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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking ahead to the summer. I can't put AC in my van. There's not a single Sq Ft left on the roof. Plus I don't mind the heat, as long as it's not in the 90's and up. But with a dog (7 lb chihuahua) possibly left in the van alone at times (very few times, for very short durations), and for sleeping comfort at night when I can't leave the slider and back doors open, I think I will need more than just a fan. So I'm looking for advise.

I'm thinking of getting this now because I have a coupon for 10% off at home depot, and I'm guessing winter prices will be less than summer prices––unless right now it's a jacked up price. Has anyone bought one of these? Is this a good price? Do you think the price will go down or up once summer approaches? Does anyone have experience with this product? I know if I'd bought a Webesco heater in the summer it would have been so much cheaper than it is now.

This is so much more money than I want to spend, but I'm really afraid the van will be unbearable in the summer heat, and that would suck. One plus for this devise is, since I don't live in the van, this could be left at home when not needed. Ugg! I can't decide what to do!

https://www.homedepot.com/p/ZERO-BREEZE-2300-BTU-Mark-2-Portable-Air-Conditioner-Plus-Rechargeable-Battery-Z20P/316705499

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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just my understanding, but there is no free lunch

By that, cooling like heating takes a ton of energy. If it is 12v you are wanting to use that is an issue. Plugger into 120v you are ok.

Maybe @jracca will chime in or @Chance
The battery supposedly works for 5-6 hrs on sleep mode. It says you can recharge the battery while driving using 12v outlet. It takes 5 hrs to recharge. There's an AC adapter to run it on AC or charge the battery using AC.

If it's 95 degrees outside, will a maxx fan and open skylight keep the van under 90 degrees? If so, I might not need anything.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I would be skeptical.

The price is quite high for only 2300 BTU/hr of cooling.

2300 BTU/hr is probably not going to cool your van well. Some people have done OK adapting 6000 BTU/hr window ACs to vans, but the van needs to be well insulated and have reflecting and insulating window treatments. This one provides less than half this cooling capability.

Its EER (efficiency rating) is only 2.7 - this is very poor and means it will use your battery up a lot faster than more efficient ACs. Some window ACs have EERs of 10 or more.

Compared to a run of the mill window AC, this provides 1/3 the cooling, uses 4 times as much electricity for a given amount of cooling and costs 6 times as much.

Its nice that its compact, and it would certainly be a lot easier to incorporate into the van than something like a window AC. There might be a scenario where you cut down the size of the area being cooled to (say) just the bed area that might work.

What part of the country are you talking about for the summer? Is it humid and hot there, or just hot? If its hot, but not humid, an evaporative cooler might be an option.

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"If it's 95 degrees outside, will a maxx fan and open skylight keep the van under 90 degrees? If so, I might not need anything. "
You can't cool to less than the outside air temp just using a fan - with good venting, you might get down close to the outside air temp.

Gary
 

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2018 2500 159-HR
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I have two MaxxAirs at the rear of the van with a plan to cut a hole in the floor towards the front to draw the 'cooler' shaded air in from under the parked van. The reason I haven't made those cuts is realistically the ambient air temps aren't going to vary greatly enough in the shade to make a significant difference to my Australian Terrier (even with summer haircut). I've had him in the van in the shoulder seasons and frankly he's sometimes too dumb to get out of the sun - he likes his 'security spots' no matter my parking orientation or how the sun tracks.

I like the looks of this option you've found - yeah, it's pricey, but supply chain issues won't drive that down any time soon, so flip a coin whether this price goes down or not. @RV8R is right in that the key equation is energy, so I suspect it'll make a dent, but the BTU rating isn't really that high to keep a 159HR that much cooler than outside air. Compartmentalizing could work, though, for example constrain the dog to the bed with a thick curtain, draw air/exhaust from a side window, and maybe run your MaxxAir partly open and at a very low speed to help with air mixture.

