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I am buying a 1983 Toyota Sunrader, 18'.  (And would you believe it has only 20,500 miles, and has been garaged!)  It doesn't have an air conditioning unit, and I'm looking for any information you can share.  I do have a line on a kit that the company says will work.  Does someone know of an installer in or near Santa Fe, New Mexico?  Thanks for your help, Santa Fe Bob

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Just now, Santa Fe Bob said:

I am buying a 1983 Toyota Sunrader, 18'.  (And would you believe it has only 20,500 miles, and has been garaged!)  It doesn't have an air conditioning unit, and I'm looking for any information you can share.  I do have a line on a kit that the company says will work.  Does someone know of an installer in or near Santa Fe, New Mexico?  Thanks for your help, Santa Fe Bob

Forgot to say it has a Diesel 1L Toyota engine (2188cc)

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Linda, thanks for your response.  The coach has air-conditioning.  The cab(where the driver/passenger sits) needs air-conditioning.

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Would like to see the kit that was recommended.  If it is the correct one any mechanic that does AC work should do. Check references and google and Yelp ratings sometimes are spot on. 

Linda S

I just found an awesome plumber that way. 

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Linda, thanks for your comments.  What I have found is that a vehicle of this mintage (1983) needs some additional skill to install an air conditioning unit.  A couple of places said that there is not a correct mounting bracket for the compressor so they couldn't help.  At the same time, I found a lot of places that would service an air conditioning unit but not install it.  I did find a place in Texas (AC Solutions) that said that they can provide all the components, and the installer would have to use a universal bracket which would require drilling some holes in it to fit (not a big deal for the right technician). I do have a line on a company in Albuquerque that said that they (might be able) to install it.  At the same time, I am looking at someone in Georgia (where I am flying to pick up the camper), that they say installing would be within their skill level.  The real great thing about AC solutions is that "J W" their technician would talk to the installer to share exactly where the components of the AC should best go. I won't be picking up the Sunrader until early May.  If you want to contact me around that time to check in regarding my experience, please feel free to do so.  My best wishes, Santa Fe Bob

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Diesels are cool but an AC is going to be a big drag on it's power any install is going to be custom read big bucks. Get where you are going and plug in!

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“Mintage”... that’s a new one for me, but I like it, haha!

 

Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind, but I’d probably be running a gen off the back bumper to power the roof AC, with a fan or two to push the air up front. Awful handy to have one of those along anyways, and it won’t tax your little diesel.

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Just to be clear about the power. A 22R gas engine would have a HP of 97. The L4 diesel has a HP of 83. That is a very big difference when you've got a house on your back. 

Linda S

Correction you have the tiny diesel. They top out at an insanely low 62 HP. 

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Thanks for all the comments.  They are very helpful... Based on your comments, I'm conducting investigation regarding how to reduce the drag on the engine.  One bit of information is use a "variable displacement compressor" and the other is to have a second battery (which this vehicle already has to drive a compressor). The statement I read was that the compressor would run off of the second battery as it's being charged.  The technician who will be putting together the air-conditioning kit is very knowledgeable and service-oriented.  I'm going to call him and run all this by him.  Once again, thanks for your comments. Santa Fe Bob

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If I had an RV with about the same HP as my lawn mower I would not be adding AC!  I would be looking at running the house AC on generator and adding a circulating fan or 2 to force the house air through the cab.   I did this after seeing what the cost of adding driver AC would cost on my bus conversion. 

 

 Cannot imagine what a whole new system from scratch would cost, but would hazard a parts cost guess of $1400!  

 

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Number 1 rule of everything, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"

It takes X# of hp to move a vehicle through the air. It x# hp to drive a compressor. You are approaching the point where you only have about 15 spare HP for hills and passing. Your working the engine harder so less MPG.

A variable compressor is of little use because the size of the room your cooling is so large that the compressor is at max power most of the time

Running a generator to power the roof AC uses fuel, so your effective MPG goes down.

Running an electric compressor off a battery means that the alternator is working hard to keep the battery charged.  5 amp 115vac load translates into a 50 amp load on the battery. You may have only a 40 amp alternator, 60 amps at best. So after 4 or 5 hr you stop and all of a sudden you can't restart due to a run down battery.

in any event it takes 5-6 hp to run an alternator at max output so less MPG

Bottom line you have to much house and not enough engine, so revert to "good ol days" travel styles. Roll the windows down and drive at night. Find a campground and fort up run the roof AC and sleep in the day. Do the tourist thing when its cool.

 

 

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thanks for the link... A lot cheaper way to stay cool!

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