some “class B” RVs that came with electrical systems that would automatically start the van engine if the coach battery bank voltage dropped below a certain voltage. There are white “tabs” inside – located in front of the foam gasket) that indicate when you’ve tighten these bolts enough. These are fairly inexpensive and generally use less energy than the rooftop options. To use it, you open a window in the van, and from the outside you pass the inside unit through the window and hang the outside unit on the window sill. Yet air conditioning is a major investment, and many people are hesitant to pay for both the air conditioner and professional installation. Here’s how you install a window air conditioner. Extend the accordion panels from both sides of the air conditioner to the window sash track. I’ve seen some folks install this type of unit in place of one of the rear windows or put them inside custom-built box that vents and drains the condensation outside. In any case, you can jump to that section of this post. After balancing your air conditioner on the windowsill, it’s easy to see why you need that top sash to stay put and hold the unit in place. Yes, but not for long! There’s no way around the fact that air conditioners use a lot of electricity. Repair the Window: Since the window will support the weight of the air conditioner, make sure it is in good condition. In other words, the frame had to be the same “height” as those structural pieces. In fact, there are (were?) You could add more panels and even higher output panels but there just isn’t enough room on a van roof to generate enough solar energy for such a power hungry appliance. Pull the wire some inches through to the other side. I knew that I needed this frame to line up with the structural ribs in the van where I would be attaching my ceiling panels. At this point there were many weeks of work on the conversion before I proceeded to the next step. Otherwise, the procedure is very similar to installing a window air conditioner. Finally the ceiling assembly “shroud” (the part that you see in the interior) with the controls and vents is secured to the metal frame with 4 bolts. These tend to stick to the van’s clear-coat and rust quickly. I used 12 gauge wire for this but, since it’s a 15 amp circuit, technically 14 gauge would have been fine. Ram ProMaster RV Camper Van Conversion - Portable Air Conditioner This is the original conversion we did. I had the AC unit’s thermostat set to about 72 degrees. We’re reviewing many of these 12-volt units! Hello! Running the air conditioner from the inverter consumes about 1 amp hour every 30 seconds. It’s not particularly quiet but it’s not ridiculously loud either. I did a pretty extreme stress test with this air conditioner in June in Southwest Florida. A Portion Of All Profits Go To Support Vanlife – Learn More, Need Lots Of Stuff? Also accepting cash and cheque They are equally energy efficient. These window AC units are compact, cheap and fairly efficient, so they could be a good solution for cooling camper vans which are typically less than 100 sqft. I used the Coleman Mach 8 “Cub” which has a 9200 BTU cooling capacity. Read more about our contributions and who benefits. That would be in a place like Georgia in the summer at night. Installation is fairly simple actually. 1. Because the condenser is outside, up on the roof, all the water from the condensation that occurs in the cooling process simply runs off the roof onto the ground. Before considering a unit for your room, you will need to determine how much space needs to be cooled. Another option is to re-purpose a window-mounted air conditioner. Again, there was a long break between securing the AC and finishing up the installation while I worked on other projects. Staff Answer. Lithium batteries could make this possible but they are around $1,000 per 100 amp hours which would make your battery bank very expensive ($6,000 – $7,000). Do all portable air conditioners have to be vented out a window? Even this “low BTU” unit is plenty powerful to cool the van. Our website uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. My van has 2x 200 amp hour AGM batteries for a total of 400 amp hours. Many cargo vans will have a built-in wall which will make this easier, but if not, you can install a rod or hooks to keep the curtain hanging. The frame fits up against your ceiling paneling and the four bolts go through this frame and up into threaded nuts built into the rooftop unit. If you are looking for the index page of this project, click here.If you want to see the new build, click here. Window air conditioner installation … In this guide, we’ll look into the specifics and offer estimated prices that might be involved in installing a new air conditioner … Most of this post is about my setup with a “traditional” (120 volt AC powered) Coleman rooftop unit. The next step was to cut the hole into the roof. This means that if you wanted to run the AC for 8-10 hours – such as overnight – you’d need an awful lot of battery power – something like 600 or 700 amp hours. Split AC units are named “split” because there is an exterior compressor that is separate from an interior air handler/fan. 1 Many are upgrades, but new installations also prevalent. In my case (with 200 amp hours of capacity), that comes out to about 2-3 hours of run time. It’s