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Author Topic: New project in the works - adding roof air  (Read 44780 times)

azloafer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #90 on: July 17, 2010, 03:37:33 PM »
I have called several RV Service Centers and may have found one dealer that would tackle the project.  All the service techs (so far) only work on week days, so I'll continue the search on Monday.  Joe
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #91 on: July 17, 2010, 04:07:08 PM »
azloafer.....let me be the first to welcome you over here!  Most of these folks know the Winnie product, and are very willing to help.  :)
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azloafer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #92 on: July 25, 2010, 04:59:20 PM »
The roof top air has been installed. It came in at $280 less than the original estimate; that was nice. I put the generator on and the Basement Air at high cool. It was drawing 22 amps. Then I put the new Coleman Mach 13,500 on at high cool and the One Place Panel showed a total amp use of 35. I turned the TV on and the panel read-out didn't change. With the microwave on the amp meter read 48. The Coleman Mach really throws a lot of cold air out. I wish the basement air had that much force. I did not run a test on the temperature inside versus outside because it happened to be a cloudy day and in the low 90's. I'll leave the test for another time when we camp in direct sun on a hot day.  The wiring went from the air conditioner, in a small short channel on the ceiling, hidden in the wall and down to the One Place Panel so that it would be included in the amp read-out. Then it went up and to the the shower wall and down to the floor and under the shower, under the sink cabinet, through the bottom of a long storage box under the window and to the circuit panel on the back wall of the bedroom. The wires cannot be seen. Since we do not have the optional washer/dryer unit installed, its 20 amp circuit was used for the new roof top air.

I wish there was a way to increase the flow of air from the basement unit. I think that it is cold enough, but it doesn't have enough force to push the air out like a roof top unit does. Joe
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azloafer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #93 on: July 25, 2010, 05:23:11 PM »
I have also followed and tried every suggestion in the forums for increasing the flow of air from the basement unit with negative results.  The Winnebago/Itasca Dealer who installed the roof unit said that all the basement units are weak, as far as moving the air.  They just don't move the air like a roof top unit.  Everything has been checked on the basement unit including the duct work.  I think the unit needs a much faster and/or larger fan to move the air.  The dealer had no suggestions.

Has anyone found a practical way to increase the air flow from the basement unit?  Joe

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afchap

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #94 on: July 25, 2010, 05:44:28 PM »
Quote
Has anyone found a practical way to increase the air flow from the basement unit?
I believe I have seen claims by some that the "new design" plastic squirrel cage blower puts out more air, but how do you measure "more" ??  I would think you first have to measure what the air flow is to begin with ... for instance, mine (original blowers) will blow a small piece of paper off the dining table (often happens when I am entering register receipts into the computer check resister) or a normal piece of paper off the co-pilot seat.  I guess the questions would have to be, how much flow is there, and how much do you want?

I really think some installations are somehow better than others ...whether is has to to with the duct work, the unit itself, or whatever....
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #95 on: July 25, 2010, 06:04:31 PM »
...Since we do not have the optional washer/dryer unit installed, its 20 amp circuit was used for the new roof top air. ...

Good idea using that circuit!  Glad you had a successful project conclusion.

On the new 42QD, the ceiling ducting from the three roof airs is a formed duct with smooth walls which will greatly contribute to increased air velocity.  The Styrofoam ducting present in most other models has rough walls which increases air turbulence.  Only fix I can think of is to trade on a 42QD  ;).
--John
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #96 on: July 25, 2010, 07:32:54 PM »
Thanks for the update AZLoafer!  :D  We had been waiting for John to do the "add a roof air" project for a couple of years now, and now we have TWO members reporting replacements here.  ;D

By the way, I am the one that has reported that RVP has asked us NOT to use the pleated filters, and use the cheapest fiberglass filter that you can see your hand through.....change them often for the best air flow.

