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Old 07-05-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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Portable Air Conditioners. Anyone use 'em?

Hey there,

I've got a 40' TH with an enclosed garage area. My rig came with two A/C units, but neither do a great job in cooling the garage area, which nicely converts to our kid's bedroom/playroom when the toys come out. I live in the SoCal & make a couple trips to the Colorado River in August (, I know) where temps can easily reach 120 degrees. I've been kicking around the idea of a portable A/C unit that I can put back there and vent out one of the two garage vents on the wall. We're on shore pwr, so that wouldn't be a problem. Have any of you tried/done this & do you think it would work?
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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I am assuming this would be used along with the AC units already on your rv?

My initial thought is the amp draw from the portable unit. I suppose if your access to shore power also had a 20 amp outlet, you could run a short, heavy gauge extension cord to it, but figuring out how to run the cord inside would be another story.

Another question would be whether your rv is set up for 50 or 30 amps.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:43 PM   #3
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I am assuming this would be used along with the AC units already on your rv?

My initial thought is the amp draw from the portable unit. I suppose if your access to shore power also had a 20 amp outlet, you could run a short, heavy gauge extension cord to it, but figuring out how to run the cord inside would be another story.

Another question would be whether your rv is set up for 50 or 30 amps.
Yes, I'd be using this portable in addition to the other two that would run as well. My TH is set up for 50 amps.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:36 PM   #4
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On my motorhome I sometimes use a free standing airconditioner along with the basement air conditioner. When on 50 amps I use a standard outlet inside the RV. If on 30 amps I don't use it unless I run a separate extension cord to a power box.
Bob
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
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I've seen a couple reports of portable a/c use in RVs. The common theme seems to be "better than nothing, but not much". A small residential window a/c, if you can mount one, would be a better choice, I think.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I've seen a couple reports of portable a/c use in RVs. The common theme seems to be "better than nothing, but not much". A small residential window a/c, if you can mount one, would be a better choice, I think.
Probably a better choice, and cheaper, but extremely gaudy looking, no matter what the condition of the rv is.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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Probably a better choice, and cheaper, but extremely gaudy looking, no matter what the condition of the rv is.
To some, like yourself, maybe, but I think it just indicates that the owner is intelligent, industrious, and able to fix a problem with available material in a reasonable time.

Not everyone is aware of, or even cares, what the snobs think.

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:04 AM   #8
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Last year on another forum there was someone boasting about how well his portable A/C worked and the big difference it made in his rig. Wish I could remember where I read it. I almost bought one but decided to put a 2nd A/C on the roof.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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In our stick home we use a portable we bought at Lowes in an upstairs room which gets very hot in the summer. It works just fine. The room we cool is easily twice or more the size of tour TH garage. IF you have venting already there then it sounds like a go to me. Perhaps you could use a thirty amp plug on the RV resort post for the portable and the 50 amp for your rig (are they seperate circuits, I always believed they were?).

They only X factor is that 120 degrees is really hot and your TH does not have near the insulation as a stick home has---so I have no idea about the efficiency. But having lived in the desert for much of my life I know that at 120 outside if you get 80 degrees inside it feels cool. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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Perhaps you could use a thirty amp plug on the RV resort post for the portable and the 50 amp for your rig (are they seperate circuits, I always believed they were?).
They are not usually separate circuits - that would make the wiring much more expensive (requires two separate feeds from the main distribution panel and 50% more power set aside for your use). Besides, the idea is that you are renting either 30A or 50A service, but not both.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #11
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The basement air in my motorhome has a difficult time cooling the motorhome when it is real hot outside. As mentioned above I do have a free standing air conditioner. It runs off a 15 amp circuit and when I need additional cooling I use that if I'm on a 50 amp circuit. My motorhome has a nice corner area next to a window in a slide and I use that window to vent the exhaust heat generated by the process. When at home and not traveling I use the portable in my house. Positives are the purchase price was resonable and I do not need to run additional wiring, etc. that I would need to do if I installed a roof air unit in one of the roof vent locations. This works well for me.

To answer the specific question asked "has anyone tried it and do you think it would work?" My response is yes.
Bob
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:32 PM   #12
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I have one and vent it out a small window in the bedroom. The motorhome is 29 feet and only one air conditioner. If it gets above 100 degrees the rooftop air will not cool the motorhome. The portable helps.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #13
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Buy one of the portable Everstar a\c's at Home Depot and use a dryer vent to hook it up to. I bought one for my downstairs office 600 sq ft. and it will chill you out. They only need a 15 amp circuit so you can also put an outside male plug in so you can run a cord to it to the 20 or 30 amp pole.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:31 PM   #14
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I have been experimenting with one I borrowed from a family member. It helps, but is no miracle machine. The one I am using is rated at 6k BTU. I did some checking online and find reasonably price units rated at anywhere from 8.5k BTU to 15k BTU. I checked local Lowes stores today for a 10k BTU model they sell for $299 but there are none in stock anywhere in the DFW area. (family member paid $470 for this 6k unit ...rip off!!). The label on this 6k BTU model says 7.1 amps.
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