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Window Air Conditioner "IN THE HOUSE!"

6329 Views 23 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Van vs Wild
-installed a 5kbtu GE (11ceer) window air conditioner.
-it's mounted to/hanging from drawer slides that are, in turn, mounted to aluminum angle bolted to the left rear door.
-got the idea from a Transit owner who installed on the left side. When retracted, it "sat" on top his countertop, so no wasted space. I decided to go to the rear.
-when stowed (not operating) the ac intrudes 9 inches into our 50 inch wide bed. There is space under it tho so you can lay your legs under it (wife's side 馃き). We have a low roof.
-when deployed (operating), we open a strut-assisted baggage door and release the lockable slides and extend the ac out. Door sweeps and foam block the minimal gap.
-shunt says fan draws 6A and during cool, 50A. This is an energy smart model ac with remote, timer and the fan turns off between cooling events.
-total cost around $550 (ac was 180, angle/slides/ hardware 130, custom door 205, seals/butyl/misc 35.
-I haven't done a temp test as van is not insulated yet. I will see how my 210ah LIFEPO4 can handle it.

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2019 PM 1500 136" Low White Tow Nav Park
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very nice job!

Is it pretty rattle free when driving?
It looks like the door seals well and is insulated?

Gary
Yeah, more than I hoped for! The dual wire lock pins i pop in when stowed, stop all movement. They augment the locking drawer slides and prevent an intruder from sliding out the ac if they breach the baggage door.

The Rec Pro custom baggage door is first rate, with fillet welds, weatherstripping, and insulated door. But ordering the right size wasn't clear... My guesstimate worked out, as did my gas strut install.
 

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Very nice 鈥 moving A/C outside like that has a lot of cooling advantages. I鈥檓 curious about the mesh on back of A/C (behind condenser). Is that from GE or did you add it?

-shunt says fan draws 6A and during cool, 50A. This is an energy smart model ac with remote, timer and the fan turns off between cooling events.
-total cost around $550 (ac was 180, angle/slides/ hardware 130, custom door 205, seals/butyl/misc 35.
-I haven't done a temp test as van is not insulated yet. I will see how my 210ah LIFEPO4 can handle it.
Numbers are about what one would expect. Power for A/C in range of 450 Watts, and battery output around 600 Watts. One would guess inverter efficiency around +/- 75% is in right ballpark. Curious what size and brand inverter you are using to power A/C.

My 5,000 BTU/hr GE cycles often during the night, and also uses less power at night due to cooler temperatures, so it is possible that a fully charged battery will last most of the night if not particularly hot. Nice job.
 

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That looks much nicer than the usual way that I see a window AC mounted on a van. :)

I would worry about those sharp edges over the bed at night though. OUCH!
 

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2019 PM 1500 136" Low White Tow Nav Park
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very nice 鈥 moving A/C outside like that has a lot of cooling advantages. I鈥檓 curious about the mesh on back of A/C (behind condenser). Is that from GE or did you add it?



Numbers are about what one would expect. Power for A/C in range of 450 Watts, and battery output around 600 Watts. One would guess inverter efficiency around +/- 75% is in right ballpark. Curious what size and brand inverter you are using to power A/C.

My 5,000 BTU/hr GE cycles often during the night, and also uses less power at night due to cooler temperatures, so it is possible that a fully charged battery will last most of the night if not particularly hot. Nice job.
The mesh is leftover perforated metal i had used to protect my house AC condenser fins after I had hail damage. A bit of prevention. Curled edges over, painted, and used existing screws. Doesn't seem to excessively restrict airflow.

I've a Victron MultiPlus 2K inverter that pulls 1A/13W at standby. With the Eco mode on AC that cycles the fan with the compressor, I'm hoping (as you say) that I'll last the night with 210ah lithium. Ultimately, I made room for 400ah+ capacity as I'm trying for all-electric. (aside from a butane outdoor stove and maybe a 1# propane rear door mount hot water shower).

Always easier being a hypocrite when you admit it.
 

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The mesh is leftover perforated metal i had used to protect my house AC condenser fins after I had hail damage. A bit of prevention. Curled edges over, painted, and used existing screws. Doesn't seem to excessively restrict airflow.
Pardon the inner engineer in me always wanting to question and or test everything. The reason I asked was that it looked to me like it 鈥渃ould鈥 be restrictive, at least more than it appears.

