Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a wheelchair van for my wife, it's a very nice Promaster 159 extended Tempest XL. It's doing a great job as a wheelchair van.

When they were installing everything I asked them to put in an external power plug for "shore power" like I have on our camper trailer. I always used that to plug in my generator and run the Air Conditioning if needed.

In my ignorance it didn't occur to me that when I ordered the "extreme Air cond. and heating" package for the Promaster Tempest XL (under the vehicle)... I didn't realize that it probably runs on DC and any shore power I hooked up would be A/C and thus wouldn't really help me run the air or Heat at night... I'd have to start the engine of the vehicle if I wanted to park the vehicle overnight somewhere.

I know there are plenty of DC to A/C inverters but that's not going to help me power the Air conditioning from shore power, right?

Sorry I don't know what I don't know about all this, I bought the van because w needed a wheelchair vehicle but it has the potential to be a Class B motorohome as my wife improves over the year. Is there anything I can do with the $4,000 heating and Air cond. package I bought other than operate it with the engine running? Thanks, Jim

I am correct in assuming (now) that this big honkin' air conditioner I bought is only going to be able to run if the engines running and I can't power it with external A/C power.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,650 Posts
Why can't you run it off a generator or the grid? If you have the proper size inverter it shouldn't be a problem. Some generators will even put out 12 VDC besides AC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How would I connect it? The external outlet in the body of the van doesn't do anything as far as I know except pass through the a 3-prong a/c power outlet in the wall of the van. How would I get power in any form to the air conditioner?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,650 Posts
Time for a serious talk with the converter. I find it difficult to believe any professional converter would simply run a 110 AC line from outside to an inside receptical without some kind of house battery/inverter set up. You haven't given us any kind of real info on the setup to give any worthwhile advice.

You seem to indicate your extreme AC/heat only works when the engine is running. It that because the AC compressor is powered off the engine via a drive belt and you have no house battery set up? We need to know a lot more about the set up and how it works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What converter? I asked them to build a wheelchair van, they did. It's not designed with any RV functionality, I just thought I'd pay them a couple hundred bucks to put an external input for shore power, not understanding that this was only going to result in a 110 v outlet to plug in a laptop or whatever .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,650 Posts
Building a wheelchair van is converting.

It seems as you are out of luck with this AC/heater. You have to find out how it's powered. Most likely the compressor runs off the engine and, if so, you are SOL using it unless you run the engine. Idling the engine isn't recommended for any length of time and illegal in many jurisdictions.

As I suggested - check with whomever put the aux AC/heat in. Hopefully the system is not what it seems to be but it's highly unlikely the way you have described it.

If the AC will work without the engine running you are in good shape and it's a relatively simple fix but if you have to run the engine to make it work it's no good for a camper conversion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I am probably SOL... I have a call into them.

My wife broke her neck and is mostly paralyzed but improving slowly. I've always wanted an R/V but the wheelchair van conversion was almost as expensive as the vehicle itself.

In my naievete (or however you spell it) I paid the extra $4000 for the super-duper A/C and heat not realizing that the engine would always have to run. I was even thinking of it from a safety stantpoint, I live in AZ and it van goes dead with my wife in teh back and I cant use the lift to get her out of the heat I'm screwed, so I thought I could put my little honda generator (EU2000) in the back of the van and if an emergency happened, I could fire it up, plug it in to the side electrical port and run the A/C until help arrives and I can get her out of the van manually. Then again getting her out of the van into 110 degree heat isn't going to help a lot either.

Thanks a lot for the feedback folks.

Jim



Building a wheelchair van is converting.

It seems as you are out of luck with this AC/heater. You have to find out how it's powered. Most likely the compressor runs off the engine and, if so, you are SOL using it unless you run the engine. Idling the engine isn't recommended for any length of time and illegal in many jurisdictions.

As I suggested - check with whomever put the aux AC/heat in. Hopefully the system is not what it seems to be but it's highly unlikely the way you have described it.

If the AC will work without the engine running you are in good shape and it's a relatively simple fix but if you have to run the engine to make it work it's no good for a camper conversion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Often commercial people movers have two roof A/C units - a front one that is engine sourced & driver controlled and a rear one that can be independent of any van mechanical elements, remember there are huge markets for this stuff in the Middle East, etc. and you've already got the prime cooler so most of your work is already done!

So, one might replicate the idea using something like a Coleman-Mach Mach 8 'Cub' 9000Btu roof unit ALSO that is pure A/C powered and self-contained for around $800-1200 installed and then see if your 1.6/2kw inverter generator will start it, likely a soft-start kit would help that out if it is 'iffy' when it is 110°F outdoors.

That Mach 9 'Cub' unit wants almost 12A current on high, spec'd at Running Watts Standard: 1270 & Running Watts Desert: 1550, so that's just at the limit of a standard household outlet/cord if* the wire run is not too long.

Using your Vans alternator to power it would be asking for 120 to 150A DC to convert to 12 to 15A AC and that might get expensive converter wise.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,650 Posts
I think what you have is a typical aux AC for a people mover, not a camper conversion. It's not wrong because you have a people mover but it isn't really much good for camping in the future. The two are totally different animals. While an electrically powered AC compressor could be used in a passenger van it wouldn't be a great set up but at least it could be used for dual purpose.

As Zoomyn stated above what you really need is an AC powered unit you could also run from a converter with enough battery power.

Sorry to hear of your predicament and hopefully your wife will make a full recovery.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top