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 Post subject: Trailer Roof air units
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:33 pm
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With summer here I have deiced to add a roof air unit to our 20ft Haulmark trailer. I think this has been gone over before but I could not find it so am asking again.
The trailer is wired for 110 so I can add to the existing fuse box?. I am on a budget so don't want to spend a whole lot but also don't want to not get enough air for those hot days.. Question 1 how big a unit do I want/need I also noted differed ratings? as I said its a 20x8 box we have added some roof insulation, any brands or sources recommended as well as prices and what accessories needed. Question 2 do I want t try to install myself or pay someone if so abut how much will I be expecting to pay, so can add to budget. I have read sometimes its a plug and play install others you have to add reinforcing drain ect. Our roof is curves so I did not know if this is an issue. any input or pearls of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:39 am 
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Location: Orrtanna, Pa.
The standard RV units are 13,500 or 15,000 btu. They install in the standard 14"x14" roof vent opening. If there is no reinforcement around the opening you might want to add some bracing. The wiring is simple and you should be able to add it to your existing set up. The 13,500 should be adequate for your trailer. I have installed a number of these over the years and see no need to hire someone to do it. Dometic is one of the most common brands. Check with your local RV supplier or craigslist if you want a used unit.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:45 pm 
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Location: Spring Hill, FL.
900 0 BTU minisplit. More cool, less power used. Way better than the overheads. I have one in my house and will replace one of the overheads on my bus with one.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:57 am 
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I have heard the overhead AC units need at least a 3000W generator, many of us run a 2000W, one more detail to solve.

The mini split is intriguing, assume you would mount to the the wall of the trailer, and set up the outside unit temporarily on the ground or where? Would you have to re charge the refrigerant each time?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:48 am 
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Location: Central Florida
I've investigated a split unit - not for a car trailer, but for the cockpit section of a B-52 at the museum where I volunteer. The key to a split unit is you don't need a big hole in a roof or door: The outside unit has the compressor, condenser and a fan to get rid of the heat. The inside unit has the evaporator and a fan to cool the air within the box. Usually there is no air exchange from outside to inside. Only two refrigerant pipes (or hoses), a condesate drain hose and wiring pass through the wall - maybe a 3 inch opening. This would be the main advantage for our B-52 use - not having to use a window or cut another big hole. I think a split system will be quieter inside as the noisy compressor and one fan are completely outside. The units I've seen either came as a "dry" kit which had to be evacuated and charged after installation, or a filled system with "dry break" type quick-connects: just mount the units, route the hoses and wires and plug in the hoses. Nifty.
These were intended for structure (building) use - the ones for trailers may be different. I think some people do just use a cheap window unit but that only works in the front wall. Joel

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:59 am
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Location: Spring Hill, FL.
Plenty of minisplits on custom RV and trailers. Yes they are very quiet. The latest units are pre charged as mentioned.
Check U tube .

The Minis are seer 20 - 30. and run at 50DB.
The over heads are seer 9 maybe and run at 70-90 db.

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Mike Ogren/Protech Racing, http://www.FWDracingguide.com http://www.ogren-engineering.com/ 352.428-8983 mogren@tampabay.rr.com


Last edited by Protech Racing on Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:29 am 
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Mini Splits are great for trailers and toters. For trailer you mount outside unit on the tongue. Plan on making an aluminum cover for fan area as a few with open trailers over spun the fan in travel. Bonus is they provide real heat as well as AC.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:08 am
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
My old motorhome had two Coleman 13500 BTU AC units in the roof and worked great. I replaced both of them and it was easy. One of them would work well on any 20 amp circuit so I'd assume any generator rated for 20 amp would run one. I had a 6500 generator which ran both and the microwave. Both units had an optional heater unit but I seldom used them. To install in a trailer, you would have to frame them with a two by two for reinforcing and seal it so you would get a leak. Any RV parts place sells everything needed. I just looked and a 13500 Coleman can be bought for under $500. Buy the plain model. No need for Mach ones. Might even catch one on sale for a little less.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:41 am 
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We have a 5000 watt generator so power not a problem I want to go with the existing hole in the roof if possible. Any brands or sources recommended. We are in the SEDIV so heat not an issue, what if any difference is there in using the 15000 vs 13500 ac, my thinking is cooler is better but are the bigger ones that more costly or larger/heaver? Thanks to all for the info.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:40 am 
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Location: Northeast PA
I did the 15,000 just because the cost difference wasnt that much on the unit and "while we are in there" may as well as put in the biggest one.
On a 95 degree day I didnt want to be sweating, thinking damn I'm glad I saved that $150.
I am 99% sure mine is a Coleman. I purchased and had it installed by a local RV shop.
Its a family run place, been around here forever. The sales guy (one of the family of owners) told me he sold equal amounts Coleman and Dometic and they had not seen any advantage to either across their customers. He said those were the only brands they sell.
He had a 15,000 Coleman in stock in white so I took that.
My trailer was pre-framed and wired.
The install was done along with a state inspection very quickly.

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