How good are caravan air conditioners

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:16
ThreadID: 69919 Views:28964 Replies:12 FollowUps:30
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Hi,
We are looking around to upgrade our camper to a caravan or may be a crossover.

One option with the caravan is that you can put in a reverse cyle air conditioner which is a bit expensive. The crossovers I have looked at don't have this option.

In our current camper we usually just have a fan when hot and open the windows.

I was wandering how good these are and do people use them a lot when traveling. My wife is not that keen on one but I feel the heat a bit (but have the found the fan adequate to date).

Thanks,
Richard
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Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:32

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:32
Hi there. Our caravan had a reverse cycle A/C when we bought it. We didn't really have an A/C on our wish list. But we found out very quickly how gresat it was to have, both in summer (Normanville SA in February) and then in winter (Bright in May). The downside is (a) noise; (b) cost and (c) something else to go wrong. Would not be without it!!!!!
Our's is a poptop caravan,with the A/C under one bunk, with the outlet in the floor. Julie, my wife, chose that bunk, before she realised where the noise was going to come from!
AnswerID: 370547

Follow Up By: richard - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:47

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:47
Chris,
Bugger!!!

Given the cost I was hoping to forget about it :).


Richard
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:34

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:34
OK, Richard. Here's a better reply to table before the management committee meeting:
"A caravan air conditioner is a relatively expensive item. It will cost at least $2200 plus fitting, and may involve significant loss of storage space. Many people consider the noise level of a typical caravan A/C to be a serious problem. Naturally, the units are strictly 240V operations, and so are useless away from either the mains grid, or a high output generator (which, itself course problems of noise etc.).
You can delete the following paragraph from your report, if you wish:
If you REALLY want to get up to a warm van in the icey cold mornings, or if you REALLY want to sleep at night, even when all around you are sweating profusely and getting cranky, then go ahead and fit an A/C.

Actually, its a bugger if you are considering a bush camp vs a park camp, because it has the unfortunate ability to swing you towards a commercial park.
Oh dear, and sorry, Richard
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Follow Up By: richard - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:48

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:48
Chris,
Thanks for that reply, but bugger!! again :).

It is not only the issue of whether to get one or not - if we decide to go that way then we are looking at the caravan instead of the crossover (which I like). I do feel the heat - particularly at night. One trip to Lightning Ridge we ended up in a hotel as it was in the mid 40 degrees which is still an option.

In Cooper Peedy it was in the mid 30s at 18:00+ but found with the fan I was OK.


Richard
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Follow Up By: GLX3000 - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 17:35

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 17:35
We have a 20 footer with Dometic Reverse cycle A/C. After having been away from the van (cruising in the climate controlled Exceed), coming back to a stinking hot van is no fun. The A/C fairly quickly changes all that. However, they are noisy inside the van, and the heating function is almost useless. Given to time it takes to warm up while you have to endure the cold breeze it is blowing, we decided to purchase an electric heater.

A max output 2000 watt genny won't drive it, so we have a 2400 Yamaha as a standby for freestays. The genny is quiet enough to be drowned out by the A/C.

While camped at Blackpoint in SA I did see a van with a normal domestic split system installed. Compressor on the A frame and condenser somewhere handy inside I suppose. Now that, I think, is worth investigating. Lot cheaper than dedicated 'van stuff, yet similar wattages, plus a much bigger condenser, so perhaps more effective cooling.

wood4me
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:57

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 18:57
Have only had our van a few weeks but can report that the reverse / heating function (on the Aircommand Ibis) is great on a chilly morning ! While the cooling function will be a treat I'm sure, a cautionary word on the heating cycle - apparently all of the makes suffer from a tendency for the inlet side to ice up when employed as a heater on a frosty morning - so, below several degrees C, they won't run in heat cycle - it's a safety thing, to prevent a fire - when we need the heat most, we can't have it :-o). A budget fan heater for the floor fixes that anyway, but it's more stuff to carry !
AnswerID: 370555

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:00

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:00
"it's a safety thing, to prevent a fire"
I wouldn't say that

cant find any info on what is minimum temperature for heating capability but one would expect at least -5-7C at minimum. If it cant work at those temps its not designed to cope with cool aus winters.

if you are being told that (the fire risk), my guess would be that's its not made to work at those temperatures. and lets assume the thing isnt, the main problems for failure is likely to be a mechanical breakage in the compressor such as discharge valve, piston, con rod, crank...and most likely in that order, not a fire.

