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 > Small A/C Unit (5000 BTU) For Campers and Vans

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roverlife

Canada -> Chile

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Posted: 11/14/17 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After loads of research to find the lightest, smallest, and most efficient small AC and generator combo, here's what I found... thought I'd share my experience and install video for others. Been running this combo with great success for months.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duua4EVesos

This combo of a 900W Yamaha inverter generator and the Fridgidaire 5000 BTU (350W) wall unit will get you 9 hours of cooling for only 0.6 gallons of gas. I doubt any kickstarter unit will be beating that anytime soon. I even worked with a Chinese rooftop AC company to get a 5000 BTU unit designed and manufactured, and for $700/unit they still were at a 500W draw. I'll stick with a tried and tested $120 wall unit... both are on sale on amazon right now too... can't beat this combo!

Frigidaire 5000BTU A/C Unit ON SALE @ $119:
http://amzn.to/2Aln0kp

Yamaha 1000W Inverter Generator ON SALE @ $790:
http://amzn.to/2y5ka1s


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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 11/14/17 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The same AC but with digital temp control and a remote for $179. Is a step up in comfort.

westend

Shorewood, MN

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Posted: 11/14/17 04:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rover,
Is that 350W measured or a plate rating?


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theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 11/14/17 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The data I found says max draw is 450W.

This is impressively low.

roverlife

Canada -> Chile

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Posted: 11/14/17 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

The same AC but with digital temp control and a remote for $179. Is a step up in comfort.


Yes, but no guarantees on the same power draw... my goal was to find the lowest drawing AC unit I could so I wouldn't have issues using the smallest generator possibly. The difference between a 1000W generator and the next step up is huge in terms of size and weight... well, when you are talking about space in a small camper. I'd get real data on draw before jumping for the digital temp control, at least if you want to be using the smallest generator possible.

roverlife

Canada -> Chile

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Posted: 11/14/17 04:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westend wrote:

Rover,
Is that 350W measured or a plate rating?


That's measured. And backed by one other buyer on Amazon who measured the same draw on his unit. As I mentioned, it's the lowest I was able to find in a month or two of scouring the internet and emailing manufacturers in china (I was planning on designing and building a small capacity roof unit, but I couldn't find anyone who could meet a reasonable power draw... some were quoting me 700W for 5000BTU! You may as well just buy a Coleman 10,000+BTU unit at that point cause you'll need a big generator anyways.)

roverlife

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Posted: 11/14/17 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

The data I found says max draw is 450W.

This is impressively low.


Yes, that's what the literature says. I was very happy with 450W, but super happy with 350W measured. Hitting the 30-40% capacity of an inverter generator is ideal for efficiency, so it was sweet to be in that band knowing I was getting as much runtime as I could out of each tank.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 11/14/17 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Link --this is worth watching

Thanks for creating that video -- this is very significant for those of us with smaller generators. Mine is a Honda 2000 and it will not run my existing A/C (which is way too big for my trailer). Well done!


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LenSatic

Cochise Co., AZ

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Posted: 11/14/17 11:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

Link --this is worth watching

Thanks for creating that video -- this is very significant for those of us with smaller generators. Mine is a Honda 2000 and it will not run my existing A/C (which is way too big for my trailer). Well done!


I don't get that. Our Honda 2000ci runs our A/C just fine and I doubt that yours is larger. Is your water heater switch on AC? Ours was and we couldn't run the air conditioner until the water was heated after about 20 minutes.


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NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Posted: 11/15/17 05:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the tips. That Yamaha is a good little genny, I have one myself. Our TC also has a built-in Generac 3600 LP gen that we use occasionally, but the vast majority of the time all we need is the Yamaha. It’s quieter, and more fuel efficient by far. Also, I expect the Generac is going to break someday, and it won’t be cost effective to fix it.

Like you, I have put in considerable time/effort/$$$ in making changes to my camper so that the Yamaha will meet all of our needs. I had given up on ever having A/C with this generator, so it’s nice to know it could be done if necessary. Most of the time we don’t need A/C when we’re dry-camping though.

I just recently went through the same search for a microwave that the Yamaha could handle. I bought a GE unit that had the smallest wattage rating I could find (600), hoping that it’s running wattage would be under 900. It was, but just barely. The Yamaha could handle the microwave in Arkansas at about 350 ft elevation, but couldn’t do it when we got above 1000 ft or so.

I recently installed a new 1500 watt pure sine inverter, and now we can use the microwave without having to start the big generator first. The Yamaha is usually running in the evenings when we’re out dry-camping anyway. The inverter needs about 93 amps of DC to run the microwave. When the generator is running, about 50 amps is supplied by the TC battery, and the rest is supplied by the generator through the campers converter/charger.

I’ve even run the microwave or coffee maker a few times off of the single group 31 AGM battery for 10-15 minutes with no generator running. The inverter is also used to run the refrigerator while we’re driving, and a heavy-duty charge circuit from the truck keeps up with the draw from the inverter.

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