Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

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Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:26 pm

I live in SW Florida and do most of my traveling in the hot and humid south. That combined with age and health pretty much calls for constant a/c. A 6 x 12 is only 72 sq ft, add 6 foot ceiling height and you're cooling 432 cubic feet of space. Subtract from that the volume of the things built in and you're not really talking about cooling very much space. I will insulate ceiling and walls with 1" foam.

I'm a rookie with no builds under my belt yet. I'm close to being ready to start, but I want ALL of my ducks in a row before I get started. With regard to air conditioning here is what I've read and seen on YouTube videos:

Split mini units are expensive, portable units frequently don't cool adequately and require 4" holes to "breathe", thru the wall and window units are not quite the same but I'm not sure why, roof tops are expensive and at 13,500 btu are a bit of overkill for my space.

I'm leaning toward a hundred fifty-ish dollar, 5000 btu Frigidaire window unit. Is that the best choice? And just what are the differences between a thru the wall and window unit.

I'm looking for the definitive answer to cooling a cargo conversion with price and cooling ability being co-equal priorities. What are your opinions?
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby yrock87 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:06 pm

I'm not sure about application as I am just starting my build and wont be adding AC from the start (no need in the Northwest). I can however speak to the 5k btu fridgidair units. I got one on amazon on sale for $115 two summers ago. I splurged for the $115 over the 105 because it came with digital controls and a remote instead of the analog rotary dial. the unit cooled down my 150 SQFT master bedroom in 80+ heat almost too well. the compressor kept cycling off. if you go that route, which I am not trying to steer you out of, I would recommend doing some modification to pull air from the outside instead of recycling inside air. it will be less efficient, but then the compressor will keep running to cool and dehumidify. Keep your roof top vent cracked to let the pressure out and I imagine you would be good to go.

I'll be watching for your solution to this. I wont be living in the NW for long and I may end up adding AC. I have seen several options from what others have done on this site but it is always cool to see different techniques.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby lrrowe » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:24 pm

I am sure you both have read some of the posts here on this topic. Actually there is quite a bit of experiences posted here using all sorts of AC solutions. My suggestions is to sit back and relax and use the the search feature here and enjoy reading about what others have done. I myself am using a $25 used 5000 BTU unit on a 6x14 unit and am quite satisfied with the results. I show photos of my install here in my thread. Shadow Catcher uses a similar concept in a TD. MtnDon, as many others have done, mounts his in a permanet opening in the CT rear barn door.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:48 pm

I'm not afraid of a little research into the archives, however newer info may be available and could be shared. The go to idea for a/c in 2015 may be superseded by new models or new methods that people have not written about yet. I'm a big fan of history, but I don't necessarily think the old ideas are the best ideas.


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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby lrrowe » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:58 pm

Ok, but they are not really that old. Some folks have started to play around with split systems, but otherwise not much has changed. Was just trying to help.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby mustangcats » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:38 pm

I have a 5000 btu air conditioner in my 6.5 X 12 trailer and it works just fine. There is always someone trying to market some newfangled type of air conditioner but they usually don't cool well and are very expensive. A nice way to install a window type ac in a trailer is to get a cargo door just big enough for the back end of the ac to slide through. Install the cargo door on the trailer in a convenient location and have a shelf on the opposite side in the trailer for the air conditioner to be stored on. When needed, you just open the cargo door and slice the ac out.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:37 pm

mustangcats wrote:I have a 5000 btu air conditioner in my 6.5 X 12 trailer and it works just fine. There is always someone trying to market some newfangled type of air conditioner but they usually don't cool well and are very expensive. A nice way to install a window type ac in a trailer is to get a cargo door just big enough for the back end of the ac to slide through. Install the cargo door on the trailer in a convenient location and have a shelf on the opposite side in the trailer for the air conditioner to be stored on. When needed, you just open the cargo door and slice the ac out.


You've given me an idea to work with. Do you know exactly how much of the back of that a/c unit has to stick out?

I'm thinking of a wall cabinet with the a/c mounted in it permanently with just the face/control panel sticking through the cabinet opening, and your cargo door on the outside so it can breathe. But I'm not sure how much of the a/c unit HAS to stick out. If it's just to intake and exhaust air I think my idea might work.


