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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

We are in the process of configuring our new Promaster for road travel. We need a van with more floor space and air conditioning capacity to travel with big, hairy dogs, who love adventure. As a front-wheel drive, there is not heat coming through the rear floor from the transmission, another plus. Looking forward to taking it on our first long road trip in April.

Need to work out some questions on the air conditioning, such as using an engine generator (http://www.fabcopower.com/generat/bgen.htm) or whether the 220A alternator will sufficiently keep batteries charged if we use batteries to run the roof AC on a medium or low setting. (AC & DC distribution panels are on order.) Concerned especially about traveling in very hot areas or steep grades.

The Bigfoot Club
 

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The normal AC in the van will do well while traveling for the entire van if you insulate the sides and roof. Once parked a roof top AC unit for an RV of 11,000BTU should work fine plugged into a 120 volt 30 amp source such as at an RV park. Running it or any AC unit from battery is quite another thing altogether. I doubt you will find and acceptable solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We took a 5.5 hour trip about a week ago, and the weather was in the 70s. Dogs were too warm in the van. The insulation isn't in yet. That will certainly help, but with many years of experience traveling with these dogs, the cab air is definitely not enough, unless ours isn't up to par.

What do you think of the Fabco engine generator?
 

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Insulate first. Heat gain there is overwhelming the AC but it can be reduced dramatically. Do you have rear and/or slider windows? They will need attention too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agreed. And yes, there are two sliding door windows and both rear doors. I noticed within the first couple of days that the heat coming through those windows was intense. For our previous van (Chev 3500, passenger van with rear air), I had the windshield replaced and I told the installer that I wanted a "polarized windshield". I don't think that is actually an option, but he got the right message. The amount of heat coming through the windshield dropped radically, more than I had hoped. For the side and rear windows in that van, I used low-e insulation. The windows opened, and the inserts could be added or removed. Since the windows for this van don't open, I will look for a film that reduces heat, and I may use a blocking cover on the side windows also.

The insulation is here and will be added in about the next week. Based on experience with previous vehicles, though, and with these dogs, it is unlikely that dash air will provide enough cooling. But I will review after the insulation is added. Will happily report if that is not the case.
 

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For additional cooling of the rear there are, for example, products from Webasto that work when the engine is running (are integrated with the vehicle AC system).

Webasto solutions are used in many Fiat Ducato RV in Europe but they they sell their products also in U.S.A..
Their U.S. website is a little messed up.

For recreational vehicles one solution, while driving, is BlueCool Drive 40. It is an integration to the vehicle cooling system.
It works only when the engine is on and is a 12 V system.
https://www.webasto.com/int/markets-...onal-vehicles/
(the reference RV base in Europe is Fiat Ducato => Ram Promaster)

In U.S.A. website there are also solution "specific" for Ram Promaster vans (and also City).
https://www.webasto.com/us/markets-...auxiliary-hvac-vehicle-specific-applications/

But is better to look an UK site since is more clear the explanation and are showed more products.
https://www.webasto.com/gb/markets-...ated-air-conditioning/integrated-ac-40-59-kw/

There are also from Webasto are the 12V (or 24V) rooftop systems.
https://www.webasto.com/gb/markets-products/light-commercial-vehicles/air-conditioning/rooftop-air-conditioning/compact-cooler
(UK link since from my browser U.S.A. website link doesn't work).

As RDinNHandAZ wrote insulation is best way to retain fresh in the vehicle (or to protect from cold in winter) the vehicle.
 
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