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Old 10-28-2018, 08:23 AM   #1
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A/C yes or no

My 17' sunline does not have the roof A/C and to be honest, we have never felt the need for it. But, all of our camping has been in New England so far. We are planning to take it across the country when I retire in a year or so and will be spending time in very hot weather. I have lots of windows that open and a fantastic vent in the center of the camper. Those of you who live and camp in the warmer states, am I crazy for venturing out without an A/C? I hate to spend the money and add the extra weight to the camper if I won't use it a lot. Plus, we plan on boon docking a lot of the time so we wouldn't always have hookups.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:39 AM   #2
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Well that maybe your answer boondocking with an AC without a sufficient generator ain't going to happen. The fantastic fan and a solar panel would work I have one and it will run all night but you will still need some way to recharge the batteries. Close all the windows except where you sleep so the air blows across you that helps. Mine is about the same size and I can stay comfortable with just the fan but I also have a tendency to do things like go north to escape hot weather! Mid coast right on the water works for me!
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:42 PM   #3
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Hood question from Mainah. I used my MaxAir fan one night while on battery and only had one bar on the meter in the morning. Definitely needed the generator. I don't think I could ever boondock in hot weather, and if I'm bringing a gennie, I want air conditioning.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:09 PM   #4
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I personally wouldn’t want to camp in high temperatures without A/C if I had a choice. A good nights sleep is important to me, and I can’t sleep if it’s all hot and sticky.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:14 PM   #5
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I have no problem running the fan for a few days off my batteries, and We'll be traveling a lot so I can recharge from TV. I don't plan on bringing a generator. I guess the question should be, Will I need AC to be comfortable at night in the really hot weather we'll likely encounter in the south western parts of the country? If I have AC we would plan our stops to have 110v hookups when we need it.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:07 PM   #6
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Hood question from Mainah. I used my MaxAir fan one night while on battery and only had one bar on the meter in the morning. Definitely needed the generator. I don't think I could ever boondock in hot weather, and if I'm bringing a gennie, I want air conditioning.
Well I do have a Fantastic fan and I don't run it full tilt the fan is bad enough I can't imagine sleeping through a generator and an air conditioning unit! Mind you I live it he middle of 80 acres in rural Maine so other than coyotes we don't have much noise.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ggrvguy View Post
My 17' sunline does not have the roof A/C and to be honest, we have never felt the need for it. But, all of our camping has been in New England so far. We are planning to take it across the country when I retire in a year or so and will be spending time in very hot weather. I have lots of windows that open and a fantastic vent in the center of the camper. Those of you who live and camp in the warmer states, am I crazy for venturing out without an A/C? I hate to spend the money and add the extra weight to the camper if I won't use it a lot. Plus, we plan on boon docking a lot of the time so we wouldn't always have hookups.
Gary G
I wouldn’t go without. There are times when it is absolutely needed.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:28 PM   #8
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I have no problem running the fan for a few days off my batteries, and We'll be traveling a lot so I can recharge from TV. I don't plan on bringing a generator. I guess the question should be, Will I need AC to be comfortable at night in the really hot weather we'll likely encounter in the south western parts of the country? If I have AC we would plan our stops to have 110v hookups when we need it.
Gary G
I'm a displaced Marylander (bay region) heat and humidity was something I lived with for 50+ years mostly in old farm houses we had no AC, the south west is usually dry all be it hot I guess it's how much you can tolerate. It's a trade off if you can plug in that is a real plus for AC, little generators have pretty small tanks so it's 85 in the middle of the night and the generator runs out of gas. This of course is all personal it's a decision only you can make I would say if you can plug in go for it. What I would do in your case is keep the fan and move it to the bath and get an AC and use it as needed. The AC set up is in the front hatch you can get 12 volt power from the light in the bath to power a fan it may even be a better place to draw air in any way.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:44 PM   #9
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Hood question from Mainah. I used my MaxAir fan one night while on battery and only had one bar on the meter in the morning. Definitely needed the generator. I don't think I could ever boondock in hot weather, and if I'm bringing a gennie, I want air conditioning.
I like AC if someone gave me a unit I probably would instal it but I would not buy a generator to power it. I run my entire set up with a homemade 100 watt portable solar unit I made it to fold up and put it on the bed when in transit I can elevate it and turn it it plugs directly into my twin battery bank it supplies all of my battery needs TV, ham radio gear, phone charger etc. and the Fantastic fan pretty much indefinitely while camping.
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:16 AM   #10
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I am very cold natured, always cold. I didn't think I would use the A/C. However, I went camping during a really hot week about an hour and a half away. I was really glad I had air conditioning. I tried opening the windows and running the vent fan. It was still way too warm for me. I had to use the A/C to be comfortable. I had a hard time sleeping with the A/C running though. It is kind of loud in a small trailer. I guess it depends on what makes you comfortable.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:53 AM   #11
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Most of my camping in my T1850 with AC, has been dry camping in the west. I have only used my AC in the 100+ degrees of Bighorn Canyon Campground and at the Lost Dutchman in AZ, and in those places I was hooked to shore power. I prefer boondocking and dispersed camping (we have loads of it in the west).
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:09 PM   #12
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We went on a cross country trip this summer and could have never survived without AC. Tried boondocking in Grand Canyon NP But when it stayed in the high 90’s we gave up and stayed at a private CG outside the park. Arizona was 115 degrees. You can do it but avoid July and August!
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ggrvguy View Post
If I have AC we would plan our stops to have 110v hookups when we need it.
Gary G
Hi Gary,

