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  #1  
Old 01-09-2005, 07:17 PM
Steverino
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Default Side A/C & Height Question

Hi all,

My wife & I are thinking a TM is in our future. Have our TV ('99 Toyota 4Runner) and WDH. Now need TM! We will most likely be buying a pre-owned unit. Our garage opening measures 83" high (6' 11"). I *really* don't want to get home with my newly-acquired TM only to find it doesn't fit!

The question: Can anyone tell me which years & models came with side A/C? Also, are there any significant disadvantages to this arrangement vs. roof A/C?

Follow up question: Should I be concerned with the above height dimensions? I could see where it might squeak in if completely level, but driveways tend to slope, meaning that the back of the TM will kick up higher when being backed in.

I've really appreciated everyone on this board over the past year or so - you all have taught me much. Thanks in advance for any help on this one.

Steve
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2005, 08:16 PM
Senorsedona
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Smile Go for it.

Hi !!!
I recently purchased a 2001 2720SD, it has the side air conditioning. I was very hesitant about it. I have had an roof air for years and didn't think much of a "window air conditioner". It works great. I really feel it does a better job then the roof air. However, if you do get one work out a cover for the outside air vent during the cold weather. Boy, does the cold air pour in.

The height of the TM should not give you any problems (folded). I would guess it to be 65 inches.

From what I have read, towing with your Toyota should work out great. I tow with a Dodge 1500 W/Hemi. More then enough.

The wife & I are enjoying the TM more then expected. It is really a fun unit and you are high and dry in the bad weather.

Good luck.........

Jack
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2005, 09:25 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
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My garage door opening is 82 1/2 inches high. My '02 TM with roof air EXACTLY fits the opening - the top of the air conditioner brushes the rubber weather seal at the top of the door frame. I believe T_C is right - the new models come equipped (at least optionally) with a low-profile A/C, which should buy you an inch or more. My TM has a standard Dometic Brisk-Air 13,500 BTU A/C.

The slope of the driveway shouldn't matter. The high point of the TM (the A/C) is positioned pretty much over the wheels, so no matter how you tilt it, the A/C doesn't get higher or lower.

BTW, my garage door didn't originally open all the way - when it was "fully open", the top edge of the door was lower than the top edge of the door frame, and the TM woldn't fit. Fortunately, most garage door openers (including mine) have an adjustment to set how far it opens. I just set it to open higher, and all was well.

Hope this helps

Bill
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2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2005, 10:57 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default Roof air on the front shell became standard with the '02 models

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
Hi all,

My wife & I are thinking a TM is in our future. Have our TV ('99 Toyota 4Runner) and WDH. Now need TM! We will most likely be buying a pre-owned unit. Our garage opening measures 83" high (6' 11"). I *really* don't want to get home with my newly-acquired TM only to find it doesn't fit!

The question: Can anyone tell me which years & models came with side A/C? Also, are there any significant disadvantages to this arrangement vs. roof A/C?

Follow up question: Should I be concerned with the above height dimensions? I could see where it might squeak in if completely level, but driveways tend to slope, meaning that the back of the TM will kick up higher when being backed in.

I've really appreciated everyone on this board over the past year or so - you all have taught me much. Thanks in advance for any help on this one.

Steve
Adding a tiny bit to the answers given above...roof air on the front shell became standard starting with the '02 models. Some of the earlier, larger models (e.g. 3023) had a roof AC on the rear shell. However, I would strongly recommend against pulling any TM larger than a 2720 series with a '99 4Runner...both from a power and tow vehicle wheelbase point of view.

An 83 inch opening probably won't work with any TM that has front shell roof air and the lift kit. If it's an '04 (maybe '03) with the lower profile roof AC and has the lift kit, you might be able to squeeze it in by greatly reducing tire pressure...but then you'd have to air the tires back during storage (and repeat the air down/air up routine when you pull the trailer back out again).

As noted above, the lift kit is highly desirable.

