Air-con alternatives (1 Viewer)

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RebeccaKristy

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Jan 27, 2015
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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?
 
Jan 27, 2013
1,334
871
Stamford
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24,452
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Benimar Mileo 282
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Seven plus years
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!
 
Feb 24, 2013
13,326
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Bolsover, Derbyshire
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Hymer S800
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not long enough
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
 

CJB

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Feb 26, 2013
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1 year
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
 

JJ

Mágica
May 1, 2008
19,388
49,249
Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
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2,459
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Burstner Privilege T
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over 50 years
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:

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Old Soldier

Deleted User
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:
 

WAG2CRU

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May 31, 2012
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Hymer B654SL Star Edition
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since2012
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.
 
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RebeccaKristy

RebeccaKristy

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Jan 27, 2015
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head for the mountains!
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!

we carry a Dyson bladeless fan, expensive but very effective when on mains, does heat as well
Does it actually cool well? Does it work on EHU?

Amps = Watts / Volt
THANK YOU!!! Basic, but we have yet to know all the basics!

Our silverscreen external cover is also a great help in keeping the van cooler
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?
 

Judge Mental

Deceased RIP
Sep 2, 2009
6,650
5,883
Sarth London
Funster No
8,272
MH
Possl 636 FR panel van
Exp
1994 and beyond...
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...

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DBK

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Jan 9, 2013
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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
 
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Feb 24, 2013
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Bolsover, Derbyshire
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not long enough
Does it actually cool well? Does it work on EHU?




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?

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!!
 
Jun 30, 2010
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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!
 

DBK

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Jan 9, 2013
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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!
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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RebeccaKristy

RebeccaKristy

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Jan 27, 2015
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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.
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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Sep 10, 2013
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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.
 

DBK

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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.

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.
 
Oct 15, 2012
10,315
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Market Harborough
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23,304
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C Class Laika Ecovip 7R
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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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Scattycat

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Jan 3, 2013
920
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Rapido
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Since 2010
Our friends bought a "transcool" portable air con system and seem quite pleased with it. Have any other folks had any experience of this system?
One tip to keep cool that I have used for years is to put a tee shirt, under wear and a light summer pair of socks into a plastic freezer type bag and pop them into the fridge or better still the freezer in the morning and then put them on later in the day if you're feeling over heated.
Believe me, putting on a pair of socks straight from the freezer when you feel you are at melting point is sheer bliss.
 

musson

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Dec 25, 2013
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Hi at the recent lincoln show there was product call trans cool small unit that seemed to work well cost about £300
 

Forestboy

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Jul 31, 2007
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Forest of Dean
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46
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A Class Hymer B694 tag
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Have to admit we've used our ac unit quite a lot on this trip to Croatia to cool the van down in the evening. Its been superb don't sleep with it on far too noisy have a big fan for night time works off mains or inverter.
 

Easyliving

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Our van has cab air-con but we have never needed to use it, we find just opening the windows as we drive along is okay for us. We spent 3 days on a stellplatz in Geisingen (southern Germany) in August. We don't have a thermometer but the temperature must have been well into the 30's centigrade.

We don't have an awning so just sat in the shade of a nearby tree and drank plenty (even water!). So long as you can just sit in the shade and relax high temperatures don't seem to be a problem.

Paul
 

Lenny HB

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We find we tend to acclimatise, and don't have problems in 35 deg. Generally aircon is not practical off EHU which limits where you can stay, also even on sites the EHU may not be good enough for aircon a lot of Italian sites only have 3 amp outlets.
We have a Fantastic vent in the middle rooflight position, when set to extract even on lowest setting with rooflight over bed slightly open get a nice cooling breeze over the beds.

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Mother Ship

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We had 2 Fiamma Turbo vents fitted on 2 roof lights when van built (they can be fitted retrospectively) and we are so pleased with them. Bring temp down and give lovely breeze. Had Polar one in living area with temp control etc and simpler one in bathroom with choice of air vented out or in (also v. good for dispelling smells quickly!!!)
http://www.fiammastore.com/Fiamma-R...-motorhomes/Fiamma-Turbo-Vent-with-Thermostat
 

pappajohn

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A little relief can be got from a normal desk fan with a bowl of iced water in the airflow from it.

Wont bring the temp down much but every little helps as they say at tesco.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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Well living here there is no way you'll get me out around here in the MH in July/August. Driving anything without cab aircon any distance is a nightmare.Even with windows open.
I drove across the centre of Spain on the 16th July & admittedly it was orange /red alerts but it was an absolute nightmare. 45ºc in the cab & I had to stop around Zaragoza as I was concerned for the dog . When you are travelling at 50mph & you put your arm out the window & the air rushing past has no cooling effect , is actually hot, then you know you have a problem !!:( Even waiting in shade outside the van it was horrendous. Couldn't find any shade at first for the van & parked up it got to 52 in the cab.:LOL: It is far better nearer the sea as once the sun has set the temperature will drop far quicker than inland. I never sleep with anything open other than the roof light & with the extract fans running to draw air ythrough; But it will be around 3am here wher I live , & it was the same in Zaragoza, before you will feel a bit "chilly". :LOL::LOL:

Even when I have journeyed in the car in summer & with the benefit of excellent dual air con running flat out , whoever is on the side the sun is playing on
( somehow it is normally me ,the driver :cry: ) will still get burnt to death !!
 

magicsurfbus

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Oct 11, 2010
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We've had our MH ten years without any aircon, in fact not even a small fan. We've been on the French Med coast, Italy, Spain etc in summer. For the first 8 years we had no option but to holiday in July/August due to our jobs. Our latest France trip was late August by choice, with temperatures on some days in the low-mid 30s. The highest temperature our sensor has clocked was 50 one August at Carcassonne.

Our solution is a simple one - feel a bit sticky on the first couple of days then get used to it. Learn to use shade to your own and your MH's advantage and always wear a hat on bright sunny days. If you don't like heat don't drive south - it doesn't matter how cool your MH is inside if it's baking outside when you want to walk around and visit places.
 

mikebeaches

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Feb 22, 2010
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And another vote for 'Endless Breeze'. Ours was ordered directly from the USA (via Amazon, I think).

Still not cheap, but effective. We also carry a couple of low-cost clip on 230-volt desk fans.

Just to say, fans (alone) generally use very little current, and hence not too much load on electrical systems.

Although we go to the Med in summer, we can often manage without the fans, by following the advice others on the thread have provided. Pitching with the windscreen facing north can help enormously.

Mike

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