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Old 07-15-2020, 06:34 PM   #1
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New Mini-Split cools entire coach

We have a 2006 Discovery 39L with two 13500 BTU Coleman noisemakers on the roof. The work ok but are so darn noisy it makes watching TV less than fun...'What did she say'.

After seeing a friends installation of a mini-split in his 5th wheel, I decided to put one in the pusher. However, I wanted to hide the outside unit as much as possible and not just hang it on the rear bumper like my friend did. I've seen other 5th wheels and tag-a-longs with it on the rear bumper also.

So where to put it. I didn't want to put it in a slideout and that meant that unless I wanted to run really long refrigerant lines, it needed to be up front. My inside unit is going in the center of the coach in the overhead above the dash. This lets it blow right down the length of the coach.

On most all pushers, there is a basement in front of the drivers front wheel. In my case, this has a plastic tub that is fastened to the structure of the frame. A few screws and off it came. I had previously looked under the coach and determined it would work.
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I had to fabricate a support that bolted to some existing structure and a 1/8" aluminum floor. I also made and installed (after everything was hooked up) a 1/8" aluminum inner fender the shields the unit from road debris and water thrown by the tires.

The outside unit installed with a hole cut for the exhaust fan looks like this:

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The inside unit went where our TV originally was. Last year, I threw out the crappy loveseat and built a cabinet, with 8 drawers, fireplace, pull out dining table, and a 52" smart TV on a televator. The old table and chairs was donated to another Discovery owner, the couch moved down, and Euro recliners face the TV. We never watched the old TV so I had converted it to storage.

The new unit fit perfectly in the opening:

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The refrigerant lines, drain, and electrical all went behind the plastic cover on the 'A Pillar'...windshield corner...and through holes drilled in the overhead. Very clean installation with nothing visible.

The area below the unit is a BIG drawer. Above the unit are louvers for the return air that I made to block the view of the unfinished cabinet and direct the airflow down.

This unit far surpasses my expectation. FAR! Today was 95 and 90 percent humidity. It was 79 in the coach when I turned it on. Two hours later it was 70 in the front and 75 in the bedroom. Better than the Colemans do together. The rooftop units still work if I ever needed them.

In addition to be VERY efficient, it is almost silent. 50DB vs 79DB for a single Coleman...every 10 DB doubles volume so it's right at 4 times quieter. Plus there is no water dripping off the roof splashing on the mirror or steps.

I did run a new 120V line and used a duplex circuit breaker (two breakers in a single space). This unit is soft start and only pulls 6 amps flat out. It is smart inverter technology so the compressor and fan is variable speed. Made in China of course. I purchased a Senville brand because a friend in the business recommends them. It was about 800 bucks with free delivery. That said, I expect they are all made in the same factory or at least the same city in China. I downloaded a few manuals and they are 95% identical.

Some folks have run these off the inverter if you have enough solar. We don't dry camp or have solar so we won't. If we need AC while driving, I'll run the rooftops. I'm concerned about road debris and spray hitting the exhaust fan if we ran it while moving. I've also made shields to protect the coils while driving, although the dash AC condenser is right there also and has held up fine for 14 years.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:55 PM   #2
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Most excellent. Great job.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:13 PM   #3
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Looks awesome. Thanks for detailing the process and results
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:10 PM   #4
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I am installing my minisplit this week. I am documenting it via video. I hope it goes as well as yours did!
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:26 PM   #5
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i love our mini splits, we have one in the "big" house apartment one in the RV garage.



i like your idea. fantastic placement
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:57 PM   #6
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Nice job,

We just got through upgrading our electrical system and created a 240V split phase circuit specifically to run a dual zone multi split unit.

I moved the batteries inside the coach when we upgraded to Lithium batteries and had planned to utilize the old battery compartment for the outside unit.....but your fabrication of the forward compartment has me thinking that this would be a perfect location....thanks!!
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C5c5 View Post
I am installing my minisplit this week. I am documenting it via video. I hope it goes as well as yours did!
What coach? What unit?
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
...We just got through upgrading our electrical system and created a 240V split phase circuit specifically to run a dual zone multi split unit.

