this one. Here is a pic of the bracing and what we are dealing with in the roof. I will be removing the center portion of the light bracket and building the framed opening just forward on that. Gotta get the A/C here first, of course. I am playing carpenter this evening. Going to get some of the dinette done. Jeremy

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been a few weeks of going back and forth on the roof a/c. I decided to spend 1/3 the cost and go with the window unit after all. I knew I was much better working with steel than plastic and just bit the bullet and started cutting. Here is a shot of it mocked up in the new hole. Common sense told me to go with a slightly smaller 8k BTU. But... I went to three different stores and only found this 10K BTU unit that slid out the front like I was hoping for. Go Big or Go home!!!! LOL

Jeremy

 

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You will be able to turn the truck in to a meat locker with this unit. In the past month I have installed the same unit except 18k BTU/1000 sqft in our 450sqft cabin. In under 30min it will drop the temp 20*+ and be cycling. If you are not careful you might need a ice scraper for the insides of the windows if you forget about it.

 

TIP: When you have it in ECO/Economy mode the fan kicks off with the compressor. So if you are trying to sleep it may wake you up when it comes on. Turn the ECO/Economy off and the fan will run non-stop. So when the compressor kicks over it will not wake you like it does when both fan and compressor kick over.

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Thanks for the input. I imagine it will be capable of making it snow in the cab. But, my thought process was that I should be able to run it on low fan to maybe help keep the noise down and I agree on the constant fan. I spend a lot of time in our 5th and the bedroom a/c fan stays on constant all night. If that rascal turns off... I am wide awake!! LOL I will admit when I was cutting the hole I didn't think much of it. But, once I slid the case in, I was starting to realize how big it actually is. Think I will be painting the case black to help it blend in a bit. Maybe camo would work better... Jeremy

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