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Author Topic: Retrofit Air-con  (Read 4347 times)

Dion Jones

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Retrofit Air-con
« on: May 25, 2017, 04:15:30 PM »
Has anyone ever retrofitted aircon in their van?
Seems expensive to me an i'm not sure how much it would help.

Camper_Dan

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Re: Retrofit Air-con
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2017, 12:53:30 AM »
Regular A/C uses too much power unless you have either shore power or a generator, however there are several versions of 12v A/C home made versions.

I have one, it's the kind that uses an ice chest & a heater core with a fan behind it.  Works great, and 99% of the time, I just use water without adding ice.  This version does not add any moisture to the air.  If it's a dry climate, just a 12v swamp cooler will work well too.

Cheers!
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sparkyboy

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Re: Retrofit Air-con
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 10:05:32 PM »
Check this out:
I will be be building one soon, but you can buy one for a little over $100
http://www.instructables.com/id/Portable-12V-Air-Conditioner---Cheap-and-easy!/

Camper_Dan

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Re: Retrofit Air-con
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 05:08:44 AM »
Here's the plans I used in building mine...



I like this better because the ice chest stays closed, and it's easier to direct the air where you want it.  I used one of those 12v clip on fans, so I can clip it wherever I want and aim it accordingly.  I rarely need to use ice, but it will last 5-6 days if I use a big block.

It's most effective if it's blowing on you, because it takes a long time to cool the whole van down, but if it's aimed at you it's just like you're sitting in front of a regular air conditioner.

I used a fountain pump instead of a bilge pump.  Lower water flow I think...  Between the fan and the fountain pump, I think it only uses about 2-3 amps.  Cuts my time on my house battery down from 7+ days to about 6 days if I'm running it a lot.

I also added a shut off/flow control valve to mine on the line coming from the water pump.  By adjusting the flow you can get the coldest output.  Sometimes slower is better, giving the water a longer time to cool.  If you keep a big block of ice in a separate container from the flowing water, it lasts much longer.

If my van is really hot inside, I'll wrap the cooler in a moving blanket, to help preserve the cold water and ice if I'm using it, longer.
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sparkyboy

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Re: Retrofit Air-con
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 06:41:31 PM »
That's cool! Thanks for the tip camper Dan! I'll build mine like yours since keeping the lid closed does seem a lot better 😊 and I don't have to cut up my cooler!
Still pretty nice here in Colorado, but I will definitely need one soon
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 06:46:21 PM by sparkyboy »