Dometic to supply HVAC systems for Idle-Kleen’s Hitchhiker APU

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Dometic Environmental has announced that it has been selected to supply HVAC components for the new Hitchhiker auxiliary power unit from Idle-Kleen. The Hitchhiker APU system consists of a single-cylinder air-cooled diesel engine with direct-mount crankshaft-driven alternator, coupled with a Dometic 115 V auxiliary HVAC system, to provide year-round cooling and heating for the truck’s sleeper without idling the main engine.

“Dometic Environmental is rapidly achieving recognition as the preferred supplier of auxiliary HVAC systems for the North American trucking market,” says Lou Siegel, senior vice president of marketing and strategic business development for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Dometic Environmental. “Idle-Kleen is the latest APU supplier to join our family of distribution partners, and we look forward to working closely with the company to provide a fully integrated APU and HVAC solution to meet the growing demand for idle-reduction systems.”

At just 220 pounds, Idle-Kleen’s Hitchhiker genset weighs in at a fraction of the weight of other APU products, the company says; it can be installed in just four to six hours with no special tools. All system components are pre-assembled for easy installation, fuel lines and fittings are supplied, and the Dometic HVAC refrigerant lines are factory-precharged, according to Idle-Kleen; the APU comes with custom-designed frame grippers to mount the generator to the side of the rail in just 10 minutes.

“The product concept has been commercially available for more than a decade, but no product currently on the market is as user-friendly, easy to maintain, light-weight and inexpensive as the Hitchhiker,” says Kelly Cooper, president and founder of Kitchener, Ontario-based Idle-Kleen. “The quick installation time and limited impact on the truck’s original equipment has earned Idle-Kleen overwhelming customer support.”

The Hitchhiker unit has no belts, pulleys or water pumps to maintain or replace; the only maintenance needed is an oil change every 500 hours, or about the same time as the trucks engine, according to Idle-Kleen. The unit provides ample 115 V power to drive the air conditioning and heating system, block heater and sleeper conveniences, such as a microwave, coffee maker and television, the company says; two dual-outlet AC plugs are included. It also is designed to provide a continuous trickle charge of the truck’s batteries when running.

The Dometic HVAC system consists of two modules – an external condensing unit and a compact compressor/evaporator/blower unit that mounts inside the truck sleeper. The two units are connected by flexible refrigerant lines. Systems are offered in 10,000 or 14,000 BTU, with a built-in 1.5, 2.0 or 2.5 kW electric heating unit. Higher-capacity heating units also are available on special order. The components are ruggedized with vibration and corrosion protection for over-the-road conditions, Idle-Kleen says.

“APUs are the best possible win-win solution – they help save the environment, reduce costs and thereby increase profitability,” Cooper says. “Idle-Kleen chose to partner with Dometic Corporation because of Dometic’s superior experience in the heating and air conditioning market.”