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Old 02-18-2017, 07:23 PM   #1
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Two Air Conditioners, or even three?

Ok, we've had our TT for 4 years or so, and my DW and I are looking to upgrade to a Fiver. One question that looms large in my mind is making sure that the rig has enough cooling for the summers here in SE Texas. Since my youngest son lives near Dallas, we travel up there all times of the year. My scenario would be to pull into the RV park in the early afternoon, and hook up shore power and before long the trailer would be very comfortable and would maintain setpoint on the thermostat during 100 degree days. Our little TT with one ac struggles on hot days to keep up, and I definitely want something better in the next rig. Any comments from the experienced?
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:34 PM   #2
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Our rig has 2 ac's in AZ and works just fine in 110 degree sun. I can imagine that high temps in SE Texas where you have high humidity 3 could make a difference, but my experience could never justify it. To keep the rig cool on hot nights we just shut off the bedroom unit cause I don't like the noise, but keep the living room unit running. I never hear it.
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:43 PM   #3
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I've noticed that a lot of the high end Fivers and larger motorhomes have three A/Cs, but on the mid level range 2 are pretty much the norm. What brought up my question is that Cardinal is one of the mid level brands that is now offering three A/C units, which prompted me to start thinking about that possibility.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:13 PM   #4
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Definitely get two AC's. Some will want to put either two 13K BTU or a 15K and a 13K. From my experience, make sure you get both AC's at 15K BTU. Depending on the Brand, Size and Line of the 5th wheel, you will be better off ordering from a manufacture. I am very partial to Grand Design RV's. They are quality, solid built, with one of the best customer service's in the business. There Reflection line are really nice. If you want an extended stay go with the Solitude. Check them out and you can go on the Grand Design Owners Forum, to see what those that own them say about them.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
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Two A/Cs are definite. Maybe three would be better, with a little insurance? the
GD is a brand on our list, but there are couple things like the lack of a rear cap that I would like to have, and the clear bowl in the bath that really turns my wife off, ha, ha.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:16 PM   #6
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Go with 15,000 btu AC units. Stick with a lighter color exterior rather than one of the "fashionable" darker paint schemes as the darker unites absorb MUCH more heat and are correspondingly more difficult to keep cool. Consider dual pane windows, NOT just two glass plates touching, but rather ones with an air gap like stick and brick windows. Do some research into "all season", types of insulation, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:32 PM   #7
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It comes down to Cubic feet your trying to cool, the R value of the insulation of roof, walls and floors/windows. Then factor in color of exterior(sun/heat load). You will find that in a southern, humid environment in excess of about 90įF & 70% humidity, you WILL need more than 27,000 or even 30,000 BTU of cooling power on most fifth wheels over 36-38 foot. Sometimes a simple window unit of the 5,000-6,500 BTU window units tossed in a window as needed can solve the problem. If you plan on often being in this situation however, a factory installed third air conditioner is well placed investment.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texastbird View Post
Two A/Cs are definite. Maybe three would be better, with a little insurance? the
GD is a brand on our list, but there are couple things like the lack of a rear cap that I would like to have, and the clear bowl in the bath that really turns my wife off, ha, ha.
I'm not sure why a rear cap is important to others. It wasn't even a consideration for us. It has a end, why it need to be a cap, I don't understand. The quality build, the quality control and the best customer service in the industry far out weighs a end cap IMHO. There is no clear bowl in our bathroom or are you saying see wants a clear bowl?
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:48 AM   #9
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We owned a 2011 Cardinal 39' fiver and it had two A/C units which we thought was a big improvement over our 35' Jayco fiver with just one.....until we were camped in a campground with no shade and a typical hot summer day in the 90's. both units had to run continuously and could barely keep it at 75 which didn't feel that comfy, noisy as well. We now have a much better built RV, and it has three A/C units and will freeze us out and we can hear the tv.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:03 AM   #10
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Wolf, we saw one at the RV show that had a clear sink bowl, maybe it was another brand, the ones on the website show a white basin. My wife still doesn't like the way it looks.
Randy that sounds like a great rig y'all have now. A motorhome is a little out of our range right now.
A fellow I met one time had a funny saying:
I can afford to buy a motorhome,
I can afford to maintain a motorhome,
I can afford to travel in a motorhome,
I just can't afford to do all three at once!
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:23 AM   #11
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As already commented, insulation and other factors are the variables. Our previous motorhome, a 38', had two units. It would not fully keep up on those really hot days and both often ran continuously on just hot days. Current coach has three units - cooling is not a problem whatsoever. Often bring online all three to rapidly cool the coach, then drop back to two. And on those really hot days the HVAC system is not stressing to keep up with the heat load. Additionally the backup factor of having the third unit is a consideration. A few years ago we ended a vacation stay early due to a cooling malfunction during a really hot time, if we would have had three units we could have gotten by on two and the week would not have been curtailed.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:49 AM   #12
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Our DRV is tip to tip 41'. When sitting down with Alicia at rolling Retreats she asked do you want 3 AC's? I thought she was crazy and just wanted to bump up the price. She then asked when does the AC usually go out? Knowing from personal experience the answer was on one of the hottest days. Then you are down to one. It's no fun.

So we agreed to 3 Dometic 15K units. Two zones in the living area and one in the bedroom all fully ducted.

Having stayed last June in Desert Hot Springs, CA in 100-122 degree weather I have thanked Alicia many times for the suggestion. I hear many comments about how people have to insulate windows, add awnings covers on slides, and keep awnings out to help with cooling. Oh another good one is fill in the vent holes with a pillow.

I don't do ANYTHING other than set the cooling to 70 and within minutes it's 70 in ANY temp so far up to 122.


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Old 02-19-2017, 11:36 AM   #13
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Living near Dallas, I have found the 2x15kBTU ACs that came on our '05 to be very adequate in summer heat, even in AZ. One thing I would recommend to have--what ever you get, be sure that both ACs are ducted into the ceiling--if you add the 2nd at time of sale, it will probably be direct feed into the bedroom, very noisy and bothersome.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:31 PM   #14
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One of the disagreements my wife and I had when I got my 38' Class A was the outside paint job.. I let her have her way and did not express a preference, but Had I done so it would have been a very light color, she choose a much darker scheme.

Two 13.5's just did not do it, bedroom often hit 90
Upping the bedroom 1o 15K, slight improvement
Just the 15K when the other 13.5 failed,, Forget it.. I often had to eat out cause I could not stand the heat in the kitchen (Wife is now deceased by the way).

Two 15K's... Well, by the time we got the 2nd new A/C installed the heat wave had broken and we have not seen 100 degrees since, but it still gets warmer than I'd like .... One of the reasons I'm hoping to lift (not drop) a new engine into this house and start singing "on the road again, oh I can't wait to be on the road again, Making music with my friends (See note) I can't wait to be on the road again"

Normally this time of year I'd be singing in a choir about 20 friends strong, the choir here is like 5 voices and ... well. I don't exactly fit.
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