Monday, August 19, 2019

Getting the AC mounted (part 1)

The last major project before we could have it "officially" registered as a motorhome was to get an HVAC system installed that was not powered by the vehicle engine. I had been looking for a truck which already had an APU (auxiliary power unit) installed as that would have made things a lot simpler. However, when I found this one and it didn't have one I already had a plan. The plan was to use a mini-split. There have been some folk who question the durability of using a mini-split on a vehicle, but I have talked with several tiny house folks who have had them mounted on their trailers and have been fine. I found an in-expensive one ($670) on Amazon. This would give me the option to try it out and if it fails, then would have to look for another option. The one I am using is  by Klimaire. It got good reviews and is pre-charged with 410a Freon.

The package arrived by freight so had to be home to get it and was several boxes strapped to a pallet. I was able to get it onto a dolly and in the garage fairly easily.  The install instructions looked straight forward.

The first obstacle was mounting the units. For a mini split there is an indoor unit, 4 feet by about 12 inches, and an outdoor unit, about 4 feet by 2 feet.  For the inside, the first was to remove the shelving on the back wall of the cab. I honestly have no idea why International has this big huge thing. but it was easy to remove with about 6 bolts holding it to the wall. This did leave the back of the cab a bit unsightly.

I had found at the hardware store some mounting bars called super strut. I think they are normally used for mounting electrical boxes and such. Superstrut There also have special fasteners which slide into the rails. The plan was to build me a frame, mounting it to the same holes the shelving unit used, and it worked great. The only issue came when it was time to use the fasteners. They are held inplace by springs and the springs are only good on the wider channel. A quick cut with the Dremal and we had them working. The frame for the inside unit consisted of two horizontal bars tided to the wall. Then two vertical bars spaced where I needed them for the mounting bracket for the indoor unit.

Once all that was in place it was time to fit up the inside unit.

Where it is currently mounted my cause issue when I later get the upper bunk, but I think I can slide it down far enough on those rails to the clearance I need and to get the bunk in. Only time will tell. 

Next up, mounting the outside unit, then we get it inspected and weighed. For those of you wondering, I have yet to drive it. 

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