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Dirtyrhoades77

Tucson

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Posted: 03/05/21 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all, I'm in the planning stages of a Class C boondocker, loaded with solar panels, a big 24v battery, all that.

I'd like to install a mini-split up near the front of the vehicle, so when the sun is up and the heat is on, the living area is cool. I'm planning on a 9000btu unit as I think that would be enough if the roof is covered in panels providing some shielding from direct sun. I'd like to cram the external unit into a compartment nearby so it's close to the head unit, and on the driver's side so it's not disrupting the awning space on the passenger side. I'd have the fan exhaust blowing straight out the side, cutting a hole in the panel door for it.

The exterior unit's dimensions are in inches 32w*22h*14d.

Assuming I'm willing and able to remove the generator or propane if necessary, or modify whatever other type of compartment is in that area, are those compartments big enough to accommodate those dimensions?

I imagine the height is the biggest problem, it would hang down a bit. I'd have to bolt or weld in a frame for it to sit on, preferring to keep the rubber grommet to sit on to absorb some of the vibration.

Does that sound doable? I'd much rather make this work than do a bedroom/bumper mount.

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 03/05/21 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The ones I've seen, they mounted the outside portion on the rear of the rig to allow sufficient airflow to cool it.

DrewE

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Posted: 03/05/21 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The typical Onan QG4000 (aka KY series) generator used in many/most class C motorhomes is 30" (long) x 19" (wide) x 14" (tall). A typical built-in propane tank is very roughly the same height once you include a mounting bracket/cage for the generator. I think you'd have difficulty with the height in most cases, and probably not have enough ground clearance to comfortably hang the unit down in such spaces. (Personally, I would not remove the generator or propane system, either; both are quite valuable for boondocking.)

An underbed storage compartment is about the only one that would be sufficiently tall on most class C's. It might also be practical to work something out in the cabover section if you're willing to give up that interior space. Also, it may be possible to "take over" some space above the floor and inside/underneath a sofa or dinette to get the necessary height; that would be highly dependent on the exact layout of your RV.





valhalla360

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Posted: 03/05/21 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

The ones I've seen, they mounted the outside portion on the rear of the rig to allow sufficient airflow to cool it.


Yep, check with the manufacturer for airflow and spacing requirements. Typically they are mounted outside 6-10inches from a wall...that's why mounting on the rear bumper is more typically done if you retrofit to an RV.

Also, 9k btu is likely marginal in any kind of significant heat unless it's a very small RV. The black solar panels are likely to increase heat absorption over the typical white reflective roof.

OK, ;I'll also go down the rabbit hole...how do you plan to power it if you remove the generator to place the condenser in it's spot?


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whemme

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Posted: 03/05/21 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And what good is a big 24V battery when Class C appliances run on 12V dc?


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VA-Apraisr

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Posted: 03/05/21 02:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hmmm....cloudy/rainy days don't allow much solar energy for your batteries. As mentioned above, I wouldn't consider boondocking without the option of running a generator to power a/c & heat as well as keeping your battery bank fully charged. What if you have a battery failure? No propane, no generator and you're in for an awful time. I spent 5 days on a deserted island with 40mph winds/rain/clouds and was sooooo thankful for my generator! Weather can change on a dime and your outdoor experience must be able to adapt. Good luck.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 03/05/21 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

wanderingaimlessly wrote:

The ones I've seen, they mounted the outside portion on the rear of the rig to allow sufficient airflow to cool it.


Yep, check with the manufacturer for airflow and spacing requirements.

This is going to be your problem !

Manufacturers specify a large margin on all sides for both airflow and serviceability. While it is possible to mount the unit on a slide out, flexing the lines will cause a failure over time.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/05/21 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something “hanging down” and boondocking don’t go well together. Many Cs are low to begin with.


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theoldwizard1

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Posted: 03/05/21 03:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

whemme wrote:

And what good is a big 24V battery when Class C appliances run on 12V dc?

They make 24VDC - 12VDC converters. The 12VDC loads in a modern RV are very low. Mostly lights and cell phone chargers. Slide motor can be run off of a 120VAC power supply

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 03/05/21 03:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

OK, I'll also go down the rabbit hole...how do you plan to power it if you remove the generator to place the condenser in it's spot?

A generator is an absolute MUST ! The typical builtin generator in a Class C is very large. A 2500W-3000W portable or a pair of 2000W portables is the solution.

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