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Sweltering in the Crushing Texas Heat

Well, this is a different scenario for me but life is full of challenges, right? Every jobsite that I have parked the Old Girl at over the past 3 years has either had 50 amp service or no service. I modified the 30 amp service common on older RVs so I could run BOTH air conditioning units on 50 amp service. On the older 30 amp recreational vehicles you cannot run both AC units on shore power. The generators are configured with two electrical circuits. One 30 amp to supply the onboard RV power and a second dedicated circuit that runs the second AC unit. That always seemed sorta silly to me — but I knew I could find a work around.

The Old Girl at Calvert, TX February 2010

Which I did… I installed a Power Solutions Dual Power Adapter. The nutshell is I modified the dedicated line coming from the propane generator so I could feed it from an external power source. I also had to modify the Intellitec EMU so it would not override the modification. Now, I hook a dogbone to the 50 amp service. One 30 amp feed supplies power to the motor coach and the second 30 amp feed powers the additional air conditioning setup. Slick modification and it has worked flawlessly.  BTW, the Power Solutions Tech Department is very helpful.  This is not a modification for a beginner DIYer.

Well, the problem here in Calvert, TX is my amiable nature.   We typically schedule the power service and specify the hookups — always 50 amp. At Calvert, the owner said “Your older RV is 30 amp, right?”  So I was sorta busted.    I am sucking up his power at no charge and it seemed rather greedy to tell him I wanted 50 amp service so I could connect two power cords and suck the power off his meter until the creosote boiled on the pole. I am stuck with 30 amp service and one functional air conditioner in operation.

This last week the inadequacy of one aging 13.5btu roof mounted air conditioning unit became painfully real. Temps hovered around 100 degrees with the humidity commonly at 90% or better in the mornings. Like taking a bath when you walked outside. Temps inside the Old Girl are reasonably comfortable with fans running until they reach 84 degrees. After that, it gets miserable. I was seeing temperatures of 88-90 degrees inside the Fish Bus in the late afternoon hours. Cook something on the stove and you might as well turn the AC off — it was cooler outside.

I tried several ‘fixes’ with little hope for positive results. I have ducted air so I would shut off the ducts in the rear and close the door going to the rear of the bus. Not much help– a little but it still did not get me down in the comfort zone of 84 degrees or less. I replaced the AC filters and cleaned the condenser coils. They needed cleaning – for sure – but I noticed no temperature improvement. I thought about going to the owner and whining about the heat like a 6 year old sissy but discarded that plan.

So what to do? What to do? I went out and bought a 6500btu energy efficient window air conditioning unit. It draws 6 amps so I think it will run on an existing house circuit if I watch what other appliances I use at the same time. I am going to install it in the sliding window over the couch and give it a whirl. I am going to tell the owner the window AC unit is more efficient than the roof top units and I am trying to use less power. Maybe he will not notice both of them running full out. Yeah that’s my story.

More on the install and useability in a future post…..

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1 comment to Sweltering in the Crushing Texas Heat

  • Dale

    Hey Andyj, how did it work? Any troubles supporting the weight?

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