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Author Topic: mini split airlines  (Read 2532 times)
uemjg
jerry
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« on: September 05, 2013, 12:23:41 PM »

I'm in the planning stage of mounting my mini-split ac system with 1 outdoor unit and 3 indoor units.  I was hoping to get pictures of how/where people ran their refrigerent lines and how they mounted the indoor units.

Anybody?
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 02:03:24 PM »

Posted my install a while back.  Lots of information if you search on 'mini split'.



http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=25893.0
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uemjg
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 03:28:53 PM »

Briefly saw the pics and so far looks very helpful...thanks.
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Seangie
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 08:22:17 PM »

Ill post what I "had".

We ran the mini splits for about 2 months. After 2500 or so miles the lines kept coming loose and we pulled them and went to roof airs.

When they worked they were great.  Very quiet, kept the bus dry and made for a clean roofline.  But in the end, as we are fulltiming- I didn't have time to screw around with constantly having to replace freon and tighten the lines so we ended up with roof airs

Here are some pics of what I had setup -
Front inside unit - ran the lines right between the windows.


Here you can see the outside unit.  We cut a hole in the bay floor to force the warm air out. System works best with lots of forced air into and out of the bay.  Outside unit/CompressorTemps ran about 120 degrees with no forced air on a 90 degree humid day in FL.  They ran about 97 degrees on an 86 degree day with forced air.


Here is the outdoor unit from the first one I installed.  The manufacturer sent me a unit that never worked from the get go.  After doing all of the work, this one came out and another one went in.


Here is another pic of the first system inside evap unit installed


Here is a pic of the lines running down the wall behind the fridge.

I'm sure there are more pics running around somewhere.
If I do another build -  I'm not sure I'd try a mini split again.  I really loved them for function but just not sure they are made to last 5 years on the road.  They work amazingly when they do work.  It was just a lot of money and time to have them fall apart.  I put rubber isolators under the footing.  Set down tightly on a rubber pad, left loops in my lines to absorb the vibrations, made sure the lines were fastened on tightly.  Again - It didn't last 2 months on the road.  If you part time, rarely move or have some AC tools and skills you'll probably get a little more mileage out of them.

I don't think anyone on this board has Mini-Splits and has put 5k miles on their bus.

We ended up with roof airs which are loud, don't have all the cool features and digital temp sets and displays and don't dehumidify.  But they work, were cheaper and easier to install and can be easily replaced.

Good luck.  Make sure you wrap your line good!  Please let us know how it turns out when you are finished with the project!

-Sean
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 01:06:10 AM »

^ Thanks for the photos/post...this info will come in handy.  Keeping sending if you find more pics/info.
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sledhead
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2013, 05:02:15 AM »

My 9000 btu heat pump is on its 3rd year with 15 k on the road with no problems at all .  I use a 2000 watt inverter to power it on the road .      dave
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 05:34:29 AM »

I think the jury is going to be out a long time on the mini splits I have never installed a set I only know of people that have and they have all since been removed and gone back to roof tops.

My biggest draw back to the split is the space it take to install one and the copper they use is some thin crap for refrigeration copper, the inside units mounted on the walls to me are just ugly sticking out in a bus, in time someone here will get it right I have no doubt

I have a friend here he reads only never will he post he told me 1 summer was enough for him they are coming out this winter

Me I would not rush out and buy a set that is what I told him last year, I don't care for the roof tops either but they do work with very little maintenance for years and 100,000's of miles 15,000 miles would be a month for Taylor with his coaches  
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 06:11:10 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2013, 06:30:12 AM »

My 9000 btu heat pump is on its 3rd year with 15 k on the road with no problems at all .  I use a 2000 watt inverter to power it on the road .      dave


Dave -  do you have braze on or screw on connections for your lines to the outside compressor unit?  Curious if you did anything to secure the llines there.

-Sean


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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 07:37:31 AM »

Sean
Were you experiencing leaks, at the connections, at the inside units or at the outside unit? My guess is the outside unit, mounted on rubber feet. My thought is that if both inside and outside units were mounted solidly to the bus structure, and the lines were well anchored, you wouldn't have connections loosening up. Brazed joints would be better yet. Remember that almost every car and truck has long functioning air conditioning systems. There has to be a way to make a mini-split system work reliably.

