Thread: Apparatus A/C

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default Apparatus A/C

    Anyone have experience with custom cab a/c?

    We are specifically interested in what we believe to be heavy duty a/c. I have seen some pictures of apparatus that appear to have some type of roof mounted r.v. or commercial a/c units.

    Miami-Dade, Phoenix...etc.. what have you guys found to work best in that nasty heat?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    We have several of our FL-70 chassis with roof mounted Red Dot AC units. All have over 13 years of use without major problems.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Greensboro, NC USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default

    I'd look for the rating of the system. It should be in tons or BTU/hour. That will allow you to better compare one system to another.

    1 ton = 12,000 BTU/hour

    My present truck is a Pierce with a dual condensers mounted on top of the cab, and dual evaporators mounted in the ceiling. It works great. On these really hot humid days in NC, the runoff from the condensers is bordering on a stream, rather than a drip. I do not know the actual rating on the system. If it quits blowing cold air, I call the garage.

    I'm a big fan of having the condenser(s) mounted on top of the cab. It allows them to flow air naturally (hot air rises) and the hot condenser doesn't compete for cool air in the engine compartment.

    Ferrara and KME both offer systems that exceed 70,000 BTU/hour. That's 6-tons. My 1,400 sq-ft home only has a 2 ton system.
    Last edited by txgp17; 07-14-2010 at 03:28 PM.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,167

    Default

    Ferrara was the dealer who sold us our trucks. Red Dot is a good unit.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    450

    Default

    Plano has RV style roof mounted a/c units in addition to the factory Spartan one.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bryn Athyn, Pa.
    Posts
    1,619

    Default

    Our 2007 Toyne/Spartan has a factory (Spartan) system which has had no issues so far.

    Our '89 Quality/Duplex was ordered without air conditioning. At that time, A/C was thought to be a frivolous, unnecessary luxury. The first summer showed the error of our ways. We had Thermo-King in Philadelphia install a system for us before the next summer.

    I believe that it's components are Red Dot. The condenser is mounted under the cab. They tied into an under seat evaporator in the crew area that is part of the heater, then added another evaporator in the ceiling. Because of the configuration of the cab and complexity, the driver and officer have to do without.

    The system has worked well for now 20 years.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    You have to be careful on what A/C system is available, and what you, or your shop can work with.

    Most RV systems are sealed R22 systems. The whole assembly is roof mounted, and usually ran off of a generator (110v-120v). Usually your shop isn't equipped to do repairs on them, and must be sent out, or call a HVAC service center to make a house call.

    Most larger R134 systems have 2 condensers with a drier/receiver each mounted on the roof. This is the best set up to have. Problem is, your still using a belt driven compressor to run the A/C system. The other downside, is finding leaks in the system. Most builders wrap the lines with rubber or foam insulation. This sucks when your trying to find a leak.

    We've used in house built (builder) systems, and haven't had a huge problem with them. Our newer Spartans are nice with front and rear evaporators. They keep the cab nice and cool, if they can keep up with the heat and humidity.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the quick replys. I never considered that our shop may not be equipped or certified to handle a commercial (rv?) system.

    We want to keep the engine cover clear of obstructions..etc. We saw a Ferrara with recessed or ducted vents in the cab walls. Does Kme still put their air conditioner on the cover?

    I wonder if the Plano units run their rv style off of the generator. Interesting concept.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I see that Sutphen has two AC units available - 65,000 BTU as the base system and 80,000 BTU as the upgrade. We have the 65,000 BTU and it is PLENTY. The controls are overhead, at the center of the cab, and the ducts/vents are all around the engine enclosure/dog house. These end up being great locations as they cool each passenger off and you can adjust the vents to point wherever you want. This is a roof top system and we really like how it works.

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    498

    Default

    Units that size would take a lot of electricity to run. Do they need a seperate generator?

    Most houses dont have units that big

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    109

    Default

    Ours does not need a separate generator to run it - runs off the truck as normal. Just like a car.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    238

    Default

    The roof-mounted AC units we have had on Spartan cab/chassis rigs have worked very well, you can almost hang meat in the cab. On the other hand, the Seagrave AC units have performed poorly, inadequate cooling and constantly leaking off the refrigerant.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I am not sure how big the A/C unit is in our 09 KME ...............it does put out though.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    450

    Default

    I wonder if the Plano units run their rv style off of the generator.
    I think they do run off the genset.

