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Old 03-02-2018, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Check This Out: 12-Volt Air Conditioner

It's like a small mini-split AC but it's made for vehicles built without AC and it's 12-volts!

VES SERIES €” Cruise N Comfort 12 Volt Marine Air Conditioners

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Old 03-02-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
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Oh boy, I can't begin to tell you how much I wish my AC on ANY voltage, was quieter.
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:09 PM   #3
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Yep. There are three or four alternatives available. Here are a few more:

Dometic Truck AC Units




Stationary air conditioners for trucks - SW ARCTIC PLUS




Arctic Breeze Truck AC Helps Truckers Keep Their Cool & Increase Bottom Line




I have been thinking seriously of installing a 12VDC under-body A/C system for the sake of quiet operation. Kind of back burner right now, but I may well get back to it. I really like the Arctic_plus units with dual Danfoss compressors.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #4
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I have that system installed on my van. I have the 8K BTU system and haven't tested it yet in hot weather but it seems like it will work ok.
A few points I want to mention are:

The outside condenser fan runs on high regardless of the fan or temp settings. It sounds like a automotive radiator fan running....it's rather noisy. Chris sent me some resistors to make it run at a lower speed but I haven't had the chance to install yet.

The inside evaporator unit blows air straight forward so I need to find some kind of air diffuser of some type.

If I were to do it again I would get a fairly efficient rooftop AC and run off my inverter.

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Old 03-03-2018, 10:03 PM   #5
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I have been thinking seriously of installing a 12VDC under-body A/C system for the sake of quiet operation. Kind of back burner right now, but I may well get back to it. I really like the Arctic_plus units with dual Danfoss compressors.
I don't know if it compares directly to the units you cite, but at Pomona there was a Roadtrek CS with a Pro-Air under-body A/C system. There was less AC noise in the coach interior, but the noise generated by the Pro-Air was damn near as noisy as an Onan generator and definitely would win no friends in the immediate vicinity of its operation.

ARV had some experience with these under body units and their conclusion was that filter contamination would quickly offset the efficiency benefits promoted.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:53 PM   #6
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I don't know if it compares directly to the units you cite, but at Pomona there was a Roadtrek CS with a Pro-Air under-body A/C system. There was less AC noise in the coach interior, but the noise generated by the Pro-Air was damn near as noisy as an Onan generator and definitely would win no friends in the immediate vicinity of its operation.
I am hoping that the dual-danfoss compressors would be quieter. I also would make sure to implement temperature-controlled PCM fans. This makes a huge noise difference under many conditions. In any event, if I could make the interior quiet enough to sleep in, I would declare success.
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ARV had some experience with these under body units and their conclusion was that filter contamination would quickly offset the efficiency benefits promoted.
Yes, I am aware. But, that was a pretty nave installation. First of all, I am pretty sure that they mounted the fans perpendicular to the direction of travel. I intend mine to be parallel, which I think will help a lot. Secondly, if necessary, I will encase the condenser in a weatherproof enclosure with servo-operated vents that would open under operation.

I suspect that ARV's customer demanded use of the A/C while under way. I have never found the need for this, so I have more flexibility.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:44 PM   #7
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Mike Wendland's "experimental" Roadtrek CS, circa winter 2014-2015, was a split system so they could get over 600w solar on the roof. Campskunk had the other one. They are the only two I know of. Last year Wendland traded it in and bought a stock Roadtrek CS with air conditioner on the roof. I don't recall them going into production with a split system. They never told you much about it.

I don't know if ARV built any split system 12V air conditioners for any customers other than Solar Womp. I believe they tested one in a prototype. Their decision was from that and not from customers demanding air conditioning while under way. The Solar Womp is a one off split system design brought to ARV by the customer and I don't think it was for under way driving because it would have not been needed. It was for surviving Burning Man for a week with lots of solar on the roof with a well insulated van with fewer windows.

So two companies have tested it that I know of but not implemented it. Just in case, my preliminary design for "Mies" can accommodate a split system. I'm also just contemplating no air conditioning at all if a conventional roof top system. I rarely use air conditioning anyway.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:19 AM   #8
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Default Portable AC for RVs ?

Interesting 12v AC systems, but all are all split and all permanent. Since most of the year I don't need AC, it seems a waste to carry a useless 80 pounds sticking up from my roof. I would prefer to replace roof AC with a Fantastic Fan and use a portable AC unit in season.