Just my thoughts, Sam
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 08:26:11 AM »

One problem people I know are having is trying to use the pre-charged lines they have been sold a bad bill of goods,we found  that out the hard way on a friends bus  

Then Mitsubishi would not honor his warranty because they were not fully charged by one of their factory installers his line always broke off at the compressor he just tossed in the towel he spent so much money on the units and they were not cheap units  

The cooper lines are thin type Z some manufactures say they use type K but it's not if the unit is made in China,  with the heat, cold and high pressure of the freon plus cycling off and on they break I would not use the China made refrigeration copper that stuff is 100% junk  
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 08:38:46 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 12:49:30 PM »

Sam -

Issue was at the outside compressor.  Im sure that there was something I screwed up in the install.  I think Bob G. menitoned
To me that having the isolators might cause an issue.  I would really liked to have kept them in cause they are really nice when they work.  Someone else on the board just posted pics of his install and he had a 3 zone unit.  Id love to see how that one turns out.

-Sean

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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2013, 01:27:50 PM »

http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/a484/crane66/bth_moto_0047_zps4089949a.jpg?t=1378586084


http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/a484/crane66/bth_moto_0049_zps1ea0833f.jpg?t=1378584358


http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/a484/crane66/bth_dc8955e9-7913-41b5-af5e-12c5a3e2e32a_zpsb716b28a.jpg?t=1378585711

This is how the a/c is vented       dave
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2013, 01:36:04 PM »

The lines are a/c copper 1/4",  3/8 " with flare's on inside unit , outside unit

http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/a484/crane66/bth_9503627c-21d6-433d-b3bd-713c9511cfe9_zps8b956e6a.jpg?t=1378585617

http://i1280.photobucket.com/albums/a484/crane66/bth_227978_10151104741849213_168920432_n_zps6a070d76.jpg

After I installed the lines ( 25' I had them charged  added  16 oz of 410 at a service call       of $ 99.  and that was in 2010      dave
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 01:38:33 PM by sledhead » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2013, 01:41:49 PM »

The green thing just above the floor is a booster fan that helps push all the hot air out of the bay from the a/c unit     so far so good!                  dave
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1990 mci 102c  6v92 ta ht740  kit,living room slide . home base huntsville ontario canada
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2013, 02:04:34 PM »

sledhead: Do you have to signup to photobucket to view pictures?  Those links are either invalid or you have to login to photobucket to view.

I'll send you my email so you could email them to me...thanks!
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robertglines1
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2013, 02:44:42 PM »

I hate to comment on open board since so many have mentioned problems. I had some hvac background and a close friends that are in the business. I did not use the factory supplied line kits but made up my own. Use Teflon paste on flares. pulled vac etc anchored everything solid. Movement is the enemy. MCI 8 and several other have been running theirs for years. I have not had mine on road yet.  I do have a charge kit and vac pump with me in case.  I also selected 3 separate units instead of one so if one goes down I don't loose everything. Actually most of the time a parked bus one Mini-split will do the job just fine.  Everything in this bus world is a personal choice:::: the safe way out is buy a roof air!! Pretty well goof proof!!!!FWIW   My inside units are part of the cabinets..Most guys with units that work are prob not going to say much and I understand. I do feel I led some down the wrong path.. I am glad the busnut that started me that direction did and his has been working for 6 plus years and another for more years than that.  All three of ours in bus running(in bus) are quieter than the one running in the Toter Home (roof top) Again :easy safe=roof top.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »

I see the big boys are using the Durasea roof top now I believe they would be a little pricey for the average bus nut @ over 2 grand a unit but they are quite for a roof top  

The Marathon I was in had 5 ducted Durasea units you could not hear one running but I think that applies to all ducted roof tops you can stand under the ducted unit in my daughters 5th wheel and never hear it 

Me I just open the check book and installed 3 Cruisair in the Eagle best unit on the market if installed right IMO
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 03:57:11 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2013, 05:37:42 PM »

Quote
"I hate to comment on open board since so many have mentioned problems....Most guys with units that work are prob not going to say much and I understand. I do feel I led some down the wrong path.. "


Bob -  we all make our own choices and live with them.  Granted we are influenced by others on this board but if anyone has issues with what you have suggested or feels wrongly influenced by things you have done on your bus -  that's their problem.  Not yours.  I'm glad about each step I've taken in building out this bus.  Good or bad.  You have been a huge influence in my build and I know at least 2 others that have been encouraged by the work you do. Granted there are some things that are done correctly or incorrectly but as far as choosing your HVAC, its like choosing the tires or the oil that goes into your bus.  You choose.  You said it best "everything in the bus world is a personal choice"  I wish more people would share the troubles and difficulties they have had with their builds.  Way too many will post about the great ideas they had and the success when it happens but very few post the challenges and failures that they have had.  You are one of my favorite posters and I cannot wait to someday meet you and see your bus.  Bottom line - please don't ever let others opinions or "feelings" influence what you post about your build.

