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Rooftop AC Alternatives

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Like everything else when it comes to trailers, air conditioning is an exercise in compromise.  I've been doing some research into alternatives to the ubiquitous rooftop unit, and I thought I'd share what I've learned so far, since I've had a few people ask what my AC plans are for the Snowball.  I'm still learning, so I may update this post as I go.  Please feel free to share your own ideas, experiences, research and comments.  I'll do this in a few separate posts for ease of reading and typing.

 

First, what's so bad about the rooftop AC?  Well, they aren't terrible, but they do compare poorly in pretty much every aspect but one.

 

Rooftop Disadvantages:

Expensive relative to most other options

Inefficient

Heavy

Their weight is placed in the absolute least desirable spot on the trailer; i.e., top rear

They're an aerodynamic drag

Loud

Unattractive

They take up roof space that you may find valuable for something else

Their Advantages:

They take up almost no interior space, save for a few inches of headroom

They come stock

So, in our case, one of our main goals for our trailer is to maximize the solar input. As it is, Oliver can get three 160W panels on the roof if you're willing to forgo satellite or other TV antennas.  The mount they use for them looks a bit awkward compared to the two-panel mount, at least in the only photo I've seen; and since one panel is turned sideways, they look a bit haphazard - but they're up there.  Four panels would work better - you'd get 640W total and they'd be better arranged and sleeker looking, but to do that, you've got to eliminate the AC unit and push the MaxxAir fan back.   Now, we could also add portable panels, and will certainly keep that option available, but portable panels have their own set of pros and cons that I won't get into here.

 

The other thing about us is that over the past three years, we've literally wanted AC while camping once, and then for only about 3 hours.  We like to hike and climb, etc., and we hate the heat, so we're more fall through spring campers.  Frankly, we could just do without AC, and may still do that.  But if we do say that we'd like the occasional option to go out when it's 90°+, we'd obviously need AC.  One good example of that is that we want to go camp for the upcoming eclipse - that's August and we'd be in southern Kentucky, so AC would be imperative.

 

So, options.  I've identified the following classes of possible alternatives:

Residential Mini Split Systems

Interior Portable Units

Exterior Portable Units

Window Units

Truck Cab AC's - 12 Volt

Marine Systems

Things that don't exist yet or only exist for Aussies and Europeans

Looking at each one of these, I always begin thinking 'Eureka!'.  Then the reality sets in, and I realize the drawbacks and issues.  And then for most of them, with some thought I can see that yes, they'd work, but with obvious drawbacks.  I've yet to find the perfect rooftop replacement, and I don't know if one really exists right now.  But there may be one or two imperfect solutions which on the whole are a better alternative for us than the rooftop AC, and perhaps the same will be true for some of you as well.

 

So let's deal with each of these in some additional posts...

 

 


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Mini Splits

 

These are residential units made much like the standard AC system in your home.  The only difference is that they are sized to cool one or two rooms only, and come packaged for quick, maybe even DIY, installation.  They consist of separate inside (evaporator) and outside (condenser) units, and the refrigerant hosing that connects the two.  They run on household 115V AC and typically pull less than 1500W for a 12,000 btu system, and have a seer rating in the 20's.  (Rooftop seer ratings are all below 10, for reference.)  And you might not need a 12,000 btu unit, since these all seem to be rated for average output, and their max output is often listed 2,000 btu or so higher.

 

Since the compressor unit is located remotely, the only sound you hear inside is the fan.  Additionally, if you set the fan to always on, the sound will be completely constant since you won't be bothered by the on/off cycling of the compressor.

 

The big problem with these units is that they didn't consult Oliver when they packaged them.  The inside units are invariably 12" tall and 30-36" wide.  And they require at least 6" or so of clearance around them.  That doesn't give us many choices for placement.  The best spot I can think of is under the dinette window, but you'd either have to cut the table to allow airflow or remove it whenever you run the AC.  Regardless, it would make for a chilly dining experience.  You could maybe put it on the kitchen wall, but at 8-10" deep, they'd definitely be in the way.  I don't think one would fit over the closet door or in front of the rear upper cabinet.  I guess you could put one over the rear window if you're desperate.

 

As an alternative to the wall mounted unit, most companies also offer a ceiling mounted evaporator.  But they're much wider than the standard rooftop unit and I think too wide to fit the Oliver's ceiling.  Plus they're usually 10" or so deep, so you might end up having to build a little box on the roof anyway, which sort of defeats the purpose.

