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Old 01-22-2007, 10:37 PM   #1
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Gas powerd roof a/c unit

Call me crazy but.
I work at a local chevy dealer and have a basic knowledge of ac opperation. Here is my theory.
Why run a generator to produce electricity to turn the electric motor on your a/c unit.
Im thinking set up a small gas engine 5-12hp to directly turn the compressor via belt, also on this belt could be a cooling fan that is set up to draw air through the condensor. Then on the inside of the coach could be just the condeser mounted in a small box with a 12v fan driven off the house batteries to circulate the cold air.
Maybe im nuts but i might just piece together some parts at work and see If I can pull this off.
Give me some input.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:32 PM   #2
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I've actually looked at doing the same thing using the A/C unit from a car. I did run into a few problems with the theory, but nothing that is insurmountable. First of all, you will likely need a few compressors. A bus obviously has a whole lot of air space to cool and is not all that thermally efficient. Second, you will need to find working parts. Junkyards that offer any sort of a warranty on their parts price them accordingly. Third, you will need to find a compressor either with a v-belt pulley or one that can be fit with one. The reason this is so hard is that most cars with R134a also have serp belts. At the current prices of R12, I really don't see that as an option. You could also try splitting a window unit. They can be had for cheap and R22 will be available for a few more years anyway.
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:08 AM   #3
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Has anyone looked at a thermoking type of cooling unit nused on semi trailers? they are unitized and self contained.
I think that a self powered cooling unit will have a fair amount of vibration and therefore would be a candidate for basement mounting of the compressor unit.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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never thought of that I could mount it on the stationary side of the rear where it would be out of the way. What do those run on, Diesel?
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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mostly yes (diesel) though a few do run on propane (or used to)
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Many truckstops actually sell "refer fuel" which is just the non-dyed off road diesel. I'm sure over the course of many thousands of miles the few cents difference between the two fuels adds up.
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:25 AM   #7
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I looked into using a reefer unit/cooling system last year and decided against going ahead with the project. Here are my reasons:

1. The noise of the units are restrictive. They would be unusable in an area in which others are trying to sleep.

2. Vibration of the units within the rv.

3. The size and layout of the units pose many, many challenges to fitting on an rv, even in a basement layout situation.

4. If you decide to plug in for a few days, say at the house, a park or whatever, the engine on the reefer unit needs to be run to cool the bus. Or you will require a roof unit also, which increases the final price and makes dual systems redundant.

5. Finding a reasonably priced reefer unit that still has life in it is a challenge.

In the end, the idea of a 13,500 btu roof unit with a kimpor (honda eu knockoff) seems a simpler and cheaper system.

-Richard
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:10 PM   #8
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Once I looked into the size of a refer i decided against it. I will just use. A roof unit,

What about a heat pump. anybody use one.
I few auctions state not to use below 40F, does the heat pump automaticly turn off and switch to the heat strip or?
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