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Old 01-14-2020, 08:16 PM   #1
Silver_
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Dual AC Question - 364BHL

Hello, all. We are preparing for our first fifth wheel purchase and are looking closely at the Cougar 364BHL. This floor plan really meets our needs for a recreational fiver.

We camp most often in the Texas heat, several times a year in the dry heat of the high plains summer (with a few trips to the cool of the mountains). We see 100 degrees fairly often, so AC is a definite consideration. We definitely want the factory option dual AC (15,000 main and 13,500 upstairs, both ducted), but this leads to questions

We sometimes camp at sites that only have 30 amp service. I know that we won't be able to run both conditioners on 30 amps.

Question 1: I'm assuming we will be able to turn off one of the units in this situation?

Question 2: Will the one unit that is running work to cool the entire vehicle (albeit, not as efficiently)? In other words, do the units share common ducting or are they separate? If I turn off the bedroom AC, will the main AC still cool that area through the ceiling ducts?

We really don't want to be tied to 50 amp service only, so if the factory installed optional AC creates a separate closed system, then we will opt not to go that route. I can't find if this model uses racetrack ducting, and I honestly don't know if would trust a salesman from our local volume dealer to answer it knowledgeably. I feel sometimes they will tell you what you want to hear to close the sale and shrug it off if they are wrong later on.

Thanks for any insight!

--Nathan
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:36 PM   #2
sourdough
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Welcome to the forum from another W TX member! Lamesa, about 60 miles or so to the S. Specifics on the year of the trailer would be beneficial.

That large of a trailer on 30A? Well, get ready for a lot of inconvenience. Don't know where you like to camp but sounds like you stay in the warmer areas. That by itself eliminates either 30A or 2 ACs.

I'm assuming, if this is new, you will be running with the In Command system. Not used it but spent a lengthy conversation with a sales guy this morning about it because we are looking at buying a new 5th wheel as well. Get both ACs factory installed and they are operated by InCommand with the racetrack system and you can let one or the other run to cool because they are all ducted in the same route. You cannot run 2 ACs on 30A....or the AC and microwave, or the AC and etc. etc. etc. We can, and will at times, take a 30A in winter but that is few and far between and only for one night. Many folks do without; our days of doing without went away almost 2 decades ago.

If you are looking at new units I believe all of the Cougars come with the racetrack duct and you can run either the front or back units and use all ducts. The issue will be trying to run ONE AC racetrack or not, in hot W TX heat or any other place. They have a hard time in a smaller trailer....it just will not work in something as large as you propose IMO....unless you like to have a "sheen" during the day and when you try to sleep.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:51 PM   #3
wiredgeorge
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This member's trailer appears to be a 40' big 'un. Avoid 30A campgrounds and research 50A. I have a 1 A/C Cougar at 27' and it isn't fun in the Hill Country summer in triple digit temps. I augmented last year with an 8K btu portable ducted out the window and have since picked up an old Dometic Brisk and will run a power cord across the ceiling in our bedroom and down the wall and to the outside for connection to the 15A or 20A outlet on the pedestal or at least that is the plan. Will fit in the vent hole just fine I think.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:13 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. We're coming from a 30' bumper pull with a single, ductless AC. It isn't very well insulated and has a small AC, so I'm hoping a single large ducted unit in a fiver could at least match it's performance (wishful thinking possibly). I know the 364 is a large rig at 39' (looking at a new 2020 model, btw), but while I'd love to just have me and the Mrs in a 30' fifth wheel, that's at least a good 15 years off until the boys are all out of the house. Until then we need to sleep 6, so a larger fiver is where we are.

We have reservations in May in a 30 amp spot we've been going to for 15 years. It's a short trip, so I guess if we end up going this route, we will see how it goes and then opt for 50 amp sites in the future if it's too uncomfortable. We aren't typically in the camper too much during the day unless there's weather, and as long as it's a bit cooler than outside, we can make do with a few small fans if we are until it cools down in the evening.

Sounds like the ducting question isn't a concern with the factory second AC. Thanks for the info and thoughts!
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
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I too have a 364BHL on order, My first brand new purchase and my first Keystone product. In Indiana we don't deal with triple digit heat that often but we get it occasionally. My current rig only has one ac and as long as we kept the curtains closed and supplemented the air flow with a couple of box fans it did OK when we got the 95-100 degree days. I am looking forward to two ac units but like you some state parks we stay at are only 30 amp. So I will continue to carry my trusty fans.
Enjoy your new unit.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:02 AM   #6
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Greetings, we have a Montana 3455SA with dual ACs and we often use just one AC unit and only 30 amp. We actually run the bedroom AC with the ceiling vents pointing out the doorway. It keeps the rig cool and the noise level of the running AC unit and TV watching is possible. Yes we have to be aware of our power usage when running on 30 Amps or our generator.If you are going to be in temps 90 plus at night, like here in Phoenix, then you will need both units to keep you comfortable. Then find a park with 50 amp.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:17 AM   #7
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The trailer is advertised as having the "race track ducting system". So, I'd expect you can operate either A/C unit and distribute air to the entire trailer or use both A/C's to increase cooling. That said, each A/C is at opposite extreme ends of the trailer, so how much "cool air" vs "duct run warmed air" you're going to actually see at the other end of the trailer, 35' away is questionable. It's not a matter of having the equipment in the trailer as much as it is the actual capacity to deliver cold air that far away in a "sun soaked attic duct to each vent"...

I'd say the system is "installed as advertised" but may disappoint in extreme conditions if you're hoping to only need one A/C to cool the unit although it will be "blowing air out of all ducts"...
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:48 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys. I just wanted to mainly make sure that either AC would be able to supply all vents, and it seems that is the case with the racetrack ducting. I don't expect the camper to be 65 degrees through a single AC on a 105 degree day. Our current bumper pull doesn't handle that with a single AC, and it gets warm in the camper during the day. With some fans and cycling the AC unites between the front and the rear unit, coupled with the white exterior, better insulation, and ducting, we should be able to keep it manageable. I'm also considering a roof canopy of some sort to decrease heat soaking on really hot days, but we'll see how it goes on our first trip out.

I spoke to our sales rep today, and they are going to attempt and get one in specked to our requests. If the floor plan works as well in person as it does in our minds, we'll make the purchase.
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