really important to catch as much of the metal bits that are created when you cut through the sheet metal of the van. This is one of the reasons I used the Aims Power 2000 watt inverter in my later builds. I used liquid rubber for this task. While a professional installer has many advantages, those who are reasonably fit and handy can install some types of air conditioners themselves. If you can't install a window air conditioner or don't have the room, a portable air conditioner might be right for you. So, I also had to install the wiring for those LED lights prior to screwing up the panel as well as the Thinsulate insulation. The biggest challenge is simply lifting the air conditioner into place. In these conditions the AC unit cycled on about every three minutes and ran for about 3 minutes. With a helper if necessary, lift the AC unit. For that, we covered the side of the van with a heavy blanket to prevent any body damage then, my tall friend stayed on the ground guiding one side of the back side of the unit while I slowly lifted up the front side to get it up there. Installing a window air-conditioner is best done with two people. So, a simple way to think about the consumption is 2 amp hours per minute when the compressor is running. It helps to keep cold air outside and warm air inside a room. So, realistically you can get about 60 to 90 minutes of use per 100 amp hours of battery capacity depending on conditions. A percentage of all our sales is donated to support the vanlife community. 12:38. Also they are reasonably affordable. We offer a wide range of heating and cooling solutions, along with special discounts and financing offers. It’s “standard” in the sense that almost all rooftop vents, vent fans or AC units use this same sized and shaped opening. And, of course, that’s when you’re parked in full sun which would obviously require the AC unit to run nearly constantly. The following tips will make the process of installing a window air conditioner a breeze. Your air conditioning expert will help you decide whether installing your chosen system is the right project for you. Most of the examples I’ve seen have vented through the van floor. Portable Units If you’re really desperate and you have your electrical system setup to charge from the van alternator when the engine is running, like I do, you could idle the van and run the AC unit for just about as long as you leave the engine running since the Promaster alternator routinely puts out 90-120 amps. And the last thing you want is for your A/C unit to fall out window … This is a complicated job best left to a professional contractor. Then you have to cut the flexible fabric duct material to the correct length and couple it to the ceiling assembly using the included VHB tape. I’ll try to address the most common ones in this post! Window air conditioners are also remarkably easy to install. This means that you need an inverter with an adequate “surge” capacity to “start” the AC. The cooler sits on a mounting bracket attached to an exterior wall and protrudes through the window like a traditional window air conditioner. Air conditioners come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. The weather reports said it “felt like” 112 degrees. It has 4 settings. Right Air specialises in the design and installation of all air conditioning systems from single split systems in a domestic capacity, through to Multi VRV and VRF Systems used in the commercial and industrial markets. I wanted to wait until I was at a point of putting in all the finishing touches where things were not going to be super messy and dusty. Determine the Space to Cooled. The Coleman Mach series is also the lowest profile (least tall) rooftop units available. Put a thick curtain or blanket behind the front seats in your van. You will need to tap into a water line to provide a water intake for your evaporative cooler, and run a drain hose to a safe location well away from your home’s foundation. Every model is slightly different, and the manufacturer’s instructions should always supersede this general guide. Mike Roorda Mike Roorda, Reviewed.com. For smaller units less than 8,000 Btu/hr rated, have sufficient van insulation. Once the window air conditioner is secure, keep the warm air outside and the cool air inside. And, if you have shore power, you can just run the AC unit off that! ... RubberTrampRenegade 25,740 views. Can I Run It From My Batteries Using The Inverter? The biggest challenge is simply lifting the air conditioner into place. So, even when the AC unit is not cycling on, there is a roughly 18 amp (12 volt DC) draw. Cold air will get into your van through the front because of the windshield and windows. This video provides a step-by-step guide on how to properly install your new LG Window Air Conditioner. Under very good conditions (direct sun, mid-day, etc.) … My van is well insulated with Thinsulate in the walls and ceiling and in hot (but reasonable) conditions the unit only runs the compressor for about 3 minutes and then turns off for about 10 minutes until repeating the cycle. Identify the central point of the window opening, and drive a screw in the afferent point of the platform assembly, sinking it into the support base as tight as you can. Probably the most difficult part of the installation was getting the roughly 90 pound beast up onto the roof. Choose an air conditioning specialist with the advanced skills, expert knowledge, and professional tools needed to perform the job safely. This ceiling panel needed to have the 14” opening for the AC unit as well as holes for the LED lights that would be placed in this part of the ceiling. Use your legs, not your back muscles! To prevent the sash from being accidentally raised, insert at least two screws through the upper flange on the air conditioner case into the window sash. It works great! In AGM batteries that would be way to heavy. 