"apparently all of the makes suffer from a tendency for the inlet side to ice up when employed as a heater on a frosty morning"...yes this is so for domestic and commercial systems all of which have de-icing protection methods to prevent those problems as does I believe the Ibis.
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Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:17

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:17
we spoke to air command re the Ibis, and was assured that they have a defrost cycle ( element ) that comes on to prevent the icing up, and can work from zero degrees...... steer clear of DOMETIC, which we have, does not even work until ambient temp outside is 7 degrees, when we picked up our new van last november and we read relevant paper work on all appliances, that was the first we had heard ( or read ) that this R/C aircon does not work below 4 deg. WHY the hell not, that is when one needs heat is it not.... we are still trying to get windsor to come to the party and swap this piece of junk for the one we wanted in the first place and they refused to install
AnswerID: 370559

Follow Up By: jeepthing - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:39

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:39
I have a Dometic and I am not having the issues you seem to be having. Ours works no matter what the outside temperature is, once you turn the heat strip on it starts heating doesn't matter what the outside temperature is.

If yours is not doing that I think you have a problem with the unit.

If the ambient temperature outside is 7 you really need to turn it straight to High Heat, ours works fine at 2 degrees that's the coldest we had so for and I can't see that it wouldn't keep the van warm when the temperature is in -.
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Follow Up By: PatrolSTL04 - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 00:24

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 00:24
Our Dometic Aircon was a complete waste of money.
Output temperature measured at vent was 12-13 degrees....simply far too warm to cool it down.
Spoke to Dometic...they said that this was spot on. Dometic rep told me to contact Air Command....confidence in his product....doh !!
Pulled out the Dometic, sold it for $1000 to a poor sucker. Air Command is brilliant....temp at vent 2 degrees...and much more quiet.
Brett....
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Follow Up By: jeepthing - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 12:57

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 12:57
Patrol surely 12c to 13c should be cool enough to get your inside temperature to a comfortable 23/24c unless you have all the windows and doors open.

Anyway, I decided to do some testing of my unit this morning as a matter of interest. I have a Dometic Roof Top Model B3200. I have a 16' van fully insulated.

HEATING

Ambient temperature was 11c and the inside temperature was 14c. I set the heating on high. After 10 mins the air coming out of the unit was 42c, after the 20 minutes the temperature inside the van was 30c.

COOLING

I cooled the van down from 30c and the unit was set on high. After 10 minutes the air coming from the unit was 6c and after 20 minutes the inside temperature was 15c...too damn cold for me.

I don't find the unit to be noisy from a mechanical perspective however the air noise coming from the vent at high setting is certainly noisy. This is because the vents are not that big, but set on low I don't find it to be excessively noisy but other people who are light sleepers may.

Maybe you had a lemon, but I'm happy with mine.



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FollowupID: 638329

Reply By: richard - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:57

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 19:57
Guys,
What about a portable one . Storage could be an issue though.


Richard
AnswerID: 370568

Reply By: kend88 - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 20:37

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 20:37
We have a pop top caravan (535 Coromal) and considered having air con fitted when we bought it second hand. Decided to have our fisrt trip without it, including Darwin in early May 2007when it was very very hot.
We bought two 12 inch box fans for about $30 each which sit nicely on the upper shelf at whichever end any wind is blowing in from. They, (usually just one), have been more than adequate in keeping us comfortable, except on perhaps two days each trip when neighbouring vans airconditioning havn't been effective either.
On those days we spend a fair bit of time in the shade in the caravan park pool during the day, or at the shopping centre, and a movie at night.
On that first trip we also spent time in the Snowy Mountains when here was snow, and found that a $30 fan heater warmed up the van and kept it that way in about 10 mins.
The pop top is great for using the fans as it is so open and airy, they may not be as effective in a full van. Nowhere near as noisy as an airconditioner either. People said it would be hard to warm up the pop top, but we have had no problem.
Cheers

KenD
Bris

AnswerID: 370577

Follow Up By: richard - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 21:09

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 21:09
Ken
Hi - I am not as worried about the cold as reckon it is easier to keep/get warm and your option is as good as any.

As mentioned above I have found the fans OK to date but with the option of air conditioning I was interested in what people thought.

I raised another thread awhile ago how they found campers like the TVAN (we are looking at the VistaRV vs a caravan) where there does not seem to be as much ventilation.

