Tag Archives: home-built

Teardrop Trailer Air Conditioning (A/C) Unit Installation

We recently received a request from a Twitter follower to provide installation details about our custom, home-built teardrop trailer’s air conditioning (A/C) unit  . . .


Do you have any write ups on how you vent/drain your A/C on your teardrop?

By now, you may have seen some photos of our teardrop trailer’s air conditioning (A/C) unit installation in the post entitled “Building Our Teardrop Trailer From Scratch: Learning by Doing“.  In the next set of paragraphs, I’ll give more details about those photos.

Teardrop Trailer Air Conditioning (A/C) Unit Installation

The over-simplified explanation of how to deal with venting and draining of a teardrop trailer’s air conditioning (A/C) unit goes a little something like this:
air flow zones for camper air conditioning unit, teardrop trailer air conditioning installation
Air-flow zones for teardrop trailer or camper air-conditioning unit.
  1. Divide air space outside of A/C unit into three distinct zones:
    • Zone 1 at front of A/C unit, where cabin air is pulled in through one set of A/C unit’s front-panel vents, and cooled air is pushed back out into cabin via another set of front-panel vents;
    • Zone 2 through mid-section of A/C unit, where outside air is pulled into the A/C unit’s mid-section vents;
    • Zone 3 at rear of A/C unit, where hot air from condenser coil is pushed out the back-end vents.
  2. Provide intake route for outside air to be pulled into Zone 2, where it will enter the A/C unit via the mid-section intake vents;.
  3. Provide exit route in Zone 3 for heated air at back end of A/C unit to be pushed outside of teardrop trailer (Note: we installed a partitioned roof vent to accommodate both Zone 2 ingress and Zone 3 egress).
  4. Provide a water collection space at back end of A/C unit in Zone 2 and Zone 3, where water from A/C unit’s internal, built-in drip pan (a result of front-end cooling-coil evaporation) can safely collect and exit the trailer when A/C unit is running;
  5. When installing a water-collection pan to accommodate run-off water through Zone 2 & Zone 3:
    • Make sure teardrop trailer is level;
    • Position and secure the water-collection pan at ample angle to allow A/C unit’s run-off water to safely and efficiently collect into one back corner of collection pan (in our case, the back-left corner);
    • Cut small hole at base of water-collection pan in separator wall between Zone 2 & Zone 3 to allow water to pass from Zone 3 into Zone 2. Punch hole at back of water-collection pan in Zone 2, where water can drain out through a drainage tube;
    • Install a leak-proof drainage tube long enough to run down through infrastructure of teardrop trailer until it reaches the outside of the teardrop trailer’s underbelly (Note: we punched a hole in left-rear of collection pan and soldered copper tubing that we then ran through an interior wall to the underside of the teardrop trailer). REMEMBER: GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND, so MAKE SURE the water’s EXIT ROUTE IS ALL DOWNHILL!  🙂
  6. When ready to install A/C unit, use weather-proof sealant tape between rear of A/C unit and any framed areas A/C unit will butt up against to ensure a watertight installation.

Now, for the expanded Photo Log of our Teardrop Trailer air conditioning unit installation . . .

With this being our first attempt at building a teardrop trailer from scratch, we attempted to capture as many photos of our trailer build as we could. We did so STRICTLY FOR OUR OWN INFORMATION. Beyond family and friends, we never thought in a million years we’d show them to anyone else. And yet, here we are!

(Recall, this wasn’t a kit build, but a wing-it-as-you-go home-built teardrop trailer. We wanted (and knew we would need!) plenty of step-by-step evidence in case something didn’t work well afterwards. We’ve been fortunate and INFINITELY GRATEFUL that most things have worked great from the start. )

All said and done, making the correct cuts and creating the correct angles for the aluminum shields and separators was perhaps the most trying part of the build. It helped TREMENDOUSLY to use cardboard and foam board stencils to attain the best configuration and thus have templates to use when cutting and shaping the aluminum.

First we made a cardboard mock-up of the air conditioner, flushed out some ideas, and committed to a channel through which we would run the copper tubing that would serve as an egress of the air conditioner’s run-off water:

 Next, we worked on fashioning a foam board mock-up of the external vent area to be used for BOTH Zone 2 air intake AND Zone 3 hot-air egress:

Then, we worked on framing the innards with aluminum sheeting and created a path for run-off water to exit the trailer :

Next, we commited to cutting and forming the air conditioning system’s outer roof shield, AND we commit to applying the full aluminum skin to our trailer:

Final stages included installation of air conditioner’s aluminum roof-top vent shield and placement of protective plastic grill to keep the critters out:

See? That wasn’t so bad!

