air con for a pop top caravan

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air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Maddog on Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:58 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help. I have a Jayco pop top caravan and I'm wondering what is the best way to cool it during summer. I have no tolerance to heat due to injuries etc. I currently run a 12 volt dual battery and inverter with solar panel system but I can get a generator. Is an evaporative cooler the best way? Any knowledge is appreciated.

Cheers

Manny
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  davsgold on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:08 pm

G'day Maddog

I don't think a 12v battery, solar panel & inverter will keep up with even an evaporative cooler, what you really need to keep you cool is a proper air con, like a reverse cycle refridgerated type, yu can get small ones from places like "bunnings" or "good guys" that will work well. But you will need to run a genny to operate it, or have access to 240v power outlet.

cheers dave
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Maddog on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:14 pm

np thanks for that Dave do you have any suggestions on what type i need, i will buy a generator also if need be.


Ali said to say hello to you're wife.

cheers Manny and Ali.
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  mariner3800 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:21 pm

Hi Maddog,

We are about to pick up our Jayco pop top that we have set up specifically for prospecting, shower, toilet and fully self sufficient for many days in the bush.

I did a fare amount of research on this and it all pointed us to ordering a cassette roof mounted AC unit. We were advised that the smaller in cupboard units will struggle in a pop top.

The next step was to do the research on a generator as you will need a Honda 2i or larger to run the AC.

We have ordered a Chinese generator off EBay about one quarter the price and has a remote start. All reports and feed back has been positive on these, let's hope??

Anyway good luck with it all

Peter
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Post  bundy06 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:22 pm

Gidday Manny as dave said you will need a 2kva gennie at least we have a heron in our jayco pop top it is a split system the out let is in the centre stand and the rest is mounted under the front bench The aircon has handle any hot weather we have encountered with no problems
Cheers Dave cartwright cheers cheers


Last edited by bundy06 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Left out info)
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Post  bundy06 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Gidday Manny as dave said you will need a 2kva gennie at least we have a heron in our jayco pop top it is a split system the out let is in the centre stand and the rest is mounted under the front bench
Cheers Dave cartwright cheers cheers
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  davsgold on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:25 pm

G'day Manny

And the mrs said hi back to Ali

I don't know the brand but I know that Narrawa who is a member on here fitted a small squarish one into the front window of his pop top van and it worked ok as far as I know.

If Narrawa is reading this he may be able to tell you the brand and put up a pic. (or PM him for details)

cheers dave
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Narrawa on Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:58 pm

The one i installed with the help of friends from this forum, was an LG 1.75kW. The model # escapes me but is no longer available i was told. Bought from the Good Guys.
Its the refrigeration type, none reverse cycle...just cooling. Its able to run off the Honda 20i pulling only 580W...and would run off any 1kva generator.
Very quick to install and with very little butchering to the vans front window...which is where you want it mounted as it blows towards the sleeping area where you'll need it most on hot nights. (my opinion)
Its very quiet with three fan speeds...we only use it on low in such a small van...its all you need.
For $280 ya cant go wrong.





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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Maddog on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Thanks for all you help every one cheers Manny and the pace family
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  waznme on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:14 pm


You can fit an inverter type reverse cycle split system far cheaper than any "real" caravan aircon.

And it will work on about a third of the power that the rooftop type need.

I have a friend who has a Panasonic fitted and he has run it through his inverter but he has a fair swag of panels.

Split systems are also far quiter than van systems. Inverter types use far less power, especially on start-up.

I belong to a few Caravan Forums and many have done this but I have yet to hear first hand of one failing.

Those I have heard of, are from repairers who have their own barrow to push.

If I ever buy a new van it will have a domestic type split system aircon fitted. Many van makers will do this now.


Waz

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Re Air con for Pop Top

Post  bunter9 on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:23 pm

Manny, We have a 2 Kva gennie, and a Heron 2.2Air con in a 16 foot Pop Top; Does the job. Regards,Bill.

