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Old 01-31-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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adding 2nd air conditioner to FR3 30DS

I am wondering if anyone has added a second air conditioner to their bedroom in their FR3 30DS. My experience traveling out west in 95+ degree heat last summer was my single 13,500 BTU unit air conditioner could not keep our RV at a comfortable 78 degrees in the heat of the day even with all shades pulled down and vent insulators installed. As a result I have purchased the new Dometic 15,000 BTU Brisk II air conditioner top unit only (meaning no heat) to replace the factory installed 13,500 BTU in the main cabin. I am installing the 13,500 BTU unit in the bedroom and adding an ADM (air distribution box) ceiling assembly (vented ceiling mount blower) controller as it will not have a wall mounted thermostat or be a ducted installation.

I anticipate the most difficult part of the installation will be snaking the electrical wires inside, across the bedroom ceiling and down the rear corner and come out at the bottom basement where the 30 amp receptacle is located. I am planning the rear bedroom AC installation will be on a separate dedicated 20 AMP GFI service. I will have two separate independent feeds, one being the 30 AMP coach service and the new independent 20 AMP GFI service dedicated to the rear bedroom air conditioner for a total of 50 AMP's service.

My questions are:
Has anyone completed a 2nd AC installation in the bedroom and offer any wiring tips especially snaking the wires across the inside ceiling and down to the basement?
Not sure if I should ask about this but: Should I be thinking of second 30 AMP GFI line instead of a 20 AMP GFI service? The 13,500 BTU AC unit is rated at 20 AMPS and should successfully be serviced by a 20 AMP line from the pedestal.

Any input is much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:58 PM   #2
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One thing that needs to be addressed. I'm told you won't be able to run both ac units at the same time. Also told that at 5500 gen is needed for 50 amp service.
Can anyone else verify this?


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Old 01-31-2015, 09:36 PM   #3
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I've heard that as well, but certainly am not an expert.


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Old 01-31-2015, 09:56 PM   #4
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Drivmsafe, you are correct about not being able to run both AC units off the Onan 4000 watt gen or the 30 AMP RV circuit. As you pointed out the FR3 is not capable of accepting anything higher than 30 AMP's to run the standard AC unit and the appliances. The only way I know to get around that is to use an independent 20 AMP circuit from the RV park pedestal. Almost all newer parks provide separate independent 50, 30 and 20 AMP circuits at the pad. The 2nd AC unit must use its own separate 20 AMP circuit to power it provided by an outside source. This means when you are at an RV park you must connect the RV to a 30 AMP circuit as you normally would and in addition connect an extension cord to the independent 20 AMP outlet on the pad pedestal that directly feeds the 2nd AC unit in the bedroom. The 2nd AC could also be powered by a portable generator if you were boondocking.
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Old 01-31-2015, 10:36 PM   #5
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Installation of a separate junction box, mounted on the side of the RV. Special connector for that special extension cord used only once in a while..... I like what your saying...
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:00 PM   #6
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All sounds good PDG but, what if you're dry camping/boondocking?
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:55 AM   #7
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Did you verify the front unit is only 13500---- was told mine was too so verifited on unit itself and it is a 15000----so i plan on putting a 13500 only on the rear
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:58 AM   #8
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Plan on running wire from top vent over 6inches to airduct, inside AIRDUCT to rear PANEL AT TOP OF CEILING ALONG THE BACK and over and in panel to closet and then down think this will be fairly easy another fr3 owner gave me this idea
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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My FR3 is a 2014 and like you I think it is a 13,500. I already purchased the Dometic Brisk II 15,000 unit for the front. If the original is larger than 13,500, I look at it as a bonus. My last summer travel experience leads me to think that in 100 to 110 degree temperatures the RV will need all the BTU's we have to keep comfortable in the heat of the day.

Yes, I saw Jerseyboy's post with the wiring idea to the stapled panel at the rear window . Thanks to him, it should make the wiring job much easier. I will be working on the installation around the 17th of Feb so at that time I will be opening everything up and running the wire. I most likely be running the wire into a 20 AMP breaker box mounted in the basement near the 30 AMP receptacle that powers the coach from the gen. My thought is it will be a neater install and won't have to disturb the coach breaker box. I'm always afraid of Murphy's law. What is your thoughts? I am open to ideas as this is new for me.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:34 PM   #10
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I'll just throw this out there, but why not use a 9k but Coleman in the like and run them both off the generator? It could be wired to a separate junction box, and you would have to be careful about your power management, but I think it could be done.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:07 PM   #11
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Good thought but I think you are right about power management and being careful. I think it would be difficult to achieve. Adding any additional amperage drain to an already tight spec would be challenging. I have tripped the breaker running the AC, microwave and the TV all at once. I'm not sure but I don't think we have any wiggle room with our 30 AMP service.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:31 AM   #12
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to pdg think you have a good idea, it will be late april before I can proceed- would like to know in detail how your project goes and if you run into any snags
Thanks
Piloto
ps I am not real good at electrical and need all the help I can lol
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:02 AM   #13
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I recently purchased a 2015 30DS. I'm on my first trip using it and had couple issues with the facilities breaker tripping. I did make some additions to it which I totally blame.. I installed a washer/dryer. I was using it for the first time and the whole thing snapped.. My question. Is, why is the DS a 30AMP instead of a 50? I've read plenty of comments of people having the same issues, mainly with ACs. I'm very new to this and have no experience at all so pardon my questions.. Can you just add a 50 amp to the system? At the end the RV will use as much as it needs.. But seems as if 30 AMPs are not enough.

