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Portable ac unit for Fish-House


kudu63

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Looking at getting a portable AC unit for fish house/camper.   Anyone got any recommendations ?  BTU ?.   Ideally I would it to be able to run on a 2000 Watt generator.   I tried a 8K BTU from Menard's (Soleus - draw 914 Watts) and after 4+ hours it only changed the temp from 84 to about 81.   The AC unit was blowing out 65 degree air but just wouldn't cool the 8x16 house down much.   I also tried this unit on a buddies Yamaha 2k generator and it appears to run it fine.

From my research Ice Castle puts in 30K BTU and it requires 3000 watts and from what I seen this can cool down his house in about 30 minutes or so.

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I would suggest scrapping the idea of a portable A/C. Read this article

http://homeenergypros.lbl.gov/profiles/blogs/warnings-about-portable-air-conditioners

 

Your 8,000 BTU unit is providing effective cooling of less than 4,500 BTU. If you are not venting the hot condenser air out the window, that hot air also needs to be cooled. If you are venting the hot air, it’s drawing air from the inside of your wheel house, blowing it out the window, which in turn sucks hot moist air into the wheel house through cracks, vents, doors, windows etc. which again needs to be cooled and moisture removed.

 

To effectively cool you wheel house with a portable AC you will need a unit at 14,000 BTU but they require more power than a 2000 Watt generator can supply. (anything above 14,000 you may need 220 VAC for the portable units)

 

Bite the bullet and install either a window unit or roof top unit. 10 to 12,000 BTU should work well as most wheel houses are much better insulated than a summer camper trailer. Most draw under 10 amps of power. My older not so well insulated 30' Motorhome has a Coleman 15,000 BTU AC. It cools the cabin area 7' x 21' from 95 deg to 73 deg in 20 to 35 min depending on the humidity level. It draws 12.6 amps of power and can run on a 15 amp breaker if nothing else is running in the MH.

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In all honesty papadarv is not right and that article he posted sounds more like propaganda than actual truth.  A portable AC will work great for an ice shack if you get the right unit and set it up correctly.  The #1 thing you will want for a portable AC for you shack is to get a DUAL HOSE unit.  As far as BTU's go, 10-12k should be sufficient but the problem is most dual hose units only come in 14k.  The article posted above did get one thing right and that's about the single hose units.  The essentially suck air from the room and dump it outside through the exhaust and create a vacuum in the room.  The problem is that since there is not much space inside the shack the vacuum created by the AC starts sucking hot air through all the little cracks (door, windows, catch covers, ect.) to inside your shack.  That is probably why you only experienced a 3 degree drop in temp. 

 

Here is the unit I got for my 8x16' Yetti -  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028AYQDC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .  I don't trust rooftop units (they will eventually leak and it's another hole to lose heat in the winter) and my windows aren't big enough for a window AC.  Instead of running my exhaust/intake houses through a window I actually created a small plate that covers one of my catch covers and run the hoses out under the house.  The unit I have has an EER of 11.2 and has a max draw of 1250W/10.8 amps.  If that's all you have for load on your generator you should be fine.  If you have additional load you may have issues with the transients (spikes) every time the compressor starts up.  Yamaha builds great units but a Honda will handle these spikes much better. 

 

The biggest things to consider:

1.)  DUAL HOSE - single hose just wont work in this situation.

2.)  Wrap the exhaust hose - Use some sort of foil insulation tape on the exhaust hose (reflectix duct wrap).  The exhaust is HOT and the hose itself will get hot.  You will notice a pretty significant improvement if you wrap the exhaust hose inside the shack with some sort of insulation. 

3.)  Power - Honda will work better in this case just because it can handle spikes better.  If you can find a smaller dual hose unit you might be able to get away with it. 

 

 

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Thanks for the replies - my conclusion is similar to Yetti's.   I did exchanged the 8K BTU one for a 10K BTU and have very similar results where it just wasn't cooling the ice house even though the AC unit was blowing out low 60's degree air  The 10K maybe was slightly better than the 8K but maybe by 1 or 2 degrees.  I even had two small fans to help circulate the air and digital thermometers to read different areas temps.

 My thought was similar in that it had to be sucking air in through any means possible to get hot air to blow out.   I lifted one ice hole cover and you could feel the air coming in.   I left it open for a few hours to see if that help but not really - even though the air under the house was somewhat cooler that outside air getting sucked in from doors/windows.

