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Old 10-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Location: McKinney, TX, North of Dallas
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Installing a Window Air Conditioner

I've gone thru every way I can think of to cool my RB van & Penthouse. I thought a portable would be good since I could leave it out during cooler seasons. I dropped that plan when I found out how much heat they produce in the exhaust hose, plus, it's a little too tall to make a cabinet to store it.

I'll have a basket roof rack for solar and thought I could sneak a roof unit up there. However, even the smallest I could find had too large a footprint. Kinda heavy, too.

I thought I could put a ClimateRight (dog house cooler) in a rear bumper box; but that idea fizzled, too, due to the worry about capability of the unit and its size.

Long ago I thought about putting in a window unit and just sacrificing some cabinet space. I now believe that's my best remaining option. I thought 8,000 BTU would be best; however, I read on SMBF there may be problems with my Yamaha 2000's ability to crank that size of compressor.

I want to see how Chance did his without cutting an exhaust window to mount it in. He did some sort of hosing through the floor. He's promised a write up and pictures later. He's also getting by with a 5,000 BTU saying it works fine.

Failing that, I'm thinking about cutting a radius corner hole in the side and making it a fold up hatch door, complete with auto-style weather stripping and hydraulic struts. This would be raised for use. The rear fins side would (I think) not, therefore, have to be mounted showing on the outside. I'd have to run a large drain tube out its bottom tray to substitute for the condensation just falling on the ground from the unit.

If I do this right, I still think I can remove it easily when the seasons allow, freeing up storage space for cold weather clothes, etc.

Comments on my hatch would be nice; but let's wait for Chance. He may have a way to eliminate cutting the large hole.

JC
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

Any complaints about the lower rear door window unit like GTRV does?

http://m.ford-trucks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=995909
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

My van came with an AC unit mounted in the rear window. The PO removed the glass and built a custom wood frame to hold the unit. I took the unit out and found that most of the wood frame was rotted due to a combination of rain and poor condensate drainage. My take away from that is to make sure the setup is water tight.

The lower door mounting looks like a good solution. Just need to make sure there is enough distance from the face of the unit to the cabinet so that there is good air circulation.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

No complaints at all because it worked for them. I can't do rear door because the swing away spare tire is too close to the van to permit the necessary "stick out". Also, I'll have a bumper box on the other side for my Yamaha 2000 below and air compressor above.

So, for me, I must make it work on the side. I think I've got it by leaving the entire unit inside and letting the big rear fins transfer their heat through an open (raised) hatch cover. HOWEVER, I must find a way both to get the unit's side louvers exhausted outside and not to restrict that flow. I already mentioned doing a drain line for back of unit condensation.

I'm okay with the support issue because it'll be sitting on a solid cabinet and will be severely secured. I'm down to side exhaust problem, I think.

JC
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:41 AM   #5
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCTex
.......cut.......

I want to see how Chance did his without cutting an exhaust window to mount it in. He did some sort of hosing through the floor. He's promised a write up and pictures later. He's also getting by with a 5,000 BTU saying it works fine.

......cut.......
I didn't use any hoses at all except for condensation drain. MY window AC does vent through floor but through permanently-mounted ports made of 4-inch diameter PVC with removable caps that I seal during travel and/or storage. It's not necessary to seal off the openings but I prefer to.

Also when I stated that 5,000 BTU/HR capacity works fine in the other thread(s) it was in the context of keeping my van cool at night for sleeping, which is the question that was asked. And it does keep it cool at night. We set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature and the AC cycles on and off quite a bit during the night because it doesn't need to run constantly. If we turn the thermostat all the way to cool the van can get uncomfortably cold for us. And that's in a Ford Extended window van without any insulation and lots of glass.

And for overnight cooling as was asked the numbers shouldn't surprise anyone. If a 13,500 BTU/HR RV roof-mounted AC can keep a much larger trailer or motorhome cool during the day with sun shining through windows, then 5,000 BTU/HR for a small van at night should be plenty. Particularly if the van was insulated.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

So, did you build some sort of chase around the exhaust louveres that channels it into the 4" PVC?
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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Re: Installing a Window Air Conditioner

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So, did you build some sort of chase around the exhaust louveres that channels it into the 4" PVC?
I posted under home made section because it seems this section is limited to SMB campers. Hope pictures help you, and let me know (there) if you have questions.
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