Air-con alternatives

Discussion in 'Heating and Air-Conditioning' started by RebeccaKristy, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    Hi all,
    We are motorhome novices, and have no option but to go to Europe in July and August. I am getting nervous as I keeps seeing advice to avoid! We can't afford Air-con (have it in cab) so I am a little worried. What will it be like inside the van? Will it be like a greenhouse? It is a Rollerteam 746, so has a summer fan on the diesel heater. I have no idea how effective this would be. Is it worth investing a few hundred in a portable air con, or a Dyson fan thing? How can I tell if they will run off a Campsite EHU? Has anyone experience of this? Can I run the engine to run cab air-con in emergencies, or is this pointless?

    Whilst I want to get acclimatised to the heat, it would be a disaster if it ruins our trip.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Personally I think a/c units are a boon when the shadows are long on the ground and after the sun has gone down.

    But not many a/c units will keep you cool in 32°C with the sun putting 10Kw of solar heat into your motorhome.

    During the day make the most of the spot under the awning. Use the pool or a shower to bring down your body core temperature.

    The natives park in the shade under the trees but in July and August you may not be able to pick your pitch.

    Getting a good flow of air is important and even a small desk fan by the bed can help at night.

    If they talk of a heatwave drive North!
     
  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    it always amazes me just how much cooler it gets with roof lights and a window or 2 opened, even on really hot days, add in a small fan and I don't use my fitted air con

    we carry a Dyson bladeless fan, expensive but very effective when on mains, does heat as well
     
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  4. CJB

    CJB Funster

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    A/C is only any good on a site preferably with 10amp supply, mine (Dometic 1600 Plus) draws 2.9 amps, by the time you add the fridge, battery charger your are near the mark on a 6amp supply.

    So if you decide to buy a fan work out the amps required just to be sure, it is always good to know what your equipment uses.

    Amps = Watts / Volts
     
  5. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I now live fulltime in my Classic Hymer in Portugal.

    It gets pretty hot in summer but I rarely use the Travel Cool air cooler system.

    Opening the windows, parking in the shade and using the many lakes and rivers (and the odd swimming pool) keeps me comfortable most of the time.

    I believe the body soon adapts to the higher temperatures.

    JJ :cool:
     
  6. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Never had it and never really struggled. As they say, make sure you have a through draught with some hatches and windows open, take a couple of 12v clip on fans with a 12v extension lead in case you need the fan under the awning, and if all else fails, find a pub with aircon and sup a beer or two... ::bigsmile:. :drink:
     
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  7. WAG2CRU

    WAG2CRU Read Only Funster

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    Stop the van heating up in the first place. Park in shade if possible with windscreen away from direct sunlight, keep blinds closed and ventilate van to keep a flow of air. We bought a "cool my camper" air con unit and used it once, our MH is just too big for it to cope, we now have a Fiaama Turbo kit fan which makes a world of difference, highly recommended. As others have said, if a heat wave is forecast move north or head for the mountains!

    If anyone with a campervan is looking for a "cool my camper" I have one available.
     
  8. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Our silverscreen external cover is also a great help in keeping the van cooler
     
  9. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    We have added some mountains to our trip, specifically south east France. Will it be significantly cooler? I have searched for average temps, but they seem to quote the same!

    Does it actually cool well? Does it work on EHU?

    THANK YOU!!! Basic, but we have yet to know all the basics!

    We have a leather type windscreen cover, but it goes on the outside? Makes me worried it might get nicked if left on in the day?
     
  10. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Have had roof ac and would never bother again.....you will acclimatise I promise you..its natural, unless you have health issues. Next van I will get a fantastic fan fitted though. Currently use a desk fan, even that to cold most nights in high summer...

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/reviews/B007A0JDAQ?ie=UTF8
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  11. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    Only through random searching did I find out that our ebersacher heating has a summer fan. No mention of it in reviews or manual. I wonder if it will be any good?
     
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  12. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    These are brilliant but expensive although a lot less than AC and a great deal quieter. They run on 12 volts so you can use them when off EHU and in our case when travelling for keeping the dog cool - in his collapsible cage I must add as shown in the second picture - he only ran (well walked really) around loose when we stopped. The dog liked the fan so much we had to pile shoes in front of it to stop him leaning on it so much it fell over.

    Shop around and you might find it cheaper. One Funster imported one from the USA but I think they are not available any more for the price he paid and importing is fine so long as it works when it arrives. http://www.fantasticvent.co.uk/product/FV1100WH/ENDLESS+BREEZE

    And as mentioned above, a silver screen external cover is very good at reflecting the sun away. Internal blinds are much less effective at keeping the interior cool as the sun heats the air between the blind and the glass.

    I would avoid AC if you can as it will delay you acclimatising to the heat and you will be stuck inside all day. P9190099.JPG P9260130.JPG

    And you can hang them from the roof for sleeping time.

    P9230114.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
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  13. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Mains only, we think it is good, but like most expensive things I think you can convince yourself they are the best thing you have ever had, probably no better than a standard fan :D

    and I would think if it was going to be nicked, overnight is more likely

    as for running for the mountains, I remember a few years ago in a caravan on the Loire at 40C+, moved to Annecy hoping to escape the heat, still 40C, we actually had our caravan side distort in the heat, we had no fan in those days and survived!!
     
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  14. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Van in a shady possy, external screens, wear light and baggy clothing, a fan to circulate the air, sleep naked, on top of linen sheet, windows open.

    Outside, wear light colours, and a good quality clothing, T Shirts etc etc , cheap chinese rubbish although light to wear, you can still get sunburnt through the cloth, as for Sun Cream! the highest factor you can lay your sticky fingers on. Try not to spend more than 15 mins in the direct Sun at any one time, If you are a baldy, or even a sparcey, wear a bloody hat!
     
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  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just add to that the best sunscreen, which I read about here, is the Reiman P20 which you can get in different strengths. It knocks all other creams into touch because of how easy it is to apply and it's all day persistence.
     
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  16. RebeccaKristy

    RebeccaKristy

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    I used this in Asia, when I have the worlds most easily burnt skin. It really stopped me burning! Will deco get some thank you
     
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  17. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Beer, and lots of it :)
     
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  18. Zains Pops

    Zains Pops Funster

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    I worked in A/C industry for years. To design an A/C system you should always start by calculating the heat load in the space. The biggest determinant is the temperature gradient between external ambient and internal required, plus the transmitted heat from direct sunlight. So if its 35C outside and you want 21C inside a difference of 14C and the van is sitting in the full sun, you will need a sizeable A/C unit to cope and the portable units just do not have sufficient power to do the job.
    Park in the shade and use the cooler evening air to ventilate the van and prevent heat build up. A/C is not the solution.
     
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  19. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    In defence of MHs they are generally well insulated. I've been in a Land Rover Defender with AC in Kuwait and it was useless. It was a weedy unit but the sides of the vehicle were just sheets of aluminium and acted like radiators bringing the heat in from outside.
     
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  20. davidbaldam

    davidbaldam Funster

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    Another vote for the Endless breeze fan, I bought mine in America and put in my suitcase, works off 12v so either plug it in the cab power point, when on the move or use it with solar when parked up, give a nice breeze and not too noisy. :)
     
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