If you have the 110 volt hook up, then AC make sense on how to run it.

You did not mention if you had a traveling companion or a pet. The camper in the sun can get above 100F during the day. Even here in Ohio. We have a plant in AZ near Phoenix and the rent a car can burn you just about sitting in the parking lot. Seems they like to rent black interior too...

If we had to sleep in 90 to 100 F heat, even dry heat... it would get old quick for us being from the eastern states. I use to do this in a tent and it took until 3:00 in the AM in Ohio, PA, MI, IN for it to ever cool down enough to sleep. Going further south is even worse. We boondocked in the T310SR even with a max air fan on low at my mother's place in NY in the lower Hudson valley and in the dog days of summer, it was like being back in the tent again roasting trying to get to sleep.

You can get by without it, but you may find you will enjoy it more with a working AC unit with an electric hook up for those hot nights.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:20 PM   #14
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Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:35 AM   #15
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Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Yeah, I guess that's the way I'm thinking now. I have a small window air I use at home on those 2 super hot days we get in the summer. I'm thinking about cutting a hole in the side of the camper and putting it in there if I can figure out a way to make it look like not too much of a hack job.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:11 PM   #16
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I have seen people put them in the back..as a matter of fact I remember my brother had one in a rear window in a little camper he once had. We went out west twice- once without AC and I said never again...the next camper had one. In Las Vegas it was so hot we spent part of the night sitting in Lake Mead! Then WITH AC in the next one,in Phoenix we had to put wet newspapers on the windows to help the AC--IT WAS 117 AT 5:00 PM !! Little to no humidity for AC's to work properly, that's why they use swamp coolers on their homes..we were advised at the campground to use the wet news--blocks some of the heat and also creates humidity. Worked pretty good!
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:57 AM   #17
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Yeah, I guess that's the way I'm thinking now. I have a small window air I use at home on those 2 super hot days we get in the summer. I'm thinking about cutting a hole in the side of the camper and putting it in there if I can figure out a way to make it look like not too much of a hack job.
Gary G
Ugh, don't do that.

If you think you only want it temporarily, you probably have an emergency escape window in the back corner of your T-170. Lift two handles and the whole window should swing out. This should be enough room to slide a small window a/c in. Create some way to hold back the window (so it doesn't swing in the wind and hit or block the a/c) Carry your a/c in the trailer or tow vehicle and come up with a way to hold and seal it in that window opening for just the nights when you want it.

I've seen people try to hack them in this spot permanently, but they don't travel well there. But as a temporary mounting solution, I think it would work well.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:18 AM   #18
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Ugh, don't do that.

If you think you only want it temporarily, you probably have an emergency escape window in the back corner of your T-170. Lift two handles and the whole window should swing out. This should be enough room to slide a small window a/c in. Create some way to hold back the window (so it doesn't swing in the wind and hit or block the a/c) Carry your a/c in the trailer or tow vehicle and come up with a way to hold and seal it in that window opening for just the nights when you want it.

I've seen people try to hack them in this spot permanently, but they don't travel well there. But as a temporary mounting solution, I think it would work well.

I've looked at that possibility already. The problem is the escape window is literally at the foot of the bed. Meaning my feet would be 2 inches away from the A/C. Not sure I could stand it there. I know the best solution would be to stop being so cheap and buy a roof A/C
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:01 PM   #19
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I have camped in the South West quite extensively
I would have AC
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Old 12-13-2018, 04:20 PM   #20
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Some of the newer campers have window units in the side of the camper look pretty funky to me guess it's a cheap way out.
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