 

Some manufacturers also make a ducted system.  It's possible that someone makes an evaporator unit that would fit inside the basement, that could potentially tie into the furnace ducts.  I haven't been able to find one so far that fits, but if one does exist then that might solve the problem of the interior unit, at the expense of basement storage.

 

Outside, the situation is no better.  The units usually require 12" of clearance in the back, so even if you cheat on that a bit, you still can't mount them directly to the outside of the trailer.  I think the best spots would be on a platform attached to the tongue, similar to the generator stand, or you could make something similar out of the bike rack on the back.  But you'd have to brace the unit well and have a cover made since they aren't designed for the sort of wind or spray they'd be subjected to.  Rear placement would be better in that respect, though that location might make it difficult to access the spare tire.

 

Advantages:

Very efficient, ~23 seer is common

Very quiet, ~28db on low fan speed

Disadvantages:

Can be expensive, depending on brand and model

Not built for vehicle use

Needs a pro or some detailed knowledge of AC systems to install and maintain

Very difficult to find a spot for either unit

My verdict:

 

Yes, you might be able to make it work; but you're taking a risk on reliability and unless you can find a ducted unit that fits the basement, the interior unit will be very difficult to locate.

 

However, if you can make it work, you'd be the envy of all.  

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Portable Units

 

If, like us, you only have occasional use for AC, you might be tempted to buy a portable AC unit.  These are freestanding, all in one units that you simply wheel into place and then run a duct to a window to vent the exhaust.  They're big, but many 12,000 btu models and even some 14,000 btu models are just small enough to be stored under the dinette table, behind the post.  There are some that blow directly to the front, so you could potentially leave them there even while in use.  They all have remotes, so you wouldn't have to crawl under the table to adjust them.  They're fairly inexpensive - usually under $500 and often under $400.  And the big advantage is that you can leave it at home if you don't think you'll need it.

 

The big disadvantage - the very big disadvantage - is that they don't work.  To quote one review I read, "all portable air conditioners suck, and our job was to find the one that sucks the least".  Consumer reports says that they couldn't make any unit they tested cool anything below 78°.  Now, if you're O.K. with 78°, then fine.  I wouldn't be.  But if you do want to go this route, my advice is that you get a unit with both intake and exhaust hoses (dual hose).  If you don't, then the unit will create a vacuum in the trailer, pulling in hot air and defeating the purpose of having an AC in the first place.  Also, the exhaust hose itself will radiate heat back into the trailer, so minimize the hose length and perhaps wrap it in insulation.

 

Another possibility are portable air coolers, otherwise known as swamp coolers.  These might work in the desert, but I need one that works in the southeastern humidity, so I haven't gone down that path.  But it is something to consider.  They also require lots of water, so maybe not a good idea for boondocking.

 

Advantages:

Cheap

Can leave it at home when not needed

Disadvantages:

Don't work

My verdict:

 

Ignore this option, tempting though it may seem.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Window Units

 

Window units are a classic.  They're efficient, can be really cheap, and are easily installed provided you have a window that it fits.  They're also a fairly common alternative in the RV/Travel Trailer world, so their ability to stand up to vehicle use is fairly well established.  And if they do break, another unit is a few hundred bucks and a trip to War Mart.  I like this idea, though there are certainly drawbacks.

 

First, if you leave one in place while traveling, you have to consider the stresses it places on the window and surrounding wall.  Secondly, they aren't attractive, and they certainly don't fit the Oliver aesthetic.  If they're small and light enough, you could remove them while in transit or when not needed, but I don't know exactly where you'd store it when traveling - maybe in the back of the truck?

 

But the main obstacle is finding a window in which one will fit.  Some companies make narrow and tall window units that might fit the width of a slider opening, but the ones that I've found would be too tall.  I tried finding a unit that is small enough to fit either in the battery box compartment or the microwave compartment, but I couldn't find any that are both small enough and powerful enough, though I haven't completely ruled out the microwave spot just yet.  Another consideration is that despite what sort of vent you might add on the outside, they'd still suffer from poor ventilation in either of those locations due to being surrounded on the top, bottom and sides.  But if you could make that work, then you'd get a built in look for the inside and at worst an extra vent on the outside.  Some installations I've seen mount the AC on drawer glides so that you can extend the unit out when camped.  That puts the AC back in a hole, but maybe it still works more efficiently that way.

