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Old 09-11-2016, 10:43 AM   #1
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More A/C to an existing unit

I'm sure this has been covered before, but my search didn't find any previous threads on it.

I have a 30' TT with a 12' super slide. We like our rig and have done a few mods to make it our own but the mod I keep pondering is adding more A/C. It has one ducted unit now and it does the job most of the time but last year on Labor Day weekend campout it couldn't keep up. It was 105 degrees and sunny all afternoon and we watched the inside temperature creep up all day long until it maxed out at 92 degrees inside the camper. Our spot had zero shade to it and it just overwhelmed the A/C's BTU capacity for the volume of the trailer. As long as we have any decent shade on the camper it does ok and may climb into the low to mid 80's by late afternoon. It also takes some time to bring the camper down to a pleasant temperature on arrival day.

What I'm thinking is that I'd like to add a second A/C in the roof vent of the bedroom for those really hot days and to help cool the camper down quicker on arrival to the campground. In use, I would have a regular ceiling return/outlet type unit and close the bedroom ducts from the main unit to zone them apart with the Aux unit's T'stat set slightly higher to only come on when the main unit lags behind.

My camper is only a 30 amp service, but one of the mods I have already made is to pull a second 20 amp aux circuit to a GFCI in the bedroom area. That aux circuit is the wife's "dedicated blow drier circuit", but we also use it for an additional electric heater if needed in colder conditions. That power plug is roughly 7 lineal feet over and down from the roof vent, so it's plausible that I can find a path to snake a power line up to the roof vent to power the added aux A/C unit.

Y'all's thoughts or experience on this mod?
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
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There are barely enough amps with a 30 amp service to run two rooftop A/C's plus all of the other stuff in the RV. You would have to run a dedicated line directly from the pedestal 20 amp duplex to your RV and then to the second A/C.

Each rooftop A/C will pull 12-15 amps with the compressor running. More when the compressor first starts.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:14 AM   #3
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Your A/C may be a 13,500 unit. You could change it to a 15,000 for better cooling!
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:16 AM   #4
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If that "dedicated blow drier circuit" plug is wired to a separate dedicated line that plugs into the 20A outlet in the power pedestal, I would just buy a portable air conditioner. A lot less installation work and less than $500. If you needed more cooling in your living space, you could move it there as well using a heavy duty extension cord.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
There are barely enough amps with a 30 amp service to run two rooftop A/C's plus all of the other stuff in the RV. You would have to run a dedicated line directly from the pedestal 20 amp duplex to your RV and then to the second A/C.
Dr4Film ----- Richard
Read from my original post above^

"My camper is only a 30 amp service, but one of the mods I have already made is to pull a second 20 amp aux circuit to a GFCI in the bedroom area. That aux circuit is the wife's "dedicated blow drier circuit", but we also use it for an additional electric heater if needed in colder conditions. That power plug is roughly 7 lineal feet over and down from the roof vent, so it's plausible that I can find a path to snake a power line up to the roof vent to power the added aux A/C unit."
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnandon View Post
If that "dedicated blow drier circuit" plug is wired to a separate dedicated line that plugs into the 20A outlet in the power pedestal, I would just buy a portable air conditioner. A lot less installation work and less than $500. If you needed more cooling in your living space, you could move it there as well using a heavy duty extension cord.
Yes it is.

Where will this portable air conditioner reject its heat? It has to go outside some how.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Your A/C may be a 13,500 unit. You could change it to a 15,000 for better cooling!
I keep meaning to look and see what my existing unit is rated at. If by some means its only 10k, then replacing it with a 15k would probably be the most effective route. If it's 13.5k, I don't think the other 1.5k will make enough difference on a really hot day.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:00 PM   #8
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To make clear what I'm talking about on the aux circuit:

More power!
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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Atwood/Dometic makes a 15k unit they claim is so efficient that it puts out the equivalent of 18k. My RV repair shop has installed a couple of them & the owner's claim they really do cool muck better than the 15k units they replaced. That may be an option for you. They do not come in a low profile model if height is a concern.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.C.Gray View Post

Read from my original post above^

"My camper is only a 30 amp service, but one of the mods I have already made is to pull a second 20 amp aux circuit to a GFCI in the bedroom area. That aux circuit is the wife's "dedicated blow drier circuit", but we also use it for an additional electric heater if needed in colder conditions. That power plug is roughly 7 lineal feet over and down from the roof vent, so it's plausible that I can find a path to snake a power line up to the roof vent to power the added aux A/C unit."
Sorry for my misunderstanding of exactly what you have already done BUT there wasn't any mention in your post of having run a dedicated 20 amp power cord FROM the pedestal to your RV and then into the AUX circuit inside the RV.

Or maybe I am just too thick to understand it all.

So then the hard part is done, the easy part is to put in a window A/C or a portable A/C with the exhaust hose out the window or a rooftop A/C.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:21 AM   #11
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Finally got a step closer to adding the unit. I got the 110V wire snaked from the existing ceiling vent, through the rafters, down the cabinets and to the source to get my auxiliary circuit's power to the unit. It wasn't as easy as planned as I really didn't account for having to get past the ducting in the ceiling for the existing A/C unit. Rather than make one direct pull from the existing vent hole to a hole in the ceiling inside the cabinet, I had to make several short pulls then put them together. I pulled a string from the vent hole to an A/C outlet hole, from the A/C outlet hole to a hole for a light fixture, then from the light fixture hole to the hole I hole sawed in the ceiling inside the cabinet. Then I tied all the strings together and attached the wire to make one continuous straight pull. Sometimes you really got to put your thinking cap on to figure out how to make it happen.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:19 AM   #12
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L.C. ,,, you are in basically the same boat as us... Although our 5vr is braced and wired for a bedroom AC,,, (50A) , we do not have the clearance to get it in the garage with the second ac added... (not to mention $$) Our 15K unit is not enough when you are in full sun... I will be watching your progress... Thanks for keeping us updated...
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:18 PM   #13
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So man, just a thought… Have you opened the output air vents on the AC ceiling, bypassing the ducts when it was really hot outside? Just to cool the central area down. I have done that once or twice. Then the duct work could keep up when I shut off the rapid cool from the ac.

Also a 15k btu unit may work much better without doing anything else.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:55 AM   #14
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30 amp service will not run 2 'standard' RV air conditioners. Start up current is, according to the Dometic website is about 23 amps each, while running compressor load for a 13.5K a/c is 12.4 amps and fan load is 2 - 2.5 amps. This means that you need added capability for the start up load (short period) then 14-15 amps to continue operation plus whatever added load that 30 amp input needs to carry. You also need to factor in wire size and ampacity. !2 awg inside the camper, less then 20+/- feet for that second a/c is just fine but you also need to take into account what your pigtail size is to the campground post. If you can park close, 12 awg will probably work just fine, as 12 AWG is rated for 20 amps though you will drop about a volt/20 feet. 10 awg would be optimal especially since many CGs have less then optimal service and on really hot Texas days, may be a problem.

Have you considered rewiring your 5er for 50 amp service? Not particularly cheap but might be your best option overall. New power center box, wiring to that box (6 awg) and a new cord to the CG box. With that, you really have 50 amps per leg, 100 amps total vs a total of only 30 amps with the existing arrangement.

I have to say that we really enjoyed our 2nd and just installed a/c last summer while in Nevada and Texas when the temps went (and stayed) above 100*F and our 5er stayed at whatever temp we dialed in.
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