Richard
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FollowupID: 637898

Follow Up By: kend88 - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 22:20

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 22:20
G'day Richard
Understand what you mean. Fans probably wont be as effective in a more closed in van.
Cheers
KenD
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Reply By: paulnsw - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:09

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:09
Caravan roof air conditioners are rubbish and expensive. Aircommand are expensive junk.
Fitted a Mitsubishi inverter 2600btu domestic split system on the A frame and moved the gas bottles each side. Fitted head under end of bed. Powers from Yamaha 1kva. Mitsubishi purchase and installation cost $947. Steel and welding to move gas bottles $64. Unit is quiet and works fantastic in heating and cooling. Talked to many caravanners who fitted domestic inverter system and as long as you buy big name brand and mount on front of van or A frame they dont break.
AnswerID: 370611

Follow Up By: Member - Black Mac - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:36

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:36
Paulnsw I must agree with everything you said.Could you please email me photos if you have any as I intend to do the same thing to my van.

Some time ago I saw a link to some one who had fitted one to a Roadstar van but iI can no longer find it. If someone knows the site could they please let me know

Regards Jock
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Follow Up By: Member - Terry W (ACT) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:34

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:34
Hi Paul,

If you have one, you probably should get it checked. Our experience is quite the reverse. We have an Aircommand Ibis which is fabulous. Quickly warms our 20 foot Sterling to 22 degrees in Canberra mid winter (from around or below zero) and handles high 30s for quick cooling. Haven't yet used it above 38 degrees, but works fine at that temperature which is pretty good. It is also relatively quiet and is quite unobtrusive. It is only 12 months old next month, so maybe they have improved since yours?
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Follow Up By: paulnsw - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 08:55

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 08:55
Terry reading on couple of other forums you must have the only Aircommand Ibis that works. Everybody else complains about failures, leaks, wont start and what a load of rubbish they are. Congratulations on getting an Aircommand that has not failed.

Jock my van is in storage and dont have photos. The Roadstar would have been Mr RV Davids van on http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/rvtravelau/ There are also photos and details of other vans on that forum who have fitted domestic inverter air cons. RVtravel is magic and amazing resource of van info but you need to abide by the rules to join and post. would never have got my van to where it is without the info there.
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Follow Up By: Member - Black Mac - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:17

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:17
Thanks Paul

Regards Jock
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Reply By: Ray - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:24

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:24
We have had our caravan (17' 6" full height Jayco) for about 18 years. I was fitted with an Air Command roof top air conditioner when we bought it. I can honestly say that we may have used it half a dozen times in the past 18 years on the cooling cycle and when it is cold we use one of those fan heaters. At times, when we first get up and boil the billy for a cupa, the heat from the gas stove is sufficient to warm the van. I wouldn't bother with one if I didn't have one and we live in W.A.

P.S. What is a crossover?
AnswerID: 370625

Follow Up By: Member - T N (Qld) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:36

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:36
Ray,
Its Thai for Ladyboy, snigger,snigger.
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Follow Up By: richard - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:52

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:52
Ray,
Not sure of what the official definition is and I suspect it is not Tom's definition.
I see it as something that has attributes of both a camper trailer and a caravan - I believe leaning more towards a camper trailer with offroad capabilities.

See Vista RV, Quantum Exodus, Topaz and more.

Probably just a buzz word for now.


Richard
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FollowupID: 638023

Reply By: Member - Steve & Paula - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 13:08

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 13:08
Richard,

The Quantum is a crossover made by Australian Offroad Campers that has an option where air-conditioning can be included.

Steve
AnswerID: 370671

Follow Up By: richard - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:47

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:47
Steve,
I am looking at the Quantum but their A/C is about $2500 Is 240V2KVA reverse cycle - I have no idea what this is.

The reason I started the thread was to see if people really used them much and if any good.

I am also looking at a VistaRV which does not have the A/C option.

We can't make up our minds which way to go but A/C is something I would have liked - if it looks essential then the Quantum becomes the favorite but will cost a fair bit more.

Richard
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FollowupID: 638020

Follow Up By: A J - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:32

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:32
Richard - 240V2KVA means.


240 volt motor on the unit.
Mains power when in a caravan park.



In the bush it would require a 2 KVA generator to drive the motor. This is why Quantum have an option of a generator box which will fit a 2 kva Honda generator.


A J
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FollowupID: 638183

Follow Up By: richard - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:38

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:38
Thanks AJ.