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Tim1118's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    The roof-mounted AC units we have had on Spartan cab/chassis rigs have worked very well, you can almost hang meat in the cab. On the other hand, the Seagrave AC units have performed poorly, inadequate cooling and constantly leaking off the refrigerant.
    I second this. HME's air conditioning seems to work really well also...
    TruckCommittee.com

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,220

    Default

    I don't think anyone has addressed this yet - quite a few of the department's down south have the RV A/C units mounted on the cab roof to supplement the chassis provided cooling system. The idea is essentially (at least in my understanding) to run the 110 volt unit off shore power while in the station to keep the cab cool. Most bays are not climate controlled to keep them cool, so personnel would be suffering in a hot cab in bunker gear while the chassis based system tried to catch up while going to a run.

    Im sure you could run the unit off a chassis genset, but I don't believe that's the intent for most of the apparatus equipped with such units.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Greensboro, NC USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    I don't think anyone has addressed this yet - quite a few of the department's down south have the RV A/C units mounted on the cab roof to supplement the chassis provided cooling system. The idea is essentially (at least in my understanding) to run the 110 volt unit off shore power while in the station to keep the cab cool. Most bays are not climate controlled to keep them cool, so personnel would be suffering in a hot cab in bunker gear while the chassis based system tried to catch up while going to a run.

    Im sure you could run the unit off a chassis genset, but I don't believe that's the intent for most of the apparatus equipped with such units.
    Excellent point.

    If I recall correctly, Seminole County, FL was doing this a few years back, and I think Phoenix, AZ was too.

    I've found that during the really hot months, guys roll the windows up and ride with the A/C cranked to max. Once they return to the station, they slam the doors and leave the windows rolled up.

    The cab has about 2-3,000 lbs of metal, that's at least 180, located right in the center and underneath it. Basically it turns the enclosed cab into an instant sauna.

    Later, when we get a call, we rush out to the truck and put on gear that's pushing 110 or 120. This just puts us that much closer to heat exhaustion.

    By cooling the cab while it's in the bay, our gear is cooler, which makes us cooler, and able to make a better interior attack because our stress levels are down.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801
    I don't think anyone has addressed this yet - quite a few of the department's down south have the RV A/C units mounted on the cab roof to supplement the chassis provided cooling system. The idea is essentially (at least in my understanding) to run the 110 volt unit off shore power while in the station to keep the cab cool. Most bays are not climate controlled to keep them cool, so personnel would be suffering in a hot cab in bunker gear while the chassis based system tried to catch up while going to a run.

    Im sure you could run the unit off a chassis genset, but I don't believe that's the intent for most of the apparatus equipped with such units.
    You brought up a good point. One that I left out on purpose, not knowing what apparatuses was being discussed.

    Our Rescue and HazMat rigs have 2 a/c systems on board. The conventional chassis system, and an RV system. On the RV systems, they run off both the genset (designed to), and the shore power line. All are set up and mounted to keep the command section and rehab (per say) area cool, which does bleed slightly into the cab (driver & Officer). Once under way, the chassis system cools only the cab, and slightly bleeds into the command section.

    We toyed with the idea of putting the RV system on engines as a shore line hook up only, about 2-3 years ago. It was decided based off of cost, that it wasn't needed, and too expensive. As for the aerials, that was dropped the same day.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    820

    Default

    We put a 120 volt unit on the roof of our last rig. It is configured 2 ways...

    Run off shore line when plugged in for aforementioned reasons

    Run off apparatus generator on scene to provide rehab capability

    We are contemplating changing on our next rig and moving away from the roof top A/C unit for 2 reasons...#1 Eliminate potential strike damage by being the highest point on the rig and #2 be able to be used in any configuration.

    We are evaluating a Red Dot headliner mounted unit we may mount in the rear celing area of the cab. The exact model is the R-9715 rated at 39,000BTU and 577CFM. And its available as a 12V system to boot.

    Just another option.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Controlling the Cost of Fire Apparatus
    By GeorgeWendtCFI in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 51
    Last Post: 04-16-2009, 11:31 PM
  2. Going for new apparatus READ ASAP
    By AsstEngineer292 in forum Federal FIRE ACT Grants & Funding
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-04-2005, 11:54 AM
  3. NFPA 1901 Pumper Equipment Requirements
    By Brtengr in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-16-2003, 04:27 PM
  4. Apparatus Design
    By walldaUWP in forum The Engineer
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-09-2003, 05:06 PM
  5. Fire Apparatus Manufacturer Logos?
    By yfdbuff in forum Fire Buffs' Firehouse
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-13-2002, 09:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register