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Old 12-06-2020, 07:21 PM   #1
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Considering removing Starcool system

We're in the process of gutting our van and the Starcool system seems unnecessary and really large. Has anyone removed it entirely? Any drawbacks to getting it removed? Since it only works when the van is plugged into shore power it doesn't seem like something we'd get much use out of anyway.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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I've disconnected it. Removing everything would be a project I'm not into. Too many lines and everything in a Sportsmobile is butted up to something else that is a pain to disassemble. Doesn't gain much taking the starcool out. Gain more space just taking the microwave out.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:40 PM   #3
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We've torn out all the interior so the unit and all the hoses are just sitting on the floor while we decide what to do with it. No micro. The original interior had been taken apart before we got it so it was easier to start with a clean slate. Just trying to determine if it is worth working into our new layout. I tend to think it's not but not having used it much I may be missing something.
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Old 12-06-2020, 08:30 PM   #4
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It is about as useful as the cable tv antenna option in my van. Lol

I had high hopes but sportsmobiles and plug in RV sites just are so rare. Always funny to park next to giant tour bus size RVs at those places.
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Old 12-06-2020, 08:47 PM   #5
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I see youíre a PNWester, too. Not too much need locally for AC but... gee, when I towed my trailer to Ashland area one summer it was 110 degrees. We were plugged in, I put that AC on and literally lay prostrate on the bed several times during the visit. Heat and I donít get along. I donít have AC in the van so I know Iíll be avoiding all the great desert spots in summers. I donít know if the Starcool itself is actually a worthwhile thing but Iíd kill for something cool when itís hot. Just some food for thought. Folks told me not to get rid of the rear heat/AC in my passenger van. Thereís a reason for that!
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:16 PM   #6
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I don't see us doing much camping with hook-ups so that's my thought too. We tend to be boondockers.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:24 PM   #7
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We use ours all the time...we camp locally to maximize Sporty's comfort and fun and Iowa can be as humid/hot as a swamp in Louisiana (all that corn growing)...so we use it often at those concrete slab, plug-in spots, which is really nice from time to time, like no mud, dust, dirt inside. We call those our spoiled campsites.

We also have to travel 10+ hours just to reach 'cool' destinations ie mountains, oceans etc...so we have to pull in to those spots for 1/2 posts as well...and A/C is just another comfort. When we head to Florida (anytime, lol) or southern coast, we boon dock on beaches, then pull into a concrete campsite every couple days for showers/plug-in for house battery re-charge, water heater use, all the 'things' that require battery re-charge. Nice in any southern area to have A/C.

The hottest night we have ever camped was tent camping in Death Valley. We couldn't get naked enough...By 3-4AM we were shivering, lol...We haven't been back yet, but we have a generator, and a couple hours of A/C till the wee hours would have been/be AWESOME, and spoiled too, yes.

Lastly, the last question I asked SMBNorth Mgr Jim when we were planning our build and putting some $'s down, "What do most people wish they would have ordered?" HIs reply, "A/C, it really helps in re-sale too." Sold...

...But, I understand why you PNW don't really need it...perfect weather (not too cold not too hot usually), and all kinds of boondocking...
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:50 AM   #8
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keep it

Hi,

I'll throw in my 2cents. -Keep it. We use ours all the time whenever the heat gets 80 or more as the van A/C system alone does not really cool the back area and we need to keep our dog cool. If you plan on traveling anywhere south in summer, it will be needed. One year at Sisters, OR it was over 100 and that was when we finally gave up and went to an RV campground and plugged in! We mostly use it when we are driving.

One item that I noticed is that you mention is that it only works on shore power...It should work (providing you turn it on) when you are driving the van. The Starcool and the van A/C work together when the van is running and Starcool works "alone" on shore power. Search the threads for more info on this --lots of good information and diagrams on how the coolant is used between the two systems. I.E. Just getting rid of the unit and the tubes inside does not take care of the mechanicals underneath.

That being said we do end up doing q2-3yr maintenance on it as all the jouncing around on 4x4 roads tends to make they system spring "leaks" and we need to add refrigerant to the system. Freezing temps in winter here in Truckee probably doesn't help either.
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:20 AM   #9
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Thanks for that intel. We do travel with our dogs and their comfort and safety is a big concern. Appreciate you sharing your experience.
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Old 12-13-2020, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Otter View Post
I see youíre a PNWester, too. Not too much need locally for AC but... gee, when I towed my trailer to Ashland area one summer it was 110 degrees. We were plugged in, I put that AC on and literally lay prostrate on the bed several times during the visit. Heat and I donít get along. I donít have AC in the van so I know Iíll be avoiding all the great desert spots in summers. I donít know if the Starcool itself is actually a worthwhile thing but Iíd kill for something cool when itís hot. Just some food for thought. Folks told me not to get rid of the rear heat/AC in my passenger van. Thereís a reason for that!
.
I have experienced the same. Removing this rare option essentially consigns its future use to the NE/NW or scrap as replacing it or putting in a roof top substitute will not be easy or economical.
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