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Author Topic: Basement air choice  (Read 1975 times)
TomC
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« on: May 03, 2009, 09:45:27 AM »

My truck conversion is going to be too tall for roof airs.  And besides, I don't like the looks of them and the weight on the roof.  I am having a bit of a time deciding what to use.  First off-I've eliminated the use of home type mini splits since they are not made for mobile use and their condensers are of the blow through type that would be hard to duct the hot air.
There are two ducted basement makers that I'd like to know if anyone (Nick?) has had experience with.  I only want to use the single compressor type-the dual compressor units are too complicated-and I want the redundancy of multiple units (probably use three).  Both Dometic and Duotherm make 15,000btu units.  I have found the Dometic for $1073.00 plus shipping of $162.00 and the thermostat for $92.00.  The Duotherm is $895.00 plus $75.00 for the thermostat-no shipping since it is near my house. 
Or would I be better set to pay over twice the money for a Cruiseair freon split unit since they are supposed to be the best quality units available (I want reliability.  I have three Coleman 13,500btu roof airs that have been 100% reliable for 14 years)?
If any have real life experiences with any of these units, I'd like to hear from you.  Also-quiet in both the inside and outside is of utmost importance.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 10:02:49 AM »

Duo-Therm is a Dometic product.  All Dometic air conditioners are labeled Dometic Duo-Therm, at least the roof tops.

Why not consider the Coleman basement airs if you are happy with your current Coleman units?  I believe they do have dual compressors, but how complex can it be?  I believe each operates on a seperate circuit.  You could still install two or even three of them.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 10:12:00 AM »

The two basement A/Cs in my Custom Coach conversion are Copeland.  They work well, but one disadvantage is the space you lose in the bays and in the interior.  The space lost to ducting and blowers is considerable.  Also, there is a rather loud hum in one of 'em when the compressor cuts in.  Don't know whether that is easily fixable or not.  My experience so far.
Dennis
 
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JohnEd
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 10:31:02 AM »

Tom,

Brian beat me to it.  The Dometic stuff seems to me to be the most durable but Coleman can't be far behind.  I have a Dometic that is so old it doesn't say "Duo-Therm" on it.  Made in 73 and installed in the rear slot of the Winnie in 74.  Admittedly, that position gets very little use as it is wired to the gen.  The front alone keeps the place very chilly with the windows insulated with film and the awning side to the sun.
Mine are if the 13,500 flavor....me thinks, due to their age.  This stuff seems to have staying power but they are making them daily and replacing them same.

Something that sticks in my mind.  And it has to have very little hands and a helluva grip to do that. is that the home units meet a better standard and cool way more for the BTU rating than a RV unit.  That doesn't prove anything is bad, though.  I think Coleman, Dometic and CruiseAir would prove effective and durable.  I would hasten to point out that Nick installed Cruise Air and he has the most experience with this stuff.  Also, he may not be as budget driven as most of us and that ain't saying he is rich or is a spendthrift.

If I can stay away from ducts I will do that.  Splits appeal to me.  Pre seems to lean that way and all OTR systems are splits....right?  That seems to work quite well, right?  The efficiency of home splits is getting very good due to new freons and variable compressor speeds and other stuff.  I don't know that the RV stuff is following.  If I can find a split that has a square bodied compressor unit that can be ducted I think I would try it.  No ducting, min wires, two freon lines and a drain tube for condensate....I ponder that and the only thing I have heard is that they aren't ruggedized for road vibration.  Well, neither am I and I do OK, sorta.  At least, as long as I don't have to run along side.  Needs a lot more thought but that's where I am now.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 10:51:58 AM »

Dennis,

You are the voice of experience.  What is the tonnage or BTU rating of your Copeland units.  How satisfactory is "they work well".  Cools down quick?  Draws how many amps?  I guess "quiet" isn't on the list.

Being home units they should be more economical to repair.  You can show up at the shop and the HVAC guy doesn't have to charge you for travel at $85/hr. or more.  Lots of choices for repair shops in your case.

When my home system was first fired up it also had this hum in it.  Rep told me it was the "actuator" as I remember.  At any rate it was the relay that energizes the compressor unit when cooling is called for.  It is a high current device that has a high failure rate in AC circles and is easy to diagnose....it hums or it doesn't provide power thruput.  Armed with a long screwdriver to put against your ear, locate the "actuator" device and see if it is the origin of the noise.  Might also be the compressor.  Considering that mine made that noise and is still running strong and fault free after a year, you might consider ignoring it and hoping it goes away.  Then again, my condensor unit is outside and not connected to my floor. Grin

Hope to hear from you soon.

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 09:18:32 AM »

Tom, which unit is running ahead of the pack?

Does anyone have any install PDF's for the DuoTherm  27K unit?   I found the Coleman series.

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Dirtball
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 08:44:57 PM »

My Copeland bsmt airs draw 16-18 amps each. They are real touchy about over/under charging. They are easy to work on and most AC techs know them as they are common to walk-in boxes too.
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1996 MCI DL3 Custom Coach conversion
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 09:55:13 PM »

Dirtball do you have any other info on them?   I assume that they are split system.   How many BTU's?    Do you have two seperate split systems or 3 in your DL?

Where do you have the outdoor units at?   Spare tire well?   
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TomC
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 10:32:10 PM »

I'm heading towards the single compressor units that Nick uses by Dometic that are 15,000btu with reverse cycle heat.  I don't want to use the dual compressor, since if something craps out, then the whole unit is down-compared to two single units. 

I found a company in Europe that makes 12v A/C.  They have a neat 8500btu split unit that pulls 50amps at 12v when running.  But-it is $3,100.00 before shipping.  And since there are no US dealers-where would I get it worked on?  So much for that.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 09:57:10 PM »

I think that the reverse cycle setup is a smart choice, Tom. The units we have are going like gangbusters. It sure beats strip heating by a mile.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 06:00:22 AM »

CustomCoach put 2 in the spare tire well and 2 in the rear most curbside bay next to the engine. The front 2 are on slider trays.  Then Cruise-Air stuff upstairs. Parts have been easy to secure when needed. Buy a 20 lb R-22 now while it's "affordable". This setup won't make heat, but I have a Webasto with 6 convectors throughout.
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1996 MCI DL3 Custom Coach conversion
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