Monday, August 18, 2014

100% RV Solar Mobile AC on the road - freezing at 59 degree

         Well folks can you really handle this 59 degrees freezing AC inside your RV - keep on dreaming, things only get this good with OverTheTopCargoTrailer. To boot it's all 100% FREE SOLAR AC - Heating & cooling. The air coming out of the unit is around 55 deg F - pretty cold. The outside unit will sit inside and quietly vent the heat out through the trailer side - fresh air or cool air will be sucked in from under the trailer or from the other side. The system will be mostly hidden & silent !!! The bottom 2 pictures are some folks who wanna show off their systems - but here we like things hidden. One is installed on the rear truck camper hitch & one on the front of an air Stream. Maybe this is where my crazy ideas come from.

Now cooled with 100% Solar Air Conditioning

A reader question : why did I use a certain type of mini split AC ?

     There are 3 basic types of mini splits, the basic ac cooling version only - runs full power on or off only, example 9,000 Btu on or Zero Btu when off. Type 2 has a heat pump - this allows the flow to be reversed and it now cools and heats both, basically it works between 32 deg up to 100 deg F. Type 3 is the INVERTER - this allows the compressor to run variable speed saving even more power. Example 9,000 Btu unit runs as low as 3,000 to 9,000 Btu range - depending on what it needs to maintain the temperature. LAST there is SEER rating, min required by law is 13 - the max of the most efficient units is SEER 27. I look at this number like MPG sort of. One more thing is low ambient operation - the best units heat down to minus -10F and will cool up to +131F ,  some also run on 120 volts and some on 240 volts, this gives you quite a selection of options - there are actually a few more, but lets keep it simple. ACTUALLY - the big secrete is to be honest, the mini split heats even better then it cools - which is funny as most folks see these as AC only.

Here it is 59 degrees F inside the trailer

The AC is installed above my bed, exactly where i want it
I'm getting great test data, much better then expected

Below is the temp install location, i'm testing that the AC works fine
before cutting large holes into the trailer sides
and or the trailer floor

Here is a fella who like to show off his AC

Mini split installed on a Air Stream trailer, 
worth $1,000 to you and $50 at the scrap yard to copper thief
"No Thanks" to the exterior install for me

This is install inside a bus bay with rear vents

Inside the bus bay, about like my set up

I left Dave a message to see how his unit is holding up
hopefully I will hear from him

       Since the AC will be enclosed and sucking air from the trailer sides and floor I thought it would be best to install additional mechanical ventilation - it just can't hurt as far as I'm concerned. I'm using a 8 amp auto radiator reversible fan rated to move about 900 CFM and it's very quiet. The fan is also installed with 2 fuses, one switch and is on a 10 amp pwm variable speed controller. Since the pwm controller gets quite hot it's installed below a fan to keep it nice and cool. The bottom picture is the exterior 12" cover - I may upgrade this to a 12 x 16" in the future. So far everything works great and is super quiet. I just need some quiet interior fans to help move the air around the trailer a little.

Closer to final location

8 amp auto radiator reversible fan rated to move about 900 CFM
I have now put this fan on a thermostat where it comes on at 92 F
vs running 5 hours straight when the AC is on.

Now the fan runs 75% less , only when needed

Outside fan view

10 amp pwm variable speed controller
being cooled by cabinet fan

Like magic - its all hidden & silent inside

Now cooled with 100% Solar Air Conditioning 


  1. I am curious, how did you go about selecting the Pridiom mini-split? Some of the reviews @ Home Depot are shaky.

    Did you consider a PIONEER unit? The Amazon reviews look to be excellent.

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  2. Well there is a guy with an Eagle eye. It was actually the first 120 volt model that I found, most others are 240. Knock on wood so far other then a small remote issue it's working really great. Since this is also sort of "off label" use I'm willing to accept the risk that something might break and will worry about plan "B" when that happens

    1. It isn't clear when the PIONEER became available, but the first review is March 2013, the 9,000 model uses 120 volts, appears to be well-liked... and is amazingly reasonably priced at less than $650, shipped:

  3. BlueOak

    My number one choice is the Fujitsu 9,000 SEER 27 , however at this time no one makes a small affordable 240 volt inverter running off of 12 volt.

    Thanks for following

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  5. How many BTU unit did you choose?

    The price is about the same for all the smaller units and with the variable speed compressor, you don't get the short cycle problem if you install too much AC for the space--but you do pay dearly for the 240 inverter as you stated.

  6. I'm planning on installing a mini-split solar powered hat pump on a TT. I will be using a native 48v DC minisplit to avoid inverter loss. The higher voltage battery bank (8 GC-2 golf cart batteries in series) will be more efficient than a 12v system. Here's a link to a upper high efficiency minisplit I plan on using. It's a 12,000 btu unit that only draws 560 watts (11.5A at 48v) for cooling and 600 watts for 12,500 btus of heating. Here's a comparison vs a traditional mini-split and a traditional ac: They suggest only 1.12KW of solar is needed to power the AC. I plan on going with between 1,500 and 2,000 watts depending upon space considerations. I won't be installing it for 3 years so I have plenty of time to design the system and shop for components. Battery technology might advance considerably during this time, so my battery plans might change.


  7. Beautiful job. You are very artistically talented. Regarding the outside....I've seen examples of folks who painted up the outside with just as much imagination and talent as one puts in on the inside. From what you've demonstrated, looks like you could do it, if you decide to go that way.
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  10. Most steady in each sort of temperature is split air conditioner effectively connected. The Information is really important for us.

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  11. Nice blog post and good information on solar AC. Can you suggest me the best solar mobile air conditioner?


Please leave your thoughts, I am always looking for new ideas.