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Old 11-05-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
Brantlyj
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adding second a/c unit

Trying to plan out my mods for next year and need some advice.


When we bought the trailer a month ago I also bought a Maxxair fan. The trailer is wired for 50 amp so we have the vent and power in the bedroom. I planned to put the fan there but weather and other priorities prevented me from getting it installed (yes I know it's 12 vdc. There is a light I planned to pull power from)


Now that I have more free time to mull things over I'm wondering in a second a/c would be better. My wife was diagnosed and beat breast cancer the first part of the year and has been put into medical menopause because of it. That means despite the cold weather she's sleeping without covers, fan on hurricane mod and I'm sure if she thought she could get away with it would crack a window open.


As I've mentioned in other threads her idea of camping is a Hilton. So making the camper as home like as possible is my goal.



So I have a two part question. How much more cooling do you get from a 15k btu unit over a 13,5k btu unit? Also would it be worth the trouble to take the main unit which is 13.5k unit, move it to the bedroom and put a new 15k unit in the main living area.


Also what brands should I be looking at? Since it's in the bedroom noise level would be the leading factor right after reliability.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:08 AM   #2
sourdough
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IMO it's good you didn't get the fan installed. I assume your existing AC is ducted. Upgrading it to a 15k will gain you some but nothing super substantial in my experience. You will have a bit of work in front of you to move one then install the 2nd where the existing one is now. We have a 13.5 in our bedroom (non ducted) and we definitely don't need 15k.

My DW has had the same experience yours has so I understand the need for "cool". If you have the time on your hands, the money and "want to" the ideal thing I think would be to put the new 15k in the living area and move the 13.5 to the bedroom. If the existing is ducted and the bedroom is not I believe you will have to buy a new faceplate/control panel to make it non ducted. All that said, with what I believe will be minimal gain with a considerable amount of work, you may (probably) be better off just adding a non ducted 13.5k in the bedroom. It should keep you pretty cool.

Brand wise I like Dometic but others have said they like Coleman. I had a Coleman many years ago and had no problems. We have a Penguin II in the bedroom and if noise is a consideration - it's noisy. We like the noise and I've never heard a "quiet" non ducted RV AC. That may be an issue.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:19 AM   #3
GHen
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Not sure which rig you have, just make sure you donít have any over-height issues. On fifth wheels, some require a low profile AC above the bedroom.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:04 PM   #4
Brantlyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHen View Post
Not sure which rig you have, just make sure you donít have any over-height issues. On fifth wheels, some require a low profile AC above the bedroom.



It's a TT so heighth it's a major concern. It has a Coleman Mach 3 so I will double check the measurements and get something similar in size.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:05 PM   #5
wiredgeorge
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Originally Posted by GHen View Post
Not sure which rig you have, just make sure you donít have any over-height issues. On fifth wheels, some require a low profile AC above the bedroom.
Google says it is a bumper pull and 11' high. I would install a Brisk II in that case as the height will not make the camper overly high and the Brisk II is considerably less expensive than the low profile Penguin series. This is just from a cost factor. Since the bedroom on that model is pretty closed off, the 13.5K btu unit should be plenty to keep you nice and chilly.

If you can hang on a bit, they put Dometic Duo-Therm A/C units on sale now and again. I bought mine from PPLmotorhomes.com a couple years ago and the sale price was about $100 less than the normal price (which they claim is discounted). Ran me about $450 as I recall with free shipping. When you go online, don't buy from the cheapest sellers without doing your homework as many online sellers are not reputable.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
Brantlyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
IMO it's good you didn't get the fan installed. I assume your existing AC is ducted. Upgrading it to a 15k will gain you some but nothing super substantial in my experience. You will have a bit of work in front of you to move one then install the 2nd where the existing one is now. We have a 13.5 in our bedroom (non ducted) and we definitely don't need 15k.

