Hot or Cold

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:00
ThreadID: 119298 Views:1839 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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I have a pop top caravan without airconditioning. I have only done a few small trips and to date never needed anything more than a small fan and small blower heater. I do realise that airconditiong would be ideal, however cost is always an inhibitor. Obviously most of the bigger appliances require 240v access. I am considering extending my travels, including free camping, and I am interested in getting feedback from those that have travelled without airconditioning and whether I should bite the bullet and spend the money.
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Reply By: TCM - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:25

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:25
Hi Keith,
Haven't travelled much where we have needed our aircon but use our diesel heater more often.
Tony.
AnswerID: 556340

Reply By: barry22 - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:04

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:04
Hi Keith,

We have a poptop, and because we are retired, we follow the nice weather. This does not mean you wont be cold overnight sometimes, which we realised in outback QLD a couple of years ago in June/July. Sometimes down to zero. We fitted a gas heater, and after some fiddling with the thermostat found it works well. I would not go up that way (and freecamp) without the heating.

As for the AirConditioning, friends have told me the airconditioners are noisy, and they were very disappointed they spent the money on it. Not much fun locked up in a noisey van, day or night as far as I am concerned.

As I said, we aim to go away when/where the temps are pleasant. Doesn't work as well if you are still employed though :(.

Barry
AnswerID: 556342

Reply By: desray (WA - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:08

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:08
Keith H7 were are you
AnswerID: 556344

Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:18

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:18
Been camping for 20 yrs, summer and winter and have only used a small gas heater on top of a gas bottle 3 times...took a while to light because it was minus 4.

In summer, always try and get shade and in winter, don't look for it !!

Summer as said, get under shade and just chill out if you can and in winter, rug up....in bed too if you have to...plus flano sheets and a good doona as well.. and get a campfire going.
AnswerID: 556347

Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 08:30

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 08:30
Hopefully not used inside. A read of the papers over the last two weeks would give reasons why
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FollowupID: 842514

Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 08:35

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 08:35
Like this

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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 18:13

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 18:13
All good mate, we only use it to warm the van up and are mindful of ventilation while doing so..
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FollowupID: 842633

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:40

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 21:40
Our van (2nd hand) came with a/c. In 7 years we've rarely used it, except on one occasion, a forced 7 day camp in 35 deg heat at King Edward River while waiting for replacement shocks to be flown in to Drysdale.

Rest of the time it's too noisy, or can't run a gennie due to Nat Parks policy or some such. If I were to buy the van new, I would specify no a/c. We just don't get the value out of it.

If you frequent powered sites (we don't) it may be a different story for you.

Cheers
FrankP

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AnswerID: 556348

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 00:17

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 00:17
I have a/c in my van and have rarely used it. I had it added as an option when being built as it (arguably) adds resale value.

If I already had a van, wouldn't bother adding an a/c to it. In the 5 years I have had my van, probably used it 2 or 3 times.

But a diesel heater, there's an option worth its weight in gold!!!

Cheers

Captain
AnswerID: 556350

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 07:36

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 07:36
We own a "wind up" van and the left side rolls up to let the outside in.

As we spend the majority of our time outside the van, under the awning, we have never found the need for heat or cooling inside the van.
A campfire (where allowed) provides all the heat necessary for those colder nights and when retiring, 30 secs under the doona and we are as warm as toast.

Just my thoughts!

Bill


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AnswerID: 556357

Reply By: 671 - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:29

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:29
Keith
My wife and I have traveled extensively for just over forty years initially in a very small caravan followed by a one ton van then an assortment of pop top camper bodies on 2 and 4wd utes and have never had any form of heating or cooling. We just dress in accordance with the conditions and don't mind wearing a jacket or whatever is necessary when inside the camper.

We currently live in a semi rural area with a climate virtually identical to Sydney. Our house is not air conditioned and the only form of heating is a wood fire that is not a slow combustion. It is only used for about one third of the winter months between the hours of dark to about 9.00 pm.

If you really need heating of cooling for medical reasons or whatever then by all means install it. If not then having it in a caravan is just another expense, more weight and something else to go wrong.
AnswerID: 556370

Reply By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:37

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:37
Keith
We have both air conditioner and diesel heater in our van, use the diesel heater for heating as it is soo much less noisy even when mains power is available, and also it will continue to operate in sub zero temps (an air conditioner will ice up and stop heating when the outside temp is below 4 deg c).

For the little use that our air conditioner gets I would be very tempted to delete that option in any new van that I was having built for me.

Diesel heaters are not expensive to run, about 1 litre of fuel per day when in the Stanthorpe area with a 20ft van (well insulated inc double glazed windows) mid winter with ambient temps as low as -5 and maintaining 20c + in van.

Hope this help.
Regards
Athol
AnswerID: 556372

Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 13:10

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 13:10
"diesel heater for heating as it is soo much less noisy " - for you inside maybe but bloody noisy for those camped nearby. At least the one in my mates big expensive caravan is - he usually parks the car beside the van to try to limit the noise for others nearby.
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FollowupID: 842523

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:53

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:53
Koznalong
I have used my diesel heater in both free camps and caravan parks for over 6 years an I have never had any complaints, or comments, in relation to noise.
I consider it to be less noisy than most roof top air conditioners both inside and outside the van.

I would question your mate as to the fitment of an exhaust muffler, which I have been told is not always supplied as part of some kits.

Both heaters that I have installed and used are Webasto units.

Regards
Athol
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FollowupID: 842540

Follow Up By: RedCherokee - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 20:38

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 20:38
Those Webasto heaters are noisier than air conditioners for those camped alongside - or along the wrong side.

I have never complained as most people turn them off when they go to bed, so it isn't an issue worth complaining about.

And for the record, I wouldn't be without my air con. It depends on where you camp and how rapidly you change climatic regions. We went from -7 nights to +20 nights within about four days. I cannot acclimatise that quickly. The air con also provides relief from sudden humidity. A decent genie is quieter, imho.

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FollowupID: 842601

Reply By: Member - rooster350 - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:29

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:29
For cooling we use a 12v fan...Caframo Sirocco , not cheap but uses very little power and does a great job, we put it on low speed and point it at the ceiling..their is no "buffering" effect doing it that way...and for heating another blanket works fine.
AnswerID: 556404

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