Is the ac really worth it

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 12:10
ThreadID: 54627 Views:1666 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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Got a 15ft supreme poptop van and im traverling with wife &4yo from cairns to WA in July to October (cooler months) It has 12v fans in it and a diesal heater but no a/c do you think its a must or as im free camping 95% of the time i will need to run my honda eu gennie its just fine with 12v fans. Not sure if to spend the $2500 on it or not. Q1 How often would you use yours. Cheers Tony
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 12:29

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 12:29
Balko,

I bought a new van 16 months ago and had a roof top Dometic A/C installed and now wish I had not bothered.

I find ours is noisy on both cool and heat and have since found out that it is not the same type of A/C as used in your home.

I would not get one again. I just use 12V and 240V fans for cooling depending on power source and a 240V floor heater for heat, or just put more clothes on or more blankets if off mains power.

As you say, you are outside 95% of the time so stand around the fire if its cold.

As I said I would save my money next time.

Cheers,

Cruiser
AnswerID: 287767

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 14:53

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 14:53
I agree with Cruiser, and would spend my money on something else. My wife however, would say it is ESSENTIAL....LOL!! each to their own hey? Whatever the wife is most happiest with will allow you to enjoy your trip that much more I reckon, so ask her hehehehehe.

Cheers, Trevor.
AnswerID: 287785

Follow Up By: balko - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:12

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:12
Looks like its shaping up as a ,save your money, Might look at a small portable one there only a few hundred bucks and can throw in the boot when not in use . Thanks for the tip guys Cheers Tony PS yes trevor if the kids not happy mums not happy if mums not happy dads not happy WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP EVERY ONE HAPPY. lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:38

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:38
Trevor,

My wife agrees. In our case $2500 wasted and could have been spent on something else, but we were ignorant at the time and its only by living with it for a while that you realise these things.

Cheers,

Cruiser
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:36

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:36
Balko,

We meet a guy at Normanton who has a standard $499 domestic Reverse cycle split system in his van rather than the standard roof top caravan type A/C.

He had the compressor fitted across the draw bar and the head was above the bed which was at the front of his van. He said he completed the whole exercise for less than $1000.

Of course its only good for when 240V is available, but I am surprised that there aren't more manufacturers doing this.

Probably not an option for you on a pop top though.

Cheers,

Cruiser.

AnswerID: 287788

Reply By: Member - Rotord - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:49

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 15:49
The Dometic is old technology , expensive per/btu , noisy , and the roof mount adds drag while cruising . A modern split invertor system is far superior in all respects . You will see them with the external components mounted on caravan rear bumpers . The cheap portables are evaporative and don't work very well in humid conditions . Price a small invertor system and you will be pleasantly surprised . Being split , installation should be simple . Remember that it is a capital investment so you may be able to recoup the cost when you sell the caravan . There are portable refrigerant airconditioners , which are another option , but they are generally small capacity and something of a theft risk .
AnswerID: 287792

Reply By: swampy66 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 16:39

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 16:39
maybe you need to do the trip without A/C and tell the rest of us if we need to toughten up a bit.

have fun

swampy


disclaimer : unfortunately - i live in -10degrees c and dont have the same problem you have.
AnswerID: 287796

Reply By: balko - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 16:51

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 16:51
Thanks for all the replies . just rang a a/c mate who said he could get me a lg wall / window ac for $350 and will come around and see how we can fit it Its a good cheep option i think only time will tell. I know i will hold off on the $2500 one for now thank you Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 287797

Follow Up By: Member - Rotord - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:43

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:43
It's an option , but will be noisy . The first advantage of the split is less noise .
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FollowupID: 553091

Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 18:28

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 18:28
K-Mart had split systems on special recently at $300, which would easily refrigerate your van!

In my view anything would be better than an LG.
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FollowupID: 553096

Follow Up By: wazzaaaa - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:45

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:45
Hi Balko,
Have a look at what this guy did to a few caravans
Wazzaaaaa
link
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Follow Up By: wazzaaaa - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:56

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 21:56
I don't know what happened there but copy and past this link
http://groups.msn.com/Caravanersforum/airconditionerinstalls.msnw
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Follow Up By: LGen1 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:14

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:14
Gerhardp1, What's wrong with an LG?
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Follow Up By: Gerhardp1 - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:36

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:36
I was told by a number of store salespeople, when shopping for Plasma TV, to avoid LG. Reason quoted was the atrocious service level when problems occur, which they reportedly do with alarming regularity. TVs would be collected, and not seen again for months, no loan unit. All heresay, but a google of LG service will reveal the experiences of others.

I bought a Pioneer and it's fantastic. It had a buzzing issue which would not have been noticed by most (due to my room being super quiet), but they came and took it away, leaving me with a brand new loaner of the same model (which was quieter). Two weeks later it came back with the excessive noise removed, new firmware flashed in to cater for some HD changes by the TV broadcasters (these changes brought LG TVs to their knees for months, with LG not accepting that they should fix their products, eventually they did to avoid class actions). The Pioneer didn't falter when the broadcast changes were implemented, but the firmware apparently renders a better picture. I can't tell the difference, the picture is superb anyway :) Point is, LG TV's died, the Pioneer kept working.

I have several friends in the Aircon game, their recommendation is Fujitsu, Mitsubishi or Daikin for the best longevity in domestic series units, but some of the cheaper ones are OK for low intensity usage.
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FollowupID: 553148

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:02

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 17:02
I saw a family at Hillsbourgh N.P. near Mackay in January, they had an A/C in their camper.

I was talking to him and he said they didn't need it, although the wife and kids were happy and that was good enough for him.

Apparently he spent $4500 on the camper and she spent about $6000 on gear to put in it.

I just used a $20 dollar fan that oscillated and moved the air about, it was more than fine, I could also run it off an inverter so no need for a big gen-set to run it.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 287800

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 18:38

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 18:38
Hi Tony

Are yours fans extractor fans? We have seen a BT with two roof vent type fans (one taking air out and the other taking air in). They operate automatically and the owners said had they known how effective they were, they wouldn't have got an air con.

Our BT has a Dometic roof air con, and in 2005 it was rather hot when we were going away in January so we purchased a Honda 2 genny. When we stopped early on a very hot day, it was worth it's weight in gold. I can't cope in the heat, and appreciated the cooling. We only used it 5 or 6 times. In 2006 we spent 3 months away, including Tassie, and didn't need to use the air con at all, even on the mainland.

If you don't have an air con in your van, but have one in the tow vehicle, in really hot weather you can organise your day so you are driving in comfort during the hottest hours.

Motherhen

Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

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