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Old 09-13-2017, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Best Window Unit AC/Heatpump for Van Window

I have this posted elsewhere but figure i might be better off with a thread specific to just it.
so far, the Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 8000 BTU 115-volt Compact Slide-Out Chasis Air Conditioner/Heat Pump with Remote Control is the best i have found that is 115 volt, a window unit and can do both heating and cooling as a true heat-pump.
My only concern is that it is only 8000 BTU. I wish it had been 10000 or 12000 BTU as i tested a portable 8000 BTU unit and it wouldn't quite cool things off in the day though it worked fine at night. But the portables are really inefficient anyway so would love to hear from someone who has an 8000 window unit in service and is happy with it.
Or, if someone knows of a 10 or 12 btu but i really like the idea of having a heat-pump if i can get it.

I also am desperate to find somebody who makes the special rear window replacement frame to hold the unit in the door. would much rather do something that looks good (and works!) that to try my skills and popping out the glass and balancing it on the edge .

The one link i was given so far seems to either no longer carry it or else whoever made them is no longer in business.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
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Just some info about the rear A/C from Safari Condo - it's on their online store here: Removable Rear Air Conditioning

----------------------------

You might run into size problems if you get a larger A/C unit like 10,000 BTU. I had a 10,000 BTU window unit in a house window and it was both heavy and large. I doubt it would have fit in the space of a van window.

I haven't used the 5200 BTU in my van much but can say that it will make the rear bed area in my van cold.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:16 PM   #3
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I tried emailing them once but got no reply or have not seen it. I just tried again. Thanks for the direct link because i could not find the unit itself when i went to their site.
Must be something about American Web Sites I don;t speak french. Just kidding.

I am hoping they will agree to sell me the shroud itself without the A/C as i am trying to get that heat pump above if possible. 91 lb not sure how much theirs weighs. I also
though t it odd that they said specifically that theirs will not run on an inverter.
the one i am looking at will and it pulls about 900 watts to cool and 1200 to heat.
The dimensions do not look that large but without the specs from what they are using i cant tell if it would swap out or not.

I much appreciate your help, i would not have found that link. If we can manage to get an AC in it, we are trying to take a 'test run' in a couple of weeks as neither of us has ever tried to sleep in a van yet

My Generator/inverter arrived yesterday as well as the deep cycle battery. The two of them together weight in at about 200lb. I am now trying to get someone to install a tow hitch package on this van. We dont have anyone but U Haul around here and they are impossible to call . Have to go in person (30 miles) to make an appointment then go back again on the day you get.

Things are slowly coming together though.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:36 AM   #4
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How much floor space do you have? You could try a portable airconditioner/heat pump and drain the pan with a hose through a hole in the floor. The warm exhaust is basically flexible dryer duct tube you could send to a vent in the roof or side of the van.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:40 AM   #5
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Yeah. Tried that with not much luck. You are correct about limited floor space too. Unless it is one with TWO ducts it is extremely inefficient. I tested an 8000 BTU with the duct forced out a window and while it worked good at night, it was hopeless in the day even in the shade of a big tree.
It would take probably a 12000 BTU to do the trick and i was even considering that.
But the Rear Window Casing sold by Safari Condo that Marco Polo used is the absolute Best trick out there IMHO. No permanent holes to cut and you can get pretty decent SEER ratings on them too. WAY better at cooling a room per btu .

I am trying to order the casing right now and ran into a slight language barrier as Safari Condo is in Canada and main language is French . But we are communicating albeit slowly.

I hope to know more tomorrow (i translated my email to French with Google and resent it and will post back

PS: FOR OTHERS. If you Only need a LTTLE bit of Cool. I did run across One Unique item that appears to be sold only in Europe.
http://www.coolmycamper.com/products/

2700 BTU and requires 230 VAC

But at least Somebody had a good idea. Wish they would take it the rest of the way to being truly useful Maybe it isnt as Hot in Europe as it is in Texas and Florida ??
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:49 AM   #6
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I think i will be bald before i get this AC problem done. Pulling out my hair from all the choices with not much info from others who have already tried this other option.

