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Old 07-12-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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So..

As any of you that have full body paint 40' diesels with basement air know, on truly hot days, "she just aint got it". We have been down all of the avenues, and find that our system is "functioning as designed". Our plenum is not leaking, and both A/C compressor units are functioning at full capacity. I guess that's Winnebago's way of admitting a poorly conceived and planned heat load calculation. More simply put, there is more than 27000 BTU's of cooling needed to maintain 74 degrees inside the coach. If we are fortunate to park in the right direction, keep the awnings out, all of the window coverings down, don't generate any heat in the coach, and don't open the entry door much, we *might* keep it in the mid 70's when its 90+ outdoors.

This is, in my opinion, foolishness. It is inexcusable that Winnebago refuses to address this issue. No manner of gentle, even forward prodding met with any admission of the issue. Furthermore, Winnebago is missing a revenue opportunity... They could add a roof air unit as an option, and make money! They could also make happy, satisfied, repeat customers. Most of the competition in this class of unit offer a "third roof air unit" as an option. I guess the other manufacturers know the secret, and they just won't tell poor old Winnebago.

So, as we have in so many other cases, we are taking matters into our own hands. We have ordered the new Carrier AIRV LP 15000 BTU 7.5" tall roof air unit. At just under 88lbs installed, its by far the lightest and lowest profile in the industry.

Now on to my question.

Have any of our fellow late model Winnebago owners installed a new roof air unit? Maybe another fantastic vent where you had to cut in the opening? We have found a circuit for the electrical wiring, and will be using the old 120v electric water heater breaker (now unused with the addition of hydronic heat and unlimited hot water last March).

We have spoken to Winnebago customer service, and they advise that the weight is not an issue, even though the owner's manual "infers" that it's not ok. We have found a way to get the wiring through the ceiling, and down past the one-place center, and on back to the circuit breakers safely. The current plan is to locate it in the bath area, just "rearward" of the sliding door between the kitchen and the bath area. This will involve cutting another 14x14 hole in the roof. Really no different than adding another fantastic vent. A job we have already done several times in the past.

Any thoughts, hints, or other constructive comments are greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:15 PM   #2
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So..

As any of you that have full body paint 40' diesels with basement air know, on truly hot days, "she just aint got it". We have been down all of the avenues, and find that our system is "functioning as designed". Our plenum is not leaking, and both A/C compressor units are functioning at full capacity. I guess that's Winnebago's way of admitting a poorly conceived and planned heat load calculation. More simply put, there is more than 27000 BTU's of cooling needed to maintain 74 degrees inside the coach. If we are fortunate to park in the right direction, keep the awnings out, all of the window coverings down, don't generate any heat in the coach, and don't open the entry door much, we *might* keep it in the mid 70's when its 90+ outdoors.

This is, in my opinion, foolishness. It is inexcusable that Winnebago refuses to address this issue. No manner of gentle, even forward prodding met with any admission of the issue. Furthermore, Winnebago is missing a revenue opportunity... They could add a roof air unit as an option, and make money! They could also make happy, satisfied, repeat customers. Most of the competition in this class of unit offer a "third roof air unit" as an option. I guess the other manufacturers know the secret, and they just won't tell poor old Winnebago.

So, as we have in so many other cases, we are taking matters into our own hands. We have ordered the new Carrier AIRV LP 15000 BTU 7.5" tall roof air unit. At just under 88lbs installed, its by far the lightest and lowest profile in the industry.

Now on to my question.

Have any of our fellow late model Winnebago owners installed a new roof air unit? Maybe another fantastic vent where you had to cut in the opening? We have found a circuit for the electrical wiring, and will be using the old 120v electric water heater breaker (now unused with the addition of hydronic heat and unlimited hot water last March).

We have spoken to Winnebago customer service, and they advise that the weight is not an issue, even though the owner's manual "infers" that it's not ok. We have found a way to get the wiring through the ceiling, and down past the one-place center, and on back to the circuit breakers safely. The current plan is to locate it in the bath area, just "rearward" of the sliding door between the kitchen and the bath area. This will involve cutting another 14x14 hole in the roof. Really no different than adding another fantastic vent. A job we have already done several times in the past.

Any thoughts, hints, or other constructive comments are greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2005, 02:25 AM   #3
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I would call WI and ask them to send you a print showing the roof skeleton brace locations, as well as the sidewall brace locations. I had wanted to add a roof vent exhaust fan in the separate toilet compartment of my Brave. Winnie sent me the layout drawings and it wasn't too difficult to determine where the roof hole should be cut.
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:32 PM   #4
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Well, its in!

I'd LIKE to tell you it was easy. And, really, it wasn't bad. Just tedious.

We ended up removing the fantastic fan from the kitchen area (our micro-hood vents outside, and we use it most of the time anyway). BUT... the interior shroud would have not fit as the enclosure for the sliding door between the kitchen and bath is in the way. So....

The rooftop unit fit just fine. Removed the fantastic fan and the 3,246 screws holding it in place, cleaned off the sealant, and filled in the 3,246 screw holes with dicor. To feed power to the unit, we routed flexible 12/3 up from the basement, under the shower and up to the "One Place" unit. From there, we poped open a small hole in the a/c duct, and ran the wire over to the area inside of the 14x14 opening, again, opening a hole just large enough to get the plenum-rated 12/3 wire in. Bingo!

Now that the upper unit is in, we had to "re-design" the interior shroud mount. We actually reversed the way the shroud mounts, turning it 180 degrees. This made enough room for a great fit. Just a little re-fabricating to get the feed duct into the right place.

Once it was all together, it was thankfully much quieter then we had hoped for.

