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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 159 inch ProMaster dark grey. I want to get a rooftop ac but I want to get the right size. I race dirt bikes so the van is for hauling bikes and sleeping. I would like to get the Coleman Mach 10 15000 btu. But I have been reading a ton. Is this too much will it cycle too much?
 

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So,
Insulation?
Are you mainly in Alaska or Death Valley or Houston in the summer?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mainly Oklahoma and texas, I am looking into the wool insulation. But would like to wire it up and install the ac first.
 

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I camp in full sun more often then not going to probably wrap the roof in white.
 

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FYI, RNR and WanderingWakes just coated their roofs.

Someone is going to ask, batteries or batteries and plug in or just plug in, just throwing it out there because in no time we'll being talking about B2Bs and Lithium and tires :)
 

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I've used a 13.5K BTU unit in both of my 3500 Ext builds. Both mounted near the back of the roof. The first build was not insulated very well so it would keep the back of the van cool enough, but the front was warm. It stayed on all the time in 90+ degree heat. My new build is very well insulated (spray foam) and the AC does much better though I haven't had much chance to test it. For a 3500 Ext, if you insulate well and mount the unit towards the middle, you're probably ok with 13.5K.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FYI, RNR and Wanderwakes just coated their roofs.

Someone is going to ask, batteries or batteries and plug in or just plug in, just throwing it out there because in no time we'll being talking about B2Bs and Lithium and tires :)
It will be either my Honda eu 3000i or shore power, no battery bank or solar.
 

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My gray 2500 159 high roof, roof painted white, insulated pretty well, can be cooled with the Coleman Mach 8 Cub 9200 btu. I am in Oklahoma. So 13,500 would work but might short cycle.
 

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Pickle - as a point of reference: In my 23’ Airstream I’m using a 15k BTU Coleman Mach 8 Plus and it pretty much can keep up with Southern California’s summer temps. Rule of thumb is that it can cool the Airstream about 25 degrees below ambient temps.
I fear the 13k BTU might be oversized for a van.
May I ask why you chose the Mach 10 over the Mach 8? The 8 is lower profile and looks much better, especially in proportion on a relatively small Van (in comparison with a big trailer I mean).
Very happy with the Mach 8. My friend has the identical trailer with a Dometic Penguin and it is louder and can’t keep his trailer as cool as my Coleman does.
 

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This is very insulation dependent, which includes windows. My van is white and insulated with thinsulate 600 on all surfaces and in the ribs, and 1/2 - 3/4 XPS or Polyiso in most places over that.

I do ok with a 5000 BTU unit in partial sun if I can keep the doors closed, but I don't have windows other than the cab. I posted the test results on this forum and it cooled pretty well considering it was in partial sun with a 98 degree start. I have since added thinsulate 400 in several places as additional insulation in the corners (the upper part of the wall between the top horizontal rib and the ceiling where foam sheets didn't really fit well). I plan to retest, maybe next week after I finish a few other things, like putting doors on my storage bins which will help by reducing the volume to be cooled.

I think in a very well insulated van a 13500 unit might short cycle a lot. But I can also say that if you plan to go in and out at all, or be in full sun, especially in a non-white van, perhaps it won't during the hottest times. If I was to go with a roof air, I think I would probably have a smaller unit.
 

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The "effective" BTU capability is very temperature dependent above 90 F.

Especially as the temperatures go above 100 - 110 F on the van roof, the effectiveness drops off rapidly.

The 3000 size generator is a good decision. It has a large enough fuel tank to run for a while vs the 2000 size fuel tanks are just too small.

Removing humidity from the air also takes cooling power vs operation in a dry climate.

Solar panels are very useful for running refrigerators and some lights. Interestingly, they can also provide some shade to the roof when in full sun.
 

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The 3000 size generator is a good decision. It has a large enough fuel tank to run for a while vs the 2000 size fuel tanks are just too small.
The Honda 2000 and 2200 have the option of an external fuel tank, though. The 3000W genies are a bear to carry and to store.
 

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The Honda 2000 and 2200 have the option of an external fuel tank, though. The 3000W genies are a bear to carry and to store.
I have seen kits that let you do just that, I was thinking I would see about pulling fuel from the van auxillary connection if I was ever to need a generator. I don't forsee the need, but I didn't see covid coming either and am changing my mind about things ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Pickle - as a point of reference: In my 23’ Airstream I’m using a 15k BTU Coleman Mach 8 Plus and it pretty much can keep up with Southern California’s summer temps. Rule of thumb is that it can cool the Airstream about 25 degrees below ambient temps.
I fear the 13k BTU might be oversized for a van.
May I ask why you chose the Mach 10 over the Mach 8? The 8 is lower profile and looks much better, especially in proportion on a relatively small Van (in comparison with a big trailer I mean).
Very happy with the Mach 8. My friend has the identical trailer with a Dometic Penguin and it is louder and can’t keep his trailer as cool as my Coleman does.
I was just reading reviews and the Mach 10 had really good reviews also the site I found to buy it the Mach 10 is actually cheaper then a Mach 8. But I really just want to be happy with my purchase. I want the right size to not cause complications.
 

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The Honda 2000 and 2200 have the option of an external fuel tank, though. The 3000W genies are a bear to carry and to store.
I have my 3000 attached to a two wheel dolly so It just rolls up and down the ramps for my dirt bike with minimal effort, no lifting.
 

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Right now I use a 8000 btu portable, it does fine after dark but struggles in any sunlight. I know most of the reason is my lack of proper insulation. But I have saved some money and I’m ready to do it better and properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My gray 2500 159 high roof, roof painted white, insulated pretty well, can be cooled with the Coleman Mach 8 Cub 9200 btu. I am in Oklahoma. So 13,500 would work but might short cycle.
What did you insulate with? And what are the downfalls of short cycling the ac? Does it not cool as well or does it damage the unit?
 

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We put 2" of wool in walls and ceiling. 1" polyiso under plywood floor. I made insulated window covers for the interior of windows if it is cold or we have direct sun. We have rear door glass and 3 added RV awning windows. I understand that the short cycling can be rougher on a compressor.
 

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Yes, short cycling is bad.
When you use a unit that's too big for the space (heat and AC), it fires up and conditions the space very quickly, then shuts off right away. The temp drops or rises by a few degrees quickly and then it fires up again. Having a motor or compressor constantly turning on/off is very stressful on the motor and very energy inefficient.
Same principal applies to everything. Engines, hinges, batteries, your body, etc.
 
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