The low pricing on the Pioneer Mini-Split A/C Heat Pump systems make them definitely worth considering. About $700 for the package. The price of the unit would not be much more (or maybe less) than the cost of the Shroud i want plus the AC I want to use it with. And the SEER ratings are Much better.
The compressors are all Inverter type using low power drain on startup. Only need to cut a small hole for the refrigerant lines to go inside the to Evaporator/Blower. The inside blower would mount perfectly under the bed frame setup leaving a straight run back to the outside condenser unit for the refrigerant lines running underneath the van. This would also bring the weight load down to nearer the center of gravity for the Van.

Has anyone here seen one of these in action. The reviews show them as being exceptionally quiet. I am still looking at 12000BTU but they offer 14000 to 24000 BTU for close to the same price. The Pioneer brand seems to be the best deal for the money and have not found much in the way of bad reviews. Just none from people who used on on the conversion van.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
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I did get your PM's & will try to get some measurements for you.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:48 AM   #8
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Some data based on the docs received with the A/C used in my van:

Dimensions (in.)
Height 12 5/16
Width 16 1/4
Depth 15 3/4
Shipping Weight (lbs.) 44

After looking at mine I'd say you're limited to that height and depth but maybe could go up to 2 1/2" wider as there are wood space fillers on one side.

Google RADS-51H to see what it looks like.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #9
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I swapped out the original 11,000 BTU Fedders window unit in my Xplorer with a new LG 8000 BTU unit. It's rated 12.1 SEER. It seems to work really well and will cycle at 72 degrees when it's over 90 out sitting in the full sun. It will not cycle if I set it at 68 degrees (in eco mode).

Much quieter than the old unit, and also 1/2 the power consumption. I clocked it at 6 amps in eco mode.

It is not a heat pump. My primary selection criteria was matching the dimensions of the original unit. I didn't want to do any major surgery on the fiberglass or interior trim.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:29 AM   #10
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Red face Thanks Much Marco!! I had just posted in my other thread

I either missed the email alert on this thread or didn't get it? My only questions are whether or not you thought the AC in that shroud was adequate for your van. Your Savana 3500 is larger than my 1500 so if it worked for you it should work for me.

Do you think the rear windows sizes will be the same for your van and mine? There are NO specs on their site not even a mention of what vans it is made to fit? In one picture they show a microwave oven on a shelf nearby and judging from the apparent sizes and the amount of the window area it took up, the thing must be no larger than that microwave oven?

And their note saying it would not work on an Inverter which i thought odd. Have you ever run yours from your generator/inverter? Or always shorepower?

Did you have yours shipped to you in the States or did you get it in person? If shipped, what method did they use?

Thanks a TON for those measurements. It is almost midnight but in the morning i will be taking out my measuring stick.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:34 AM   #11
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Wincrasher: Where are pics of the AC you mounted? I have given up on the heat pump. It is WAY easier to get TOO HOT Than it is to get TOO COLD! At least most places I plan on going any time soon. On the pics i can see on your link it looks like your AC is roof mounted?
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:06 AM   #12
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Default The AC in your unit i cannot find now?? BUT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post


Google RADS-51H to see what it looks like.

and
I haven't used the 5200 BTU in my van much but can say that it will make the rear bed area in my van cold.
PERFECT INFO THANK!!
Google says that model was replaced by another but..
I DID find the current model - an 8000btu -
Comfort-Aire 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Remote-RADS81P - The Home Depot

This would be GREAT if it can fit that same shroud box!
i am sure it will be easier to ship just the Shroud box to the USA than with AC in it.

