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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 15:36 Thread Starter
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Free standing air con unit?

We are doing away with our roof mounted air con unit. We rarely use it and it seems a lot of load to carry around all year. However, Liam does not react well to the heat - particularly when it is humid. The idea is to take a free standing unit with us in the summer (stored in the place the oil filled rad. is kept for our winter outings). Our gas blown "central heating" is great, but as we always use campsites we prefer to use the electricity we have paid for.
There appears to be a big variety of units to choose from and prices vary enormously. Can anyone give us pointer to look for or even recommend a free standing unit?
Also.... would it be possible to run the free standing unit when we are traveling through the inverter still in the MH from the old roof mounted unit? Cab aircon was not fitted when the MH was new unfortunately.
Hope we will need some form of air con when we are in France Aug/Sept
Sue

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 15:46
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We used to have one of these (different model) they work quite well, ours was a 100watt version so would run from a good inverter and a decent sized battery bank, you can get smaller ones they all work in more or less the same way.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 16:06
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We used one of these when we had our twin axle caravan, so about the same floor space and cubic m as your average MH. http://www.appliancesdirect.co.uk/p/exp09hn1wi/electrolux-exp09hn1wi-air-conditioner
It worked very well at keeping the dog cool when we had a very hot spell in the UK in 2013. A few things to note though:

You'll need to vent the exhaust through an open window. The end of the 4" exhaust hose terminated in a rectangular piece which goes through the open window but means the window has to be open quite a way. Then you have to contend with or block the "open" section next to the outlet so hot air doesn't come back in. Security is also then compromised as you may want to run the a/c when out and about but the window will be open!

Most portable a/c units only direct the cooled air in one direction so you can experience overcooled parts of the hab area whilst still having warm areas.

Although the one we had was 9000btu, it didn't feel that good at cooling unless it was run flat out and then it became very noisy in the 'van. Certainly not as quiet as a roof mounted unit. Found it impossible to sleep at night with the a/c on, again due to the noise.

You need to locate the main unit as close to a window as possible to minimise the length of exhaust hose. According to Electrolux, extending the hose can reduce the efficiency of the unit and I'd concur with this, having tried to tidy up the exhaust hose and routing it outside the 'van with extra ducting.

Ours was a big 'van but the a/c unit still got in our way. It was on wheels so we could move it around when not in use. Good job as it was bloody heavy.

It worked well (apart from the noise) if we kept the blinds closed before any sun got into the 'van or the 'van started to heat up. This meant we spent most of the day in the dark when in the 'van lol.

If floor space and weight aren't an issue, then a free standing a/c unit might suit you. We "lost" ours in a dispute with the owner of a seasonal site in 2014 but that's another story lol. Suffice to say we haven't replaced it after using it just once in our Kontiki tag and are now erring towards a roof unit. More money but many more benefits, space being one of them.

Paul - was a 2008 Swift Kontiki 669 but now a 2016 caravan.

Last edited by deefordog; 25-06-2016 at 16:15.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 17:59
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Having had a roof mounted Aircon unit in the past thee is no way I would ditch it in favour of a mobile or floor mounted one.

The roof mounted unit doesn't take up any floor space so you don't need to keep moving it about, it doesn't compromise the security of your MH, it's a fi(ted) and forget item, they tend to be much better at cooling the interior

The downside is that they can be noisey and they do draw a lot of power so unless you have a very hefty inverter (and large Leisure battery bank) then it cannot realistically be used whilst under way.

If it ain't broke don't fix it???

Andy

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 18:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrplodd View Post
Having had a roof mounted Aircon unit in the past thee is no way I would ditch it in favour of a mobile or floor mounted one.

The roof mounted unit doesn't take up any floor space so you don't need to keep moving it about, it doesn't compromise the security of your MH, it's a fi(ted) and forget item, they tend to be much better at cooling the interior

The downside is that they can be noisey and they do draw a lot of power so unless you have a very hefty inverter (and large Leisure battery bank) then it cannot realistically be used whilst under way.

If it ain't broke don't fix it???

Andy
Roof mounted as better anyway as cold air descends making it more efficient.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 22:08
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Doing away with the roof a/c won't really save any weight if replacing with a freestanding unit - taking the latest Dometic 2600 Freshjet (8500btu, 39kg), our Electrolux 9000btu came in at 35kg. As the others have said, stick with what you've got if it does the job.

Paul - was a 2008 Swift Kontiki 669 but now a 2016 caravan.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 25-06-2016, 22:17
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I tend to agree

We have the dometic freshlite

It has a multitude of functions

But for me and the hound from hell

It keeps us cool

Off grid our gas generator runs it if necessary

But if it's hot we head for a campsite

The hound and me struggle if temps rise

Sandra
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 26-06-2016, 12:49
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Apologies to Sue(OP) if this is slightly buting in on her thread.

Since LPG can power a refrigerator are there any Aircon units, fixed or portable powered by LPG? I ask because we ae never on EHU.

Sandra said they use their gas generator, but that is a electric generator fuelled by gas, which seems a complicated way if there were a direct gas-powered refrigeration unit available. Of course it would need an electric fan, but that is like a hot-air heating system, so no change there.

That leads me on to thinking that the Truma heating system could be adapted if there were the ability to switch from heating to cooling. Slight drawback is that heat vents are located low, which is not best position for cool air. Maybe if there were a re-circulation option, like car aircon, the system could cope in the confined space of a MH.

Am I barking up the wrong tree, or maybe just 'barking'?

If it is a non-starter just tell me.

Come in Gaspode please. I bet he knows the answer.

Geoff
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 26-06-2016, 13:10 Thread Starter
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Many thanks everyone for your input...perhaps a re-think?

No need to apologise Geoff for hi jacking the thread. As a totally non-technical person your logic seems fine to me. After all, vacuum cleaners can blow as well as suck and even some air-con machines can heat as well as cool. The Truma water/space heaters have been developed to run on the electric so perhaps this is the next stage?

Sue
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 26-06-2016, 13:45
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I follow your thought process I think

I imagine air con could be powered by gas

But if so why hasn't it been done, or maybe it has

Sandra
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