There are several companies making auxiliary HVAC systems that tie back into the vehicles existing HVAC system. This lowers cost, save space and weight. One such product is called "E-Cool Park" and I believe several of the big players such as Dirna Bergstrom and Indel/Webasto offer something similar.dreadlocks said:Would there be any way to just steal the compressor out of one of these and wire it up in parallel with the vehicles existing evap and condenser? or is the vehicles electric radiator fans too much wattage to make this reasonable? I'm wanting to install both shore power and engine powered AirCon into my Westy with its engine swap and since its gonna have to be all custom and I'd rather just have one condenser and evap to install.. I thought about just wiring up an AC motor on a custom bracket to a double clutch belt on the engine compressor but that seems rather Rube Goldberg.
If you see the previous thread I linked in the OP, I ran this unit for a whole day (stuck through my front window) and monitored power consumption, noise, and performance.In a perfect world, i.e. laboratory conditions, only 0.018 BTU per hour are required to raise the temperature of one cubic foot of air, by one degree Fahrenheit. Thus, a camper box measuring 12' x 7' x 7' only requires 263 BTU to heat the air inside from 50F to 75F.
In the real world, due to insulation, windows, solar radiation and the like, heating or cooling capacity must be significantly higher. I don't want to derail this cool thread, but spending a bit of time doing some basic heat load calculations, if you haven't already, may tell you a lot. I would hate to see a micro-split get built and installed only to find out that it is insufficient to cool the van, is loud or sucks power, once in.
Aluminum on copper is never a good combo.I took at a look at those. 8,000btu is a bit larger than I need. The real issue is the condenser is ~20" tall, which is not conducive to underbody mounting. The compressors are also 12-14" tall, which doesn't make for easy interior mounting once you include vibration dampening. Now I could get flexible hoses, and mount the exterior unit on a bumper swing out. But that's just a non starter for me.
My current plan is to mount the condenser centered left/right, about 24" behind the axle. The solid side will face forward. So the condenser and fan will be protected from the worst of it. I also have 11" plastic mudflaps on the rear. Depending on my experience, I may add shutters or slip covers over the side vents. I am also on the lookout for a corrosion inhibiting coating for the aluminum condenser fins. The pipes are all copper. Time will tell how long it lasts, but it was a cheap unit, so if the condenser corrodes out, I can probably swap for a similar unit. If it ends up working well I will just buy a used one to keep for spare parts.
IMG_20200714_131653625 by J Luth, on Flickr
That location looks like a prime target.It just barely fits between the floor supports.
There is a nice scalloped area for the spare tire clearance. It should provide enough space for exit airflow.
As you can see, it hangs down a little bit below the hitch. Should be far enough forward that my departure angle won't be affected.