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Old 08-07-2022, 08:52 AM   #1
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Question Air Conditioning question for everyone

Hello RV world ... fairly-newbies here.

We are having weather this summer in Toronto that is really warm. Consistently over 40 degrees with the humidity (which is lots) factored in. Early mornings it is still about 22, with high humidity. During the day we are both away for work.

Our question is about leaving the A/C on during the day when we're away. Is it more efficient to just leave it on, set to perhaps 23, and let it cycle on and off throughout the day, or turn the whole thing off whilst we're away, and let the coach get mighty warm, and turn on the A/C when we return at the end of the work day?

We're interested in two major aspects ... energy use (we want to be kind to the planet), and actual cooling efficiency (we want to be kind to us).

2007 Itasca Horizon 40 coach with a Coleman Mach basement A/C that works very well. No issues.

What is everyone's advice? We want to hear all sorts of suggestions, thoughts, opinions, experiences.

Thanks!

mallerstead@gmail.com
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:02 AM   #2
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With the AC is cycling thru the day keeping the RV cool, it's also keeping the humidity down.

Switching it on after it bakes in the heat is going to make it run full time for many uncomfortable hours cooling down the hot RV. Not to mention the humidity it needs to remove.

I leave mine set at 78F while not in use.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:05 AM   #3
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Several problems with MoHo’s and RV’s to contend with -

The exposed surface to volume ratio is horrible. Exposed surface allows for more thermal infiltration.
Not only is the thermal infiltration bad, but so is the infiltration of moisture or humidity.
It takes ~1000 times more energy to condense 1# of water than it takes to cool 1# of air 1 degree F (not C). A pound of air takes up about the same volume as a residential refrigerator here in the US (don’t know about our Canuck friends to the north) - 14.7 cu. ft.. And - you have to condense water if your going to air condition air. Even in the “dry” desert.

A long route to take to answer your question. In the end, it would roll the stat back to 80 - 85 (F, not C ��) and live with it. You’ll keep the moisture saturation of the permeable things in the coach at bay during the day so as to shorten the amount of time it takes to cool the coach on your arrival.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:51 AM   #4
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We turn it up several degrees (3 C) warmer when we aren't there. Not so much that it takes hours to get down to the temp you want when you are there. However, if we are staying at a campground where the hydro is free, we do cheat and probably only put it up a degree or so.

You do want it to run regularly to keep the moisture down. Or run a dehumidifier if really humid.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:53 AM   #5
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I would raise the temp a couple of deg while away, but, you don't want your rig to heat up. Once that floor / furniture/ counters get hot, it takes a lot of AC to cool them back down.
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Old 08-07-2022, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
With the AC is cycling thru the day keeping the RV cool, it's also keeping the humidity down.

Switching it on after it bakes in the heat is going to make it run full time for many uncomfortable hours cooling down the hot RV. Not to mention the humidity it needs to remove.

I leave mine set at 78F while not in use.
Me too!

Without air conditioning/dehumidifier running, all the stuffed furniture, carpet, clothing and mattress is absorbing humidity which must be removed in order to cool the air properly to a comfortable level.


Example; many years ago my dad insisted on installing an air conditioner with 2X the required capacity. The end result was cool, very moist air that was uncomfortable for occupants of the house.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:10 PM   #7
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I believe, if you are worried about resources, RV's are not the way to go.

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Old 08-07-2022, 02:29 PM   #8
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I'd set it to about 27C while away for the day, but I'm a Florida boy and don't think that is even hot. Are you going to be distressed when you get home and have to wait on hour to bring it down to whatever you like? Is that 22C or 23c? Maybe even 24C?


I'm confident you would not tolerate it if you left the a/c off all day, especially if the coach is in a sunny spot. Temps inside would climb to 32C or more.
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Old 08-07-2022, 02:57 PM   #9
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Install a WiFi enabled thermostat. Raise it when you leave a few degrees. Lower it via WiFi an hour before you get back.

Or, if your schedule is pretty steady, get a thermostat with built scheduling and use that.

As others have said, you are not just cooling the air, you are cooling all of the thermal mass of the RV.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:45 PM   #10
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I'd definitely let the a/c run during the day. But as others have suggested, raise the stat setting a bit. Myself, 28C (about 82F) would do fine.

I run that setting in both the house and the motorhome down here in humid southeast Texas when I know we're going to be gone for the day. Humidity stays manageable and it doesn't take long to cool things down once the thermostat is set back down.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:18 PM   #11
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I always leave the air conditioner on when gone for the day. Just adjust it up a few degrees and it's fairly comfortable when I return and easy to cool down a few degrees if needed when I return.
Would never consider leaving it off when it's hot.
Thanks,
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Old 08-08-2022, 09:42 AM   #12
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If you raise the temperature too much, the A/C will have a long way to pull the space back down when you return. In addition to the air, it has to cool all of the walls, cabinets and furniture.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:55 PM   #13
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When you arrive home at 40c ,ambient temperature, even 30 inside the coach will feel good.
At 22 c after a half hour inside the shock of going outside to do anything will hit you like a bag of bricks .
Set for 28/30 when you leave for the day , gradually reducing temperature towards bedtime, after you arrive home.
When still living at home , the house had central A/C , mom had temperature set at 72f;21c, I’d go home for lunch ; outside temperature 105+; after 45 minutes in the house,going back to work outside was torture, and I was only 19. I had to stop going home for lunch just sat in the shade with my sandwich.
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:41 PM   #14
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If I'm out working in the heat I can't cool down internally if the temps are over 72. I think our metabolism up here in the north functions very differently than when living down south. I do kick the temps to 78 if I'm gone all day. The ACs run pretty hard all evening when I return.
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