Actually, it was a bit more complicated than we thought. As with anything, you learn a whole lot about something when you’re forced to. I know WAY more about air conditioning systems than I thought I ever needed to or wanted to, but I actually feel the better for it. You will too.  🙂

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. In the meantime, good luck to all of you out there bravely building your own teardrop trailers. We STILL look fondly at this teardrop trailer build as our favorite joint-project to date!


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Photos of Our Own Home-Built, Custom Teardrop Trailer

We built our teardrop trailer in 2011, from the tip of her trailer hitch to the top of her roof racks! She was inspired by the first teardrop trailer we ever saw–a used Camp-Inn brand trailer.

We built her (Building Our Teardrop Trailer From Scratch: Learning by Doing) before we saw all the amazing variations of teardrops there are nowadays . . . old and new. Still, we love her for the custom trailer she is and for the mere fact we never built such a thing before, but we embarked on the challenge anyway . . . together. We built her without plans. We built her with only a picture to go by. We built her loosely on what we saw, but specifically on what we wanted in her, from her.  And we couldn’t be happier!

We love her and hope you do too!

Our teardrop trailer

 

teardrop trailer, vintage, vintage-style, gathering, Perris, CA, Southern California, 2014
The galley of our home-built, vintage-style teardrop trailer
Foot-bed area of our home-built, custom teardrop trailer.
Foot-bed area of our home-built, custom teardrop trailer.
Headboard area of our home-built, custom teardrop trailer.
Headboard area of our home-built, custom teardrop trailer.

Galley Resized

 


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Details, Details, Details: Adding a Side Grill to our Teardrop Trailer

This week, Mark added a side grill to our home-built, custom teardrop trailer, because, you know, he can! (I LOVE this man!)

When we initially designed our teardrop trailer, which really was a bit more like winging than designing (check out my blog post:  Building Our Teardrop Trailer From Scratch: Learning by Doing) we made note ahead of time of some key features we wanted to include.

One feature, right off the bat, was to install an extra deep stainless steel sink that could easily hold a large spaghetti pot.

Another was to install rails all around the rear of the trailer to accommodate table tops wherever we might need ’em. Our thought on this was to stay modular in our design, ready to accommodate future needs.

Well, this week, a need (really a “want”) arose when Mark decided he wanted to add an extra grill besides the neat slide-out, cast iron, double-burner grill we already enjoy.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, The Mighty Five, Utah tourism, vintage teardrop trailer travels, U.S. road trip, Utah national parks, hiking, sightseeing, photography

As you may note in the picture above, besides the rear-right rail being used by our fold-out table, there’s also a rail on the right side panel of the trailer near the electric socket. We have the same exact two-rail configuration on the left side of our teardrop trailer as well.

So when Mark decided he wanted to make use of an old barbecue grill, we talked about a design for making it safe and stable so our 80-lb Lab/Shepherd couldn’t accidentally knock it over. All said and done, we came up with this:

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, custom trailer, camping, tiny trailer, DIY, build details teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, custom trailer, camping, tiny trailer, DIY, build details

“Is that grill smoking,” you ask?

Why, “Yes, it is!”

How can one set up a grill and not fire it up?

Salmon burgers, here . . . we . . . come!

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, custom trailer, camping, tiny trailer, DIY, build details

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, custom trailer, camping, tiny trailer, DIY, build details

teardrop trailer, vintage trailer, custom trailer, camping, tiny trailer, DIY, build details

We love our ever-morphing teardrop trailer! We especially love all her details, details, details!

Make sure to have fun with YOUR teardrop trailer! Even if you buy it new or already customized by a previous owner, make sure to add those details that make it your own!



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Happy trails, y’all!

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2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering: Photo Gallery

Okay, Folks! There’s far too many to caption each one. Rather than do so and risk not getting these photos out quickly, here’s what my camera and Mark’s camera captured at the 2014 Lake Perris Teardrop Trailer Gathering:

 


Stay tuned for selections of these photos with special notes/stories that go along with them. If you haven’t signed up to follow TEARDROP ADVENTURES yet, make sure you do today so you don’t miss a thing!