Split system Vs Rooftop a/c

Submitted: Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 20:30
ThreadID: 75885 Views:4308 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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Have not heard of too many good things about rooftop a/c systems , they seem noisey and expensive and can have problems relating to roof bowing , leaking etc. Has anyone installed a small split system a/c in there ,motorhome / caravan and could tell me if a honda 20i generator would be sufficent for operation
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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 20:44

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 20:44
My Supreme 'Getaway' has a Heron 2 and it runs off the Honda EU2.0

The problem is the Heron fan is noisy and Supreme fitted the compressor under the bed ;-(

It works well but it takes some getting used to.


Derek from ABR
AnswerID: 403314

Follow Up By: furph - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 07:39

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 07:39
Our S/Getaway also has the Heron 2 split system.
The air handling unit is in the centre of the rear bulkhead, also with the compressor unit under the bed.
We find the whole unit to be very quiet and not obtrusive, but more importantly does an excellent job in cooling the van.
I know it works, but have never used the heating side and yes the Honda eu2 runs it easily.
FollowupID: 672842

Reply By: Member - Bushpig - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:16

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:16
I am on my second Dometic. They are very noisy inside and ineficient in hot weather. If I had a choice in the future I not hestitate to get a split system. At 400 or 500 dollars just throw away if they break and get another. You could get 5 at that price for one Dometic.
Cheers Jack
AnswerID: 403317

Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:56

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:56
agree with Bushys comments
FollowupID: 672804

Reply By: Member - Geoff C (QLD) - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:31

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:31
A friend fitted a split system to his van and had a lot of trouble draining the condensed water from it if he didn't get the level of the van right. Made a mess down the wall but with a bit of care on siting the van stopped that. It is substantially quieter in operation to my Dometic one and cools the van beautifully. Re the generator he only stops at powered van parks but I have a 1kw split system fitted in my unpowered cottage in the bush and it runs with no worry on my 2kw Yamaha generator.
AnswerID: 403322

Reply By: patsproule - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:45

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 21:45
I have run a couple of different household split systems in an OB truck (well - it's a big caravan - sort of). They have worked fine, and being inverter systems they are quite energy efficient. The current system has multiple heads, cools 9 bodies and 3 racks of equipment, and draws 12 amps max.

AnswerID: 403327

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 22:57

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 22:57
I have a Heron 2.2 split system in my pop top. Very noisy. The cubbard that the motor is in gets very hot.Because its so humid there is a bit of condensation on the front. I had to run a hose off the overflow to redirect the water away from under the van. Other than that it works great. In 40+ dry temp and up here in the tropics where most days and nights are 85+ humidity. We only need to run it on the first setting. Actually its getting a bit cold in here at the moment but you go out side where its raining and humid and you appreciate the comfort. Cant help you out with the genny.
AnswerID: 403341

Reply By: _gmd_pps - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 00:23

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 00:23
I have a Fujitsu Inverter 2.6Kw in my truck camper.
Fujitsu has the smallest outside units. I have installed it with flexible hoses all the way and only at the end a bit of copper to achieve a proper connection.
It draws 3.0 Amps 240V when cooling and around 65Amps 12V through my inverter. I do not run it on battery for long but I can up to 3 hours on one bank.
I recommend a Yamaha generator (much better than Honda). At this stage I have a Honda 30is but have tried a 2.0 Yamaha. Even a 1KW will run it but will struggle a bit when heating and runs on higher load all the time. a 2.0 is ideal, not even the 2.4 Yamaha is needed. At the moment it is apart again because I fit a box to enclose the outdoor unit when in transit. I have a R410 (Gas) unit and run low pressure hydraulic hoses at 1/4 and 3/8. The 410 units run at a bit higher pressure (up to 60bar at 40C) but the hydraulic hoses do that easy. I have a few corners in the installation and found the flexible hose much easier to install than copper, which will give you vibration when not combined with flexi hose.

I just cannot understand why on earth one would fit one of these overpriced, inefficient, noisy caravan ACs. If worse comes to worse I can run the AC for about 2 hours (to cool off in the evening) and have the battery bank charged the next day through the solar panels. Most of the time you would not even need half an hour.

Installation is easy since all units are pregased. You only need to vacuum the lines and open the gas.. done. I have vacuumed the gas and have to recharge when I have fitted the box and reconnect the hoses.

good luck

good luck
AnswerID: 403354

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 16:55

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 16:55
you need a licenced fridgie these days to vacuum and let the refrigerant into the system.
FollowupID: 672907

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:17

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:17
thanks schoolmaster .. I know that and have acted accordingly..
It's just a quicker way to write to say I instead of .. "......... etc" .. understood ??
have fun
FollowupID: 672911

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:43

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:43
back in the old you one could do it themselves....
my reply was to just inform anyone who didnt know that you now required the services of a licenced tradesperson
i'm gunna need a licence to clean my teeth if they get their way
FollowupID: 672916

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:53

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 17:53
a license to breed would be a good thing !!
have fun
FollowupID: 672918

Reply By: DesF - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 13:13

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2010 at 13:13
Hi, My mate has a split system in his 16ft windsor poptop, he mounted the unit on a frame outside at the rear and the inner head is in the over head cupboard about half way along . he lost 2 cupboard door space,
we go away each year in summer for a month or so and it works well,
the unit is very quiet , he does not get any complaints from the other vans at the rear.
he camps in a back to back row at the park, been using it now for about the last 4 years and no worries yet.
I think it is a 1.5 westinghouse cooling only, I see you can buy them now for about $400.00, his was $700.00 and he fitted it himself and only got it charged by the fridgee.
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 403419

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