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Old 03-17-2021, 08:17 PM   #1
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Inquiry on portable ac unit

I have a Forest River Salem FSX and would like to buy a portable ac unit. My camper is 30 amp. I'm looking at a 10,000 BTU unit with an average amp usages around 10. I will be running the portable ac unit only at night so I can get some sleep. The Coleman ac unit in the camper is effective but so loud that I can't sleep at night. Will the portable ac unit cause any electrical problems?
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Old 03-17-2021, 08:25 PM   #2
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We had one and run a totally separate circuit for the portable AC.

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Old 03-18-2021, 09:01 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. the only problem is your receptacles are on 15 amp circuits that may not handle the starting amps for a portable AC. You could tie in a receptacle to the AC or microwave circuit with a switch for one or the other or like Oaklevel said add a circuit if your panel has room. Overall power draw is no different then running the roof top AC.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:18 AM   #4
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its going to be noisy also.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:49 AM   #5
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I run a portable AC in my Toy Hauler garage, which is really just my living room, by running an extension cord out to the 20A plug at the post up through the AC's exhaust window. Works well. In my case, the trailer's AC ducts don't run into the garage so it's really the only way to keep that room cool enough in Summer.

As Thomas says, it's noisy when the compressor kicks on.
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Old 03-18-2021, 09:56 AM   #6
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I have a Frigidaire portable and it is not noisy at all. Since we bought it primarily for additional cooling I run a separate connection and hook up to the 20 amp circuit on the pedestal. If you are only using it at night I would think you plug it in anywhere as it only pulls 9 amps.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:10 AM   #7
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Just beware that those portable units need to vented to the outside so you'll need to figure that out and they are not as efficient coolers as a window AC or roof top.

My Dometic AC was really noisy and it turns out I had some wasps make a mud nest on one of the fan blades which threw the balance off. Once I removed the nest it quieted down a lot.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:20 AM   #8
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I was curious how he's going to run exhaust also. Newer RV windows (at least mine) only tilt open.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:07 AM   #9
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I was curious how he's going to run exhaust also. Newer RV windows (at least mine) only tilt open.
My AC's dual-hose exhaust plate fits almost perfectly into the tilting window's opening. It didn't take much to seal it.

Also, it's a good idea to insulate the exhaust hose(s) to keep the heat from re-entering your rig. I use a thick towel wrapped around them but I think I could do even better with a little work.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:12 AM   #10
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My AC's dual-hose exhaust...

This is important. Some portable AC's only have exhaust, be sure to get a dual hose model, otherwise the unit will draw moist/warm air into the trailer to make up for what is being exhausted.
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:13 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. the only problem is your receptacles are on 15 amp circuits that may not handle the starting amps for a portable AC. You could tie in a receptacle to the AC or microwave circuit with a switch for one or the other or like Oaklevel said add a circuit if your panel has room. Overall power draw is no different then running the roof top AC.
I have an LG portable A/C unit I use in the master bedroom of my house. It runs great on a 15 amp circuit while that circuit is also powering the TV and "Cable Boxes".

Newer units are using soft start/inverter technology that reduces the inrush. Spec'd current draw is 12 amp but testing shows it more like 10-11 amps actual.

If not running any extra appliances/gadgets on the same circuit then there shouldn't be any issue with the power side.

As ofr exhaust, A piece of plywood that covers the window with a cutout for the exhaust hose could work. Also one might make an "adapter" to hook the hose to a ceiling vent.

Regardless, it's going to be a bit of a nuisance and in the way somewhere.

FWIW, I see a lot of smaller TT's going down the road with a window type A/C unit installed in the back wall. My neighbor not long ago bought a small trailer with the A/C a window type unit installed in a cabinet on the side wall.

Lots of options.
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Old 03-18-2021, 01:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
We had one and run a totally separate circuit for the portable AC.
DO NOT run it off the camper electrical supply use a 10 or 12 gauge 25 foot extension cord to the power pole 20 AMP circuit and plug your 30 AMP trailer into the 30 AMP power pole plug.


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FWIW, I see a lot of smaller TT's going down the road with a window type A/C unit installed in the back wall. My neighbor not long ago bought a small trailer with the A/C a window type unit installed in a cabinet on the side wall.
I have an 8,500 BTU portable unit in my home bedroom. It is relatively quiet... 6 inch exhaust hose outside with a window cutout that came with the unit. I do not have a drain hose, as there is no place to drain condensate in my upstairs bedroom in my home. Still works well.

I think in an RV, putting in a home unit through a wall cutout or a window might work better, and I would think about that also.

I also find that at night, I can turn the roof mount AC down from FULL to a lower setting IF I also have a 20 inch box fan inside the trailer blowing at an angle up toward the ceiling to help circulate the cool AC air. This air movement really helps cool off the entire trailer, front to back.
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Old 03-19-2021, 12:09 PM   #13
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portable AC unit

We have a DeLonghi Penguino AC roll-about that we bought for the house in case of power outage that we can run on our small home generator. We decided to try it in our Class C moho. It fits on top of a crate and we run the outflow vent outside the drivers side window and use pool noodles and or pipe insulation to close up the open space in the window. Also run a drainage tube to a large container on the cab floor to drain the moisture produced as the AC is also a dehumidifier. This unit helps out tremendously as a supplement to our 13,500 BTU rooftop AC. It is plugged in to the pedestal by means of a heavy gauge outdoor extension cord at the 15/20 amp outlet. Works great and not as noisy as the rooftop.
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Old 03-19-2021, 12:26 PM   #14
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I have an 8,500 BTU portable unit in my home bedroom. It is relatively quiet... 6 inch exhaust hose outside with a window cutout that came with the unit. I do not have a drain hose, as there is no place to drain condensate in my upstairs bedroom in my home. Still works well.

I think in an RV, putting in a home unit through a wall cutout or a window might work better, and I would think about that also.
Most, if not all, portable A/C units will "spray" any condensate through the condenser and discharge the vapor outside via the exhaust tube.

This "mist" on the condenser helps cool and transfer heat outside thus increasing the efficiency.

Even my window mounted unit works like this. Condensate accumulates in the pan and is then sucked into the condenser fan where it "sprayed" on the condenser.

Only time condensate needs to be drained is when humidity is extremely high but then the A/C unit will shut down and show an error message saying the condensate pan is full.

At least that's the way my LG unit operates.
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:43 PM   #15
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We ran a Free standing floor unit we purchased from Sam's Club. Worked great and was much quieter than our roof unit. We could actually hear the tv while we stayed cool. I vented out a sliding window. Went to Lowe’s and bought a couple pieces of plexiglass and ran decorative bolts through them. Of course I waterproofed the whole thing. Nice part was the window was in the slide so when we traveled the plexiglass was no being stressed by the wind. We also did what GL188Ruder did and ran a heavy duty drop cord to 20 amp outlet on the pole.
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