Home Depot shows the new 8000 btu RADS81P model dimensions are

Height 13.4 in ( ..~? hmm maybe 1" higher ?"
Width 18.5 in ( 2.25" wider) (exactly what you said might work )
Depth 17.5 in ( 1.25" deeper)

shipping weight 51 lb

vs yours at

Height 12 5/16
Width 16 1/4
Depth 15 3/4

shipping weight 44 lb

Just a TINY bit more in each direction. I wondered why you specifically mentioned the depth as a possible problem since that is basically how far out the back window it sticks ... isn't it? Would 2" more not be possible?

How does the whole thing stay in the door frame once the window is removed? Clamps? Do you think it would be hard to change out the AC that is in yours if you ever had to? Without seeing it, i dont know what holds everything together.


>> DUH !
http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...oner-2051.html

I just found the link you sent before. ?? You had to cut out the place for a window would have been as your van did not come with a factory one?
Do you know how close the place you had to make is to what the window actually is? I was confused because you mentioned taking the window glass out when using the AC and being able to put it back when not in use?



I sure HOPE that this new model would fit as that would be the END of my AC problems~!

I wonder how Safari Condo is still selling this package if that model AC is no longer available anywhere? That is what Google said.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:16 AM   #13
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Tough decision for you.
It was easier for me because A/C use was expected to be infrequent. It's much cooler up here than in Florida.

The box from Safari Condo is designed to replace the hinged window glass. The rubber molding / gasket from that type of window stays in place to provide the weather seal.

I can report that it has never leaked but I did run a bead of that flowable silicone on the top edge when I installed it as it was to be a permanent install in my van.

I think it is possible for some condensate to get in the van when you drive after using the A/C. I vaguely remember that happening. I'm not 100% sure I can trust my memory on that.

I cut the hole to exactly what it would be if it had glass there.

The A/C was well installed in the box. It would be a challenge to remove. There are several screws into wood and it is completely caulked in. I wanted to remove it once to install a hard start capacitor but gave up. The A/C itself is very compact so it was doubtful that I'd find space for the large hard start capacitor inside it so I figured it was too much work to remove all that caulk just to look inside. I was impressed though at how well they sealed the unit in.

Here are some photos to show how the unit fits in the box:

window air 1.JPG

window air 2.JPG

window air 3.JPG

window air 4.JPG

window air 6.JPG

There's very little room for any additional height.

A low profile roof type unit could offer a better chance of success.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:48 AM   #14
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Just a few additional notes:

Safari Condo sells this as an accessory specifically for their brand of converted vans.

I have run it on an inverter but it is not a reliable solution because the inverters that I have used can't always handle the start-up surge. I have used a 1000W and a 1500W inverter and have a 400AH battery bank. My conclusion is that a minimum 2000W inverter would be needed to guaranty successful start-up. A heavy transformer based PSW inverter would be the best choice.

It takes something like 50A DC to keep it running which means I should get easily get 4 hours or more runtime from my battery bank and have plenty of capacity for other things. The problem has been getting it to start reliably. If it fails to start on the inverter then you have to plug in somewhere to get it to start again.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by questorfla View Post
Wincrasher: Where are pics of the AC you mounted? I have given up on the heat pump. It is WAY easier to get TOO HOT Than it is to get TOO COLD! At least most places I plan on going any time soon. On the pics i can see on your link it looks like your AC is roof mounted?
Posted in my Facebook group.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:59 PM   #16
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I know you are past that point but i could tell you how to install the capacitor without having to remove the AC. From the pictures you sent, through the vents on the side of the unit i can see the compressor. The "starter contacts box" is usually mounted directly to the AC. The wires that run to it are from the control board. Normally, you would mount the capacitor at the controller board end. BUT ! ...

The wires run directly from that board to the compressor start contacts and it would be just as easy to mount it connected to the same wires in the contacts box. The start capacitor itself can even be mounted on Outside the unit if necessary, the wires that come with it should be long enough but you can add more to the length if necessary as long as you dont go crazy with it. A couple inches is nothing. I have had to do that MANY times.

