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Old 05-12-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
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A/C ideas?

Hello!
So, as a quick update on my little Skoolie, I have completed demo and I am beginning to start the reconstruction process! The slowest part so far has been waterproofing and filling in all the screw holes in the floor of the bus.
But my real question is: what are you guys doing for air conditioning? I have a fan that will help circulate the air, and i'll be insulating the bus as best I can, and I will have all the windows covered during the days, but I will need another active system to help keep my skoolie cool. I work full time during the day, and my little yorkie, Finn, stays home during the day because my boss says no dogs (lame, right?). I live in the South east US and we have a lot of humidity so a swamp cooler doesn't do very well to cool the entire space. I've seen Split Mini A/C units installed, but I don't know how those do with solar systems, and I've also seen the camper roof mounted A/C systems. Which do you think would be better? I'll be off grid so I'm running off of batteries and I don't want my batteries to be depleted every day by the time I get home. It gets into the 100s here some times and that will definitely deserve something more than passive systems to keep it cool. Any help or information y'all can give me I will appreciate and so will Finn!
Thank you!
Andrea J
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
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You need a pretty hefty solar system to power an air conditioner. There seem to be two main difficulties with them - the first is that when the compressor initially turns on, it draws a HUGE amount of power. (Almost all electric motors do, and the spike only lasts for a second or so - but it's enough to trip breakers/overload the generator.) The compressor in the AC just happens to be a relatively large one for a portable device.) You need an inverter or a generator that can handle that initial power spike. The second problem is just that air conditioners draw a lot of power after that - they just need a lot of energy.

There are a few people on here planning on battery-only/solar air conditioners who can probably provide more information, but right now, it's not very easy (or cheap) to do.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:39 PM   #3
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Well, it's fairly easy to do, it's just not cheap to do.

I have 1400 watts of panels (4x350 watt panels) and 800 ah of batteries (4x12 volt, 200 ah in parallel). My mini-split will run all day and charge the batteries to a float charge, when it's sunny. I have a 12000 btu (120 volt) mini-split from HD (Climate Right).

I also have spray foam insulation and RV windows instead of bus windows so ymmv.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #4
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Since the other options have already been depleted, how about giving Finn a Brazilian..?
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Since the other options have already been depleted, how about giving Finn a Brazilian..?
Finn may not appreciate the Brazilian but a personal A/C may do the trick.


Seriously, the whole bus does not have to be on A/C while you are at work ... only the small area that Finn will be. You could get a very small A/C to keep a small area cool and use up far less power (batteries) to do so.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:31 AM   #6
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I saw a site selling electric appliances with motors that did not spike. I cant remember where but I know it is there.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:35 PM   #7
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Thanks

Thank you all for your help! While Finn is shaved with very very short hair, he still would appreciate not living in a 100+ degree home, and I did consider a personal A/C for him. I actually have a small Arctic Air swamp cooler that I think is working pretty well so far, if I keep his crate covered while he's in it with the swamp cooler blowing on him, at least he will be kept cool. But I don't see that as a permanent solution, partly because I don't have a lot of space to keep his crate up all the time, and also, I like to be kept cool too. So I will be doing more research into looking for motors that don't draw as much power and seeing if I can upgrade my solar panels later on or finding a more efficient a/c system. But I appreciate all the advice and it has given me something to look more in to! Finn and I appreciate it!
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
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Dependant on your locale, I would have some concerns about piling on the humidity, with eventual resultant condensation, in an iron structure.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:50 PM   #9
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I wonder if there's a way to make a chill pad for Finn - like radiant heating, but in reverse. Something cool he could lay on to chill out. (I'm not sure that a fan would help because dogs don't really "sweat".)
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
I wonder if there's a way to make a chill pad for Finn - like radiant heating, but in reverse. Something cool he could lay on to chill out. (I'm not sure that a fan would help because dogs don't really "sweat".)
this is a cooling pad


https://www.amazon.ca/LinenSpa-Insta...69863832&psc=1
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