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New Post 5/25/2011 5:32 PM
106 posts

portable air conditioner in RV 
I am new to RVing and to this forum, although I have explored much of the topics and the library already. I did not find this topic discussed exactly, so I am going to jump in and ask my first forum question. Maybe it was discussed at some point, but I have not found it.

I live in Texas. Tomorrow's temperature is forecasted to be 103 in the San Antonio area. I have read the discussions about dash air vs. roof air and the gas mileage implications. But I have found that in my older motorhome (1995 National Dolphin, model 432) that all the air I have available is just not adequate when actually motoring cross country. I also would prefer to travel without the dash air for gas mileage reasons, although I realize there are those who will argue that it is negligable. However, I personally think there is a significant difference in the gas mileage of my RV when I run the dash air.

That leads me to this question:

Has anyone used a portable a/c and vented it out a window? Many portable units on the market today have easy water disposition and seem to be perfect for such cooling. I would only need it for cooling the cockpit and immediate seating in the front part of the coach. Instead of running the roof air conditioners, which provide minimal comfort while actually driving, why can't I run the generator and operate a portable a/c in the front of the coach?

Has anyone tried this? Is there any reason it would not work?

I appreciate anyone's feedback on this issue and look forward to your ideas.
New Post 5/25/2011 9:07 PM
  Larry and Rita
14 posts

Re: portable air conditioner in RV 
I called my RV mech. today to find out how much it would cost to replace one or both of the roof units, the front unit is about useless.
I live in Washington state but am planning on a trip through the desert, with some stops.
The price was about $750 per unit.
We have had a roll around portable unit for a couple of years, one that will vent through a window with a flexable tube. it worked great in the house as long as we did not need to a/c the whole house, only one room at a time.
We replaced the home unit with central air (great) We were thinking of using the portable in the RV, like you're suggesting. Never thought of using it in transit with the Gen. running.
New Post 5/31/2011 11:51 AM
139 posts

Re: portable air conditioner in RV 
Our coach is an 1989 vintage that has 2 AC Penguin units. We have had this coach for 15 years, a Georgie Boy Encounter. Both AC units have suffered control circuit board failures at different times. The front unit, used most often failed first, about 2003. I replaced the circuit board with an upgrade kit, with excellent support from the Dometic factory. Unfortunately a year later that unit had a cooling coil failure. On/off cycling causes fatigue in the coil tubes. We replaced that entire unit with a new higher capacity version rather than trying to repair it. We are glad we did that as it can now better cool the front, living and kitchen areas. The rear unit had the circuit board failure in 2005 and it still working fine. I used the upgrade kit from the old front unit, glad I saved the front unit for parts.
New Post 10/5/2011 11:03 PM
132 posts

Re: portable air conditioner in RV 
My friend tried to use one of those portable A/Cs used by tent campers. It works quite fine if it's just within a small area.
New Post 10/25/2011 1:04 AM
137 posts

Re: portable air conditioner in RV 
Venting it out through a small window would work for as long as the sun is not roasting your pop up. You can use solar blankets to keep the inside of the window dry.

But since you mentioned you're living in Texas, I'd suggest that if you do choose to get an a/c, choose a big one with 2 hoses to help you handle the mid-day heat.

Also, don't expect to be able to sleep in the afternoon even with the a/c. With those temperatures in Texas, the a/c would be able to bring down the temp a bit, but not enough to really make you feel a considerable difference and make you comfortable.
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