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Old 07-20-2019, 11:15 PM   #1
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Adding a portable air conditioner to 30A coach

I have read numerous posts over the past couple years on this forum about adding a second air conditioner to a coach which only has one. Most RV owners have noticed that a single roof A/C cannot keep up with cooling a 30 foot or larger coach when temps rise above 90 degrees. Much has been written about the plausibility of adding a second roof air conditioner - some roof structures can handle it perhaps... others cannot. I was told specifically by Forest River NOT to try it... that the roof structure is not built for it. Since our motorhome is a new 2019 unit I was not inclined to ignore this advice, so we started considering a portable unit. We still faced the difficulties of trying to run 2 A/C units on a 30 amp service. It just ain't gonna work too well. I've read some about 'electric shedding technology' on some newer coaches and I am a bit dubious. 30 amps is only gonna power so much.

We considered that we might have to go back to a Class A (we've owned three with 50A service) but we really want to stay with the convenience of our Class C Forester. After some study we decided on a Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner. One of the more expensive ones around but it has many advantages and fits well in our rig. We decided the best option would be to power the portable unit on a separate line directly to the power pedestal's 20A or 50A outlets. I spoke with several electrical engineers who assured me either one would work with an adequate gauge extension cord. I considered cutting holes in the side of the coach for the hot exhaust air and for the electrical outlet and even obtained schematics for the walls from Forest River so I would know where to cut.

After further consideration we realized we could position the unit on the floor right behind the passenger seat since we had removed the jackknife sofa love seat in favor of a recliner and side table. And the exhaust tube could run right up into the cabover bunk and out the little sliding side window. The 10 gauge extension cord as well.

Since I know how many folks have agonized over how to keep their coach cool enough in the hot weather, I have posted a web page on our website with full descriptions, photos and links. Here is the LINK on our website:

Installation of the Frigidaire FGPC1244T1 Portable Air Conditioner in our Forester Motorhome
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:03 AM   #2
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we've had plenty of hot summer days/nights at 30amp campgrounds where we easily run both of our roof 13.5kw penguin a/c units, fans around the coach, and still continue to enjoy watching Satellite tv, and do many of the 'normal' expected things...

sometimes campground or rv park 30amp breakers are overused and become weak, causing them to trip too quickly... it's not a 'rv' thing, many times it's a 'campground' thing...
we've had issues at a few places, and after the manager changed out the 'old' 30amp breaker with a new one, viola...no more tripping. They are usually also amazed as even they had always been 'told' that 30amp power couldn't support two roof air conditioners, but with ours both running continuously, their minds have been changed.

chances are, any 'portable' ac unit is also not going to be drawing as much as your typical roof a/c unit on your RV, so staying within the 30amp limit is not a big deal - get one and be more comfortable.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Only problem with a portable, have 2 in the house, they take inside air and push some out to get rid of moisture. That said, it means its going to pull in outside hot air into your unit. Example, go for a ride in your car/pickup with the air on and crack open a window a little. That's what will happen with your c.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:04 AM   #4
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Link doesn’t work for me. Anybody else?
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:06 AM   #5
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If you are at a 30A site you only have 30A total to the pedestal regardless of which outlet you draw it from. Many campgrounds have an additional 30A breaker upstream in a locked location to protect the cable to the pedestal.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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With the work and research you did wouldn’t have looked cleaner and have been easier to place another 13.5 on the roof with a separate exterior connection for the power pedestal?
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by A32Deuce View Post
Only problem with a portable, have 2 in the house, they take inside air and push some out to get rid of moisture. That said, it means its going to pull in outside hot air into your unit. Example, go for a ride in your car/pickup with the air on and crack open a window a little. That's what will happen with your c.
They don't work that way.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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With the work and research you did wouldn’t have looked cleaner and have been easier to place another 13.5 on the roof with a separate exterior connection for the power pedestal?


The original post said that FR stayed the roof wouldn’t support a second A/C.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
They don't work that way.
I don't know what I have and how they work? Sorry but they do!
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:43 AM   #10
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I don't know what I have and how they work? Sorry but they do!
A/C on roof....Portable A/C...they all work the same. Neither draw in "Outside Air" and only "Recirculate" the air around them and portable use some of that "Inside" air for the Exhaust.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:46 AM   #11
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If you do go with a portable get one with two hoses, one for the air in and one for warm air out. They're a little more expensive but more efficient. They circulate the inside air so you don't have the problem pointed out by A32Deuce above.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:54 AM   #12
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We ordered our 30 foot flagstaff travel trailer with the optional 15,000 BTU air conditioner on the roof and it keeps up just fine. Where we are camping this month it has been in the mid 90s and we have had no problems at all.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:54 AM   #13
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I don't know what I have and how they work? Sorry but they do!
Deuce I stand corrected as I've never seen the dual hose units. All I've ever seen is the single hose units. Don't see what advantage a dual hose would have as you have try and cool hot incoming air.

After reading a bit, I see what the dual does differently than the single.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
A/C on roof....Portable A/C...they all work the same. Neither draw in "Outside Air" and only "Recirculate" the air around them and portable use some of that "Inside" air for the Exhaust.
See below! I thank you for your answer! The dual hose takes outside air and passes it over the condenser to take away the heat just like in a car and passes it out the other hose. Both work. Dual hose for rv but much more money. Single hose is fine for s&b.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:03 AM   #15
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See below! I thank you for your answer! The dual hose takes outside air and passes it over the condenser to take away the heat just like in a car and passes it out the other hose. Both work. Dual hose for rv but much more money. Single hose is fine for s&b.
You did your "Good Job for the Day" you taught an "Old Dog" a new trick.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:08 AM   #16
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I like learning new stuff. Helps to prevent old timers!
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:13 AM   #17
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I like learning new stuff. Helps to prevent old timers!
What were we talking about ??
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:18 AM   #18
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The original post said that FR stayed the roof wouldn’t support a second A/C.
Sorry, my bad. I don’t have one but I assumed a class C would have a walkable roof. If a roof is walkable then it certainly can handle a 75 -80 stationary ac unit.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:30 AM   #19
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I have seen Cs with 2 units on the roof.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:10 PM   #20
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There is a good discussion about portable ac units on the Windjammer forum. Very good video posted there about portable ac units. After watching it, and hearing how loud some portable units are, we are going with a 2nd roof mount. Sorry the OP couldn't do that.
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