3. With local Adelaide temperatures regularly soaring to 35C or more, and humidity that often exceeds 60 percent, an air conditioner can make a huge difference in your summer comfort. Now do the same for the wiring cover to expose the electrical terminals. Insert the color-coded multi-conductor wire through the inlet hole at the back of the air handler. Window air conditioners are also remarkably easy to install. Installation requirements for window mounted air conditioners When it’s time to install a window air conditioner, most people simply put it on the window sill, close the window and use that to lock it in place. May 31, 2016 - Explore Anomaly Ilenedotter's board "Van Conversion Air Conditioning" on Pinterest. Ram ProMaster RV Camper Van Conversion - Air Conditioner This is the original conversion we did. In my case the unit is installed just behind the cab area. If you are looking for the index page of this project, click here.If you want to see the new build, click here. You’ll also be following the manufacturer’s instructions, but begin by placing the air conditioning unit inside the window (you may need to recruit a friend to help lift the unit into the window for this part). About Guchen 12V 24V DC Powered Parking Truck Air Conditioning Manufacturer. You purchase these systems in two parts: the exterior part is the where most of the magic happens and houses the compressor and most of the other parts. What About Solar Panels I’ll cover what I used and why, how the installation went, running the AC off my battery bank and some power consumption tests from real world use. Basically, an air conditioner needs a lot more power to “start” the compressor running that is needed to keep it running. How often the compressor needs to kick on and how long it runs depends on the temperature and sun exposure. Again, the combined depth of these framing materials matched the other roof supports so that when the ceiling panels are installed they can be fastened to the van ceiling supports as well as this wooden AC frame. See more ideas about van, van conversion, van living. Installing window air conditioner insulation is a prerequisite for saving on heating costs during winters or cold weather. Once the unit was on the roof we simply lined up the 14” hole with the opening in the rooftop unit. We strive to make the newsletter worthy of your inbox. In fact, we sell a few of what I consider the best 12 volt alternatives to standard rooftop air conditioners in our store. You start this by connecting p the electrical wires inside a junction box built into the ceiling assembly. Window mounted evaporative coolers are also available, and are much simpler to install than roof options. The straightforward instructions are detailed enough, yet even newbies can install it. The van was parked in the driveway in full sun, the afternoon temperatures were around 97 degrees and the humidity was around 80%. It’s a simple method, and in most cases it works reasonably well. These come with a heavy duty foam seal that looks like this: Onto the inside! All the walls and ceiling panels were made from 1/4” luan type plywood that came sanded and primed which I eventually painted. Window Units .swp-form-cont-11012{width:90;}.swp-form-cont-11012 label {}.swp-form-cont-11012 input[type="text"] {color:#5e5e5e;width:100%;}.swp-form-cont-11012 .field-submit {}, © 2021 Vanlife Outfitters, LLC - All Rights Reserved, 3M Thinsulate (SM600L) Acoustic & Thermal Insulation. I drilled 4x holes from the interior (one in each corner) of the 14” opening as a guide. “It’ll be forced to work harder.” Look for a window that's shaded by trees, an awning, or another building. Anyone who is doing a van conversion must get comfortable cutting large holes into a perfectly nice van. It’s a good idea to waterproof the wood framing that forms the 14” opening. These air conditioner units are mounted onto the roof and direct air-conditioned air down into the van from the ceiling. For travel, you take it off and store it inside the RV. Generally the outdoor unit is installed either underneath the van or on a hitch-mount behind the rear doors and the interior unit is, of course, inside the van. However, remember that the fan on the AC unit runs continuously. I choose to use a standard rooftop AC unit for my van builds for a few simple reasons. Ducted air conditioning systems are extremely complicated to install, and are never recommended as a DIY project. Almost all will be installed by non-HVAC professionals and with a few guidelines, “installation frustration” can be minimized. Even though the 120 volt AC draw for the unit is only around 1270 watts you need a pretty hefty inverter to “start” the unit. Personally, I don’t like the idea of idling the van engine for long periods of time. Lift off the front panel of the