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ariannemars
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What is the best APU on the market today? Why?

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I'm thinking about buying an APU. Please back up your answer with a description of your personal experience.

Edited by: Kevin Rutherford ( )

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Chris Hileman
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The battery powered ones, because they are quiet.

Depending on your demand, they are not that great. I run too many electronics while the truck is off for it to keep the truck cool/warm on a battery powered system.

Brian Smith,

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Jackie Wormley
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Depends on your needs.

I prefer the thermo king tri pac.

I have had mine for almost 6 years and currently have 23,509 hours on it with very little problems. I need a full apu because I do everything in the truck. I cook, watch tv, play on the computer ect. I am also very spoiled with temp control. Im not going to freeze or get hot. The thermo king keeps my truck warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

I agree, for all the same reasons. ThermoKing also has a pretty wide service base. I've got about 13k hours on this one and I've had two company trucks that had the TriPac and loved every single one.

Brian Smith,

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oliver ohnemus
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i have a rigmaster but I would buy a centramatic the next time primarly because they{centramatic} can be plugged into shore power. whatever you do don't get one that is not a stand alone unit. the only thing the truck and apu should share is fuel supply. I had one that shared freon and coolant with the tractor it was a nightmare whenever one broke they both broke.

Every Rigmaster I've ever parked next to is entirely too loud. Also, every driver I've talked to who had one said they were horrible. I've only ever had TriPac units, they're tied into the truck cooling system and the only problem I've ever had was it's a little hard to track down coolant leaks when they happen.

Brian Smith,

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James Ray
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I also rec the tri-pack if you do everything in your truck. Like Jackie I've had mine for 6 or 7 years. I have 8,094hr on mine. I've had an alt go out and a pully, heater ingniter and belt. But I still wounldn't go without one. If you need a full apu then this is one of the best. Thermoking has been around for a while and their reefers are running quite well. They ant cheap but you can get a deal and even at their price you will still get it to pay for it's self in a short time.

Try finding the other repair shops from the other apu makers. Now with TA doing oil changes on them even the maintence is going down

Just be careful with TA doing your service on it. They often times do not change the inline fuel filter and several of the TK dealers I've talked to have been having a lot of units come in with problems due to this filter not being changed. I was also getting my unit serviced at TK in Charlotte and they had a PAM truck in there getting their unit worked on because the TA over filled the oil and they had to do quite a bit of engine work. After they got it all straight and started back up it must of billowed smoke for 20 minutes.

Brian Smith,

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Zachary Bell
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If I had to get an APU for my operation, I would go with the Comfort Pro, the TriPac or the TriPac E(lectric). The TriPacs are much more reliable than some of the no-name APUs out there, and for my specific operation, the E model would have plenty of power to get me through the occasional night or two on the road. Plus, the cost for maintenance of an APU is getting lower with companies like Sapp Brothers, TA and Petro now offering APU maintenance services.

Get a Comfort Pro or a TriPac. You won't regret it.

Edited by: Zachary Bell ( )

After I changed jobs I was put into a truck equipped with the Comfort Pro by Carrier. It's a strong, yet quiet APU that's reliable and easy to maintain.

Zachary Bell,

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larrydunn48
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i had the tripac on my other truck and i sure do miss it although i would look into the new shorepower accessories ones

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David Hicks
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Does anyone know anything about Carrier's APU?

I've been running a Pro Heat APU which is Carrier now. Have had it for 7 years it has 8,000 hours and the only thing that's been replaced is the generator for 110 power it hasn't even been back to shop sense it was installed. It works great its the only one I would buy if I was looking for another APU

Mel Help,

I haven't heard much but I think I'd trust them. They do make reefer units. ThermoKing or Carrier are the only two I'd ever consider. I'm partial to ThermoKing though cause that's what I've always used.

Brian Smith,

I have over 13,000 hours on my Comfort Pro and just replaced the alternator. That is the only thing I have replaced since 2006 when I installed it. It has the 'limp home' feature in that IF the alternator on the truck goes out you can fire up the Comfort Pro and drive, night time too. Shore power is an option that I didn't go for.

