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Old 05-23-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
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Question A/C Upgrades, what's out there to help?

I have a 2012-31FS. It is equipped with the standard 15k A/C.
The A/C works good on average temperature days, but in the hottest days or in places I cannot find shade, it struggles.
I understand it is limited in extreme conditions.

My question to this group is; are there any upgrade units that perform better under the harsher temps?

We are doing all the things to limit heat sources; tint, window shades, fans, etc. I am just wondering if there is something better out there. I am not opposed to replacing the stock A/C unit.

I know a second unit would solve this. But a second unit on a 31FS may be too much weight and I would probably not be able to run both on the genset, if I could work out the install.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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A/C Upgrades, what's out there to help?

I will say you are better off just adding a second a/c. My brother has a 32 ft winniebago and he tried everything and some helped but not to the point where you said its cold in here. He added a second a/c and now his kids say its cold.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TX_Arvee View Post
... I am not opposed to replacing the stock A/C unit.

I know a second unit would solve this. But a second unit on a 31FS may be too much weight and I would probably not be able to run both on the genset, if I could work out the install.

Thoughts?
I believe that 15,000 btu is the largest common sized RV rooftop unit. That said, if you increase the capacity of the single unit then generator size will likely be the same issue as adding a second A/C unit.

There is a trick which sometimes helps for a single window A/C unit for upstairs bedrooms that may help you. Trying to cool the entire area is often difficult with a marginal sized (in extreme temperatures) unit. The trick is to close the door of the room which the A/C unit is located. After that room is cooled then the doors to the next room/area are opened and that room included. If you try to cool the entire area at once then it seems like it never catches up. If your A/C unit is ducted then you will need to turn off the vents in the isolated area(s).

Fans will move the air and help to prevent stratification, dead zones. Good luck. vic
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:08 AM   #4
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A 15K BTU AC in a 31' trailer is going to struggle in the summer heat on the Texas coast regardless of what you do but there are some things you can check that will help. Drop the lower cover and inspect the discharge air portion of the AC and make sure everything is properly taped and you are not leaking cold air up into the ceiling. Pull the registers(they should pop out and make sure they are sealed/taped to the duct. RV builders do a notoriously poor job of that. Finally, use something(a piece of pool noodle works well) to stop air from going past the last register in the chain. You lose a lot of cooling by allowing the air to blow all the way to the end of the duct with no way to discharge and this will force it out into the space you're trying to cool.

A second unit is going to be the solution.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX_Arvee View Post
My question to this group is; are there any upgrade units that perform better under the harsher temps?
We are doing all the things to limit heat sources; tint, window shades, fans, etc. I am just wondering if there is something better out there. I am not opposed to replacing the stock A/C unit.
It looks like you have a 2012 model. As mentioned above, a 15k BTU unit is as big as RV AC's get.
If you were to go to a 2nd unit, it'd mean upgrading to 50A service. It'd also mean having a second thermostat or wiring in a thermostat that could handle two units. Regardless, it's a non-trivial upgrade.

Our Jayco is 2005 and we haven't gone through a summer with it yet nor toured with it in the full TX sun, but I just sold a Class-A (Holiday Rambler) that had 2 13.5k units on it and it would get hot too.
Things I would look at:

1) What is the brand of the unit on your coach? I know the Dometic units pretty well and can provide at least one trick.
2) Make sure your unit is clean. Once a year I pull the cover on the roof and clean both the condenser and evaporator coils with coil cleaner. Dirty coils don't cool well.
3) Make sure it's doing what it should do. Generally this means a 15-20 degree drop in intake to vent temperature. If you're not getting this drop, something is wrong with the AC.
4) When traveling, I shut off the bathroom/bedroom, and I close the vents. This will force the ducted air to the front of the rig where you need it.
5) For more extreme circumstances, I was looking at diverting from the ducts on my Holiday Rambler - a few people on www.irv2.com did this successfully. Ducted AC is great, but it passes cold air through a partly insulated roof before the air comes out. A non-ducted unit will cool better.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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And one more recommendation:
http://wot.motortrend.com/3ms-window...int-77391.html

Basically there are clear tints (or near clear) that can reduce heat
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