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  #1  
Old 10-26-2010
gcyeaw's Avatar
gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
Gardner
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ridgewood
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Default Roof air conversion

We are at Randy's Bainbridge house installing a roof air on my FC. I took one of the Dometic units off Rob's old coach on Monday, not an easy task. The rubber seal was tougher than I had expected and it tool a flat bar and other tools of cut through it.

Randy used the fork lift to get it down and I cleaned up the surface for the new seal. We powered it up and tested it just to be sure.

I began cutting the aluminum diamond plate, but the saw blade gave up. I got new blades and will start again today. I am taking pics but haven't organized them yet. So far the only problem is that I can't get the themrostat control cables out of Robs old caoch, so I will need to cut off the ends and make a new cable. It will work, but it will be messy looking with all those crimp connectors.(11 wires)

Yea, it's 3 AM, but the passing freight train horn woke me up. The tracks are about 100 feet from the coach. Then there is the municipal clock that rings a bell on the hour and half hour. Not to mention the factory that blows a big whistle several times at the shift change (3 shifts?). Yup, Randy and Carols' place is where all the bells and whistles can be found
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2010
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Stick Miller Stick Miller is offline
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Default Roof Air

But Gardner, with that nice new roof air droning away at a constant decible level you won't hear dogs or trains or bells or (mot importantly) her snoring.
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2010
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Location: Ridgewood
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I finished up the roof air installation yesterday (the outside part anyway). Now my wife is complaining about being cold

The unit was ducted in the donor coach, so I need to do some work on the inside to direct the air where I want it. For now it is directed using duct tape and a modified duct plenum.

I need to take the time to assemble the available pictures. I didn't get as many as I should have. It started to rain right after I cut the hole, and Randy's fork lift quit so we had to get the unit up on the roof by hand. With all the sealer on my hands I didn't want to touch the camera. Then there was the BIG snake under the coach, and the ants.
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Gardner Yeaw
86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
I finished up the roof air installation yesterday (the outside part anyway). Now my wife is complaining about being cold

The unit was ducted in the donor coach, so I need to do some work on the inside to direct the air where I want it. For now it is directed using duct tape and a modified duct plenum.

I need to take the time to assemble the available pictures. I didn't get as many as I should have. It started to rain right after I cut the hole, and Randy's fork lift quit so we had to get the unit up on the roof by hand. With all the sealer on my hands I didn't want to touch the camera. Then there was the BIG snake under the coach, and the ants.
Sure would like to see a picture of the snake.
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  #5  
Old 10-27-2010
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Snake attendance was for RATS one of their favorite food groups.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2010
pgchd
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Gardner said:

I
Quote:
finished up the roof air installation yesterday (the outside part anyway). Now my wife is complaining about being cold

The unit was ducted in the donor coach, so I need to do some work on the inside to direct the air where I want it. For now it is directed using duct tape and a modified duct plenum.
- Yep I had the same problem, went to Lowes and got a floor vent that I could direct in 2 directions / or shut off. Cheap and fit right into the "AC frame." Just drill out the rivets that hold the plastic duct in place and install the new one with 2 nuts and bolts!
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2010
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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OK, I assembled some pics from myself and Bill Garamella of the installation. Here is a little review owf what was done, the pictures have captions as well.

To reiterate, I chose to go with a roof air after spending $500+ dollars and two tries to get the Cruisair working. It worked for a month, but failed 1 week into a two month trip. No one wants to work on them, and it costs more than a new roof air to get it fixed and charged anyway. A new one is $3000, so it is a no brainer. Now if the roof air fails, Camping world has a replacement and it is a piece of cake to replace. No AC expert required.

After finishing I realized I had not thought it out thoroughly. In hind sight, I should have installed it above the closet behind the dinette (actually in the closet ceiling) and routed the output to the existing Cruisair vent. I will bet it would have been quieter, and would not even be seen. I can always put a roof vent in the new hole and move it

Anyway, the new-to-me unit was originaly a ducted install, so there is nothing but an intake filter/vent in the interior cover. I plan to build an interior cover/distribution unit to suit my needs. I want to cool the front when driving (the old front Cruisair is not that powerful), and then do the center when parked. I locatged the unit off to the side over the entrance across from the bathroom door. I positioned it so it will not interfere with the bathroom door openning a full 180 degrees. Also, it will not be a head banger for tall folks because the vents will be above the dinette seat back, where no-one stands up.

I started by placing the cover from the original install on the ceiling and determining the location that suited my needs and did not interfere wiht anything like doors, compartment doors, or the top of my head. I put blue tape on the ceiling to outline the area. Then I determined the exact center and drilled a hole up through the ceiling, the roof, and finally the diamond plate. This hole gave me a reference on the roof to work from. There is no real positive way to determine if there are any wires there, but I pushed the drill through the foam and got no resistance.

I went up on the roof and laid out the 14 1/4 inch square hole with a marker pen based on the center hole I drilled (7 1/8 each side of center), then I expanded it to include the area needed for the AC chassis. I used the goat rail as a refrence to insure I was paralell with the edge of the roof.

THen I mustered my courage and cut the diamond plate. I used a skill saw with a blade suited for aluminum ($45 at Home Depot). I set the depth for exacticaly the thickness of the diamond plate so as to not cut the roof under it in error. This aluminum cutting is LOUD and lots of tiny chips fly everywhere. Ear and eye protection are a MUST. ALso, the saw can kick back, be absolutely sure you position your body and limbs so a kickback won't result in the blade contacting your body parts. It makes for a less than perfect angle for working the saw, but it is preferable to a long hospital stay, and a short leg or arm, or other precious body part.

After the diamond plate, I remarked the roof for the 14 1/4 square hole for the AC mount. THen I used the same blade set for the roof thicknes (1/16 or so). It is thin and the blade didn't seem to have a problem with the steel. I found a lengthwise roof support member under the area, but I doubt it will have any ill effect on the structural integrety of the coach. On other coaches there is a vent over the kitchen in exactically the same orientation releatve to the side of the coach, and the bathroom ceiling vent is also spaced the same, so I don't think there is anything to worry about here.

I made a frame out of scrap hardwood to fasten the four hold-downs that clamp the AC frame to the roof. The front and back frame pieces are about 16 inches long, and the side pieces are 14 1/4 inches long. This way the side pieces insure the front and rear pieces remain verticle when the hold-downs are attached to them and tightened up to seat the AC frame on the roof seal.

I connected the 12 guage AC wire to the terminal block behind the interior wall of the front curb side closet. This was the original supply for the Cruisair and insures the switch above the driver will still controll the AC. I ran the cable in the race behind the cabinets over the dinette, into the space behind the ceiling part above the door, and through the foam into the new AC access hole.

The pictures should make most of this clear. Once I finish the distribution module I will add pics.
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Gardner Yeaw
86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
Ridgewood, New Jersey

Last edited by gcyeaw; 11-15-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2010
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Gardner Yeaw
86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
Ridgewood, New Jersey

Last edited by gcyeaw; 11-15-2010 at 09:16 AM. Reason: fix pic caption
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