What's your A/C set up? - Ford Transit USA Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 02:35:AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
What's your A/C set up?

What air conditioning set up do you have? How do you power it? And how is it going so far?

(We've got a dog - so having A/C is a must for our planned journey to Central America. I'm hoping to learn from those that have already put in A/C!)
Jon Luskin is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 04:27:AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: On the road
Posts: 1,643
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 558 Post(s)
I tried it in 2016, It took 6 Trojan group 31 AGM batteries to run it for 8 hours a night that the stock Transit 150 amp electrical system and 500 watts of solar could not fully charge in a day. Since then it has been a Fantastic Fan roof vent only and following the cool weather north in the summers.

As far as I know no one has been able to make AC work without a generator.

There are some new forum members who have good idea's on making AC work with lithium batteries. (And the optional 240 amp Transit electrical system.)

2016 transit cargo 250 MR, LWB, 3.5 eco, 3.31 limited slip

Last edited by Michael Ophus; 04-06-2019 at 04:30:AM.
Michael Ophus is offline  
post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 04:38:AM
Geo
Senior Member
 
Geo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
My Transit has a Dometic 13.5K BTU low profile roof mounted RV air conditioner. It is installed at the rear of the Transit utilizing the 14" roof rib spacing and the rear door frame to carry the weight. Power is supplied using either a 30 amp shore power RV cord, or a 2.8 KW Onan generator installed under the Transit. A transfer relay automatically disconnects the shore power cord connection when the generator is operating. This arrangement works very well for my needs.

My 1996 Roadtrek van camper had a 7.5K BTU Fedders air conditioner which could barely keep up in the summer in Florida. In cooler or less humid climates, you may not need a 13.5K BTU air conditioner, which seems to be the most common size in the RV industry. How you insulate the van and the amount of window glass are also important considerations.

2016 Transit 350 Cargo, 148" WB, Medium Roof, 3.7L V6, Side & Rear Door Glass
Geo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 09:39:AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 334 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo View Post

.....cut.....

My 1996 Roadtrek van camper had a 7.5K BTU Fedders air conditioner which could barely keep up in the summer in Florida. In cooler or less humid climates, you may not need a 13.5K BTU air conditioner, which seems to be the most common size in the RV industry. How you insulate the van and the amount of window glass are also important considerations.
A few factory camper vans use the 11,000 BTU/hr size, mostly the Power Saver. They are not as popular as the 13,500 or 15,000 A/Cs, but a few manufacturers have started using two of them to provide 22,000 BTU/hr of cooling while still building an RV with 30-Amp service and a 4,000 Watt Onan. Going to two larger A/Cs than 11,000 usually requires a significant electrical upgrade. I would think that most well insulated vans should cool OK with 11,000 BTU/hr A/C. They are not particularly low profile, and I donít know about sound level, something Iíd check before buying.
Chance is online now  
post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:20:PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo View Post
My Transit has a Dometic 13.5K BTU low profile roof mounted RV air conditioner. It is installed at the rear of the Transit utilizing the 14" roof rib spacing and the rear door frame to carry the weight. Power is supplied using either a 30 amp shore power RV cord, or a 2.8 KW Onan generator installed under the Transit. A transfer relay automatically disconnects the shore power cord connection when the generator is operating. This arrangement works very well for my needs.

My 1996 Roadtrek van camper had a 7.5K BTU Fedders air conditioner which could barely keep up in the summer in Florida. In cooler or less humid climates, you may not need a 13.5K BTU air conditioner, which seems to be the most common size in the RV industry. How you insulate the van and the amount of window glass are also important considerations.
Thanks for your reply.

My eyes fell out of my head when I saw the price of this generator. Holy toledo!

What was the install process like with the generator? Where is the unit located?
Jon Luskin is offline  
post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 12:29:PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ophus View Post
I tried it in 2016, It took 6 Trojan group 31 AGM batteries to run it for 8 hours a night that the stock Transit 150 amp electrical system and 500 watts of solar could not fully charge in a day. Since then it has been a Fantastic Fan roof vent only and following the cool weather north in the summers.

As far as I know no one has been able to make AC work without a generator.

There are some new forum members who have good idea's on making AC work with lithium batteries. (And the optional 240 amp Transit electrical system.)
Michael, thanks for your reply.

I've got the same battery bank as you, 600 Ah of AGM. I have not installed solar yet - but am looking at between 400 and 700 watts.

You were able to run your A/C for 8 hours? What A/C unit did you end up going with? Did you ever measure the amp draw?
Jon Luskin is offline  
post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 02:14:PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have worked with this same situation for years. Both traveling with and showing giant breed dogs as well as just making sure they are safe and cool for running around with them or on vacations. I have just retired a 20 year Canine Traveler, still have it if somebody wants it. It has a 4K Onan generator in side compartment and a power vent. Generator runs the original and NOT efficient 13,500 BTU Dometic A/C. I replaced the power vent and generator about 3 years ago. Has temp alarm system in it which would page you and set off warning light if limits exceeded. Because of location, generator very difficult to service and work on. Even with this set up it was difficult to cool in VA, NC summers.

