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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2010
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Thane Thane is offline
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Default Roof air versus Cruiseair

Still diligently searching for my perfect Bird.

I've run across a few units lately that had Cruiseair rather than roof air and even two that had a combination of both.

I'd appreciate any opinions on the pros and cons of both types of a/c. I plan to travel in warm climates, my home state is Texas, so efficiency of operation is important.

Which one is more expensive to fix? Which type is more durable? Is the roof air appreciably louder?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2010
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Thane, Cruise Air is a good system, almost like your home air conditioning systems. The draw backs are reduced storage under the coach. Roof air is readly available, plenty to be found when replacements are needed. Both will cool the coach; we have 2 roof airs and we hang meat in the coach most of the time. Disadvantage to the roof air is if you're a tall person they can cause a bump on the forehead once in awhile. On our roof airs the control panel doors kept flopping open but we got tired of that so we took the doors off.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2010
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Others that own Cruiseair will respond, on repair and maintenance.

They are efficient and quiet, like residential A/c's
Loss of storage in the bays, more interior head room.
The roof airs that we have in our 88 are loud.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2010
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Sticking my neck out here as this is a Chevy vs Ford question.

BUT, I believe the roof top airs are the way to go. Living in the desert you need all the cooling you can get. The Cruiseair installations I've seen in other bus conversions where inadequate, took up valuable storage space, and were much more costly in both purchase and maintenance than the roof top airs.

Bang-for-buck the roof top airs are the only way to go. The Cruiseair's do offer a nice clean look but that's about it. Again.. just my opinion..
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010
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I'm 6'2" so I guess the overhead clearance is a big consideration.

I had a roof air system on an old houseboat and it operated on 12v. I assume all ya'll have 120v?
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2010
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I would check the two units you saw that had both roof and cruise airs to see why. I suspect the roof airs were added either because someone thought the cruise air needed a boost or was too expensive to repair??? That may give you some insight. Roof airs are noisy but ducting helps in some as the bedroom unit does not need to run at night is they are all ducted together.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010
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I'm 6'2" and the roof airs are not much of an issue as far as head room goes. As someone who has lots of refrigeration experience, I do not want to own, service and repair 30 year old ac's that are buried deep in the coach, roof airs can be tossed over board and replaced at any rv shop in the country.
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Old 08-04-2010
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Cruisair's are expensive to repair. They are around 14,000 BTU. The replacement compressor alone is over $600 before having it installed in the old condenser. Cheaper compressors are available, but experience of others shows they don't work very well compared to the original. Replacing a whole Cruisair is, I believe, well over $2000 before labor. Roof airs are closer to $600+ for a complete unit and labor to replace is minimal.

I have sunk a lot of money into repairing my Cruisairs, more than a new roof air, but I do like the quieter operation. They use R22, and the price of that is rising and will continue to rise due to production limits and dwindling inventories.

I wonder if thee are kits to mount a roof air off center to give better headroom in the middle of the walking path??? I haven't measured, it might not help at all.
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2010
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Cruise air performance seems dependent upon the air flow over the condenser. When under way, the cruise air's pull in hot air radiating off the highway and performance suffers. They're fine when parked cause the air is drawn from the shaded area under the bus. Of course, if the ground is loose and dusty, performance again suffers from crud build up on the condenser.

Roof airs draw fresh, cooler air from above the bus. They work well when traveling and when parked, but are noisier.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2010
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I have the best of both worlds. Two Cruisairs work when I'm parked and the roof airs run when I'm on the road. I think the trick to this high heat business is that we cool- like freezing - the coach before we take off. Helps the airs a bit. I don't like to sweat when I'm driving
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