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Old 01-29-2019, 01:33 PM   #1
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Full-timing in Desert Heat in Summer

Hi Guys I'm pretty new here, just got a Thor Windsport 34P about two months back. My original plan was to camp in it for a few weeks to get to know the coach and then move into an apartment, but I've liked it so much I'm thinking about just going full time but I have a few questions about what the summer will be like in the Desert with 100-110 degree heat consistently for several months.

The coach is rigged for 50 amp service but right now I'm saving money by having it hooked up to 30 amp. Since I don't use much juice this hasn't been an issue in the winter.

The coach has two roof A/C units, I'm guessing that 30 amp service will not be sufficient to power both A/Cs in the summer, since they are the biggest draw I'm guessing they need 50 amp. Anyone think I can get away with 30 amp powering two A/Cs if I'm using nothing else?

Second question, with 50 amp service, will the A/Cs be able to actually cool the coach when it's that hot outside? And how much should I plan on paying for electricity if it's a metered connection? Trying to compare metered and un-metered pricing but I need an estimate of what the A/C will cost. It's a lot smaller than an apartment but also not as well insulated. So I'm thinking it will be under $200 a month even with the A/Cs blasting 24/7. I'm also curious if anyone has any insight into how much more efficient it is if I pull one or both slides in, especially during the day. My guess would be that it drops the load on the A/Cs significantly. It also seems like a bad idea to use the chassis A/C because it's not designed to be used when not in motion. Has anyone ever added portable A/C units to their setup? I'd imagine they are a lot less efficient but if it's an unmetered hookup then it might be ok. Anyone have any other thoughts?

Last question, is there anything I can use to get shade? I know there's all kinds of portable tents and stuff but those look too flimsy. An actual carport-like structure is too expensive and permanent. Wondering if there's a middle ground and if any campsites maybe have anything like that.

Worst case scenario I'll just boondock at higher elevation where it stays in the low 80s. But it's a long drive back to civilization for work every day.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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Which desert are you referring to? Having lived in the Phoenix metro area for the last 30 years, and RVing for the last 5, I can tell you there is absolutely no way you can cool any RV in the desert in the summer. Some days it is hard to keep a house, depending on its age, cool enough to be comfortable. I have tried to cool my 24' trailer in front of the house at 105* and could only get it down to about 90*+.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:44 PM   #3
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Should be fine on two air com units on 50amp.

Does it have dual pane windows? If not refelctix shades will help.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:50 PM   #4
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The 50 amp circuit will let the AC units run to the best of their ability. Environmental factors will come into play at those temps. Humidity, altitude, and reflected heat will affect how well they work.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
Which desert are you referring to? Having lived in the Phoenix metro area for the last 30 years, and RVing for the last 5, I can tell you there is absolutely no way you can cool any RV in the desert in the summer. Some days it is hard to keep a house, depending on its age, cool enough to be comfortable. I have tried to cool my 24' trailer in front of the house at 105* and could only get it down to about 90*+.
RichH
Not Phoenix, but similar enough I think--Las Vegas.

I've heard it's going to be tough, but hoping that with two or maybe three A/Cs I can get it to 80. I'll pull the slides in if necessary.

One suggestion I got was to just have it on full blast all night and hopefully get it down as low as possible and then just hopefully it doesn't go up too much during the day.

If it's going to be absolutely unliveable I can put it in storage and rent a place but man do I like the idea of living in this thing full time.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
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Should be fine on two air com units on 50amp.

Does it have dual pane windows? If not refelctix shades will help.
I don't know about the windows. How would I know??

