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Old 09-04-2023, 10:45 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Hurricane 29M
State: California
Posts: 432
THOR #3923
How I installed a second air conditioner in 29M

Hello -

This post is how I remove the ceiling fan above the bed in my 29M and installed a second air conditioner.

Proceed at your own risk as I make no claims if this meets code, is safe, or correct.

At the time of writing this post, I'm still in the process. I'll document the process here for those that would like to do the same.

Although I did this on my 29M, it still should give you an idea of what you may need to think about should you try to attempt this on your coach.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you have a high-quality endoscope, fiberglass wire feeder/tape, a flexible grabber and other common tools. I can't imagine doing this without these tools. I bought 50ft of 12/2 Romex (with ground).

I bought the AC unit from Coleman. At the time of my purchase, it was a new model that wasn't readily available, and I had to special order it from Camping World. It took months to get as they were just building them on the assembly line.

This AC model was recommended to me by a tech support person at Airxcel (manufacture of the Coleman AC Unit) as it is a "low profile" Mach-10 13,500 BTU that only draws about 11 amps with a built-in "slow/soft start", that limits in-rush current. This "slow start" is critical and a must for a 30-amp coach...and even then, this is getting really close to the max 30-amp service. For instance, you'll probably throw a breaker if you run the microwave and both AC units going.

The model number is....45203-0993 (non-duct)
And the ceiling assembly is 9430-725

The cool (no pun intended) thing about the ceiling assembly is that you can control the AC directly as it has an LCD display, and you can also control it by your Iphone. This eliminates the need to install a wall thermostat. Since this was over the bed, controlling it from the ceiling assembly isn't going to be an issue for me...actually I think it would be better than having to get out of bed to control it from a wall thermostat. I also ordered the AC unit with a heating element.

The first thing I did was remove the bezel around the ceiling fan and cut the 12-volt wires. I taped them up so they don't short out.

I then removed the reading light above the bed and used that hole to press up on the bottom panel in the closed to lift it up which is stapled down. Once I lifted it up, I could see how the 12-volt wires from the ceiling fan went into the cabinet and where they exited as shown below.

What gets me is all the wood chips left by Thor. They couldn't vacuum them out?? Getting these wood chips in the speaker can destroy it. I also found a screw that was barely screwed in.
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In the above photo, you can see how the wires for the reading light, speaker, and ceiling fan exit out of the cabinet and go inside the wall of the coat closet.

I then pried up the panel on the side of the closet where I could see how the wires from the cabinet (above the bed) are routed down the wall in the coat closet...and along the bottom of the coat closet.
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I then removed the back panel in the nightstand.
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Using my fiberglass fish tape, I started running the Romex from inside the cabinet above the bed where the wires exited on the left down along the wall in the coat closet. ...I did not start at the ceiling fan.

With the wire exiting the coat closet, I pulled a lot of wire for the rest of the run to the electrical area under the bed...leaving enough to connect to the ceiling fan and another extra 5ft.

I then ran the wire from the side of the coat closet, under the bottom panel of the closet and into the wall between the coat closet and the shower and down into the nightstand. I kept pulling all the wire leaving more than enough to go from the cabinet above the bed to the ceiling fan. I used both my endoscope and my fish tape to guide it into the hole and down the wall between the coat closet and shower.

Once the wired came down the wall, I used again my endoscope to grab the fish tape and pulled the wire through.

I then ran the wire into the electrical area under the bed.

One I had all the wire run from the cabinet above the bed to the electrical area under the bed, I then connected up my fish tape to the 12-volt wires at the ceiling fan. I then pulled the 12-volt wires from the ceiling fan down into the cabinet above the bed...which exposed my fish tape.

I then connected up the fish tape to the Romex and pulled that through from the cabinet into the ceiling fan area.

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You can see the Romex (inside the wire loom) running behind the cabinet support and into the ceiling.

I'm installing a 20amp circuit breaker where the wires will come from the Power Distribution (inverter/charger)

I bought the following from Amazon.
smseace Circuit Breaker Box
smseace Miniature Circuit Breaker (20amp)

I mounted these in the electrical area in the bed. I plan to put something (non-flamable) between the switch and the opening to make it more secure. They really should provide knock-out tabs. It's pretty secure as it is.

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More to come.

