The humidity at night can be unbearable, especially for our British readers who have to survive the humidity with no air conditioners!
Trying to sleep in a caravan on a hot sticky summer night can be horrendous.
An AC unit can make the difference from a terribly uncomfortable night to a comforting night sleep in an ice cool bedroom.
But what are the best air conditioners for caravans?
- EUROM AC2401
- Inventor Chilly 9000BTU
- Aventor Comfort
In this post I’ll not only explain my experience of air cooling units, and the result of 7 hours continuously cooling an 8ft x 10ft closed off room, but also the pros and cons of air conditioning units.
We will also look at what you really need to look for to make sure you don’t just end up with an expensive fan blowing hot air around your caravan!
Our Top AC Choices for a Cool Caravan
Here are what we believe would make great caravan air conditioning choices based on lots of different factors, but ultimately each will give you a wonderful cool experience in your caravan.
The EUROM AC2401 has superseded the ever popular AC2400 model.
It’s a twin unit meaning one unit (the compressor) will sit outside the caravan, usually outside a window using the supplied bracket. The other unit, being the fan, will be placed inside the caravan – and the two units are connected by a rather ridged hose.
The 2400 btu although low compared to home based air conditioning units, is an ok size for a small caravan – not perfect for cooling a large static caravan though – or it could, given enough time.
For mobile caravans and motorhomes these are wonderful. They are much better than air cooling units and less power intensive as some of the portable varieties, which really are designed for home use.
Noise level is at 55 dB, which is pretty standard for an air conditioning unit.
It would be a perfect option for someone with a motorhome, not wanting a more power hungry portable air con unit or for use in just one room.
Inventor Chilly 9000BTU
The Inventor Chilly on the other hand is a portable power unit. 9000 btu, it will really help cool down a caravan, whether a motorhome or static caravan.
It’s even quieter than the twin unit, at an advertised 52 dB (although some claim this to be nearer 60 dB).
It’s portable, so it means you can move it from room to room. Although you will need to always fix the hose through an outside window.
These can be more power hungry for electricity consumption than the smaller units but with such an investment means you are not just limited to caravan use – you can use it in your home or workspace too.
The Aventor Comfort is a top of the range roof mounted air conditioning system for caravans.
It offers cooling and heating modes, so it can be used all year round.
These units do require professional installation, but if you want a permanent solution that can be switched off and on with the click of a button, this could be the best solution for you.
Air Conditioners Compared – In-Depth Feature Review
|Air Conditioner||Type||BTU||Weight||Noise||More Info|
|EUROM AC241||Twin Unit||2400||20kg||55 dB||More Info|
|Inventor Chilly||Portable Unit||9000||23.5kg||52 dB||More Info|
|Aventor Comfort||Installed||NA||33kg||NA||More Info|
Types of Caravan Air Conditioners
There are two main types of air conditioner units that work inside a caravan:
- Small Unit with Separate Compressors
- Small Portable Units
- Large Installed Units
Small Units with Separate Compressors
If you do not like the idea of a permanent fixed aircon solution, running through your roof and into a fixed outlet, there is a solution.
A small tabletop air con unit inside the caravan, connected to a compressor unit outside the caravan by way of a hose or pipe through an open window, may offer you the best of both worlds.
The outside compressor unit ‘hangs’ outside a caravan window and connects to a small aircon unit inside the caravan via a pipe.
These are not the traditional flexi hose pipe you often see on home aircon units, so once your aircon unit is set in place it isn’t so easy to just pick it up and take it a different room.
Not without going through the entire setup and install again. It’s possible but if this is your intention, a small portable unit may be a little easier to manage.
This is an alternative to a more expensive roof based or floor based air con system – and cost on average around £750.
Small Portable AC Units
Small portable units are on average 4 feet in height. Although not always incredibly lightweight, they should be portable enough to lift, or wheel, from room to room.
These are ideal if you do not want to go through the hassle of large units installed to the outside of your caravan and fed internally though open grills to your rooms.
They will require an external hose to be connected to an outside open window, but connecting kits are available to help create a seal and prevent warm air from outside coming into the room.
Small portable AC units cost on average £350.
Large Installed AC Units
Although these require a greater amount of installation cost and work, once they are in place operating them through a control panel is a breeze.
You won’t need to setup the unit each time you need to use it or worry about moving a portable unit from room to room – and then the hassle of connecting the hose to the window.
This is the most expensive option, so those looking for a more budget friendly option should look towards the small-fixed unit, or portable air conditioning unit.
Setting Up and Installing
Some aircon units are easier to set up than others.
Let’s have a look at how to set up each type of unit, so you know what is involved which may help with your decision making.
Setting Up a Small Fixed AC Unit
These air conditioning units come in two parts. One unit houses the compressor, and the other unit houses the fan.
Here are the setup instructions:
- Installer the compressor to the window using the brackets provided – it will look as if your aircon unit is hanging from the window from outside your caravan
- Place the internal fan unit on to the brackets from inside the caravan
- Attach the hose or pipe between the units
- Close the window
Setting Up a Portable AC Unit in a Caravan
Portable AC units are the easiest to setup, but still come with challenges.
