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Greatest Air Conditioners for a Camper Van

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Once you’re residing in a camper van, there are some issues which you can’t management. The climate is certainly one of them. However fortunately for you, we’ve gathered the perfect air conditioners on your camper van so that you simply don’t have to fret about how scorching it will get!

Don’t let the warmth get you down. An A/C unit could make van life pleasant!

The most effective camper van air conditioners will be capable to quiet down your residing space on scorching days. You’ll discover numerous sorts of camper A/C items. What’s vital is that you simply select an air-con unit primarily based in your wants (like whether or not or not it will possibly run off of battery energy) and the way a lot you’re prepared to spend.

When looking for an A/C, be sure that to search for one that’s the proper dimension and can work together with your camper van (and life-style).

What Sorts of Air Conditioners are Greatest for a Camper Van?

There are 5 sorts of air conditioners which may be appropriate on your van:

  1. Shore Powered
  2. Battery Powered
  3. Moveable
  4. Swamp Cooler
  5. Window Unit

1. Shore Powered

Dometic Penguin II air conditioner for camper van
Dometic Penguin II. Photograph from Amazon.

The preferred possibility for a rooftop air conditioner is the compressor camper van air conditioner kind. One of these A/C must be plugged into an exterior energy supply (generally referred to as “shore energy”).

A compressor van A/C unit works by sucking out scorching air and cooling it utilizing refrigerant. The chilly air is then blown again in whereas scorching air is expelled outdoors. Choices for these items embody ducted or non-ducted.

Whereas a shore energy A/C is finest for shortly cooling off the within, they use plenty of energy. Until you will have a generator or are hooked as much as an exterior energy supply (like at a campground), you’re going to have a tricky time working one. A battery financial institution or photo voltaic panel will solely run one of these campervan A/C for therefore lengthy.

Additionally, understand that these items are mounted to your roof. So it’s essential to guarantee your van’s roof has house and might deal with the extra weight.

2. Battery Powered

Dometic RTX 2000 shore powered air conditioner
Dometic RTX 2000 battery-powered air conditioner. Photograph from Dometic.

One of these air conditioner runs off of a battery and doesn’t must be plugged into exterior energy. These are good for camper vans as a result of they are often plugged out and in as wanted.

3. Moveable Unit

Zero Breeze Mark 2 portable air conditioner
Zero Breeze Mark 2 moveable air conditioner. Photograph from Zero Breeze.

The camper air-con wants no everlasting set up and is movable, making it good for small rooms like in your camper van!

Having a transportable unit additionally means which you can simply take away and retailer it whilst you’re in cooler areas. Having the ability to take away the unit out of your tiny house can unencumber extra space for different issues – like possibly a heater?

The draw back of a transportable unit is that they sometimes must be vented outdoors. In some instances, you might need to get artistic in the place you place the unit and the way you vent the new air out.

4. Swamp Cooler

White Fresiar S6 air conditioner kit for van.
Fresair S6 air conditioner equipment. Photograph from Fresair.

A swamp cool or evaporative cooler is a novel cooling system. One of these A/C can vary from do-it-yourself strategies to bought merchandise.

Basically, this methodology makes use of evaporation to chill the air. It’s actually solely an possibility for individuals who reside in dry, low-humidity climates although.

It is a nice, cheap possibility but it surely may not be the best choice for individuals with bronchial asthma or allergic reactions. This methodology additionally creates a moderately humid atmosphere and might result in mould or mildew (an absolute no-no in a van).

As well as, you want fairly a little bit of water to maintain your dwelling cool. So think about the way you’ll pack and retailer the extra required water.

5. Window Unit

White van with a window air conditioner in rear door
Van with a window air conditioner. Photograph from Reddit.

Because the identify suggests, this can be a window-mounted cooling system. Window items work nicely in camper vans with giant home windows as a result of they are often put in outdoors your car with out taking over any helpful house. As a consequence of their nature, they’re moderately large and ponderous – therefore the necessity for greater home windows.

In addition to house, window A/C items aren’t meant to be moveable. So you possibly can’t (shouldn’t) take off down the street with one hanging out your window.

Can a Camper Van A/C Unit Run on Battery Energy?

Certain, camper van air conditioners can run on battery energy – however the query you must actually be asking is for the way lengthy?

Basically, most air conditioners for vans run on 120-volts or AC (alternating present) energy. This is identical as in a home or RV. With a purpose to run a 120-volt A/C unit, you’ll must be hooked as much as shore energy or a generator.