 

You could ask Oliver to cut a dedicated hole for an AC on the street side under the dinette.  They could put a hatch on both the inside and out, and then you could slide in your AC when needed.  This would be a clean look while traveling, but Oliver would have to O.K. the structural implications of cutting the hole, and you'd have the hassle of installing and uninstalling the AC.  And again, cold knees while sitting at the dinette.  It would be an interesting setup though if you went all out with some slides to extend the AC in and out.

 

The other choice, surely forbidden by Oliver and maybe not a great idea regardless, would be to pop open the rear egress window and put the AC there.  You could replace the window for a permanent installation, or you could build a temporary insert that you'd put in place and then insert the AC.  I think there's a possibility there, but you'd have to be comfortable with eliminating the Bear Escape.

 

So if we say that you've decided a window unit is the thing to do, which one?  I think there are two choices - you either find the cheapest unit you can find, and accept that you'll just replace it when & if it breaks, or you can spend some big bucks for a unit that should hold up reliably for years.  That unit would be a Kühl, and it would cost you over $1,000.  Just saying.  Nice though.

 

At this point, if it were me, I'd make a temporary insert for the rear window, buy a removable support shelf that I could brace on the tire or bumper, and then when we thought we'd need AC on our trip, we'd carry the cheapest AC unit we can find, either in the bed of the truck or in the basement.  When we get to camp, just lift open the rear window, install the brace and the insert, and then the AC.  Sounds like a bit of a hassle, but as I said earlier, for us it's a one or two time a year thing at most.

 

Advantages:

Cheap

Efficient

Relatively reliable

Fairly easily installed and removed

Disadvantages:

Ugly

Requires some setup if you don't do a permanent installation

Could block the emergency egress if irresponsibly located

My verdict:

 

Sure, why not?  It's not perfect, not pretty, but it works, especially for occasional use.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Marine Units, Truck Cab Coolers, Things We Can't Buy, Misc. Ideas, and Future Possibilities

 

For a while I was convinced that I could find a marine AC unit that would work, but so far I've struck out.  They're either water cooled (great idea at sea, not so great inland), yacht-level expensive, or just as bulky as anything else I've looked at.  But if anyone knows of something I've missed, please post up.

 

One company makes an exterior portable unit.  It's only 10,000 btu, so maybe it isn't big enough.  I suspect that it's similar to the interior portables in that there are considerable losses in the hoses and packaging, and it looks like as much of a hassle as anything else to set up.  But still, it's worth mentioning.

 

A really interesting idea is the Truck Cab coolers.  These are typically 12 volt units designed to run off batteries while a trucker is parked for the night.  The problem is that they're expensive, difficult to source, and are designed to cool a very small space.  The biggest, best option seems to be the IndelB Sleeping Well units, particularly the Arctic Plus model.  It's essentially a 12-volt mini split like above and the interior unit is sized much more compatibly with the Oliver.  The exterior unit is more durable than the residential ones, can be flush mounted, and is small enough to fit on the side of the LP box or even on the spare tire cover (provided you can sort out how to deal with the refrigerant lines when you need to change a tire).  The problem is that it's only 6,000 btu, meaning you'd either want to install two, or otherwise block off the bed area with a curtain and try to only cool that space.  And the other problem is price and availability - you'd either have to get Oliver to become a licensed dealer or go to a truck center and convince them to work on a travel trailer.  Either way, I'm best-guessing that it's a $2,500+ endeavor.

 

I really like the idea of the Noria - but it's not a product yet, and we'll see if it ever becomes one.  Again, you'd need two, but they're so small that it probably wouldn't be a problem locating them.

 

There's an Australian company that makes/made a really nice split system, but they're 240 volt and not available in the US.  However, they were just bought out by Dometic, so there's a possibility that we might eventually see them here.

 

Truma makes what could be the perfect form factor, though they're a bit light on power (and 240 volt).

 

Maybe buy a 240 volt inverter?

 

---

 

So that's the state of AC at the moment.  I'm sure that there are dozens of things that I've overlooked, gotten wrong, etc.  As I learn more, I'll make changes and additions to the above so that hopefully this can be an ongoing resource for anyone looking to do the impossible.

 

 


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Portable Units SNIP The big disadvantage – the very big disadvantage – is that they don’t work. To quote one review I read, “all portable air conditioners suck, and our job was to find the one that sucks the least”. Consumer reports says that they couldn’t make any unit they tested cool anything below 78°. Now, if you’re O.K. with 78°, then fine. I wouldn’t be. But if you do want to go this route, my advice is that you get a unit with both intake and exhaust hoses (dual hose). If you don’t, then the unit will create a vacuum in the trailer, pulling in hot air and defeating the purpose of having an AC in the first place. Also, the exhaust hose itself will radiate heat back into the trailer, so minimize the hose length and perhaps wrap it in insulation..