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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby mustangcats » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:14 pm

I slide the air conditioner out as far as it will go, that way the front frame of the ac will stop when it contacts the opening of the cargo door. That is why you want a cargo door that provides as snug a fit as possible. The back of the air conditioner only sticks out about 8 1/2 inches. I then stuff some foam pieces around the ac to seal the opening around the sides to keep out rain, insects, etc. I removed those plastic side pieces that were on the air conditioner (the accordion pieces that fit the window opening). Take a look at my build (see below for the link) and on page 2 there is a picture of the ac from the outside and also on the inside. Some people put their ac on drawer slides so it can be rolled in and out; I didn't do that but it isn't very heavy so it is easily pushed in and out of the cargo door opening. The picture taken inside the trailer shows the ac when it is not in use.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:44 pm

Good information. Thank you very much.


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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby m.colley » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:18 pm

DaveMann wrote:
mustangcats wrote:I have a 5000 btu air conditioner in my 6.5 X 12 trailer and it works just fine. There is always someone trying to market some newfangled type of air conditioner but they usually don't cool well and are very expensive. A nice way to install a window type ac in a trailer is to get a cargo door just big enough for the back end of the ac to slide through. Install the cargo door on the trailer in a convenient location and have a shelf on the opposite side in the trailer for the air conditioner to be stored on. When needed, you just open the cargo door and slice the ac out.


You've given me an idea to work with. Do you know exactly how much of the back of that a/c unit has to stick out?

I'm thinking of a wall cabinet with the a/c mounted in it permanently with just the face/control panel sticking through the cabinet opening, and your cargo door on the outside so it can breathe. But I'm not sure how much of the a/c unit HAS to stick out. If it's just to intake and exhaust air I think my idea might work.


Dave



Dave,
Here's a link you may want to look at to help guide your install ideas. http://www.campingworld.com/rvsales/tra ... an/442705/
If you look from the outside above the black window you'll see a vent. This vent allows the exhaust air from the AC to escape the interior of the RV. Look at the interior pictures. The AC is mounted on the drivers side of the cabinet. The AC in question is an 8000 BTU Frigidaire unit. The face of the AC sits about 2-3" from the face frame of the cabinet its mounted in. I saw this trailer in person at the dealership and I'm in the process of doing something similar. I hope this helps you..

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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:10 pm

That is pretty much exactly what I've been seeing in my mind. Only thing I might do differently is put a cargo cover over the exposed part sticking out of the opening so it can't be damaged while driving.

Thank you very much for that post.


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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby m.colley » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:45 am

DaveMann wrote:That is pretty much exactly what I've been seeing in my mind. Only thing I might do differently is put a cargo cover over the exposed part sticking out of the opening so it can't be damaged while driving.

Thank you very much for that post.


Dave


You may not have to have anything sticking out, depending on how deep you build your interior cabinets. The one thing you'll want to do if regardless if you have anything sticking out or not is carefully drill a condensate drain hole in the bottom of the case. If your unit is totally inside you'll have to make up some type of drain outlet connection due to fact that most Window AC units use the "slinger style" of condensate removal.



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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby aggie79 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:21 pm

Unless you have a through wall type unit instead of the more common window unit you will need to either have the window unit sticking out beyond the side air intake for cooling the condenser or you will have to build in an air path for the condenser air intake.
Last edited by aggie79 on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby DaveMann » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:10 pm

aggie79 wrote:Unless you have a through wall type unit instead of the more common window unit you will need to either have the window unit sticking out beyond the side air intake for cooking the condenser or you will have to build in an air path for the condenser air intake.


OK, finally someone who sees what I see. I kept asking how far out the ac unit HAS to be because I saw those side vents you're talking about. I've seen several permanent mountings where it seems just a half inch of the back end of the ac unit sticks out and is protected by a hatch. No one has ever indicated that anything else was necessary. But now I see those side vents do matter. They allow air in (presumably outside air) for benefit (I assume cooling) of the condenser. Is this correct?

How do you suppose that Coleman trailer mentioned above handles this? Would inside air (which is cooler than outside air once the thing starts running) from a vent under the cabinet the ac is mounted in satisfy this requirement?

You've all been a great help so far. I'm so close to finally "getting it".
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Re: Opinions on a/c units for a 6 x 12 Cargo Conversion

Postby m.colley » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:57 am

Dave,
From what I saw the hatch or vent cover allows both intake and exhaust air for the condensor . Its a louvered grill, not a flat panel like most accessory hatch panels that you see. I couldn't see behind the cabinet/ ac unit but I would imagine they created a sleeve or partition dedicating a portion of the louver on each side for intake and the rest of the louver for exhaust. That would separate your air flow and keep them from mixing.


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