My DW has had the same experience yours has so I understand the need for "cool". If you have the time on your hands, the money and "want to" the ideal thing I think would be to put the new 15k in the living area and move the 13.5 to the bedroom. If the existing is ducted and the bedroom is not I believe you will have to buy a new faceplate/control panel to make it non ducted. All that said, with what I believe will be minimal gain with a considerable amount of work, you may (probably) be better off just adding a non ducted 13.5k in the bedroom. It should keep you pretty cool.

Brand wise I like Dometic but others have said they like Coleman. I had a Coleman many years ago and had no problems. We have a Penguin II in the bedroom and if noise is a consideration - it's noisy. We like the noise and I've never heard a "quiet" non ducted RV AC. That may be an issue.



Unless others can convince me otherwise, if the output of a 15k over a 13.5k isn't enough to justify the labor to swap then I'll probably skip it.


The current unit is a Coleman Mach 3. Looks Like I can buy the same unit plus the interior non-ducted cover for roughly $750 on Amazon. I'm sure I could find it cheaper if I shop around.


I guess I should clarify the sound comment. I don't expect it to whisper quiet. Something less than a jet engine would be nice though.


I think I'll add a 13.5k unit as a definite to my list and put the fan in the bathroom.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:18 PM   #7
flybouy
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A 15K ac is 10% increase over a 13.5K ac.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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On Dometic ducted systems they have a way to close the vent where the cool air comes out of the unit that forces air into the air ducts for distro through the coach. If you open this vent, it is called a "Quick Cool" and is supposed to cool off the area nearest the A/C quicker as much less air is pushed through the remote vents. When operated in the Quick Cool mode it is essentially a a non ducted system and is pretty noisy. If you watch TV, you had best have a sound bar. Not a bad thing, you what is.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brantlyj View Post
Unless others can convince me otherwise, if the output of a 15k over a 13.5k isn't enough to justify the labor to swap then I'll probably skip it.


The current unit is a Coleman Mach 3. Looks Like I can buy the same unit plus the interior non-ducted cover for roughly $750 on Amazon. I'm sure I could find it cheaper if I shop around.


I guess I should clarify the sound comment. I don't expect it to whisper quiet. Something less than a jet engine would be nice though.


I think I'll add a 13.5k unit as a definite to my list and put the fan in the bathroom.
Not sure which flavor of Coleman 13.5K you are looking at but here is a top/bottom Coleman 13.5 btu for about $550 (lots of options too!):
https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/...ir-conditioner
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:47 PM   #10
Brantlyj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiredgeorge View Post
Not sure which flavor of Coleman 13.5K you are looking at but here is a top/bottom Coleman 13.5 btu for about $550 (lots of options too!):
https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/...ir-conditioner
I was already checking out that site based on your last post. Great prices.

Iím not tied to the Coleman brand. Just referencing it since thatís what the main unit is now. I would probably go with whatever brand the collective thinks is best.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:19 PM   #11
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In that your RV is new, any reason you wouldn't buy a matching unit? If the dealer tried to sell you a new RV and it had two different AC's on top you'd probably walk away. I'd like mine to match, all things considered.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:34 PM   #12
Brantlyj
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In that your RV is new, any reason you wouldn't buy a matching unit? If the dealer tried to sell you a new RV and it had two different AC's on top you'd probably walk away. I'd like mine to match, all things considered.
Off the lot I would agree. Doing it myself, get the best at the best price. They all look similar and really no one is going to look at the roof line and wonder why you have two different brands anyways. I bet 99% of people wouldít know the difference even if you told them. :shrug:
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:22 PM   #13
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I am not sure there is any quality or functional advantage between Dometic vs Coleman. I put a Dometic Duotherm on my camper because my lower unit and thermostat were plug and play. If you are going non ducted I suspect it won't make a lot of difference. I would stay away from other brands of air conditioners as I don't know anything about them or have ever heard of anyone using one of the "off brands". They might be find... just don't know.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:16 AM   #14
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I added the 13.5k Brisk Air II (non ducted) to our bedroom a couple of years ago... it will freeze you out if you need it to.

When our main unit went out this last July (Coleman Mach) I bought a 15k Brisk Air II to replace it. (ducted).