To access that would only take a pair of metal snips to clip a couple of the vent louvers that are directly in front of the compressor. You can see the contacts box right on the side of it

An email to the AC mfr could get you a design schematic for that unit and you could even ask them if what I am telling you is not correct.

In my other Life " (circa 1990) I used to be in A/C - Refrigeration repairs --- In Death Valley Calif of all places
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:13 PM   #17
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Exclamation As far as Mounting the unit i nthe box..

I am glad to hear they did such a great job putting it in.

BUT they are offering to sell me the SHROUD without the AC. So my only task would be to try to do just as good a job at sealing in the unit i get.

THANKS for those pictures showing the HINGED COVER as that was a a critical question. Could you send a few closeups of the Inside showing how it looks with the upholstered piece? I need to see how it fits around the unit.

They tell me they are NOW using a Different model A/C. even in the ones THEY sell. BUT.. darn if THAT one is not ALSO discontinued according to Google. I KNOW it cant be that hard to do if they can go from one model to another. I have even found several different Brands (like GE, LG, Frigidaire, etc) that are even closer the specs of the one you sent me.

I think i make this happen if i can just get the Shroud-box itself.

For THAT, they are telling me "approx two weeks" as they have to get it shipped to THEM from "The Factory"

AH! Now. If i knew WHERE the Factory was I could help save TIME? Is there any indication on the box itself to show where it was made?

I am offering to pay them full price. Money isn't the problem. TIME is what i am fighting. We are now considering making the drive to Quebec on the two weeks we have off but those weeks start in two days.

If i could pick up at the factory, that would save them having to ship it to sales. More TIME.

I just hope i can convince them of that. I a not trying to cheat anyone i just am trying to get the thing
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:29 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info on installing the capacitor.

The Safari Condo factory would be Quebec also I'm sure. They might mean that they have to get one made.

I think these photos show enough detail: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...html#post11574

I had to trim the upholstered piece a bit to get the best fit. It's just a thin piece of plywood covered with fabric. Four screws hold it in place.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:35 AM   #19
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Default Now it's Official.. Our first trip to beak-in the van is Quebec!

We have just two weeks to get there an back. Fortunately, Google says Quebec is only 26 hours from Florida. Google must be driving a 727. \\
Anyway, now I have to figure out how to make this a 'Wanderlust' excursion. We had to go somewhere to try out the new "Van-Again". I think we are Christening it "The Legend" Not original but it seems kind of the right thing to do

Appreciate any info on places to stop and see on the way. If its only 26 hours of driving and we have 2 weeks to get there and back, we should have time to see some of the leaves starting to turn in the Blue Ridge Parkway or ?? Anything interesting, unique and memorable.

I used to live the kind of life where all kind of things seemed to happen every day. That was another Lifetime. Then married the woman of my dreams, built a fantastic home, raised a great family and forgot about how Life used to be.

It's going to be interesting to once again be a participant in it instead of just watching other people do things on TV.

Thanks much to Marco Polo It was that rear window AC of his that apparently is sold ONLY at this tiny RV store in Quebec that started this.
I figured why let UPS have all the fun and we needed a break-in trip to somewhere. Soooo I told them i would pick it up at the store

The wife acted like she had to be 'convinced' but i can see that look in her eye. She's never been to Canada but her Mom AND her Best friend went together once. Leaving her behind because she could not get off at work. Heh! Revenge!

Anyway, i only have a few days to plan a rough draft of how to get there. I know it is North of here because the only thing South of here is Ocean.

Gotta be back by Oct 3rd but appreciate anyone who can give me some way points to add to the google maps trip that takes nothing but the Interstate the whole way. Anything unusual, different and not just "tourist traps"
UFO Sighting, Big Foot, Unusual stuff Or just people and places. The best places to stop overnight. Campgrounds. Whatever.

I guess better get a Good Sams Membership. Thanks for any replies
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:58 PM   #20
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"we should have time to see some of the leaves starting to turn in the Blue Ridge Parkway or ??"

https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/

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