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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 03-07-2018, 10:24 AM   #1
masque13
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Default Portable AC Unit for Enclosed Trailers Questions

Hello fellow BBQ"ers. I have been researching portable air units for my trailer until my head has started swimming.

I have done the research and understand the differences between 1 and 2 hose systems and the some of the potential pros and cons of each.

But I wanted to check in with all of you to see what experiences any of you have with these types of units and what recommendations you would have as far as brands to look at or brands to stay away from along with any installation tips?

a couple of the major questions I have are;

#1 I can't really find any definitive info on how often you have to empty the condensation pan on these units in what could be a very humid and hot environment in the middle of summer at a BBQ comp? I'm wondering if folks have figured out a way to install a permanent hose to the drain to allow to drain as needed like I do now with the dehumidifier in my basement running into a drain?

#2 I'm curious to know how people have built the exhaust mounts to allow the units to send out the hot air and bring in the fresh air? I'm certainly aware that keeping those two hoses a bit a ways from each other makes more sense, but just wondering if folks are buying simple dry vents and mounting them on the sides of their trailers or what are you guys doing?

Thanks in advance for any info or insight any of you may offer!
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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I have a portable AC in my trailer, the Arctic King WPPD-12HR5. For my small trailer it's sufficient, but not great. I'd guess it probably reduces the temp inside 10-15 degrees. I do wish I had a rooftop unit, but I was able to get this one for free so it works for me.

1. I've never had to empty any condensation pan on it. For how little work it gets over a 2 day comp it's not an issue. It did however come with a removable drain plug and hose for direct draining. I'd probably just use a pan/bucket that can be dumped easily.

2. The exhaust vent hose can be limited in flexibility if you're trying to tuck the unit into a corner or something. It'll need to sit a couple feet away from the wall minimum. I did cut a 4" hole in the trailer wall for direct venting. On the outside is your standard dryer vent cover and on the inside I used a PVC bell trap drain then bolted the two pieces together, sandwiching the trailer wall. I had to cut the back off the drain fitting, but it has a 4" round inside diameter to fit the exhaust hose, so I could plug in my exhaust hose when needed and close/cover the hole when not in use (I keep a piece of foam insulation in it). Oh, I think the exhaust hose is actually 6" so it has a reducer on the end to fit the vent hole.

I'll post pics when I get home tonight.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:20 PM   #3
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Save your money and put in an overhead unit. You will be much happier
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion Bout The Q View Post
Save your money and put in an overhead unit. You will be much happier
thoughts and reasons as to why you feel that way?
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:36 PM   #5
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One other equally important item to consider is insulation. IMO that is critical to have if looking at AC. Especially down in your summer heat.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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I used to have a portable unit in my old 6x12. I drilled a small hole in the floor to run a hose for the condensation and cut a hole on the outside wall to run the exhaust. I used a dryer vent cover to cover the hole.

I would recommend spending the extra money on a roof top unit. The portable unit could not keep up if the temp reached over 80. All it seemed to do was blow warm air around. The front and ceiling area of the trailer would never get cool if it was too warm out.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masque13 View Post
thoughts and reasons as to why you feel that way?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winged Wheel View Post
I used to have a portable unit in my old 6x12. I drilled a small hole in the floor to run a hose for the condensation and cut a hole on the outside wall to run the exhaust. I used a dryer vent cover to cover the hole.

I would recommend spending the extra money on a roof top unit. The portable unit could not keep up if the temp reached over 80. All it seemed to do was blow warm air around. The front and ceiling area of the trailer would never get cool if it was too warm out.
This. In my 7x12 it struggles to cool adequately when it gets really hot out. Like I said, maybe 10-15 degrees difference. So if it's pushing over 90 outside you can expect it to still be 80 in the trailer. Overnights are not bad, but I have it blowing right on me while I'm working in there. It's just enough to keep me from overheating - better than no AC, but not even close to as comfortable as a rooftop unit.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:09 PM   #8
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I use a window AC unit in the back of my toyhauler. I would add a window to your trailer and use that instead of a portable unit. A small window AC unit worked way better than the portable unit I had.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:10 PM   #9
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I have a portable unit set up similarly to how some others have mentioned above in my 6x12 trailer. Vented out the wall with a dryer vent cover and hole in the floor with a drain tube. It works okay. In the middle of a Georgia summer, it doesn't feel like it works at all, but it does well overnight. If we weren't looking to upgrade from our trailer, we would install a roof unit.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:34 PM   #10
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I tried a portable one and it did not get the job done in my small trailer. I got the smallest (9K btu) rooftop that I could find and it cooled it to below 65 degrees on a 90 degree day. It was a very small trailer but it worked great for me. I got that one because I could run it off of 15A service. Sorry this isn't a direct answer to your question but in hindsight I wish I had skipped the portable all together.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enasnidx View Post
This. In my 7x12 it struggles to cool adequately when it gets really hot out. Like I said, maybe 10-15 degrees difference. So if it's pushing over 90 outside you can expect it to still be 80 in the trailer. Overnights are not bad, but I have it blowing right on me while I'm working in there. It's just enough to keep me from overheating - better than no AC, but not even close to as comfortable as a rooftop unit.
By the time you get done nickel and diming.......
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masque13 View Post
thoughts and reasons as to why you feel that way?
we had a portable one with exaust. Barley kept it cool. Spent the money for a roof top unit and have been happy ever since.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:22 PM   #13
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By the time you get done nickel and diming.......
Hahaha. You're like the devil on my shoulder while my wife is the angel that tells me to nickel and dime everything.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:56 AM   #14
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Thanks a bunch guys! This is valuable info!
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