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Are there any RELIABLE, low, light, Roof, electric AC's/heaters on the market
#1
Camping World

Feedback on Camping World was 2 - 1 of 5 reviews, and their phone help was even less information (they will say anything - ??)

It may just be an unreliable design compared to standard car or house ac units; but it sounds like a space saver if it goes significantly longer than 1 year (which was 2 out of 2 of their only feedback responses!)
Undecided

I guess I'll ask my Commercial Nissan dealer, but if anyone has any leads on the subject, ... I'm running out of floor space Sad
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#2
mounting a heater on the roof is the most inefficient place to put a heater. notice how it says for 40 degrees or above, heat pumps don't work good below 40 very inefficient. highdesertranger
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#3
What type of camping lifestyle are you envisioning for yourself.

That unit is a 120V unit that will only be functional if you're either plugged in to the grid or running a fair sized generator whenever you're using the unit.

Keep in mind that that item is the outside parts only AFAIK, you also need to order the inside section separately.

Most of us who boondock do without a/c and use a heater like the Mr. Buddy for the occasional times that heat is needed. We move with the weather wherever possible. That said, I'm sure glad I have my Mr. Buddy for these cools evenings and mornings here in the desert.... Big Grin 

If that's what you really want, then shop around, CW is known for their high pricing structure, you might find a much better deal at another RV dealer. The unit is made by Dometic, a very major manufacturer in the RV industry so I wouldn't worry too much about quality.

You'll probably be able to find better technical specs on it directly from Dometic on their website.
Worry is a misuse of imagination!
 
Build link: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thre...g-Arabella
Full-timer again as of November 24, 2015 - 14 glorious years on the road before that!



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#4
Google:

"Coleman Polar Cub"

and/or

"Coleman Mach 8"

They are for smaller campers, trailers, vans, etc. 

The cooling capacity is a bit less than the bigger units, the upside is they pull fewer amps. 

I have never used one, so read all the reviews before pushing a 'buy' button.

And FYI: there are two kinds of RV roof ac-heater combination units:

Heat pump style and heat strip style. 

They BOTH use a considerable amount of power when outside temps drop below 50, and especially below freezing, and will only be economical IF you are hooked up to shore power at a campground or RV park. You do NOT want to try to heat with them on generator power all night, every night, all winter long...but maybe for the occasional cool night when traveling or boondocking.
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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#5
Highdesertranger is right.  My Class B has a heat pump (different brand).  In the owner's manual, it states when the temp gets to 40 degrees, it shuts off and will not come back on until the temp gets back up to 45.  I can say from experience that this is exactly what happens.  When it's below 40, one needs to use a different heat source.

if you are in an RV with a propane furnace, the battery will most likely not provide enough power for the furnace blower.  The generator will but it seems the time when you want to use the furnace is late evening and early morning when it would be most disturbing to others.  Therefore, I carry the Mr Heater Buddy.
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#6
I was mainly looking for AC by using dual alternators to charge li-ion batteries; which 2nd high output alternator (Nation's) is almost 10 fold more efficient than solar charging (under perfect conditions). I'd still have maybe 3 solar panels, but would not rely on them for the bulk of charging when alternators are so much more efficient.

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/how-muc...-on-my-rv/
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#7
Alternators are certainly productive, but it takes power from the engine to run them, and that power comes from fuel. 

Alternators are about 50-80% efficient, on average, but the engine that provides power for this is about 20% to maybe 40% efficient.

It all depends on what you are trying to measure, and what result you expect to see. 

Also, you have efficiency losses during battery charging, then losses when re-using the stored power thru an inverter to run the AC/heater.

It's all going to be expensive, complex, and failure prone. The least expensive and most efficient way to provide cabin heat when off-grid is burning fuel like propane, and the best way (without large solar arrays) that we have now to provide AC when boondocking is to run a generator to power an AC unit. 

Of course if you super-size the solar array, with plenty of surplus power available, and plan to do this for years, then solar powered heating and cooling can be a usable, and 'efficient', option. ('efficient' meaning lower on-going costs).