 

All I have to say is, portable units are clunky, inefficient and a PITA but they can indeed freeze you out of a small room. I have used a 12k unit that worked remarkably well, considering the design restraints. Cool only down to 78 degrees? BS.

 

In your situation I would buy a really small $140 Walmart 5k through the wall unit, fabricate a plywood mount that will fit into a window opening, and plug her in. The rest of the time it can be stored in a large bin wrapped in foam rubber.

 

How about the Air Command RV unit? What are your thoughts on those?

 

http://www.tvformyrv.com/content/AtwoodACPresentation2014.pdf

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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This is the split system that XP Campers offers for its biggest Version 1 unit. It is reasonably compact but it draws 50 (!) amps dc, and it is about $3000.

 

http://www.sunpowertech.com/wp-content/uploads/SunPower-DC5000.pdf

 

http://forum.xpcamper.org/index.php/topic/96-v1-air-conditioning/

 

SunPowerTech makes an even more compact 28 pound unit but it is only 3600 btus and draws 30 amps; I don't think that is enough capacity, even for a super insulated white box like the Ollie.

 

http://www.sunpowertech.com/wp-content/uploads/DC3600-Card.pdf

 

Remember that all those solar panels cook your roof. If you can angle them at 45 degrees towards the sun when camping, that can really help to lower the surface temp of the roof.

 

What we really need to do here is upgrade all the low voltage systems to 48 VDC, and install lithium batteries. Problem solved.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Lithium is an option, and interestingly, cars are starting to add 48-volt circuits - some say that's the way it's going.  We're pricing lithium batteries for our trailer - overall, it's potentially not that big of an add once you account for tax rebates and other credits.  Relative to the overall price of the trailer, of course - I'm estimating that lithium batteries plus a full Victron system will be an additional $2,000 investment, or so.

 

Sunpower makes some higher btu systems, but they look really big.  $3k+ puts them out of the 'reasonable option' range for me though.

 

But it's good info to have.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I had a small stick built trailer that had a small window unit that was fantastic. Very quiet, and cooled wonderfully...and more important for me, dehumidified very well. It wasn't hung in a window, but installed such that the back was flush with the outside of the camper. Best way to describe it would be to think of the microwave we now have in the Ollie, and replace it with a small window unit. It means an additional, rather large and unattractive grate on the outside of the camper.  If I was going to go that route, I would remove the microwave in favor of a pantry cabinet, build a window a/c unit where the pantry is now, and probably still have room for a small cabinet underneath. You can see the window unit in the center of the photo below, to the right of the "Retro" logo.

IMG_0017.thumb.jpg.fb0dac17a350b67a901af9c0df21eb59.jpg


GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

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I don't like the rooftop units for all the reasons already stated.  Plus, they take so much power that a 2000 watt generator won't run them.  That's OK because I don't expect I'll ever want to run the AC on my Genny, but still.

 

If, I was ever going to change mine I'd go to a window unit.  The obvious place in my Elite ll is under the dinette seat closest to the bathroom.  That cabinet is the right size and not very good for storage without modification anyway.   The AC could sit in a specially designed box and it's faceplate would be on the side of the seat, facing the door.  It's back would be arranged to draw and expel it's cooling air to external grills.  No pullout and nothing sticking out ever. Just two grills.  If I needed access to any equipment or valves in that compartment, the AC could be set on drawer slides to pull it into the room for access.  And, of course, the lift off hatch under the cushion would give some access too, as well as making the installation much easier.

 

The problems are that the rooftop unit is already there with it's big hole and the lower location would require going through two hulls and designing the special vented box arrangement.  On the plus side:  No roof top air!  And the wiring would be fairly easy as the power comes in near there.   It would only draw about 800 watts or so and run on the genny if needed.  I sort of wish mine had no AC now so that I would be more motivated to do this modification.

 

Window units don't have to go in a window.  Lil Snoozy uses a window unit and they put it in a box on the rear of the trailer.

 

Another interesting choice would be to see if a mini-split compressor/condenser unit could be squeezed in behind the propane tanks. It would have to be a small one, but we only need about 8,000 BTUs or so. The tanks could pretty easily be moved forward a couple inches to help. ScubaRX just designed a nice storage area there and posted his work under "Mods of the Outlaw Oliver".


