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Author Topic: best split ac unit out there??  (Read 3954 times)
Jackling54
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« on: January 30, 2011, 09:21:14 AM »

 I'm need to figure out what ac I'm going to use really soon.I want a very efficient unit that can be duct in flex pipe or small evap. mounted inside.One or two units don't matter, just need about 24,000 btu total.I like the home system i have ( Fujitsu) but have read a few things that there not really made to Handel the abuse of the road.Any help would be nice.
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:30:14 AM »

Email Nick directly as he is the professional among us and sells some of the HVAC systems/equipment.  I have had very good experiences with everything Hitachi sells and they are all over the spectrum. http://www.hitachiaircon.com/argws/category.do?action=getCategories&rangeId=1     Look at all their models and especially the "multiple evap/room unit" system.

Your problem is that the 115V systems only go up to a max size due to current draw.  Not to suggest that you under engineer your system but 1000 BTU in a home system puts out sig more cold air than a 1000 BTU RV unit due to the way they spec each.

Please post what parts you went with and maybe the costs Grin

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 11:33:40 AM »

Was looking for responses also. A friend said the most determining factor was use 410 refrigerant. DuWayne MCI 8 tin tent has two in his and in the sun in upper 90's one cycles off.He has only stock insulation.  really impressed me and they are really quiet.Heating side is amazing. Only draw back is easily solved in the condensate drain needs to be slightly off level to the down side to prevent leak while in notion. His units have been in use for 4 years. Will ck exact brand when i see him. Several other board members use them already. I am using 2  12,000 btu units in my new project.    Bob
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 03:02:39 PM »

I am using a mini split home system with fine results. I am just starting my fourth year and still works great. 120 volt 12000 BTU 410 gas.   no doubt chinese. Jerry
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 03:40:41 PM »

Hi Jackling54,

The first question I will ask you is, what do you expect in your cooling needs?

[ avarage temps where you live, do you like 70 degrees or 75? Do you boondock or always plug in at a park?]

There are quite a few factors to pinpoint in order to advise you on what system will work for you! Ductless systems work very well for some but,

not all. They are not too good at dehumidifying the air but, if your in a low humidity region then it will be ok for you. They are very efficient. You

will be limited to 12,000 btu's on 120v. And they don't like being out of level since they only drain from one end. They can be ordered in heat

pump versions too.

Roof top units are the most bang for the buck!  They take up almost no inside or bay space, they come in 15,000 btu's each at 120v, they are

very inexpencive,  are available almost anywhere. Some are a bit noisy, look somewhat ugly on your roof, and sometimes leave streaks down

the side of your coach.  Wink

I'm a big fan of oversizing! I like the way entertainer coaches are set up. Two 2- ton home type heat pumps systems complete with ducting.

Good Luck
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 04:07:45 PM »

well i live so cal !! It gets hot .... I like to go over board..heat pump is the ONLY option. lol I boon dock alot its mostly all dry heat.I'm spending a lot of effort on insulting, But want to crank up the "quiet" ac and freeze us out in a hurry.I have figitsu's in my hm and love them.Clean air ,efficient but large wall units on the walls." large for the bus". Roof ac are out,don't want to cut into that beautiful metal roof.I have 5500 onan (120v) but would consider a new 220v to handle the ac needs if i have to.For ducting "no over head .Needs to be concealed or under floor.thanks..josh
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 04:14:12 PM »

You see a lot of the new entertainer buses like the Hemphill Bros are using a self contained unit with ducting same as used on mobile homes around 2500 each 24000 btu one would do the job for you then you are into the 240 volts also Marathon is using the same units for people that don't want roof airs my doctors new Marathon Prevost has that type unit


good luck
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 04:18:49 PM »


I'm a big fan of oversizing! I like the way entertainer coaches are set up. Two 2- ton home type heat pumps systems complete with ducting.

Good Luck
Nick-



Me too! Nothing like 5 roof units off genset + OTR air to cool down a bus quick!!  Wink

I do not like hearing that the mini splits are not great at lowering humidity. High humidity levels make me way more uncomfortable than high temperatures.
I have a 3 ton "home type" basement unit on my Eagle and was thinking of adding a mini split up above the driver area somewhere to help keep cool while stopped. The way my unit is ducted with "inflatable walls" I do not quite get enough airflow in the front. I wish the original converter had gone with 2 systems, one front and one back......

OTR air and driver air do (very) well while underway but I'd sure like to cool off the front without having to use a roof unit.

Very interested to know how the mini split works out for you. Please let us know what you end up getting and how it/they work(s) for you.