Currently have 2018 T-350, long, MR Transit Wagon. It has the OEM rear HVAC, overhead and floor duct system which I kept. Works well running normally by itself. Seats removed, large crate platform in rear. It is up in Hazleton, PA now with Al Cicioni(cicioni.com) getting upfitted, pick it up next week. I did not wish to mount generator under chassis, basically where your spare is located. Same problems as old generator in side compartment in terms of access and maintenance I think. Generators do require a lot of care and tenderness to keep going. So, new package is EU3000IS Honda is mounted in secure compartment on swing-away bracket. It connects in exterior socket on rear door or you can use shore power. Auxiliary battery and additional electricals in floor/wall mount box behind driver seat. Underneath passenger seat is occupied by the HVAC stuff and cannot be used for more batteries. We are mounting a Dometic low profile AC, 13,500 BTU and powervent on roof. Powervents are important for same reason you need ventilation in a tent, moisture. A couple of 180 pound dogs and humans can expire a lot of hot, moist air in any weather and it needs to be vented. I've already added additional solar tinting to windows and have reflective covers for front when parked. I have an RVpetsafety cellular based temperature monitor/alarm.
Some folks do not like the rear or swing mount generator, I did not at first. But the Honda generator is popular and repair or replace easy. Maintenance is easy with complete access to gen set. I can take it off! Additional length in rear not really worse than the long/long HR. There are some other companies that make swing away generators/storage (Double R Manufacturing, Ocala, FL). I have also seen DIY with regular cargo platform in trailer hitch and generator secured there with various wiring schemes. Other issue is dog's health. Get he/she/it acclimated to moist heat. Dogs do better in hot/dry than hot/humid. Best of luck on project.
cjlane is offline  
post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 04:02:PM
Geo
Senior Member
 
Geo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 144
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Luskin View Post
Thanks for your reply.

My eyes fell out of my head when I saw the price of this generator. Holy toledo!

What was the install process like with the generator? Where is the unit located?
The Onan 2.8 generator was the single most expensive and difficult addition to the Transit conversion. The total cost for the generator, transfer relay, remote start switch with hour meter, cables and wiring, fuel line and fuel tank fitting, mounting brackets and hardware was just under $3000. It was a pain to install under the van where the spare tire used to be located. My old Roadtrek had Onan's previous version generator installed in a similar location, and was used for almost 20 years with only one minor repair issue (the starter). The new Onan uses an engine made by Robins, Subaru's small engine division, so I expect it should also be very reliable.

The installation required lowering the van's fuel tank to access the auxiliary fuel tap, and installing Ford's fuel line fitting. The generator was installed using a floor jack and help from a friend. It would be much easier installing everything if the van could have been lifted, such as at a repair shop. The transfer relay is installed inside the van under the bed near where the shore power connector is installed. The generator start/stop switch and hour meter are installed on an end cabinet above the kitchen counter.

More information and photos of the Onan install in these threads:

Thread 1

Thread 2

You may want to avoid any further injury to your eyes and not investigate Winnebago's new Travato van campers with a large lithium battery that can power an air conditioner. The lithium option costs $28,000. Yes, that's just the battery system. The rest of the van is not included! It makes my Onan seem cheap...
cjlane likes this.

2016 Transit 350 Cargo, 148" WB, Medium Roof, 3.7L V6, Side & Rear Door Glass

Last edited by Geo; 04-06-2019 at 07:32:PM.
Geo is offline  
post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:17:AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: On the road
Posts: 1,643
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 558 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Luskin View Post
Michael, thanks for your reply.

I've got the same battery bank as you, 600 Ah of AGM. I have not installed solar yet - but am looking at between 400 and 700 watts.

You were able to run your A/C for 8 hours? What A/C unit did you end up going with? Did you ever measure the amp draw?
It was a Wynter 2-hose portable 12,000 BTU air conditioner drawing 11 amps at 120 volts from a Magnum Dimensions MS2012 inverter/charger, Six Trojan OverDrive AGMs at 660 AHs total.
I have a well insulated camper van and was able to run the AC for 6 hours a night but it required campground stays every third night to get the battery bank fully charged again.
My system was short lived because it was not used that year until late summer in the southeast, My exwife moved back in that fall and the camper was rebuilt that winter with a Queen sized bed and there was no room for the portable AC.
Now I camp winters in the southeast and a month in the summer in the upper midwest where I have family, No AC required.

One of those new Transit forum members i mentioned linked this and has me thinking AC again.


http://www.cruisencomfortusa.com/hot-rod-series-1/

2016 transit cargo 250 MR, LWB, 3.5 eco, 3.31 limited slip
Michael Ophus is offline  
post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 11:07:AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 984
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 334 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Ophus View Post
It was a Wynter 2-hose portable 12,000 BTU air conditioner drawing 11 amps at 120 volts from a Magnum Dimensions MS2012 inverter/charger, Six Trojan OverDrive AGMs at 660 AHs total.
I have a well insulated camper van and was able to run the AC for 6 hours a night but it required campground stays every third night to get the battery bank fully charged again.

......cut......
Thanks for the specific data, which helps with analysis and future planning of similar systems.

For example, your A/C was not particularly efficient (EER just over 9), and obviously much larger than required for nighttime cooling since the data shows compressor must have cycled on and off during night, otherwise pulling as much as 1,500 Watts from batteries would have drained them 100% in under 6 hours.

As Iíve mentioned before in other threads, my 5,000 BTU/hr A/C is more than adequate at night in an uninsulated van, and cycles on and off quite a bit. Mine is old now, but newer units have EER of up to 12.2, and would only draw about 500 Watts from batteries when compressor is running. The lower power level in itself would make a significant difference in required battery capacity.

With your well insulated van, Iím curious how deep you discharged your 6 batteries during the 6 hours of cooling at night? Did you stop cooling at near 50% state-of-charge to extend battery life, or did you go much deeper?
Chance is online now  
Reply

User Tag List




Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome