I wanted to add AC to my Palomino Bronco “Soft Side” Pop-Up truck camper.
I didn’t want or need a large roof top unit. A small window residential unit would easily be powered for a single Honda 2000i generator or equivalent.
I ordered the smallest window AC unit I could find.
Frigidaire FRA052XT7 5,000-BTU Mini Window Air Conditioner .
Ordered it from Amazon yesterday morning and it was on my doorstep at 2pm today. Amazing! $119…No tax / No Shipping!
I wanted it removable as I camp three seasons and two of those seasons up here in New England, AC is not needed.
The only spot I really had for it was in the top portion of the rear entrance door. I wanted it as high as possible as cold air falls. Putting it close to the floor would decrease the AC’s effectiveness considerably
The door opens in two pieces to facilitate the top lowering
First step was to create a frame out of aluminum angle to hold it in place
Second thing was to cut a piece of plywood to fit into the upper opening and and install “T-Nuts” to secure the AC unit
A 2″ X 2″ piece of aluminum angle was bolted to the bottom of this plywood frame to hold the weight of the AC unit
This plywood / aluminum angle frame is permanently attached to the AC unit with small nuts and bolts
The entire assembly is lifted up and inserted into the space that the top half of the door normally occupies
Inside, I used steel “T” nuts and made up a few aluminum catches that are fixed with 1/4-20 thumb screws to hold the AC unit on place
I made a small wrench to secure the thumb screws firmly
Plug it in and be cool!
During travel, I remove it and place it in a large plastic tote as there is usually water in the condensate tray. This bin is simply secured within the camper for travel. It only takes 10 minutes to set it up.
Since it is secured to the door frame and not the door itself, when the AC unit is removed the door reverts back to its normal function. I did no modification to the door or the door frame.
Folks ask if I hit my head on it getting into the camper. Never once! These campers are high and you really do not need the top door as you tend to enter under the door anyways. Newer version of these Pop-Up truck campers don’t even have the top door and all its troublesome weatherproofing issues.
This unit is super quiet. Doesn’t disturb me in the least. Much quieter than the AC in my bedroom in my house!
This AC dropped the temperature of my Palomino Bronco 1200 from 78 degrees to 65 degrees in under 30 minutes. It appears 64 degrees is the bottom limit because it cycles the compressor on and off once it reached that temperature. 65 degrees is A-OK with me! Recently in a 90 degree day the interior temperature was a nice 69 degrees
Lots more pictures of modifications I’ve made to my Palomino Bronco are here: