A/C, how noisy?

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A/C, how noisy?

Postby Arne » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:02 pm

We used our Lowes 5,000 btu a/c several nights on our recent trip.. It seems quite noisy even though it advertises itself to be quiet..

If I build another, I'm toying with the idea of putting the a/c on the ground outside and plumbing the feed and return to the tear, or using a pet cool. The pet cool is nice because it heats and a/c's both.

So, I'm wondering if any have found a really quiet and cheap a/c unit.... and this time, I'd go with a remote control unit to save getting up at night to fiddle with it.

Also, I'd like to hear from pet cool owners now that there has been about a year of real life experience. Is it worth the extra money, and would you do it again? Aside from the plumbing, has it worked as well has you had expected.

I just did a pet cool search and found the prices have had a substantial rise.
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Re: A/C, how noisy?

Postby Kurt (Indiana) » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:58 pm

arnereil wrote:We used our Lowes 5,000 btu a/c several nights on our recent trip.. It seems quite noisy even though it advertises itself to be quiet..


I installed a Goldstar 5000 BTU (Home Depot) unit in my tear last year. It vents through the galley storage and is very quiet in operation. The comfort and convenience is worth any noise that it puts out.
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Postby Arne » Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:28 pm

It is mounted solid in a box on the front. I don't feel any viabrating panels, nor is the unit viabrating.... guess it is just fan noise. In a bigger room not that bad, but in a tear, I sure can hear it. But I agree, given the alternative, I'll use it. With 3 beings in the tear, it does not cool down that much with just windows and vent open, it is usually 10 degrees warmer inside than out, without the a/c.... and humidity is a bummer in a tear.

I'm mainly concerned with getting the next tear without the kinks of this one.

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Postby john » Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:45 pm

I used a 5000 btu from HD or Lowes (don't remember which). Its a goldstar but I have seen it sold under other names with VERY minor cosmetic alterations.

I am more than a little pleased with how little noise it makes. Just the minor hum of a fan and little vibration. It, of course, it is never on high. I don't even turn up the volume of the TV when it is on.

I did find that to get it to dry the air out (it would cycle off too quickly) I had to keep around half the evaporator (interior air intake) covered. This was found out purely by accident due to a wayward pillow during the night. I was a little dissapointed with the AC as I went to sleep, but I woke to cool comfort. During the day the AC ran non stop with the evaporator half covered, but under a more wakeful eye. There was no hint of freeze up. I guess the AC's efficiency was lowered to something more compatable with my tear.

Asianflava has the same model as mine, but located differently. If he has tried it out his experience may be different. I think his location promotes more even cooling.
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Postby GeorgeT » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:41 am

I have one of those el cheapo units from HD. Mine slides out the side of the camper when in use. Half in and half out. There is some fan and compressor noise but not enough to complain about. Haven't lost any sleep over it. Am very pleased with it. I have paid 100 dollars plus for a hotel room that had noisier AC units. ;)
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Postby cracker39 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:32 am

I bought the Goldstar, but when I took it out of the box and tried it, the fan hit the back of the air deflector if you turned it straight, so I took it back. It didn't seem to be to noisy. They didn't have another one, so I looked at other models and finally located the Haier that I wanted at Target. It is reputed to be "ultra quiet", but I haven't opened the box yet, so I don't know if it really is. I have also had motel rooms with AC units that sounded like an airplane taking off, and my wife keeps a really noisy fan on most nights, so I don't think this AC will keep me from sleeping. It will be in the upper back wall, about 5' from our heads, but will blow the air out and up along the roof. That is why I liked the Goldstar and Haier...the upward pointed exhaust outlets.
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Postby SteveH » Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:37 am

As far as noise is concerned, my window unit outside vented thru a dyer duct is super...very quiet. (pictures in my gallery) However, I've not worked out the temperature regulation thing yet, but I eventually will. I've actually only used it on one trip and both nights, while it was nice and cool going to sleep, we woke up about 1-2 AM freezing.
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Postby Arne » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:10 am

Ah, mine is a haier(sp)....... couldn't think of it at the time.

When you have an outside mounted unit, where do you carry it? The downside is it weighs over 40#, has to be transported somewhere, and moved around everytime I camp.

That is not a big deal if you camp for several days, but often when we take a one month trip, there are quite a few "drive in, sleep, leave in the morning" stays... that means a lot of a/c moving around which I'm trying to avoid.

