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Old 07-16-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default Has anyone roof-mounted a house AC?

Maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to think about cutting in to the rear of the high-top of my van to install a 5k air conditioner.... but there's a chance I'm not and someone has already tried it, so I'm asking.
I'm thinking that I could so this and fabricate a fiberglass cover over it so it looked ok. Sort of the Roadtrek idea, except, as is normal for me, on the ultra cheap. My thought is to build in a "channel" for it to fit into with a layer of that white plastic foam insulation (the stuff that is about 1/2" thick and looks 'slippery') to isolate the noise somewhat. Then I'd make a front cover for it that allowed me to hook up a couple of dryer-type flex hoses for ductwork. There's plenty of room back there, and it is currently dead space anyway.
Thoughts or experiences with this?
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:12 PM   #2
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I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Just keep in mind that you'll have a lot of heat dissipation out the back of the unit. -Don't box it in too much.

Some of the smaller AC room air conditioners are very energy efficient, and even the smallest in terms of BTU will probably freeze you out

And at maybe 1/3rd or less the cost of a RV unit..

Make the mount hell-for-stout, Ken.

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Old 07-16-2008, 11:20 PM   #3
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The little one I have in my bedroom is so good that I have to turn it way down after only a couple of hours.... if it's close to that efficient in the van I'd be happy.
Where it would mount is on top of the metal part of the original roof they left when they added the high top. I wish I had time to go for it... I'd get the sawzall out and cut away!
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:58 AM   #4
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It will work as long as the outside gets vented good. There have been post on other forum boards where people have did the very same thing. Just be sure you mount it good enough so the water condensation flows outside. I personally think it is a great idea for someone who is handy and has the time to do it.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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The only thing I can think of is vibration. Window units are designed to fit in a house window where there is no movement. Mounting one of these units in an RV would have a lot more vibration and movement especially on bumpy roads. The shock mounts on the compressor might not be strong enough over the long hall. Piping inside may be a problem too. Again, while you're driving on a bumpy road, the unit will be exposed to vibration and movement it wasn't designed for. Too much movement and vibration on the internal parts may cause a copper hose to crack and leak out all the freon.

Considering the price difference, I think it would be worth a try. When you mount it, I would try to see if there is a way to reduce the vibration of the vehicle from reaching the unit.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Yeah, I had thought about that too, but I think I'd mount it with a layer of closed cell ploy foam material which would take a lot of the vibration and soften some of the jolts. I have seen several vehicles in the past with these units either hung out the back window or mounted through a hole cut in the back wall on some truck campers and trailers, so I think they must work this way....at least for some time.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:02 AM   #7
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Good idea, using closed-cell foam dampening. I think you'll get a lot of miles out of the AC unit unless you do a great deal of washboard dirt roads.

Still going to run ductwork? The unit probably has enough oomph to push airflow across the RV without it, but I'd like to see pics of the ducts if you go that way.

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #8
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Probably going to try to anyway. I just think a more even temp overall might be best accomplished that way.
Somewhere on the web I saw a picture of an a/c mounted on a hitch haul carrier and dryer hoses running in to the van. Not pretty, but maybe would be a temporary way to have a/c in an "emergency".
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Has anyone roof-mounted a house AC?

What about separating the components?

Bring the A/C to a shop (automotive or HVAC shop) to properly discharge the system.

Hardmount the condenser outside on the back, or on the roof. And mount the coil, compressor, and a fan inside.
That way you also only have to route hoses and wiring thru the bulkhead.
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