I moved the batteries inside the coach when we upgraded to Lithium batteries and had planned to utilize the old battery compartment for the outside unit.....but your fabrication of the forward compartment has me thinking that this would be a perfect location....thanks!!
I didn't want to do 220V because that meant I'd have to be on 50Amp or run the generator. We were once stranded in the snow with a dead coach for 2 weeks on a 30A service. The 12000 BTU unit (120V) would have made that experience much more comfortable than the rooftops.

I don't understand all I know about WHY this single 12000 BTU heat pump unit cools the coach better than two 13500 BTU heat pumps Colemans. I do believe the ratings on the Colemans are in a perfect world condition and that the configuration as installed in most RVs is FAR less than optimum. The forward facing duct on most rear units does very little but blocks half the return air for the coils....sort of like trying to breath through a straw...or a mask. Removing that duct piece under the return and plugging the holes increase air flow in the bedroom by 71%. Measured 71%...not guesswork.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkertonk View Post
I didn't want to do 220V because that meant I'd have to be on 50Amp or run the generator. We were once stranded in the snow with a dead coach for 2 weeks on a 30A service. The 12000 BTU unit (120V) would have made that experience much more comfortable than the rooftops.

I don't understand all I know about WHY this single 12000 BTU heat pump unit cools the coach better than two 13500 BTU heat pumps Colemans. I do believe the ratings on the Colemans are in a perfect world condition and that the configuration as installed in most RVs is FAR less than optimum. The forward facing duct on most rear units does very little but blocks half the return air for the coils....sort of like trying to breath through a straw...or a mask. Removing that duct piece under the return and plugging the holes increase air flow in the bedroom by 71%. Measured 71%...not guesswork.
Yeah I hear you but our new set up will run on 240V from the batteries and with our solar system and good sun we should be able to run the split AND still charge the batteries at the same time.......I can currently run a single roof air and do just that

Our new setup will run on Batteries, 30A/50A or our onboard 7500W generator, and of course any combination of those. Trust me it wan't easy to do but after converting to 24V, adding dual inverters that were configured for split-phase operation it really changed everything for us.......thanks again for the idea on putting the outdoor unit in that soon to be created front bay
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:44 AM   #10
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HOw are you going to run the refrigerant lines Paul and where are you going to put the inside units?

I'm not familiar with the Alpine coach?
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
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HOw are you going to run the refrigerant lines Paul and where are you going to put the inside units?

I'm not familiar with the Alpine coach?
Well.......if I move to the front compartment I'll have to re-think a little but at a high level;

I plan to use a floor/wall unit in the living room (12K) that is approx 7.5" deep by 24" wide and same height and should fit almost perfectly behind one of the 2 front couches on passenger side. With this set-up I can come up through the floor for the lines and also run the drain through there as well and out the bottom.

Now for the rear unit in the BR, our bed run fore and aft so I plan to use a wall unit there which will be on the rear wall of the coach so need to get the lines back there, likely through the basementand up the back wall and then re-configure the cabinets over the top of the headboard.

Once I know the front unit is working and doing the job we can certainly evaluate whether we actually need the rear unit it not.......we live in AZ so we may need it where others might not

Additionally once we get the front working I plan to remove the front rooftop unit and then we can add another 1200W of solar and really make some "Juice"
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:11 AM   #12
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You know you could use a cartridge in the middle of the coach that would cool more even and look better


https://images.app.goo.gl/gn37FtwJgjHmL81z6
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:19 AM   #13
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Not to say your solution was not well executed using the wall unit rather than a cartridge.

I wonder when the RV Manufacturer will wake up and stop being held hostage by the rv parts manufacturing industry.

There a are so may people that have taken items not for an RV and used them in there coach that itís plane to see that itís not a requirement that it be designed for an RV any more.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:20 AM   #14
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What coach? What unit?
94 Pace Arrow, 38'. It has been gutted and new sprayfoam insulation installed instead of the normal styrofoam beadboard with terrible R-value.

I am installing a 12000 BTU Mitshubishi. It has an "I-sensor" that scans the area and targets areas that need more cooling or heat. It has a SEER of 30.
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