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Old 04-26-2021, 03:54 PM   #1
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Mounting a mini split condenser on a short bus

Mini splits are great. They can heat and cool efficiently averaging several hundred watts in use. I've spec'ed out an electrical system which should run one with moderate use for a couple of days off grid and full blast while connected.

I've been debating for several months on the best placement for a mini split condenser on my 5 window e350 short bus. The bus has a side skirt condenser for the original a/c which is staying. I've taken out the rear head unit and patched the line for the front.

There's a spot just behind the gas tank between the support beams which looks like a great fit. It's out of the way and the gas tank would block most of the airflow from driving. It's at the highest point I can mount it under the bus and provides more clearance compared to mounting it sideways.

The issues I can see with this setup are debris damaging the condenser, or airflow forcing the fan in a way it wasn't designed for.

I know these are designed for stationary residential use and I'm willing to take some risk with the unit breaking, that said, I'd like it's life not to be too short. Alternative automotive specific units are generally less efficient and a lot more expensive than the $1-$1.5k for this setup.

I've never seen a build which mounts a condenser in this spot. Am I missing any glaring or show stopping problems?

edit: tried flipping the picture, always uploads upside down
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:27 PM   #2
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I have one of mine just behind the rear wheels in the position of the original factory condenser. Mud flap protects it, doesn't even get all that dirty. Going on 7 years now.
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:46 PM   #3
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I mounted one in the front in the space that would have been the engine if it was a FE and one behind the left rear tires with a heavy expanded metal cage in front of it in case of a blow out. Working now for 4-5 years now. Just make sure it can get plenty of air.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:17 AM   #4
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I never thought it would be possible. That’s super cool. Do all y’all mind if I ask what sorts of BTU you have?
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:24 AM   #5
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just make sure your condenser is upright.. dont lay it on its side and hang it.. you can hang it upright and do well.. it likely wont keep you ice cold on the road like your bus A/C will but you cant beat it for parked-A/C
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:13 AM   #6
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Do any of you have pictures of your condenser placement? I'm thinking of a small 2 foot rear bumper extension to place it there like Wes of Transcend Existence did with his.
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Old 05-07-2021, 02:17 PM   #7
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So I don't want to hijack, but my plan is to leave the bus AC & heat & electrical completely untouched, bus is like new. but I plan on building a stationary system for when I'm camped. living. i have a 5.5 KW Honda generator I'll use for bith 120 V & charge up battery bank,

I am hoping to run a split for the bus 26 foot long cabin, shouldn' t need huge cooling or heating - I hope. I'm still messing with the idea of integrating solar with the generator system .

anyone here see any flaw with my plan?
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:28 PM   #8
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Large unit everyone has issue hiding where it won't take too much space. Mine is not conventional. I had a garage so I mounted an intake screen on one sie of the garage and the condensor on the wall on the opposite side. Work out well for my build.






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Old 05-07-2021, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Large unit everyone has issue hiding where it won't take too much space. Mine is not conventional. I had a garage so I mounted an intake screen on one sie of the garage and the condensor on the wall on the opposite side. Work out well for my build.






Now that is thinking different.
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