Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

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jcliff
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Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by jcliff » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Wondering if anyone has some thoughts on the feasibility of installing a mini window AC unit in my RV. She has a roof unit that doesn't work, but the roof units I've looked at are really expensive ($450-500). I only use my old girl for the Burn, so looking for the cheapest option. She's super tight on space on the inside, so I don't want to look at portable units. I'm not sure if it would be possible to take out a side window, put in a board with a cut-out for a small unit? I think I'd need a some way to take the unit out but still have the window securely covered? Cut-out in the board that could open to allow the unit to go in on playa and out while driving & when she's parked for the other 11 months? Suggestions would be appreciated. Attaching pic so you can get an idea of the side windows.
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ygmir
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by ygmir » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:28 pm

I did that in my RV:
made a plywood cover, would remove the push out escape window when I got there, put the plywood cover (with cutout for the A/C) up, through bolts to 1x1 square metal tubing on the inside. Then, the A/c can hang on the sill and plywood just like it does on a house window. Blue tape any gaps, and, you're set! worked great. Take it down while travelling........though, it'd be feasible to mount it there permanent, too...
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motskyroonmatick
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:06 pm

I think ready to go and tested install materials/setup and then installing as soon as you get to playa is the way to go. Typical window AC units put quite a bit of torque on the window frame and driving with that torque present while going over bumps could end badly. I really like Yiggy's cut out method. You can make it all before the burn and have it all ready to go for a quick installation. Don't forget the maximum width of vehicles on the roadway is 8.5 feet (except mirrors).... So if you did install out of a side window and wanted to drive with it in position it would need to be mounted in such a way that it did not make your vehicle wider than 8.5 feet.
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 am

What's on the back end?

If the unite were back there, it would be a one time install.

If it has to be on the side, I would attach a piano hinge to the bottom of the window frame to mount a shelf to.

Add a triangle on the middle/bottom of the shelf with another hinge for support.

These can be folded and locked in place with simple latches when traveling, and folded out to support the unit when parked.

Same way I did my fold down tables inside and out on my playapod.

Sorry, I can't find my pics. :roll:
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:57 am

Just buy a used roof AC, RVs get junked all the time and you can get a roof air cheap. It’s gonna work a whole lot better and be a lot less pain in the ass.
Order a new roof air conditioner seal from Amazon or somewhere so it seals properly. (Cheap).
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jcliff
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by jcliff » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:20 am

Do you know where I would I look for a used roof AC unit? My rig is dry-docked in Reno in the off season with a guy who handles everything for me. He can do the AC upgrade for me, but I hate to ask him to search junk yards.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:18 pm

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/pts/d ... 25937.html

Theres a nice one on Craigslist about two hours away from Reno...

Edit: ok he said he was having trouble with that one. But keep watching craigslist. They turn up.
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by JayBobBoy » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:10 am

I've done both options you've seen described here and here's my 2cents:

Old Rv's never like it when you reinstall stuff through the roof. You always create more issues than you solve. I destroyed an trailer trying to do that once. It was a cheap, old trailer but after opening the roof it quickly became more expensive to fix than the trailer would ever be worth. YMMV

My old travel trailer had a window that slid up to open and a window A/C unit fit in there perfectly. I just built a simple stand to support it on the outside and then used some insulation material to fill in any gaps. My trailer was a 20footer so it isn't huge inside, and the unit cooled it nicely. In my case the window unit was an awesome value considering the only time I ever used A/C was at BM.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:47 am

Roof ACs don’t involve opening up the roof. They simply clamp in where the existing 14”x14” hatch hole is.
There’s nothing to it.
You clean the area well, place the NEW foam gasket (you will have leaks if you re-use the old one), drop the unit on and tighten a few nuts from inside the camper. A few screws hold the trim panel on and you’re done.
The electric connections are just a coupe wire nuts.

The foam gasket is supposed to crush so you need to go around and tighten the nuts a little at a time, never crank one down super tight before all the others. And don’t get too crazy tightening them, you just want it firmly squeezed down without tweaking things out of shape.

The window AC thing will work, I’ve done that too - sometimes in addition to roof air just to have double-super-cooling.
The downsides to that is the smaller lighter units are only about half as powerful as a caller roof AC.
It’s less effective to have the cold air coming in at mid-ship than if it was coming down from the roof.
It’s clunkier to have it propped in a window.

If it’s where it’s supposed to be, that’s one less heavy bulky thing you have to store during travel and screw with when you set up and knock down.

If you don’t score a deal on an AC from a camper being parted out, try to find a bigger more powerful window unit, the usual little 5000-6000 BTU units have a hard time chillling an RV in a hot desert.

This is all just opinion coming from someone who likes to be able to be super comfortable in BRC, and who likes to arrive as “turn key” as possible. My mindset is to do as much work at home ahead of time as possible and as little as possible on-playa. Your preference may vary.
I’m not saying the window AC plan won’t work. It will. But why do that when you already have a better setup in place, that you can just replace?
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Re: Feasibility of Window AC for RV?

Post by maladroit » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:41 pm

You could take a window unit and build a box that fits over the roof hole and the unit hangs outside the board. Of course this is super inconvenient.

You could also think outside the box and realize that for your beat up Burner van, why limit yourself to existing side panel windows? Cut a hole anywhere that works and reinforce around it with wood, make a wood filler panel that attaches with screws for driving. Some minor assembly on-playa required.

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