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Old 09-23-2018, 05:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 50
How much do you use your AC?

In an effort to fit everything in my design for my Sprinter 144, low roof w penthouse, Im seriously considering going without an AC. Since it cant go on the roof, I had to make room in the interior and underneath the van. Will I regret not having an AC? I eliminated the black water tank and using am going with the Laveo dry flush. I was pretty disappointed to give up my indoor shower but I can fit it in the design with everything Im trying to fit. Shower, toilet, or AC??? New to camping, Im not sure which I'll miss more. The van is at SM, and I dont want to delay the build any longer!

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Old 09-23-2018, 05:10 PM   #2
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Location: Southern New Mexico
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In my opinion, here are the contributors, in order, to the heat load on a vehicle.

Where the vehicle will primarily be used.

Amount of vehicle windows.
Color of vehicle.


SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:28 PM   #3
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I didn't repair my ac until last month..

Wish I had draws moisture out of the living space and gets rid of that damp feel so many occupants creates..(7 people about half the time)

It also helps get rid of odors inside from camp and teenagers!!
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:29 PM   #4
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Will you have passengers in the back? If yes, rear AC is a must!
2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:06 AM   #5
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Location: Brentwood, CA
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Your Sprinter comes with factory 'dash AC' used while driving;

I think you are asking about auxiliary AC, to be used while camping, right?

If that's the case, in my experience, (past camper) I only used mine while in an RV park with access to ac shore power. Most generators capable of running an air conditioner take up valued space in a smaller RV like a van, that I's rather use for something else. I also found AC units and large generators to be more systems to maintain, another thing to break, are noisy, keep some family members inside instead of enjoying the out doors, and keep me from enjoying the camping experience. Do a search on "problems with my Starcool". I had nothing but trouble with my roof AC on my 6pack cabover camper.

Another thing to consider, will I be hanging out in the van during the heat of the day? My typical camping routine is drive to destination, set up a small camp, cook, relax, sleep, get up an go do something; hike, fish, race cars, spectate at an event, what ever, then come back to the rig to relax cook and sleep 'rinse and repeat'. Then hit the road for the next destination. I've got great AC and comfy bed at home.

That said, I can think of a few time where a few hours of AC during the day sure would have been nice. For me 'The juice isn't worth the squeeze'.
1995 E350 7.3 Diesel, 4x4 high roof camper, UJOR 4" lift
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:33 PM   #6
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Rear AC

My 1st Rv was Sprinter with roof AC & genset. Noisy, pain to keep gen exercised, hardly used AC at all in back. Sold & bought new SMB Dodge Ram conversion w NO rear AC or genset. Bought a 12volt (2amp) ice AC for when I needed it. From Sportys Pilot shop, was designed to cool Cessnas & other small aircraft. Holds about 6 bags ice & melts one bag/hour when over 100F in Texas. Drops interior temp about 15 F on a hot day when engine off. Works even better if van in shade. Won’t run battry down. Can put 1-6 bags ice in it, also keeps drinks/food cold as a bonus. Great for shopping & leaving dog inside van with motor off. I use it couple times a year. Take it out in fall, winter, spring. Cost about $500. Way cheaper than generator & AC. And no maintenance. Also have roof fantastic fan that blows in or out over the rear bed. Great up to low 90s F, then switch to ice AC in summer if needed. Not for everyone but something to consider. Works for me.
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:19 PM   #7
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I have a 144" Sprinter High Roof with no A/C. I do have two Fan-Tastic fans on the roof and CRL T-vent windows all around. I seldom travel with passengers in the rear and have not regretted leaving out rear A/C in my build. However, I did have SMB pre-wire for A/C (to help with resale value just in case a future buyer wanted to replace one of the Fan-Tastic fans with A/C).
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:26 PM   #8
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I have the short version of the 2015 MB Sprinter from Sportsmobile, without auxiliary AC, and have never regretted not having the extra AC. We drive through some hot desert-like temperatures in California and maintain a comfortable inside temperature with just the vents up front. When we are stopped in a campground it is usually in the mountains or on the coast, so no need for an AC. We do have the reversible roof vent which we use on occasion to blow air on us or draw in cooler air at night. We also occasionally use a portable 12v fan that SMB provided with the van.
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Old 09-30-2018, 02:44 PM   #9
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Interesting. The replies sorta confirm what we suspected. Our previous RV was a 25.5' Itasca Reyo based on a 3500 Sprinter chassis. We had a gen and A/C but never used the AC but for a couple times on shore power. Our current 144", high roof is nearing completion. We have 2 of the better roof fans and prewired for A/C. The biggest addition we made was to double the adhesive backed insulation plus the soft insulation in the recesses. We also added two Camfro 12V fans we had previously in a boat. We've found all we really need is moving air at night then we're comfortable.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:32 PM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ouray, CO
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Our Danhard A/C in 144 Sprinter SMB

We managed to squeeze a Danhard underseat/undervan A/C AND a small indoor shower/toilet room into our 144 high roof 4x4 Sprinter Sportsmobile. We camp mostly in the Rockies area ó Colorado and Wyoming summerís, Arizona and Utah winters. We prefer remote campsites that typically donít have electricity.

We use the toilet multiple times per day, the shower once every day or two, and the A/C one or twice per year. So was the $7000 Danhard underseat A/C worth the money and the storage space we gave up? Probably not. If we camped in hot areas in campgrounds with hookups, then we would probably use it more.

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