Unfortunately, all the self-contained portable AC units I have studied don't like motion. They are designed to be sitting in a house. Apparently, motion foams their oil reservoir. They are also 120V, which is OK with a large capacity inverter, though I have wondered what happens if the roof AC is on and I use the microwave. (Haven't purchased an RV yet).

So my questions are do those inexpensive 120V portable units work in a van? [They require a exit holes for hot air and accumulated water]. Also are there any 12v self-contained portable compressor units available that can match roof AC performance?

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Old 03-04-2018, 04:37 AM   #9
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Interesting 12v AC systems, but all are all split and all permanent. Since most of the year I don't need AC, it seems a waste to carry a useless 80 pounds sticking up from my roof. I would prefer to replace roof AC with a Fantastic Fan and use a portable AC unit in season.

Unfortunately, all the self-contained portable AC units I have studied don't like motion. They are designed to be sitting in a house. Apparently, motion foams their oil reservoir. They are also 120V, which is OK with a large capacity inverter, though I have wondered what happens if the roof AC is on and I use the microwave. (Haven't purchased an RV yet).

So my questions are do those inexpensive 120V portable units work in a van? [They require a exit holes for hot air and accumulated water]. Also are there any 12v self-contained portable compressor units available that can match roof AC performance?

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Old 03-04-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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II have wondered what happens if the roof AC is on and I use the microwave.
It is not uncommon for upfitters to include a priority transfer switch that cuts out the A/C when the Microwave is on. Our old Airstream Interstate had one. It was trouble-prone.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the link! Not quite usable in the US since it switches from 12V to 220V, but would be great for keeping a pet cool while one was in the store and doesn't require one to have either an inverter or leave the engine running.

3250 Btu/hr
12V 37 ah

It's about 1/3 the Btu of my current permanently-mounted AC, but I've never needed the full AC my unit provides and it requires earplugs at any level of cooling...
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:09 PM   #12
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It's about 1/3 the Btu of my current permanently-mounted AC, but I've never needed the full AC my unit provides and it requires earplugs at any level of cooling...
My 12 volt air conditioner outside condenser fan runs on high always and is very noisy too. Like I said in my post the owner of my 12 volt air conditioner Co. sent me a couple of resistor blocks that I had mounted on the frame and when I run my fan wiring through I can slow the fan speed to whatever speed is desired, but I haven't had a chance to do that part yet.

You could do the same to your system if the fan is where the excessive noise is coming from.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:44 PM   #13
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My 12 volt air conditioner outside condenser fan runs on high always and is very noisy too. Like I said in my post the owner of my 12 volt air conditioner Co. sent me a couple of resistor blocks that I had mounted on the frame and when I run my fan wiring through I can slow the fan speed to whatever speed is desired, but I haven't had a chance to do that part yet.

You could do the same to your system if the fan is where the excessive noise is coming from.
I don't think I typed my sentence very well. I meant that my current 120V AC is far too noisy...

I don't know what the sound level of the 12V U-Go! is.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:14 PM   #14
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Danhard was a part of the Sportsmobile build I was planning. They are not cheap, but the advantage would be it being less obvious. Another downside is that overhead A/Cs may have issues, but they are replaceable. The separated systems may have issues finding spare parts should something break.

I do like a 12 volt system as an option, especially if one uses the engine as their main power generation.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:40 AM   #15
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Nice air conditioner, like a fan. Does it work quietly? This is very important to me. I have a nervous job, a large family, I live in the center of the city , so I am constantly surrounded by noise. When I'm in my car, the most important thing for me is that the air conditioner works as silently as possible. And nothing should bother me.These guys from air conditioning servicing (you can check the link https://www.socool.sg/) already know me. I definitely got them. Because, when I hear any noise in my air conditioner, I always call them to remove it. It was also the case that one day they came in vain because the air conditioning worked well, but it seemed to me that there were noises. I think I need a vacation.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:43 AM   #16
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I don't think I typed my sentence very well. I meant that my current 120V AC is far too noisy...

I don't know what the sound level of the 12V U-Go! is.
There is a new Coleman Mach 10 NDQ that has had several good reviews. James at the Fit RV did a review and sound test here:

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