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Old 02-15-2010, 07:17 PM   #1
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Changing a/c controls from unit to wall mount

I am wondering if anyone has changed their a/c mounted controls (thermostat and fan speeds) to a wall mounted unit. I would like to do this for a couple reasons. The a/c fan in our t.t. is on all the time. It is quite loud, even on low speed. I would like the fan to turn off and on with the thermostat setting. I can hear the compressor kicking in and out so I am confident that there would be some off time. Is this viable?

Any info is appreciated,

shineysideup
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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Based on what I can find out, the controls mounted on the AC unit actually switch 120 Volts AC. The best home style digital thermostat is only rated to switch 24 volt AC. The second concern would be that the temp sensor for the air is located in the return air plenum. If you stop the fan and the compressor at the same time, I'm not sure you would get an accurate reading. The heat may build up, and/or it may cause the "A" coil to stay too cold and freeze up. I looked at doing this to mine, as I have an electric hoist bed that covers the controls when up, but found it was not worth the effort. I also would have to run wire mold across the ceiling and down the wall. Might could be done with the addition of two relays, one for fan, one for compressor, but you will still be stuck with the fan speed switch, and only have the fan speed available at the wall that the speed switch is set for. I found it too complicated for a simple mod, and decided it was probably better to have the air circulating from the fan always on a benefit. I'm also usually on shore power and not running a generator, which may make a difference. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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While you can convert from mechanical controls to electronic controls (i.e. wall t-stat) it requires the air distribution box and controls to be removed and new electronic control kit be installed, t-stat wiring be run, 12vdc power to be ran to the unit, etc. So you see, it's not a simple job. I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it I just want you to be prepared for all that's required. Your best bet might be to find the controls out of an old unit to save you some money.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply's guys. From what I had read I thought it was quite an involved change. Personally I don't think the benefit would be worth the effort. Guess in my next trailer (or lifetime!) I will look for a wall mount controlled a/c unit.

Maybe I misunderstood the whole operation of a wall mounted thermostat a/c unit. The fan does cycle off and on when the compressor is not running, right? Guess this should really have been my first question!

thanks again,
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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Yes, in an analog (wall t-stat) unit there is a switch that either allows the fan to cycle on and off with the compressor or run all the time. At night we run our fan continously because the sudden sound of it starting up will startle you awake.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
Yes, in an analog (wall t-stat) unit there is a switch that either allows the fan to cycle on and off with the compressor or run all the time. At night we run our fan continously because the sudden sound of it starting up will startle you awake.

I know exactly what you mean although it is the furnace that sounds like a leaf blower starting when it kicks on. I have since figured out that a little electric ceramic heater will keep the trailer warm 98% of the time. This also saves propane! Gotta figure out how to make that puppy a little quieter!
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shineysideup View Post
Thanks for the reply's guys. From what I had read I thought it was quite an involved change. Personally I don't think the benefit would be worth the effort. Guess in my next trailer (or lifetime!) I will look for a wall mount controlled a/c unit.

Maybe I misunderstood the whole operation of a wall mounted thermostat a/c unit. The fan does cycle off and on when the compressor is not running, right? Guess this should really have been my first question!

thanks again,
O.k., I've been thinking of this still... I don't want to get into changing the controls to a wall mount for obvious reasons (a lot of effort! ). Could I change out the fan speed switch to a variable rate switch? I would also like to put in the heat strip (that is an option on my unit) and get rid of the portable heater (storage, fire hazard etc.). It would be great if I could slow that fan down. Maybe I could try and install some kind of sound insulation also?

Any ideas on where I could find a variable rate switch to accomplish this or am I talking crazy stuff here?

cheers,

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Old 03-25-2010, 01:44 PM   #8
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The heat strip is easy, but not near as efficient as a ceramic heater. My Roof AC has a 3 speed fan switch already on it, what are you thinking now exactly? This is not a house AC, and too little air movement across the coils, and it will freeze up. If it freezes, it may take over a day to thaw, and that's one day you want have air, right in the middle of July. Then every time you check to see if it's working, you only add to the problem, and now it's a day and a half. This is not anything like a house AC, and was never meant to operate like one. Any modifications on air flow are not advised. That is my two cents. By the way, I was told during walk through on my camper, to always run the AC fan on high for risk of freeze up. I told them, I would run it on low and test it, and if it froze up, they could fix it. The manufacturer put low speed on it, and it better work there. I haven't had any problems in July, on low, but I wouldn't want the fan any slower.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shineysideup View Post
O.k., I've been thinking of this still... I don't want to get into changing the controls to a wall mount for obvious reasons (a lot of effort! ). Could I change out the fan speed switch to a variable rate switch? I would also like to put in the heat strip (that is an option on my unit) and get rid of the portable heater (storage, fire hazard etc.). It would be great if I could slow that fan down. Maybe I could try and install some kind of sound insulation also?

Any ideas on where I could find a variable rate switch to accomplish this or am I talking crazy stuff here?

cheers,

shineysideup
I installed one of the heat strip kits on our old rig, they come with everything you need. Most A/C units selector switches already have a "heat" setting they are just not used unless you install the kit. However in my experience with ours the fan unit on the A/C is horribly loud and the unit runs continuously. The thermostat unit only turns off the coils not the fan. I wound up never using it because of this. I much prefer the portable space heater like Windrider mentioned. Most all of them these days have tip over protection that will shut them off if they fall over accidentally. Been using space heaters of some sort for over 10 years with no problems.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windrider View Post
The heat strip is easy, but not near as efficient as a ceramic heater. My Roof AC has a 3 speed fan switch already on it, what are you thinking now exactly? This is not a house AC, and too little air movement across the coils, and it will freeze up. If it freezes, it may take over a day to thaw, and that's one day you want have air, right in the middle of July. Then every time you check to see if it's working, you only add to the problem, and now it's a day and a half. This is not anything like a house AC, and was never meant to operate like one. Any modifications on air flow are not advised. That is my two cents. By the way, I was told during walk through on my camper, to always run the AC fan on high for risk of freeze up. I told them, I would run it on low and test it, and if it froze up, they could fix it. The manufacturer put low speed on it, and it better work there. I haven't had any problems in July, on low, but I wouldn't want the fan any slower.
Windrider, With the heat strip units the A/C does not run the compressor so there would be no freeze up of anything. However the fan does run continuously like I posted above so the noise is the major problem I had with the heat strip kits.
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