I have physically dropped my basement air out (pulled and dropped by myself and my wife) before Duner's writeup, and not only do I think the fan flow motor is undersized, my dealer said that Winnie undersized the outflow duct.  I have also moved my thermistor to a new location which will cause the compressors to actually RUN when the outside ambient temperatures are under 65 or so......all the units are wired like this that I have found, until I moved the inside coil thermistor to the outside of the inside coil.  I haven't seen one solitary case of anybody's basement air compressors running when the outside ambient temps are below 65 or so degrees due to the original thermistor placement by RVP.  We live at 8,600 feet elevation, and prefer temps in the 60's at night when we travel down to the flat lands!!!   ;)
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #97 on: July 25, 2010, 07:34:26 PM »
I believe I have seen claims by some that the "new design" plastic squirrel cage blower puts out more air,

I haven't seen or heard that the new plastic squirrel cage blower will put out more air....it just will not squeak as bad!   ;)
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Alfa38User

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #98 on: July 26, 2010, 11:57:35 AM »
We have the same RVP basement air/heat pump (2 ton)  in our fifth wheel as many Winnibago coaches have. The distribution using floor ducts leaves a lot to be desired, especially towards the nose (bedroom) of the trailer. I can feel a duct leak because of a very cold linoleum floor just where the ducts enter the raised section. The next project, in fact, is to somehow gain access to that spot via the storage underneath and do 'something' about it. Many Alfa owners have also added an additional air conditioner in the bedroom vent for this reason.

Another Alfa owner I heard from had used a Bilge blower (boaters know what that is!!) in the duct and it reportedly improved the airflow considerably. However, the fans of this type I have encountered are quite noisy, at least  the one on my sailboat was, so I am not sure of going that way just yet.

Furnace heat to the area is no great shakes either.... Just another project, (sigh), do they ever end???

« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 12:01:21 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #99 on: July 26, 2010, 05:57:42 PM »
Alfa38user, the key difference in the Winnebago system and the Alfa system, is that Winnebago ducts the cold air to the ceiling and through the ceiling roof vents vs Alfa who used the floor furnace vents.  I am still surprised that Alfa chose to use the floor furnace vents for the cold air distribution considering that heat rises. 
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #100 on: July 26, 2010, 06:45:37 PM »
Another Alfa owner I heard from had used a Bilge blower (boaters know what that is!!) in the duct and it reportedly improved the airflow considerably. However, the fans of this type I have encountered are quite noisy, at least  the one on my sailboat was, so I am not sure of going that way just yet.

Oh yeah - that brings back memories.  Did the same thing in the aft cabin of our 40' sailboat.  I had a fan at the aft cabin duct to suck/blow a little more air (the AC was under the forward cabin berth.)  Jane (a nurse) worked 11-7 and needed the noise (white noise) and the cool air to sleep during the day.

I've heard about RVs using floor ducts for heat and AC - not the best arrangement.
--John
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Alfa38User

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #101 on: July 27, 2010, 01:10:42 PM »
Alfa38user, the key difference in the Winnebago system and the Alfa system, is that Winnebago ducts the cold air to the ceiling and through the ceiling roof vents vs Alfa who used the floor furnace vents.  I am still surprised that Alfa chose to use the floor furnace vents for the cold air distribution considering that heat rises.

And cold doesn't!!! Yeah, I am well aware of that difference with Winni. We have a large ceiling fan that must be used while the a/c is working. The a/c return is at 6ft in the back of the trailer. The furnace feeds through a normally closed door that is supposed to block (ha!!) the cold air from backing into the furnace.
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PancakeBill

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #102 on: July 27, 2010, 08:25:05 PM »
Tough to see an Alfo to folks that remember the hot air cold air equation, especially in FL in the summer.  I would avoid them when selling RV's.
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John Hilley

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #103 on: July 29, 2010, 01:35:25 PM »
No, they are not labeled. You are going to have to do some measuring as to which circuit you are dealing with.

