View Full Version : Anyone added 2nd A/C in bedroom? DIY

10-12-2007, 10:53 PM
Hello folks. This is my first post. I am trying to finalize my options list as I will be ordering a new 3400RL next week.

Two of the options that I am thinking about adding on my own are the Kingdome auto seeking satellite dish and the 2nd air conditioning unit in the bedroom.

I'm thinking about ordering the unit with the 2nd a/c pre-wire and adding the carrier low profile 13.5 unit with the heat strips next summer. I can buy the carrier unit for $499 plus $85 shipping and I think it is an additional $49 for the heat strip kit. This will save me about $325 dollars less than the factory installed price and I would enjoy the challenge. I guess what I'm asking, is there anyone out there with experience in this matter and how difficult was the install? Also any recommendations on which is the better unit, Dometic, Carrier or Duo-Therm??

Ditto for the Kingdome Sat. Ant. Anyone have experience hooking one of these up??
Thanking you for the advice in advance, Jeff:rolleyes:

10-13-2007, 07:40 AM
Hi Jeff and welcome to the forum!

You should get some great input on your questions here. Only thing I can offer is if possible, order both ACs with the Heat Pump option instead of the heat strip.


10-13-2007, 08:21 AM
I agree, Jim, the heat pump is the better option. They are pretty expensive if ordered from a supplier. I have seen them upwards to $1900 from on-line suppliers. I ordered one for the Coachman, that I used to have, and got it on ebay for $699.00. I have been told by HVAC people that install them that Carrier is the best. They say that the installation is the easiest of all, and they are a better unit. I got a Carrier 15,000 btu AC with a heat pump for the $699 price. The seller on ebay has them there all the time under "buy it now", not on auction. If you need the link, drop a note and I will send it to you.

10-13-2007, 09:39 AM
Go ahead and post the eBay seller's link here. Sounds like something people may be interested in. Especially if Carrier really is better than Dometic and at $699 - wow! I realize that was a price from the past.



10-13-2007, 09:52 AM
Here is one link on eBay: http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=carrier+rv+air+conditioner&category0=

10-13-2007, 11:07 AM
That's it John. Wow they have gone down. $599.00 great price for a AC Heat Pump.

10-13-2007, 12:39 PM
I installed the Dometic low profile a/c on my Bighorn, it was a snap. The hardest part is getting it on the roof, the whole operation took about 2 hours. There is a kit you have to buy because the Bighorn roof is thicker than most brands.( longer bolts and sheetmetal pleniun.

10-13-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks Guys, I thought from the research that I have done that this is a fairly easy install. I definetly am interested in the true "heat pump". I don't think that Heartland offers the heat pump as an option though?? There is the 15K carrier unit on ebay that I could install in the bedroom, but is a 15K unit really required in the bedroom and what about the height of 14" as compared to 7.5" for the low-profile Carrier 13.5K unit?? Your help in brainstorming is greatly appreciated. I am really looking forward to getting our new bighorn and joining the RV community. Thanks again for the responses !! Jeff:D

10-13-2007, 04:10 PM
I'd prefer the low profile unit be it 13K or 15K btu. As far as the Kingdome, if trees are in the way there's not much you can do to get a signal. We have our dish mounted on a PVC stand upside down, which makes it really low to the ground. Usually I can move it as far away as 100 feet if necessary to get out of the trees. Once you get used to setting one up it is not a problem.

10-13-2007, 04:51 PM
Thanks Snuffy, I thought about using the tripod stand and I didn't think about the trees. The tripod is definetly cheaper!! I guess you need a compass for the direction and I assume the tripod has a azimuth calibration?? Can you elaborate on the setup?? I appreciate the help.
ps: I am going to install the Carrier low profile 13.5K unit with the heat strip in the bedroom and remove the dometic ducted unit that comes in the 3400RL and sell it anyway I can. Then purchase the Carrier 15K ducted heatpump to replace it and I should be setup very well.

10-13-2007, 09:37 PM
I think snuffy uses this kind of mount,, But, why not get the King Dome or perhaps a manual roof dish and when trees prevent using the roof mount then you could set up an external dish.. Boy o'boy those auto domes are NICE.

10-13-2007, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the pic phranc, I wonder how many times out you have to deal with trees in the way?? Jeff

sidney dreyfus
10-13-2007, 10:29 PM
Just a general comment regarding your choice of a low profile a/c unit. I think all the Bighorns are 12" 11 1/2 inches tall. We added the Kingdome which increased our height to 13' 2". If you don't mind me suggesting, you might want to keep the height of your trailer as low as possible. I believe tractor trailers are around 13' 6" tall and I get peace of mind when I see them up ahead making it under some of these overpasses. Just a thought.

10-14-2007, 08:19 AM
I think snuffy uses this kind of mount,, But, why not get the King Dome or perhaps a manual roof dish and when trees prevent using the roof mount then you could set up an external dish.. Boy o'boy those auto domes are NICE.

Mine is similar but a tripod mount. I made the legs adjustable which has worked out well. About 80 percent of the time I have to move mine away from the trailer and a Kingdome wouldn't work for me.

10-14-2007, 09:12 AM
If you want to spend that kind of money for a Kingdome, buy or build a portable mount and get a Birdog. That's what most installers use and if you ever decide to get satellite internet, you'll need one. It takes me no more that five minutes from taking pieces out of the truck to having my dish connected and the tv working. This summer, my dish was 125 feet away from my coach in order to get a signal through the trees. Birdogs, used, run from $250 to $350 on eBay, new about $425. It's almost a must have with satellite internet.


10-14-2007, 02:00 PM

Here's how I set up our Dish Network System.

Our service is called Dish500 which requires two satellites to be aligned a at one time. I bought a signal finder meter which can be found at Campers World or can be located at a better price on EBay.

The Signal meter does not tell you if it's the right Satellite... just the strength of the one the dish is aimed at... that in mind... you must also be using the signal indicator within the Receiver's Set Up program.

After using the Receiver's program for the proper angles... by way of the Zip Code of the location your at. I then take those numbers outside along with a compass.

Once I set up the dish on top of a simple TV Antenna Tri Pod... one that is often used on top of a house... Attaching the Dish to a short Mast pole... Making sure the Mast is plumb...

A cable being attached to the Satellite connection on our RV... the Signal Strength Meter attached to the end of the Cable... the cable lead from the Dishes LMB... to the other end of the Meter...

I then adjust the dish's Elevation... and because I connect to two LMB's I need to also adjust the Skew setting which will align both LMB's at the same time.

With those adjustments made, I begin to swing the dish back and forth to find a signal using the Strength Meter. Once I find a strong signal... and comparing that to the Azimuth setting on the compass...

I then Check the Dish Receivers signal strength meter on the TV screen. If I've found the right Satellite... The TV's signal meter will say so... if I've found a wrong Satellite... it will tell me that as well.

With the proper Satellite found... I often use the TV's Receiver's Signal Strength Meter's Tone... a sound that the system changes to a higher sound as the signal strength goes higher. With the hightest strength reached... I let the Receiver finish the task... by following the on Screen instructions.

Sounds complicated... but it's not. Few times doing it... you'll be a old pro soon enough... and as always... if you seem to be having trouble, there are many helpful hands in most campgrounds.

Good Luck !