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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > Advice on choosing a roof air conditioner

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Shearwater

NE Ohio

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Posted: 06/17/07 05:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would like to add a coach air conditioner to my Sprinter. The two major brands are Coleman and Duotherm. Is there any good reason to choose one over the other or are they roughly equivalent?

There are models that provide 8-9000 BTU and models that give 13,500 BTU. Are the higher capacity units needed for a B van or are they overkill?

Finally, heating strips are offered as an option. Are they worthwhile? (I have a propane fired furnace already.)


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Chuck&Gail

In the Colorado Mountains

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Posted: 06/17/07 06:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO heat strips are a waste, but if you find a Heat Pump, they work great for A/C, and then reverse for heat. Note the heat quits at about 40 degrees so you still need a furnace


Chuck
Wonderful Wife
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Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories
I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going

Hit The Road Jack

Treasure Coast of Florida

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Posted: 06/18/07 05:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shearwater wrote:

I would like to add a coach air conditioner to my Sprinter. The two major brands are Coleman and Duotherm. Is there any good reason to choose one over the other or are they roughly equivalent?

There are models that provide 8-9000 BTU and models that give 13,500 BTU. Are the higher capacity units needed for a B van or are they overkill?

Finally, heating strips are offered as an option. Are they worthwhile? (I have a propane fired furnace already.)


I installed this one in my 2006 Sprinter!

IMHO I would not step down in BTU capacity...No Heat Strip here!


2006 DIY Dodge Badged Sprinter Conversion

baywoodbill

California

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Posted: 06/18/07 10:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I had to have my Coleman replaced under warranty, the guy who ran the dealer's shop said that all the A/Cs for RVs are junk except for Carrier. He said Carrier cut their teeth building A/Cs for the sleeper cabs in trucks and he implied that made them more durable and able to withstand the vibration and weird circumstances of RV use.

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/18/07 10:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure to get the high efficiency unit. Some 13.5 units take 10 amps to run and others take 15 amps and it is less than $100 in price. This allows a smaller generator to run it or the ability to keep the air on when using a small microwave etc.

krse390

Western PA

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Posted: 06/19/07 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Duo-Therm AC just died and its at the local RV dealer to have a new one installed. From what I've read on the web, it looks like the new Carrier 15.5K BTU units draw the same or less amperage than my 5 year old 13.5 Duo-Therm AC. Are these claims of higher efficiency true?

If you had to replace your AC roof top unit (ducted) what would you choose?

Bob
Western PA
28' 2002 Springdale Fifth Wheel

hamidlmt

Gresham, Oregon

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Posted: 06/20/07 12:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

good thread....

It's become clear that we will soon need a/c for our 87 Xplorer Xtravan to keep the two of us plus the dog cool. We're planning on a cross country trip in the late summer of 08. But, we'll need it sooner for local trips.

Is a rooftop unit the best way to go? I'm not even sure how they could fit another type of unit.

How is the Coleman Polar Cub? Seems like a good cross between low power usage and cooling capacity.

Also, mounting a generator will be an interesting problem. We'll probably go with a Honda 2000.

sodajerk

Dallas, Texas

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Posted: 06/20/07 09:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We put a Carrier Air V on top of our Class B 6 years ago. Our 3000 watt generator runs it fine, even when going down the road. We do not have dash air. We have gone over 30,000 miles, no problems. Just clean the filters. I did get the optional heat strip and would not do it again. It just takes the chill off, but the $60.00 for the heat strip could buy a lot of propane for our furnace. Our furnace will make you sweat in the winter, but that is another topic. I vote for the Carrier.


Happy Camping
Jim & Jo Ann
1973 Wide Body Superior Class B on a Chevy 1 Ton Van. 350 Fuel Injection
"Oldie but goodie"

baywoodbill

California

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Posted: 06/20/07 10:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I was told by the service manager, I would go with the Carrier.


krse390 wrote:

My Duo-Therm AC just died and its at the local RV dealer to have a new one installed. From what I've read on the web, it looks like the new Carrier 15.5K BTU units draw the same or less amperage than my 5 year old 13.5 Duo-Therm AC. Are these claims of higher efficiency true?

If you had to replace your AC roof top unit (ducted) what would you choose?

Bob
Western PA
28' 2002 Springdale Fifth Wheel


Handbasket

Asheville, NC

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Posted: 06/21/07 06:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 9K Btu Coleman has been quite satisfactory in the Tiger (www.tigermotorhomes.com), but it contains maybe a bit less volume with the cab curtained off than a B, and I think at least the sidewalls are a bit better insulated than most B's. I've not been in temps much over 90, tho'. A lot depends on the volume / length of van, insulation installed, and worst climate.

A note the the OP... you asked about a heat strip. It wasn't option when I bought mine. It is now, and I kinda wish I had one. It could compensate for the furnace dying, running low on LP, or just be a more-steady-noise alternative. It's nice to have backups & choices. _But_ I'll admit I'd think twice if it was going to take much extra wiring.

Jim, "I like to wear black. It reflects my level of joy."


'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory')

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