Grumpy Cat,

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csarria
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TriPac bought it new 1.5 yr ago...now has 7500 hrs. Only problem has been loose alt wire. I change oil w/ syn every 1000 hrs. Alt too small for my consumption since I also have a lot of gadgets (2500w inverter, 3cf ref, coffee maker, mw, 30" flat screen, VQube, Direct TV, sink w/ fresh 12v water pump - 12 gals, printer/scanner, laptop, 110v lighting) in the truck.

There is a company called DB Electrical that specializes in Hi-Output Alternators...talking to them about a 250 amp alt...another company called Thermobyproduct sells TK parts at a reasonable price...there 120 amp alt is selling about $250 which is half of TK's.

If DB cant help me them I told them to get me an equal to TK... I have read a few blogs and that have said that a 1993 GMC Yukon 5.7 Eng alternator (120amp) is them same as the TK. When I get home, its my next project.

PS/ I don't use all gadgets simultaneously...lol

where'd you find the sink? where'd you put it in the truck or do you have a large sleeper/expeditor truck?

Brian Smith,

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Chip Herron
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I have run with Rigmaster, Tripac and the Nite System.

I have had 2 different ones and would recommend buying the extended warranty because if they break they are expensive to fix. First one had over 3000 hrs and only needed a belt or two and an alternator. The second one has just under 2000 hours and has been spotless so far

They were all good but the best is the Tripac.

The Rigmaster can be noisy and hard on belts,plus you are limited on plugs

The Nites system worked well if you only needed to run heating/cooling for 10 hours or less and did NOT run microwave,coffee pot etc.. It was useable with shore power when you could find it. They do make a generator for them to the tune of an additional $5000!

That would be an easy fix there. Since the Nite system and the newer Webasto Blue cool hybrid both have shore power, a small portable generator would be a solution for those times you need one at a substantially lower cost.

Cliff Downing,

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Pete Acimovich
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I have a Power Tech 12K generator 1800 rpm 4 cylinder Kubota engine. Over kill yes. Purrs like a kitten, easy to service. I had the smaller units that run at 3600 rpm and are packed like sardines and nightmare to service. In the winter and hot summers the run hours pile up quickly. I can change oil and filter in 10 minutes.

What is the fuel consumption for the 12k?

Matt Jungbluth,

1/2 gallon hr with everything and anything plugged in.

Pete Acimovich,

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John Autry
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I know nothing of the electric units, but I've used the tri-pack and the carrier unit when I was a company driver. I got a say, the tri-pack is much quieter. Also, Thermo King has more repair shops around the country than any other brand. I own my truck now, and as soon as I get the funds, I'll be buying a Thermo King.

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Terrance Knockleby
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I've had a Carrier APU for 3 and 1/2 years ,close to 8000 hrs on it , make sure to change the belts at least every year ,change oil twice a year , had some problems when it was on warrenty but has been good lately, It is louder than a TriPac and I think TriPac would be my next Choice ,I live in Canada so don't think the Batt Pac's would work that well ,specially on extended days off,batt's go dead not good ,even with spares ,,,

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swax213
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i have the thermo king e and it runs just the ac i have a bunk heater for heat but i love the one i have very quite and have ran it up to 30 hours straight with no problems most of the time i just run it about 10 hours

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scatpack107
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I used the Dynasys for a month. I like how the AC is sealed like a home unit. No belt driven compressor. Also has shore power.

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jbondheli
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Don't buy Diamond Power - very loud and unreliable .

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MRMTRANS
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In May of 2007, I bought a 3500 watt gas powered generator from Harbor Freight for $250, a 7000 btu portable ac from Target for $399, had 2 steel frame mounts built for behind the bunk to bolt the generator to for $139, and 1hr labor charge, and everything is still working. Some obvious and not so obvious caveats: I have to carry 2 2-1/2 gal gas containers; I have to buy buy a grill cover for the generator once a year; 7000 btu is not very effective in 100 F + temps (point the air right at you); 3500 watts only powers the smallest of heaters with the block heater also plugged in (which is no big deal for me for I only need heat 0 F and below-I use -15 F below sleeping bag), so I also use Coleman Blackcat portable propane camping heater (put a small crack-1/2 inch-in the window to play it safe on oxygen);and the generator behind the bunk (by the deckplate) doesn't allow me to close the gap between the truck and trailer as close as possible for mpg-but soon I will be mounting along the frame with a tool box frame mount. I think I would now consider an under-the-bunk battery powered ac-heater that are now on the market and power it with inexpensive generator running on the DC side, or with an inverter (AC to DC so as to be able to plug the truck in at the same time). This would depend upon expected battery life. Either way, you can't beat the up front cost, and the total life cost (mine is still working) compared to a full blown APU like Tripac.

