12 volt Airconditioners

Submitted: Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:00
ThreadID: 13047 Views:6191 Replies:5 FollowUps:10
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When building our new van we want to cater for as many 12 volt appliances as possible. Is there a 12 volt airconditioner available??? J&G
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Reply By: Nudenut - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:26

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:26
a 12 volt airconditioner would'nt operate for very long with such a limited power supply....they use too much energy and would soon stop!

even solar power used in domestic situations (and they have plenty of batteries) would'nt be able to run an airconditioner...

Gen sets, unless its a big'n would also have trouble, but a solid state starter woudl assist with reducing size of gen set.

Get a 240 volt aircon fitted and use caravan park if you really want creature comforts.. like my wife.......she'll sleep under the stars......no less than 3 and no more than 5

Having said that you may get a 12 volt evaporative cooler type (have no idea where) and then you have to carry a good supply of water ...more weight weight weight
AnswerID: 59530

Follow Up By: Member - Gajm (VIC) - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:31

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:31
when you post a reply you want to make certain it gets read!! lol, bloody computers
FollowupID: 321167

Follow Up By: flappan - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:33

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:33
You are pretty confident in your answer then

Lol . . .
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:40

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:40
hit a wong key and comp sort of froze and I tried to get out and then thought i could finsh what i was try to say etc etc ....my apologies to all
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 17:31

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 17:31
Thanks Nudes, A while back I had seen a van with a cooling system running on 12 volt, and just suspected it was an airconditioner, all I know it it was very small & effective. So maybe it was an evaporative cooler. Just thought I would ask anyway, there is some bright sparks out there who try all sorts of things. Jen
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 17:33

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 17:33
I think it may those wong specs that made you hit the wong key:>) Jen
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Reply By: Davoe - Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:59

Friday, May 21, 2004 at 11:59
as nudey continually sais you can certainly get 12v evaporative systems - we had one on the top of a f100 campervan it had little trouble emptying a 20l jerry fairly quickly and I am unsure of powere consumption as well as just waiting to be knocked off the top. another cheaper option may be to look at an inverter and buy those wheel around evaporative coolers - they are cheap as chips 2nd hand but are of limited effectiveness go to a caravan accessory seller or 12 v shop if you want it someone has probablty created it (wheather it is worth buying is another matter)
AnswerID: 59541

Reply By: Jimbo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:36

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:36
Evaporative coolers use less than 100 watts. Therefore a cheap evap cooler which can be had for less than $100 new and 150 watt inverter for about $70 will work fine as long as your battery can power it and you've got water.

Have a look at the plate/sticker on the back of the cooler in the shop, they usually have the wattage detailed.

AnswerID: 59670

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:56

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 10:56
G'day Jim, Evaporative cooler sounds the thing. Are you able to get them quite small and fitted into the wall of the van??
In the van we have now, we have an inverter and a very strong seperate battery, it is not powered from the vehicle and yet can be charged from the vehicle. We also carry a battery charger, for when electricity is available. Geoff is out at the minute, otherwise I would have been able to ask him the size and brand, and it runs practically everything. All you need sometimes is a bit of coolness to get off to sleep and then let a fan take over during the cooler parts of the night.Thanks for your reply, Jen
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:07

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 12:07

I have never seen a wall mounted evap cooler, but that doesn't mean they dont exist. The portable jobs can be quite small.

Evap coolers do not need a hole in the wall to draw air. You actually need to keep a window open to allow air to circulate. Some also have an ice compartment as well as water to cool the air.

Be warned though that they are useless in humid condtions. If you are planning to use them in the tropics, forget it.

Even in Melbourne we get a day or two over summer where the evaporative cooling in our house is inneffective due to humidity. In Qld it would be a useful as hip pockets on your undies.

FollowupID: 321283

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 16:41

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 16:41
Jim, We are from the near tropics and understand we could only use them in the dry heat of the west. What I had seen in a van was a narrow gadget on the inside and a bit bigger on the out, just cooling the bedroom area. Maybe it is something like what Col is talking about in the thread below. Anyway we will do some research and see what we can come up with. Thanks Jen.
FollowupID: 321293

Reply By: colin - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:59

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 15:59
Long distant trucks have 12 volt evaporater aircons fitted for the sleeper cab a must for long haul drivers, they will run for more than 12 hours and still start the big diesals these vehicles have, go to a truck stop and speak to the drivers they will give all the ins and outs. Col
AnswerID: 59695

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 16:45

Saturday, May 22, 2004 at 16:45
Col, that is interesting, it would be worth looking into and asking a few questions. We will be having a seperate sleeping area in which could be closed to a minimum. Thanks for your reply, Jen
FollowupID: 321294

Reply By: Grog - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:17

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 00:17
Not sure if this helps, cos its looking at a 240V (low comsumption) option, but we have an older Jayco Dove. I love the heat of the WA north, my wife hates it. I want to be in remote red dirt or on the, she'd rather have her feet clean. I've been tossing up what to do to get her cool so I can be hot away from mains power. A small wallmount 240V less than 1HP (which is 750W) will run on a 1000W generator which can be purchased for under $400 now days. I am not yet sure whether the generator will handle the initial stratup though as this can require a lot more powere to get the compressor going. The big problem is taht the copper tubing inside will die while offroading - not having been built for the purpose.

My latest idea is to buy a 3/4HP portable refrig unit - you know the ones that roll around on wheels and have about an 80-100mm exhause pipe. I'm thinking of putting one of these in a padded box, putting a cat flap in the van door for the exhaust and hooking it up to the generator while off in the bush. Of course the big advantage is that I can point it directly at my wife so she's as cool as a cucumber while I'm catching a feed of whiting. I think my 1000W generator will handle the startup, the unit will handle the bumps while being transported in the padded box, and the box can be used as a seat in the annexxe while we're camped! They're lightweight. They're around $800 new (I hope to get 2nd hand) which is way cheaper that the $1800+ of the purpose built van splits. It won't cool the whole van, but the bit your can be cool (its sort of like having manual zone switching - just rotate the unit!). All round I reckon its a winner BUT I'm keen to hear any objections 'cos it seems too simple and surely everyone'd be doing it!!!! Have I overlooked someting???

Good luck. Grant.
AnswerID: 60846

Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Friday, Jun 04, 2004 at 11:14

Friday, Jun 04, 2004 at 11:14
We have a Air Commander (240V) airconditioner fitted to my van as standard. I was interested to find that Honda EU20 generators are rated to run this brand of caravan aircon.

Darwin NT
Prado TD
Jayco Freedom
FollowupID: 323128

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