I did add a magnitude of complexity and work, by deciding to put both units under zone control, but I liked that better since the non-ducted unit with manual controls will run the fan 100% of the time and only cycle the compressor.

Unless you're a sadist, I wouldn't recommend retrofitting a zone-control system.. .hahahahah

That said, I REALLY like the zone control. Dometic does not make it easy for a DIY'r to 'design' a system though as there is no direction of 'you want this, you need this'. Took reading a lot of online manuals for different devices to figure out what the 'system' needed to look like. .. and then the issue of running new wires in a already completed coach... I had to get 'creative'

If you're not full-time... zone control is probably over the top. However I will say that after doing the work on our system, one of the biggest benefits was finding that most of the duct work was crappy... and there were gaps and holes in the transition from duct to vent.

I spent a good deal of time pulling the vents and retaping/reforming the transitions from the duct to the vent output. It made a world of difference... I must have had at least 20% of my airflow going into the ceiling space. Makes me wonder if this was a Monday/Friday trailer. I have to be fair though, I would not have expected this rig to hold up as good as it has, after 7-8 years of full-time living, as it has. I and my sweetheart are blessed with our warm & dry, 4 walls.
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:21 PM   #15
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Do you have the InCommand system in your trailer? If so, do you plan on controling the bedroom A/C with it? That would drive your decision to the model compatible to the computer.

I can tell you that with a Fantastic Fan in the bathroom and the vent over our bed open, it can get pretty dang cold in bed!
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:39 PM   #16
Brantlyj
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Do you have the InCommand system in your trailer? If so, do you plan on controling the bedroom A/C with it? That would drive your decision to the model compatible to the computer.

I can tell you that with a Fantastic Fan in the bathroom and the vent over our bed open, it can get pretty dang cold in bed!
I donít have InCommand. I do have JenCommand. When Jen Commands a temp change Brant gets his *** up and changes it.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:46 PM   #17
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I installed a Dometic in my bedroom this year and it was well worth it. I would not be worth the trouble to change the A/C that is already in place because the difference would be minimal. I just turn the temperature up in the bedroom and it works fine. if the TT is already cooled down, I will let the A/C in the bedroom run and it will keep the whole trailer cool. That will cut down the noise in the living room if I am trying to watch tv.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:18 AM   #18
duh1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brantlyj View Post
Trying to plan out my mods for next year and need some advice.


When we bought the trailer a month ago I also bought a Maxxair fan. The trailer is wired for 50 amp so we have the vent and power in the bedroom. I planned to put the fan there but weather and other priorities prevented me from getting it installed (yes I know it's 12 vdc. There is a light I planned to pull power from)


Now that I have more free time to mull things over I'm wondering in a second a/c would be better. My wife was diagnosed and beat breast cancer the first part of the year and has been put into medical menopause because of it. That means despite the cold weather she's sleeping without covers, fan on hurricane mod and I'm sure if she thought she could get away with it would crack a window open.


As I've mentioned in other threads her idea of camping is a Hilton. So making the camper as home like as possible is my goal.



So I have a two part question. How much more cooling do you get from a 15k btu unit over a 13,5k btu unit? Also would it be worth the trouble to take the main unit which is 13.5k unit, move it to the bedroom and put a new 15k unit in the main living area.


Also what brands should I be looking at? Since it's in the bedroom noise level would be the leading factor right after reliability.
Have a 13.5 ax unit in a 2910bh. It will freeze you out even in 100 degree weather. I would wait and see if you need it. I like
the max air fan for extra fresh air and to move it around. If you need it you can add the extra ac later one trip in the summer should let you make that decision later
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #19
apachewolf
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2ND ac UNIT

We have a much smaller unit, the the Keystone Laredo 240MK. But living in AZ we soon found out we needed more AC power. We had a 15K Coleman installed when we got it but have since added a non-ducted 13.5K Coleman over the bed area, and that has taken v care of our AC needs. The new unit ran about $ 1000.00 installed and tested at CW. It only took about 2 hours to get it done.

Happy camping.
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