120v air conditioning - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 06:27:PM Thread Starter
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Question 120v air conditioning

Planning a trip down to Florida to stay with some friends. I've got a wagon 350 xlt and I removed the rear seats, so I've got about 75" x 52-1/2" of space (between wheel well and rear AC dog house) behind the second row of seats for my partner and I to sleep (kids will be in the house). Thought it would be fun to rough it in the van. I like having some personal space to call my own during trips like this.

I'll have AC power available from my friend's garage, so I don't even really need a generator, but I'd like to buy one anyway for future trips.

Having done some research, it looks like a 10k - 12k BTU portable AC vented through the passenger window would work for THIS trip, but I would need a massive 3000-4000 watt generator to run that monster in the future due to high in-rush current. Alternatively, I could get an 6000 - 8000 BTU residential window AC unit and a Yamaha EF2000iS and probably be okay-ish.

Exploring the window AC idea, I could do rear window mounted (destroying my rear window in the process). See this thread for general concept: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/75...it-in-van.html

Pros: window AC unit is out of the way and permanently mounted, making use quick and easy and simple in any situation.

Cons: A bit unsightly. I have to remove my rear window ( not sure how to do that, other than break it ). Lose some rear view mirror visibility while driving (not a huge deal).

Alternatively, still exploring rear window AC, I could fabricate a collapsing stand for the AC unit out of wood or PVC or plastic sheeting and fabricate a blank wall and think of some way to seal it. This seems... complicated... and hard to get right. Are there any commercial products that do this?

Pros: no modification to vehicle, modular.
Cons: Difficult to build. Difficult to setup/teardown.

I suppose the fourth option is to fabricate a bracket to mount the window air conditioner unit in the driver's or passenger's window. This would be temporary and removable.

Pros: no modification to vehicle, modular.
Cons: AC in front of vehicle, not in rear where sleeping area is. Would need additional fan to circulate air.

Swamp coolers are out of the question. I don't think buying ice every 4-6 hours sounds like a good idea, especially if I've got electricity available.

Rooftop units are also out of the question as I've got factory rear AC and the ductwork is in the ceiling of the van right where a rooftop unit would go.

Ideas? Thoughts?

Last edited by createthis; 06-16-2016 at 07:32:PM.
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:27:PM
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...
Exploring the window AC idea, I could do rear window mounted (destroying my rear window in the process). See this thread for general concept: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/75...it-in-van.html
There was a company that had made rear window shrouds to help refine the look of protruding AC units, for some of the Ford-Chevy-Dodge older style vans. I'd be curious if they are still in business, and if, maybe, they'll make pieces for the Transit.

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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:40:PM
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This was my temporary set up.

PVC pipe stand

Picture is with PVC pipe stand but I am going to use an Ikea table. Making a temporary wall and going to leave windows open in the front.

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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:47:PM
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I have a 9000 BTU portable AC unit, think it's branded Friedrich? It must have a soft-start setup inside, as it'll start and run just fine on my Honda EU2000i. The 9000 BTU mini-split in the back room just bogs the generator down and does nothing!

Don't know if anyone is making such a beast, but if you can find one that has an inverter-driven compressor that would eliminate the inrush current problem. I know more mini-splits are coming out with them, perhaps they'll make it down to portable units as well if they haven't already.

Since I already have the 9000 BTU portable I'm going to give it a try in the van this summer. If it works great, otherwise if I feel I really need AC I'll just go ahead and install a Coleman Mach 8 or similar on the roof. (That's partly why I went high-roof in the first place, so I wouldn't whack my head on the inside console while walking around!)

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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 09:12:PM Thread Starter
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This was my temporary set up.
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I saw your PVC pipe stand during a forum search before posting. I was just looking at my back door with that in mind. I think I'll leave one door closed, open the other, and use building insulation foam like you've done to seal it. How did you secure the foam to the chassis? I was thinking bungie cords with some tension mechanism in the factory door latches with maybe some sealing foam on the door side edge.

Is the PVC stand really necessary? My bumper is huge. I was thinking just a little platform to raise the AC unit to the height of the floor platform on the bumper/step.

