I installed a small window air conditioner in an upper cabinet at the rear of my Aristocrat. I mounted it high because cold air settles, and also so I could vent it through the roof.
All went well until it got really hot here in Southern California, and my cute little 5300 BTU Daewoo was just not cutting it, even though the trailer is fully insulated with 1" foam, including the floor. When the advertising says it's good for a small room, it means a house room, not a tin box with inch-thick walls and the kitchen stove going...
So yesterday I replaced the 5300 BTU unit with an LG 8000 BTU box that I got used on Craigslist for 50 bucks. That seems to handle the heat just fine.
From the rear:
The front of the unit takes in room air from the lower grille, and blows out cold air from the top. The back of the unit draws in ambient outside air through the top and sides, and exhausts the heat out the back.
The Front and back need to be separated, of course, but it's also a good idea to separate the top and sides (intake) from the back exhaust, so the condenser doesn't suck hot air back in through the sides.
Here's how I isolated mine:
I used a standard RV refrigerator vent for the exhaust, and a cheapo roof vent from Lowes for the intake:
I had made a drip tray out of acrylic sheet with glued-on edges and a drain tube for the original AC, but the new one was just enough larger that it wouldn't fit. The LG already had a drain hole in its own pan, so I just installed grommet with a snug fitting nipple, and connected it to my existing drain line.
The drain exits the back of the trailer. I used a kitchen faucet strainer for an outlet, mainly because it includes a mesh screen to keep the itsy-bitsy spider from climbing up the water spout...
One thing I neglected to mention. To help the condenser (back end) breathe in its confined space, I installed a 115v computer fan (5") that I got from an electronics surplus store. I put it up under the roof vent blowing down, to make sure enough air was available. It didn't seem to make any difference to the small AC, but I think I'll be glad to have it for the new bigger one.
Another "lessons learned" tidbit. We camped this weekend in the hot weather, so had the AC running all day, and it performed nicely, but noticed a bit of water in the cabinet below when we got home. Not enough to suggest a leak, but some. My theory is that since my drain isn't exactly at the bottom of the AC pan, a little water stays in the pan and eventually evaporates, unless the pan is bouncing down the long road home, in which case the residual water is free to splash out and dampen things.
If there's any way you can get your drain right out of the bottom of the unit, it would be good to avoid this situation. Not sure what I'm going to do. Putting my drain in the bottom would make it hard to slide the unit into the cupboard; it's a snug fit as it is.
Gary what is below the a/c unit if you have room drill a hole (3/8" to a 1/2")in the low point in the bottom of the a/c then cut a matching hole in the surface that the A/C sits on and fasten a small funnel under it with a hose connected to the outside. The funnel can be held in place with 2 or 3 L brackets fastened to the funnel and the bottom of the shelf. Cut the hole over the funnel all most as big as the funnel, this will allow a little room for movement and still keep the drain over the funnel. When drilling the A/C be careful not to drill into any thing inside. Clear food grade hose makes a good drain, available at Lowes in many different sizes also Ace Hardware.
Last Edit: Sept 4, 2013 13:58:12 GMT -8 by bigbill
Post by boandsusan on Nov 10, 2013 15:26:24 GMT -8
Super nice job! Nice clear pictures and description too. This is exactly the same method we use in our closet install in the Shasta`s but for the roof vent. We vent the top and sides out the sides of the closet to the cabin.
I know this is from an old thread, but what happened with your small leak? You said you thought it was from residual water still left in the drain pan and it was sloshing about during towing. Did you move the drain?
I believe I have seen this trailer recently at rallies here in So Cal. I just can't place it right now.
BTW, anyone reading this, needs to look at Gary's album that he has in his signature. It's pretty amazing. He's one of those folks who was blessed with the skills of a craftsman. We should all be so lucky. LOL.
Last Edit: Jun 18, 2018 5:05:57 GMT -8 by Teachndad
"I get that queasy how in the hell will this thing ever go back together feeling.” - PT
Thanks for your nice words. You may take them back when you hear my solution... There is an old joke in the Navy that the way to fix a leaky pipe is to hang a bucket under it. I didn't exactly do that, but close. The problem only happened the one time that I recall, so I didn't want to get into a major operation to fix it. What's in the cupboard under the A/C is extra bed linens, so I just zipped them up in plastic bags. I know....
But since I live and mostly camp in the dry southwest, it really hasn't been a big issue for me. If you are installing an air conditioner in the humid parts of the country, I'd definitely take drainage into account and either make sure the unit is tilted back, or better yet, incorporate a bottom drain into your design.
Oh, I just thought of something else that may have fixed it. When I first started using the trailer, my hitch ball was too low, so the trailer actually went down the road in a slightly nose-down attitude. Once I finally got around to getting the proper hitch, that situation went away, and (coincidentally?) so did the drainage problem! That thought just occurred to me, years hence! I think you call that a forehead-slapper.
If the problem is just residual water splashing out of the drip tray while underway, I'd cheat and lay a small, thin sponge in the bottom of the tray near the drain. It'll absorb whatever water doesn't make it out of the drain, eliminate splashing, and dry out in no time.