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Old 06-14-2022, 01:58 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Mini-Split and ground clearance question

Hi all!

I went to start mounting the exterior mini-split unit and found it hangs below my skirting by 2"-3" or so...this leaves my ground clearance at between 9"-10" overall. Should I be concerned about this?

In my mind, I don't think so, but figured I'd ask for a sanity check. Thanks for your input!

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Old 06-14-2022, 02:32 PM   #2
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I wouldn't worry about ground clearance as much as approach or departure angles. When I bought my bus, I had to pull into an AutoZone to get some stuff for the trip back and it had a real steep driveway. I haven't seen much of a risk of high centering, but I have been loads of places my hitch on my car hit.


I will by tying a string between the tire and bumpers to ensure I don't have any of my stuff get squashed by 10 tons of force.


I'm dropping below my skirt between my axles with no concern.


Where I'm really concerned is my drop axle in front is only 6 inches off the ground.. might have to change to a straight steer axle to fix that though.
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Old 06-14-2022, 02:42 PM   #3
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Does anyone else here cringe when the topic of under-floor condenser mounting comes up?

For me it's such a delicate thing, those little fins and soft copper pipes. I know bunches of people install underneath, but man, I would try to avoid it. One curb, and the whole system is kaput.

The rule of thumb is nothing should project below the front wheel lower arm (the lower bracket if mounted toward the sides, or below the subframe if mounted underneath in the middle. There may be actual rules, but I'm not sure.

If mounted behind the rear wheels, I don't know if there are rules about minimum departure angle, but it matters for drivability.

There ARE rules about mounting propane tanks, thought I'd just mention.
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Old 06-14-2022, 02:43 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
I will by tying a string between the tire and bumpers to ensure I don't have any of my stuff get squashed by 10 tons of force.
What does this do? Is it just for testing purposes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
I'm dropping below my skirt between my axles with no concern.
Perfect...this is what I was thinking as well, but wanted a second (more sane? ) opinion.
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Old 06-14-2022, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
For me it's such a delicate thing, those little fins and soft copper pipes. I know bunches of people install underneath, but man, I would try to avoid it. One curb, and the whole system is kaput.
Generally, I agree with you, however with a RE, I don't have many options. I am planning on adding "armor" in the form of metal mesh around the exposed parts to ensure protection of the lines and fins. The tradeoff for me is to just not have AC, which is unfortunately not an option for my build. Also, more incentive to drive carefully!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
The rule of thumb is nothing should project below the front wheel lower arm...
This is an interesting observation...I hadn't heard that before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
If mounted behind the rear wheels...
Mine will be mounted about 1/2 way between the back of the front wheels and the bulkhead of the storage compartment.

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There ARE rules about mounting propane tanks, thought I'd just mention.
Exactly why I went all-electric. But that's a conversation for another day in another thread!

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Old 06-14-2022, 03:46 PM   #6
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That is my current approach angle, I want to ensure my hooks or hitch hit the ground before something like a water tank or mini split.


My skirt is only 18inch instead of 24in on many buses.


If yours is a rear engine, then do have a longer wheelbase and driving over a peak is a bit more concern.. I would try to keep whatever you drop closer to the tires If possible.
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:16 PM   #7
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i hang low.

in between my tires, i go as low as the bottom of the rims. that leaves me about 11" off the ground.

hanging down low , i have:
2 sets of rv steps
12kw generator
waste tank ( its the closest to the ground @11")

10 years+ no problems

outside of the tires, my tail pipe is crushed a bit right up on the bumper from a curb cut. my trailer drop hitch has done its damage to sidewalks and such. sometimes i fear bumping the front down on the ground, but its never happened.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:53 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
If yours is a rear engine, then do have a longer wheelbase and driving over a peak is a bit more concern.. I would try to keep whatever you drop closer to the tires If possible.
That was the goal...its probably 3 or 4 feet from the front tires. Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:54 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf View Post
i hang low.

in between my tires, i go as low as the bottom of the rims. that leaves me about 11" off the ground.
Noted, thanks! Also, I love the relocated side entry doors!
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Old 06-14-2022, 07:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf View Post
i hang low.

in between my tires, i go as low as the bottom of the rims. that leaves me about 11" off the ground.

hanging down low , i have:
2 sets of rv steps
12kw generator
waste tank ( its the closest to the ground @11")

10 years+ no problems

outside of the tires, my tail pipe is crushed a bit right up on the bumper from a curb cut. my trailer drop hitch has done its damage to sidewalks and such. sometimes i fear bumping the front down on the ground, but its never happened.
Great to get real-world experience chiming in. Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2022, 01:41 AM   #11
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Our front mini is going into the vast space behind the front bumper and ahead of the from axle. It will get a solid 1/4" steel guard and support from the front bumper, underneath the unit, and then secured to the frame. It will also have a deflector of thinner metal wings (probably 16ga) welded to that portion of the guard/support at the leading edge. It will also have some level of protection from spray and/or debris that could be thrown from the front tires. But the units aren't that flimsy and aren't that troublesome that you have to go total nut case. Just protect them from animal and rock impacts, make sure they won't get pounded by a flying object off the tires, and all will be good.
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
Does anyone else here cringe when the topic of under-floor condenser mounting comes up?

For me it's such a delicate thing, those little fins and soft copper pipes. I know bunches of people install underneath, but man, I would try to avoid it. One curb, and the whole system is kaput.

The rule of thumb is nothing should project below the front wheel lower arm (the lower bracket if mounted toward the sides, or below the subframe if mounted underneath in the middle. There may be actual rules, but I'm not sure.

If mounted behind the rear wheels, I don't know if there are rules about minimum departure angle, but it matters for drivability.

There ARE rules about mounting propane tanks, thought I'd just mention.

the factory Bus air conditioners are almost always installed underneath... some are against the skirt, but under-body units are very much still in play..
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Old 06-20-2022, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the factory Bus air conditioners are almost always installed underneath... some are against the skirt, but under-body units are very much still in play..
Good point. Funny I didn't think of that. Probably because the ones I've seen are completely enclosed with a steel frame and do not extend below the skirt.

When I see a picture of an unenclosed condenser mounted behind the rear wheels held in place by four threaded rods, so low that it would barely clear a curb, THAT's when I cringe.
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Old 06-20-2022, 11:40 AM   #14
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yeah hanging real low is an issue.. the bus condensers are not that low.. but smaller minisplit condensers are not crazy tall.. if hun close to the floor and then similar toeh skirt condenser, cut a hole in the skirt for airflow.. there are some here who have them tucked up nicely under their busses.. shuttles and the like would be tougher as they have very little skirting and sit lower on small wheels
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