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Author Topic: First mini-split is installed  (Read 3310 times)
dukegrad98
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« on: May 24, 2012, 09:37:51 AM »

Yesterday we got the first mini-split heat pump installed and running in our coach.  I am doing three in the coach -- one in the rear bedroom (9k), one in the main living area (12.5k) and one up in the driving area (12.5k).  These are Soleus units that I bought at Bob Glines' recommendation.  I had no prior experience with this type of AC system.  (Some of you know that I bought Bob's '89 Prevost, and have been doing a pretty major remodel inside.)

So far, I can only say that I'm really happy with the one unit that is installed, charged, and running.  I went over yesterday evening, and it was still 88 degrees with the sun setting in the west.  The thermostat was set to 75, the unit was cycling properly, and that half of the bus was very cool.  It puts out plenty of cold air, and has built-in oscillators on the vent.  The condensor/compressor unit is in a vented bay under the bus.  Both the outdoor and the indoor unit are very quiet when running. 

If the other two installs go as well as this one, I should be able to have an ice cold bus for the Texas summer.  I'll update when we get the others in, and will try to get some pics.  I'm hoping to have her back on the road for a July 4 trip...

Cheers, John
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 09:49:05 AM by dukegrad98 » Logged
MCIGenes
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 09:47:06 AM »

This sounds like a good alternative to roof airs or basement air conditioners. I thought about this type for the house. Keep us posted on how it works and I would be interested in seeing some photos.

Gene
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lvmci
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 12:44:31 PM »

Dukegrad, how much time would you estimate it took to install one unit and what would you estimate the total cost to be, lvmci...
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dukegrad98
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 01:55:02 PM »

I'll ask the AC guy.  It took about ten minutes to measure, level, and bolt in the interior air handler / evaporator unit on the bus wall, and probably about five minutes to bolt down the outdoor unit in the basement bay.  Add maybe two minutes to hole-saw through the bus floor for the power, refrigerant, and drain lines between the two units.  The rest I left to the HVAC professionals.

I don't have the bill from the AC guy for running the copper lines and charging the system yet, but will update when I know more.  I'm sure that's where the money is -- the rest is super-easy.  Copper and freon don't come cheap these days.

Cheers, John
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2012, 03:23:29 PM »

Don't know about your unit but my Sanyo came pre-charged with Freon, just evacuate the lines, hold to check for leaks and open the compressor valves.   
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dukegrad98
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 03:37:32 PM »

The Soleus was definitely not pre-charged.  That's an interesting approach, and sure handy/cost-effective for the amateur installer.  My only concern would be that it requires some assumptions about the distance between the outdoor and indoor units.  At least on mine, the manual specifies a base charge plus an additional charge per foot of line. 

I opted not to buy the fairly expensive pre-fab line sets online, because I wasn't certain exactly what length I would need.  I just used a local guy to cut, run lines, flare and connect everything, and evacuate and charge it.  I'll post up a price when I have the bill from him.  I think the Soleus unit itself was only about $700, plus or minus -- I bought three.

Cheers, John
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Uglydog56
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 04:18:31 PM »

I'm running my electrical now, and buying the mini-splits this fall.  Does the power from the breaker get routed to the outside or inside unit?
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Rick A. Cone
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2012, 04:33:41 PM »

All the soleus units I have installed came precharged.

Evacuate --- check for leaks and open the valve.

Melbo
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 11:32:51 PM »

While most of you are interested in the air conditioning side of these units, the Soleus brand units that I have seen listed have some serious limitations in heating applications. Most of the other brands don't seem to have those limitations when using heat pumps in heating mode.

I urge you to read the specs. There are good units that carry some serious heating ability down to below zero temperatures. We are happy with the performance of the ones that we use in apartments, some of which have been in service for three and one half years.

Good luck!

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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lvmci
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 06:21:07 AM »

John, I'm gonna remove the MCI unit in the bay, lose the weight and open up the bay for storage,  I was going to install the window box unit and duct upwards to the defroster vents on the dash, but your idea sounds better, thanks, lvmci...
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 07:12:45 AM »

The outdoor unit that you put in the bay, how much room does this need? I'm considering this route also, just don't know enough about it. Thanks, Craig
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 05:51:30 PM »

John,

I (like others) would love to see the pics of the outside unit mounted under the bus and get the specs for the clearance that you need.  This is on my list of todo's!

Thanks for posting!  Super grateful!

-Sean
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 06:01:28 PM »

 I (like others) would love to see the pics of the outside unit mounted under the bus and get the specs for the clearance that you need.  This is on my list of todo's!
Thanks for posting!  Super grateful!        -Sean  


      Please add me to this list.  I don't have bays so that's my first question - is the "outside unit" mounted in a bay?  But, even so, I'd like to see how you've done it.  (I'm thinking that two outside units will go right under my "upstairs windshields" in the area where the route display box was.  Air inlet will be easy (just a grille) but air outlet - probably on the sides - and water proofing is likely to be  difficult.



       The "white block" is where the route box used to be.  It's plain aluminum sheet now; it will get the blue and green stripe later.  That area is an empty box the width of the bus, about 30" high, and about 14" deep - should hold two outside units just fine.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 06:06:21 PM by Oonrahnjay » Logged

Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2012, 09:41:42 PM »

I certainly don't mean to hijack John's (dukegrad98) thread! I just want to contribute a little to this thead! And I also got my crazy ideas from the great and famous Bob Glines.

If you want to get some more ideas, you can see my mini-split installs on my bus project page here:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=22081.30
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
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RJ
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2012, 09:57:03 PM »

This is only "overheard" comments:

At one of the BCM rallys MAK held back in the 90's, one of the busnuts who sat at my table during dinner was commenting on how he had to open the bay doors while parked so his mini-split's outside units wouldn't overheat in the summer.  No problem on the road.

Food for thought?

 Wink
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RJ Long
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