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Author Topic: New project in the works - adding roof air  (Read 41446 times)

John Canfield

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New project in the works - adding roof air
« on: June 15, 2010, 06:19:16 PM »
Been considering this for some time, and we finally set the wheels in motion to add 13,500 more BTU of cooling in the form of a low profile Coleman-Mach Polar-Mach roof air.  It is interesting to note the 'new' R-410A version of the R-22 model I ordered draws another amp or two.  The roof air will be installed in the galley Fantastic Fan opening.  Hate to give up the fan, but that's the way it goes.

Ordered it from PPL and should have it in a week or ten days.

I am not breaking new ground - others have gone before me with this mod.  I think the biggest problem I'm going to have is how to get the 90 pound unit on the roof.
--John
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geodrake

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 06:58:43 PM »
I think the biggest problem I'm going to have is how to get the 90 pound unit on the roof.
Why not just get up on the roof and have your wife hand it up?

I'm wondering why you are installing just one A/C instead of two.  I assume the reason for even messing with it is that you are not happy with the heat pump?
George Drake

Jim Godward

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 07:35:48 PM »
John,

In one of the other lists, someone installed an AC and got it to the roof by sliding it up a ladder using a rope and 2 people to pull it.  I don't remember the list nor how he protected the AC or the ladder. 
Jim
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seilerbird

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 07:37:59 PM »
Oh it is simple to get it up on the roof. Measure the height of the roof, then dig a hole in your yard that is the exact height and drive it in. Then you can just slide the A/c over onto the roof. Just get your wife a shovel.

afchap

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 08:44:58 PM »
John

What is "another amp or two" ?? ...do you mean compared to the basement unit?  Do you intend to use it in addition to? ...or in place of? ...the basement unit.   How are you doing the wiring?

I too am interested in what drove you to this point. We've never felt the need for more cooling ...it hit 104 on our outdoor thermometer today with very high humidity. Inside temp got up to 81.
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SargeW

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 09:12:45 PM »
 ;)No problem John, bring it to the rally, I'll put it up there for ya..... ;)
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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 09:29:09 PM »
John, can you hook up a block-n-tackle on the beam of your rv garage, hoist it up, and then back under it?
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 10:35:15 PM »
There are some variables, but In full sun and a day at rest (no engine heat to remove) the inside coach temp is generally 10-15 degrees below ambient air temp.  Outside temps of 95 usually mean an inside temp of ~80-85 degrees.  A couple of summers ago (about this time of the year) we were in Gila Bend, AZ and the outside temp was 112 and we were 95 in the coach.  95 degrees might sound draconian, but it was tolerable - at least for a day  8)  We want the interior cooler.

The other thing is with the basement air being down low and near the road is that it pulls in road dust.  In the summer we usually are running the basement air all the time in really hot weather - when pulling into dirt/gravel road campgrounds we need to remember to turn off the air.  Won't have that problem with a roof air unit running while underway.

I think I have a plan for getting the AC on the roof (that doesn't involve DW) - the loader bucket will raise up to 8 or 9 feet.  A couple of planks in the bucket resting on the roof of the coach and a come-a-long to drag the AC up the planks might work.  Plan B is to hoist it to the ceiling of our RV port and move the coach under the raised AC (good idea Bill!)
--John
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 07:17:53 AM »
John, you gonna be able to run some 10 gauge wire to the unit down to the electrical service bay?
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010, 07:22:39 AM »
Mark - 12 gauge will work.  Haven't started pulling things apart to see where I can grab some power.  It would be nice to run back to the breaker panel at the foot of the bed. 
--John
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geodrake

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2010, 07:52:54 AM »
John:
Will one roof A/C do the trick???

If it were me I would go with 10AWG.
George Drake

John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 08:18:10 AM »
George - a few years ago I saw a 2004 Vectra at Winnie factory service with three roof airs and the basement AC.  At first I thought it was a Winnebago prototype (it wasn't); talked to the owner and he said he liked it cold in his coach.  Cold indeed  :o  One roof air will make a nice augment to the basement air and we might be able to get by with just running the roof air while we are on the road.  We'll have to gain some experience with it to tell.

No, 12 gauge is fine for a short wiring run and should easily handle the start current.  I downloaded the installation instructions and 10 gauge is indicated for longer wiring runs.  I'll make the final determination after I figure out where to grab some power.
--John
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Bob.n.Sue

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 08:37:39 AM »
Great project!  Can't imagine that 10 gauge wire would be necessary.  I would definitely want the run to go to the box with its own breaker. 

Although these latter-day AC units are pretty light, even one piece roofs on most brands seem to be additionally re enforced around AC openings.  If I understand, you aren't using a conventional roof vent opening, so I would want to make pretty sure the roof structure around the opening is stiff enough to endure the unit bouncing up and down going down the road.

Keep us posted!

John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2010, 09:02:46 AM »
Bob - I am using an existing roof opening, so I'm not too concerned about mounting/roof issues.  I know of two other owners who have done the exact same mod with good results, so I'm not breaking new ground here.  I also think I asked Winnie a couple years ago (when I was first considering adding a roof air) about the added weight, and I believe the answer was 95 pounds of weight was not an issue.
--John
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Bob.n.Sue

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2010, 09:48:29 AM »
Cool!  (No pun intended...sorta')  Sounds like you've got the bases covered. 

