Looking for the best air conditioner for your caravan can be tricky. There are lots of factors to consider and plan for. This article is perfect for you if you want a comprehensive guide. It will tell you everything you need to know when it comes to caravan air conditioners. After reading this, you’d be able to confidently choose and plan for the installation of the best air conditioner for your caravan.
Caravan Air Conditioners
Caravan air conditioners will keep your RV cool and comfortable. They are essential if you want to fully enjoy road trips and adventures without having to worry about heat and humidity.
Ever since Coleman and Denso stopped importing goods into the Australian RV industry, almost all RV air conditioners in Australia are now manufactured by Dometic. This is the case because Dometic already acquired AirCommand.
Why do you need RV air conditioners? Can you use a regular household air conditioner?
You need RV air conditioners because their features are specially catered to caravans. They are more expensive than household split systems or window-mounted air conditioners because they are specially designed to keep water out during travel. RV air conditioners are also specially designed to handle consistent vibration when traveling.
You can use regular household air conditioners on your RV if you won’t be traveling. Household air conditioners will be sufficient for your needs if you own an onsite caravan, an RV that rarely moves, or a mobile home.
What does it mean when you see: 360mm or 400 mm opening?
This refers to the opening in your caravan that can fit RV air conditioners.
A 360mm or 400mm square opening in your roof can fit a rooftop air conditioner. Caravans with 400 mm openings are usually from Europe while those with 360mm openings are typically from American manufacturers that follow the 14-inch American roof vent standard. You can choose to modify your caravan to fit bigger air conditioners.
Is a rooftop air conditioner better than a built-in air conditioner?
There is no direct answer to this question because it entirely depends on the kind of caravan you have. A small RV air conditioner can perfectly work and efficiently cool a small caravan even if it’s not a rooftop air conditioner. You should always take note that the correct air conditioning for your caravan will always be the best kind and it won’t matter if it is on the roof-top or built-in. Built-in models work well with camper vans, camper trailers, and pop-top caravans.
What do you need to know about reverse cycle air conditioners and air conditioners with heating elements?
Caravan air conditioners can cool your RV because they either use a heating mechanism or a reverse cycle mechanism.
Air conditioners that cool through a heating element works regardless of outside temperature while air conditioners that have a reverse cycle mechanism don’t work when it’s extremely cold outside.
Air conditioners that use the heating mechanism are less efficient compared to ones that use the reverse cycle. Its only advantage is the fact that it can still work even if it’s extremely cold outside.
How cold will your RV get? How hot will it get?
The answer will depend on the kind of caravan you have. Manufacturers are always quick to share the maximum size of RVs that their air conditioners can work with so you should always make it a point to know the exact size of your caravan. It will be harder to cool your RV if you don’t have insulated ceilings or walls.
Jargons: what does kW or BTU mean?
When manufacturers talk of kilowatt (kW), they refer to the cooling or heating capacity of an air conditioner. British Thermal Unit (BTU) measures exactly the same capacity. It just follows a different unit of measurement. To never be confused, you should always remember that 1 kW is equal to 3412 BTU.
Will wind resistance change depending on air conditioner types?
The profile of your air conditioner will not really affect wind resistance. The height of your rooftop air conditioner will not greatly affect airflow.
The only thing that a rooftop air conditioner will affect is the look of your RV. Smaller RVs will get bigger if you will opt for a rooftop air conditioner. Users that prefer smaller and compact RVs may not prefer such a look.
Is amperage important?
Amperage will be important depending on your lifestyle and caravan usage.
Amperage will not be important on your end if you mainly stay in caravan parks. This is because your fees already include your power usage.
It’s a totally different thing if you don’t stay in caravan parks and mainly rely on your own generator. Your generator should be compatible and sufficient in providing continuous power to your RV air conditioner.
What are highly recommended caravan air conditioners?
The following brands are highly recommended by Australian caravan enthusiasts:
1. Dometic / Truma / Waeco – of good reputation and with easily accessible customer support. Warranty is provided and spare parts are available all over Australia.
2. Air Command – Air Command is already under Dometic so you can be sure of its superior quality even though it is made in China.
3. Coleman – a US product that is no longer offered by major RV wholesalers. Still a top favorite in the Australian markets as RV owners with old Coleman air conditioners still opt for new Coleman units.