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Old 11-24-2021, 11:42 AM   #1
Donks
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AC ducted vs non-ducted

First off, I live and camp in FL (its hot). I just got rid of my Jayco 295BH and I am looking at RL models to replace it (didnt use the BH like we thought we would and it takes up 1/3 of the unit). So far, we have looked at a sprinter limited 3190rl and an arcadia 3660rl (leaning toward the arcadia). The jayco had 2 ac units both blowing into the same duct work. It worked well at keeping the whole camper cool but, could not keep up in the height of summer. the arcadia has 2 ac units neither are ducted. One blowing in the main area the other blowing down on the bed. The sprinter has 2 units the main unit is ducted and the second unit just blows down straight on the bed. Would love to hear opinions, experiences, etc as to which setup is best in really hot weather.
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:56 PM   #2
sourdough
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A couple of questions; are you looking at new models of RVs and are you sure they aren't ducted? I've looked at lots of Keystones and they seem to be ducted mostly. The Arcadia line is a new one they are trying to push, I'm thinking they aren't trying to go backwards and just have roof mounts that vent through the bottom. Could be wrong but......

I've had both, prefer ducted but can make either get the job done.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:07 PM   #3
dutchmensport
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My previous Keystone Outback had only 1 AC. It was 35 feet long. It was ducked, but it also had "dump vent" on the AC, so everything would blow out right at the AC. It originally came with a 13.5 BTU and it was not adequate for even moderate heat. We ended up switching it out for a 15,000 BTU which worked very well after that.

There were times and occasions when the ducked part worked great, and other times the "dump" feature was beyond priceless. The AC was right in the middle of the camper, over the kitchen, so when traveling, the "dump" feature would cool the kitchen and living room very quick. But then later, switched to the ducked and let it cool the bed room.

Our current Montana fifth wheel has a front living room and kitchen in the middle. The front living room as a 15,000 BTU AC - heat pump all ducked. The heat pump works great through the ducks alone. The AC works great alone, especially at night.

The front and back are ducked together. But the bed room also has the dump feature, the living room does not. When using the dump feature in the bed room, it cools very, very fast, especially since it's a smaller room (even with the slide out).

When it's set's on ducked and the front living room is running (ducked), we have no problems. Both AC's blow a slightly different temperature out of the ducks, which is to be expected as the ducks travel in the ceiling and the farther from the AC, the warmer that duck blows. There can be as much as 10 degrees difference between the closes one to the AC and the farthest one from the AC, if only one is running, either front or back. When both are running, they are all pretty consistent.

Another feature about having both ducked together, if sitting in the living room, we can run the AC in the bed room, and it will keep the living room cool without the noise of the AC. And in the bed room, we can run the living room AC and it will keep the bed room (freezing) at night without the noise of the AC running.

Ducked, or Dump? I'd rather have the ducked.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:19 PM   #4
flybouy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
My previous Keystone Outback had only 1 AC. It was 35 feet long. It was ducked, but it also had "dump vent" on the AC, so everything would blow out right at the AC. It originally came with a 13.5 BTU and it was not adequate for even moderate heat. We ended up switching it out for a 15,000 BTU which worked very well after that.

There were times and occasions when the ducked part worked great, and other times the "dump" feature was beyond priceless. The AC was right in the middle of the camper, over the kitchen, so when traveling, the "dump" feature would cool the kitchen and living room very quick. But then later, switched to the ducked and let it cool the bed room.

Our current Montana fifth wheel has a front living room and kitchen in the middle. The front living room as a 15,000 BTU AC - heat pump all ducked. The heat pump works great through the ducks alone. The AC works great alone, especially at night.

The front and back are ducked together. But the bed room also has the dump feature, the living room does not. When using the dump feature in the bed room, it cools very, very fast, especially since it's a smaller room (even with the slide out).

When it's set's on ducked and the front living room is running (ducked), we have no problems. Both AC's blow a slightly different temperature out of the ducks, which is to be expected as the ducks travel in the ceiling and the farther from the AC, the warmer that duck blows. There can be as much as 10 degrees difference between the closes one to the AC and the farthest one from the AC, if only one is running, either front or back. When both are running, they are all pretty consistent.

Another feature about having both ducked together, if sitting in the living room, we can run the AC in the bed room, and it will keep the living room cool without the noise of the AC. And in the bed room, we can run the living room AC and it will keep the bed room (freezing) at night without the noise of the AC running.