The Quantum is a good set up from what I have seen on the web. I have not been able to touch one yet.


Richard
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Follow Up By: A J - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:06

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:06
Richard - My wife first saw a Quantum drive down the street and thought it looked good - So she tracked down where they may be off to to have a closer look and spoke with the owner. He had just picked it up and was returning to Victoria.

We then decided to go down to the Sydney show which was a four hour drive - still could not make mind up so we headed off to the Melbourne show.

Very impressed with the Quantum - have decided to go ahead with the purchase.

It may be worth a flight to QLD to check them out.

I love to travel in the outback - but hate the dust in everything - quantum said to be dust proof.



A J
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FollowupID: 638192

Follow Up By: richard - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:25

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:25
Aj
We are off to Coffs this weekend - main reason I just became a grand father again an hour or so ago (had to get that one in :)) so will try and visit the show.

I don't believe the Quantum will be on display but the Vista will. We were tempted to go a bit further north but doubt we will have time, The next one is September I think.

I like the outback as well - I have not gone to far but appreciate what I have seen and plan to do a lot more of it

The current camper is fairly good if you close up the vents for the fridge - I did not once so know the benefit of having something dust proof :).

My wife likes the Vista but did like the pictures of the Quantum Eclipse and we definitely will try to see one before deciding.

Richard

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FollowupID: 638195

Reply By: A J - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:22

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:22
Richard - from what I can see by reading this forum most people only use their air conditioning on rare occasions.

We are in the same boat as yourselves in wanting to get away from canvas but do not want to tow a large caravan.

In respect to the crossover vans Australian Off Road Campers have released their other model the Eclipse and there is another builder - Ozzie Off Road Campers and they build a van called Gunyah - looks like a close cousin of the Quantum and Eclipse.

We are about to order our Quantum but will have a diesel heater instead of air conditioning as it always seem to be cold when we go on holidays. A fan will be carries for those hot nights. If it really gets that hot a few nights in an air conditioned motel or cabin could be taken out of the $2,500.

All reports we get from friends who have pop tops is that it is ok with all the top open at night and a fan going.



A J



AnswerID: 370915

Follow Up By: richard - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:49

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:49
AJ,
Another forum member , Les, is going through the same as well. I got to sell my camper trailer first.

Are you going for the Eclipse?

I have been in correspondence with AOR re the Eclipse. They just changed their design a bit - for the better and would very much like to see one. Unfortunately they are in QLD and I am in Canberra so can't just drop in.

Our other short listed one is the VistaRV (favorite so far). I have seen it and will be seeing again in Coffs on Sunday. It is cheaper than the Quatam Eclipse by about $4000. Although we would probable go for a few add ons. With the Quantum there are lots of add ons but expensive.

I like the size of the Vista better but the Eclipse on paper does seem to be a bit more comfortable.

It may come down to what i can fit in the garage. I am not sure the Eclispe will as only 50mm spare at the top and I have a sloping drive way which would make that interesting. I do have other parking options though.

Tis a hard decision.

If you don't mind me asking why did you pick the Quantum.


Richard




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Follow Up By: richard - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:57

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:57
Aj,
I have checked the Gunyah out on the web - it looks a lot like the Quantum but is to expensive for us.

The Quantum Eclipse (without any add ons) is even past what I have to spend but is close. That is why I am asking about things like air conditioning.

Any way will keep looking (and dreaming)


Richard


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FollowupID: 638188

Reply By: Member - Gary J (NSW) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:25

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:25
I don't have a van or a camper at the moment, we usually tent it these days.
But, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't caravan aircons require 240 volts to run them?

If so, what are the negatives to running a portable domestic reverse cycle air conditioner when required?
These are the ones that look like a drum on wheels with an inlet / outlet hose.
Cost is about $600.
I'm sure they could be secured in the back seat of a vehicle with a seatbelt (hmmm... bit dangerous maybe) but only taken when required. The other advantage is they could be used at home in a bedroom or such during the summer.

Tell me where I am going wrong.
AnswerID: 370926

Follow Up By: richard - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:46

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 16:46
Gary,
I believe one of the replies does that. It is an option I will have to consider as can't afford the A/C.

We currently carry a fan in the camper and use as required - so far it has been OK but the idea of nice cool air on those hot days does appeal - if they work.

Seems like from above some people get great benefit form them.

I am sure I would like one but ...