Until you will have a brilliant strong system, your battery financial institution or photo voltaic panels could battle to adequately energy your A/C. If you’ll be able to run the A/C, you will not be ready to take action for very lengthy. This depletion may additionally imply it’s essential to take time to recharge your batteries.

Nevertheless, like listed above, know-how has superior and there are battery-powered A/C items accessible. Battery-powered camper van A/C items use a battery that may be charged from an exterior energy supply, however they take for much longer to chill down the camper than a shore-powered unit.

How Do I Preserve My Camper Van Cool within the Summer season?

It’s simple to maintain your camper van cool in case you have an air conditioner (no kidding, proper?). Cool air pumping out of an A/C unit will hold your tiny dwelling good and refreshing.

For individuals who aren’t capable of set up an A/C of their van, fret not. There are another methods to chill your van off in the summertime warmth.

1. Shade

Park or retailer your van within the shade if doable. Avoiding the warmth or direct daylight is step one in retaining your van inside house cool and livable in the summertime (or scorching) months.

Opposite to what you may imagine being within the shade doesn’t really make the temperature cooler. Genuinely, being within the direct sunshine makes the air really feel 10 to fifteen levels hotter than it really is. Regardless, keep away from direct sunshine.

2. Window Coverings & Insulation

Get an insulated camper shell or insulation equipment on your home windows and rear doorways so that they don’t appeal to warmth like a magnet. Insulation or drapes in your home windows helps replicate that scorching air out (away from you inside) and hold cool air in.

3. Window Tint

That skinny layer of plastic (really polyester) could make a distinction within the inner temperature of your rig. In a 2012 examine, researchers discovered that the interior temperature of a car with tinted entrance and rear home windows was cooler by as much as 46 levels F.

4. Journey With The Seasons

Camp in cooler areas resembling shady forests or areas with water for optimum cooling results – learn: cooling breezes!

Touring to match the seasons is one other solution to hold your tiny dwelling cool. Make the most of science. Basically, you possibly can anticipate the air temperature to lower by 3.6 levels F for each 1000 ft you climb. That is referred to as the usual or common lapse price.

5. Transfer The Air

For those who’re working low on energy, flip off the camper air conditioner and use followers to flow into air as an alternative. Transferring air is healthier than no shifting air.

In case your van battery is working low, and also you don’t have a backup, use battery-operated followers to maintain air circulating. An incredible gadget to incorporate in your van construct is a rooftop vent fan.

Opening your home windows or rooftop vents is one other methodology to get air shifting. Preserve this in thoughts if you find yourself constructing out your van. Putting in vented home windows is a good long-term funding for van life.

Our High 8 Picks for Camper Van Air Conditioners

Whether or not you’re deep within the trenches of your individual van construct or have realized that the summer season warmth is not any match and also you desperately want an A/C unit, we’ve acquired you lined. Listed below are some nice camper van A/C choices to maintain you cool and refreshed.

1. Dometic Penguin II

Dometic Penguin II air conditioner for camper van
Dometic Penguin II. Photograph from Amazon.

Do you will have a brilliant tall Sprinter van? In case your van is already touching the skies, then you might need to think about a low profile rooftop A/C unit.

The Dometic Penguin II solely provides 9.5 inches to your top. Dometic is a well-liked and well-trusted RV and campervan model. The Penguin II pumps out 13,500 BTU/hr. The R410 refrigerant makes this an actual air conditioner and permits for warmth to be launched extra effectively.

You’ll must be hooked as much as energy or a generator to function this rooftop unit because it pulls 3,000 watts.

What’s a BTU? This stands for British Thermal Unit and is a unit of warmth. It’s outlined as:

…the quantity of warmth required to lift the temperature of 1 pound of water by one diploma Fahrenheit.

BTU unit

2. Coleman Mach 15

Meet the world’s strongest RV (van) air conditioner: the Coleman Mach 15.

Dare to drive into the most well liked climates with this A/C unit onboard with a cooling capability of 15,000 BTU/hr and a 1/3 horsepower fan that blows cool air at an incredible 325 cubic ft per minute.

3. Zero Breeze Mark II

Meet the little A/C that would. This superior little unit checks all of the containers:

  • Moveable
  • Light-weight and compact
  • Battery-operated

When house is at a premium, the Zero Breeze Mark II will hold you cool. At slightly below 17 kilos, this A/C pumps out 2,300 BTU/hour and blows at 120 cubic ft per minute – supreme for as much as 40 sq. ft. They even declare that it will possibly cool an space 30 levels F beneath the ambient temperature in simply 10 minutes!

On the flip aspect, this highly effective micro compressor unit requires the exhaust hose to be vented to the skin. And on one cost, the battery lasts solely 5 hours – so use the cool air properly.