Cliff mentioned that "Ron the Busnut" has some Coleman basement units available as well. I stand to gain nothing by mentioning it, just trying to help you explore your options.
(I really hope I am not violating a forum rule by posting that. If I am in trouble, please let me know so I don't do it again)

Good Luck,
Justin
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 04:25:46 PM »

You see a lot of the new entertainer buses like the Hemphill Bros are using a self contained unit with ducting same as used on mobile homes around 2500 each 24000 btu one would do the job for you then you are into the 240 volts also Marathon is using the same units for people that don't want roof airs my doctors new Marathon Prevost has that type unit


good luck

Yes! "Package units" They take up a ton of bay space but most of the big dogs haul everything in trucks now anyway. One of our buses from Hemphill last year had one and it was great. I remember driving a Florida coach or Pyramid that had one not long ago.

What ever happened to the "Memphisaire" brand? Entertainer coaches used to use those quite a bit. I always thought the condensing unit was neat the way the air flowed through it instead of out the top like most of the "house type" units do now..

Cliff- Looks like we posted at the same time pal. Sorry.

Justin
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 04:28:47 PM »

Nick, You mention Mini splits are not good at dehumidifying the air. Just curious, why do you think that is? Kenny
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 04:30:45 PM »

How would a home unit be properly vented in a bus bay?  Are they using the type of home unit that has the condensor and evaporator in the same housing?

My house is 2,700 sq ft and it cools just fine with a unit that I believe is 3 ton.  It is high effiency and only needs a 20 amp breaker.  My dad and I wired my new house in 2001 with a 30 amp line for the A/C, but they take less power now so we went with a 20 amp breaker instead.

My bus is less than 20% the size of the house with 30,000 BTU of cooling and you will roast in the front when it is hot out.  I plan to add another rooftop up front this summer if funds allow.  My bus will then have more A/C than my house.
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 05:06:30 PM »

My '82 Custom Coach conversion has what I really think are the original Copeland A/Cs.  They are still going strong.  Not exactly what you are looking to install, but it makes me a believer in their equipment.
Dennis
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 05:24:10 PM »

How would a home unit be properly vented in a bus bay?  Are they using the type of home unit that has the condensor and evaporator in the same housing?



Belfert,
They used to use the "Home" type with just the condensing unit downstairs. The ones Luvrbus was talking about houses both "units" if you will or a "package unit"


On the "home" condenser only types, the air comes in all around the sides of the unit and a fan blows it out the top. Outdoors this works great.
                                                                                   
The way I have seen them vented is they put them close to a bay door. The bay door has a vent or screen covering most all of the door. They then put a piece of sheet metal that touches the bay door on one side of it, then attach the other end to the top of the condensing unit. They then use a second sheet going from the top rear of the unit bent so it forces the air out the top half of the bay door vent. The air comes in from the bottom half of the bay door and usually there is another vent for incoming air on the bay floor.
I have also seen them use wood to do the same thing. I first doubted that they would be able to shed enough heat that way but after driving several of them they cool fine.

Some buses have 2 units. One on each side. I have also seen them mounted where the condenser coil for the bus air normally goes on an Eagle.

The "package units" that Luvrbus spoke of vent as above or they draw air in one side and blow it out the other side. (at least the ones I have seen)

The old "Memphisaire" condensing units I remember took air from inside the bay and blew it out a vent in the door. The fan motors could be reversed and I have seen some that suck air IN the bay door then into bay and out through the generator vent, radiator for generator or however they were set up.

My 10 Eagle has an old 3 ton "Baird" brand unit, I believe. It sucks air in from the bay door and blows it out the bottom of the bay. I really like it. The coil stays clean and other than a contactor, it has been trouble free from day one (1988).

I have the same problem as you with heat building up in the front. The way the unit is ducted it basically pressurizes the area between two "inner" walls of both sides of the bus. They then put 4" round vents in the front area, back area, and each of the 9 bunks. The bunks stay nice and cool, I just need help up front. I really wanted to keep the roof clean and stay away from the noise of a non ducted roof unit if possible. I really like the idea of a mini-split or another basement type unit for the front.



My basement air needs 240V to work and although I have the generator capacity available, I would like the front unit to be 120V in case I stay in a campground with 30A service. I know it wouldn't cool the whole bus, but it might be able to take the edge off in a mild climate.

If I was not so stubborn I could put 2 roof units on the bus and solve all of my problems.......
Nick,
I too would be interested in why the mini-splits do not pull as much moisture from the air.

Sorry for the long post and for the topic drift gang.