Now I didn't wrap the exhaust hose up at all with any foil insulation - that might help some but it don't help with pulling in hot outside air.   I will have to look into the 2 hose AC units and I also really don't want any roof top AC unit.

Thanks again for your replies.

 

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Yetti - do you have any pictures of yours that you could share ?   Do you run this model off a 200 Watt generator (or ever attempted to?)  or do you always have 120V AC plugged in somewhere ?

In your ice house do you feel this model meets your cooling expectations ?  How long does it take to cool it down.

thanks again,

 

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 10:35 AM, YettiStyle said:

In all honesty papadarv is not right and that article he posted sounds more like propaganda than actual truth.  A portable AC will work great for an ice shack if you get the right unit and set it up correctly.  The #1 thing you will want for a portable AC for you shack is to get a DUAL HOSE unit.  As far as BTU's go, 10-12k should be sufficient but the problem is most dual hose units only come in 14k. 

I may be "not right" as stated by YettiStyle. It still may be a good idea to do a bit of research and not go solely on another's word

In the link YettiStyle provided, you might want to elevator down to the section "What's in the Box" this same company offers units from 11 to 14k BTU's so getting one at 10-12k will not be a problem as stated. They don't offer anything above 14k BTU primary due to power requirements to run portable units. But than I might again be wrong.  

In your research you will most likely find the portable units with no venting have a 65% BTU efficiency loss due to "propaganda" in the forum link I posted. A single hose unit will have an average of 50% BTU loss removing moisture and cooling the outside air brought  in. The Dual Hose unit will still have a 30% loss because 1/2 the intake air (second hose) is from the inside of the installed room and 1/2 the air is from the outside. In addition all unit motors, compressors, fans generate heat which are also inside the cooled room which also needs to be cooled. That will yield about 9.2 BTU on a 14k unit.

As for leaking roof units and energy loss. I find that hard to believe. Per national statistics, one in 12 households in the US own an RV. Pull behind trailer, 5th Wheel, motorized etc. That amounts to 8.2 million RV's. 89% if these have roof top air conditioners. That's over 7 million RV's with one to 3 roof top air conditioners. I do believe the design engineers have figured out a way to prevent leaks and ambient energy loss on these units.

Hopefully you will get some additional suggestions. My suggestions is do a lot of research and than decide what you want to put in your house. One more thing, don't forget when camping you unit is set on the ground and you need to consider how to get the exhausted air away from under the house using the catch cover exit.

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A little 5000BTU window unit cools mine fine. My friend also put the same unit in his 8x16 Ice Castle and we both could make ice in there I think if we wanted to. The outside temp was about 90

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Unfortunately I don't have windows big enough for a window AC.  My windows are sliders and the opening is maybe 11" wide. 

Papadarv - thanks,  if I were to use the holes for heat exhaust  - I would still have the house setup on 4x4"s.  My other concern about a roof top AC unit is that it would no longer fit into my shed which only clears now by about maybe 7".

What is the smallest size (dimensions) window AC on the market ?   Probably would have to be under 11" wide to fit my slider window.

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Did a short search. Lowest profile roof-top I found was 8.5 high on a 9.5k btu unit. Didn't realize you had a height issue. Could however lower the unit to a few inches off the ground when storing. I lower mine all the time to mark holes, mover forward, drill and back over holes. One of the reviews on one sight stated that dimensions were wrong as the unit was only 7" above the roof. You would need to check this out.

http://www.airxcel.com/docs/default-source/coleman-mach/mach-8-ac/mach-8-product-literature.pdf?sfvrsn=12

Smallest width I found is around 14" on an 8k window unit but it was a limited search.

Another option is to mount a window unit permanent between 2 studs. Most make an insulated shroud to cover the unit for winter.  

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Lucky for you - if you are considering doing this with a dual hose AC then you just lucked out.  I got my unit on sale for $463 but hopefully you are an amazon prime member or know someone who is.  The same unit I have is temporarily on sale for only $334 with free shipping, but you need to order it TODAY (ends at 11:59 7/26).  That is a STEAL!!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Whynter-Dual-Portable-Conditioner-ARC-14S/dp/B0028AYQDC/ref=lp_11339403011_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1469540000&sr=1-1

 