- Wheel or manoeuvre the unit into the room you wish to use it
- Ensure the hose is attached to the air conditioning unit
- The other end needs to be placed outside the caravan, and is best done through an open window
- It’s best to keep the window opening as small as possible – so either place towels or liners around the gaps, or you could buy a ready-made window sealant designed to fill the gap around the frame whilst holding the hose pipe in place
Setting up an Installed AC Unit in a Caravan
These are probably best left to the professionals.
The last thing you will want to do is damage your caravan before a trip you’ve been planning and looking forward to.
Here are the two most common ways of installing a permanent air con unit.
On the Roof
This is usually the preferred way, as long as there is adequate space.
With the air conditioning unit installed in the ceiling, the fan system operates within the caravan whilst the external part, and compressor, feed to the outside air from the roof.
Once in place you simply need to switch on and off when you need.
Under the Bed
If the roof isn’t an option, the main air conditioning unit can be installed in alternative storage space, such as under the bed.
In order for this to work successfully flumes will be run from floor to ceiling in order to connect to output air conditioning fans in the ceiling of the caravan to throw lots of lovely cold air across different rooms.
There is more installation work required here due to the pipes and flumes but is a good alternative when roof space is limited.
Are Air Conditioners Better Than Air Coolers
I am writing this on a hot humid ‘muggy’ night. A night like this is the very best time to write such a post as there’s nothing like experience in order to be able to relate.
And right now, I can certainly relate to you – on the assumption you are also reading this on an equally hot humid night, looking for some way to survive the heat.
Air coolers are popular because they are around 60% cheaper than air conditioning units.
But they are cheaper for a reason.
I purchased an air cooling unit not too long ago.
I was so excited because I was finally about to have a decent night sleep in about 2 weeks. I ripped open the box, threw away the packaging and took a look at the shiny white box that stood before me.
I had to resist the urge to give it a kiss as I lifted it out of the box. I switched on this wonderful piece of technology and waited.
I left the room and came back 2 hours later. To my slight surprise the room felt no different.
I gave it a few more hours – opened the door again, expecting the blast of the artic to knock me off my feet, only to find a slight humid breeze slap me instead.
After 6-7 hours in a room a size of 10 foot by 8 foot, it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference.
If you stood next to the unit you could notice a cooling effect, and I would estimate around 50% cooler than a standard oscillating fan can achieve, but you’d probably have to sleep with it next to the bed to feel any benefits.
I took mine back to the shop the very next day, bitterly disappointed.
The reality is air coolers have their place and do dish out cooler air than a fan will although are unlikely to cool down a humid room – but they are no match for the power of an air conditioner.
On the plus side, air coolers are much quieter than their conditioner counterpart.
How Noisy are Air Conditioning Units?
Unfortunately, these units are noisy.
There is no way to sugar coat this or and I am going to make not attempt at making them sound quieter than they are.
In the US, the steady hum of air con units are almost so common that most people notice them usually by their absence.
In the UK this is no so common unless you’re unfortunate enough to be staying next to an air conditioning unit just outside your hotel bedroom window.
To put the noise in to context, an average air conditioning unit operates at 60 dB, which is the equivalent of hair dryer at full power.
How Much Electricity Do They Use?
600 watts to 1500 watts is the electricity usage of air conditioning in a caravan. The wattage is dependent on the btu rating of the air con unit. A 7000 BTU unit will use 600 watts when running and a 15000 btu will use 1500 watts. 1000 watts costs on average 18p an hour to run.
As you can see, air conditioning units aren’t incredibly expensive to run. At 18p an hour, running for 7 hours a day, it will cost £1.26 a day or £37.80 per month.
On average a UK person will spend 60 days in a caravan per year. At this rate, the electricity cost of running an air conditioning unit in a caravan, per annum, is £75.60.
Of course, caravan air conditioning doesn’t use the same electricity costs, but this will hopefully provide an average with comparisons to home usage.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you sleep in a caravan with AC on?
It’s possible to sleep with caravan AC on at night. It will keep the air cool. Prolonged exposure to air conditioning can bring on cold like symptoms for a while but these often pass quickly. Air conditioning can be expensive, so if cost is an issue, it may be best to turn off at night.
How heavy are air conditioning units for caravans?
27kg to 35kg is an average weight for a roof installed air conditioning units. A portable unit will weigh on average 20kg to 25 kg.
In Conclusion – Best AC Units for Caravans
There are lots of great options out there to cool down your caravan during those hot summer days and nights.
Whether you choose a twin unit, portable or installed roof air con unit will often come down to the size of your caravan, plus whether you want to also use in your home too (hint: the portable option).
Whichever option you choose you’ll find yourself the envy of everyone else sweltering in the heat, whilst you enjoy the cool, crisp air whilst tucked up at night in your caravan!