In the photo of the PW Traverse that ARcruiser posted there is an air conditioner in the rear door. I believe some one posted that Ford no longer permits PW doing that so late models have no air conditioner. If power were available via shore power and/or a generator, how difficult would it be to add one similar to the one pictured in your red 2003 Traverse? Or is there a better location? Thanks for any thoughts
My Traverse has AC in the rear door. It is a 2002 conversion. I really can't think of any other location it could go in the van. It really is a crummy place because it blows on the bed. For me it is better than nothing and keeps the dogs cool. ARcruiser may have a better idea.
Kathy with Sparkles and Ellie (the camping dogs)
2002 Pleasureway Traverse
All BS aside, I have agonized over this subject for months and it has actually 'semi-halted' my project. Well, I do procrastinate anyway's... and the Casita is a nice diversion.
But, back to the a/c.... here's a regurgitation of my thoughts:
Window unit in rear door: Nope, hate the location... and I think the vibration isn't very good on the a/c. I had to replace the inoperable Kenmore? unit in my Traverse and it appeared to have never been used. The guy I sold it to had a refrigerant leak on the Fedders unit I put back in it's place.... hmmm....
Portable A/C vented thru sidewall or floor: Wow, these ain't cheap! And you gotta look long and hard to find any positive reviews. Negatives reviews all over the place. Dual hose design 'sposed to be better - still very little positive testimonial activity to support the idea.... plus the thing takes up a LOT of room. A/C alone @ $275 and up single hose, $400+ and up for dual hose.
Window unit in a cabinet on side wall: American Cruiser did it and it worked OK, I guess. Hmmmm... I'll install in the cabinets... gotta get air flow to the coils, so I'll have a 4" - 6" intake with a duct boost-fan drawing air into the cabinet and exhaust to the rear with a refrigerator vent installed on the van exterior. Have a metal pan fabricated to catch condensate overflow to drain thru floor to exterior drain and a bit more sheet metal work to build baffles in the cabinet to control separation of intake air - forcing proper exhausting. A/C cost $125 for 6,000 btu, duct fans up to @ $130, exterior vent, cabinetry, sheet metal work, etc.
I could spend $3,000 plus to have Sportsmobile install the Starcool system....
OK, I'm 99% sure it's gonna end up being a 6,000 btu a/c in the rear door....
( back to square one! )
Why? Simplicity, Space Utilization, and Cost.
Simplest installation of all (almost) - just cut the hole in the rear door and add a little wood to support it. I'll trim it out and come up with some kinda cover, but it's still the simplest option (except for the Portable Units which may or may not be effective) I can send pictures of my Traverse' installation.
Space efficiency. Portables take up a lot of room and the idea of the cabinet-installed window unit still takes up cabinet space in a premium location . Only thing I ever planned for the rear door was to maybe store my water hose and electrical cords, so now they go in the other door or under the bed.
Cost: Window units in the 5,000 to 6,000 range start at $89 or so... OK, vibration may kill it in a year or 2 or 3 or 4. At $89 per unit it's gonna take a long time before it woulda been more cost effective to have had the Starcool installed.
Lastly, since my dinette/bed is gonna be the crosswise sleeping arrangement, the rear door a/c will be less intrusive than in the lengthwise sleeping arrangement. We won't be trying to lay a pillow on the a/c - that's where our lower legs will be.
I never totally disliked the exterior appearance of the Traverse a/c.... looks a lot better than older vans I have seen with an a/c unit in place of a window in the rear doors.
GTRV has also used the a/c in the rear door set-up.
GTRV has also installed them in the side walls, using a very large exterior grille for airflow - and taking up a lot of cabinet space on the inside.
Tough call, but I do expect to install one in my rear door within 30 days.....
The rear door shouldn't be too bad if it isn't blowing directly on your head. My ac is original and it works great. Blows really cold. That Casita looks great. I have often thought of getting an Aliner.
Yes it is the eu2000i Honda. I haven't used it much. Only take it on long trips which I don't do too often. I have used it to run the microwave a few times and also used it to power a fan when my power was out for a few hours last summer. I usually camp at state parks here in Florida which have hookups.
Thank you both for your informative and thoughtful responses. ARCRUISer, I also saw today your response to the question of how to hang a curtain rod in a van. You should hire a publisher to put your posts into a book about RV design, conversion and care. Perhaps footnoted with references to Handbasket. You guys are great assets to the RV and B world.
I do not yet, and perhaps won't, own a Traverse, but am more and more interested for reasons of cost, height, stealth. There appear to be a few new 2006 models at dealers around the country. Seldom see a used one advertised.
The $3,000 for a Starcold AC is about the same as the estimate I got for converting my garage door to about 8' 9"+or-. That is also the height + or- of Chevy Roadtreks and Pleasure Ways with crank up antennas, though the Roadtrek website still shows 8' 4 for a 170. I would give up that antenna for garageability. (SP?)
My present Sprinter is well beyond what can be done with the garage. On the farm I had when I bought it the door height of the barn was doable.
Forgive me for shifting from AC to door height. I am compulsive until I change my mind.
Tan, thanks for the link.... I'd almost like to try that option if it weren't too expensive.... but my rear windows don't open, thus are not removeable.
Well, American Cruiser isn't the only company to put a window unit in a cabinet on the side wall - Great West Vans has done it also. I still gotta wonder how they handle getting air into the unit for cooling the coils.... I pondered using a booster fan.
I removed a 5000 btu Kenmore a/c and needed a new unit to fit the existing opening... ended up with a 5200 btu Fedders. The Fedders was correct for Height and Width but was not as Deep. I needed to maintain the same amount of protrusion to the exterior so the cover would still fit properly. The result was more room on the interior.
The original installation utilized small 'L' brackets down the sides to hold in place, my replacement had some nice attachment points built-in along the top and bottom, so I utilized those and only needed to use a couple of the 'L' brackets.
Target has a 5200 btu Haier unit listed today for $79.99 - now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get that instead of the 6000.
Yeah, the cut along the top is pretty ragged.... but it works and ya can't see it with the trim installed.