Air Conditioner, Home type split

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 11:10
ThreadID: 109825 Views:5536 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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I am looking at installing a Household Split System Air Conditioner in to my Caravan, i am looking at a 3.5Kw or 12,000btu size , units i am looking at are Panasonic CS/CU-E12PKR, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries DXK12ZMA-S or Mitsubishi Electric MSZ GE35VAD, i will normally be using it from mains power but will need to use from a generator sometimes. I own a Honda EU20i 2 kva inverter, has any one used this generator to run a domestic air conditioner, or can you offer some advise.
I am trending to the Mitusbishi Electric because it says in brocure 4.6amp or 1100w start current and max run current on cool is 1450w. any comments appreciated
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Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 13:32

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 13:32
Haven't done this but recommend the Mitsubishi over the Panasonic.
AnswerID: 540392

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:47

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:47
I'll second the Mitsy-bitsy. Got 3 installed around the house (1 x 3HP and 2 x 1HP) in 2005, and they have performed as totally faultlessly as anyone could ever wish.
FollowupID: 826242

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 20:01

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 20:01
We have Panasonic inverters at home and work (5 in total), the ones at work run all day either on heat or cool and at home one runs evey night...... Had them for 6 years with no issues.
FollowupID: 826265

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:11

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:11
I'd go with the Mitsubishi too, Alan. We had a Panasonic unit fitted in the last house we lived in, and you were flat out talking, or hearing, over the noise of the fan on LOW setting. They may have upped their game since?

Start up current seems low, but most of these are now "soft start" so that may account for that. The Honda should handle the 1450w load, as they are rated at 1600w continuos, with 2000w peak. With that load the engine on the genny won't glaze up, but might use a drop or two of petrol, You wouldn't be able to run much else I'd suggest, Alan, while the aircon was going.

One thing I'd suggest is to turn the aircon on well before the 'van interior gets too hot. We used to wait till the ambient temp got to 38-40 degs, but it takes too long to drag the temp back, especially if the day is going to get even hotter.


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AnswerID: 540394

Reply By: Stone Stomper - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:50

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:50
Hi Alan,

Crusader installed one in our van when they were building it and works great.

When running of the Honda 2 we found you need to set the temp not too low to start with or it cuts the genny out, say if the van is 38deg set the a/c to 30deg then slowly drop the temp on the a/c and the genny runs at around half revs.

We now get almost all day on one tank with the a/c running compared to under 4 hours running with the Heron 2.2 we had in the last van due I think to no compressor kicking on and off as the inverter just slows right down and still cold air coming out of the head unit.

Down the river last summer it was over 40deg and the van was un full sun and the a/c kept the van at 25deg (didn't need to go colder but could of done) and once the van is cooled the genny varies from idle to just over idle.

Ours below also with a cover we made.



AnswerID: 540395

Follow Up By: Alan K - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:53

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:53
Hello, looks very similar to what i am wanting to do, and i intend to mount on drawbar to give it a softer ride, can you tell me what model and capacity your split system is, and thanks for the advise about bringing temp down in stages, thanks Alan
FollowupID: 826250

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:12

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:12
Very tidy but what is the ball weight with all that stuck on the A frame
FollowupID: 826254

Follow Up By: Stone Stomper - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 21:22

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 21:22
Hi Alan,

It's a Kelvinator KSV 3.5kw Inverter reverse cycle, on heat even the lowest heat setting of 16deg gets the van real toast, I looked at the 2.5kw but it was only 2kg weight difference and the unit sizes are the same.

Hi Tom,

The ball weight is around 220kg plus the bikes and we tow with 200LC, the extra roof space now allows for the extra solar.



FollowupID: 826273

Reply By: DesF - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:57

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 14:57
Hi Mate has a Mitsubnisjhi fitted to rear of his van, and it works very well and is super quiet, he fitted it himself and just got it charged up, I think they now come loaded and activate when you screw up the last pipe connection, he ran the pipes into the overhead cupboards and fitted the unit about halfway along over the beds, would be better on the end as the l/h bed gets all the direct air,
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 540396

Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:01

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:01
Alan, you might want to check the weight difference between a dedicated caravan airconditioner, and a household one (household one could be much heavier) - and whether the household unit is suitable for a transportation setting.
Horses for courses and all that - but each unit is designed for a specific purpose.

The dedicated caravan AC is almost certainly lighter and should be designed to resist vibration and impact shocks that it will encounter when travelling - particularly over rough roads.
The household AC has no such parameters in its design, it is designed to be placed in position and never move again.

I guess I'll have detractors state that dedicated caravan AC's are only built to light weight and low price parameters - but it would certainly be worth discussing with any household AC dealer, whether they are happy with their unit being used in a caravan, and whether the warranty still applies if used in such an application.

The only other factor I would rate as worthy of consideration is to remember that most household/electrical items today are fitted with a range of electronic controllers - and these electronic controllers are usually very fussy about voltage parameters.

In my experience, small gensets produce wide fluctuations in voltage (unlike heavier gensets that are usually more stable with power output), and this voltage fluctuation can mean death to electronic components - unless the manufacturer has inbuilt protection against such fluctuations.