Looks like the dual hose separates the heat exhaust from the air intake? That would be key to avoiding creation of a vacuum in such a small space.

BTW it looks like Wayfair has it for $949 (possibly without spare battery or some such option), and you can usually find 10-15% off coupons for them.

 

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If it's 95 degrees outside, will a maxx fan and open skylight keep the van under 90 degrees? If so, I might not need anything.
You’ll never cool the van lower than the outside ambient temp with just airflow, the very best you can do is keeping it at ambient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,
I would be skeptical....

Gary
Thanks Gary, that's good advice. It's a lot of money for something that's not too efficient.

I'm on the east coast, so I'll be in humidity. I expect my trips to be short trips north and south, to places mostly east of the Mississippi during my first year. I really like the heat and hate AC. I guess I could plan trips around the weather. Maybe I'll add windows. How easy/possible/expensive is it to switch out factory unopenable windows with windows that open? I have one wall space where I could add a window. But I googled and the ones that fit there really don't add a lot of open space.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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I think using this with a noggle would give you a nice focused stream of cool air for you and pup. It won't change the overall temperature of the van but it would make a nice spot to be in the van. I have looked at these before and I like that you can get additional battery packs and the fact that using it won't drain your house battery as it can run independently.

 

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Remember that dogs can’t transpire like we do and thus an air stream doesn’t cool them like it would us by evaporating our sweat. I have the same conundrum with my Aussie every summer. When it’s hot I wet him down a lot, but even that only helps so much.
Like RV8R said, unfortunately there is no free lunch… :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BTW it looks like Wayfair has it for $949 (possibly without spare battery or some such option), and you can usually find 10-15% off coupons for them.
I did not know wayfair had coupons! They have the battery combo for $1399. So I for sure will not get the home depot one now. I can wait for summer, and if I absolutely can't travel without some cooling help, Wayfair and coupons could be the answer.

@GaryBIS is right that it's not a great cooler or a super efficient unit. With so many entering vanlife, you would think inventive minds would continue t find solutions, so who knows what the future will bring. My van is a 136wb, and with furniture in it, it's a pretty small space. @Boondogger , that Noggle thing aimed at the floor would be perfect for the pup! Even if it takes the temp at night from 95 with humidity down to 85 w/o humidity, and keeps the pup cool for a quick trip into the grocery store, that would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Remember that dogs can’t transpire like we do and thus an air stream doesn’t cool them like it would us by evaporating our sweat. I have the same conundrum with my Aussie every summer. When it’s hot I wet him down a lot, but even that only helps so much.
Like RV8R said, unfortunately there is no free lunch… :-(
I did not know that about dogs. My friends with pugs and poms would situate their dogs on cooling pads on hot days. Chihuahuas do better in the heat than most dogs. When I lived in Los Angeles, I never used the AC on hot days, even 100 degree days, unless it was humid, and the dogs never minded.

I did get a third lithium battery to help with whatever heating and cooling I need. I know that won't solve the dilemma though. I just want a snack that I pay for, not a free lunch. :cautious::geek::rolleyes:
 

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What I’ve done in the past in a pinch for a quick grocery run is leaving the van idle with the stock AC on. However, the Promaster makes it not easy leaving the engine running, getting out and still having the doors locked.
I start by locking all doors with the button under the radio, exit though the rear door, and locking that door with the key.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I’ve done in the past in a pinch for a quick grocery run is leaving the van idle with the stock AC on. However, the Promaster makes it not easy leaving the engine running, getting out and still having the doors locked.
I start by locking all doors with the button under the radio, exit though the rear door, and locking that door with the key.
At least with the motor running, no one will hear a bark and break a window. Boy do I hate the idea of doing that, although it is a great last resort.
 

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Gas Rectangle Air conditioning Home appliance Event

I did not know that about dogs. My friends with pugs and poms would situate their dogs on cooling pads on hot days. Chihuahuas do better in the heat than most dogs. When I lived in Los Angeles, I never used the AC on hot days, even 100 degree days, unless it was humid, and the dogs never minded.