-Sean
(Sorry bout the rant...now back to our regular program about Mini-Split installs...)
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« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2013, 05:55:37 PM »

Yep well said Sean, Bob G is one of my favorites here I know he will get it right or work on it till he does and he will tell you about any pit falls as I mention the jury is still out on the mini splits, as of right now I am not a believer but that can change with me   

Bob has nothing to be sorry about anything new is going to have failures and he did not mislead anyone IMO   
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uemjg
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« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2013, 08:19:20 PM »

I started this thread with the intention of not only soliciting helpful advice, but also pitfalls and other's failures.  I look at it all and then I proceed down one path or another.

THANKS everyone!
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2013, 09:10:40 AM »

My opinion to success: Everything mounted solid. Use ref rated copper lines mounted firm /insulated extra care at turns. anywhere I had questions I shot foam in a can to lessen vibration chances.  Don't overtightened  your flare fittings. You can crack them. use Teflon paste on them when assembling . Check factory cabinet to make sure they didn't leave manifold free floating(has happened). Make sure your evaporator drain is down hill. Basic facts:  heat rises....    water runs down hill...   Movement is the enemy.  Keep as much fresh air to the condenser as possible.The discharge from the condenser is hot it will rise and should not discharge out bottom of bus downward unless as a ducted system of forced system(always a exception) A normal simple gravity feed draw cool air in from lower and draw across coil exit heated air rises up(hot air rises).   On point to think about-- don't recirculate your own condenser cooling air.   Bob
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« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2013, 09:41:54 AM »

My cliff notes from experience -

1.  Insulate the lines well.  They will condense.  The colder you can keep the freon in the line until it hits the evaporator -the colder the air will be in the coach.

2.  Like Bob said above - Think about your airflow through the outside condensing unit.  These things move a lot of air!  Use forced air if necessary!  Measure the area of the fan on the condenser and have at least that much space + 10-20% in your opening and exhaust holes.

3.  The evaporators make a ton of water.  Make sure you have good drainage.  I had my evaps raised a 1/2 inch higher on one side and it still would drip out of the pan going around banked curves.  If I did it again...I'd open up the evaporater and see if I could raise the walls to the drain tray.

4.  Flared fittings have to be perfect.  Make sure you have a nice clean flare on your copper lines.

-Sean

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« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2013, 03:31:56 PM »

While on the topic of mini slit ac's...Where's the best price on a 3 ton, 3 zone unit with inverter technology and 410 type freon?  I'm ok with a 240ac unit.  The best price ive found is about $2100 without the lines, plus shipping.
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« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2013, 03:53:10 PM »

My 9000 btu   comfrort aire  unit was cheep at $675. + $100. for lines . I like the kiss method and would install 3 separate units. So   WHEN   1 fails you still have a cool coach

dave
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« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2013, 06:11:40 PM »

My evaporator had the option of changing which side the condensate drain was on.  So I made an adapter and connected a drain to both sides in case my coach wasn't level.

Art
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« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2013, 07:12:16 PM »

I bought both systems that I used from both minisplitwarehouse and goductless.com. both companies did a god job of shipping and goductless while screwing up what they sent had great customer service in dealing with the returns.


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« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2013, 07:21:27 PM »

I went with three 15k rooftop units, each one runs off a wall thermostat.  Two of them are also heat pumps.  Rooftop units don't bother me, and my bus came with a fully funtional bus A/C unit which I pulled out and put a generator in it's place.  12 years.

--Geoff
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2013, 09:16:02 AM »

     With my bus, I have no room for a rooftop - my rooftop surface is right at 13'6".  I have been looking at TomC's "interior" mount of the rooftop - I could do that for one unit under a couch upstairs (my bus is a double-decker) and have an almost direct "duct"* down to the driver's compartment (this would be down through the upstairs floor and exit through the ceiling downstairs).
     A reasonably size mini-split upstairs would provide cooling up there and also allow some cooling air to sink to the lower level, too.  I'm planning a simple drop-down air separator baffle to allow me to select how much/any air I allow cool air to drop down.  Since the bedroom is upstairs, I want to make sure that there's good, reliable cool upstairs for any parked situation.

     Thanks for the good, factual conversation here, guys -- it's helpful to me.   Bruce H  NC   USA

(* I call it a duct but really it would be a direct shot.  I'm thinking that an air handler to move air across the passenger and driver would be good but it wouldn't need to be complex, heavy, difficult, etc.)
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
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