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Harb on Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:22 am

I have one of those typical Coleman in roof air conditioners in the roof of my 20' offroad van.
In my opinion there is only 1 choice in generators....... Honda Eu20i....... I have many others, as I also use them for work sometimes, but the Honda is king....hands down.
The power it produces is clean enough to run sensitive electronics etc.... many of the cheap ones have really filthy power and are a danger to your gear.
It will go every time , 1 pull............... I have had mine for 5years now and never changed as much as a spark plug.... it just keeps going like the day I brought it and it gets a lot of use.
The other thing is it is sooooo quiet compared to other gensets.
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  C. Nyal de Kaye on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:55 am

I absolutely agree with Harb.

I have had my Honda Eu20i for 9 years and it has performed perfectly. I run a computer from it, and also a CPAP machine, and they will not run on "filthy power" as Harb calls it.

Get a Honda and be confident that it will meet your needs. From my research into this I think that you will be disappointed with the cheaper ones.

Good luck mate.
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  boobook on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:07 am

Manny.
I would shy away from considering a roof mounted A/C on a poptop van.
First, the roof structure may not be adequate for the addition weight and then it all may prove too difficult to lift if you are suffering from injury.
Our 15' x 6'6" poptop van came with a split system A/C installed, a Heron 2.2 with the compressor installed under the bed and the air handler mounted in the back wall (blowing foward)
It runs very quietly and provides excellent cooling on those hot days/nights it is used.
Importantly for us (bush track travellers) nothing protrudes to the outside to be damaged by tree branches etc. (unlike the awning stays and roll!)
I reckon you should be able to have a similar split system installed in your van.
Yes, they do require min. 1.5kva to run.
mike

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re air con for pop top caravan

Post  Maddog on Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:44 am

boobook your sounds like the way i need to go.would it be possibly for you to take 2 pictures an inside and outside view for me to see how i will approach it. To everyone who has commented i relay appreciate it you have given me alto food for thought Cheers Manny
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  boobook on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:54 pm

Manny.
Could you please send me an email to: bushyx2(at)bigpond(dot)com
cheers mike

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Re air con on pop top caravan

Post  Maddog on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:43 pm

np mike i pm you my email thanks again Manny
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  shandeemax on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:26 pm

Hey Guys,
In my opinion Harb & C. Nyal de Kaye are spot on regarding Honda gennys. I recently bought a 1kva Kipor genny to run a 850watt hammer drill & the genny failed after less than 30 mins use. I took it back & eventually ended up getting most of my money back but decided to get a bigger/better quality genny to replace it (Honda Eu20i). Found out that the Hondas will handle much greater start-up load than other gennys of same rating (all induction motors draw much more load than the rated running load) & that's why they are the preferred genny for caravan air con. cheers
Cheers Andy
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Guest on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:55 pm

Tad off track, but I have to agree the Honda EU20I is the ducks nuts in regards to reliability & performance, especially for running an air con or fridge, they'l handle 2400 watts for a short time, which covers the start up of what your wanting! Most appliances will never state the start up draw, be careful of that!
The big concern with the 2 KVA was lack of load, especially for camping, most times you will have a hard time trying to use 1KVA worth of power. Lack of load in other models would glaze the bores and stuff the engine due to lack of compression, the EU20I will handle it with ease. You won't buy better.
Cheers
Chris.

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  boobook on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:53 am

I have to agree with the comments re Honda quality.
I have both the 10 and the 20.
The 10 (6yrs. old) has run approx. 2500hrs., the 20 (3yrs. old) approx. 550hrs.
Neither has required more than the regular ~100hrs. oil change, I did replace the spark plug in the 10, but for no particular reason.
The 10 has always worked at about 70% rated load, the 20 varies between full rated and about 25%.
To this end it is periodically run with eco sw. off for 30mins or so.
The 20 actually uses less fuel/hr. than the 10 if both similarly loaded.
mike

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Narrawa on Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:44 pm

Lack of load in other models would glaze the bores and stuff the engine due to lack of compression, the EU20I will handle it with ease.

