We had seen some online posts about RV AirFlow. But, once I saw one in action I was Intrigued!
I was attending some training at Grand Design RV a couple of months ago and our trainer, Randy, was excited about this new thing he wanted to show us. We fired up the AC in our “training lab” (a Grand Design travel trailer), took some readings with the anemometer with and without RV AirFlow and the results were impressive!
The week after training, we decided we would reach out to RV AirFlow to see if we could try it out ourselves!
NOTE! This is only for RVs with ducted systems.
ALSO Note: Dometic and GE Units are now available!
UPDATE (July 2021): We've had a few questions on the torque values we mention in the video.
I got them from the RVAirflow document here: cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0416/2863/1202/files/INSTRUCTION_SHEET_M3.pdf?v=1609361649
It cites Coleman manufacturing as the source…
However, looking at www.airxcel.com/DesktopModules/RVProduct/Pdf/1976c520.pdf it just says, “Proper tension has been achieved for each bolt when any portion of each gasket indicating tab has been pulled down even with the roof. See Figure 4. The upper unit has now been properly installed with optimum gasket compression.”
Our take: Use your best judgement. If the torque value seems too high, revert to the instructions from AirXCel.
UPDATE (August 2021): The proper torque values have been confirmed to be 20-30 Inch-Pounds.
The stock system's handling of airflow is not great. The high side (air coming out) and low side (air going in) are right next to each other. This means it's fairly easy for air to leak from the high to low side without ever entering the RV.
The way the splash plate and cover are designed seems like an afterthought to accommodate direct dumps under the AC even though those dumps are inefficient. Being literally an inch or less away from the low side intake, those dumps allow a lot of air to short-circuit the air flow and go right back into the system.
With this design, the low side suffers with only about 1/3 of the filters being used.
The high side is also very inefficient with no direct smooth pathway from the AC to the ducts. Air just compresses in the plenum, then is forced into the ducts. This causes very turbulent airflow in addition to providing lots of opportunities for leaks into the ceiling, back to the low side, etc.
When I first saw the RV AirFlow system, all I could think was WOW! This is such a simple device that accomplishes so much to make the air distribution and separation greatly improved!
For the high side, it creates a smooth curved path directly from the fan to the ducts, virtually eliminating all of the turbulence and leaks.
At the same time, it completely opens up the low side, allowing the full size of the intakes and filters to be utilized.
RV Airflow claims 40% improvement in airflow on average! That's a pretty bold claim, so we decided to test it ourselves! Note: you can find RV Airflow's testing measurements and results here: rvairflow.com/pages/compatible-rvs (follow the links for each model).
Our plan was to test all 8 vents in our RV using an anemometer adapted to capture the full output of each vent. We wanted to test with just the main (center) AC as well as all 3 ACs on high. However, after testing we realized our baseline was skewed due to the fact that the separator was askew, allowing a huge bypass from high to low. This caused our baseline readings to be low, giving us an improvement of 149%! While this test is accurate for our system, it's not a great representation of what one might expect from a standard system. But, for what it's worth, these are our readings and they are spectacular!:
We still wanted to get real measurements from a normal system, however. So, we got new baselines and post-install measurements for the front AC and rear AC individually. Those readings are also very impressive and are on par with the 40% claim:
As you can see, we got a little over 45%! Very cool! Literally! ❄️
With Fall upon us, we're not putting the AC to a hard test, but we can already see some noticeable improvements!
The way our heating system works, the heat pump will run normally until it can't keep up (the set temp is 4 degrees above measured) then the furnace kicks in to help. In the past, the furnace would kick on with the outside temp in the 40's. We had a few cold nights recently and this has now changed to the 30's. The improved distribution of warm air is allowing the heat pump to keep up!
On the few warm days (high 70's) where we've needed the AC, we've been running them on LOW! We've NEVER run our ACs on low before, not even in the 70's.
From both a testing standpoint and practical, we are VERY IMPRESSED!
If you decide to purchase, be sure to use our code CHANGINGLANES (at checkout) for 15% off!
- RV Airflow Systems: changinglanesrv.com/rvairflow (don't forget code CHANGINGLANES at checkout for 15% Off!)
- Compatible RVs and fitting guide: rvairflow.com/pages/compatible-rvs
- RV Airflow Install Video: youtu.be/2DUAkF5ecbc
- RV Airflow Install (Opa and Oma’s Camping Adventures): youtu.be/Znb6Ji4kAR4
- Opa and Oma’s Camping Adventures: www.youtube.com/channel/UCuY8dRZxqW370NSyhUEiEvQ
- RVAir MERV 6 Air Filters: amzn.to/3kv3I2z
- DEWALT DCF887B 20V Brushless 0.25″ 3-Speed Impact Driver: amzn.to/31Grz8g
- CRAFTSMAN Drill/Driver Set, Impact Ready Bits: amzn.to/35vYOfI
- DEWALT Magnetic Bit Holder: amzn.to/34r4SXf
- Wheeler Torque Wrench with Inch/Pounds: amzn.to/34smORF
- 16.5FT Aluminum Telescoping A-Frame Extension Ladder: amzn.to/3jnbcU4
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