Right now, I'm thinking if I go that way, is to store it in the galley area (for weight distribution), sliding it out at night and using space for galley stuff, then sliding it back in in the a.m. if traveling........ and yes, I'm famous for overthinking and complicating things.
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Postby cracker39 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:12 am

The slide out should work fine for a TD. Mine will be mounted in the rear wall of my TTT, near the roof. I will put double thick framing pieces on the sides and extra wide spars above and below it to hold the framing for it securely. I will build a "box" to hold it. The back of the "box" will stick out just a little outside, and stick out on the inside about 6-8 inches. The "box" will be tilted down so that rain won't run inside. The AC will slide into the box, and be secured there with some type of brackets and screws (to be decided on yet). Then, I'll put foam pieces and caulking around it for weather proofing. This way, the AC can come out for servicing or replacement if need be and the mount ("box") stays in place, so no body work has to be done to get at the AC. I think my rear wall will be sturdy enough to support the unit while traveling.
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Postby Sonetpro » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:34 am

I'm in the process of installing a pet cool now. I built a bulkhead between the cabin and galley the pet cool is small enough to be built in. Puts out real cold air so I don't see any problem cooling the cabin. I'm venting it with 2 SS boat vents. I am also installing a thermostat with a relay so it can be temp controlled. It's pretty quiet.


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Postby Arne » Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:09 am

The prices I'm seeing for pet cools seem to be nearing the $500.00 mark. That's a tad on the steep side for a/c, though it also handles the heat part.

Not sure about the thermostat and how that will work. I thought they had some kind of inline thermostat in the unit itself... but I'm still taken with the whole pet cool idea...... can you explain the remote thermostat in more detail and how you will connect it to the unit.... and what type of thermostat it is?
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Postby TomS » Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:12 am

SteveH wrote:As far as noise is concerned, my window unit outside vented thru a dyer duct is super...very quiet. (pictures in my gallery) However, I've not worked out the temperature regulation thing yet, but I eventually will. I've actually only used it on one trip and both nights, while it was nice and cool going to sleep, we woke up about 1-2 AM freezing.


If I was to install AC in my tear, I would use Steve's approach. In addition to being much quieter, it can be left at home when not needed. Living in New England, there are only a few weeks out of the year, when it's needed.

Steve, have you considered installing a dedicated circuit with a switch inside your cabin for the A/C. It's not as good as having full control. At least, you hit the switch and turn it off when it gets too cold.

The only other consideration is with the A/C sitting on the ground is what happens in a heavy rain?
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Postby Loader » Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:15 am

TomS wrote:
SteveH wrote:As far as noise is concerned, my window unit outside vented thru a dyer duct is super...very quiet. (pictures in my gallery) However, I've not worked out the temperature regulation thing yet, but I eventually will. I've actually only used it on one trip and both nights, while it was nice and cool going to sleep, we woke up about 1-2 AM freezing.


If I was to install AC in my tear, I would use Steve's approach. In addition to being much quieter, it can be left at home when not needed. Living in New England, there are only a few weeks out of the year, when it's needed.

Steve, have you considered installing a dedicated circuit with a switch inside your cabin for the A/C. It's not as good as having full control. At least, you hit the switch and turn it off when it gets too cold.

The only other consideration is with the A/C sitting on the ground is what happens in a heavy rain?


I'm looking at the ducted mount as well, want to keep the vents away from my head, and keep the noise down.

Tom, great idea about the remote mounted switch. Do you think a model with a remote control would work? How strong are those remotes? Do the work on radio waves or IR? A trip to the store is in order!

In regards to the rain, I though about mounting the AC in my tounge box, then ducting it from there, haven't completely figured it out yet, but that is the direction I'm heading.
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Postby TomS » Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:21 am

Loader wrote:In regards to the rain, I though about mounting the AC in my tounge box, then ducting it from there, haven't completely figured it out yet, but that is the direction I'm heading.


I don't think mounting it on the tounge would be a quiet as Steve's free standing approach. You'll have vibrations from the compressor resonating through the frame. On the upside, you could install some kind of door on your front wall allowing you to reach into the toung box and adjust the controls.
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Postby Arne » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:00 pm

My idea of a remote mount would be to carry it on the floor of the galley. When arriving at a campsite, it would be slid out, placed on the ground, under the tear. There would be short flex tube connections for intake and return, probably through the floor into the galley and finally through the galley wall into the tear..... using a remote control, it should be close enough. It would be under the tear, protected from most rain. The space it is carried in would be available for food stuffs, etc. while camping...... while traveling, the food containers would go up on the galley table.

My intent is to keep all heavy things at the rear of the tear this time.
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