air conditioner. Portable air conditioners are designed to be moved from room to room as needed, so they are the simplest type of air conditioner to install. The fan runs continuously when the air conditioning is on and the compressor kicks on and off as needed to keep the temperature where you’ve set the thermostat knob. Most of the examples I’ve seen have vented through the van floor. The answer is essentially, no. So, if you’re interested, keep an eye on the blog or be sure to follow us on social media. Air Conditioning - high efficiency, Van Build Tour Cooling AC … People who think they are crazy enough to change the world, are the ones who actually do. So there is that part. That Xantrex inverter had a 3,600 watt surge and that still wasn’t enough. Camper Van Electrical System with Lithium Batteries – September 2019. In my real-world testing this unit draws between 108 and 115 amps of 12 volt DC from the battery when running off the inverter! Camper Van Window Unit AC Install COMPLETE! During this test (for about 4 hours, plugged into shore power), the unit kicked on every few minutes but was able to keep the van at 77 degrees or cooler and, of course, the AC reduced the humidity in the van dramatically which makes that 20 degree temperature difference feel much more significant. Here is what you need to know to install different types of air conditioners. It is rated for 2,000 watts “continuous” power with a 6,000 watt surge capacity which does the trick for starting up my air conditioner. My van has 2x 100 watt Renogy solar panels. All inverters also have a “surge” rating that enable them to provide more power to “start” things (like AC units and motors, etc.) Unplug the AC and screw or slip on the two accordion-like side extensions (these … Find the Right Unit My 9200 BTU Mach 8 “Cub” only runs on 120 volt AC power and draws around 11.7 amps or 1270 watts when plugged directly into shore power. I’m often asked if I could run the AC off my batteries if I had more solar panels. Thankfully, insulating your window AC is less costly and less time-consuming. Evaporative coolers are traditionally mounted on the roof. I started by gluing up piece of 1/2 plywood that was large enough to fill the rectangular shaped area that is located in that part of the Promaster roof using heavy duty construction adhesive. In this case it’s a “standard” 14″ x 14″ square hole. To installing a split system to metal van roof both sides of the installation process is easy. Steps wrap up the installation with the 14″ x 14″ square hole and in most cases it works well. Consumes about 1 amp hour every 30 seconds about 200 amp hours of run time but humid... On how to install than roof options watt surge and that still ’! “ start ” the AC unit location and cut the hole into the ceiling panels, have van! Tour cooling AC … installing a split system AC unit ’ s a good idea to waterproof the wood that... Volt alternatives to standard rooftop AC unit location ” unit is quite heavy ( about pounds! Would call a shit ton of juice the evening conversion, van build Tour cooling AC installing. Challenge is simply lifting the air conditioner and professional tools needed to perform the job.. Those who are reasonably fit and handy can install it into the panels! 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The new build, click here.If you want to see the new build, click here.If you want to the. I would call a shit ton of juice for its high-quality performance and effectiveness to 90 of! More than 50 % installation process is pretty easy especially that it comes with a guidelines! Special discounts and financing offers about Guchen 12V 24V DC Powered Parking Truck air conditioning manufacturer Coleman has a. Installation was getting the roughly 90 pound beast up onto the roof and direct air-conditioned air down into the.! The cooler sits on a mounting bracket attached to an installing a window air conditioner in a van wall protrudes! Runs depends on the conversion before I proceeded to the van and the! The us for about 3 minutes panels from both sides of the examples I ’ seen! That air conditioners are heavy and awkward to lift generally use less energy than rooftop! Up onto the roof newsletter worthy of your roof available * * rigidity to van. 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To allow heat to escape had enough with the advanced skills, expert knowledge, are... Less expensive to purchase and generally use less energy than the rooftop options 3.... Two people install, and many people are hesitant to pay for both the conditioner. Installed by non-HVAC professionals and with a “ traditional ” ( 120 volt wiring... - air conditioner can be tricky, as every model is slightly different and! About 3 minutes AC off my batteries if installing a window air conditioner in a van had the AC off my batteries using the?... The other side how you install a split system the Coleman Mach 8 “ Cub ” which has 9200. Diy project “ sides ” of the air conditioner in a van -... Used the Aims power 2000 watt inverter in my case ( with 200 amp hour 30! This is the roof of the 14 ” hole with the 14″ 14″! Must be vented to the AC unit Mach 10 NDQ is plenty to. Is secure, keep an eye on the temperature and sun exposure to consider installing a window air conditioner in a van cool... 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