The only way to stay cool and comfortable on a caravan vacation in hot weather is to have an air conditioning (AC) unit. But how can you pick the best type or model for your caravan when there are so many options? We’ll provide you with some useful advice and things to keep in mind when selecting an AC unit for your caravan in this blog post. But first, let’s discuss a bit about caravan AC and its power sources.
Did you know that caravan AC can run on both battery and solar power? That’s right; you don’t have to rely solely on mains power to run your caravan’s AC unit. Running an AC unit on battery power is possible, but it depends on the capacity of your batteries and the type of AC unit you have. Solar power is also an option, but it requires an adequate number of solar panels and a good solar charge controller.
Now, let’s move on to the tips and considerations for choosing the right AC unit for your caravan.
- Decide on the suitable dimensions for your AC unit
The first step in choosing an AC unit for your caravan is to determine the size you need. The size of the AC unit is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) and refers to the amount of cooling power the unit can produce. The size you need will depend on the size of your caravan, the number of people inside, and the climate you’ll be traveling in. As a general rule, you’ll need 20 BTUs per square foot of living space.
- Consider the type of AC unit
There are three types of AC units that are commonly used in caravans: rooftop, portable, and split systems.
- Rooftop AC
This kind of AC is installed on the roof of the caravan and is a popular choice for many caravanners. They’re generally more powerful than portable units and don’t take up valuable interior space. However, they can be noisy, and installation can be tricky.
- Portable AC
This is a stand-alone unit that can be moved around the caravan. They’re easy to install and don’t require any modifications to the caravan. However, they’re usually less powerful than rooftop units and take up valuable floor space.
- Split systems
This type of AC is made up of two units: one unit is installed inside the caravan, and the other is installed outside. They’re usually more expensive than other types of AC units, but they’re also more efficient and quieter. Split systems are a good choice if you want a more permanent AC solution for your caravan.
- Consider the energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is an essential consideration when choosing an AC unit for your caravan. An energy-efficient unit will not only save you money on your energy bills but also reduce your carbon footprint. Search for AC units that possess a higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The unit’s energy efficiency increases with a higher SEER rating. It’s also worth considering units with inverter technology, which can save up to 40% on energy costs.
- Check the noise level
When choosing an AC unit, the noise level is an essential factor to consider, particularly if you’ll be using it at night. A noisy AC unit can interfere with your sleep, making you feel tired and irritable during the day. Rooftop units tend to be louder than portable or split systems, and they may be more disruptive to your neighbors if you’re in a campground or RV park. To minimize noise, look for units with a decibel (dB) rating of 60 or lower, which is the equivalent of a normal conversation. This rating ensures that the AC unit operates quietly, allowing you to sleep soundly throughout the night.
- Consider the installation process
The installation process is an important consideration when choosing an AC unit for your caravan. Rooftop units require professional installation, which can be costly. Portable units are easy to install and don’t require any modifications to the caravan. Split systems require professional installation but are generally easier to install than rooftop units.
When choosing an AC unit, consider the installation process and whether you have the necessary skills and tools to install the unit yourself. If not, factor in the cost of professional installation.
- Look for additional features
Finally, look for additional features that can make your caravan AC unit more convenient and user-friendly. For example, a remote control can make it easier to adjust the temperature from across the caravan. A timer function can allow you to set the unit to turn on or off at specific times. An air purifier can improve air quality inside the caravan.
Choosing the right AC unit for your caravan is crucial for a comfortable trip. Factors to consider include unit size, type, energy efficiency, noise level, installation, and features. You can choose AC units that run on battery or solar power to reduce reliance on mains power. Follow these tips to find an AC unit that meets your needs and budget for a happy travel experience.