12v Air Conditioning

Submitted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:10
ThreadID: 78430 Views:12655 Replies:6 FollowUps:14
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Wondering whether anyone on the forum has 12v air con installed in their van, and if so, we would be interested to hear how well it performs. The plan is for us to travel all over including up north but we're not sure how well it will work.
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:23

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:23
What is it a water cooler?
AnswerID: 416473

Follow Up By: Linda B - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:37

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:37
Hi, it's an evaporative air conditioner like you'd get for home. They're roof top mounted, can be left on whilst you travel, supposed to last for around 12 hours before needing to charge batteries, and you just need access to water. We had an extra water tank installed when we purchased the van in case we decided to put the air con in down the track.

We already have 240v air con installed, but given that we plan to do a bundle of free camping when away, we thought this might help. Didn't think the neighbours would appreciate a generator on constantly to have the 240v system running.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:37

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:37
Dennis is it something that cools water ?

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:09

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:09
Sort of, only the water cools the air.
Extra weight to carry - I think I’d rather have a couple of cold tinnies instead.
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Follow Up By: oldtrack123 - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:44

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:44
Hi Mainey
They work on same principle as a Coolgardie safe.

Air drawn thru a wet surface is cooled by evaporation .
Evaporative cooling is reasonably good in dry humidity conditions ,but as said by others very poor in higher humidity
Have a lower tank of water & a small motor driven fan & pump which recirculates water thru wood shavings or similar medium
available in 240v [common]& 12v
Some are commercial size But common in domestic use
Quite cheap compared to refrigerant /compressor types
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Reply By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:36

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:36
My understanding is that they need 45A so you would need 8x 100ah batteries to get through one night unless you leave the car engine running.

I think DC breeze make one.

I would rather use a 240V unit and a Honda EU2.0 as I have been for the last 5 years.

Regards

Derek
AnswerID: 416474

Follow Up By: Linda B - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:43

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:43
Here's some details of what we're looking at:

http://www.dariocaravans.com.au/page.asp?parentid=6&parent2id=62&productid=707

Sorry, not sure if that link will work....
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Follow Up By: ABR - SIDEWINDER - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:28

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:28
I see, it is an evaporative cooler. These work well in dry heat but not tropical heat.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 09:24

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 09:24
its effectiveness in tropical (HUMID) weather wont be felt
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Reply By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:12

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:12
Linda, bear in mind that evaporative air conditioners do not work well in the more humid regions "up north".

Any reduction in temperature is somewhat negated by an increase in humidity.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 416480

Follow Up By: Linda B - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:36

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:36
Mmm. Decisions, decisions. I hear what you're saying. Maybe the air con with the gennie and a fan for free camping is the go.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:01

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:01
Hi Linda

I cannot see the benefit of an evaporative cooler over a 12 v fan. We have a truck fan and use it on hot nights when bush camping, and it uses very little power. If you want the cooling effect of water when you are in a low humidity area, hang a wet towel in front of the fan; a cheap and simple evaporative cooler. As aforesaid, much of the north will be humid.

We purchased a generator to use for our air conditioner when holidays in January 2005. We used it on a few hot afternoons and the relief from the heat was wonderful. We have not used it for the air conditioner since, and have found sitting outside in the shade and a bit of breeze satisfactory, and as above, the fan when we go into the caravan at night. Also when camped near crocodile free flowing waters, i take a dip to cool down whereas my husband is less inclined to go swimming.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 416483

Follow Up By: Linda B - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:41

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:41
I guess it gets to a point when how much is enough to take away? We too have already purchased a couple of truck fans and plan to hang them from the pelmets either side of the bed - have tried it and they seem to work well. Also like your idea of hanging wet towels. I had travelled much of Australia some years ago, but I know how much my partner hates the heat. I was trying to make sure that we both got a good night sleep given past experiences!

Sounds likes the cooler is over the top and that the money can be better spent elsewhere. Thanks for your response.

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Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 13:48

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 13:48
Linda

If we purchased another van we would not have any aircon on rooftop but houshold 240V on A frame or rear mounted. We have seen many on the road in the last 3 years - run with genny (2000w some are). I think you should seriously consider this because - they are quieter inside van (u hear fan only), they are generally cheaper than roof types at this time, leaves room on roof for solar panels/more vents.

We use a 100w can inverter or 150w inverter when free camping to run 2 x 30w 240volt fans - the cheap $20 jobs and when they stuff up ditch em. This works great and others are copying us as they see the benefits.

My 2 cents worth again.

Cheers Baz
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Follow Up By: Linda B - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 13:54

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 13:54
Hi Baz,

I don't think we really had considered your comment about leaving roof space for solar panels. Currently we only have one up there, but two portable in case we go free camping we can take them with us.

Your comments about the inverter I will pass on to my other half as we have a thumper and I'm wondering whether ours will do the trick re fans or we'd need another as the current thumper has been designated to power the 2 Engels and probably not enough power for anything else. I will check anyway.

Thanks, appreciate your comments.

Linda.
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Reply By: silvajon - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 09:54

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 09:54
Hi all

Could some one tell me what are the "truck fans" that are referred to by a few people.

Sounds like they might be the easy answer to the heat on hot nights.

Thanks John
AnswerID: 416510

Follow Up By: Linda B - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:07

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:07
Hi John,

Our fans are heavy duty 12v personal fans which were purchased from the 12v shop here in Adelaide. That's why they're referred to as truck fans.

I think I saw on the box that they were recommended for use in trucks and boats (mounted to the dash) as they are so sturdy compared to the ones you can purchase in Kmart, Big W which are rather flimsy.

Approximately 8" in diameter and able to oscillate, but as I mentioned we will use a clamp and hang them upside down from the pelmet to use whilst sleeping or place them in the kitchen/dining area or to further circulate the air from the 240v air cond.

Linda.



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Follow Up By: DIO - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:18

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:18
A source for 12 volt vans LINK
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Follow Up By: silvajon - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:22

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 10:22
Thanks Linda

We have a 12v shop nearby so I will go and check them out.

Thanks for the link DIO.

John
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Reply By: Steve and Viv - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:57

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 11:57
As you won;t really want to travel up north in the wet anyway due to so many sights and parks being closed if you pan right you can travel so as to stay in the right climate for you. Up North in Winter and south in Summer. I know there are times when that won't work but i think the fans will do a good job.

Have fun
AnswerID: 416517

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