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Old 07-22-2016, 10:03 AM   #1
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Portable A/C

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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
^^xcnick, do you already have a thread showing the AC mod? If not, please start one with more pics and details. People are always asking about this. A separate thread would be a great resource.
Glad to do this, but not much modification done. The only mod is I cut a hole in the licence plate holder for the exhaust. I was scared to do even this so I bought a couple from Pick and Pull at $3 each.



The plate has a hinge so it flops up when air is blowing. I made a clip to hold it down when driving so it doesn't look like my plate is about to fall off.

I have a stack of drawers in the back and I lost my sock drawer to the hose. You can see that after I close the door I have feed the hose back into the exhaust tip.



The story of how I got this going is long and convoluted compared to how easy the installation is, but there may be something here. I went to Cabella's because they had the 2000 Yamaha generator on sale for $800. However when I got there it wasn't on sale. No one in the store can get on the internet and pull up their own website. I got pissy and decided to run over to the motorcycle store and they were really nice and said I could try anything I wanted so I went to Home dip sh, I mean Home Depot and bought their 8000 BTU LG portable.

Hook it all up in the motorcycle store and it didn't work. They had the amp meter you plug between the load and the plug and I noticed it pulled over 16 amps at start up and the compressor made too much noise for my liking. Went back to Home Depot and tried to get another by saying it pulled too many amps at start up. Don't ever do this. Just say "broken, no worky." Hours later I brought the second one to the motorcycle store and it worked fine with the generator.

I had some space between the motorcycle rack and the van. Just had to find something to fill it.



Dropped a grand on the generator, but the rest is cheep. The inverter was a return I got for $60 and the A/C was $280.

At first the A/C wouldn't run off just the 1500 Harbor Frieght inverter, but the numbers say it should, barely. What I figured out is that it is the voltage drop that kills the inverter when the compressor starts up. So if I have the van motor running the volts stay up when the compressor comes on. Then I just set the temp so low the compressor will never go off again and it runs off my two Wally World group 27 batteries and Harbor Freight inverter. Then I can turn off the van motor.

The Yamaha for this year is called "v2" or version 2 which is supposed to be better at handling start up loads. I would like to try an older one to see if that makes the difference. In any case it is pretty close. I can't really use the econo mode with the A/C. However like the inverter, after the compressor is on I can put it to eco mode and set the temp so low the compressor will not ever turn off.

The swamp cooler was fine for just me, but the wife brought home a couple of Husky's who really don't like the heat.

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Old 07-22-2016, 10:09 AM   #2
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Very inventive. I would recommend you make sure that the rear plate seal' does actually seal well so you don't pull in exhaust fumes.

Herb
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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Very inventive. I would recommend you make sure that the rear plate seal' does actually seal well so you don't pull in exhaust fumes.

Herb
Did my best but I am kind of immune to this. Here is my Bronco:



Wife wants this out of the driveway, make offer. One owner.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:07 PM   #4
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How long can you run the AC on your two group 27 batteries? Great solution for AC.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:23 PM   #5
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I don't know for sure so I am tempted to just try it out and will post. I only just put this together last week.

The rough math might not be right, (see bronco photo for brain damage), but 200 amp hours divided by half for usable is 100 divided by 5 is 20 hours? Figure 20% is lost to inverter and 6 amps to be safe, maybe 12 hours. The two times I used it I just pulled on the genny. I feel I should use it considering how much it costs. ;-)
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:33 PM   #6
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Wait, that is AC amps. So that is like 70 DC amps. Maybe hour and a half.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:15 PM   #7
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Yeah, that run-time sounds in line with actual reality. Deduct a little for inverter efficiency. Sigh.

Neat setup regardless, and major props for getting it working.

I keep thinking I should have gotten a power take off transmission (PTO) and put a big generator on that shaft.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:32 PM   #8
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Is your roof top 8000 btu or more?

The battery doesn't make sense for just and hour when it would take 8 to charge back up again.

We are going to get stupid heat next week. The test will be how long the genny can run before running out of gas. I will do one test at full and one on eco. I am a little scared of eco because if the A/C has to restart it will trip the overload.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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Is your roof top 8000 btu or more?
Hah. It came from my van's days as a news van. I actually don't know but it'll turn the thing into an ice box. I'm pretty sure it's 1200 or 1600 btu. I did put a really big soft start cap on it which helps a whole lot. I've yet to try running it on a small generator. (I've only used it on a shared ~20kw diesel or on shore power).

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The battery doesn't make sense for just and hour when it would take 8 to charge back up again.
I'm completely aware of that. Still a neat stunt, and something that might make sense to leave a dog in the car over lunch (while monitoring it somehow) in the middle of a long drive.

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We are going to get stupid heat next week. The test will be how long the genny can run before running out of gas. I will do one test at full and one on eco. I am a little scared of eco because if the A/C has to restart it will trip the overload.
Then why even bother with eco? It's just a couple dollars in fuel. No sense risking breakage. That said, I've yet to kill anything, and I've been on some pretty sketchy power when we failed to keep that shared generator balanced properly.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:25 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=MadScience;
(while monitoring it somehow)
Then why even bother with eco? It's just a couple dollars in fuel. [/QUOTE]

I bet there is an app for monitoring but I rarely camp where there is cell phone service. Maybe hooked up to the alarm? Any hams know how to hook it up to 2 meter so i can receive on a hand held?

I just wonder if it will last longer on eco. We will see. They make extended tanks if I have to go that route. A kayak afternoon on the lake is usually only 3 hours at most. (AARP extreme sports team)

8000 btu will not refrigerate the van. In fact it does little for the entire van, but keeps the floor area where it is pointed a good 10 to 15 degrees cooler and that is where the dogs lay. (72 when 85 outside) Screwing around I noticed it kept the floor area the same even with the doors and windows open. This could actually be good to leave the van open, but the real test will be when we hit a hundred next week. Now you got me talking about it I am looking forward to getting some numbers.
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