Those wires should all have numbers on them that can be identified on the AC wiring schematics that are available for download at http://www.winnebagoind.com/resources/manuals/
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Harry B

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #104 on: July 29, 2010, 02:09:32 PM »
Only the DC wiring is labeled. I have a chart to identify those. The AC wiring however is not labeled ... would have been nice.
Harry - (Central FL)

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stardalo

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #105 on: July 30, 2010, 02:39:42 PM »
John--  Any updates on how the new ac is keeping up with the heat? 

Also, do you think your installation would of been any different had you went with the Coleman mach 15?  I really want to go as large as possible and being that I never use the microwave, I am figuring a few extra amps will not hurt anything.

In addition, I have a max air vent over my current fantastic fan.  When I remove it to install the ac, what would be best for me to fill in the holes with?  Please advise.  thank you.

John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #106 on: July 30, 2010, 07:47:18 PM »
John--  Any updates on how the new ac is keeping up with the heat?

We're currently in Colorado at lower elevations (~5,000 feet) and the temps have been in the lower 90s.  The extra 13,500 BTU now means the coach interior is in the mid 70s in the hottest part of the day.

Quote
Also, do you think your installation would of been any different had you went with the Coleman mach 15?  I really want to go as large as possible and being that I never use the microwave, I am figuring a few extra amps will not hurt anything.

My guess is it probably doesn't make much difference one way or another either talking about the additional 1,500 BTU of cooling or an extra amp or two.  I think the 13,500 BTU version is the biggest bang for the buck.

Quote
In addition, I have a max air vent over my current fantastic fan.  When I remove it to install the ac, what would be best for me to fill in the holes with?

I would probably use Dicor self leveling sealant in the holes.  It is fairly tenacious and seems to do a great job.  Epoxy would be a good choice as well if you have a fiberglass roof skin.
--John
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2010, 07:48:52 PM »
Only the DC wiring is labeled. I have a chart to identify those. The AC wiring however is not labeled ... would have been nice.

Harry - I think Winnie started imprinting the AC wiring sometime after our coaches were produced.
--John
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Harry B

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #108 on: July 30, 2010, 08:02:35 PM »
Didn't know about the AC wiring labeling change. I guess I have to be more careful and precede my statements with"On my coach". Thanks for the correction John.

Still in the 90's at 5000 feet?  Nice to have that additional roof A/C then I'll bet
Harry - (Central FL)

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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #109 on: July 30, 2010, 08:11:08 PM »
Still in the 90's at 5000 feet?  Nice to have that additional roof A/C then I'll bet

 :P - the plan was to be in Silverton, Ouray, Montrose, etc.,  but the DW of our RV buddies has ear trouble and hasn't been able to be above 6,000 feet without problems.  We're headed to the Cheyenne, WY area Sunday.  The roof air has been a fabulous addition - we're lovin' it almost every day.
--John
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catblaster

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #110 on: August 10, 2010, 08:56:33 PM »
Oh how I envy your new toy, always wanted a lift. Well my backhoe is bigger anyway. :)
Will and Jane
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2010, 09:17:33 PM »
...Well my backhoe is bigger anyway. :)

And it is likely to stay bigger than mine since I don't own one  ;D
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2dalake

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #112 on: August 13, 2010, 10:51:07 AM »
Continuation of questions/considerations related to this intersting thread on roof AC.  Some folks having problems with their basement AC units have discovered 2 things:

1.  RVP no longer makes these units since demand has dropped off with Winnebago switching to roof AC with the 2011 models.
2. repair parts (especially compressors) are not kept on the shelf but manufactured only when ordered.  So, if your's breaks and you need a part from RVP, you will likely wait weeks for it.

That is getting folks (including myself) thinking more seriously about adding one roof AC as a back up in the event of failure of the basement unit.  With a DW with medical problems and two dogs, a trip with a busted AC is not going to pleasant.  Thinking can extend to the possibility of adding two roof AC units if the big box breaks, then convert the hole to a nice basement storage compartment.  However, there is the weight issue.

