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Author Topic: Basement ac  (Read 3325 times)

danzak44

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Basement ac
« on: June 07, 2010, 09:26:43 PM »
My husband and I are still looking at RV's and I've come across some that have basement AC.  What is the difference between this type of ac and the ducted ac on top, besides one is in the basement and one is on top? And which one is a better product? Thank you in advance for what ever advise you can give us.

Dee and John



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« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 07:33:07 AM by RV Roamer »
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tennsmith

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 10:14:30 PM »
Basement ACs are usually heat pumps, meaning they can provide heat as well.  As in all heat pumps, with decreasing temps, the amount of heat that can be extracted diminishes and most just shut down the heatpump and go to gas when the temps approach freezing.  Use of a basement A/C unit may give an RV an overall "lower" profile in terms of total height, but unless you are in remote areas, height is generally not a problem.  Servicing a basement type unit has to be more complicated/expensive than a rooftop unit.  There are a couple of variations on rooftop units.  You will find RVs with multiple rooftop units that are not ducted such that the cold air blows out only beneath the unit and this is kinda bad from a cold air distribution standpoint.  Then, there are "ducted" roof ACs which have multiple output ducts in the ceiling throughout the RV just like a basement AC unit.  FYI, Winnebago, after years and years of installing basement ACs in their motorhomes have just, this year, gone back to rooftop units.  Not sure of the reason...just a fact for your data gathering.

Lots of folks complain about the basement AC being "marginal" at best for keeping the RV cool in hot weather.  Can't speak for the rooftop units but they may do better.

Not sure if one or the other is "best" from a reliability standpoint.  All I see is that you do get some "heat" from the basement units in 40-50 degree temps whereas you're on propane for heat with a rooftop unit.  If you're in a campground and plugged into shore power, you're heating on someone else's dime, if you're on propane, you're spending your money.
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Ned

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 07:10:45 AM »
Heat pumps are available in the roof mount units as well, so that's not a determining difference.  Our roof mount heat pumps give heat in temperatures down in the 30s, so again, not a real difference.  The biggest disadvantage to a basement A/C is the loss of storage space.  Given the choice, I would take the roof mount units and save the storage space and additional expenses of servicing a basement unit.
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 07:35:27 AM »
I'd agree with Ned.  For what its worth, Winnebago introduced basement air several years ago across their  Class A product line and this year has gone back to roof air.

It's not really a significant difference, no matter what the salesman says.
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sheltie

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 08:45:33 AM »
Unless you are a fulltimer and needs LOTS of extra room for storage, the loss of one compartment means little.  My basement air works great in weather temps from 38 to over 100 and I'm very happy with it.  I like the clean lines (no roof top protrusions visable) which is an advantage (to me) over the roof top types.  As far as which is more efficient, I can't tell the efficiency advantage of one over the other and I've had both.  If I were to ever buy another RV, I'd want one with the basement air, but primarily for esthetics.

SargeW

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 10:14:12 AM »
My basement air works really well, and was much quieter than my last roof air. I also like the ease of changing the filter on the basement air and using the easily available Home Depot disposable filters. 
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mdbass

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 12:54:39 PM »
Another vote for the basement air-we love it!

Alfa38User

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 01:20:40 PM »
The primary reason Winnie has gone back to roof air is because the manufacturer of the basement air units (RVP) will no longer be producing them. Something to do with changes in the Federal regulations requirements in the refrigeration material (freon-like) so that it is no longer viable for them to continue those models.
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danzak44

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 10:20:52 PM »
To All,

Thank you so much for all of your valued information it is very much appreciated!  Now, just how difficult and costly is a basement ac compared to the rooftype? And, with the basement ac's going away would it just be best to stay away from these type of motor homes (thinking about finding svc tech)?  The more I read about RV's the more I think about what to ask you guys.  Thanks again for such a great forum!

Dee and John
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 07:49:08 AM by RV Roamer »
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 07:50:59 AM »
There are thousands of RVs with basement air out there - I would not worry too much about getting service or parts. Roof a'cs have always been somewhat easier to get repaired, but I don't think the situation will change a lot..
Gary
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sheltie

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Re: Basement ac
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2010, 09:26:35 AM »
To All,

Thank you so much for all of your valued information it is very much appreciated!  Now, just how difficult and costly is a basement ac compared to the rooftype? And, with the basement ac's going away would it just be best to stay away from these type of motor homes (thinking about finding svc tech)?  The more I read about RV's the more I think about what to ask you guys.  Thanks again for such a great forum!

Dee and John


I would suspect that the roof top types would cost less to maintain - if other than routine maintenance was required.  Also, if you are thinking of buying a new RV and the roof top is standard, go with it.  Yes, I love my basement A/C but if it is going out of production in the next generation, why would I want anything but what is current?