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Basement AC -to- Conventional MiniSplit?

We're about to pull-the-trigger on a Newell that has basement AC's.  I joined the forum to read posts on this topic and gain some more pragmatic, real-world perspective from other Newell owners.

I didn't see anyone mention the replacement of their basement split-style systems with more modern inverter-based mini-splits (using the cassette-style evaporators).

I bet there is something I've overlooked, a reason this isn't practical.  I was wondering if anyone here might point me in the direction of a past discussion that explains the reason this isn't practical?

Thank you in advance Smile

There are some Foretravel guys who've done this, replacing roof airs with mini splits, and they're very pleased with the performance. Not sure if any of them have used the rooftop cassette evaps, if that's what you're referring to. They would involve cutting a larger hole and building a cover over it.
I considered it when I had my '98 Newell and felt that there was enough room to mount the compressors where the basement units were. The power is already there. Then use the AC ductwork to run the refrigerant and power lines. Remove a section of the valence where the cold air spills out to mount the evap. unit. It seemed the hardest work would be to run the refrigerant line through the ductwork where there was any bend.
If you're looking at an earlier Newell with the Dometic split units then compressor space might be an issue. But you could probably re-use the existing refrigerant lines.
But I sold it before I got beyond thinking about it.
Good luck and keep us informed on this project!
There are some other Youtube guys who've done this also.

Forest & Cindy Olivier
1987 log cabin
2011 Roadtrek C210P
PO 1999 Foretravel 36'
1998 Newell 45' #486 

1993 Newell 39' #337 

If the unit has the Dometic basement air, you already have a mini split, just not an inverter driven one.

The SCS units can be made dependable and they work very well up to about a 100 degrees.

I have looked at the new technology, and continue to look. The biggest challenge for me is what, where, and how to mount the evaporator unit inside that is aesthetically matched. I am not going to hang a conventional mini unit on any cabinet. I have looked at the evaporator units currently on the market intended to work with ducted systems and I haven’t found a hidden place in the coach that will fit them that will also work with the existing ductwork.

I am not saying it can’t be done, I just haven’t spent any serious noodling to figure it out.

The other thing to consider is that in the existing space for the basement units, you only have room for one condenser unit in each space. That tells me that both of the condenser units will have to be 240V units unless you want to limit yourself to about 12000 BTU per unit which seems to be the case for 120V. I have read how much more efficient they are, but I would not feel confident that two 12000 BTU units will keep my bride comfortable. The 240V requirement would not be a problem for us because we are either on the pedestal or on the generator, but it is something to think about.

Richard and Rhonda Entrekin
99 Newell, 512
Subaru Outback Toad
Inverness, FL (when we're home Cool )

You could go with a ducted mini split and use the mini air handler in the basement piped to the coaches original duct work. Doing so will cut your storage space quite a bit. I too am not a fan of hanging the mini split evaporators in plain sight or on a cabinet. If that were my only choice, I would modify the cabinets so the evaporator would be flush with the surrounding cabinets that are unaffected. We have ceiling cassettes in two room additions and one huge 36x36" ceiling cassette in the garage. Those things are deep and there is really no way you can conceal those in a newell ceiling without the cassette protruding through the roof along with a weatherproof box made to close up the exterior. If that was the case, go with a roof top air and be done with it.

1993 8v92TA #312

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