My contact at Winne tells me the roofs on a pre 2011 Winne is engineered for a 225 lb person and an additional 100 pounds while the coach is stationary.  So, two roof airs will add about 180 - 200 lbs (if you opt for a roof AC/Heat Pump weight goes up).  If you add the weight of many of us who have put on some weight as we age, you may be overloading the roof.

So, we pray that our basement units hold up or we can at least find replacement parts in a timely manner.
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John Canfield

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #113 on: August 13, 2010, 05:01:25 PM »
Gary - interesting post.  Compressors are for the most part extremely reliable; a likely failure scenario would be the blower, thermostat, freeze switches, or the control board.

On my roof is a Datastorm (~100 pounds), and now 100 pounds of AC.  I'm about 160 pounds so I'm a little overweight on the roof (and I'm a little overweight on the ground  ::). )  Since the Datastorm is installed towards the side of the roof and not on the center line, that probably changes the dynamic loading a bit in my favor.  The other factor for the Datastorm is the weight is spread out over a fairly large area due to the aluminum mounting plate, so I'm quite comfortable with my roof loading.

Having a backup AC for the coach was a strong selling point for me - I like backup systems - always wanted a backup for anything important or critical on the boat.
--John
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2dalake

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #114 on: August 13, 2010, 08:21:32 PM »
John, the DW says I am too techical and worry too much.  But, she will be the first to complain if the AC poops out.

Bryan told me that the 2011 coaches have a plate in the roof for reinforcement where the AC's reside.  Also said the R value of the new roofs are significantly higher than previous model years.

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mrschwarz

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #115 on: August 14, 2010, 08:10:49 AM »
I installed a roof unit in the kitchen vent last weekend. Since I work for a manufacturing company and my office is located in a distribution center, I pulled the coach inside the building and lifted the AC unit with a forklift. A couple of us on the roof picked it up and placed it in position. My next challenge is electrical. I ran the wire through the AC duct back to over the One Place in the center of the coach. I thought I had the perfect spot for the hole over the cabinet behind the TV and One Place. The problem is that Winnebago didn't run the duct in a straight line from the back. It angles into the hallway. That makes the hole in the ceiling visible. In addition, since the cabinet does not go all the way to the ceiling, the wire is visible coming out through the hole. Originally, I was going to cover the hole with a blank ivory switch plate and run the wire in a groove cut into the ceiling vinyl. I have been thinking about it for a week and remembered using a vinyl seat repair kit years ago. If I can get some scrap ceiling material from Winnebago, I can get a vinyl repair kit (if they still make them) and make the hole invisible. I can also move the wire back against the wall behind the cabinet and make that not noticeable, too.

I also have another couple of challenges with the electrical supply. In order to prevent having to another run a wire from the One Place to the breaker panel under the bed, I tied the power into the engine block heater circuit. The AC installation instructions called for a 20 amp circuit and the block heater is 15 amps, but I thought it would be worth trying. After installation, I ran the AC for an entire day. As long as I didn't run the fan on high, it would not trip the breaker! I also ran it for a an hour or two on the generator to make sure nothing would get overloaded. This worked fine until I started driving. After 10 minutes of driving, the 15 amp breaker would blow. I reset it a few times and it would blow after a while. I replaced the breaker with a 20 amp one, which did not blow.

