ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby onlyridepark » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:56 am

Looking for advice on what people have tried and how happy they are.
I had originally planned everything with the idea of using the ClimateRight AC. As I do more research, I am not 100% sold on it. Mainly due to the controls being remote only. There is a wired control available but it seems to have it's own set of problems.

Now I am considering using a mini-split system like the Pioneer or possibly keep it really simple and use a window unit. I realize none of these are designed to be used in a trailer so I am assuming longevity may be an issue. This is what makes me consider the window unit as it would be the cheapest and easiest to replace. I really only plan to use the AC when plugged in to shore power but I am not ruling out the possibility of running it off the battery so energy consumption is also a consideration. But mainly, I want something that I can count on to work.

Rooftop is not an option. I have a generator compartment that will house the outside portion of any of these units.

Any input is appreciated.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby flboy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:23 am

What size is the trailer and is it insulated? Will make a difference in BTU size options as you know.

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Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby onlyridepark » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:55 am

flboy wrote:What size is the trailer and is it insulated? Will make a difference in BTU size options as you know.

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6.5x12, yes insulated fairly well. I was thinking BTU in the 8000-12000 range should be more than adequate. And I can get any of the choices listed in that range.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby flboy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:24 pm

I think an 8,000BTU would be more than adequate..a 5,000BTU would do it also in a 6.5*12 insulated space, especially if you want to run off battery/inverter power. I had a 5,000 BTU in a 14*7 CTC which was painted black, and it was fine cooling in the Fl. summers and cycled on and off normally.

Not sure how low the mini splits go in BTU, but a window unit would do it. I have used them for years with no issues dragging down dirt roads and etc. as have many others. Good thing is like you said, when they do ultimately fail as all machines do, you can remove them and toss because they can be replaced for anywhere from $150 to $250 depending on size if you choose not to repair. If you are on the road, just pick one up at any big box store like Home Depot.

In any case, good luck with your choice.

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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby McDave » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:35 pm

PTAC's are another option for heat/AC in one. But they are power hogs. Would need a lot of battery bank, but on generator would work well.
https://www.friedrich.com/products/commercial/ptac

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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:28 pm

I use a homemade climate right, with a 5K BTU fridgedaire and some 5 inch hoses. I set the temp knob once I get there, and I unplug it when I don't need it. I know some others have run extended controls, but I haven't found it to be necessary.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby sodatrain » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:10 pm

flboy wrote:I think an 8,000BTU would be more than adequate..a 5,000BTU would do it also in a 6.5*12 insulated space, especially if you want to run off battery/inverter power. I had a 5,000 BTU in a 14*7 CTC which was painted black, and it was fine cooling in the Fl. summers and cycled on and off normally.



Was that 5k unit run on Battery? How many batteries, how long did it last, etc. I'm trying to decide on roof mount and window and working to understand the details of the power implications...and it seems SIGNIFICANT. Like maybe a couple thousand in batteries!?


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My 7x7x14 Tandem Axel build thread: viewtopic.php?f=42&t=69731
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby flboy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:02 pm

sodatrain wrote:
flboy wrote:I think an 8,000BTU would be more than adequate..a 5,000BTU would do it also in a 6.5*12 insulated space, especially if you want to run off battery/inverter power. I had a 5,000 BTU in a 14*7 CTC which was painted black, and it was fine cooling in the Fl. summers and cycled on and off normally.



Was that 5k unit run on Battery? How many batteries, how long did it last, etc. I'm trying to decide on roof mount and window and working to understand the details of the power implications...and it seems SIGNIFICANT. Like maybe a couple thousand in batteries!?


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I'll try to explain and I hope this is helpfull.

The 8,000 BTU AC unit in my CTC runs from a 1500W pure sine wave inverter with a 3000W surge capacity, 325aH of battreries and 500W of solar panels.

The Air conditioners will spec how much voltage and current they require in 110VAC terms. You just have to use Ohms law to figure out the Watts required and solve for the current then assuming a 12.5VDC from the batteries. Also need to consider the efficiency of the inverter. At the end of the day, to get from AC current at 110VAC, just multiply by 10 to get the 12.5VDC current (it is a rough approximation). So 6.9A required for an Air conditioner (typical for an 8,000 BTU window unit) would require about 69Amps when running from the inverter and batteries @ v12.5VDC. If you have, lets say 325AH of batteries, and they are fully charged, you can safely drain ~162.5 Amps to get to a 50% discharge on a deep cycle battery. So in this case, the AC could run off batteries and inverter for ~2.4hrs continuous (a 5,000 BTU unit with typically a 4.9amps requirement would run ~ another hour of the same batteries). If you have solar panels feeding it at the same time like I do... it can go longer as the solar power supplements (up to 40amps but more consistently 25Amps with clouds, sun angle, etc.). It is basic math using Ohms law.

The problem with roof units is the same as it would be for any 13,500 BTU air-conditioner. The bigger the AC, the more power required... so you'd need twice the batteries and larger inverter, more solar and etc.. It is just math.

Regardless of size, the generator is a much less complex way to go if you need the power to run an AC. Unless your power requirements are minimal for basic lighting and maybe a very small fridge , you really need a generator anyhow since you can't count on solar at night and you may park in shade for the day, or it may be cloudy all day or etc.. Just get the right AC for the job and the right sized generator to run it.

I never intended to go solar only for the AC, else I'd have another 500W+ of panels and a few more batteries. That all just gets too complex.. a quiet generator is much more effective than all that solar hardware if you are going to run the AC and you really need a generator for backup power in any case. In fact, if I had to choose only solar or only a generator.. I'd go generator hands down and just make sure I was also charging the battery bank whenever it is running.

I did set my CTC up for solar so I could run the AC for an hour here and there when at rest stops or etc.. without cranking up the generator. It runs the fridge 24/7 and if I have good sun during the day and I do not require AC, I never need to run the generator. It is all a good trade off. Everything is a tradeoff. :thumbsup:
Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby onlyridepark » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 pm

That is a lot of great info. I definitely don't plan to have the battery power to run the AC more than a couple hours. But do plan to keep a small generator handy. Just need to be sure it is big enough for the ac.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby dexstrom » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:29 pm

I have the 5,000 btu Climate Right and I use the wired thermostat/control because the remote won't work from inside the trailer. It's more than enough for cooling my 6x10 trailer. I'm not sure what reviews you have seen that have problems with the A/C or wired control, but mine has worked flawlessly. Some people have had problems with the A/C on trailers due to vibration from the road shaking things loose inside it, hasn't been an issue for me. I don't camp off-road with it, when I take the A/C it's to developed campgrounds so I haven't needed a gen.

8,000 btu would be more than enough for your trailer size, the 5,000 for me is ideal.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby onlyridepark » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:21 pm

decided to go with a window unit with heat. 8000btu with 4000btu heat. went with the 8000btu since i found it on sale cheaper than the comparable 5000btu without heat.
Friedrich Kuhl 8000BTU. 6.1 amps using the AC, and i think around 10 amp on heat so I'll more than likely be getting a portable propane heater.
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Re: ClimateRight, Window Unit, or Mini-Split?

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:33 pm

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