Interesting as many would err on the side of fuel economy than worrying about the effects of glazing. Meaning most would run the load on eco throttle if full throttle was not required, how is it that the eu20i will handle it any different from the others.?
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Harb on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:46 pm

I run mine on eco throttle and let it work it all out......
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Guest on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:54 pm

Good point Narrawa, without a good explanation on my part! The EU10I & 30 will both suffer glazed bores if never put under some decent load!
I worked for Honda for some years, so seeing first hand is believing. I've also owned a 10 & 20 which were used on a almost daily basis for 10 years as we lived with
no mains power connected to our property. I had to re ring and hone the bore on the EU10I twice due to glazed bores over a 3 year period. The EU20I never got touched.
If your only using your geny on the odd occasion then there's a chance you'd never see this problem, however, slowly but surely it will be happening!
From memory the owners manual states somewhere, to load up your geny on a regular basis? May have been our workshop CD manual.
Cheers
Chris.

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Narrawa on Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:06 am

A good explanation is what i was looking for, re your comment....
Lack of load in other models would glaze the bores and stuff the engine due to lack of compression, the EU20I will handle it with ease.Which got me thinking you knew something about the EU20i that was not known, preventing it from failing from this phenomenon. Very Happy
So i did some reading, basically the EU20i is no different to any other generator build, except for the fact it maybe built to more exacting standards...as are many modern engines built today that have to pass certain stds.

And here i was thinking the 20i was a super generator....and perhaps i may have had a win and bought tomorrows technology Laughing Laughing Laughing .

If your into reading...checkout this LINK... and on the left where it says download...click on FULLTEXT.
Its a damn good read on the subject, which we have strayed a little from, so in keeping with the thread title.....i best say something in relation....damn! its cold in here. Laughing
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:51 pm

Boobook has had a good run with his EU10 because it runs at 70% capacity, that's a good thing! Problems start when they run at around 10 to 30% capacity on a regular basis!
Turning eco throttle off will not load the geny, just increases the revs! So to keep your geny in good shape, load it up with an appliance that equals it's max output, every 10 hours of use for 1 to 2 minutes would be a good thing.
Also oil should be changed at 10 hours, not 100, it's only a small amount of oil Smile Thou having said that, our old EU20 would be lucky to see new oil within 500 hours of use?
I'm done.
Your thread is returned!
Chris.

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:27 am

A VERY GOOD TOPIC

Will take on board some ideas to air con my jayco pop top 16'
I think the way to go will be with a small but efficient split system...daikan or something of that quality..
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Oneday69

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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Narrawa on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:54 pm

About the only thing you really need to consider is, the imput Wattage if your going to use a geny in the 2kva range, and your going to use other items when the aircon is running.
The honda from the readups iv read will shut down at certain temps when to hot. Running an aircon near the full output Wattage is one way this will happen in summer. Whether its a feature or not, its not in the specs...or i missed it. But have read about it in the caravan/exsploroz forums.
Find a split system less than 1000W and your doing well, because it leaves you some reserve, however from those i spoke to with either systems said the heating side of it in winter was useless and took some time to warm up. Meaning it will be running for a while before you get the benefits.
Thats why i went with a cheap single system that has cool only.

During winter we have a small halogen heater with two settings, both bars run at 500W each, one with a fan...$20 from Coles. Tested it on the eu20i while monitoring the 240v with a multimeter showed no fluctuation at all while switching on and off. Instant heat, and in a small van 16' - 20' i doubt you would need anything bigger. Have used it many nights before summer kicked in back in NSW and one bar with fan was an over kill in our 16' poptop.
Having spent years detecting at night round Hill End NSW and surrounds during winter, we know all to well what its like at night once you leave the campfire, to log off for the night.
I figure a cup full of juice in the geny with electric blankets running and heater running, should take the edge off when climbing into bed during winter over here. During that time, the 240v batt charger tops up the van battery whether it needs it or not.
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Re: air con for a pop top caravan

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:31 pm

I'LL have to make sure i get a funnel for the mrs---dont want to waste any fuel when pouring some down her throat otherwise she'll run short and wont keep me warm. jocolor
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