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Old 03-30-2019, 08:35 PM   #1
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Can we run an AC fan while boondocking?

We will be camping without shore power in June. We have an Coleman 9200 BTU ceiling AC which we know we can't use but there is also a fan setting on it. Does anyone know if it's OK to run that off the battery without AC, just fan? I know running the AC without enough power can damage the unit but I was wondering if
1) the battery would be enough power, and
2) would it damage the unit if we ran the fan without being hooked to shore power.


Our camper doesn't have one of those separate vent fans. We do have a 40 watt solar panel to recharge the battery.



Thanks,
Sandy
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:43 PM   #2
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It'll work till your battery is dead. 40 watt panel is barely enough to keep the batteries charged with no draw.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
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The fan in the A/C unit is likely only operable when 120vac shore power is available.

12vdc portable fan would be a way to go.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:06 PM   #4
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I agree with using a 12 volt fan. Just keep an eye on the battery condition and don't run it down to dead.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:14 PM   #5
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If the fan comes in when you are not plugged in, then it's ok to run it, but it will drain your battery.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
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A/C Fan is powered by 120V AC just like the A/C Compressor


W/O AC Power Source you can not run the A/C Fan


AC Power either via 'shore power', a generator or an INVERTER that draws from battery and is connected to your A/C Unit (which I highly doubt you have)
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:58 PM   #7
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Only if you have a source of 120V as that is what voltage the AC compressor and fan operate on.
A small generator of less than 2k watts would run the fan though.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:22 AM   #8
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You can't run the AC fan without getting an inverter to create 120 volts. Then your battery capacity probably isn't enough for it anyway. AC fans are double bladed, used to move air inside and out over the condenser coil.

Using a 12 volt fan is your best bet. Just make sure you get a quality and quiet one. Some of the cheap ones are loud.

Marine stores, like West Marine, if near by, have them on display, where you may be able to hear them run.

I had one from Wal-Mart that I couldn't sleep near.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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Thank you all. This had been very helpful. This is our first trip without an electric hookup and we're still learning the ropes. We have a couple of battery fans from our tent camping days so we'll use those. Thank you!
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandushinka View Post
Thank you all. This had been very helpful. This is our first trip without an electric hookup and we're still learning the ropes. We have a couple of battery fans from our tent camping days so we'll use those. Thank you!
If you are considering getting a generator you can check the wattage rating on the a/c and go at least 500 watts above that. Invertor type generators are perfect for this type of application. The generator automatically adjusts its speed according to the actual load. They are quiet and reliable and small compared to regular generators. I used to surround ours with cardboard to help reduce the noise even more.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Wmjp View Post
If you are considering getting a generator you can check the wattage rating on the a/c and go at least 500 watts above that. Invertor type generators are perfect for this type of application. The generator automatically adjusts its speed according to the actual load. They are quiet and reliable and small compared to regular generators. I used to surround ours with cardboard to help reduce the noise even more.
Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:28 AM   #12
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If it were me, I'd run a stand-alone battery fan, like an O2Cool 5" or 10" unit. They fold flat for storage, and can run all night on low for a week on a set of batteries, according to the responses to questions.

The big one has an AC adapter, and some users claim to have purchased a power port adapter with a 3.5mm plug (center positive) and run it from a vehicle power port.

The type of centrifugal blower in an A/C unit is very inefficient because it's designed for relatively high flow through relatively high resistance (the evaporater coil, plus the second fan/blower through the condensor coil). A small blower pushing air at high speed through coils and registers takes more energy than a small propeller (axial fan) with almost no resistance, and the propeller will be much quieter. And as a general rule, a large fan turning slow will use less energy to move the same amount of air as a small fan spinning fast, and make less noise.

The little dashboard fans in trucks (at least, back in my day) were very loud, and moved a lot of air, but you didn't want a big fan on your dashboard or hanging where a rear view mirror would go if you had one, so that's what there was. Not something to sleep by, though.

I have a couple of Caframo 12V fans on my boat, including the one on gimbals with the timer, and they're great to sleep by, but expensive. At this point, if buying a fan for the boat or RV, I'd just use an inexpensive battery fan and use rechargeable batteries.

https://www.amazon.com/O2COOL-Portab...6H1K3ERDECQNF4

https://www.amazon.com/O2COOL-Batter.../dp/B00ATSHJ1Q

https://www.caframolifestylesolution...rine/ultimate/

https://www.caframolifestylesolution...ne/sirocco-ii/
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:33 AM   #13
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I would try to buy a 2000 watt Honda or Yamaha generator if boon docking very much. 2000 watts probably would run the 9800 btu A/C unit I think.

When I boon dock which is not often, I run the generator to use the microwave, charge the battery, charge the phones, etc.
Makes boon docking a lot more enjoyable.
Oh, with the battery charged the fridge running off propane and water pump continue to work. I run the generator 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandushinka View Post
We will be camping without shore power in June. We have an Coleman 9200 BTU ceiling AC which we know we can't use but there is also a fan setting on it. Does anyone know if it's OK to run that off the battery without AC, just fan? I know running the AC without enough power can damage the unit but I was wondering if
1) the battery would be enough power, and
2) would it damage the unit if we ran the fan without being hooked to shore power.


Our camper doesn't have one of those separate vent fans. We do have a 40 watt solar panel to recharge the battery.



Thanks,
Sandy
Hi all,

I just realized that I never replied how the weekend went. It turned out to be a rainy, cool weekend on the mountain top so we did fine with just battery fans (O2 cool) and didn't need them that much. We did learn a few things, though. We really can't rely on our battery for more than interior lights, especially if it's raining (solar needs um, sol). I had to hook up the car and run it for a while to recharge the battery.

We decided that the rig (Aliner Ascape plus) really isn't a good boondocking rig (besides the battery issue, small water tanks and a cassette toilet). At most we'll have a couple of days, which is fine in certain circumstances but we'll stick to the hookup parks for the most part going forward.

Thanks,
Sandy
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