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Air Conditioning for a Caravan

Air conditioning for a caravan is a luxury. You don’t really need an Air Conditioning for a Caravan if holidaying in the UK. It would be like a caravan owner in Saudi Arabia getting Alde heating fitted, wouldn’t it? (BTW I did google the worlds most hottest countries to come up with Saudi, shocking isn’t it)
Living in a country that see’s maybe one week of good weather, the chances of you:
A) being on holiday during that week
B) being on holiday in your caravan that week and
C) bringing your air con with you just in case, well to be honest you’re more likely to win the lottery.
All that being considered why would you buy air conditioning for a caravan? That’s a very good question. If you holiday solely in the UK and you’re a fair weather caravaner, you can get away with taking a fan with you, but, if you travel to hotter countries, well, that’s when you might consider one.
We like to caravan in the UK most of the time and we use it all year round, when we bought our most recent caravan we were very glad it had Alde heating, which I think is superior to the hot air one. Having said that if I had a hot air one, I wouldn’t replace it with Alde. Our caravan didn’t come with air conditioning though and once a year we like to do an extended holiday in the South of France in the summer. Now, in the South of France it can get hot. It can get very hot. In fact the last time we were there it reached 38 degrees. If you’re in a fancy hotel in Dubai, you’ll 100% have air conditioning and can sneak back to your room and get cool. You’ll also have a choice of restaurants, shopping centres, you name it, it will have air conditioning. 38 degrees, which is topping 100 degrees in old money, in a caravan you just can’t escape the heat, the only way is to get in your car and drive somewhere (assuming your car has air conditioning)
Just after unboxing, sitting on the box temporarily

After 3 weeks in the South of France with relentless heat we made up our mind that we’d get some sort of air conditioning sorted out for our caravan. When we got home I looked at the roof top units and we could spend £2,500 on some, but then we worried about the extra weight, which we’d carry around even when we didn’t need it, unlike a portable unit. We also considered a portable unit, like the one’s you’d use at home that sit on the floor,  which are available but these tended to be a bit too large, would need to sit on the floor and quite noisy we found.

Finally we found a website https://www.coolmycamper.com which sell caravan air conditioning units, that don’t need to be installed. We had a look at the website and were put off by the price almost £600, wow. So we continued our hunt around, all the time the memories of that unbearable heat in the back of our minds. Well, in the back of my mind really as I probably struggled the most and we ended up cutting our holiday short having to pay extra to come back on an earlier channel crossing.
After a few weeks of looking I kept coming back to coolmycamper, it just seemed such a good solution. The more I looked the more I realised that even good portable units like the ones you’d use at home could cost as much, if not more. I did a comparison of numbers and settled on BTUs. So I googled it. After confusing myself, I gave up on any comparison and decided that the cool my camper unit wasn’t as ridiculously expensive as I first thought. To justify the price to myself I decided that we only holiday in the caravan, we always go to the south of France in the summer, it’s always hot there and actually, it’s half the price of our awning!
The unit sold by CoolMyCamper is a “Eurom AC2401”. Eurom are a Dutch company, no real surprise there as the Dutch do love their caravanning judging by the amount we saw in France and they’re always very friendly and speak good English, as my Dutch needs some work.
Here’s their website, it’s in Dutch but Google should be able to help with translation.
Air Conditioning for a Caravan Some Facts
Weight: 19.4kg
Price: £590
Size:
  • Umbilical cord (between units) 1120mm
  • Fan unit W 395mm x H 360mm x D 180mm
  • Compressor W 435mm x H 410mm x D 200mm
Current Consumption: 1.53A
Cooling Capacity: 750W (2559BTU)
Regarding the weight of the unit as 20kg is not to be sniffed at and certainly can’t be ignored. To give it some perspective though a 6kg Calor bottle of gas weighs about 15kg, if you think about it that way, it isn’t that heavy at all. What we’ve decided to do it take the awning as well, but leave the sides and front panels at home. They unzip so were just left with the roof and supports. It’s an air awning so will still offer us some shade, whilst being lighter.

Air Conditioning for a Caravan Installation

Now, where to put the blooming thing. https://www.coolmycamper.com website has

Air Conditioning for a Caravan

pictures of where people have mounted the unit, usually having on the window frame with one unit inside and the other outside and for most people this seems to work.

When we bought the unit we had a Sterling caravan and the blinds worked in such a way that we would shut them with the unit in place. However, we now have a Bailey Unicorn and the blinds work differently so it’s left us with a bit of a quandary. The Sterling blinds push all the way to the top, both the fly netting and the blind itself, on the Bailey the blind if in a “frame” so the netting goes up and the blind goes down so we have an issue with the “umbilical” cord as it needs to connect the unit on the outside with the one on the inside and as it holds the coolant liquid they can’t be separated. Surely there must be a way they can design this differently, but, as caravaners we do like a challenge.
Not our caravan. Photo from coolmycamper.com

We’ve been experimenting and because the cord between the two units in only about 1 metre, you’re quite limited on where you can put it. Ideally we’d like the outdoor bit to go onto the A frame and the indoor fan to sit on the front drawer unit, however, with the Bailey with have there is the large “picture” window and if we place it there, we wouldn’t be able to shut the blinds. You can close the window with the cord in place however.

