Heater/AC prep package - Ordering any day - do I want this? - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
dobermin
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Heater/AC prep package - Ordering any day - do I want this?

I have my final Promaster options selected and am wondering if I need the heater/AC prep package option?

I will be converting this 3500 159" ext into a full functional off - grid camper van as well as daily driver.

My initial plans involve installing a standard house window AC unit and will be using a propane furnace from Coleman popup camper.

What do I get with this prep package and can I remove it from the config, or does anyone see some value in getting it now?

Thank you
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 07:39 AM
keeponvaning
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You should be asking "Should I use a house window AC and used propane furnace in my new van?"

The answer to all your questions (IMHO) is NO!

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 09:19 AM
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No.

2015 136" HT Diesel Sandstone Metallic Born on 6/12/2015 Campervan build see: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/...ad.php?t=37177
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, three "no's".

No on the Rear A/C Heat prep.

The other two "no's":

House window AC unit -- seemed like a great idea... already have nice Yamaha 2000 watt inverter generator. The AC units are very inexpensive vs the roof top plus no cutting roof. I learned of the idea on this form and thought it was a terrific start -- I already have the AC unit as well.

Propane camper furnace -- like new, plus I want propane for stove, etc... I don't believe it draws much electricity either but I'll have a few cab batteries with solar as well.

Please shoot me your opinion--

Thank you.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 11:02 AM
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A used pop-up trailer propane furnace likely has the firebox rusted badly and perhaps even perforated so combustion & house air mix, that is how they (and people) die early.

Before spending another minute planning anything get the unit apart and inspect to make sure the metal has not been compromised by cheap steel and high humidity while in storage AFTER it had been run with the sheetmetal firebox heated deep cheery hot a few times.

Used to be RV furnaces were at best 65% efficient, now maybe nearer to 70-80% usable heat from each Btu of propane input. There are better solutions.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 11:40 AM
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Hi,
I'd say "maybe", "maybe"

I think the converting a small window AC has some things going for it. You can get them in the 5000 BTU/hr range, and this should be fine for a well insulated van with that that has windows with reflective shades. In addition to being a whole lot cheaper, the window units are generally more efficient (SEER 11+ -- which is not great, but the roof ACs are typically worse). The RV roof top AC's are in the 13,000 to 15,000 BTU per hour, which is likely more than you need if you do a good job on insulation (Coleman Mach cub at 9000 BTU/hr is one exception, but still quite large for a good van conversion)

These small window ACs run on 500 watts vs 1500 ish for the RV roof ACs -- this means it can be run by a smaller generator or inverter and with more marginal shore power.
If you have a very large battery pack, you could even run them for limited times on battery -- about 30 amp-hrs per hour of operation at 75% duty cycle.

http://www.frigidaire.com/Home-Comfo...AC/FFRE0633S1/

They also weigh less and don't make a big bump on the roof, and leave more room for roof solar.

The challenge is figuring out how to mount them in the van -- there are some youtube videos from people who have done this. They do take up more space inside the van.

------------
I think propane is just fine and if your current furnace is in good shape and its a good brand, I'd say go ahead and use it. Its what 90%+ of new RVs come with.

Gary
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 05:24 PM
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As to the furnace, I don’t like them, I have had them and they are too noisy to sleep, cycle on and off a lot and often are way larger capacity than you need to heat a well insulated van. That being said the next better version means buying something you don’t have and is still propane. Propex heaters are more modern, designed for vans (etc.) and cost $600 or so.
http://www.propexheatsource.com I am cheap so I would consider the heater you have too.

The window type AC unit is all about the instal. Old cogders around here in the winter drive ancient Class C Toyotas with house paint broom finished on them in mixed colors and all have one of those cut in at a funny angle hanging out the side. But hey Casita trailers use one near the door and it looks good. It may be a modified thing. Its all in what you do.
See: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/...ad.php?t=46377

2015 136" HT Diesel Sandstone Metallic Born on 6/12/2015 Campervan build see: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/...ad.php?t=37177
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 06:09 PM
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Just some examples, no recommendation on these unless someone gives you one free... http://www.climaterightair.com/produ...ht-models.html

Their smallest, 480 watts for 2500btu is about 5.2 SEER, their next model up is 700 watts-in-gives 5000btu-out for about 7.1 SEER - meaning they are comparatively inefficient & not something they advertise AT ALL, for the 480w input they claim 730w worth of 'coolth' that a SEER 11 unit should be able to do for 230w input. Also, since these units are supposedly 'free standing' there are examples on the web where warranty was invalidated by permanent installs. Also note the 2500/5000 models use resistance heater elements for the heat cycle.

Someone who is really clever could re-purpose a small window AC mechanisms into something like the above fairly easily... (famous last words).

I'm looking at split-systems but its been difficult to find a 120VAC system with a small width & lightweight outdoor unit to hang on the back door... Then there the problem of finding flexible freon lines to hook the system up and keep the door functional.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 06:59 PM
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-10-2017, 07:06 PM
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Maybe they will make a 12v model? Might be a good solution, although kinda pricey, if they ever get it going.

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.
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