We buy air conditioning - what should we pay attention to?
The task of the air conditioner in a car or caravan is not only to lower the temperature, but also to reduce the humidity, which will result in a greater sense of comfort on hot, humid days. But what should you pay attention to if you are just going to install air conditioning?
In the previous article , we mentioned that it is best to consider compressor air conditioners, and this is what one of the most popular manufacturers of camping accessories - Dometic offers.
Which air-conditioning system to choose for a motorhome or caravan?
Among the devices that provide us with thermal comfort, we can distinguish roof air conditioners (with or without a window) and under-bench air conditioners (placed in storage compartments at the bottom of the trailer). Individual models may differ from each other, among others efficiency and power consumption. Unfortunately, a more efficient air conditioning unit will usually need more electricity than a less efficient one.
When choosing the version of the air conditioner suitable for our vehicle, we should take into account its length (the more space to be cooled, the greater its efficiency should be), the number and size of windows (a vehicle with less glazing is easier to cool down), and even the presence of an alcove above the driver's cabin ( if it covers the windshield, it acts as a shade).
It will also be very important what destinations we choose most often. If we usually use a motorhome or caravan on hot days, and most often we go to the south of Europe, we will need air conditioning that is more efficient than if we prefer cooler parts of the world or travel outside the summer season.
There are also some manufacturer recommendations. For example, Dometic recommends that the basic model of the roof air conditioning - FreshJet 1100 , be installed in vehicles up to 5 meters in length. The most powerful model - FreshJet 3200 is recommended for the longest motorhomes and caravans (over 8 meters).
Air conditioning and electricity
Many people, however, may have doubts whether the purchased device will not consume too much electricity. Manufacturers are obviously trying to reduce energy consumption. In practice - in the case of Dometic products - depending on the model, we can expect consumption (in cooling mode) at the level of 430 W to 1300 W.
Regardless of the parameters of the purchased device, the air conditioner needs the most electricity during the start-up phase . This can be particularly problematic if you want to connect the air conditioning to an external power source on the campsite. That is why Dometic in the FreshJet 2200 model (and higher) used the SoftStart function. It allows you to easily run the air conditioning also on campsites with a limited power limit. As the manufacturer assures, the start-up phase in these devices significantly reduces the current consumption in the start-up phase, spreading it over time. Air conditioners are also resistant to voltage fluctuations.
In the case of poorly secured campsites, it may happen that the air conditioner does not start. To prevent this from happening, you can use a device called Waeco CombiPower . It is a combination of a sine wave inverter and an automatic charger. When the device detects a limited power capacity with external energy sources, it will top up with electricity from the battery. If the external source is cut off, the inverter with the UPS function will automatically turn on, supplying the connected loads with sinusoidal voltage.
In order for the air conditioning to work while driving and when stationary without access to the 230V mains, a special DC kit must be installed, which will draw power from a 12-volt additional battery. This device is equipped with a charging current distributor, which will automatically turn off the air conditioner if there is a risk of discharging the battery. An additional advantage of this set is the control of the main and auxiliary battery charging while driving.
A fairly expensive addition, but which can complement the happiness of having air conditioning, will be an electricity generator powered by gasoline, diesel or LPG gas. Thanks to it, the on-board devices can be powered even when we do not have access to an external power source.
More information on air conditioning in a motorhome or caravan can be found at www.my-caravanning.com/pl
Sometimes it is better to get lost than to ask for directions too much. Aldous Huxley