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 Post subject: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:12 am 
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I have a 24' enclosed trailer and I'm considering installing a roof mount A/C for next season. What is involved to run and install one? Pitfalls? Costs? Thoughts?

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:48 am
Posts: 605
Location: Florida
Roof top AC will run on the average of $700 for one large enough to cool a 24 foot unit. Problem with a lot of trailers is no structure to mount it without building one. Wall mount units can be mounted in the front wall but put a lot more weight on the tongue. Saw an under floor installation once on a '34 footer but I'd guess it cost as much as the trailer. Roof mount might take more time and money but it's the best place to put a good size unit. If you live in the northern US getting one with a heat pump in it would be a good idea. We've got one on our motor home and have used the heat pump even for late year races in Florida.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:57 am
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I went through all this two summers ago. Roof? Wall? Mini-split? Heat pump?

Short version: I installed one of these in an existing flip-up roof vent:

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv- ... ers_B59516

Took an afternoon. Wired to a power center I had installed some years ago.

Best money spent in racing in 2018.


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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:08 am
Posts: 86
Location: Dubuque, Iowa
Bob Hess wrote:
Roof top AC will run on the average of $700 for one large enough to cool a 24 foot unit. Problem with a lot of trailers is no structure to mount it without building one. Wall mount units can be mounted in the front wall but put a lot more weight on the tongue. Saw an under floor installation once on a '34 footer but I'd guess it cost as much as the trailer. Roof mount might take more time and money but it's the best place to put a good size unit. If you live in the northern US getting one with a heat pump in it would be a good idea. We've got one on our motor home and have used the heat pump even for late year races in Florida.

Bob


On my United, I purchased the A/C Bracing option with the long term intent of DIY'ing the rest of the install. I assumed it was going to be a welded in steel structure and didn't want to mess with peeling panels to weld in later etc., and at the time the option was only $75 to tack on to the build. When I did the trailer pickup I laughed at the "bracing", it was a couple pieces of rough sawn 1x wood self tapped into the existing hat channel roof truss pieces. Like most things trailers or RV's, our engineering minds turn it into way bigger of a project than what the industry itself who cranks outs thousands of trailers.

Basically if you just tie the 2 roof truss pieces together around your roof vent, and frame out the roof vent it should be adequate. Extra points for doing in steel.

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:38 am 
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tschreyer wrote:
When I did the trailer pickup I laughed at the "bracing", it was a couple pieces of rough sawn 1x wood self tapped into the existing hat channel roof truss pieces.

My trailer's "upgraded" bracing...

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:41 am 
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Thanks for the info so far, guys. So, in order to run it, I assume I need to be connected to 110v at the track?

Greg, can you spec the "power center" that you referenced? Any additional parts/accessories?

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:51 am 
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team-gpracing wrote:
Greg, can you spec the "power center" that you referenced? Any additional parts/accessories?

There's a YUUUUGE multi-year thread on "The Forum That Shall Not Be Named" on the electrical work I've done with that trailer.

But the short version is that I installed a "Parallax 6730D 30 Amp Power Center" as the core, with an external shore input plug on the front wall. Standard 8D lead-acid battery input to power center, with 2000W inverter. I've got an auto-switcher that will output 110v to the main power strip if shore power is connected, or 110v from the inverter if not (assuming inverter is switched on).

I have the A/C and one separate wall plug on its own discrete circuit out of the 6730, such that they will only run on shore power (the A/C can't run on an inverter of that size, and would drain the 8D battery in short order anyway).

110v dorm fridge running on the main power strip (shore or inverter), 12V LED lighting all around on circuits out from the 6730D.

120W solar panel on the roof through a solar controller, keeping the battery charged. The 6730D also charges the battery when on shore power.

Shows the A/C install, with wiring to 6730 (mounted above the fridge)

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:03 pm
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Location: Northeast PA
I just did this install this past summer (well I paid an RV place to do it) so most of it is fresh in my head.
As posted the questions you will need to answer are:
If you want the common roof unit
1) is the trailer pre-wired for AC?
2) Is the trailer framed for AC at a roof vent(s)
3) Are the roof or walls insulated?
If the answer is yes to those its really easy, the unit literally drops in, you buy an AC unit and a face plate, take a roof vent out, drop the unit in, some sealer, some screws, connect the wires and done.
My Coleman 15,000 BTU AC unit was around that $700 mark as posted above, a couple hundred for install and a couple hours at an RV trailer place.
The units run on one 15a / 120V circuit, I have had my AC and my interior lights, Dewalt chargers and a radio all running off one 20A wall outlet in my driveway.

If none of the bracing is done as others have posted you should do something to that area (bonus points for steel as posted).
If no pre-wiring is present you will need to fish wiring up into the roof (this is all providing you are going with a roof mount) which after reading a million forum posts about the subject I came to the conclusion that was the way to go.

From my perspective the whole project was really painless, but I ordered my trailer pre-baked for AC to go in at a later date.

According to the RV place who did my install I didnt even want to think about anything less than the 15,000 BTU units.
Compared to RVs car trailers are really inefficient thermally so get the biggest AC unit possible which I think is 15,000 BTU.
I bought my trailer with insulated roof, the walls are not.
The insulated roof is also a big thing for the project to actually work to cool the interior down.

Hope that helps, I know some of the guys on here know LOTS about this as they have done it themselves, I only armchair quarterbacked mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:21 am
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I went with a mini-split instead of the ceiling mount. I spent about $900 on a 9K btu, and it took me two half days to get it installed.

I learned:

1) It's not really enough AC for a 24' trailer, even with ceiling insulation. This can be mitigated with a curtain to limit the AC to just the front half.
2) The heater is absolutely incredible and entirely worth it.

At this point I just will add the same $700 rooftop as everyone else, and as usual spend twice as much money and time as everyone else too.

At least my heater is fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Trailer A/C?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:59 am
Posts: 1215
Location: Spring Hill, FL.
I have a couple on my little bus . The new one will be this;
https://www.rvpartscountry.com/Furrion- ... _3500.html Dual fan motors and supposed to be quiet.
It is supposed to be a softer start amp draw then the older style units. They are a little scoffed at by the upper end bus crowd due to the on unit controls etc. Perfect for tthe trailer IMHO.
I feed mine through a 15 amp 100ft 12GA cord at the shop. I can run one AC unit without the cord getting hot and maintaining 109V.
For sure , get the big one .
Looks like Greg did a really nice job insulating . Pays off .

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