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Old 09-05-2023, 09:04 PM   #2
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THOR #28145
If you are lucky perhaps your Coach has a 110 feed to the bedroom vent fixture. My 1996 Tiffin Allegro did.
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Old 09-05-2023, 09:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-sr@perra-us.net View Post
If you are lucky perhaps your Coach has a 110 feed to the bedroom vent fixture. My 1996 Tiffin Allegro did.
II wish it did.
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Old 09-05-2023, 11:10 PM   #4
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Great write up!!!

Jerry
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Old 09-06-2023, 12:50 AM   #5
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THOR #3923
Breaker in the box....

The breaker is on a rail...the problem is, the breaker can slide on this rail. To prevent this, I marked where the breaker would sit and marked the sides on the rail. Then I took a Dremel tool and made two slices in the metal to make some tabs and lifted them up. This prevents it from sliding.

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Old 09-06-2023, 02:12 AM   #6
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THOR #9511
Good MacGyver. For future reference, there are DIN rail end stoppers that keep things in place.
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Old 09-11-2023, 01:30 AM   #7
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THOR #3923
My coach is rated at 30-amps - with an Onan 4000 that apparently outputs 33-amps.

I got the AC in....It alone draws 12.5-amp...so much for the claim it draws 10-11-amps.

With both AC's on hi-cool, I'm drawing 28.4-amps. If I turn on the refrigerator (AC Mode), one LCD TV, interior lights on main room and bedroom, I'm drawing 30.5 - 31-amps....argh.

.
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Old 09-11-2023, 02:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jusplainwacky View Post
My coach is rated at 30-amps - with an Onan 4000 that apparently outputs 33-amps.

I got the AC in....It alone draws 12.5-amp...so much for the claim it draws 10-11-amps.

With both AC's on hi-cool, I'm drawing 28.4-amps. If I turn on the refrigerator (AC Mode), one LCD TV, interior lights on main room and bedroom, I'm drawing 30.5 - 31-amps....argh.

.
But the output breaker on the generator is 30 amps.
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Old 09-11-2023, 03:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
But the output breaker on the generator is 30 amps.
Not sure what you mean by this.

BTW...The power distribution panel/fuse bay had an extra empty slot...so I ended up putting in 20-amp in and removed the breaker/box I had put in.
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Old 09-11-2023, 05:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jusplainwacky View Post
Not sure what you mean by this.

BTW...The power distribution panel/fuse bay had an extra empty slot...so I ended up putting in 20-amp in and removed the breaker/box I had put in.
The generator has an output breaker.
It is rated at 30 amps.
The power center has an input breaker.
It is rated at 30 amps.

You will not run over 30 amps of current from the generator to the AC loads for very long without tripping one of these 30 amp breakers.
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Old 09-11-2023, 06:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
The generator has an output breaker.
It is rated at 30 amps.
The power center has an input breaker.
It is rated at 30 amps.

You will not run over 30 amps of current from the generator to the AC loads for very long without tripping one of these 30 amp breakers.
So if I understand correctly, as long as I'm not tripping a breaker, I should be good?
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Old 09-11-2023, 11:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jusplainwacky View Post
So if I understand correctly, as long as I'm not tripping a breaker, I should be good?

No…just lucky. One of the two breakers ACE mentioned will trip over a prolonged period of time. At least you hope one will. Otherwise you are going to build up heat in the main circuit and run the risk of a fire. With the coach drawing the 30.5 to 31 amps feel the main breaker…pretty warm. The weakest link is going to be some wire nut in the ATS. If you smell campfire with no campfire in sight then you have a serious issue.
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Old 09-11-2023, 01:47 PM   #13
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THOR #28145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jusplainwacky View Post
My coach is rated at 30-amps - with an Onan 4000 that apparently outputs 33-amps.

I got the AC in....It alone draws 12.5-amp...so much for the claim it draws 10-11-amps.

With both AC's on hi-cool, I'm drawing 28.4-amps. If I turn on the refrigerator (AC Mode), one LCD TV, interior lights on main room and bedroom, I'm drawing 30.5 - 31-amps....argh.