Just my 0.02c worth, I'll now stand back and prepare to be torched to a crisp by the electrickery "experts". [;-)

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 540397

Follow Up By: Travelling - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:36

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:36
Ron sadly you are so wrong on all accounts.
Inverter split systems are the around the same weight as those horrid dinosaur useless noisy roof top air cons.
A good generator like a Yamaha or Honda can supply more stable voltage than a mains supply. Inverter generator sets keep incredibly stable voltage.
FollowupID: 826247

Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:36

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:36
Ron N,

I think you have raised valid issues for consideration, especially are they built to handle the vibration encountered on road, most likely not an issue if you stick to the hard top but something to consider for server corrugations etc.

The unit may also be heavier as you pointed out but judging by what I have read in different forums may well be more efficient then one that is built to be as small and as light as possible, therefore you may be able to get away with a small unit?

Mounting will also be a main consideration, the thin allow tubes in the condenser would certainly not take kindly to stones hits etc.


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FollowupID: 826248

Follow Up By: Alan K - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:57

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:57
Hello, i am aware of mounting the tubing securely to stop vibration, i am mounting the unit on the drawbar so as to reduce vibration and have a smoother ride. My van is only suitable for bitumen road, so no problems with rough roads, thanks for ideas Alan
FollowupID: 826251

Reply By: Travelling - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:45

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:45
There are substantial numbers of domestic inverter split systems on caravans and motorhomes. You need to keep to the well known quality brands. If mounted on the A frame your chances of the inverter system failing is virtually nil. What is important is the piping is supported well so it doesn't work fatigue, harden and crack. Plenty of clamps and support to prevent vibration fixes that.
Panasonic is good, but service is if needed is not the best.
Mitsubishi is excellent and if you want to use the unit for serious heating in 0C or less temperatures, Mitsubishi is the only brand to consider. Reason up in the snow country you only see Mitsubishi units used.
LG, Daiken, Panasonic, Mitsubishi and other major recognised brands all good and reliable. Don't make the mistake of buying cheap unknown as it will cost you. There are some shockers about.

The unit shown on the Crusader is a rebadged unit and not made by Kelvinator. They are known to use excessive or higher perhaps is a better term startup current compared to other brands.

To date we have never had a caravan or motorhome into the workshop with a failed main line brand.
AnswerID: 540398

Follow Up By: Alan K - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:00

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:00
Thanks, yes spoke to a air con guy, said best to stick with Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy or Panasonic, definately no cheap brands, he has installed many in houses and feels they are all good, he was just concerned with using it on generator. Thanks Alan
FollowupID: 826252

Follow Up By: gbc - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:43

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 16:43
Did he mention that the industry heavily prefers mits electric over mits heavy? I'd put the Panasonic over the mits heavy.
We always had domestic AC units on trawlers and there are plenty on pleasure craft as well. They will take a fair hiding.
FollowupID: 826255

Reply By: patsproule - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 20:24

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 20:24
I put a large dual-head Mitsu Heavy Industries household inverter split in a TV OB truck and it was a fabulous unit. I cant remember the size but at 100% full power it could draw 14 amps. Regular load was 4 to 8 amps and it kept a poorly insulated pantech full of equipment and people at a perfect 21 degrees regardless of the temp outside. We ran it off an EU6500i Honda (whole truck ran on two of these). The AC units were quiet as could be and super reliable. I'd buy another in a heartbeat and given how well it held up in the truck I'd happily put a smaller unit in a caravan. The Honda's were brilliant units too.
AnswerID: 540417

Reply By: Villatranquilla - Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 12:59

Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 12:59
spoke to an aircon serviceman in the Pilbara last year and he said Mitsubishi Electric were the best and withstood the harsh climate in the Pilbara. We will be going down that same path very shortly as our Dometic rooftop model struggles, is noisy and will not run off the Honda 2.0
AnswerID: 540442

Reply By: Dingojim - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 16:01

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 16:01
Hi all. In our M/h we have a TECO wall mount type with both heat and cool functions. It's only a small unit, equivalent to their current model TWW17---------. Last Nov/Dec when we were in NW Qld with temps continually in the mid to high 40's this little unit kept us ay a comfy 28 which is more than one should expect from a small unit as most A/C blokes will tell you that they won't cool much more than 10-12 degrees below ambient temp. The heating is pretty efficient as well and the minus 3-4 we copped in Alice Springs in July this year was made bearable. The 2 Kva Honda handles it with ease and fan noise inside the M/h is not unpleasantly loud. Can't compare it to any other makes but I would be quite happy to replace it with one of the same make when the time comes. Slightly OT but pleased to see OE gathering at Ross River Resort in 2015. Cheers.
AnswerID: 540514

Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 12:16

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 at 12:16
I had a split system put on our van 9 yrs ago which has been sold since, it was great and only cost around $500 plus about the same again to fit it. Make sure you measure the size of your van there's no sense in getting one that way too big they only cost more and draw more power. Keep an eye on mounting brackets because they're not designed for travelling and could be prone to cracking though I didn't have any trouble with mine. I also put a ratchet strap over mine when travelling but don't do it up too tight. I would definitely make sure it's secure maybe even making a cage around it last thing you want is to have it fall off when travelling.
AnswerID: 540642

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