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Old 11-12-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Air Conditioning Noise - 5th Wheel RV

What do I need to know about air conditioning noise in 5th wheel RV's? Are they all too loud? Where do I go to have a unit installed in the basement - if that is the solution. The most common advice that I have received is to get two air conditioning units - one in the living area and one in the sleeping area - and to leave the one OFF in the area where you are at the time. Is this true? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Ducted AC

The roof top AC's which are ducted are much quieter than the ones which blow directly in the living space. In fact if you close the vents on the AC it will get significantly quieter. But there will always be some noise. If it is really bad you should check for something loose, causing a bad vibration up there.
Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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I guess it all depends on what you consider "loud". We have 2 rooftop ducted air units in our 5th wheel, and when they're running I run both with the fans in the ON (versus AUTO) setting as I find the fan cycling more disturbing than the constant low-level background white noise of the fans running. I don't have any complaints about the noise level of our A/Cs.

By the way, I see that this is your first post, so

Rusty
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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I have spent countless hours trying to invent something to quiet mine down. We have two in our MH. Ours are ducted but using the ducts is just not efficient at keeping this rv cool. We have four slides, huge windows, and are long.

I have managed to quiet mine down considerably and make them far more efficient in the process. The intake air system is a huge part of the noise.

To quiet the intake I bought a 12"x12" Intake register that will hold a replaceable paper filter. Prior to that I had a temporary design built from foam to allow the air to come in from the side versus straight down. The new register intake provides me a neat way to keep a clean filter in place versus the tiny foam pad that comes with them. They are a pain to clean and don't do a very good job of keeping the condenser clean. So my intake filter will keep the condenser much cleaner.

The ducted output is reasonably quiet but very inefficient. You cannot feel the air coming out much and it really did not cool the rv well at all. The output of the existing AC cover has a slide so air can be ducted directly down but that is very noisy due to restriction and not very efficient either.

So, I cut that output register out and blocked the duct work inside. I also used a bit of foam to clean up the inside area to make the exit of the air smooth.

At that stage there is a tremendous volume of air coming out. No to spread it out I bought a plastic adjustable vent cover that has a magnet on each end. I was able to pop it right in place of the cutout. Now air flows out and down, well spread out and you can feel the air. How this makes less noise is due to less restriction.

The bonus to this is keeping the rv comfortable in the worst heat.

In the bedroom I took the exit of the register to an extreme mod. The simple plastic down spout moved air across the room and to the thermostat pick up so the AC cycled often. I wanted to get the air over the bed in any case. Using some 4 inch pvc as a downspout inserted into the output of the AC as close to the actual fan as possible and then closing around that part gets all of the air coming straight down. Adding a simple angled piece of pvc to the end of the pipe and not gluing it allows me to direct the air over the bed during the night and to direct it to the hallway during the day. With the addition of a floor fan the bedroom air is not forced forward to make things even more comfy and quiet. I can run both AC's on low and keep things cozy.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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A/C noise

Do you have any photos?
A detailed set of plans would be great also.
Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
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First, have you actually experienced the 'noise' of the ACs in a trailer or fifth wheel? What are you comparing it to? Rusty has pointed out about the ducted units--in the higher-end models, the ACs resemble a house install in that there is no AC unit visible in the ceilings, just the intakes/vents. We don't pay any attention to ours when they are running. I doubt you can ever get something that is dead silent.
And, yes, Welcome.

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Old 11-13-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnburks View Post
Do you have any photos?
A detailed set of plans would be great also.
Thanks!
X2. I love pictures... and sound like a great MOD...
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Actually, depending on your surroundings, constant 'noise' is/may be a good thing

I grew up about 5 miles from the end of a runway and you eventually stopped hearing the airplanes

but now days, I, as stated earlier by others, like the constant fan on, rather then the on and off of auto...
and somewhat miss the ac noise in our new quieter ducted RV...

now we hear all the outside noises
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Thanks all. I appreciate the welcome and the information. We are still researching RV's and trucks. Current "schedule" is to make our purchase, change state of residence, etc. and be on the road starting next summer. While checking out various fivers have heard several comments about ac noise and want to make sure we don't make a mistake. Wife is very sensitive to noise. I guess I will need to get the RV dealers to fire up the ac on the fivers that make our final cut.
Bill and Pat
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Noise is inherent to the design due to the units being small and having to move a fair amount of air volume. The fan noise is higher than a home unit ...yes.

You can get a few RVs with basement A/C but some of the manufacturers that used to do basement moved back to roof top due to the problems working on basement A/C.

Like Rusty, we leave the fans running rather than on Auto as the fan cycling is more of a problem than continuous run.

Ken
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #11
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All this kind of points out what to someone is 'noise' is to others just background...
I have a BIL who has to have his AC fan on to sleep just to overcome outside 'noises.'
I can sleep thru a trainwreck, my wife wakes at the sound a twig falling off a tree...

Joe
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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Unfortunately I cannot post more pictures. My limit has been reached and no answer to my posts concerning it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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All RV A/C units will have air noise. As has been stated above, you will learn to live with it. The body will adapt and you won't hear it. I live near a railroad switch yard and never hear the trains unless it is really different from the norm. You might try a white noise machine and see if that would help you pick out a trailer you like.
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