.
This is why I never installed the second AC on my Tiffin Allegro.
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Old 09-11-2023, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimOIB View Post
No…just lucky. One of the two breakers ACE mentioned will trip over a prolonged period of time. At least you hope one will. Otherwise you are going to build up heat in the main circuit and run the risk of a fire. With the coach drawing the 30.5 to 31 amps feel the main breaker…pretty warm. The weakest link is going to be some wire nut in the ATS. If you smell campfire with no campfire in sight then you have a serious issue.
I completely agree, but I wanted to make sure I was understanding what was being said.
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Old 09-11-2023, 03:34 PM   #15
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I looked at connecting my second ac like you did but decided against it. Just enough power coming in if both were running

I dont dry camp so running the additional power cord to power the ac was my only option for me

Jerry
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Old 09-11-2023, 03:44 PM   #16
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For my second AC I ran the A/C power cord to a plug in the cabinet behind the bedroom TV. There was an existing receptacle there it could be plugged into. But I also ran a second SP connector line to that same cabinet to a second receptacle. So just by moving the A/C plug from one receptacle to the other it can be run on the OEM 30 amp power system or the secondary SP which can be plugged into the pole 20 amp outlet of a 50 amp splitter.

I have the 15K BTU main A/C and the 13.5K bedroom A/C and can run both on the OEM 30 amp system with nothing else but maybe the TV/Internet but usually only do that for the initial cool down after arriving at a campground.
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Old 09-11-2023, 08:32 PM   #17
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Conclusions - Summary

I can honestly say installing this second AC is one of the best modifications I have done!

As I mentioned, my power distribution panel had an empty breaker slot, which made adding a 20-amp easy. I was surprised that I found the breaker at the local hardware store...this style is very common.

I have taken some readings using a Fluke clamp on amp meter and Guard Dog, both read the same. I am providing screen shots of the Guard dog for reference.

One of the big advantages of installing this second AC on a 30-amp coach is that the majority of sites provide 30-amp service and not 50-amp...so this is a HUGE benefit, where I can have a second AC unit and not limited to finding sites that provide 50-amps.

Secondly, one does not have to run both AC units on Max Cool with all the other appliances going. As mentioned, one can shut off everything that isn't necessary and run both on max cooling to quickly cool off the coach, and then set the cooling on low.

The nice feature of the AC unit I selected is that it has a "Low Cool" and a "High Cool"...the Low Cool takes less amps.

Thirdly...you don't need to have both AC's going at the same time! If it's a hot night, I can turn off the main AC and turn the AC on over the bed. This to me is another huge benefit! It feels so good to lay there and have that cool air blowing on you...beats a desk fan any day!

I selected this energy efficient, AC unit just so I could do what I have done, and I'm so glad I did!

Here is the data.

With neither AC on...just the TV, DirecTV receiver, 4x4 matrix, and charger on.

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The bedroom AC on Low-Cool
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The bedroom AC on Hi-Cool
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Main AC on (bedroom AC off)
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Main AC on (bedroom on Low-Cool
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Both Main and Bedroom on Hi-Cool
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Old 09-12-2023, 04:10 AM   #18
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THOR #3923
In the process of installing the AC and removing the 12v fan wires, I ran them down the closet wall and connected them up to a 3-port USB/Battery voltage display.
This will be nice to monitor the battery voltage while in bed and also charge my phone.

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Old 09-12-2023, 01:34 PM   #19
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Your setup looks really good! I want to eventually install a 2nd unit just like this. When I do it, I think i'm going to just add a secondary power outlet on the outside of the rig to plug into the 20AMP plug at the pole as Jerry mentioned.
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Old 09-12-2023, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericmac450 View Post
Your setup looks really good! I want to eventually install a 2nd unit just like this. When I do it, I think i'm going to just add a secondary power outlet on the outside of the rig to plug into the 20AMP plug at the pole as Jerry mentioned.
Thanks...I'm really pleased with the way it came out.

I took a break cleaning up the coach from all the work I did...shut the bedroom door, pull-down the black-out shade I added for the back window, turned on the AC unit over the bed with my Iphone, and laid down. The bedroom got cool in minutes...where before it would be so hot that you can't sleep. In the past I used a 12v fan...which just blew hot air. I have two black labs and one is always hot...now she won't be panting when during the night.

Here is my take on adding a second plug for an AC unit....

I personally wouldn't add a second plug cause if you like to dry camp, you won't be able to run your second AC unit. You'll only be able to run it when there is shore power unless you jury-rig something which I certainly wouldn't do.

In my setup, I can dry camp and still run both or one at a time with the Onan 4000 which outputs 33-amps.

Also, as i mentioned, most RV sites, (at least here in California) are 30-amps...and if you connect both external plugs to that, you could be held liable for any damage you may cause if their breaker doesn't blow.
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