I do not have any pictures of my setup yet - I can get try and get some this weekend.  As mentioned before, the only drawback is having to set the shack down on 4x4's but it really doesn't take much longer to do.  Just set a 4x4 on each side behind your wheel wells and lower the back down.  Then set a couple 4x4's near the front of your shack (behind the v-nose) and start lowering the front.  You may need to either dig down one of the 4x4s in the front or shim one up to level the shack but the whole process only takes 2 minutes more.  You will need extra hose under the shack but only the exhaust hose really needs to be ran out from under the shack, the intake hose only needs to be a little stub (1-2' from the hole) to make sure it's sucking air outside the shack.  Basically the only part you will need to fabricate is the hole cover (I used plywood).  Cut the plywood to the same size as a catch cover and cut 2 holes the size of your hoses.  You will then run your hoses through the plywood so they exhaust/suck the air away from the shack.  The tighter your hole tolerances are and more snug everything fits together the more efficient your unit will operate. 

 

Now papadarv, I agree that these aren't the most efficient units but they definitely can get the job done if setup right (like you said, more research).  I agree, rooftop ACs are great for campers and the chance of them leaking in campers is very low.  But you have to remember, these aren't campers, they are ice shacks.  You can easily have swings in temperature in any given year while using your ice shack from +100 degrees in the summer to -30 degrees (without wind-chill) and then rapidly changing the inside temp back up to 60-70+ degrees inside when your furnace is on.  Those kind of temperature swings are very hard on equipment and seals, specially when they aren't designed for those types of conditions.  The less holes you cut in the shack, they less opportunity you have for leaks and drafts from forming.  Using a portable AC is a nice opportunity to utilize the existing holes already in the floor.

Edited by YettiStyle
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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 3:21 PM, kudu63 said:

Yetti - do you have any pictures of yours that you could share ?   Do you run this model off a 200 Watt generator (or ever attempted to?)  or do you always have 120V AC plugged in somewhere ?

In your ice house do you feel this model meets your cooling expectations ?  How long does it take to cool it down.

thanks again,

 

Also, I've got a 2000w Honda but won't be using it during the summer.  I bought just the Yetti shell and finished everything off myself.  I wired the whole thing like a camper and have the capability to plug it into a 50A, 30A, 20A, or 15A service at any campground.  Wasn't cheap with the 50' cord, receptacle, and all the adaptors ($300 for everything) but I can essentially use it at any RV park I want.  Another thing you want to consider is keeping the AC on it's own circuit breaker if possible (15A breaker) and definitely off of any circuit with large loads (fridge, microwave, pizza maker). 

 

I honestly haven't really used it yet in any hot heat but it's kept the shack nice and cool so far.  Hottest day was probably 80 degrees in the shade. 

 

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12 minutes ago, YettiStyle said:

Now I have to make up mind quickly for this offer....    Just wanted to confirm - will this run off a 2000 watt Honda/Yamaha generator ?     The 14K BTU (ARC-14s) lists the max as 1250 watts but would like confirmation.

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18 minutes ago, kudu63 said:

Now I have to make up mind quickly for this offer....    Just wanted to confirm - will this run off a 2000 watt Honda/Yamaha generator ?     The 14K BTU (ARC-14s) lists the max as 1250 watts but would like confirmation.

A 2000 watt genny will run your AC and that's about it.  The biggest problem will be the surge every time the compressor turns on.  This is a situation where a Honda will be better.  Both Honda and Yamaha 2000w units are actually rated for 1600w of continuous energy and 2000w of surge.  The real difference is that the Honda's surge will drive 2000w for 30 minutes and the Yamaha's will drive 2000w for only 10 SECONDS.  The difference is the 79cc Yamaha motor vs the 98.5cc Honda motor.  I would definitely feel more comfortable with a Honda if you have the option.  You may be able to get away with some extra load (lights, charge cell phone, small/efficient tv) with the surge capabilities of the Honda. 

 

Long story short, you will be able to run the 14k with a 2000k genny since the operating amperage of 10.8 amps is less than the 1600.  The only problem you may have is the surge but there are ways around that.  The easiest/cheapest way would be to get a hard start capacitor.  Here is a link to help you out with that.  The capacitor they used was $12.59 on amazon.

http://www.modmyrv.com/2009/05/27/rv-air-conditioner-hard-start-capacitor

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Thanks Yetti,,   the generator is another decision I have to make yet.  But I'm definitely leaning towards the Honda.   Heard that you might be able to get a good deal on them at the MN state fair - which is just around the corner.

