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Air-con - Think Twice


NoFixedAbode
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One of the reasons I bought the used caravan I have is that it had ducted air-con installed. I knew I could use it only on-site as it needs too much juice for even my portable generator. However when I really needed it here in Spain in July the site I was at had such a feeble electricity supply that even my fridge was luke-cold, never mind run air-con from it. I tried, but the supply tripped after a few minutes.

 

So unless you can guarantee a decent electricity supply, it's a heck of lot of weight to drag up the hills for (in my case) two afternoons' use in almost 6 months. ..

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Guest Surfer
a feeble electricity supply that even my fridge was luke-cold, . ..

 

If it is 220v there should be no problem with the fridge even if the supply was rated at 3 amp. I am sure Gary will be along soon to advsie you on the fridge. You don't say whether it was the caravan electrics that trip on the trip on the bollard outside. If caravan, you may have an unknown problem, i. e. RCF not at the correct rating etc.

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If it is 220v there should be no problem with the fridge even if the supply was rated at 3 amp. I am sure Gary will be along soon to advsie you on the fridge. You don't say whether it was the caravan electrics that trip on the trip on the bollard outside. If caravan, you may have an unknown problem, i. e. RCF not at the correct rating etc.

The fridge problem is probably related to the ambient temperature (isn't Spain "suffering" 40*c?). In my experience once it reaches more than 30*C absorption fridges struggle to maintain 5*C internally. At 35*C they can't cope. That's why I use a compressor fridge box as a back up on the continent around drawing 2amps intermittently it can operate as a freezer down to -25*C. Chill food in that first then transfer to the van fridge once chilled. As for cooling fans mounted on the back of the fridge they are a waste of money. I've tried singles and twins, mounted per Dometic instructions but they make little or no difference.

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As for cooling fans mounted on the back of the fridge they are a waste of money. I've tried singles and twins, mounted per Dometic instructions but they make little or no difference.

 

 

I would disagree with that statement, I have fitted a home made assembly to extract heat from the rear of the fridge, and whilst the fridge does struggle to perform on the reduced voltage and high ambient temperatures on continental sites, the fans DO make a difference,

 

With regard to A/C, we carted a portable unit to the south of France, and a 6a supply on the sites we used was enough to keep us cool through the nights, when the inside caravan temp, before switching on, was +30c

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Case made for a Honda 2. 0i generator.

Mine runs my Dometic B2000 perfectly.

 

 

And I'm sure your caravanning neighbours are delighted to sacrifice their peace and quiet so you can keep cool!

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I think caravan absorbtion unit fridges are rubbish. Having always travelled to sunnier climes for my hols I found that they can't keep up with the high ambient temperatures even with a full 230 volts. On my first van I fitted a couple of fans but it made little difference so I bought an Electrolux 3 way fridge just for drinks to keep in the awning and I even found that didn't cool my beers to how I like them, so this year I bought a Waeco mains only fridge which has a compressor. This is so effecient that when you turn it up to maximum it will freeze down to -15. Absolutely one of the best things I've bought.

As regards aircon, it was one of those things that was on my wish list years ago but most continental sites don't have the current to supply them and lets face it, you hardly ever need it in this country. The Heki and Remis rooflights do a pretty good job of keeping a van cool.

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Case made for a Honda 2. 0i generator.

Mine runs my Dometic B2000 perfectly.

Would it not cost a lot in petrol to run for extended periods during a hot overseas holiday?

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I think caravan absorbtion unit fridges are rubbish. Having always travelled to sunnier climes for my hols I found that they can't keep up with the high ambient temperatures even with a full 230 volts. On my first van I fitted a couple of fans but it made little difference so I bought an Electrolux 3 way fridge just for drinks to keep in the awning and I even found that didn't cool my beers to how I like them, so this year I bought a Waeco mains only fridge which has a compressor. This is so effecient that when you turn it up to maximum it will freeze down to -15. Absolutely one of the best things I've bought.

As regards aircon, it was one of those things that was on my wish list years ago but most continental sites don't have the current to supply them and lets face it, you hardly ever need it in this country. The Heki and Remis rooflights do a pretty good job of keeping a van cool.

 

That makes two of us then? Whatever Ellisrod feels about fans I've spent many hours over the years playing about with them. I've used remote sender thermometers in the fridges, kept ambient/fridge temperature records and can state very confidently that fans have a very limited use up to about 30*C and higher than that the absorption fridge struggles. If fans were useful why do Dometic and Thetford not fit them as O. E. or make them an option? I know Dometic have a fan kit but they do not advertise it!

Like you I use a compressor fridge box which runs quiet enough to have it the caravan on one night stops.

