Originally Posted by glasspack
Thanks. I'm going to take it for a spin tmr and see if my adjusting the thermostat while driving can change the temperature of the air from the blower. Nonetheless running that blower a few hrs will kill my house battery so is likely not a viable heating solution for winter camping.
You are correct tig, I have a condenser looking box, or at least that's what it looks like, mounted behind the left front wheel on the underside of the van.
I'm not sure what you have. On many of the older SMB's, the owners requested a shore power only A/C that doesn't connect to the stock vehicle A/C system. But most like mine are combo units that have a shore power compressor that runs on shore power only and another part designed to work in conjunction with the stock vehicle air conditioning system. To make the stock system work correctly the vehicle starcool switch must be on or the stock system will start to blow warmer air.
On my Starcool III, (it has a separate AC compressor), if the thermostat is in the on position when the van is not plugged into shore power, the inverter will try to run it and the starcool will pull from the inverter/house batteries. It will trip the inverter in most cases. I usually make sure that the inverter is set to charge only and not inverting (changing DC to AC) while the starcool thermostat is set to cool. If there is no inverter the shore power compressor just won't work because it needs AC power to operate. On shore power and kicking on the thermostat to cool, it's obvious when it cycles on cause it's loud. The part under the frame behind the driver front wheel has a fan that must work and mine also has fans on the radiator that you can hear while running the shore power compressor.
On the road
I leave the thermostat in the off
position and turn on both vehicle and Starcool units. (Provided the thermostat is off, it's OK to invert if 110AC is needed when driving using both the vehicle and Starcool units)
While on shore power I keep the inverter off (it will automatically pass thru the AC from the shore power) but I can still and usually set it to the charge mode. On shore power I turn on the rear Starcool switch and set the thermostat to cool then set the desired temp. I keep the vehicle system off.
I've found that the system will pull from the battery supply even on shore power, so if there is an converter rather than an inverter, my guess would be you should keep the converter on while on shore power. I can turn on my inverters charge mode to offset the battery draw.
Just how mine works and older units might work differently.