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Old 05-22-2020, 04:04 PM   #1
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Installing a/c on 2017 Flagstaff MAC 228D tent camper

I'm interested in installing an a/c on my 2017 Flagstaff camper. From the research I've done, it appears the two most popular options are Coleman and Dometic. Both brands offer a 13500 btu or a 15000 btu model. I've read many horrific reviews on the Dometic. Does anyone have an opinion on the Coleman? Is it generally considered to be an upgrade over the Dometic?

Also, what steps should I take to confirm my Flagstaff has enough electric capacity to operate either a 13500 btu or 15000 btu unit?
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:45 AM   #2
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30 amp service is usually considered the min that will allow you to operate an AC and other equipment. with the said I have run a 13.5K BTU ac on a 15 amp circuit by its self. Something you should consider is the air/temp exchange with a tent style camper you may find an AC would run constantly JMHO
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:48 AM   #3
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I've used a/c with tent campers before and they do a decent job. I use popupgizmos to insulate both ends of the tent. That adds another layer of insulation.

What do I need to look for in my fuse box to make sure I have adequate power to add the 15000 btu a/c? Is just having space for 30 amp fuses sufficient?
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:15 AM   #4
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I have a 2016 228D. Yours should be "A/C Ready" meaning there is electrical for it at the bottom (read a 30amp circuit breaker) but you will have to drill the hole on the sidewall of the roof for the upper connection (install the water resistant cover) and route a power wire to where it sits on the ceiling. I believe the bottom opening with cover is present but there is no wire in it, you have to add that. Then of course cut the holes in the roof where it sits, there should be a "framed" opening already there the center of which is denoted by a "button" thing on the inside ceiling to help you get started.

There are some GREAT videos out there on doing this with some great tips I wouldn't have necessarily come up with out of the gate such as putting a large box on the inside under where you cut the roof so the debris falls in it.

Also, DO NOT put any weight on the roof. You can't climb up there or you will break it. That part is what can make this the most difficult. I have seen people talk about using at least 2 ladders with ceiling joists spanned across them to take any weight while you work on top.

I have the Coleman Mach 15 which does great in the Texas Heat. I do not have/use those solar covers over the bunk ends but we do not spend an enormous amount of time in the camper either during the day as we are usually site seeing.

Good Luck!

One of the videos I watched:
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:46 PM   #5
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If you have a round 3 prong twist plug on the outside of the camper then you have 30 AMP service into the camper.

If you have a spare 15 amp fuse in the box or have space to add a 15 amp fuse then you are good to go with either a 13.5 or 15K BTU unit.

Quite possibly there is an unused 15 amp circuit in the fuse panel as often your unit could be ordered with a factory installed AC already. An unused pull of wire to the roof may already be there for that upgrade.

They put AC units in popup campers all the time. I have a hybrid with three bunk ends and a solid roof with a 13.5 Coleman that works fine, although I would not camp in Texas, FL or AZ summer heat and sun.

Camp out of the full sun and you will get some relief. I also use an indoor box fan just to move the air around inside also.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:06 PM   #6
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Great tips and very helpful video. Hopefully, all downhill from here!
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