BTW, does anyone know what the run time is for a Honda 2000 watt or Yamaha 2000 watt generator when pulling about 700 watts? I'm wondering if I should buy the 3000 watt generator instead so I get longer run times per tank of gas. Heavy though.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 09:32:PM
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hello, i am still dreaming of getting a transit and have been reading these forums for a few months. theres a new kind of air conditioner thats for sale in most stores now that i think would be perfect for van use! google: portable air conditioner 2 hose these air conditioners are made to sit on the floor inside the house and have wheels on one side like a piece of luggage so they are easy to move from room to room, the hot air that normally blows out the back of a window mount air conditioner is blown out of a flexible duct to a baffle mounted in the window! there are 1 hose and 2 hose models, get the 2 hose ones so both the air intake and exhaust go to the window (the cooling side of the air conditioner has a separate intake and exhaust from the outside ones) me: when i get my transit i am thinking about mounting one permanently inside and maybe using floor vents for the intake and exhaust hoses because shorter hoses mean better air flow threw the unit!, but you could probably just use the windows instead. https://www.amazon.com/Whynter-Dual-...ir+Conditioner
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 11:31:PM
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createthis, on my wagon the foam fits tightly and at the top I have a hole where the back door latch fits through. I bungee from there to the door hinge. I think in the future around the ac unit I will put velcro and on the foam add a strip of reflectix or blanket that velcros to the AC unit to create a good seal.

Michael Ophus, I looked into the portable units with 2 hoses (1 hose models are not efficient) but the ones I have found won't run with a 2000 watt generator. Let me know if you know of one that will work and I will save $ for it. Thanks

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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 11:36:PM Thread Starter
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Michael Ophus, I looked into the portable units with 2 hoses (1 hose models are not efficient) but the ones I have found won't run with a 2000 watt generator. Let me know if you know of one that will work and I will save $ for it. Thanks
What is your BTU rating and your run time on the 2000w generator? How well does the foam back door setup work? How well does it cool in 110 degree heat, or 100 degree heat? In shade vs in sun?

I'm about to pull the trigger on a generator and window unit. Would be nice to know how you like yours.
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 11:54:PM
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I used this set up only with shore power at South Padre during spring break. I don't have the generator yet. I am getting a Wen 56200i which is a 2000 watt generator. My AC is under 6000 BTU. It worked well but it was not that hot. At the time I did not have covers for the driver and passenger windows which I needed. I have foam inserts for the other windows but am going to add a layer of reflectix. I plan on putting the generator in a husky plastic tool box on a hitch carrier. Add vents and computer fans for ventilation. I am going to copy this:
http://www.regalownersforum.com/foru...php?f=4&t=1053
I did not like having to leave the door open so that is why I am going to try putting the window unit inside. It will also help block the heat coming in from the front of the Wagon. I would like a portable with a dual hose but I have not found one with low BTU to work with 2000 watt generator and I already have the window unit. I have been searching for a better solution. Someone on the Sportsmobile forum or Sprinter forum is installing a split unit with the compressor mounted underneath but they have not finished yet. So I am waiting to hear. Let me know if you come up with something better.

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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 06-17-2016, 12:09:AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ilovehotshot View Post
I used this set up only with shore power at South Padre during spring break. I don't have the generator yet. I am getting a Wen 56200i which is a 2000 watt generator. My AC is under 6000 BTU. It worked well but it was not that hot. At the time I did not have covers for the driver and passenger windows which I needed. I have foam inserts for the other windows but am going to add a layer of reflectix. I plan on putting the generator in a husky plastic tool box on a hitch carrier. Add vents and computer fans for ventilation. I am going to copy this:
http://www.regalownersforum.com/foru...php?f=4&t=1053
I did not like having to leave the door open so that is why I am going to try putting the window unit inside. It will also help block the heat coming in from the front of the Wagon. I would like a portable with a dual hose but I have not found one with low BTU to work with 2000 watt generator and I already have the window unit. I have been searching for a better solution. Someone on the Sportsmobile forum or Sprinter forum is installing a split unit with the compressor mounted underneath but they have not finished yet. So I am waiting to hear. Let me know if you come up with something better.
I think at this point (long term, not short term) I'm planning to mount the 8000 BTU window AC permanently in the rear door and mount the generator on the door next to it (on the outside of the door). This will:

1.) Allow me to keep my roof space clear for solar panels
2.) Allow me to keep my backup camera and backup sensors functional. I rely on them heavily to back into parking spaces.
3.) Allow me continued access via the back doors.
4.) Allow continued visibility through the rear windows, though I'm not sure how much I care about that.

I don't hate your idea to keep the AC in the passenger compartment, separated from the cabin, but ultimately I'd prefer things just had a place and stayed there if possible.

I'm not keen on cutting into my doors, so I'll probably look around for junkyard doors or something. Not sure I'll have much luck with that given how new this model is in the US.
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