Bob

Harry B

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2010, 11:15:50 AM »
John,

You mentioned one coach with 3 A/C units on the roof. Did you notice how they were mounted or supported? I assume that each vent opening has metal framing around it

I believe most of the Vectra and Horizon models have two vent openings in the roof. If he used those two how was the third A/C unit supported?

I would like to make this addition as well but would like to keep a roof vent in the kitchen. How difficult do you think it would be to add another vent back in the kitchen area? Seems like you could add a roof vent anywhere as there are no weight issues to consider.
Harry - (Central FL)

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2dalake

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2010, 11:55:38 AM »
John, could you tap into the engine block heater circuit at/near the One Place panel?   That is on a breaker and there should never be a time when you would be needing AC and using the block heater. 

How do you plan to conceal/run the romex, thru the overhead ducts? 
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Harry B

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2010, 01:02:24 PM »
On my coach that circuit is on the same legs as the bedroom and front and rear TVs are.  However the junction box is under the bed and it is easy to run an additional line to the breaker box from there.

I did exactly that modification in order to hook the front and rear TV outlets into a separate 400W sine wave inverter and obviously did not want the engine block heater attached to that same circuit
Harry - (Central FL)

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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2010, 01:17:46 PM »
You mentioned one coach with 3 A/C units on the roof. Did you notice how they were mounted or supported? I assume that each vent opening has metal framing around it

I believe most of the Vectra and Horizon models have two vent openings in the roof. If he used those two how was the third A/C unit supported?

I would like to make this addition as well but would like to keep a roof vent in the kitchen. How difficult do you think it would be to add another vent back in the kitchen area? Seems like you could add a roof vent anywhere as there are no weight issues to consider.

Harry - absolutely no clue about installation details of the rolling 'freezer.'

It would probably not be a big deal to relocate the vent - there appears to be room between the two large fluorescent lights in the salon - I would want to keep the vent located on the roof centerline, so it would be over my table.  I might just try to relocate the vent - I would really like to keep it.


John, could you tap into the engine block heater circuit at/near the One Place panel?   That is on a breaker and there should never be a time when you would be needing AC and using the block heater. 
Sounds like Harry has already done some wiring legwork.  I'll take a look at the 120 wiring and see what's possible

Quote
How do you plan to conceal/run the romex, thru the overhead ducts?
Gary - I'll try to make the short run from the vent opening to the OnePlace panel compartment - there is good access to other parts of the coach from this panel.  It might be possible to run the wire through the ceiling to the OnePlace - won't know until I disassemble the vent.
--John
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2010, 07:52:38 PM »
Looks like the loader will work to get the unit reasonably close to the roof.  Picture attached.
--John
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boatbuilder

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2010, 08:11:39 PM »
Just find a bigger loader to pick up your loader so it is even with the roof.  LOL 
Charlie

John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2010, 09:57:43 PM »
Boy, don't I wish.  I could use a tractor twice the size of the Kubota around the place.
--John
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John Canfield

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Problem solved
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2010, 07:08:59 PM »
The problem of getting the AC unit to the coach roof is solved - I bought a Genie GS-2032 electric scissor lift at an on-line auction today.  Lucky me, I got into the only bidding war of the six or eight lifts that were offered and paid twice what my target was  :-\ , but the unit looks fairly nice and has 343 hours of operation on the meter.

Truck freight delivered the AC unit today, so next week I'll get busy with the install.

The scissor lift will be a great addition to the shop since the ceiling at the peak is about 18' and I have ducting to install for the dust collection system.  Also waxing the coach will be greatly simplified and now I can easily redo the roof to sidewall joint.  Plus there is the cool factor of another tool.
--John
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seilerbird

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2010, 07:13:29 PM »
I wish you had told me about the auction before hand, I would have loved to bought one for myself. Then we could do some drag racing... ;D

Dar

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Re: Problem solved
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2010, 07:30:39 PM »
The scissor lift will be a great addition to the shop since the ceiling at the peak is about 18' and I have ducting to install for the dust collection system.  Also waxing the coach will be greatly simplified and now I can easily redo the roof to sidewall joint.  Plus there is the cool factor of another tool.

Congrads on the lift John, I am jealous. I have been whining to the DH how I want one for washing and waxing the MH but I am too cheap to invest in one anyway but I sure am sick of going up and down those ladders.  ::)
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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2010, 08:28:34 PM »
Ummmm,,,, by chance, Does that thing have outriggers?  ???
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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2010, 08:29:48 PM »
John...

I suppose you may have seen the occasional air conditioner shroud along side the highway.

One of those could  have been ours!   We have lost two in the 25 years of trailer/motor home activity.

Good luck on your endeavor.

Wendell
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2010, 08:38:30 PM »
Ummmm,,,, by chance, Does that thing have outriggers?  ???

Nope - the unit weighs 3500 pounds and the operating parameters at 26' are 550 pounds in the platform - it will move at 0.5 mph with the scissor fully extended  8)

I suppose you may have seen the occasional air conditioner shroud along side the highway.

Wendell - as a matter of fact - yes.  I'll take the chance for 13,500 more BTU of cooling.
--John
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Ned

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2010, 09:17:11 PM »
John, bring that over to our place next winter, we have some high branches to trim :)
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2010, 09:44:12 PM »
Not a rough terrain man-lift  ;D
--John
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