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Old 09-10-2020, 03:42 PM   #1
Sraycwb's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Biloxi, MS
Posts: 60
Year: 1999
Coachwork: International 3800
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rooftop AC: Ducted or non ducted

Shopping around for rooftop AC units and my curiosity gets the best of me asto which situation is best, using ducts or not.

Our bus is a mere 28 foot. No preexisting duct, but in the early build stage so it can be added at this point.

My thinking is it would be nice to have the AC evenly distributed via vents rather than a general straight blow down in one area, but I'm not sure if it's the better way to go.

What are your thoughts on it, and where might I actually locate a duct system if decided to go that route?


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Old 09-10-2020, 04:22 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 691
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
I am planning on having 3 roof top units all running through ductwork. There will be two mounted close to the front, with one unit specifically for the drivers area. The second unit will take care of the living and kitchen areas, and the third for the bedroom, bathroom area. Units 1 and 3 will run on the same circuit since it's less likely there will be anyone in the back part of the bus while we are driving. I am planning on a roof raise and doing the vaulted style ceiling so there will be plenty of room above the ceiling to run the duct work and all the house wiring. I do have a 50 amp shore line, and a 12kW generator, so running all 3 will work if needed.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:47 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,338
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Here is what I did, a steerable nozzle. Much better air flow then the factory vents. I can aim it right at me while driving, or aim it to the rear when not driving. It will blow the air very nicely all the way back to the bedroom.

I do have two rooftops, the other one is in the Kitchen, and we do not use it, as we have not needed it. I expect over 100 degrees we would, but up 100 one has been enough.
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Old 09-11-2020, 12:54 AM   #4
Bus Geek
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,857
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
That directional blower is a great idea. Right now, we have packing tape along the roof redirecting the forward-facing vent towards the passenger seat. We may need to run ducts when we get to the "final build" stage.
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Old 09-11-2020, 06:06 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,209
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
I installed a ducted system in my 45' coach with two rooftop units.

I previously owned and lived in two motorhomes - one with ducted A/C and one without. IMO, the ducted approach was much quieter (but not quiet) and that was my reason for going that route with my coach.

Getting a ducted ceiling install to work well is more work than one might imagine. Air does not behave as we like to think. It requires several inches of headroom, fabrication time, and return air ducts. Finally, depending on the A/C units, there can be some additional parts/expenses for the ducted install (and wall mounted control unit).

All that said, ducted is my preference.
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
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