Ducked, or Dump? I'd rather have the ducked.
How do you clean up after all those ducks? sorry, I know I can't point fingers after seeing some of my posts.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:31 PM   #5
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Looking at the Matterport for that Arcadia model on the Keystone website, I see ceiling duct vents all over the place, even 2 in the bedroom.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:44 PM   #6
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I believe that if you do some additional checking, you'll find that the Arcadia line does have ducted air conditioning and the front (bedroom) unit is tied into the duct runs. That gives you the ability to use either A/C unit or both units to cool the entire trailer. The benefit of that option is to reduce the nosie where you're sitting in the trailer. As an example, if you're sleeping, you can turn on the LR unit so the bedroom is less noisy. Or, if you're watching TV in the living room, you can turn off that overhead unit and turn on the bedroom unit, reducing noise in the living room...
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:38 PM   #7
travelin texans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donks View Post
First off, I live and camp in FL (its hot). I just got rid of my Jayco 295BH and I am looking at RL models to replace it (didnt use the BH like we thought we would and it takes up 1/3 of the unit). So far, we have looked at a sprinter limited 3190rl and an arcadia 3660rl (leaning toward the arcadia). The jayco had 2 ac units both blowing into the same duct work. It worked well at keeping the whole camper cool but, could not keep up in the height of summer. the arcadia has 2 ac units neither are ducted. One blowing in the main area the other blowing down on the bed. The sprinter has 2 units the main unit is ducted and the second unit just blows down straight on the bed. Would love to hear opinions, experiences, etc as to which setup is best in really hot weather.
I've had both & both work fine.
With a RV that length it really wouldn't matter to me ducted or non as long as there are 2 air conditioners.
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:11 AM   #8
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FYI, The RV Business magazine declared the 2022 RV of the Year: Keystone Arcadia 370RL. Also in that issue Thor bought Airxcel for $750M. Think Coleman Mach and Suburban and other stuff will be prominent in Keystone products I am guessing.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:05 PM   #9
Donks
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Double checked with the dealer and both the ac layouts are accurate for the two in-stock units I am looking at.

Also have been having conversations on this subject and one person (who is anti-duct) said this about ducted ac in a 5er: Your ceiling does not have that much insulation around the duct work because, keep in mind, the space from ceiling to roof is only +/- 6 in at most. This causes the ducts to warm up in really hot weather increasing the temp of the air coming out of the ducts. Additionally, the further the chilled air has to travel from the unit through the duct to the vent, the warmer it is compared to the temp if it was being dumped straight out of the unit. Another point he had was that all the shifting and jolting around that occurs during travel time causes duct leaks in the ceiling making you lose cold air that way as well.
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Old 11-25-2021, 04:27 PM   #10
NH_Bulldog
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No matter what anyone has to say on the subject; whether for or against ducts, your opinion is all that matters and you are the only one that has to live with the decision. I suggest looking at each option in person, and make your own decision, based on what matters to you most.
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Old 11-25-2021, 06:57 PM   #11
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Everything is a comprimise. Our unit is dučted but has "dump vents" on the a/c unit that can be opened. In my experiences I like it the most. On a hot day arrival we'll open the dump vents and the air blows in the kitchen/living room area where the DW is getting things set up. Once it cools down close them off and sir blows thru the ductwork to the bedroom and bunk house.

The non-ducted units are like a window airconditioner. They will only cool one area, won't hlow air around corners and cool unevenly and are loud. Ducted units, like central air conditioning in a house, move the air to different rooms and is quieter (relativly speaking).
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:00 PM   #12
travelin texans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donks View Post
Double checked with the dealer and both the ac layouts are accurate for the two in-stock units I am looking at.

Also have been having conversations on this subject and one person (who is anti-duct) said this about ducted ac in a 5er: Your ceiling does not have that much insulation around the duct work because, keep in mind, the space from ceiling to roof is only +/- 6 in at most. This causes the ducts to warm up in really hot weather increasing the temp of the air coming out of the ducts. Additionally, the further the chilled air has to travel from the unit through the duct to the vent, the warmer it is compared to the temp if it was being dumped straight out of the unit. Another point he had was that all the shifting and jolting around that occurs during travel time causes duct leaks in the ceiling making you lose cold air that way as well.
In theory that sounds correct, but with 2 A/Cs that cooled air from each unit will not travel more than 1/2 the length of the rv, 25% in either direction of the A/C before mixing with air from the other unit. If there were only 1 A/C I could see the air warming when traveling the length of the rv through the ducts.
IMHO the direct dumps may cool down the rv quicker, but very loud especially at night, where as the ducted units are much quieter with more even cooling.
Plus I would suggest removing all the ceiling vents & tape, or retape, the gap between the outlets & the duct work to prevent any air lose into the attic. This is an issue in most ducted A/C systems on RVs. Also check under the A/C unit to confirm it's sealed between the outflow air & return air, the folks building these things get a bit stingy with the tape at times.
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