Not saying your plan won't work, it probably will if done correctly. But it will be expensive and will involve a lot of driving. Your idea is very similar to many anti-idle cab heating and cooling solutions in the transportation industry. 

Them aint cheap either!

Cool
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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The following 1 user says Thank You to tx2sturgis for this post:
GaRay (12-31-2017)
#8
Ya forget theoretical efficiency numbers, look at dollars and cents practicality.

Alternators off the propulsion engine are very rarely a significant enough source of energy to justify the cost of beefing them up. Unless you drive for hours every day, and even then it's LFP that really makes sense, will cost thousands.

A little quiet portable genny usually makes a lot more sense, and combined with as many solar watts as you can fit on the roof, maybe a shore power charge overnight once in a while, you don't need to go LFP.
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#9
OK, the heater idea was half-baked. I knew about the efficiencies before, but I forgot (doah! no need to keep bantering the heater subject.) AC components were the 'main' intent for the inquiry. I'll do what Bob does with the propane oven for heat Big Grin Thanks for the reminder and suggestions!!

180 a/hr (Nation's 2nd gen) is all the math I need to know: infinitely better efficiency than solar AND lead acid batteries and about 25% the weight with 1% the maintenance hassle and .05% the maintenance risk. ** 1 hour/day generator run for 5 hrs ac? Look at the alternatives, sitting in the Sun for solar at a small fraction of the efficiency (duh!) Please don't suggest all efficiencies are the same: they are not. Sample realistic estimates are multiplied together would be more realistic. In reality, there is an ultimate 1,000 % efficiency difference between the alternatives, and that my friends it the difference between reality and never realizing any goals (except profuse sweating, or living in sticks and bricks, or chasing the end of the rainbow.)

Did anyone read the article? It was the holy script of camping lifestyle, and it took me reading it over and over over weeks time to sink in. My camping lifestyle will have nothing to do with nasty fidgety heavy lead-acid batteries or their time absorbing risky maintenance. As a past value engineer, you have to look at all the probability trails of alternatives (multiplied times EACH other getting smaller and smaller!) The lead acid trail is doable, but not self-sufficient: again read the article. The probability trail of lead acid would end up in single digits if not a fraction of one: that's what happens in sequence probabilities of unreliable systems. Lead acid batteries is just a 'cash-cow' for the rich taking advantage of the public, imo, from studying philosophy and business for the last 2,000 year focused period. I have been an engineer in the battery charger industry for several years, and it's dirty business top to bottom.

Yeah, everyone's different, but I've worked around batteries in high school: no more. If your time is not worth anything at all or carries a negative value, fine: time is my final resource. Again, read the article (3 times is not too much, believe me.) Making the end's all meet is another thing, but knowing your goal from a value engineer's perspective is priceless. Bob is the guru who laid the foundation, but this is the anti-early-nineteenth century lead acid battery solution. Quit being distracted by disjoint minutia ideas spouted by the battery industry (that's all they have left.) Yeah, one time costs for a single component is advantageous, but the battery industry would give batteries away to hook lifetime customers to an obsolete technology (it just keep balooning up requiring unrealistic expertise that is never attainable to make lead acid batteries even work! - $,$$$.) What else do you have but this ONE comparison? All negative value factors that exponentially changes the cost/benefit structure.

And just one more time, please read the article I posted above. That is the ultimate rv lifestyle. Of course I replaced his Winnie with a Nissan NV 3500: it's all I could afford, and rv's cannot be near the quality of the Nissan NV from my surveys. Do what you like, but lead-acid batteries were a feeble idea in 1900 to keep the cash cow fed, along with oil. And ALL-solar to replace ALL-lead-acid battery is only a partial solution, and can NEVER be a total solution by itself: more lead-acid battery-industry sucker-suggestions imo. Drive Safe!
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#10
The first place to start looking when considering a smaller A/C to draw less power is your insulation, and that includes windows. The better insulated you are, the less power your unit will need to draw.
Doing the Van thing since the early eighties.
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