The Test:

It was about 95 degrees out when we finished. We were in direct sun, and it was 78 in the coach. Fired up the new unit, and in less than an hour, it was 70 degrees. Just for grins, we let it go, and after less than 2 hours, it was 63 degrees. Not bad, 95 and humid outside, 63 inside. After some fiddling, we got the roof unit thermostat set so that it keeps the room about 73, comfortable for us. Of course, we don't need to run it at night, the house a/c does just fine after the sun goes down.

We are VERY HAPPY with this mod. We can finally just LIVE in the coach, without always fearing that we will bake if we open the door too many times, or park in the wrong direction.

If anyone wants to try this, let me know, and I'll be glad to give more specifics.

Cheers!
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:20 PM   #5
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Neat job. Any chance for a picture of the outside and inside?
How much higher is the coach?

I have the less expensive, Adventurer, and I think we only have 2,870 screws in the fan.
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:29 PM   #6
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....get an electric box fan....sounds like you have a problem moving the cold air up into the hot air-andybe you need a down pipe to take the hot air to the basement.....I have noticed thatvery few AC unites have a high wall register for a return. so try a box fan aimed at the ceiling high first then turn it down as the coach cools.....geofkaye
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Old 07-20-2005, 02:08 AM   #7
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Sounds like a winner Buck and Jeff. Now that you have become professional Roof A/C installers what is your Rate?????
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Old 07-20-2005, 02:25 AM   #8
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BucknJeff, your installation reminds me of one I did on the rear A/C of my old '88 SuperChief. The replacement A/C unit I bought was also Coleman (on sale, a "special"), but not quite the same model as the one that failed in my coach. Anyway, to make a long story short, I quickly learned that I could not mount the new A/C in the normal position because of interference with the bedroom door slide on the ceiling. I ended up turning the complete A/C unit around 180 degrees on the roof and the inside ceiling shroud fit perfectly and the controls were where they should be. Only one or two people ever noticed the rear A/C sitting backwards on the roof, and when questioned, I told them the story...
I never had a problem with the unit, running down the road or parked at camp. True, the evaporator coils were pointing the 'wrong' way, but it never affected its performance. The only other thing I did was to add 1/4" chicken wire screen over the front coil area to provide a little protection from tree limbs.
-"Where there's a will, there's a way..."
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:15 AM   #9
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BucknJeff,
Impressive. We are on our second Winnebago basement air motorhome, and have had the same results you stated regarding the inability to keep the unit cool in hot weather.
We were in Key West a few weeks ago, it was in the mid 90's outside and by 3:30 or so the temperature starting climbing. Finally early evening it would level off at about 83 degrees and slowly go down as the evening went on.
AS we travel with animals this is always a concern if we are not in the motorhome. We have the automatic fantastic fans with the thermostats and they were kicking on every afternoon unless we raised their thermostats.

Think I will check into your solution, BUT no way I can do it myself...you all planning a trip to FL?, I think you could make a good living down here with all the Winnebago's in this heat !!!
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Old 07-20-2005, 05:23 PM   #10
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I'll gather some pictures tommorow...
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:53 AM   #11
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So, here are a few shots of the finished project. We are contemplating removing the interior shroud, and interconnecting the new roof top unit into the existing ducting, and adding a few more vent openings to accomodate the extra airflow. Then we would only see a flush mounted intake, rather than the shroud as you can see it now. One project at a time, I guess. I was just glad to get it in, and that it works so well. On the roof, you can see that the CARRIER AIRV LP 15000 BTU (LP = Low Profile, only 7.5" tall!!) is shorter than the DataStorm or the in-motion sat. One other thing I didn't mention before... We routed the wiring safely back to the rear electrical cord compartment. We also left a little extra cord attached. Then we ran an outlet into the same space, and wired that back to the circuit breaker (and ems relay) so that we could choose to run the A/C unit on coach power when we have 50 amp service or are on the generator, or to run the "cord" to the power pedestal at the park in the case of only a 30 amp connection. Some parks, even though they only have 30 amp outlets, also have another circuit of 20 amps, plenty to run the extra A/C without overloading the pedestal. We'll see how it works out.

I have also included a shot of the washer/dryer project. We removed our Splendide unit, and the TV above it. Then we re-worked the cabinet support structure to accomodate the new units. The base is now all solid plywood, and we have re-configured the venting and electrical to allow for the new electric dryer (220V). We have completed the face frame, but are waiting on the new one piece door from the cabinet maker. Hopefully, when its done, you'll never know it was not factory. (well, save for a little better workmanship...)

There is also a shot of the high-efficiency propane-fired Hydronic hot water and heater system. It's not yet commercially available. We have an enclosure that covers the hydronic unit and its hoses, but it is removed in this picture, so you can see the unit. When the cover is in place, it "isolates" the heater unit in it's own "air space". It's air intake and exhaust are on the bottom of the unit.



Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:46 AM   #12
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Nice jobs!


Now how did you get those medium sized pics in your avatar and signature?
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:18 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Now how did you get those medium sized pics in your avatar and signature? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wish I knew... I feel a little odd, what with such big pics, and all. Not sure what to do. We made no changes, it just showed up that way this morning.

I just deleted it, and re-downloaded the avatar, and its still big. Now what?

I feel like a 10 year old kid with size 16 shoes...

UPDATE:

Removed avatar, resized on my server to smaller size, and violla. Still not sure why my profile suddenly decided my avatar should be larger. Maybe its because I talk too much...
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:54 PM   #14
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Thanks for the pictures. VERY nice job.

Looks like it's no higher than the DSS dish.
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