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Thread: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

  1. #1

    Default RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    Anyone try one of these in a mobile application? This thread has already convinced me to get one for a hard to heat/cool room in our house, but I'm also thinking about changing out the RV A/C in our travel trailer. I've figured out where to mount both parts (wall mount on the front wall and the condenser on the tongue, about a 1-foot run of pipe), but I'm worried about damage due to vibration since these weren't intended for that application.

    If you wonder why, the current A/C is incredibly loud, you almost can't have a conversation when its on. That's wonderful when you are trying to sleep. The low db levels reported here would be heaven. Its also too big, 11,000 btu for about 100 sq. ft. airspace and the trailer is very well insulated. 2" foam in the walls when most trailers only have 1", and several inches in the floor. Sticking the Sanyo on "low" all day would be much more appropriate. I could also then run it from a PSW inverter during lunch breaks (12 amps @ 12 volts is doable for a half-hour).
    Last edited by techntrek; February 24th, 2011 at 10:51 PST.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Sanyo mini split AC (inverter/variable speed)

    Quote Originally Posted by techntrek View Post
    Anyone try one of these in a mobile application? This thread has already convinced me to get one for a hard to heat/cool room in our house, but I'm also thinking about changing out the RV A/C in our travel trailer. I've figured out where to mount both parts (wall mount on the front wall and the condenser on the tongue, about a 1-foot run of pipe), but I'm worried about damage due to vibration since these weren't intended for that application.

    If you wonder why, the current A/C is incredibly loud, you almost can't have a conversation when its on. That's wonderful when you are trying to sleep. The low db levels reported here would be heaven. Its also too big, 11,000 btu for about 100 sq. ft. airspace and the trailer is very well insulated. 2" foam in the walls when most trailers only have 1", and several inches in the floor. Sticking the Sanyo on "low" all day would be much more appropriate. I could also then run it from a PSW inverter during lunch breaks (12 amps @ 12 volts is doable for a half-hour).
    I've never heard of anyone trying to install one of these in an RV but....

    ... if you replaced the (included) copper tubing with an appropriate flexible hose I think it work, and work well.

    You'd have to confer with experts to determine the "appropriate flexible hose". It would have to safely contain the pressure (whatever that is?) and also be compatible with R410a freon and oil. I would think normal A/C hose (like in an auto) would work since R410a is more environmentally friendly (therefore less damaging to hoses?) and it'll hold the pressure. Also, hoses could be made in any length at A/C shops or many auto parts stores (the real ones, not the chains).

    If possible, you'd want the air handler mounted high on the wall (may not be possible) and the condenser should mount fine on a tongue, which would be longer than one foot of hose.

    The nice thing is that once everything is installed and the system vacuumed, the freon is already in the unit. Open the valves and enjoy the cool air.

    Just my opinions after installing one in our house, I'm not a professional A/C person although I've worked with R-12, R-22, R134 and now R410a. Please don't have your lawyer contacting me if it doesn't work. I have had RVs for 30 years and do all my own work.

    Phil
    Happily off-grid since 1977

  3. #3
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    PhilS suggested that this might be better in its own thread. Original Sanyo Mini-Split thread here:

    Sanyo mini split AC (inverter/variable speed)

    Regarding copper lines--Copper work hardens from bending/flexing. If you firmly mount the units and don't let a 3' unsupported coil hang out where vehicle vibrations can get it banging around--you may be OK.

    Note: If you have flexing (say between trailer tongue and body)--you may need to put a couple of coils of copper (supported in soft mounts) to prevent the flexing from being concentrated in a short run of tubing if you do not find a satisfactory flex line.

    -Bill
    20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

  4. #4

    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    Wondered for a sec what happened, but quickly figured you moved us to a new post. I'm an admin on an RV forum where I have also brought this idea up (and linked to the original Sanyo thread so you may get some questions there). Several of us are growing more interested in trying this the more we think about it, so I may have to figure out the details in earnest. The basic model we all have is the same, Forest River R-pod, so we all have the same problems.

    With only a foot or two of lines, I wonder if an evacuation is even worth it. The other thread mentioned how that is rarely done overseas in home installations where we can assume there are many feet of line. Plus this system would encounter very light use relative to one used in a home. I agree that a flex line is in order since I would expect some flex between the tongue and body.

    I'm still getting excited at the thought of running this sparingly while boondocked. With the Peukert effect helping out, 3 batteries could give a full night's sleep in comfort. Add some PV and you could squeeze out 2 nights.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    you might look at these as well
    http://www.friedrich.com/products/du...nted/overview/

    I have a 36,000 BTU unit with 3 air handlers in my new building and it has a super quiet setting (along with low, med,high) that is almost dead quiet.The outdoor unit is pretty noiseless as well.

    They offer recessed ceiling mounting and with a cover on the roof might be more to your liking.
    My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

  6. #6
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    Quote Originally Posted by techntrek View Post
    With only a foot or two of lines, I wonder if an evacuation is even worth it. The other thread mentioned how that is rarely done overseas in home installations where we can assume there are many feet of line. Plus this system would encounter very light use relative to one used in a home. I agree that a flex line is in order since I would expect some flex between the tongue and body.
    I have no doubt you could skip the evactuation and it'd work ok. It cost me an extra $100 to buy another vacuum pump and a bottle of oil and the adapters from eBay. Our humidity is usually low, even today it's 40%. When I did my install, it was lower.

    Maryland certainly isn't that way. I've been there many times. Not like Houston, for sure, but still plenty humid.

    Any moisture in those lines could find it's way to a small orifice and then freeze, causing the cooling to stop, at best.

    As I said in the other thread, my friend in Pakistan lives in a humid area, has three mini-splits, and none of them were evacuated at installation (which cost him $10 US each).

    But I chose to spend $100 more on making a perfect install for a $1600 unit. In your case, buy a vacuum pump then ship it along to the next person in your FR forums asking for shipping and 85% of the cost. The next person does the same and by the time a half-dozen members have installed a mini-split, you'd all have spent $20 each to have a better installation.

    Phil
    Happily off-grid since 1977

  7. #7

    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    MD has its dry days, especially in the winter, so I could wait to air out the lines and connect them on a really dry day. I'll have to think about getting the pump - I like your pay-it-down-the-line solution for the cost!

    I emailed the company mentioned on the first page of the original mini-split thread about flexible lines, no reply yet.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    Some of the other brands, Fujitsu for one will not honor warranty unless purchased from one of their dealers. The Sanyo units will honor a 5 year warranty install by owner if the system is vacuumed down by a licensed HVAC technician.

    We need it today hey Phil! To the OP, use the landline!
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    Aren't the Fujitsus 240v as well?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: RV A/C System--Would Sanyo Mini-Split work?

    As for copper lines. I would not worry too much, as your LP lines are copper with longer runs to stove, fridge and hot water heater.
    Ken
    Telford,Pa
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