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If you haven't gotten one yet and are seriously thinking of getting one, the clear winner is the Honda.  Don't get me wrong, the Yamaha is a strongly built genny and will perform well but the Honda just has more capabilities.  Biggest reason I bought a Honda is because the internal fuel pump so you have the option to connect an extended fuel tank ($130).  I literally have to change the oil on my Honda before I have to fill the gas tank.  With the extended fuel tank I've been able to get around 90 hrs without having to refill (almost 13 hrs/gal seems crazy high but it actually did it).  Not having to check fuel levels during the middle of the night and deal with fuel when its -20 outside is worth getting the Honda by itself. 

 

Other reasons for the Honda over the Yamaha is the service/parts.  If something ever was to break it is much much easier to find a repair shop for a Honda than a Yamaha.  Parts are usually cheaper as well.  As mentioned before, the motor is larger and can handle surges and larger loads much better.  Yes the Honda has a few plastic parts where Yamaha uses metal but if you routinely maintain and care for your $1,000 piece of equipment you will never have an issue with either unit. 

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22 hours ago, YettiStyle said:

Lucky for you - if you are considering doing this with a dual hose AC then you just lucked out.  I got my unit on sale for $463 but hopefully you are an amazon prime member or know someone who is.  The same unit I have is temporarily on sale for only $334 with free shipping, but you need to order it TODAY (ends at 11:59 7/26).  That is a STEAL!!!!!

https://www.amazon.com/Whynter-Dual-Portable-Conditioner-ARC-14S/dp/B0028AYQDC/ref=lp_11339403011_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1469540000&sr=1-1

Now papadarv, I agree that these aren't the most efficient units but they definitely can get the job done if setup right (like you said, more research).  I agree, rooftop ACs are great for campers and the chance of them leaking in campers is very low.  But you have to remember, these aren't campers, they are ice shacks.  You can easily have swings in temperature in any given year while using your ice shack from +100 degrees in the summer to -30 degrees (without wind-chill) and then rapidly changing the inside temp back up to 60-70+ degrees inside when your furnace is on.  Those kind of temperature swings are very hard on equipment and seals, specially when they aren't designed for those types of conditions.  The less holes you cut in the shack, they less opportunity you have for leaks and drafts from forming.  Using a portable AC is a nice opportunity to utilize the existing holes already in the floor.

On research, go to the amazon site above than click on "Reviews". Of the 847 reviews only 46% or 389, less than 1/2, rate this unit as 5 while 13% or 110 owners rate it as 1. The 4 star summary is most likely around 2.6. In the world of quality / Goodness-of-fit, which is quite poor. I always read the 1's to find out what the issues and dislikes are to decide if I can live with them..

 As far a campers verses Ice shacks, I think the Drexler's and Gary Suckow might disagree. You can now get a Castle with a slide out, lots of seals and equipment exposed to cold temps. Just saying.

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1 hour ago, papadarv said:

On research, go to the amazon site above than click on "Reviews". Of the 847 reviews only 46% or 389, less than 1/2, rate this unit as 5 while 13% or 110 owners rate it as 1. The 4 star summary is most likely around 2.6. In the world of quality / Goodness-of-fit, which is quite poor. I always read the 1's to find out what the issues and dislikes are to decide if I can live with them..

 As far a campers verses Ice shacks, I think the Drexler's and Gary Suckow might disagree. You can now get a Castle with a slide out, lots of seals and equipment exposed to cold temps. Just saying.

Yes, because Ice Castles are know for their superior quality and longevity.....  I could literally care less what the Drexler's or Gary Suckow agree or disagree with, their only concern is to say and do whatever it takes to sell more shacks, regardless of quality.  The last thing I would ever invest in would be an ice shack with a slide out. 

 

As far as the Amazon reviews, you're always going to have bad reviews on any product.  Heck, the Jiffy Pro4 (one of the most reliable ice auger brands) only gets a 3.4 average review.  Jiffy Pro4.  There is plenty of good reviews on amazon and elsewhere to ease any concerns.  Plus Amazon has the greatest customer service you can have, just make sure you keep the packaging until you try the unit.  If it fails to meet your demands then contact amazon and they will take it back. 

 

With all the constraints he has (roof height, small windows, ect.) this is his best option.  That's totally fine if you disagree but at least throw out another viable option to help the guy out instead of being negative and shooting everything down. 

Edited by YettiStyle
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1 hour ago, YettiStyle said:

With all the constraints he has (roof height, small windows, ect.) this is his best option.  That's totally fine if you disagree but at least throw out another viable option to help the guy out instead of being negative and shooting everything down. 