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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I really am curious what size AC would be needed with either a split system or a window unit.  13,500 btu seems awfully big for an 18' x 7' space with a 6'-6" ceiling, so a lot of the sizing has to be due to the general inefficiency of the rooftop unit.

 

By the way, if you opt for the twin bed risers, you gain a ton of interior storage that could certainly handle some of the ducted split systems I've looked at.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The window unit that was in the stick built trailer I had was the smallest available, I think 5000 BTU, and was more than sufficient. I'd be surprised if a 6000 BTU wasn't adequate for the Ollie.


GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

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Don't know just how many BTUs are required, but Ollie is very well insulated.  I would not be surprised if 6000 BTU was fine.

 

It would be so nice to get that sore thumb off the roof.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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We have run our ac unit twice, that I can think of , in nine years, other than testing in the driveway.

That said, I'd certainly run the necessary wiring,bfor rooftop installation, if I were to eliminate it, for resale. We never know what changes life brings


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We have run our ac unit twice, that I can think of , in nine years, other than testing in the driveway. That said, I’d certainly run the necessary wiring,bfor rooftop installation, if I were to eliminate it, for resale. We never know what changes life brings

 

Designing for resale could be an interesting topic for conversation.

 

Seems better to build or modify for my use and realize that if I like it, someone else probably will too.  I don't want to build my home for someone I'll never meet, I want to build it for me and my family.

 

I enjoy seeing the creative modifications others are making on their Ollies.  Some of those ideas might make into production or into my Elite ll.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Designing for resale could be an interesting topic for conversation. Seems better to build or modify for my use and realize that if I like it, someone else probably will too. I don’t want to build my home for someone I’ll never meet...

 

We added some for resale or for resale value I should say, but then there were some that I just couldn't justify like the on board surge protector; being that the stand alone units, in my opinion are better . There was a long list of options that we couldn't justify; the surge protector, the Voyager back up camera, the extra awning and all of the TV accessories, but we flat out don't watch regular tv and haven't in 20+ years. We each have our computers and Karen is always working on her art projects, but if we decide to get a tv, we're not going to want it over our heads in bed anyway, so out it went, mount and all.

 

I mean I added the generator port, the Hydrolink battery watering system, bike rack and the 30lb propane tanks just for resale value, or for just in case we have an emergency and need to sell it. Then I bought my own back up camera and had the guys install it for me for less then half of the Voyager with better reviews and a larger screen. I mean, it was a no brainer... Voyager wanted way to much $$$ for what they have to offer, so I went with this one that was recommended by a friend - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B25HKU4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

Other then that Karen and I built it for ourselves and a lot of options are coming. Has anyone who bought the extra awning really used it? To us, it's the back of the house, so we left it off and I've never had a rear awning on any of our trailers, so there was just no justifying it what so ever for me. We are going over to Little House Customs when we get through on the east coast and have a few more options put on by them but once again, those options are for us.

 

I did go with the Solar because the 100 watt stand alone is just another thing that I don't need to carry in the tv anymore. Out here in California, the Solar will pay for itself quickly because we do a lot of camping in the forest.

 

Reed


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Then I bought my own back up camera and had the guys install it for me for less then half of the Voyager with better reviews and a larger screen.  

Can you elaborate? I want to install a Garmin BC30 to tie into my existing nav. But I want it to be on its own dedicated 12 vdc circuit and also to mount the transmitter in the closet. Jason is giving me a price of $390, and I have to send the parts. That seems excessive. Do you mind describing your setup and the cost?

 

Do you think the Garmin camera would be OK broadcasting from 40 feet behind my dash unit? I have some doubts about the frame rate and losing contact. If the transmitter is up front it should be dandy.

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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For us it's more a question of designing for our future selves rather than others.

 

The easiest solution for the present is to just take the standard AC.  Then when something better hits the market in the future we can consider changing.

 

But then I'd have a big hole in the roof - I could seal the outside well enough, I suppose, but what would I do with the hole in the ceiling?  I could install a skylight, but it would look out to the underside of the solar panels.

 

And if we wanted to add more solar, we'd need to also move the MaxxAir fan, so that's another hole.  Maybe we could ask Oliver to swap the locations of the AC and MaxxAir.  I don't know of any reason we couldn't do that.  The fan probably works better as a kitchen exhaust where it is of course.