Update

Norman,

I bought a floor unit that is on rollers, so that I could change direction of air, and not have to deal with the complications of a window unit. I did cut a piece of plywood to fit in the window, and has a 4" hole for the hot air hose from the ac to connect .

Edited by: MRMTRANS ( )

Try putting a toolbox on the side of your truck and mounting the generator INSIDE the box, that way you won't have to cover it with a tarp anymore. Be careful running that camping heater, even with the windows partially open you could still get carbon monoxide poisoning.

Chris Hileman,

This is what I'm about to do. Bought the 3,200 watt operating/4,000 watt peak gas generator for $269.00 at a truck stop. I was going to buy a roof mount rv ac unit for around $800-1000 but I talked to a rv service center and they wanted $1,200 to $1,500 to install it. I think I will just try what mrm trans has done and go with a cheap window a/c unit and give it a try. What have I got to lose ??? Not much that's for sure. I'm thinking this will work for me. Temperature doesn't bother me much. I never idle for heat and won't idle for a/c unless it's over about 85-90 degrees out. One ? For you mrm trans.......did you cut a whole in your sleeper or hang the unit out your window or just put the a/c unit on the floor of your condo ????

norman merboth,

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Ken Anderson
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When I was in a co. truck they had Carrier,Rigmaster, ClimaCab(battery)

Carrier...good unit quiet running when the ac comes on it starts with a jolt but you get used to it. Shares engine coolant.

Rigmaster...louder when running than carrier. Shop did not like them too much maintainance issues.

Climacab cooled fairly well good for about 8 to 10 hrs depending on outside temp. No 110 vac

As an o/o I bought a used Centramatic with 2000 hrs. Like shore power and extrenal ac outlet. Like stand alone shares nothing with truck uses block heater. Has a Dometic split a/c unit. Has battery monitor. Simple to install plug and play. Did it myself. Even the a/c lines are precharged.

Dislike unit runs at 3600 rpm maker for greater fuel burn about .4 gph A change in pulley sizes might lower rpm. No temp monitoring or timer programing for auto start.

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csarria
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My 2 cents,

Home Depot is selling two diesel generators:

6500 watts - Model APG3201 $1200

4000 watts - Model DG4LE $900

Not sure how would feed from fuel tanks, if a small electric pump is required or gravity fed would be sufficient?

If I was to purchase another truck, my route would be flat top truck and would install a RV type a/c w/ heat strip, mounted roof top inside the cowl and a Home Depot (no hassle purchase in the event of a problem and a location in every corner) diesel generator mounted side frame. 6500 watts should be more than enough juice for 15000 btu a/c unit!

Surely would be a lot less than the $10K I paid for Tripac on my current truck.

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Bill Taylor
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I have a rigmaster, other than changing the alternator, have had no issues. I went to a camper supply store and bought a longer exhaust pipe to vent exhaust further behind the truck. I had the shore power package installed on my Western Star at the factory. It is a Xantrex inverter/battery charger so, when I am home or have access to 110v, it keeps batteries charged, so that I can leave refrigerator running.

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Your
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'''I went the same route as MRM Trans, I purchased a Honda 3000eu generator for $1800 and mounted behind my sleeper. Generator is very quite and has a 3 gal tank that will run 10hrs under full power. I have looked on the internet and found that there is suppose to be a remote start that can be added to this unit to allow it to be started from inside the truck. I also purchased a 12,000 btu Danby Premiere A/C unit for $399 from Lowe's. The A/C unit is a stand up unit that I vent out through the vent wing on the right hand side of the sleeper door. I plumbed a power cord and 4 outlet box into the sleeper and permanently mounted it. I also found that I needed to cut a 4" hole in the corner of the floor to fab a draw for the evaporator cooler intake so as not to pull a vacuum inside the truck while blowing the hot air out the vent. I did this with a common toilet flange bolted down and a 4" 90 degree PVC elbow.

I spent about $2300 for everything and figure by not idling my truck this summer should be able to easily pay for it this summer. Works great so far especially if you block the windows with that silver radiant barrier material like windshield shades are made out of if you are running it during the heat of the day. 'italic text''

Blackwood, how's the Danby doin'?