Best,
Justin

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justin25taylor
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 05:27:12 PM »


My bus is less than 20% the size of the house with 30,000 BTU of cooling and you will roast in the front when it is hot out.  I plan to add another rooftop up front this summer if funds allow.  My bus will then have more A/C than my house.

Me too 3 tons cools my 2500 sq ft. home nicely.

If it takes 30 tons to cool my bus, so be it. I can tolerate most anything except heat!!
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 06:06:27 PM »

lots of good discussion here. I have done two household 14700 BTU each in a bay I just built a opening like a window would be and slid the ac in the outside bay door was then changed to a condenser door to expell the heat from the condens or. simple cut intake into top of unit ; inside evaporator was ducted thru floor through out coach. Return air was from floor vents thru bays.Is working good in 95 degree weather. I'm using mini split units this time because of ease of installation and high ser factor. Two bus nuts I know have used them and I have been in one that was super quiet and took care of heat needs also. To each his own.   Bob
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2011, 06:11:16 PM »

Nice idea Bob! I am always amazed at the creative solutions shown here!

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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2011, 06:16:51 PM »

I don't see where the SER factor would come into play for a RV what am missing here ? I know they are supposed to be cheaper to operate the jury is still out for my part on that one as the new ser 15 at our house runs a lot more than the old 10 ser did  as far as saving was not worth the price to me for the AC side my bill changed very little now the heat pump side does work better but living in AZ who cares about heat we have plenty



good luck
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2011, 06:24:06 PM »

Ser factor is only a concern if like me you spend  month or two in a park and have to pay elect bill. plus I like to get best bang for a buck. I really don't like the noise from roof tops ducted or not. So it is a personal choice.  Why would 2 14700 home units out preform 3 15000 roof top units? personal experience here.
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2011, 06:31:21 PM »

Well seer = efficiency...the better efficiency the more we can over do it... Right.? I don't want to Do it over" lots of reasons that the hm would be cooled by a 3 ton and ur bus 1/4 the sq.ft need the same 3 tons. "INSULATION ..there's no hot asphalt under Ur home,no freezing wind blowing under Ur home ether.But i am looking for info on how the ( home systems ) mini splits would hold up on the road..thanks guys
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2011, 12:22:16 AM »

Jack,

You can't get that info as official info.  Anecdotal is all you will come up with.  There are many that have successfully run minis in their bus for years without problems.  Still, I have been cautioned by experts that the house units lack ruggedness.  My observation is that the lack of ruggedness that is claimed is a "theory".  That they hold up is evidence that they are tough enuff.  Does that include all brands and models?  Course not, at least till all models have been run in a bus for years.  I have yet to hear of a brand that you should stay away from.  I mentioned Hitachi for that same reason.  Get a unit that fits your pocketbook and has EVERY BLESSED option/feature that you desire cause they are out there.

I was looking for:  Quiet evap unit

                         Quiet condenser but that wasn't as critical but you can get silence in both.

                         High SEER...more than 14

                         Variable speed compressor

                         Variable speed evap fan

                         Two evaps on each of the two systems for a total of four of them mounted on
                         walls.with one of the front evaps dedicated to the drivers area.

                          biggest BTU for 120 VAC but understanding that two units that were rated for 12000
                          would work well if insulation was done even near as well as it should be.

                          Condenser should be square instead of round and the intake and exhaust should be a
                          opening that would allow one or the other to be ported to the bay door.  Preferably
                          venting out the bottom.

                          Heat pumps.

                           You really do need double pane glass windows.

PVCCES , AKA Tom,  bought a pallet full of splits for his rental properties.  They were China mfr and he got a bodacious deal on EBay.  That was years ago and I still haven't heard him say anything about failures.  His brand was unheard of and all worked out.  A few years ago I was looking into this for a unit I installed for a friend.  The Hitachi turned out to be laden with features of design and operation that I couldn't find in anything in that price range.  But search the net.  My info is years stale but the features are still valid.

Wish you luck with this.

