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Old 08-09-2010, 06:47 PM   #1
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We have not yet purchased an RV for many reasons....We previously owned an Alpha 5th wheel that would never get cool enough in the HOT summers in Texas. We are looking for something really big but light and have considered popups, expandables, and travel trailers. Our major concern is that we do not know if any of them will cool down enough. So I'm looking for some insight from those living in very hot climates. I have found several of interest 2010 STARCRAft 176RB Expandable, CROSSROADS RV ST20CK TT, and various Starcraft, Coleman, Jayco popups. My concern with the popups is the time that it takes to set them up since it is so hot and we are traveling with 2 small dogs and 2 very young chilren. Since we are not able to really 'test' the a/c ability it is hard to gage which would cool the best. TIA!

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Old 08-09-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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First welcome to iRV2 and check out The Texas Boomers. Noticed that you are one of our neighbors. Drop me a Private Message and we can talk.

A pop up or a hybrid will not do well in the Texas heat due to the lack of insulation and all of the canvas. Better insulation means thicker walls and more weight.

As for testing the A/C, head to the dealer and tell him you want to check the set up and how fast the A/C will cool the RV. Some pop ups are a bit less trouble to set up. As soon as you get the top up, get it plugged in to power, go inside and start the A/C unit on high fan and set it to keep running. Now go about your business getting the ends set up.

The dealer should be willing to show you how well it will cool if he wants to make a sale.

In the summers here, you need to get as much mid-day to late afternoon shade as possible. As for you Alpha, I bet it had one A/C unit as was over 28'. In 90 deg F plus weather and in the sun, a 15K BTUH unit will have a hard time with a 28' unit and no shade. I am a firm believer that anything 30' or longer should have TWO 15K or 13.5K BTUH units.

I have a 35' TT (Vintage Avion) that has a 15K BTUH and a 13.5K BTUH and with 50 amp power, I can cool it pretty well.


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Old 08-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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while you are looking - find the unit that is the coolest without AC -this is the one with the most insulation. You might also want to look at getting a larger AC unit - often an option on most rigs. Also your really big and really light are working against your goal of really cool. Lightwieght usually comprimises wall thickness and insulation - really big requires additional AC units to keep cool - perhaps as many as two on large rigs. Some other options you can consider - TrailMannor, and the Outback line from Keystone (look at the ones where the bed pulls out in the back and the front of the unit has bunks)
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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klove10381. We're glad you're here & you've come to the right place for answers.

I try to think of RV's sort of like stick-homes. The cheaper the insulation (i.e. pop-ups or hybrids or thin-walled TT/5-r/motorhomes) & the more levels (i.e. 5-r's) the harder to keep heated or to cool. The pups/hybrids that have canvas/vinyl & those RV's with thin/less insulated walls will loose heat/cooling fast & a 5-r can be hotter in the upper area than the lower. That said, a single level RV (i.e. TT or motorhome) & well insulated will be easier to stay heated/cooled. Plus, in the instance of cooling, the more a/c units you have in your RV, the quicker you can get cool. At least, that's my way of thinking.

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