My first post suggested going to outside configured A/C. You totally disagreed with a very negative reply "In all honesty papadarv is not right and that article he posted sounds more like propaganda". WOW (your opinion the only one that is right). I am not "shooting everything down" I am only suggesting one makes sure something will work well.  Everything you stated in this thread is expressed above "this is his best option" indicating you and only you have the answer. (your opinion only one that counts).

I really don't care what someone choses. I only suggest looking at all options. I suppose I could suggest the "Swamp cooler Pump" but they also don't work that will in high humidity regions. Or maybe the DYI heat exchanger (heater core) 20# bucket of ice, small circulating pump and fan. Bit more work but they actually do work well de-humidifying and cooling here in MN.

By the way, Smoker also suggested a small 5k BTU window unit.

Edited by papadarv
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I said you were wrong because you were, not going to sugar coat it for you.  If you can't handle being told you're wrong that's not my problem.  You're initial ideas would work normally (agree to disagree on rooftop A/Cs) but they wouldn't work in his situation.  I never said my opinion was the only one that matters BUT this is the best option for him, if it wasn't then you would be suggesting something else. 

The only other practical option for you would be something like an outdoor dog kennel A/C http://www.climaterightair.com/applications/outdoor-dog-house-air-conditioner-and-heater.html.  I'm not sure how you would install it (maybe a platform on your tongue?) but it means cutting holes in the side of your shack and will cost more $$. 

Sorry for the hijack Kudu, hopefully I can get you some pictures this weekend of my setup to help you out. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got some pictures of my setup while camping over the weekend.  Was a relatively cool weekend (80 degrees) but the AC kept the shack at a brisk 61 all weekend long and only took about 45 minutes to get it down to temp before cycling off.  On the plate I built you can see the lever I fabricated to tighten down the plate.  On the bottom side there is an inverted T that spans the entire width of the hole and when I press down on the lever it seals the plate to the hole.  The shack is blocked up on 4-4x4s and it only took 30 seconds extra to do so. 

20160805_184437_resized.jpg20160805_184358_resized.jpg20160805_184348_resized.jpg20160805_184337_resized.jpg

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Thanks Yetti,   that's exactly what I was thinking about doing and sounds like it works out very good to.  Not sure I will want it down to 61 degrees but very nice to see that you can get it that cool in there.    Sounds like even on much hotter days you should be able to keep it cool.    I was thinking about getting another hole cover and just cutting holes in that for the two hoses.  That way it will just snap on.

Hard to see but on the intake hose do you have some type of screen cover on it so bugs don't get inside ?

If you ever get a chance let me know if that portable AC unit will run on a 2000 watt Honda generator.

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 8:31 PM, kudu63 said:

Thanks Yetti,   that's exactly what I was thinking about doing and sounds like it works out very good to.  Not sure I will want it down to 61 degrees but very nice to see that you can get it that cool in there.    Sounds like even on much hotter days you should be able to keep it cool.    I was thinking about getting another hole cover and just cutting holes in that for the two hoses.  That way it will just snap on.

Hard to see but on the intake hose do you have some type of screen cover on it so bugs don't get inside ?

If you ever get a chance let me know if that portable AC unit will run on a 2000 watt Honda generator.

I tried putting a small activated carbon filter screen on the end of the intake hose but the unit didn't seem to like it very much so I took it off.  Did notice a few spiders got sucked up so I'll probably try using some regular mesh screen over it next. 

 

I only use my genny during the ice season and completely drain all the fluids during the offseason so there isn't really anyway for me to test it for a while. 

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  • 3 years later...
On 7/15/2016 at 1:33 AM, kudu63 said:

Looking at getting a portable AC unit for camper. Anyone got any recommendations ?  BTU ?.   Ideally I would it to be able to run on a 2000 Watt generator.   I tried a 8K BTU from Menard's (Soleus - draw 914 Watts) and after 4+ hours it only changed the temp from 84 to about 81.   The AC unit was blowing out 65 degree air but just wouldn't cool the 8x16 house down much.   I also tried this unit on a buddies Yamaha 2k generator and it appears to run it fine.

From my research Ice Castle puts in 30K BTU and it requires 3000 watts and from what I seen this can cool down his house in about 30 minutes or so.

 

LG's portable air conditioner is very good. Moreover, it does not require the installation of an exhaust hose, and the water is evaporated by means of automatic evaporation. I use it on RV when I travel on vacation in summer. The vent-up design allows the cold air to flow evenly throughout the cabin, 360° cool, hahahaha.

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