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Old 05-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #1
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Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Does anyone have a recommendation on a high quality, small, plug in, air conditioner? Nothing mounted on roof, or in a window. thanks!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Here is my LG 7000 BTU portable room AC (from Home Depot)... smallest, lightest(~40 lbs) on wheels, built-in handle, 110v, remote, built-in condensate collection box w/auto shutoff/digital indicator when the box gets full of water. It is in the bumperbox (custom-made to fit the AC/accessories... When closed in doesn't move) Can be left at home in non-AC season. This type is vented by a really nicely made flexible hose.


The hose connects to my custom-Raymade vent box that attaches (it is removable via velcro) to sliding window above the fridge. The AC can sit on the fridge, or on the floor between the seats. Not shown is the outside rain cover that is a snapon, so that the window can be left open in any weather.


I hope this helps... I wasn't gonna show this until after our 6 week trip/test, until I realized summer will be half over by the time we get home. More on the durability later, for now, I can say it works great in our hot/humid climate.
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chris AC.jpg   Interior AC.jpg  
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:53 AM   #3
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
Does anyone have a recommendation on a high quality, small, plug in, air conditioner? Nothing mounted on roof, or in a window. thanks!
Not sure where you go and where you live, but you might look at swamp coolers too. If you're not familiar with them, they work by evaporating water, so they are only effective in low humidity. But they are essentially fans with wet stuff, so there are lots of DIY plans for them, and they can be used with relatively little power. You're probably not gonna get as much cooling either.

Rob
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Hey TwoGone, nice setup! If you get a chance, could you post a pic of the sliding window outside cover? I've been thinking about trying to do something like that for my bigger side sliding windows, so we can leave them open when sleeping even if it's raining out. I'm thinking of something removable that we can put on when we stop to camp.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

X2 on the LG 7000 BTU A/C TwoGone!

I have mine sitting on a pedestal between the seats on my Sprinter. I've used it only one trip, when I took delivery of the van in Austin last July. We used it going home but once we hit higher elevation we've not used it since. Much better than a permanent A/C.


Not shown is the exhaust hose that attaches to a plexiglass plate that SMB made to fit the passenger side window. I also found that I had to add an insulating sleeve for the duct or all that heat came right back in.

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Old 05-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

I was really looking for a high quality smaller unit, made for camping/vehicle use. Space is at a premium, and I did not want a homemade "cooler." I was envisioning something smaller, the size of a small honda generator.
Other ideas?
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
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Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
I was really looking for a high quality smaller unit, made for camping/vehicle use. Space is at a premium, and I did not want a homemade "cooler." I was envisioning something smaller, the size of a small honda generator.
Other ideas?
Carl, I'm sorry to say I just don't think that exists. It's been discussed many times and there just aren't any great solutions. Everything in these vans, and RV's in general, is a huge trade off. I'm just about to mount an ugly roof air on mine. I hate the idea, the price, the height, everything about it, but not as much as I hate waking up laying there all sweaty with sticky sheets. That's the price I'm paying for living in Tn. I hope you find what you're looking for, I'll certainly be watching this thread.

Twogone, nice work as always. I'm also anxious to get a report on how it works.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

Yep Carl, I searched all corners for smaller ac. Mine has an 11 x 14" footprint, just a bit bigger than a legal pad (or 2 i-pads fer you youngun's) and is about 30" high. Pretty small, really. Ray and I thought about cutting it all up and getting rid of casters and condensate box (attach drain hose instead), but wanted to test durability before going thru the expense. The unit cost $275 total, and the venting was about $160.... waaaaay cheap!

I have 2 other ideas for getting smaller and keeping the whole works outside the van, invisible, and removable in off season, but I'm unwilling to give those ideas away. I am available to hire... you can be the first on your block with these concepts. Note: one idea requires an EB and the other requires a custom rear bumper box.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

@BrianW... yep I'll try to get pix of the slide vent... but it may be a while, I'm leaving in a few hours for a 6 week tour. It works perfectly, and is strictly a Ray-invention... I was baffled on how to do it and I was speechless when Ray demo'ed it. Y'all know I'm not speechless very often. BTW, the inside box to attach my vent hose is full-time... the window slides open/closed with it in place. Of course, I'll remove it, via velcro, in off season.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
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Re: Portable 12v or 110v AC unit

pm me if ideas/thoughts. I'm less concerned with cost than it working good, being small, and reliable.
I find it amazing that there are no companies making a small camping unit?
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