Richard
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FollowupID: 638198

Reply By: Les B (FNQ) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 21:43

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 21:43
Hi there Richard, sorry for the delay in replying we have been staying with friends in a "Valley of no reception" near Brunswick Heads. Now in Rockhampton.

Well we have made a decision. As a background, we have been discussing buying a caravan for over ten years but have not been able accept the restrictions inherent to towing a large bulk behind us as opposed to towing our present Aussie Swag camper trailer. But after a wet and windy trip last wet season we decided it was time to move out of canvas into a hard shell unit. So with the Brisbane C&C show coming up we left our home on the Atherton Tablelands for a trip of research to see exactly what is available and maybe make a purchase if we particularly liked a unit and a show special price applied. While down there we also scoured the used van market for a small offroad van with queen bed/dinette for 2 and preferred outside kitchen with no results.
On heading north toward home we decided to take a final look at the Eclipse in the factory in Caloundra. Steve Budden showed us the alterations underway The dinette is located as in the Quantum, the upright Waeco fridge is just inside the door and easily accessible from outside.

Your waiting for the decision Richard aren't you. It is the AORC Eclipse. The choice came down to the VistaRV or the Eclipse. We really liked the VistaRV I would be confident of towing it almost anywhere including the OTL Cape York but for our needs we felt the ventilation may not be adequate for the tropics and the outside kitchen could do with better storage of pots and pans etc. It was a difficult decision, 5 years ago we would have chosen the VistaRV but as we are in our low 60s ánd with my illness last week we decided to opt for the slightly more comfortable and roomier Eclipse. My wife liked the large storage area in the slideout kitchen.
The options we selected are , Hot water system, external shower fittings at rear, shower enclosure, 2nd 140l water tank, wheel upgrade and and we upgraded to the roll out awning over the standard gunyah style awning.
Steve also extended the show offer of the 120w solar panel/regulator installation.
So all we have to do now is find the $$$ and WAIT until late Nov for it to be built!
We will keep in touch.
Les
AnswerID: 371253

Follow Up By: Member - Richard C (ACT) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 15:46

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 15:46
Les,
I sent you an email - did you get it.

We went up to Coffs for the new grand child and then went for a swim at the Coffs Show (It was that wet).

We saw the Vista there again and liked it but some limitations started to show up.

My body shape is square and I can not get through the door unless I go sideways. My wife was not keen on the kitchen either. All still not a major problem though.

Being that close we made the decision to head north and see the Eclipse - I have a brother there as well, So we drove up on the Friday and then drove home to Canberra Saturday/Sunday. Just got home.

Well the long and short is that the Eclipse now is top of the list. My wife loved it so that is the main thing.

We have some issues with the tow bar as I have a Pajero and the spare wheel is in the way. If we can get that sorted and also find the money we will be going the Eclipse way as well for similar reasons - I think we will be more comfortable touring in the Eclipse.

We talked to Steve as well. Unfortunately we did not get the show offer - bugger.

The add ons we are interested in are hot water, shower system, mattress.

And if money available we will get the Solar system. If we don't get one we will get the wiring put in so we could use an external one.

One other thing we are thinking of is a television port for an external antenna. We have the set up but in the Quantum there are no holes to poke the cable through.

I also have to sell my Cub Camper.

So we may have an Eclipse club instead :)

Richard

PS which tyre upgrade did you get - I did not ask about that as was concerned aover the increase cost of add ons
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FollowupID: 639466

Reply By: Les B (FNQ) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:55

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:55
Richard
I have not received an email from you for over a week.

I had an email from Ian at Dreamtime he mentioned that he had met you. I advised him of our decision and the reasons for selecting the Eclipse.

We ordered the 16x8" wheel upgrade for $550. I replaced the factory 17"alloys with 16"steels when I bought the Patrol.

After we placed our order for the Eclipse I went back to add the inner spring mattress ($350) and I asked Steve to fit the internal and external TV antenna sockets. He did not mention an extra cost but I assume there would be.

I am thinking of asking for an external hatch to access the space under the left hand dinette seat, now that the door has been moved to the left there might be space. Or perhaps a cupboard door at the end of the seat that can be accessed through the main entry door. This will give extra storage for kitchenware and food. The Eclipse does not have as many external access hatches as the Quantum.

We are back home now and all is well.
Les





AnswerID: 372208

Follow Up By: Member - Richard C (ACT) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 18:23

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 18:23
Les,
Glad to hear you are now OK. I sent you an email the other week via member mail - not sure if you got it. I have been away for a week or so.

