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Old 10-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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Thanks...18K BTU according to video. I take that as with both compressors.
Thanks for the runtime numbers.

Look everyone...this is not a bad idea or system. It's probably great for a "leisure or touring van" where the AC use is limited to parking and a couple hours of use at a time and long regen cycles.

But....I'm not sure its up to dry camping over night in HOT HUMID locations.
Other than the fact that it probably no quieter than the roof air, I don't see why it would be any less capable in hot humid conditions. These units have been in use in those conditions in other vehicles such as ambulances and shuttle buses for a long time...

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Old 10-01-2016, 02:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

I would be very surprised if a well-designed split system weren't MUCH quieter on the inside. The overhead ones (in addition to being poorly designed and cheaply built) just have too much going on way too close to the occupant. Note that the dash A/C is quite quiet most of the time, so it can be done. The only thing that needs to be inside the van is the evaporator unit. I have the perfect place for it tucked in back of a rear cabinet--hard to use space, no great loss.

I don't live in Texas, and I don't go out of my way to camp there in July. That may help account for the difference in perspective.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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I would be very surprised if a well-designed split system weren't MUCH quieter on the inside. The overhead ones (in addition to being poorly designed and cheaply built) just have too much going on way too close to the occupant. Note that the dash A/C is quite quiet most of the time, so it can be done. The only thing that needs to be inside the van is the evaporator unit. I have the perfect place for it tucked in back of a rear cabinet--hard to use space, no great loss.

I don't live in Texas, and I don't go out of my way to camp there in July. That may help account for the difference in perspective.
True, but at least for the Roadtrek installation, reports are that it is not much different than the roof AC in terms of noise level. They clearly did not do much redesign inside, they stuck it where it was easy to locate...
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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True, but at least for the Roadtrek installation, reports are that it is not much different than the roof AC in terms of noise level. They clearly did not do much redesign inside, they stuck it where it was easy to locate...
Yeah, I am not defending the RT design--I know little about it. In any event, if I do this I will put in a significantly smaller unit. For my purposes, the 11K roof unit I have now is overkill (cycles too much under most conditions). I am basically looking for a little relief when it is very humid without slowly going deaf.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Undermount AC option



I agree with the Crow on this one. Having had our 2008 RS for 8 years now and logging 125K miles on more than a dozen cross country trips, we find that although we rarely use the roof AC while driving, when we stop at a rest stop for lunch, it's nice to have it. And the temp on the blacktop parking lots can get really high, especially in the South in the summer (or these days, anywhere in the country). Yes, the rooftop unit is loud, and that cancels the ability to use it overnight while you sleep. But, if the new battery powered undermount can only run a few hours, that doesn't get you through the night.

Yes things break. Our experience proves that. Some from factory defects or just plain wearing out, some from owner accidents. We've had a few, and I would say we are more cautious than the general public. But accidents still happen. Guards? Yes, for example, the guard on our macerator pump just fell off one day while driving. Why? In theory a simple replacement, but I don't carry those type of tools on trips.

IMHO, anything mounted under the van is subject to damage, given enough miles, and will eventually sustain some type of damage. These RVs are complicated enough without adding more complexity. They aren't the easiest thing to get fixed while you are on the road either (and that's where all the breakage occurs, not at home in your driveway). I hate having my vacation interrupted by breakage and repairs, so keeping things as simple as possible is my vote, and this undermount system sounds way complicated. The OP asked for advice. Would I buy one if I were buying a new RT? No.

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Old 10-01-2016, 04:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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Yeah, I am not defending the RT design--I know little about it. In any event, if I do this I will put in a significantly smaller unit. For my purposes, the 11K roof unit I have now is overkill (cycles too much under most conditions). I am basically looking for a little relief when it is very humid without slowly going deaf.
Manufacturers seem very reluctant to provide air conditioning that will not cool a very hot van off quickly, that seems to be the standard expectation of the majority of the customers, so, I don't expect them to ever offer anything less...
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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Manufacturers seem very reluctant to provide air conditioning that will not cool a very hot van off quickly, that seems to be the standard expectation of the majority of the customers, so, I don't expect them to ever offer anything less...
Yes. These rigs are designed for sales, not for use. The priority is to look good on paper and in the showroom, so big numbers and fast action are the ticket.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:22 PM   #18
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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Manufacturers seem very reluctant to provide air conditioning that will not cool a very hot van off quickly, that seems to be the standard expectation of the majority of the customers, so, I don't expect them to ever offer anything less...
Thanks all a good discussion.

As before, in my experience.... 9.2 & 11K BTU units (roof or not) are not enough to chill out a Class B. You need a high efficiency 13.5 or 15/15.5 job. Most of it is in the better CFM (and airflow noise, 00ps!) coming out of the unit.

On both of ours, cranking them up from a hot start, they will start cooling the coach down in minutes. Within 15-20 minutes you have gotten a lot of the humidity out and then it will keep on chilling till setting. Nothing lightning fast about it. But it works.

I can't really see why one would want to be colder than say 68-72F. Probably closer to 75-76 with the air circulating. Lower than comfort is wasteful.

I keep thinking about this.... .not a bad idea... but lots of hold backs for me.

An Agile is like our Ventura. It's about 40% glass. Black glass. Hotter than clear glass. Glass transfers heat and solar energy to the coach. It would be better to have a smaller unit 15/15.5 BTU lets say, and apply heat/solar resistant film to the inside of all the windows. That's the heat load. Windows. True, they would have to so some of the windows before putting in the furniture... but it is doable and not expensive.

So.... I'd vote "NOT AT THIS TIME" & go for a 15.5K roofer. And, heat film the windows.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:22 PM   #19
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

Does anybody know why the variable speed compressors that you see on residential mini-split systems with smarter control systems don't seem to make it to the RV market? More efficient, more consistent comfort (reduced or eliminate compressor cycling) plus quieter operation, reduced start amps etc.. If they do exist, please tell me more. Any known hackers?
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: Undermount AC option

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Yes. These rigs are designed for sales, not for use. The priority is to look good on paper and in the showroom, so big numbers and fast action are the ticket.
The need for rear a/c and how powerful it is depends a lot on where you live and how much indoor parking space you have.

As an example, we have a 2000 dodge minivan, it is parked outdoors, and it is routinely 90 - 105 F here in the summer, with fairly high solar intensity. The good news, is that solar PV panels work well in this area, the bad news is that it heats things up fast with a lot of UV and IR. This van serves as my beater utility vehicle and it is sort of like the energizer bunny - not impressive but keeps going.

Even in this relatively modest size van, it is nearly impossible for someone to sit in the middle or rear seats without the rear a/c running. Similarly, the single most important feature on any vehicle we buy are rear air conditioning vents, and that includes our 4 door sedan and a small suv.

A fast cool down is not an option here, it is a necessity. A car parked outside on a hot day in a parking lot for even 15 minutes will be too hot to get into, in 60 minutes, you literally have to turn on the a/c and stand outside in 108 F weather on the blacktop, and let the car cool down before your kids get in so that they don't burn themselves.

You can bet that I spend some time thinking about a/c off of batteries and am getting closer.

Last edited by HarryN; 10-01-2016 at 04:32 PM.
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