Pop Up Air Conditioning

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by buddyandpaulette, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. buddyandpaulette

    buddyandpaulette New Member

    May 31, 2008
    We live in Florida and it's HOT, HOT, HOT! Our Baby Bethany does not have Air Conditioning. We desperately need some suggestions or help in figuring out a way to install one.

    We do NOT need any kind of heating but gotta have that air. Us Oldies but Goodies - Me and my Hubby (and our 2 chihuahuas) can't stand the heat in the Florida & Georgia State Parks.

    We have investigated 1. Portable Air Conditioners ($300-500); 2. Cutting the wall to install a regular room a/c; ($200-300) 3. and the professionally installed rooftop unit ($1400-1600). Has anyone added air in any way and can give me some advice as to what works.

    We are leaning toward the Roof Unit, but are concerned that the top will not support the weight of the Unit (which I think is about 35 lbs) and what will that do to raising the roof when setting up. Has anyone had any experience in this area?

    Will surely welcome any suggestions. Thanks to all in advance

    The Carvers in Hilliard, Florida

    Buddy & Paulette
  2. Digger

    Digger Foothills of Central Virginia

    Welcome to the Portal Buddy & Paulette!

    A Bethany, eh? Nice Campers...and from everything I've heard very well constructed. Unfortunately the factory doesn't exist anymore. However there is a Yahoo Bethany Owners group. You can find it here. You should be able to find out on there the possibility of putting in a roo AC....and the price you quoted seems really high...the unit shouldn't cost more than ~750.

    Good Luck!!

    ~Cheers~ Ðigger
    2004 Fleetwood Westlake - StonyBlue
    2002 Econoline E-150
  3. dupreet

    dupreet New Member


    What age is your Bethany?

    If your rig will support a rooftop, I'd go with one since you are in Florida. If you find out your roof will hold it, installation is not that big of a deal. If you have a crankup vent, it gets replaced by the AC unit. The install is simple and should not cost $600-700 over the cost of the unit.

    I had to go the window-unit route as my roof doesn't go up too easily by itself!! If you have room on the tongue or rear of your camper, its not that hard a job to do. I picked up a 6000btu model.....if you can fit an 8000-9000btu unit in your camper, it will do fine. In my case, on a 90+ afternoon with no shade, the camper gets up to 72-75 inside....the rest of the day/night it is great.

    Welcome Aboard,


    Wife, 3 Kids, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats, The Wabbit
    '88 Palomino TXL hardsider
    '93 Ford E-350 Van
  4. buddyandpaulette

    buddyandpaulette New Member

    May 31, 2008
    Hi Guys, thanks for the nice welcome. Yes, I am aware of the Bethany Camper Yahoo Group. I have received a lot of info from them, but, no response to my A/C dilema.

    Our Baby Bethany is a 1975 Citation 46 which means the box is 7 x 9 which is small.

    We did purchase a portable air conditioner for a trial, and it seems to work ok. But it really takes a lot of room in our already small floor space. We are going to try that out for a couple of trips.

    we will be looking for another solution if the portable is too big.

    Thanks for the help. Am enjoying all the info and comments from the Pop Up Portal website. Glad I found it.
    Buddy and Paulette
    Pup: 1975 Bethany
    TV; 2008 Titan or 2004 Safari Van
    Sissy and Bubba (our chihuahuas)

    Buddy & Paulette
  5. edh

    edh Active Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    My concern with modding in a window unit into either end is that the hot exhaust would blow out right under the slide outs; seems inefficient at best, and could make the AC much less effective at cooling the pup. THoughts anyone?

    EdH, NE Ohio, new to p'ups
  6. slackerjaw

    slackerjaw New Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    I would double check the quote on the roof top A/C. Ours was $700 for the unit and install. Unless that price includes making the roof support stronger, it seems high. The roof is probably the best way to reduce the hot air that rises. Have you thought about the PUP gizmos to reduce the heat in the bunk ends?

    DH '69, DW '68, DS '03, DD '05
    2006 Subaru Tribeca 2007 Viking 2470ST
    Nights camping 2008-4
  7. jswalls110

    jswalls110 Guest

    I just installed a 10K window a/c in th rear of our 84 Starcraft. took a few days, and does the job.

    the only part is cutting the wall........Scary

    Jeff, Anne, Tara, Scott, Lancaster, PA
    Buddy (German Shepherd 1),Dakota (German Shepherd 2)
    2006 Jeep Commander, 1984 Starcraft Constellation

    KISMETT New Member

    Jun 27, 2008
    Is your unit prepreped for rooftop air? Is there a junction box in the ceiling or a unused 20amp breaker in the powerbox/converter? If not,we have an electrical AC prep kit on hand. Both single and double bar packages are avail. for roof support. This depends on the roof span & size of your camper. We also have some bar kits from Starcraft avail. at a discount. These bars are 80 1/4" x 2 3/4" x 1"H with a 7/8" arch. I'm not sure if these bars will fit or not. I am an RV tech in charge of obsolete parts at our facility.
    upstate family likes this.
  9. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

    Apr 5, 2008
    Mt. Washington, NH
    welcome to the site KISMETT! you will fastly become a regular around here if you keep throwing out that word...... DISCOUNT !

    as for the a/c install dilemma, the portable is your safest bet <b><i>for now</i></b>, as long as you run the exhaust tube outside and away from the sleeping areas.

    a rooftop unit is more ideal, but again has its troubles.