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:58 AM   #14
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One reason is the generator size would have to increase from a 4kw to a 6kw adding weight and cost.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #15
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If you add up all the appliances the FR3 comes with as standard they add up to or come close to the 30 amp capacity of the coach. The AC I believe draws 20 amp or close to it by itself so using the AC, microwave, TV, coffee maker, a fan, toaster etc, all at once could easily exceed or come close to the 30 AMP capacity. The reason coaches with two AC's are 50 AMP service is each AC draws a lot of AMP's on its own. Adding another AC or an appliance like a washer dryer would require either an additional independent circuit or very careful power management on your part making sure you do not exceed the 30 AMP capability of the FR3. This means only running the AC or Washer Dryer but not both at the same time. I am interested where you installed the Washer Dryer unit in the coach? You must have been very creative because space is at a premium.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaavedra View Post
I recently purchased a 2015 30DS. I'm on my first trip using it and had couple issues with the facilities breaker tripping. I did make some additions to it which I totally blame.. I installed a washer/dryer. I was using it for the first time and the whole thing snapped.. My question. Is, why is the DS a 30AMP instead of a 50? I've read plenty of comments of people having the same issues, mainly with ACs. I'm very new to this and have no experience at all so pardon my questions.. Can you just add a 50 amp to the system? At the end the RV will use as much as it needs.. But seems as if 30 AMPs are not enough.

Thanks.
I don't know if this would require a separate post, but where did you put your washer/dryer and could you post a pic? thanks.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:21 AM   #17
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I thought I once read in the rules at a campground, that connecting to (their) power post, your camping unit can not exceed the manufactures identified power usage (CG's protection). I know 30amp breakers at the post are used 100 times more than a 50amp breaker (Had to run a 30amp extension cord to the adjacent post for power. At the time I didn't have my reducer).
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDG View Post
If you add up all the appliances the FR3 comes with as standard they add up to or come close to the 30 amp capacity of the coach. The AC I believe draws 20 amp or close to it by itself so using the AC, microwave, TV, coffee maker, a fan, toaster etc, all at once could easily exceed or come close to the 30 AMP capacity. The reason coaches with two AC's are 50 AMP service is each AC draws a lot of AMP's on its own. Adding another AC or an appliance like a washer dryer would require either an additional independent circuit or very careful power management on your part making sure you do not exceed the 30 AMP capability of the FR3. This means only running the AC or Washer Dryer but not both at the same time. I am interested where you installed the Washer Dryer unit in the coach? You must have been very creative because space is at a premium.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KsWhoDat View Post
I don't know if this would require a separate post, but where did you put your washer/dryer and could you post a pic? thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by donanddona View Post
I thought I once read in the rules at a campground, that connecting to (their) power post, your camping unit can not exceed the manufactures identified power usage (CG's protection). I know 30amp breakers at the post are used 100 times more than a 50amp breaker (Had to run a 30amp extension cord to the adjacent post for power. At the time I didn't have my reducer).

Thanks for answering my questions. I will create tomorrow a post as requested on everything I've done so far to my Fr3 pictures included.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:18 PM   #19
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Finally completed adding 2nd AC unit

I finally completed adding the second AC unit to my 2014 FR3. I did have help with this project as I needed more expertise than I felt capable of. I installed a new Dometic Brisk II 15,000 BTU up front in the main cabin and moved the existing 13,500 BTU to the rear bedroom. First picture is a roof shot taken from the rear ladder of the FR3 where I keep it stored showing both AC units mounted in place.

Next picture shows the inside of the vent assembly removed with just the fiberglass cover remaining.

I drilled a hole from the vent wood frame inside the ceiling toward the TV cabinet with a 12" bit snaking the 3 wire electrical wire through the ceiling and grabbed it through a pilot hole right behind the molding of the cabinet.
(3rd picture) This picture is looking back inside the cabinet behind the molding.

Once the cable was pulled through the ceiling (4th picture) we pulled the cable along the inside molding and drilled a front corner hole looping the wire through the wall between both closets.

The 4th picture shown is looking up inside along the front molding, behind TV opening before I smoothed flat and cable wrapped.

4th picture is a hole made to get the cable between the rear closet wall. The wall paneling was then removed and opened to fish the cable down to the basement. (picture 5).

After cables strung through basement floor the wall and molding were pin nailed back together and you can't even tell it was opened.

Picture 6 is of the basement and the installed breaker box. I chose a "Square D" 20 amp breaker box with a 30 amp pigtail to connect to an already paid for 30' extension cord. This way I can store the extension cord in an unused area without taking up valuable basement storage, especially in this pass through area. I probably will install a hook to hold the pigtail out of the way when not in use.

The last picture is of the finished bedroom ceiling with the ceiling assembly installed and it all worked.

This configuration requires two cords to be connected to the power pedestal. I will use the 50 amp pedestal outlet to power the coach using a 50 to 30 AMP converter bone. And will connect the bedroom AC unit with the 30 amp extension cord to the pedestal's 30 AMP outlet.
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:23 PM   #20
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Thanks for the pics and instructions hope to have money to install a 13500 to my rear soon- my front is a 15000 now.
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