FWIW, my garage opening is 79 inches so I had to order my '02 sans AC as I really wanted the lift kit. In early '04, I retrofitted my TM with side AC...a 10000 BTU unit that seemed to work fine the one time I tried it (the summer of '04 was one of the coldest on record here in Colorado).
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Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #5  
Old 01-10-2005, 12:01 PM
Steverino
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Great info so far - thanks to everyone...

Ray, can you tell us more about your side A/C retrofit?

Where did you place it? Did you do it yourself? And of course, what did it set you back?

I suppose this begs another question - if you get a unit with roof A/C and want to switch to side, how would you patch the hole in the roof? Good opportunity for skylight installation?

Steve
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2005, 12:52 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Camper
I don't know if Bill has the kit or not. Two inches doesn't seem like much of a lift, ...but it does add another 2 inches to the overall height.
Good point, Leon. No, I don't have the lift kit, and as Ray says, if I added it, the TM wouldn't fit. When I get my next TM, I hope to get a low-profile A/C and a lift kit - but you can be sure I will check the height very carefully before I do.

Bill
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2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
Bill's Tech Stuff album
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2005, 04:34 PM
hal
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Bill, To gain another inch or two in opening heighth you could raise your already opened garage door by hand and prop it in this position with a board. Also, if you used a taller hitch, depending on how much the approach to your garage slopes, the trailer may level out more. Possibly a very tall hitch could be manufactured with the purpose of raising the tongue enough to offset this slope. I also have a somewhat steep slope to my storage area. A hitch on the front of my tv allows me to view things straight on, rather than through a rear view mirror. My marriage is also a happier one, now that my wife doesn't have to give me "backing in" directions. i could never figure out if her "left" was the same as my right.

Hal
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2005, 10:42 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
Great info so far - thanks to everyone...

Ray, can you tell us more about your side A/C retrofit?

Where did you place it? Did you do it yourself? And of course, what did it set you back?
I had my TM dealer (The Car Show) do it as (1) they're just across town from me and (2) they still had one install kit and an AC unit of the right dimensions in stock as a holdover from the previous summer. They also had a template to know exactly where to cut through the wall. What they installed was a moderately high end Sears Kenmore 10,000 BTU window type unit...even came with a fancy remote control.

The AC replaced the large side cabinet just to the right of the stove. On my '02, TrailManor still was wiring an 120V receptacle inside this cabinet for side mounted ACs to plug into. IIRC, TM stopped providing this 120V receptacle beginning with the '03 models.

Prior to the AC install, that specific cabinet (which is the largest one) had been my primary pantry cabinet and after the AC was installed I found I really missed the storage space for canned/bottled foodstuffs. So I eventually bought some ready-to-assemble cabinets that were short enough and light enough to ride inside the trailer...these I put along the blank wall ahead of the door on my 2720SL and store my dry/bottled/canned foodstuffs therein. An additional cost (about $130 plus my time for finishing/assembling) and weight but worth it to regain storage space.

Cost...not cheap...about $560 for AC and install.

Quote:
I suppose this begs another question - if you get a unit with roof A/C and want to switch to side, how would you patch the hole in the roof? Good opportunity for skylight installation?
Not a good plan. The roof AC has a major advantage over the side AC in that cool air is denser than warm air and thus sinks downward. If the cool air is coming out of the ceiling, it will descend around you and provide very nice cooling. OTOH, if the cool air is coming out of the low mounted side AC, it tends to pool around your feet and takes a lot of blowing from fans to get it up around your head. Fans equal mucho noise.

Furthermore, the side mounted ACs use ordinary window type household air conditioners and are constrained by size to about a max of 10,000 BTU. These household type ACs weren't designed for the jolting/jarring that's part and parcel of highway travel so they may have premature failure. The roof mounted ACs are designed for the rigors of RV use and put out 13,000 BTUS...about 30% more and, as noted above, it's coming from above where it will do the most good.

If there's a garage clearance problem I'd personally try to replace the roof unit with a lower profile unit before going to a side AC.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #9  
Old 01-16-2005, 04:56 PM
Steverino
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the good information, Ray. We're looking at a couple of 2720's now, both have the side A/C already installed. We'll see what develops...

Steve
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