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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning out our build and I have been looking up A/C units and threads but cant find what i'm looking to do. I don't particularly want a mini split with the mounting of the outside unit (under, on back, etc), nor do i want an overhead unit. Putting the AC out the back door (over our bed) is easy but also puts cold air right over us and makes reading in bed uncomfortable/non-starter.

The self-contained units that vent out are a possibility (yes i know less efficient than mini split) but honestly for the cost/durability of it i cant seem to get past the durable little window shaker units. We had a little 5k btu unit in our a-liner and it did wonderfully.

So what i'm thinking is an in-cabinet type unit that i'd open an outside sealed hatch and slide it out on sliders when running. Once extended outside the side (drivers) of the van it'd pin lightly into place to seal the facing against the inside of the van wall.

Anyone done something like this? Have some recommendations on ports/seal joints of that size?

One of the self contained with hot gas venting is also possible but most are a bit bigger (~30" tall) so was hoping to keep it more in the 24" wide x 12-14 tall by 16-18 deep like most window shaker units.

Thoughts appreciated! Greg + "Base Camp Bert" our new Van.
 

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A window unit is the the best bet in my opinion. My thoughts were also on a slider but going out the back door driver side. Being careful to place it where the door could open all the way and not cause any other issues with opening and closing. There was a YouTube video a good year and a half ago that showed a fella that did exactly that with a slider roller tray. Sealing up the unit and all. I forget the position in the van. cannot find that video. have looked a number of times.
Portable AC units r a pain. Really need to have the two hose models. Plus they are big and bulky. Window units used inside the van are not going to work. Too much exhaust heated air. Roof units are big and heavy and expensive and and cause van to lower MPG.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here you go:
Window A/C in a sliding side hatch on a Transit

The detaIs about the air conditioner installation start at about 12 minutes into the video. This guy came up with a very clever design, very similar to what you suggested. Hope this helps...
Thank you! that's the one i was thinking of. Nice marine hatch and some sliders is where my head is going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Neat idea but takes up too much space inside.

If you have the means to transport a small window unit, this is the best option...



Interesting idea. simple concept. putting the AC unit on the ground isnt smart for drainage/icing issues but the concept of a modular exterior unit plumbed in... hmm that's not bad at all and frees up some more storage inside! For most trips we'd know whether a/c would be needed also (we wont live in our van) so could leave the unit home.
 

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Interesting idea. simple concept. putting the AC unit on the ground isnt smart for drainage/icing issues but the concept of a modular exterior unit plumbed in... hmm that's not bad at all and frees up some more storage inside! For most trips we'd know whether a/c would be needed also (we wont live in our van) so could leave the unit home.
Read the discussion of at tntttt (see link above). It talks in depth about people's observations using this method. The main issue is icing on the unit of which is remedied by putting an inline fan to better spread the intake/return air flow over the ac unit.
 

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That is the one, Geo. Thank you. Yeah, with Bob Wells and James. I could swear there is another video with them and a detailed install on that van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wife veto'd the exterior A/C unit as it takes away some of the portability/drive off ability. So i found a hatch and a/c unit to put in. little window shaker unit. We shall give it a go!
 
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