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Old 07-14-2018, 04:27 PM   #1
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Rear A/C while driving?

I own a 2011 Sportsmobile Sprinter Chassis 110s. Love it, but I'd really like to get the rear A/C operational while driving. It gets so hot back there for any passengers on long trips.
(I understand that it isn't practical to run the rear A/C from batteries, nor is running during idle important for me.)

However the way the Sportsmobile is setup is that the A/C is only connected from the external 30A power input. Note, it doesn't go through the circuit breaker. However the 3000w triplite inverter should be powerful enough. The Sprinter alternator specs would indicate that it is powerful enough to do the job, or would I need to get something which forces a higher output like from Sterling Power. Or, do I need a second alternator to handle the load (even though the Mercedes stock rear A/C doesn't require a second alternator)?

If not, does anyone know if it is accessible to rewire the A/C AC input into the inverter? Will I need to get a larger inverter than 3000w or pure sine for the Dometic A/C that Sportsmobile typically installs?

Would anyone have any advice on how to proceed?


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Old 07-15-2018, 09:24 AM   #2
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You're going down a rabbit hole here. I don't want to sound like an ass but this is one of those things that if it could be done easily everyone would be doing it. It has been discussed to death and there's really almost no way to get reliable power enough to run a 13,500 roof air from batteries/inverter. Mount a generator on your rear bumper and you're good or have an Onan put underneath in the spare tire location.

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Old 07-15-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I've seen many articles on ways to operate rear AC while parked, but I haven't found any which specifically cover operation while driving. The stock Mercedes Sprinter rear AC can be used while driving. Of course that rear AC is a 12V system, but it also demonstrates that running a rear AC (and, simultaneously, the front AC) is within the power supply of the stock Mercedes alternator. I doubt the conversion inefficiency of running a DC to AC power inverter is the thing to put it over the edge.
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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I'm a lurker with similar concerns

I have animals in the back and often I think of how warm it gets for them and how uncomfortable it must be. So I have the same concerns as you and I even wondered if I could get something like this hooked up to my battery and put it way in the back pointed forward to be able to circulate throughout the length of the vehicle.

Am I crazy or would this air conditioning unit for fancy doghouses work??

Honestly, I have no idea so I'm sure it's a dumb idea...but I never learn if I don't ask...
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:50 PM   #5
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Do the models with factory rear ac have a different compressor and/or condenser? I would bet they don't. Maybe you could adapt an under dash style unit mounted in the rear and tee it in using a factory line set from a club wagon that had rear ac. It's a rabbit hole for sure, but should work.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:10 PM   #6
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While at the BC Overland rally last weekend, I chatted with a guy who installed a 12vdc A/C compressor and claimed he could run it on battery's / solar. He sourced the compressor from an electric car and built the system from there. He did have 700 watts of solar though. It was an interesting idea, but I don't know how well it worked.
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:27 PM   #7
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I own a 2000 passenger conversion to a full SMB camper but with a raised roof, not a pop top. I therefore acquired it with a rear a/c install and still put in a Danhard a/c to use shore power or a Honda 2000. The factory rear a/c is now inop, either vacuum or flap failure and cannot be repaired without dismantling virtually the entire SMB install so I have resorted to running with the Danhard cooling the rear. I use the Tripplite Charger/Inverter to facilitate the A/C start and have a 260 amp Alternator installed. Seems to work although the induction driven rev counter becomes virtually useless when the Danhard is running.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:22 PM   #8
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Rear AC solution

This works for most applications. Designed for cooling peeps in small airplanes but great in my van. Costs about $500. sells a special insulated ice chest with a heat exchanger & 12 volt blower inside. You empty bags of ice inside, plug into 12v socket. It sucks the air out of interior of ur Rv & cools it & blows it back into Rv. Tried it in August in south Texas. 100F outside & it kept inside about 75F. Need 1 bag of ice per hour operation & holds about 6 bags. Great for occasional trips on hot days & perfect for turning van off with animal inside. Uses only 1-2 amps DC so will run all day on ur coach battry w engine off. Might be avail on Amazon too. U can keep drinks/sandwiches cool in there too.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:59 PM   #9
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I have used these air exchange coolers extensively in motor racing but find the capacity is About 4 x 20 lb bags and they don't last for more than 3 to 4 hours. The higher numbers can only be reached if the van is parked in the shade for some period. They take up space, in fact the whole back seat of a plane. But any port in a storm !
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:10 PM   #10
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Rear AC

I had to mount a Honda 2000 on top of my Aluminess rear storage box. A short cable to the charging port. THat Honda will run for 2 or 3 hours under a load. Which is longer than I can run my SMB before I have to stop for fuel.

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