Our first thought was to not use the brackets supplied and we placed it under the kitchen window on a table, however, a “normal” height table isn’t sufficient.
**UPDATE**
We’ve decided to use the brackets supplied as there is one window that we can use, which is the kitchen one. As it will only be in place on the very hottest of days we can use it there. It will mean we can’t use the cooker as the unit will sit on top of that, however, we do mainly BBQ in hot weather, so it should effect us too much…

Air Conditioning for a Caravan Operation

The unit isn’t overly noisy it’s labeled as 49.8 to 55dB. A fridge makes about 50dB noise, as

Window does shut down to vent position

does moderate rainfall, which is the same as normal conversation. I think it’s difficult to compare those noises with the noise on this unit. I would say it wasn’t loud. Most importantly it isn’t an annoying sound. Much like a dishwasher in some ways although the noise is constant.

The operating panel is easy to use. On / off button, amount of cooling button, fan speed high / low, and a timer. That’s about it.

Air Conditioning for a Caravan Quality & Design

Air Conditioning for a Caravan
Air Conditioning for a Caravan Our unit with no brackets attached

We’re really impressed with the quality and design. I like to compare items with the iPhone design, which is simple, clean and functional. OK, you probably wouldn’t compare a mobile phone to an air conditioning unit. If I buy something that I’d consider “expensive” I expect it to look, feel and function like something well made and this certainly does all of those things perfectly well. My only criticism is with the umbilical cord. I’m not an air conditioning engineer, so don’t have a firm grasp of how these things work, but it would be good if you could separate the units somehow. It makes it all but impossible for a single person to set this up. In fact I REALLY don’t like the cord, maybe it’s just a case of getting used to it. I’ll reserve judgement on the unit until I see how it performs..

Air Conditioning for a Caravan Performance

I’ll add more details after we’ve used it in anger, well, in France actually! We’ve had it up and running for a test on the drive and it does “work”. To what level it chills at I don’t yet know. I’ve read reviews. Those that own one say it’s good, those that don’t say it can’t work, it isn’t powerful enough etc etc. I don’t know about you but I find this about a lot of things with reviews. Before I make a large purchase I read no end of reviews. Before I changed car, I read reviews and was seeing the same pattern; owners liked it, everyone else had only bad things to say. We replaced our heating system at home and have an Air Source Heat Pump, now if you read reviews on them they get absolutely slated. “It can’t warm a house” etc. We’ve had no issues with it, again, people that don’t own stuff moan about it more. Just an observation!

So, reviews from owners have been good.

Air Conditioning for a Caravan Is it worth the money?

You could purchase one from Europe for 499 Euros, but there are certain risks with that and I’m not entirely sure what the delivery cost would be. If you holiday in the Netherlands, you could pick one up whilst you’re there and you could save as at the time or writing 499 Euros is £432, so you’d save £158 which isn’t to be sniffed at. I didn’t do this as I’d be concerned about any failures and I’d only need to send the unit back once for that saving to be diminished. I come to terms with the price difference in my head by thinking that I paid about £160 deposit in the winter and when it was time for delivery in April I paid the remaining £430, so it felt like I was buying at the same price as our European friends.. There, I already feel much better.
I do think it’s a lot of money, but we’ll find out if it’s really worth it after our trip to France this summer. At the moment the fact that the cord is always there is doing my head in. It makes it so awkward to move around. Hopefully I’ll get used to it and really, once it’s in place, you won’t need to move it.
As a further update July 2018. We’ve used it in anger now in France 30+ degrees and it works brilliantly. We basically keep it on 24 hours a day. We had one issue with noise though. When I installed it I did have the cord flat so, it was making a squeaking noise. I didn’t hear it, but the guy in a trailer tent next door wasn’t happy. So I had a look and straightened the cord and the squeaking stopped. He didn’t complain again.
Here’s the video I produced whilst in Southern France at 30 degrees….
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CaravanVlogger

Experienced caravanners that are still learning!Our first caravan was a Knaus which we bought from Germany in 2006. After this we bought a Autotrail Motorhome, but sold that to build a house. Once that was done we went back to a caravan, a Sterling Eccles, which we recently part-ex'd for a Bailey Unicorn.
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6 COMMENTS

    • I’m in South of France as I type. Very effective even at 28 degrees. Our caravan is 7.92 meters long and it cools the caravan nicely. Highly recommended.
      Regards,
      Graham

    • Hopefully, fingers crossed, it looks very hot in Spain! It worked fine for us in 30 degrees. Nothing like the car air con of course, but takes the edge off the heat and gave us somewhere to escape to from the heat. Especially good at night time and wasn’t too noisy as to keep us a wake. The only down side for me was the control panel stays on, so we ended up covering that at night, as it’s quite bright.

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