I did get a third lithium battery to help with whatever heating and cooling I need. I know that won't solve the dilemma though. I just want a snack that I pay for, not a free lunch. :cautious::geek::rolleyes:
My guys is pretty sensitive to warm temps, thick, black coat. I have a waterbed for him that holds almost 8 gal, but that is very heavy and bulky. A gel cooling mat is useless for him.
With your 3 lithiums you might be a prime candidate for a house window AC like @jracca did , but where to put it.
They make “through the wall” ACs which have the air intake and exhaust in the back, so that the AC box doesn’t have to protrude outside, you just need a flush opening through the van wall . I have been thinking about one of those a lot.
 

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Its EER (efficiency rating) is only 2.7 - this is very poor and means it will use your battery up a lot faster than more efficient ACs. Some window ACs have EERs of 10 or more.
I think the EER for this is calculated incorrectly, or at least not in the units we normally think of it. They are almost certainly reporting COP in the EER field on the website.

In the US we use cooling power / power consumed and the normal units are BTU/hr divided by watts.
Elsewhere in the world they often measure cooling power in watts, and their chosen expression equivalent to EER is COP, which is coefficient of performance, cooling watts / power consumed.

I think that 2.7 is the coefficient of performance for this unit, not the true EER. Which is not great, generally over 3 is ok.

Since there are about 3.4 BTU / W, the EER would really be about 9. Not great. Still worse than a 12 EER window unit.

It has a few things going for it, it is a two tube unit, so it has separate exhause and intake, so it doesn't use cooled air to ventilate the condenser, otherwise it might have and EER of about 6-7 like many portable units.

All that said, I still agree with GaryBIS and I am skeptical. The only way this things will work is cool a smaller well insulated part of the van. I have a 5000 BTU window AC and a well insulated van and it is barely sufficient, no way a unit half the size will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All that said, I still agree with GaryBIS and I am skeptical. The only way this things will work is cool a smaller well insulated part of the van. I have a 5000 BTU window AC and a well insulated van and it is barely sufficient, no way a unit half the size will work.
Yeah, that seems about right. :( If things get too hot, I might buy it in the summer from a returnable place and give it a try. According to the promo, it should work for my needs: cooling a 7'x7' space. Plus my cooling needs are low, compared to most people. 85 degrees is my ideal temp, as long as the air is moving.
 

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It's 20" deep. How does that not hang outside?
It lives inside, only the rear of the box needs to have an opening through the van wall.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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I think the EER for this is calculated incorrectly, or at least not in the units we normally think of it. They are almost certainly reporting COP in the EER field on the website.

In the US we use cooling power / power consumed and the normal units are BTU/hr divided by watts.
Elsewhere in the world they often measure cooling power in watts, and their chosen expression equivalent to EER is COP, which is coefficient of performance, cooling watts / power consumed.

I think that 2.7 is the coefficient of performance for this unit, not the true EER. Which is not great, generally over 3 is ok.

Since there are about 3.4 BTU / W, the EER would really be about 9. Not great. Still worse than a 12 EER window unit.

It has a few things going for it, it is a two tube unit, so it has separate exhause and intake, so it doesn't use cooled air to ventilate the condenser, otherwise it might have and EER of about 6-7 like many portable units.

All that said, I still agree with GaryBIS and I am skeptical. The only way this things will work is cool a smaller well insulated part of the van. I have a 5000 BTU window AC and a well insulated van and it is barely sufficient, no way a unit half the size will work.
Hi,
It does seem fishy that the EER is so low, and it may well be they are quoting the COP.

They quote the cooling as 2300 BTU/hr and they state a power use of 650 watts - no mention as to whether the two go together. But, if they did 2300/650 = 3.5 for the EER.
But, then in another part of the Amazon listing for it, they quote a power or 240 watts, which would give an EER of about 9.6.
Not sure what to make of it.

Gary
 
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