Since power usage is critical, you may want to test with and without mesh on a hot day. I鈥檇 measure exit air temperature and power draw right after removing. I would want to know even if the answer was that it doesn鈥檛 adversely affect performance. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I'm hoping (as you say) that I'll last the night with 210ah lithium. Ultimately, I made room for 400ah+ capacity
hoping you post the results
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1. I'm working the weekend, so no stress test til mid next week. Temps should be back in the 100s. :ROFLMAO:
2. As for the mesh increasing amp draw...I can pop it on and off with magnets for testing. The Victron shunt should give me immediate response.
3. I lived in FL for 4 years. Humidity and I don't get along, so...heck yeah! Shore power thru inlet plug in my bumper, then thru the inverter to 120v receptacle. Conversely, run an extension cord thru a window or door and feed from external source.
4. Will post results but I've seen how others "publish", so better bring your salt shaker!
 

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2. As for the mesh increasing amp draw...I can pop it on and off with magnets for testing. The Victron shunt should give me immediate response.
In my technical experience response time doesn鈥檛 quite work that fast. Your Victron shunt may read electrical changes immediately, but the system itself will likely not respond as quickly as you may think. I expect any change you observe will take a little time to work through the system.

If air flow increases when you remove the mesh, the condenser will start to cool down somewhat but at a gradual rate because there is thermal mass in all the metal. And then the gas pressure will start to reduce at compressor discharge, requiring less power, but that may not happen immediately or instantaneously either. You should give it enough time until it reaches a new steady state (no more change). Of course that assumes the mesh makes a measurable difference in the first place.

When I first installed my A/C I did a lot of testing, and one thing I still remember was that when I first turned the A/C on, after initial high start-up current, the electrical current was lower until the air conditioner ran for the first few minutes. Electrical current gradually went up over a few minutes until it leveled off at whatever new condition I was testing. After initial start, response time was faster but still noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, did "a" stress test of my window ac. Please use for "gee whiz" info only! :D
SETTING:
-started test at 1305L with van in full sun 103deg, 7% humidity; large windows in mid, and bunkhouse in rear. Only windshield had sunshade.
-no appreciable wall or roof insulation.
-AC set to 72 deg, ECO mode (irrelevant, as it ran continuousy). AC exposed to sun, aside from shade from baggage door.
ELECTRICAL:
-210ah LION Energy batteries, Victron 712 shunt
-solar input OFF, B2B OFF, no additional load
WHERE I SCREWED UP:
-I didn't set the 712 parameters properly (specific for LION batteries, tail current, floor, etc). Ha, and I did some elect work but forgot to synchronize and reset SOC.
FINDINGS AT CONCLUSION:
-ran AC for 2-1/2hrs before I quit because I was mad at myself about the 712 SOC settings.
-712 showed I used 126ah. Consistent with LION battery-top bms display of 60% life left. (Lion has 20, 40, 60, 80, 100% led display). Amps varied from 47 to 50A DC, compressor running.
-AC was pushing out 69deg air; lowered interior van temp from 112 to 95 running constantly; exterior temp rose to 106 by 1535L. Inside temp of side window 117, windshield (front of shade) 121, bare van skin 105, bare roof under solar panels 100.
-712 said battery temp rose from 95 to 111. Vicron 2k inverter surface temp rose from 101 to 111--but internal fan never kicked on.
[email protected]: removed my mesh cover off condenser for last 1/2hr: actual amps immediately dropped at least 0.7A, maybe a bit more. Interior temp dropped 2 deg in that 1/2hr period and it seemed that inside air flow was higher (don't understand that...). Anyway THANKS Chance! Cover removed!
CONCLUSION:
-I'm happy with it. No rattles driving. When operating, front plastic grill rattles--jammed a wad of tissue.
-with 210ah batteries, anticipate 4+hr continuous run; longer if/when it cycles, like at night.
-there's 12" of space below AC to a 4" mattress when AC is stowed. Obviously, head position is to van's right. Knees do hit. The diagonal members might get padded.
-Beauty of the slides is that I can yank the AC totally out during winter months.
-must insulate!
 

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Thanks - always great to see actual numbers.

Sounds like the next project should be insulation and reflective window shades?

If you could test after insulation on a similar day, that would be really helpful.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, nice work! Do you recall the size of the hole you cut in the back door? Any pictures of it before the AC got mounted ?
So, I've got a low roof, no back windows. I cut out a rectangular hole (21-1/8" w X 17-1/8" h). I needed that width (AC plus drawer slides, and baggage door), and went as high as i could, notching into the double metal. I'd have gone that high, even if i had a high roof, to get the AC as high as possible above the bed.

I'd advise that if you get a baggage door made, you wait upon receipt to get the exact dimensions, before jigsawing.
Grille Hood Wood Automotive exterior Automotive design
 
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