Mar 8, 2011

Building in an Air Conditioner to the 16SC

As I mentioned earlier, I have been researching my idea to relocate the A/C in Dixie from the rear window hole to a cabinet above the rear bed on the curb side. I have only found one other retro-fit like this but I had some ideas that improved on how the unit will "breathe".

There is a upper cabinet and shelf combination in the 16SC over the rear bed.

View from inside the cabinet looking out the fresh air plenum

I decided that in order to intake cool air to flow across the compressor, I would create a plenum using half of the shelf and locate the intake vent about a foot from the exhaust vent. The shelf area is beside the wing on the outside.

The wing sits off the trailer a half inch.

I cut an opening and installed a grill that will be covered by the wing. I cut another opening for the exhaust and installed the hinge panel that used to be on the street side for the propane refrigerator access.

I put in some rails for the A/C unit to sit on and a temporary drain pan and am now in the testing stage. So far the unit works great but it has not been above 80 degrees during testing yet so... I wait.

I left some room for an electric fan to help circulate the cool air intake if need be.


  1. Very cool! I like the way you hid the vent behind the wings. Can't wait to hear how it works out when it's hotter outside! :)

  2. Thanks Mary! I will monitor the temperature of the compressor through the hottest days this summer but my HVAC technician friend is convinced that all will be fine.

  3. Very cool design trick!I have a window a/c (750 watt rated) in my shasta and it runs on my very quiet 1000 watt Honda generator and it keeps my 16sc very cool.I never thought an ac unit wold run on such a small generator! GL Pat

  4. Thanks Pat! We had a pretty warm day here in the low to mid 80's so I ran it all day and no problems yet. I still need to get a generator and the Honda's are my favorite.

  5. Billy, I found the link to this page on the vintage Shasta forum. I'm over on Anna Maria Island on the west coast of Florida. I just got a '72 Compact and am tossing around ideas on how to cool it. How is your arrangement working out? It looks like you actually installed the unit in the door of your cupboard. Is that right? Sure makes for a very neat installation. :) I can't tell from the photos where the vents are in relation to where the a/c is. Are they in a cupboard next to the a/c cupboard or is that the inside of the same cupboard? It sure is a slick arrangement! :)

    1. Ok... It is working great. It made it through last summer in the 90's! I checked the compressor temps several times and never found it to be overheating. If you look at the picture of the outside, I made an intake vent to draw air in and hid it behind the wing. The 16 SC has a shelf next to the upper cabinet that the unit sits in. I split the shelf in half creating a plenum. the air exhausts through the vented door that I installed just forward of the wing. So if you are inside looking at the unit, the air intake is on the right side of the cabinet and the exhaust is straight out the back of the cabinet. I hope this helps but if not, I can probably explain it better. I have a video of the installation as well that I may be able to post on youtube. Thanks for the compliments!!