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Old 07-14-2016, 07:35 PM   #1
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13,500 vs 15,000 BTU A/C.

We have a 2016 Thor Ace. Our AC is a 13500 BTU unit. The unit works fine cooling the front of the Rv, but only modestly toward the back. I noticed that Thor offers a 15,000 BTU unit. Does anyone know how much this bigger unit costs and whether it's worth the upgrade?
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Neil
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
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We have the 15K on our 2015 Vegas 24.1. I don't recall howuch it added to cost, but I can tell you it keeps our Vegas at meat locker temps. Also we close the vents on the part that is on the living roof ceiling. That redirects all the cool air into the 8 round ceiling ducts. That provided a more equal distribution of cool sir within the coach.

We are currently camped at Ft Story in Virginia Beach. It is currently 93 degrees outside and the heat index is at about 101. The temp inside the Vegas is 71.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
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You can buy the top of the unit for $6-700 plus installation. In looking At RVs at the Tampa show last February, I saw several ACE with two A/C's. If I were looking to upgrade I would add a second A//C in the back and move the 13,500 btu to there putting a 15,000 up front. To do that you would have to upgrade to 50 amp power and you might not be able to run both A/C's on your generator. The cost of that with installation would probably be double the $750- 950 to just swap out the 13,500'to a 15,000, but you would have something that would cool your whole rig. I had a 15,000 in my 2014'Vegas and I now have a 13,500 in my 2016 Axis. I honestly have not noticed much of a difference in my Axis. But I could see where that would be insufficient -at least in Florida - with your larger RV.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:04 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the replies. Both very helpful.
Neil
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:34 PM   #5
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I have been thinking about what you suggested.
If we added an additional unit, is it possible to install it where it would run only on shore power? That way, I wouldn't have to upgrade to a bigger generator and or 50 amp power. Thoughts?
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:36 PM   #6
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I would do the same.... add a second...
although that probably means upgrading to 50 Amp service so it might be something I consider, but not end up doing.(?)

We have a 15K btu unit in our class c, and it does a fine job except in the heat of the day when it's mid to upper 90's.... then it can't keep up.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onroadagain View Post
I have been thinking about what you suggested.
If we added an additional unit, is it possible to install it where it would run only on shore power? That way, I wouldn't have to upgrade to a bigger generator and or 50 amp power. Thoughts?
50 amp power is shore power. Since both A/C's will draw more than 30 amps running together, you would have to upgrade your current 30 amp shore power to 50 amp shore power. You would have to upgrade your generator also (probably not worth it) if you wanted to run both on the generator.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:41 PM   #8
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If you added a Coleman -Mach 9200 btu A/C you might be able to run both on 30 amps. They draw about 26-27 amps together. However, start up amperage is greater than running amps, so it might not work and might damage the A/C's. I would get a professional opinion before I tried it, even with the smaller unit.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:46 PM   #9
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I would do the same.... add a second...
although that probably means upgrading to 50 Amp service so it might be something I consider, but not end up doing.(?)

We have a 15K btu unit in our class c, and it does a fine job except in the heat of the day when it's mid to upper 90's.... then it can't keep up.
I insulated the three fan vents in my Axis, as well as built a reflector that fits up into the shower skylight and they make a big difference in heat invasion. With shades on all the glass, my 13,500 will keep it cool in the 90+ hot Florida sun. The more you can do to block out the heat coming in, the better chance you have of being comfortable. It's worth the effort.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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Curious about this conversation...as we have been in extreme heat on our last 2 trips...and quite comfortable in our Axis...
I am looking at our WINDOW STICKER
under Optional Equipment, our sticker lists:
15.0 BTU a/c IPO 13.5 BTU
(this was a $143 upgrade)
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
If you added a Coleman -Mach 9200 btu A/C you might be able to run both on 30 amps. They draw about 26-27 amps together. However, start up amperage is greater than running amps, so it might not work and might damage the A/C's. I would get a professional opinion before I tried it, even with the smaller unit.
Coleman now makes an energy efficient 11,000 BTU/hr air conditioner that draws less than 10 Amps under normal conditions. Start-up current is much lower than a standard 13,500 or 15,000 BTU/hr AC. I would guess that two of them may start on a 4K Onan (it would have to be tested). You'd have to start one AC first and base load it, then after a few minutes start the second AC. Again, it'd have to be tested. Coleman engineers would likely be the only ones who would know in advance if it's doable.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Onroadagain View Post
I have been thinking about what you suggested.
If we added an additional unit, is it possible to install it where it would run only on shore power? That way, I wouldn't have to upgrade to a bigger generator and or 50 amp power. Thoughts?
Yes. If you do a forum search, you'll find that a couple of owners have added a second air conditioner and wired it separaretly so they can connect to pedestal independent of the 30-Amp service limitation.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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I would try some reflective insulation for the windshield and skylights first and see how far that gets you. Then go single 15000 btu if needed.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkb View Post
Curious about this conversation...as we have been in extreme heat on our last 2 trips...and quite comfortable in our Axis...
I am looking at our WINDOW STICKER
under Optional Equipment, our sticker lists:
15.0 BTU a/c IPO 13.5 BTU
(this was a $143 upgrade)
It is a cheap upgrade. Unfortunately, few people get to pick their A/C because most buy off the lot. The normal Vegas/Axis comes with the 15K A/C, three TVs, and two house batteries. Some have an oven. Thor also makes a model with the 13.5K A/C, one TV and one house battery. This one can sell for $3K less. If you buy one of these you get the 13.5K A/C.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:02 PM   #15
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I'm in awe of all these intelligent responses. Thank you.
Neil
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #16
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Let's say I decided to replace my 13,500 BTU unit with a 15,000 unit. How much taller and heavier is the bigger unit ?
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:53 PM   #17
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Let's say I decided to replace my 13,500 BTU unit with a 15,000 unit. How much taller and heavier is the bigger unit ?
Depends on brand and model you remove and install.

Do you know what you have now?
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:03 PM   #18
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I believe it's a a Coleman Mach 4800 series. The brochure that the dealer gave us says that the stock AC is 13,500 BTU. But a 15,000 was an available accessory.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
It is a cheap upgrade. Unfortunately, few people get to pick their A/C because most buy off the lot. The normal Vegas/Axis comes with the 15K A/C, three TVs, and two house batteries. Some have an oven. Thor also makes a model with the 13.5K A/C, one TV and one house battery. This one can sell for $3K less. If you buy one of these you get the 13.5K A/C.
Ours is AIRXCEL by Coleman ..no weight listed in paperwork.
I understand what you are saying, ONeil,...we , who have the 15k a/c are fortunate that our Axis/Vegas came with several optional items, including the a/c upgrade.

Hope your lengthy trip west is rewarding !
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:59 AM   #20
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I believe it's a a Coleman Mach 4800 series. The brochure that the dealer gave us says that the stock AC is 13,500 BTU. But a 15,000 was an available accessory.
If you choose to upgrade to a 15,000 you probably want to look into upgrading with the same company and series. That way you should not have to purchase or install the bottom of the unit (inside the RV). It is priced separately and I believe it is the same for all the Coleman-Mach units of the same series.
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