 

 

 

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Has anyone who bought the extra awning really used it? To us, it’s the back of the house, so we left it off and I’ve never had a rear awning on any of our trailers, so there was just no justifying it what so ever for me.

We felt the same until we noticed how many campsites there are in the national parks (and I assume elsewhere) that force you to use the street side of the trailer for your outdoor area - pull through sites that go off to the left, mainly, but some back-in spots are poorly thought through in that respect, too. And then there are times you just want the extra sun protection.

 

I believe that Oliver now installs the backing plates for both awnings even if you don't get the extra one.  I guess enough people changed their minds and wanted them retrofitted.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Can you elaborate? Jason is giving me a price of $390, and I have to send the parts. That seems excessive. Do you mind describing your setup and the cost? Do you think the Garmin camera would be OK broadcasting from 40 feet behind my dash unit?

 

I didn't buy the Garmin because it's got some issues and can be difficult to install. Because of the known installation issues $390 sounds fair being that you want it to be wired into your existing nav, in dash? Actually $390 sounds cheap being that they will be working on your tv itself to wire it in. Mine was $275 installed but it's simple plug and play and a simple install with a clear picture guarantee. There are easier units to install out there and as much as I love my Garmin GPS, the BC30 wasn't the one recommended to me - 


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I didn’t buy the Garmin because it’s got some issues and can be difficult to install. Because of the known installation issues $390 sounds fair being that you want it to be wired into your existing nav, in dash? Actually $390 sounds cheap being that they will be working on your tv itself to wire it in. Mine was $275 installed but it’s simple plug and play and a simple install with a clear picture guarantee. There are easier units to install out there and as much as I love my Garmin GPS, the BC30 wasn’t the one recommended to me –

 

The Garmin camera may have some issues, but it is a super simple installation. There is nothing at all to be done in the tow vehicle - it is wireless. You just replace the standard power cable to the Garmin gps head with the new one which has the wireless receiver built in.

 

The only change from the basic camera setup is that I want to add an extension video cable and relocate the transmitter in the front of the cabin.

 

The reason I want to stick with Garmin is that I plan to add more two cameras - the gps will handle four, and there are no extra cables running to the display. One camera will go over the hitch and one will go in the front grill. I can live with a low res display, but it does have adjustable reversing lines which are nice. I need to be able to see over the nose of my truck when offroad, and obviously I need the other two for hitching and reversing into a campsite or my garage.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I mean I added the generator port, the Hydrolink battery watering system, bike rack and the 30lb propane tanks just for resale value, or for just in case we have an emergency and need to sell it. Reed

Reed, did you not get the AGM batteries then? If not, curious as to your reasoning. Thanks

 


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Bumping this topic...

 

How about the Air Command RV unit? What are your thoughts on those? http://www.tvformyrv.com/content/AtwoodACPresentation2014.pdf John Davies Spokane WA

 

My initial thought is that they seem better than the Dometics by most every measure.  They also have less stringent clearance requirements than the Dometic, which could help if you want to max out on solar like this (still haven't heard back from Oliver on that).

 

I believe that Trumpetguy installed one of these, along with a soft start and he had nothing but good things to say about it, at least for the short time he had it before selling his trailer - I'm curious what the new owner thinks.

 

The only drawback I can see is that only their larger model can be used as a heat pump.  This might not bother most, but it recently occurred to my wife and I that we'll be spending a week each year with hookups while skiing, and it would be nice to be able to heat the trailer for that period without worrying about the propane level.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The only drawback I can see is that only their larger model can be used as a heat pump. This might not bother most, but it recently occurred to my wife and I that we’ll be spending a week each year with hookups while skiing, and it would be nice to be able to heat the trailer for that period without worrying about the propane level.

 

I ordered the smaller rooftop unit - it is an extra $65. There are two drawbacks that Jason pointed out.

 

The Air Command is not compatible with the built in Oliver condensate drain, so water will run down the outside of the trailer.

 

The regular Heat/ Cool thermostat won't work, I do not know the reason, so a separate one for the air conditioning is required.

 

Neither of those is a problem for me in any way. I did not need or want a heat strip. The main reason I wanted this brand is the superior design, with two variable speed fans instead of one big fixed speed fan. The result is very quiet operation with notably lower energy consupmtion.

 

Plus it was perfected in Australia - that us always a great recommendation for any product.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 2

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks John.  Do you plan on doing something yourself with the condensate drain, or just letting it drip?  Are you worried about staining over time if it drips?


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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