The problem then moved to the generator. When both ACs were going, the was 35 amps on one leg and 10 amps on the other. After about 10 minutes, the breaker on the generator would blow. According to the EMS, I was drawing about 47 amps. Since I have an 8000 watt generator, and 47 amps is only about 5700 watts, I thought I was well within the operating range of the generator. I have not measured the current draw from both 120 volt legs, but I am assuming that one of them is being overloaded. The generator has a 35 amp double pole breaker with a single toggle. It is logical that each pole is 35 amps (35 * 120 * 2 = 8200 watts). There is only a single toggle for both poles and it appears that one can blow without the other one shutting off. I am not sure how good a design that is. The only way to reset the blown side is to shut the breaker off (which disconnects the running side, too) and turn it back on. Based on the sounds coming from the engine, you can hear the electrical circuit unload the generator when the switch is thrown. I moved the AC circuit to the other 120 volt leg in the breaker panel, thinking that this would balance the load out, but the breaker still blew. It also screwed up the EMS which now thinks I am on a 30 amp circuit (I am hooked up to a 50 amp circuit). The voltage sensing must be connected to the block heater connection. I looks like I cannot avoid running another circuit from the breaker panel to the One Place. I also need to put an ammeter on the two legs to see what is going on.

I have a Progressive surge protector and I know that one of the 120 volt legs is used for almost all the power in the coach. When I moved the breaker to the other leg, it reports that I am using 25 amps on one leg and 15 on the other. I'll have to see what's going on.

On the positive side (no pun intended:)), when it was 105 out, the inside temperature was 75 and both ACs were cycling. The basement AC hasn't cycled off in hot weather since I took delivery of the coach. On the other side, John was right. I had forgotten how noisy a roof AC can be, but it's worth it!
Michael

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #116 on: August 14, 2010, 08:30:28 AM »
Hi Michael - welcome to the extra AC club  8)

Sorry your electrical situation isn't copacetic.  I'm pretty certain I ran the roof and basement air on gen set, but I don't remember for how long.  Not sure if I have avoided your problems by running a separate circuit.  Also, my EMS works fine.  For a test, you could run a separate circuit (with a new breaker) from the AC to the breaker box with the wire just laying on the floor and see if that solves your problems.

If I can find the right place (we're in a campground), I'll run the genny with both ACs going to see if I trip that breaker.
--John
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mrschwarz

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #117 on: August 15, 2010, 06:53:32 AM »
The EMS problem is because I moved the engine block heater breaker from one leg to the other. This has happened to me before. I did that to avoid tripping the generator breaker. When I get home, I need to put an ammeter on the circuit to measure the draw. That will tell me what's going on and whether I am going to need to run another wire. It will also tell me if I am actually drawing 35 amps from each side of the generator. I am beginning to suspect the bouncing a breaker around while driving may actually lower its amp rating. The vibration may cause it to trip at a lower current.

I don't think I own a clamp on ammeter anymore so I may be adding to my tool collection. Once I measure the current, I'll report back. The cool is nice, though. My wife actually complained it was a little chilly yesterday afternoon (it was 101 out). On a related note, the latest complaint is that it is 'stuffy' in the bedroom. I have 2 ceiling vents in it. In the main part of the coach I have 8 vents. Based on the size of the room, I would have thought there would be 4 vents in the bedroom instead of 2. After removing one of the main area vents to run the wire, I don't see it as a big deal to add a vent to the bedroom. Has anyone tried it? Once the duct itself has been identified in the ceiling, the biggest challenges would be to get the vent parts and find the right size hole saw.
Michael

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #118 on: August 15, 2010, 08:24:05 AM »
I don't see it as a big deal to add a vent to the bedroom. Has anyone tried it? Once the duct itself has been identified in the ceiling, the biggest challenges would be to get the vent parts and find the right size hole saw.

Sounds like the extra BTUs are a big hit.  I don't think it would be a big deal to add a vent either.  I have a bunch of extras at the place, I would be glad to part with one or two of them if you can wait until we return home (about a month.)
--John
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stardalo

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Re: New project in the works - adding roof air
« Reply #119 on: August 21, 2010, 07:24:40 PM »
So I completed the install of a coleman 13,500 btu mach 3PS today. Hardest part was snaking the wires.  from start to finish it took me and a friend 6 hours.  The extra btu's are awesome.  It blows so cold!!!  I decided to use 10 gauge wire.  I ended up muscling it up on to the roof, was not too bad, actually easier than I thought.  Very happy with my install.

 

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