John



 
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2011, 03:30:36 AM »

Nick, You mention Mini splits are not good at dehumidifying the air. Just curious, why do you think that is? Kenny

Hi Kenny,

Simple, too much air flow and too small of a evaporator coil for proper dehumidification..
It's a very common problem with mini splits. I sell and install 30 to 50 mini split sys a year
and this is the #1 complaint. The mfg.'s know about it very well. In some very humid climates
like the east coast, it's like living in a cool sponge. Lol
Nick-
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2011, 04:54:30 AM »

I have 2 mini-splits in my bus.  Up front I have a 12K Sanyo Heat Pump with an inverter compressor and In the bedroom I have a 12K Klimaire Heat Pump.  The Sanyo is a very nice unit and with the inverter compressor it never cycles on and off it just slows the compressor to meet the demand.    The heat exchanger does have to drain to the outside but can still be installed level because you can drain the catch pan out of BOTH sides.  It is set up this way from the factory for you to choose which side you want to drain from but there is nothing between you and 2 drains except for an additional piece of hose.  The Sanyo is an expensive unit coming in at $1500 but I went the minisplit route because I do not want to mount things to the roof (my way Wink)  The Klimaire has a normal compressor but it was half the price of the Sanyo.  I have had the Sanyo for 3 years with no problems and I installed the Kilimaire this past summer so I will see how it fares over the next few years.  As far as the humidity issue goes I have not had a "cool sponge" problem so far with my experience.  In the end it is a user preference.  I do know one thing and that is my minisplits are very quiet.  I don't think the sanyos compressor makes noise at all and the Kilimaire you can feel kick on but makes very little run noise.
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2011, 05:20:42 AM »

  Wouldnt it be easier to incorporate the original road AC system into something resembling this mini split idea? Couldnt you tie in a residential AC compressor to the existing system?? Just trying to see how to not reinvent everything, keep the roof clean, use the original road air.....
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2011, 05:24:09 AM »

Quote
Simple, too much air flow and too small of a evaporator coil for proper dehumidification
Nick, Is there a difference in the brand you buy and install? Are some better than others?

Buddydawg - I take it you have the compressors mounted in one of the bays and custom installed the evap units where you need them?

Kenny
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2011, 06:35:58 AM »

lots of what i wanted to hear...It's being done out there !! so ill make up my mind and let everyone what i go with..

I do have experience with one brand " HARBOR-POINT" STAY away from this junk !!! put one in my garage last year ,nothing but problem.The service tech was answering the phone while in a casino gambling!! told me he was on VACATION but would be back in town in a week or so....O sorry the main computer board are gunk !!! that's what i heard after 4 weeks of diagnostics over the phone...there cheep alright...
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2011, 08:24:50 AM »

Quote
Simple, too much air flow and too small of a evaporator coil for proper dehumidification

Nick, Is there a difference in the brand you buy and install? Are some better than others?

Buddydawg - I take it you have the compressors mounted in one of the bays and custom installed the evap units where you need them?

Kenny


Hi Kenny,

As Buddydawg mentioned, Sanyo.. Sanyo has been doing ductless splits since the 70's and have perfected them
with their expierence. With DC inverter drive compressors, they are the most efficient units out there!
You guy's should be installing their multi-zone units. [3 evaps and 1 condencer] but requires 230v.
I have sanyo's still out there that I have installed back in the late 80's.. says alot for a salty inviroment!
http://us.sanyo.com/hvac

Nick-
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2011, 10:37:03 AM »

Buddydawg - I take it you have the compressors mounted in one of the bays and custom installed the evap units where you need them?

One is mounted under the bus (I have a transit) and the other is mounted in the old A/C space on the roof rear, covered and vented with the old fiberglass shroud.
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2011, 12:05:25 PM »

ALRIGHT!

Harbour Point     -1 star

Sanyo                5 star

Hitachi                ? star but good indications

I  hope everyonme with a split will comment.  I hope Nick can add some names to both sides with 50 a year they can't all be Sanyo.

I looked at the Sanyo site and they spec one unit as having a SEER of 16  Shocked  They also say the unit will remove 10.6 pints of water per hour  Huh  Shocked  Cool  So add that to the wish list along with that motor that has a constant variable speed.

Try this.  Some have a SEER of 26.5 (OMG)  http://www.goductless.com/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&sort=13&cat=34&show=10&page=4  I s Grunair a good brand....Nick?

They list 13.5 K BTU that runs on 120VAC  That site seems to have every brand out there and Mitsubishi is a big player.  Inverter DC motors are listed for some.
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2011, 07:57:00 PM »

We've got eight installed in our buildings and have at least another dozen to install that are on hand. We are planning to install another 6 in another building if we can get permit approvals in place.

We have five different brand names and no failures, yet. There is one remote control that someone cracked the case of, but it still works.

We have avoided the Soleus brand because the heating specs were not good enough for use in southeast Alaska.

While we have used the installed units as air conditioners, we bought them primarily to wean ourselves off of oil and for inexpensive heating. They are paying for themselves very quickly.

For what it's worth.

Tom Caffrey
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Ketchikan, Alaska
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