Zachary Bell,

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fastfitz70
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the chinese diesel gensets claim .6 gal P/H at 50% load. You can usually double that figure for real world. A 12.7 detroit at 800 RPM is .9 gal P/H, why bother. The Kubota in the carrier never goes over .25 P/H on A/C. If it costs $2 to $3 more P/H to run you aren't saving money!

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hamjtrucks
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blackwood 777, how do you have your Danby mounted in the cab? I bought a LG 9000 for my Pete 379 and mounted it in the right closet, it gets plenty of air and I have insulated the exhaust tube and it still does not do a good job of cooling, next week I am going to try the Danby..

I set mine in front of the right side sleeper door. It fits snugly between the bed and the front sleeper wall. The hot air vent pipe is routed to the vent in the door. I cut a 4" hole right behind the A/C unit and took a toilet flange and bolted to the floor with a 4" 90 turned to the air draw to the condenser in the rear of the unit. I fashioned a box to cover the air draw and around the 4" 90 and covered it in aluminum tape. Have run it all summer and it has worked great.

Your,

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AGRISTARLLC
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i bought a nitehawk from ok city. they also have a store in baytown. nothing but problems with this unit. the staff is different everytime i go there. they used to sell rigmaster. i guess they were much better

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Your
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I had a Rig Master. Never again. Noisy and used the same amount of fuel as idling main engine. Getting individual parts was a real pain. Rig Master wants to sell parts as a sub assembly. I had to replace my starter solenoid twice, they only sold them attached to a starter. Dealer availability sux.

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Cliff Downing
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Another option in portable generators is one that can do multi fuel. Propane, NG, or gasoline any or all of them for whatever you want to do. There is a company that is making Yamaha generators into tri-fuel models. One could use propane, mount a good size tank to the frame rail or cat walk legally, and make for quick hookup and easy starting of the generator when you need it. Per the FMCSA/DOT regs, you can carry over 100 gallons of propane on board as part of "materials of trade". Not that anyone would want to have that much. But a 10 gallon tank is very good option. You would only have to fill once a week at most. No spilling issues like gasoline, and tanks could be filled at most truck stop chains nowadays. And one of these generators running on propane emits virtually no noxious fumes to bother you or the truck beside you, and will pass the most stringent of CARB or EPA regulations. And on propane, they last longer with fewer problems. And many of them run pretty darn quiet. And now that the greenie movement has taken hold of truck stop chains, natural gas might be a good solution. Beauty of these generators is that you can run any fuel you want, any time, with no modifications.

http://www.yamaha-propane-natural-gas-ge...

Edited by: Cliff Downing ( )

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Your
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MRMTRANS Re: the portable Coleman.....

393.77

heaters

sect a, sub 6

portable heaters shall not be used in any space occupied by persons except the cargo space of motor vehicles which are being loaded or unloaded.

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AGRISTARLLC
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I purchaced a Nite Hawk, from Ok city, Ok. they also have a place next to the TA in Baytown, Tx. Nothing but problems, been thruogh 3 generator heads since this summer, its very loud. I see different workers everytime I enter the place

They did not plum it into my vent system, and it will not cool the cab, because cold air falls.

My next on will be a unit from Hardy Diesel. it will be 3 cylinders, then I will put a Colman Roughneck a/c unit in the roof. and for heat I will use a small electric heater , or a webasto.

If you want someone else to do all the work , then go with a TK

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Your
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What about DynaSys APUs?? Anyone have any experience with them?

I' ve been using a dynasys unit for about 18 months. About 1900 hours on it. Works great. More noise than a tripac. Does not share systems with truck. I like it. I have shore power with mine also. About 2k less than tripac when I bought mine.

Your,

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Your
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The HP2000 is IMHO the best one out there. They installed mine in 5 hrs, it was a lot cheaper, lighter quiter and works great. At least check it out.

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Your
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Try the Cool cab Backwall Unit. From RVProducts .Wichita ,Kansas

13,500 BTU Cooling

8 K Heating

Everything I found on the Backwall unit shows 9200 BTU cooling AND heating.

Cliff Downing,

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Linn Prudhomme
205

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I would not recommend the HP 2000, info if asked

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