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Old 05-14-2021, 07:01 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Greenville SC
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Mini Split Must be Level to Avoid Leaking Condensation?

Hi all,

I recently installed a Mini Split and it works great. I have enough solar and power from a dc to dc charger to actually run it while i'm driving!

However, I recently learned after moving the bus that if the bus is tilted toward the passenger side, condensation will leak out on the inside of the bus.

I never read about this issue when doing research.

I'm now worried that my plans to have it on while driving are evaporating.

Has anyone else dealt with this? If so what was your solution?

Are you able to use your minisplit while driving without it leaking?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-14-2021, 09:09 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
Hi all,

I recently installed a Mini Split and it works great. I have enough solar and power from a dc to dc charger to actually run it while i'm driving!

However, I recently learned after moving the bus that if the bus is tilted toward the passenger side, condensation will leak out on the inside of the bus.

I never read about this issue when doing research.

I'm now worried that my plans to have it on while driving are evaporating.

Has anyone else dealt with this? If so what was your solution?

Are you able to use your minisplit while driving without it leaking?

Thanks in advance.

The leak would be from the condensation tray. It only has one drain so if the bus is leaning away from the drain side, the pan can overfill and leak.


An easy solution would be to add a second drain hose on the opposite side of the pan. May require modifying the unit but shouldn't be too difficult.
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Old 05-14-2021, 09:24 AM   #3
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Coachwork: Bluebird
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Been there done that. The install manual specifically states that it must be level. But I had to try it. I have 2 units one front and one rear. The front will leak to the passenger side and the rear leaks to the drivers side. Going straight down the road no leaks. If I park off camber it will start leaking. Parked on a 100 degree day they work good but driving they don’t have enough power to cool it. Mine did not come with A/C. So I just installed engine driven A/C. If I am parked with the mini’s running I start the motor and turn on the engine driven a/c and turn the mini’s to fan mode to dry them out while I warm up and build air then turn the mini’s off. When I get to where I am going I restart them.
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Old 05-14-2021, 10:15 AM   #4
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I was able to fix/workaround this condensation leak issue, details in my build thread:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/k...tml#post401166


After those fixes, I have never leaked neither parked or in motion.
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Old 05-14-2021, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
I was able to fix/workaround this condensation leak issue, details in my build thread:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/k...tml#post401166


After those fixes, I have never leaked neither parked or in motion.

Off topic.. sorta.. but how well does your split keep up?


I've got ~13' of living space (toy hauler build) and I'll be running a 12k as primary AC while driving and parked.



Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2021, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
Off topic.. sorta.. but how well does your split keep up?
Ours is a 38'er, which I think there's around 30' of living space... the split is an efficient 9k BTU, 37.5 SEER. In the summer is gets ice cold near the front, and toasty warm in the winter using the heat pump. But in both cases we have problems making sure air circulates. We use some USB / battery powered fans to keep air moving ( https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/k...tml#post389699 ), but doing so it does mellow out the effectiveness of it all.



I plan to install a second 9k unit in the back, then we'll have even distribution overall, and higher capacity.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:43 PM   #7
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Mine have provisions in the condensate tray to hook up the drain at either end. I just put in a second drain with a T. I probably mentioned it when I did it but, that was years ago.
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:56 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
I was able to fix/workaround this condensation leak issue, details in my build thread:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/k...tml#post401166


After those fixes, I have never leaked neither parked or in motion.
This is amazing! Did you simply drill a hole and use pvc glue to keep it from leaking around the threads of the fitting that goes into the drain pan?

Also, the minisplit cools the bus nicely . It runs at 750 watt max and is a 12k unit. Not sure how effective it will be when driving though. Thinking of using some lattice for the top parts of the walls to promote circulation
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
This is amazing! Did you simply drill a hole and use pvc glue to keep it from leaking around the threads of the fitting that goes into the drain pan?
Mine had barb outputs that were capped, not threads. A short piece of flex tube goes from the uncapped barb to a barb fitting in the the PVC drain pipe. I wouldn't use PVC glue anywhere, I used teflon tape. This isn't pressurized after all, its drainage.

It looks a little different nowadays, come to think of it. It would sometimes fill up and overflow. Later on I changed how the water drained:
Click image for larger version

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Running the drop at a 45 degree angle, adding this air inlet (doesn't go anywhere, just tucked away) to prevent any vacuum action, and instead of converting to flex tube right after the drop I ran PVC all the way down the door.
Click image for larger version

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I redid the to-flex conversion there between the door and the bottom of the windshield so I didn't have to make any larger exit holes.
Click image for larger version

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Old 08-06-2022, 09:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
Been there done that. The install manual specifically states that it must be level. But I had to try it. I have 2 units one front and one rear. The front will leak to the passenger side and the rear leaks to the drivers side. Going straight down the road no leaks. If I park off camber it will start leaking. Parked on a 100 degree day they work good but driving they donít have enough power to cool it. Mine did not come with A/C. So I just installed engine driven A/C. If I am parked with the miniís running I start the motor and turn on the engine driven a/c and turn the miniís to fan mode to dry them out while I warm up and build air then turn the miniís off. When I get to where I am going I restart them.
Can you say more about the engine driven ac pls? Where did you get it? Cost?
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Old 08-07-2022, 03:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
But in both cases we have problems making sure air circulates. We use some USB / battery powered fans to keep air moving
I'm sitting in front of one of those at my computer right now, they're really effective. I also have a couple 24000mAh backup batteries that are a perfect match
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyjimmy View Post
Can you say more about the engine driven ac pls? Where did you get it? Cost?

if you havent yet started your conversion, the easiest and by far cheapest way to get good engine-driven A/C is to sell your bus and go buy one that has it factory installed...



ive added it to several busses.. the next easiest way is to find osmeone who is yanking it out of their bus and grab all the equipment from them.. you still will likely have to source some lines and compressor bracketry for your particular engine but you get the major components of a system this way.. lucky would be if the bus its coming from has the same engine and they also took the compressors and brackets off nicely.



ive gotten and repurposed many air conditioners this way...



you can also build a complete custom system from the ground up.. it will take a lot of work and cost will be in the 1000s but you get a fully purpose-built system.. i did this in my DEV bus and its been worth every penny.. being able to drive any area of the country any time of the year and be as cool as i want.. and still keep my non-tinted windows and original bus interior ..



my latest project has been testing and tweaking a super high capacity under-dash system that would easily fit in most conventional busses.. (not flat nose).. regular dash A/C like used in aftermarket jeeps and what not is only 9-12k BTU which you'll hardly feel in a bus.. this one is 32k BTU and so far is performing well.. it would be an option if you plan to have a front cab area you can portion off with an insulated curtain.. it would keep front seat and one row of seats back passengers comfortable.. esp if you do some work to seal up the firewall and what-not..



this question is hard to answer without having any idea what kind of bus you have,
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