    Robin, Working hard so the Family can play harder.
    '87 Coleman Newport <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> '03 Kia Sedona <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
  10. Michi Gander

    Michi Gander New Member

    Jul 27, 2010
    We just purchased an older Starcraft Spacemaster PUP with no air. The summers here in Michigan can be sweltering so we're trying to decide whether we should make the investment in a rooftop, portable or wall unit. We're concerned the rooftop unit may be too much for the older roof and cable system. The portable units seem to have issues with low output, leaking and are bulky. I think the wall unit is a possibility but finding a spot to install it could be a challenge because of the slide out.

    Has anyone found a portable unit that works well?

  11. edh

    edh Active Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    I bought a 5000BTU Haier, about as basic a unit as one can get, primarily bec it is small in dimensions and relatively light in wt and low on current requirements. it was also cheap; about $89 at BJ's at the time. I have a hardside pup and simply had to remove a window and enlarge the hole slightly, then install some closed cell foam under it, put it in the hole, and put more foam around the sides and top. It works very well, and the install process takes less than 5 min. Knock on wood, it has given us zero problems so far. You might be able to do a similar mod out the back or front end, but the AC unit would then be under one of your pullout beds, which might be workable if not efficient. If roof mounting is feasible that would seem best. Conceivably you could punch out a side wall, but then you'd have to seal the hole each time with some sort of aluminum plate to keep out the critters (or else let it hang out the side on the road, which may not be so bad when you consider that the small units like mine protrude minimally). Another option would be to keep it on a cart and just run a flexible insulated vent line from the unit into the pup; the only real trick to that setup would be how you attach the hose to the AC and getting its output into the pup. Depends on whether you are a handy modder or not. Good luck.
  12. DeadElvis

    DeadElvis New Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    I've got a portable 12,000 BTU AC and I've got no complaints so far. Here in the south, 99 degree days with 100% humidity are all too common in July/August. The AC will take the temp down in my unshaded camper to high 70s/low 80s during the hotest part of the day. The AC will easily take the temp down to the sixties in the evenings. I'm pleased with it.

    My camper is 28 years old and the roof was not built for an AC. I wanted to at least attempt the portable route since cutting a hole in the side for an AC unit is a permanent mod sort of like a tatoo. The biggest con with the portable is that it takes up almost an entire counter top.

    They have portables that go on sale from time to time but they also tend to be lower btu like 5,000 to 8,000. I wanted to get as high as financially possible because I've read plenty of comments on forums that the lower btu units have trouble cooling the area size they are advertised for.

    I also spent an extra $25 from the AC company to get what they call a "turtle neck" which is an insulation sleeve that the exhaust hose slips into. That exhaust hose gets pretty hot inside the camper and will work against the AC if not insulated.

    Just for reference, I spent about $450 on the AC unit and $25 on the insulation. So far, so good.
  13. edh

    edh Active Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    This site has a homemade pop up trailer that features a portable AC that slides in & out, and is sealed by a door when not in use. The website link is below and I'll try to attach a picture.


  14. edh

    edh Active Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Hopefully the picture will now magically be available below.


    yay, it worked! Thanks to those who posted the clear instrucitons on how to post a photo!
  15. julesagogo

    julesagogo New Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Resurrecting the wall a/c topic

    So with a teeny little popup and some weird new condition that makes hot weather unbearable for me, I was hoping someone has some ideas such as putting a 5000 BTU window unit on a lightweight but sturdy stand outside one of the screened windows and using vinyl or something to cover the rest of the window? I'm heading to WV next weekend and the weather hasn't exactly been on the cool side. [V] Would love something like this but am unwilling to slice the fabric too...right now. [;)]

    The portable units seem fine but apparently need 12" from the window to work - we really don't have that kind of room and I'm not sure how I'd vent it - the only window screen that has a zipper is the one at the outside of the bed.

    I'm not ready to cut a hole in the wall of my popup box yet, I don't think, but I'd love to know where edh got that awesome cover above...
  16. Sparrow&Hawk

    Sparrow&Hawk New Member

    Jul 21, 2017
    Media, PA
    Hi. What are the PUP gizmos to reduced the heat in the bunk ends that you speak of?
  17. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2016
  18. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    On one PUP I owned, I made a frame on the rear bumper, cut a hole in that area set an room AC in, and sealed it. For power either run it from inside to a box in the area (if none exists)Or run a separate cord to a 15-20 am box that most pedestals have . This set up worked great for us. Hope you can get the set up you need/ want. Good luck and Happy Camping

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