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That makes two of us then? Whatever Ellisrod feels about fans I've spent many hours over the years playing about with them. I've used remote sender thermometers in the fridges, kept ambient/fridge temperature records and can state very confidently that fans have a very limited use up to about 30*C and higher than that the absorption fridge struggles. If fans were useful why do Dometic and Thetford not fit them as O. E. or make them an option? I know Dometic have a fan kit but they do not advertise it!

Like you I use a compressor fridge box which runs quiet enough to have it the caravan on one night stops.

I think manufacturers specify their cooling capacity against an ambient temperature of 30 degrees. Like you, I couldn't get the temperature below 5. I tried running it on gas but again, there was little improvement. The voltage on some sites can drop quite a bit. This year in France, the LED used to flash on some evenings. Initially, I thought the power had tripped but it must have been a voltage drop due to the demand. Next time I'll take a multimeter with me to chesk what the voltage actually is.

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I Next time I'll take a multimeter with me to chesk what the voltage actually is.

 

 

 

 

I have several plug in meters that measure mains supplies, volts, amps, watts, watt/hours, frequency etc. Lidl sold them last year as did Tschibo shops. One here on e-bay energy monitor

 

I usually measure voltage on my site connections and have rarely found it much below 230volts. I've just plugged one in at my desk . .. voltage reading 234/235 @ 50Hz

Edited by beejay
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What's the point of travelling all that way to sunnier climates to cool yourselves down again :lol: .

 

The answer is simple :rolleyes:, day time heat good,

 

For ladies of a certain age, including my wife, who are keeping clear of HRT, it is essential that the night time enviroment is cool,

It was worth all the hassle of carting the portable A/C to south France so she could be comfortable at night .

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In my experience being parked next to a van with an air conditioning unit on top is as bad as, if not worse, than being parked next to somebody using a cheap generator.

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In my experience being parked next to a van with an air conditioning unit on top is as bad as, if not worse, than being parked next to somebody using a cheap generator.

 

Hi Colonel

 

Ooh I wasn't brave enough to say that.

 

neil

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What is a compressor fridge ? And where might I get one ? The fridge in the van isn't big enough for us 6 in all, and it doesn't even get that cold.

Ian

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What is a compressor fridge ? And where might I get one ? The fridge in the van isn't big enough for us 6 in all, and it doesn't even get that cold.

Ian

Compressor fridges are domestic fridges and use a 230V compressor.

 

Absortion fridges are caravan fridges and use a heater which can be powered from 230V, 12v or LPG. These are much less efficient than compressor fridges but more convenient through their multiple power source.

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Got a spare one, in the cellar :D Hadn't even thought of taking it with me.

Ian

Edited by jan69c
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In Spain last year I noticed that all the Dutch campers had domestic fridges beside their caravans. I soon discovered why - our 'vans fridge was unable to cope with the heat.

I looked at buying a fridge locally, but found them twice the price as the UK.

I resolved that next time we ventured to the Mediteranean we would take a proper fridge with us !

 

Neil.

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What is a compressor fridge ? And where might I get one ? The fridge in the van isn't big enough for us 6 in all, and it doesn't even get that cold.

Ian

 

I was referring to a box compressor fridge see this website box fridge.

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Guest rob_jax
I was referring to a box compressor fridge see this website box fridge.

Hi,

 

On the Eriba forum there have been a couple of articles on replacing the Dometic RM 4000 series absorbtion fridge with the very similar sized Waeco compressor model. We've been pitched next to an Eriba with a Waeco built in fridge and they are inaudible from further away than their sun canopy. ..

 

From the USA, one owner was restoring a 1970's Eriba and replaced the dead Dometic with a new Waeco unit - but needed to do some woodwork as he chose a model 3" deeper than the Dometic (or that was all that was available to him)

 

Robert

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My pockets are deep, and my arms are short :lol: Can't afford one of those babies at the minute. I think i will buy some more ice packs instead.

Ian

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I'm the OP - there was definitely an issue with the electrics at the site I referred to (fantastic in all other respects, Camping Cortijo in Cazorla (Jaen), they even provide a 4 x 4 to hoik your caravan up the very steep drive!), as the owner mentioned it, and my mains hair trimmer ran slowly, too. . On gas my Electrolux fridge is "adequate" when it's 35 degrees, but that means around 10 degrees inside. That still feels quite cold in these temperatures, although I know it should be colder.

 

And my A/C compressor is under one of the seats, so it's actually not very noticeable to my neighbours (and very few have had the opportunity of wondering what the humming is!)

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Seems there are a number of people that are not happy with their fridges performance in hot weather. Surely it's not beyond the wit of the manufacturers to come up with something a bit more efficient. What's the use of a fridge that won't go below 10 degrees? People do go to hot climates with their caravans, it's what they are for.

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That's exactly what I was thinking, seems they are designed for British weather of say 25 deg max.

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