Yes! We have over 1,000 mobile applications running CoolBots including trucks, vans, box trucks, slide-in units in the back of pick-up trucks, boats and trailers. We do not recommend using an RV roof mount A/C unit as they don't work well with the CoolBot. See below for some tips on building a mobile cooler.
Tips on Building a Mobile Cooler
- Window air conditioners are actually pretty sturdy. The weight does need to be supported from the outside, as the A/C unit needs to slope downward in the back to offer drainage.
- Since heat rises from the road, floor insulation is critical. Use R30 or better for the floor and R25 or more in the walls and ceiling. You cannot skimp on the insulation in a truck or trailer. Meticulously seal every gap and crack.
- Insulation! We are super cheap and robust compared to other mobile cooling solutions, but do not underestimate the importance of the proper insulation.
- You can run off the alternator on your vehicle if you buy a 12,000 BTU air conditioner or smaller and an inverter. For spaces up to 8x6 that are very well insulated, you should be able to hold 38F.
- For a very good inverter here's a link to Amazon: Tripp Lite Heavy Duty Inverter. Generally you want an inverter that can surge to 3 times the running watts listed on the air conditioner
- For larger box trucks and trailers where you need a 15,000 BTU or higher A/C, you will need to upsize to a much more expensive, non-commodity inverter and alternator. Alternatively, you can save some money and use a generator.
- If the A/C and generator are too closely matched on wattage and there is barely enough power for the initial surge, you can get a hard start capacitor.
- For short trips where the door won't be opened, some people can get away with chilling everything first, unplugging the A/C and CoolBot, driving to the destination, and plugging everything back in. A well built cooler will maintain its temperature for a while.
Critical How-To Information
- For mobile applications, we only recommend polyisocyanurate rigid foam insulation or closed cell spray foam (or a combination.) Layer it till you have R25 in the walls / ceiling and R30 in the floor.
- Use urethane spray foam like "Great Stuff", but avoid the latex version.
- Professionally installed closed cell spray foam insulation is R7 at best, so make sure you get enough layers in if you decide to go that route.
- You can use glue to hold rigid foam insulation in place. We use 3M high strength 90" adhesive spray.
Why RV Roof Mount A/C Units are a Bad Choice
Aesthetically an RV roof mount air conditioner is tempting, but here are some reasons we don't recommend them:
- They are really expensive per BTU versus window units.
- They are annoying to set up, because you are working over your head and up in a hole with no sight line. It is therefore difficult to put our Fin Sensor in place correctly. Even worse, you won't know if the Fin Sensor has fallen out unless you look with a mirror and flashlight.
- Because of the very limited area they are sucking and blowing out of (14"x14" for many cases), there is a BTU-transfer penalty of almost 30% if you buy a 15,000 BTU unit. It therefore only puts out 10,500 BTUs of cooling capacity! This makes RV A/C units even more overpriced.
- For all these reasons, it's not easy to get below 40F with an RV air conditioner