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Old 02-10-2019, 05:38 PM   #1
ajk170
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A/C Vent and ductwork modification

Hi All! I'm hoping for some insight by those that have made the A/C vent modification by blocking off the last 2-3 feet of their ductwork past their vents. I took my inspection scope and looked in my 316RL's ductwork and saw that I too had my ductwork extend 2-3 feet beyond the last vents in the living room and bedroom. I used the foam noodle that you use on water pipes to create the initial blockage and then used an insulating spray foam to "seal" the blockage. Effectively creating a blockage just past the vent.

My question is, now that the foam is dry, should I go back in and file the foam in order to metallic tape the blockage or should my insulating foam be fine?

I also added the closable louvers to all of the vents (all four!). I did notice that bathroom vent's tape job was terrible when I removed the OEM vent and saw that there were several "holes" in the tape that was allowing air to hit the vent. I think that explains why we always get condensation around the vent during the summer/hot months. I'm hoping the manner in which I sealed up that air leak seals it up!

I appreciate any thoughts!
-Andy
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:58 PM   #2
wiredgeorge
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Well, this has been discussed in detail but generally in the summer months. The noodle is likely adequate. I removed and replaced all my vents which couldn't be closed; only rotated. While doing this, found all the metal ducting tape was either applied poorly or missing and took care of this also. Worst place was when i pulled the A/C lower cover and found that the entrance to the ducting was not sealed much at all and that the separating areas between intake and out to the duct was also not sealed well. Spending a bit of time to make sure the ducting is right helps the cabin when it does get warm. I also replaced the old 13.5K btu with a new 15K unit and got the windows tinted with 80 percent window film worked wonders and made South Texas summers bearable.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:43 PM   #3
ajk170
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Wired George- Thanks for the comments! I realized it's a bit early to talk about these mods and I couldn't find any follow-ups/lessons learned from those that did the modification. Since ours is in storage right now I figure doing warm weather modifications now is better than in the TX/Southwestern heat when we want these things already done when we go to pull it out for the season.

I saw what you mean, my vents were not taped all that well and there was a lot of debris in the ductwork as well. I'm anxious to try it out, I think the first warm weekend I see we'll take it to the KOA right behind our storage facility to try out that and some of the other mods that we've done!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:51 PM   #4
wiredgeorge
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Our old Cougar is a 2002 model and there is poor insulation; not sure the new ones are any better. It is HARD to get an RV cool when it is sitting directly in the sun and it is 105F! The duct work, bigger A/C (15K btu) and really darkening the windows helps a bunch and allowed comfortable camping. In addition, I have an 8K btu portable that I built a spacer for the window to vent out if it is REALLY miserable hot with no shade to augment these mods and of course we have a couple fans. If I ever buy another RV, will be 50A service and at least wired/braced for a second A/C unit.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:09 PM   #5
ajk170
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When I found out that we were moving from SouthEast GA out to TX we pulled the trigger and installed a second A/C in the bedroom since it was prewired for it. It really does work great to cool the coach down during the day but the DW hates running it at night (we got a 13.5 that's supposed to be quieter than all the others but it's still pretty loud inside - outside you would never know it's running so I guess it wasn't really fall advertising, just not meeting the expectations) Anyhow, we shut the bedroom one off at night and we still rely on the living room's 15K but it doesn't seem to do a great job keeping us cool. With these mods (closable vents and blocking the ductwork at the ends) I'm hoping that will help push more air into the bedroom at night. We have tinted windows but I like your idea about tinting windows, I wonder if applying another tint layer or some UV type layer on them will help as well. I've seen some people talk about adding those external UV filters down here in TX. Not sure about those and if they are worth the $$$.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:22 PM   #6
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We bought a roll of solar block fiberglass window screen at Home Depot, used "self stick Velcro" on the window frames and hang the window screen on the outside of the trailer during setup. You'd be amazed at the amount of heat gain that comes in through those "big tinted windows". With the solar screen on the outside (just six 3" strips of Velcro on each window) we found our trailer that was literally intolerable in 110F to be comfortably cool. Of course we also sealed all the ducts and vents to eliminate air leaks into the roof/ceiling and resealed the air return/cold air chamber inside the air conditioner, but found those mods weren't enough to fix the problem. The solar screen is a tremendous help.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:51 PM   #7
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John- Thanks for the H/D idea! We've used the command velcro on our TV's rear windows with some sun Screens that you put over the entire door of a car - their a little short on the truck door- in order to cut down on the sun beating in on the dogs when we drove from El Paso to Disney World this past summer and we still have them on the truck. Despite not being able to roll down the back windows, it really keeps the cab cooler and the command velcro strips are holding up wonderfully. I think the cheap screens are going to fail long before the command strips come off! I like the idea of that on the windows of the camper - we don't have frames but I think the application will work on the frameless as well - esp. knowing how well it's stuck on the windows to the TV! I'll have to look for that or something similar to try it! One question- did you apply the velcro directly to the screen and then onto the frame or did you actually "frame" the sun screen and put the velcro on the sun-screen frame and velcro the framed sunscreen to your coach's window frame? -Andy
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:25 PM   #8
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I cut the screen to fit the outside of the window, put the Velcro hard hooks on the window frame (on yours, on the outer margin of the windows would work, then put the soft Velcro on the hard hook parts and carefully peeled the tape off the Velcro as I held the solar screen in place. Once it was on the window, I let it sit for a couple of days for the adhesive to set up. The Velcro has been on the windows for 5 years now. I don't leave the solar screen on when traveling. I take them off, fold them up (which is why I put the fuzzy, soft Velcro side on the screen) and store them in the pass through. When we arrive at a campground and it's hot with little shade, after setting up and getting things situated, I pull them out, put them on the windows that are in the sun and later on, put them on the rest of the windows after it cools down. No need to rush to put them on the shady side windows in the heat, later in the evening is OK with those windows.

Total cost, somewhere around $30 for the roll of 1" wide black industrial strength Velcro and the roll of 15' of 4' wide solar screen.
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