4. Fresair S6

On the lookout for an eco-friendly possibility? The Fresair S6 is a unit that runs on water and makes use of little or no energy (10 amp max/hour).

As talked about above, swamp coolers or evaporative water coolers can create plenty of humidity. To decrease the danger of water points, this camper van A/C makes use of a filter that’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. This enables the Fresair to provide cool, dry air.

5. The MightyKool K2

There are restricted choices in the marketplace for swamp coolers. Nevertheless, the MightyKool K2 may work for some (however don’t anticipate drastic temperature drops).

Even when it’s not the highest-performer, the MightyKool has some nice deserves value mentioning. This A/C makes use of 1 gallon of water to maintain your van cool all evening. It’s powered by a 12-volt outlet or a 110-volt converter supplying you with choices.

The producer claims it will possibly cool as much as 25 levels in dry climates however is restricted to 10 levels in humid areas.

6. Dometic Brisk II

One other nice possibility by the favored model is the Dometic Brisk II. This sturdy and light-weight unit makes use of aircraft-grade elements – so you understand it’s constructed to final.

Weighing in at 77 kilos, this unit is 22 kilos lighter than the Penguin. Plus, it options 3 fan speeds, a washable filter (no extra allergens), and distant management. Get pleasure from cooling your camper van from the consolation of your mattress.

Oh yea, that is additionally a really quiet unit due to vibration-reducing know-how.

7. Frigidaire Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

There’s a cause you don’t see a ton of vans with an A/C unit dangling out the again window. However, it will possibly completely be executed. The truth is, plenty of ProMaster van conversion fanatics have cleverly found out a solution to set up a residential window A/C unit of their rigs.

So if it’s essential to set up a window-mounted unit (for no matter cause), right here’s our decide: the Frigidaire Window-Mounted Air Conditioner.

This unit has plenty of cool options: wifi connectivity, multi-direction air movement, and a washable filter. Plus, it has an energy-saving mode and makes use of much less energy than different fashions (saving you cash).

8. Dometic RTX 2000

Dometic RTX 2000 Air Conditioner for camper van
Dometic RTX 2000 battery-powered air conditioner. Photograph from Dometic

Dometic not too long ago launched their new A/C, the Dometic RTX 2000. This self-contained roof cooler is battery-powered with as much as 12 hours of working time – so it’s going to maintain you cool all evening!

In its eco-mode, this extremely environment friendly gadget solely consumes 19-amps. With the potential to pump out 6824 BTUs and a turbo cooling possibility, this A/C can cool your residing house down shortly.

This rooftop unit is appropriate for ambient temperatures of 41 levels F to 126 levels F.

How A lot is an Air Conditioner for a Camper?

Air conditioners for camper vans vary in worth from DIY (the 5-gallon bucket cooler) to nicely over $4000. There are alternatives on the market for each price range although.

For a true 12-volt van air conditioner – that’s, an A/C meant to run off your van’s home battery – you’re over $4000. Some of these items use a lot much less energy so they’re finest for off-grid van life.

A lot of the items on our record will run you lower than or close to $1000.

Once you’re within the midst of your van build-out, you completely don’t need to breeze previous your heating and cooling wants. Being too scorching might be stifling – to not point out unhealthy. Make sure you put a piece of become your A/C and/or heater wants.

What’s the Quietest Air Conditioner for my Camper Van?

When deciding on an A/C on your van construct, loudness goes to be an element. There may be nothing worse than making an attempt to sleep with the annoying whining, spinning, vibrating, or some other noise an A/C could make.

The 4 quietest air conditioners on our record are:

  • Coleman Mach 15
  • Dometic Brisk II
  • Fresair S6
  • Dometic RTX 2000

Whereas it could appear daunting to search out the perfect air conditioner on your van, we’ve executed the analysis and have compiled an inventory of our suggestions. From battery-powered items to swamp coolers, there’s an A/C possibility on the market for you!

The very last thing you need in scorching climate is to be stifling scorching whilst you’re experiencing the journey of van life. Which kind do you suppose can be finest suited on your life-style? Or what kind of A/C do you will have put in?

Associated Studying:

1. RV Window Insulation Ideas for Summer season and Winter

2. Can I Run the RV A/C Whereas Driving?

3. Is it Protected To Depart a Pet in an RV?

4. RV Window Tinting – Improve Privateness and Cut back Warmth

5. Can Photo voltaic Panels Actually Energy an RV Air Conditioner?

6. Greatest Campervan Rental Firms: US and Canada

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