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Old 12-13-2017, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default AC - Briefly Leaving Dog In Van

Which Class B van set up will allow me to run the AC without a generator and without the van idling for about 30 minutes? I want to be able to briefly leave my dog in the van.

I am van shopping and need to select a setup that would let the AC run just long enough for me to run an errand. I am not sure which Class B van set up I should be considering.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:25 AM   #2
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30 minutes isn't too hard, but you will need a substantial and high quality inverter properly wired to an adequate battery. Our 2800 watt Outback inverter/charger wired with 3/0 cable was able to run our A/C for about an hour with our original 220aH AGM batteries (down to 50% SOC). We have since doubled the battery capacity, and so can run for about 2 hours.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:36 AM   #3
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.

*smh*


Would you leave your kid in the RV with the air conditioner?

Some RV manufacturers try to pull people's heartstring with their promises.
Think before you leap.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:38 AM   #4
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Thank you for the information...I don't want to rely on a sales person to tell me sure it will work, but I don't know enough on what is needed to get the AC to run this long off the battery. Generally, do most of the Class B vans have the capability to run the AC off the battery for about 30 minutes or are there specs I need to look for when selecting a camper van?
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:45 AM   #5
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smh
apples and oranges
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver2017 View Post
smh
apples and oranges
To say the least.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.

*smh*


Would you leave your kid in the RV with the air conditioner?

Some RV manufacturers try to pull people's heartstring with their promises.
Think before you leap.
The OP asked about his dog, not his kid.

Some of us lead lifestyles where the scenario the OP proposes is unavoidable. I have driven solo cross-continent in the summer and plan to do it again. Sorry, but there will be times when I need to grab groceries or repair parts or something else - it is not possible to physically remain in a Class B for, say, up to a week at a time while traveling, without ever exiting for some reason. By law, I cannot take my dog into a grocery store. Nor can I take my dog into a restaurant. As I write this, I am recalling one memorable stop at a Subway sandwich shop in Georgia where the Wunderground app was reading the local temperature at 103 degrees.

To answer the OP's reasonable question, our DIY system consists of the following:

-- 300 watt solar (not essential for the usage scenario being described, but it helps slow battery drain overall and also helps with recovery)

-- 300 AH lithium battery bank

-- 2,000 watt inverter

-- 11,000 BTU coach roof-mount a/c (many of those sold today are larger, but this does fine for a 22' Sprinter-based rig - bigger is not necessarily better in this case)

-- EasyStart unit retrofitted to the roof a/c so that it can be successfully powered up and run on batteries. Note that some owners of larger and newer a/c units have reported that they cannot physically fit the EasyStart module into the a/c casing. There may be other ways of incorporating it, but I don't yet know of anyone who has tried.

-- We also have an upgraded engine alternator but my husband put that in and I can't remember the specs. This is necessary for quicker recovery after major battery suck-down events such as going into the aforesaid Subway shop and then having a nap in the van afterward before getting back on the road.

My dog is alive and kicking, and has never once suffered in a hot Class B.

EDIT: Among other gizmos, I also have an IP security device permanently wired into our van. It includes temperature and humidity sensors and transmits data to my phone via an air card. So if I happen to be stuck in a long Subway line during lunch rush hour and something were to happen to the above-described set-up such that the a/c failed, abnormal temperature readings would immediately transmit to my iPhone. Same thing if someone were to break into the van - I'd get pictures transmitted to my phone. It's a lotta lotta work to set up all this stuff, but the end result is worth it.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
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That is probably $5000 in lithium batteries and well over $10,000 in electronics just so she can leave her dog for 30 min.. If that is the only real need, I would just leave the van running with the AC on and hurry a little in the grocery store.

Mercedes even designs their Sprinters with a "high idle mode" so you can add a second alternator if you want and let the van idle. They have no problem with people idling the van for 30 min.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:58 PM   #9
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Time for someone to come up with that air conditioned dog crate that will run on 10% of the power it would take to cool the whole van. Leave the windows open and vent on to keep close to outside temp and just keep the pet cool.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:05 PM   #10
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The investment is more than just running an air conditioner for 30 minutes. It is also freedom to boondock or not be dependent on shore power ever and have complete use of you van electrically 24/7.
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