We are a bit tired after our big trip.

He mentioned the antenna sockets would cost a couple of hundred dollars to fit.

I wish he made us the offer about the solar panel. I asked him what needed to be fitted when building and he said the hot water and the solar. He will put the wiring in for an external or internal (on the roof I assume) solar if we like.
I must admit there is good and bad with having the solar panel on the roof.

The Paj has 17" wheels as well - I have a SWB and believe I can run 16" but it is not on the legal list and I already have to spend some money getting the car ready as i don't have electric breaks or an Anderson plug..

I like the idea of the change you are proposing but we need to keep the costs down as we are well above what we wanted to spend.

I will also have to get the spare on the back door raised as well. As mentioned there is not enough room for the hitch at the moment.

We need to do some thinking and hope will make up our mind soon.

Richard
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FollowupID: 639480

Follow Up By: Les B (FNQ) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:05

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 16:05
Hi Richard

Yes that was quite a trip you just did. Glad you like the Eclipse makes us that little bit more confident we made the right decision. I liked the simple construction of it, no motors winding assemblies up/down etc.

Pity you could not get the solar bonus, it was the clincher for us. We did not visit the factory to buy, only for another viewing before we headed up home. If not for that incentive we would have procrastinated for another 6 months.
Its a relief the decision is made but will be a long wait to mid-Nov.

Had they built the dinette table and seats into it when you seen it?
Did you examine the awning options. The gunyah style is standard while the Roll-out is an option. We ordered the rollout hoping it will be easier to put up although it only just covers the kitchen unit.

Thinking when we pick ours up I will need to go through in detail just where and how I can drill holes to mount accessories like a TV mount etc.
Les


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FollowupID: 639567

Follow Up By: Member - Richard C (ACT) - Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:33

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 19:33
Les,
They were still building the new model when we were there (may be yours). If so we have been in you Eclipse before you then :). The one being built did not have the standard tyres so may be is yours.

If we ordered ours now it would not be ready before December which is not good for us as we have leave in November and do not want travel then.

So we will do a little procrastination and may be hang out till the next show. I sent them an email last night with questions on the hitch and asked if they were having more show specials.

The new design is good and much better than the previous one.

Steve demonstrated the awning - I don't believe it will be a big problem to set up - may be packing it up though - which he did not demonstrate.

I do think you have made the right choice. I still like the Vista and may even end up with one if the Quantum does not work out as we are having a bit of trouble with the hitch arrangement ( the Paj has a badly placed tyre on the back door).

I am glad we went there as we have been discussing it but until we saw it we found it a bit hard to visualize.

By the way they are going to put up some more photos on the Web soon.

Any way I hope all goes well with you and may see ya on the road one day - hopefully in an Eclipse :).


Richard




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FollowupID: 639597

Follow Up By: Les B (FNQ) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:16

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 11:16
Richard

I hope the unit you seen was not mine. We were at the factory a week before you were and the unit we seen was the one from the show. It was a skeleton around the entry door as they were moving the doorway forward. I suspect this unit is their first and very much a prototype. I should have recorded the serial number to make sure I do'nt get it!

Of interest would you select the Gunyah or Roll-out awning?

Why is the hitch arrangement a problem with the Eclipse but apparently ok for the VistaRV. Is it that the Eclipse has the new DO25 coupling where the hitch of the trailer side has to be raised to go over the pin? I don't remember the coupling on the VistaRV.

Les
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FollowupID: 639672

Follow Up By: Member - Richard C (ACT) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 19:25

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 19:25
Les,

Must be the same one but more advanced. I think they are getting it ready for a show. Check the blue plastic pipes under the kitchen – if it looks like a repair then yours as Steve unfortunately put a hole in it while demonstrating - but I am sure they would fix that.



The hitch may be a problem for the Vista as well. According to the document Steve gave me the top of the tongue should be 500mm from ground and 160 or 140mm (getting this clarified) from the bottom of the door. On the Paj the spare tyre goes below the door. There is a D035 hitch which is stronger and looks better. I sent them an email about this but have had no response as yet.



We have not signed up yet but we probably would go with the Gunyah – reason money. I don’t have much experience with this or a roll out. On my camper it is a zip on with poles which is a pain. The Vista looked a lot easier.



I don’t think we would get one till December – if so we may just wait till the next show. By then I will hopefully sold my camper.



Richard
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FollowupID: 639731

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