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Old 12-18-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
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Basement A/C Units

I have noticed some RV's have basement ac's and most have roof ac's. Which is better and why?


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Old 12-18-2012, 04:51 PM   #2
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Some folks like the quieter operation and supposed better efficiency (shielded from the sun, no water dripping off the roof) and clean-roof look provided by basement units. And some folks like the easier to work on when they break roof-top units that don't occupy a basement storage bay.

I'm sure you will hear plenty more on this topic!!!!

Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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I had a 2000 Winnebago Journey that I bought new. 12 years and I only had one problem and it was not fun. The fan in the unit came loose yes we were traveling and it was hot. The set screw was a square head set screw and impossible to get to. After modifying the bottom of the unit I used a socket extension backwards and channel locks and was able to tighten enough to get home comfortably. The company that makes the unit warrantied all even the modifications that I made to get to the set screw. I liked the quiet, my new motor home is a lot louder with roof units my vote is for basement.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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Oh you will get a lot of responses on this one.

We have it in our Winnebago and like it even though this past summer it was not cooling as well, I found out that circuit #1 has either lost its refrigerant charge or has a lazy compressor (I am a HVAC / Building Automation Technician so I can work on this myself) so this "off season" I will drop the unit and see what is going on.
Luckily the unit has two circuits / compressors so it will not leave you un-operational unless the main blower motor was to quit working.

Any commercial / residential HVAC mechanic would be able to work on one without issue.

The biggest plus with two units on the roof is redundancy. So if one unit were to quit working you still would have the other.

I personally have never heard to rooftop units run in a motorhome but if it's anything like the one we had in our 05 Jayco Travel trailer it will be louder.

Depending on the electrical service some Motorhomes with two roof units will require 50 Amp service (provided the campground has it available) for the two units to operate simultaneously.
A basement unit can run on 30 amp service.

Hope this helps a little. Do a search and you will find lots of information. Do be alarmed, most people will not post on when everything runs great, only ween there are problems and that can happen in any piece of mechanical equipment.
Gene & Ginger
No RV at this time.
04 Winnebago Adventurer 33V, 05 Jayco 23B, 02 Coleman Cheyenne
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:18 PM   #5
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Is there anything you can think of that you could store in that basement that holds the A/C?

Friend had a H/R with a basement A/C and ad the fits when he had to get it worked on. Parts weren't available, 1st repairman laughed at him then tried to hit him with a trip charge when he didn't do anything to it. It was a BIG PAIN!
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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I would love to know what what parts were not available. I have been in contact with the manufacturer and they still have compressors, coils and electronics. Most of the other parts would be available at a supply house.
Gene & Ginger
No RV at this time.
04 Winnebago Adventurer 33V, 05 Jayco 23B, 02 Coleman Cheyenne
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:21 AM   #7
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I have never had a basement AC. I never will. I've just read too many bad things about them (less cooling capacity, difficult to work on, ducts leaking). I have two rooftop AC's and can cool it down to meat locker cool if I wanted no matter how hot it is outside.
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - NRVIA
Louisville, KY
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #8
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When your at a campground and your relegated to 30 amp service, can you run both a/c units at the same time?............where does all that condensation from the roof a/c go......
I hated the constant dripping and stains down the side of the m/h.....and the noise is so loud that it was hard to hear the tv. The basement air is not a perfect solution, but it beats the roof units. Our a/c puts out 27k and it is plenty cold for us.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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The thing that I hate most with roof top a/c units is that they tend to leak around the seal on the roof. I don't have to worry about that with the basement unit.
Nathan and Linda, 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 35U, F53 Chassis, Banks Power Pack
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:09 PM   #10
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It depends on the RV. The Winnebago Journey we had was equipped with the basement a/c. It worked ok. We also had a Montana 5th wheel. The 2 roof a/c units did a good job cooling off the RV but it was noisy and left marks from the dripping water. Our current RV has 3 roof top units and cools the RV better than the Journey or Montana. Only a hair louder than the Journey. No drip marks as the water is drained through tubes to the bottom of the camper and not onto the roof.
2006 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:40 PM   #11
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Some people had problems with the duct work running up the rear wall separating and the cool air escaping into the ceiling area.
Required someone to get in small space to fix.

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