Tell me more about the shades please.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:54 PM   #7
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I'm not sure about your rig, but before I upgraded to my current Fleetwood Excursion, I had a Lance 1130 camper in the bed of my F-350 and we took it (along with our boat) to Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave, and Yuma Arizona in the summer and the A/C kept the camper EXTREMELY cold. I haven't tried out the dual A/C's on my 39' Excursion yet, but hopefully it will be fine. I'm not sure what you mean about the A/C's not being designed to be used when not in motion, but that is exactly what they're designed for....
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CoachDitka View Post
The coach is rigged for 50 amp service but right now I'm saving money by having it hooked up to 30 amp. Since I don't use much juice this hasn't been an issue in the winter.
Whether you are hooked to 30 amp or 50 amp has nothing to do with cost, unless the park has a lower monthly rate for sites with 30 amp only. You will use the same amount of kilowatt hours whether on 30 or 50. You can run two ACs on 30 amp, but not much of anything else so you are better off with 50 amp. Whether you can cool it or not depends on the amount of insulation in the coach. The best help is to keep the hot sun out with exterior window shades like the ones from SunPro mfg.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rkdillinger View Post
I'm not sure about your rig, but before I upgraded to my current Fleetwood Excursion, I had a Lance 1130 camper in the bed of my F-350 and we took it (along with our boat) to Lake Havasu, Lake Mohave, and Yuma Arizona in the summer and the A/C kept the camper EXTREMELY cold. I haven't tried out the dual A/C's on my 39' Excursion yet, but hopefully it will be fine. I'm not sure what you mean about the A/C's not being designed to be used when not in motion, but that is exactly what they're designed for....
The rooftop A/Cs are, but the A/C in the cab probably isn't, right? Either way I wouldn't want to idle the engine all day.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:08 PM   #10
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Whether you are hooked to 30 amp or 50 amp has nothing to do with cost, unless the park has a lower monthly rate for sites with 30 amp only. You will use the same amount of kilowatt hours whether on 30 or 50. You can run two ACs on 30 amp, but not much of anything else so you are better off with 50 amp. Whether you can cool it or not depends on the amount of insulation in the coach. The best help is to keep the hot sun out with exterior window shades like the ones from SunPro mfg.
Where I'm at has 30 amp spaces for $21 and 50 amp spaces are $24 and $31. These have unmetered electric. There's another park that's $600-700 per month but has metered juice.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:41 PM   #11
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I can tell you that my two ACs had a hell of a time keeping up in similar temps in the Central Valley on 30amps. It would get pretty uncomfortable but not deadly during the day, though I will say this with the caveat that the electrical at the place I was staying was iffy and our rv is black. I just mentioned this in another thread that if I could that’s one thing I’d change. No I could not run anything else besides the air on 30. 50 will make it easier but I don’t know if it will totally keep up. It should do ok but not great. It wouldn’t be my personal preference to stay with temps like that unless you have to.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:50 PM   #12
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The rooftop A/Cs are, but the A/C in the cab probably isn't, right? Either way I wouldn't want to idle the engine all day.
Correct, I wouldn't even consider running the cab A/C for an extended period while not moving
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:53 PM   #13
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I can tell you that my two ACs had a hell of a time keeping up in similar temps in the Central Valley on 30amps. It would get pretty uncomfortable but not deadly during the day, though I will say this with the caveat that the electrical at the place I was staying was iffy and our rv is black. I just mentioned this in another thread that if I could thatís one thing Iíd change. No I could not run anything else besides the air on 30. 50 will make it easier but I donít know if it will totally keep up. It should do ok but not great. It wouldnít be my personal preference to stay with temps like that unless you have to.
Ok, what if I had 50 amps, brought the slides in, and added a third A/C like this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Danby-10...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

It's rated for a 450 square foot space, which is larger than the whole coach, especially with the slides in. Obviously it's the insulation not the square footage that's the issue, but it seems like this should be sufficient...
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:59 PM   #14
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But it's a long drive back to civilization for work every day.
There is your mistake!

Spent last August in Henderson because of a family emergency. I was running on 20 amp service at my son's house. One AC unit was fine at night because there is a door between the living area and bedroom.

You can get a roll of reflective insulation at Lowes and cut it to size. It is most effective in an RV when cutting heat gain from direct sunlight. I used it in the attic of house in Virginia with an inadequate AC system. It made the house much more comfortable on a hot summer day. I am a mechanical engineer and it reduces radiant heat transfer. So it is a legitimate product when used in the right application.

https://www.lo wes.com/pd/Reflectix-R-21-100-sq-ft-Unfaced-Reflective-Roll-Insulation-48-in-W-x-25-ft-L/3011906

As far as the cost of electricity, it should be less than the cost of storage in this area.

So if you work during the day, your AC will be good at night. If your job requires to sleep you during the day, you may not like your RV in the summer.

The whole idea of an RV is to be somewhere where it is nice outside.
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