Window AC inside van and vented through floor
A couple of forum members have asked that I share information on my homebuilt vanís window air conditioner that I installed inside the van and vented through the floor. Since my van is home made this seems like the appropriate section to post pictures and write-up.
The most important thing to note is that I did not decide to use a widow AC because it was cheapest or because I thought it would work/cool best. My main priority was to make the van look like a travel van instead of a camper so I could park it at home, and after evaluating many options decided to give a window AC a try.
As I stated in a previous thread which I may copy here later, the ACís manufacturer recommends against installing a window unit as I did in my van. Window units are designed to operate best with free air flow at both the intake and discharge of the condenser, so limiting air flow to either side of condenser should be done with full understanding of associated risks.
Before proceeding with the final installation I built a mockup of the cabinet I was going to install the AC in the van and bench tested operating conditions by taking lots of temperature and current data with the AC running in free space and in the cabinet. This allowed me to compare current draw, inlet temperature, discharge temperature and cooling efficiency. After a couple of days of testing I decided air flow was not impeded that badly and that the risk was minimal under most conditions. Roughly eight years later it seems the risk was indeed worth it for our intended use.
If I had to do it over again Iíd obviously do a few things differently, but for the most part I think installing a window AC inside the van and venting through floor is viable when itís necessary to obscure its presence. Assuming of course the installation is done carefully.
Following this post Iíll try to add pictures directly from my iPad. The picture below was posted on this forum previously.