Welcome to the second entry in November’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in November. At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine November’s winner. Click here to submit a mod to the Mod Contest.
Jim Moss, Naples, Florida
Installing A Removable Window Air Conditioner
1997 Ford F-250
2004 Lance 815
We found our rooftop air conditioner to be very noisy and a source of leaks. Plus, we rarely camp with electric service available. We took the rooftop air conditioner off, replaced it with a Fantastic Fan, and then came up with a removable air conditioner solution.
First, I cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to conform to the shape of half of the dinette window. Then, I made a cut out for a window air conditioner unit; 12-inch by 16-inches. Next I attached top and bottom wooden 1-inch by 1-inch rails along with a right side stop, as seen in the inside pictures.
I glued five 1/4-inch carriage bolts through from the outside, and made clips from some leftover metal. The metal clamps the plywood to the camper’s window frame using wing nuts. I glued and caulked the air conditioner unit into the plywood using Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive.
The air conditioner is now a quick and easy install when we want to use it. Open the window, set it in place, slide it to the rear stop, and clamp it. There are no leaks.
This install prevents any alterations to your camper minus the screen I made to replace the one cut out for the install. The air conditioner also will now run off my portable 2000-watt generator if needed.
In the rare event we need an air conditioner, this does as good a job while being much quieter. It’s just a two-minute install. The only actual mod to the camper was to make a new screen for the window.
The materials used were a 3/4-inch plywood (18-inches by 24-inches), 1-inch by 1-inch by 36-inch, and five carriage bolts (1/4-inch by 2 1/2-inch), five clamps, five wing nuts, one tube of white Gorilla Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, and a GE 5000-BTU air conditioner. Most 5000-BTU units are about the same size.
I had everything but the air conditioner unit on hand. You can buy everything from Lowes for under $200. The air conditioner was $160.
It took me two to three-hours of work to complete this modification and cost me $200. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is medium if you find clamps, and hard if you make them.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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