After Market Aircon

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After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 11:33 am

I'm coming to the conclusion that a used Nuevo ES may be the answer to our requirements.

We need occasional small grandson seat and probably best if Mrs SDA could sit in the rear with him, so a 4 seater.

We need space for two bearded collies in their canvas crates and on a Nuevo ES they'd fit on the floor behind the front seats.

We need single beds with one at least 6ft 3ins for my 6ft 2ins frame and using singles allows more dog lying space at night.

Being a smallish van it would be possible to use it as an occasional daily driver.

The problem comes with aircon. It's really necessary with two big hairies while travelling and for our own comfort. The trouble is we can't really afford a post '07 Nuevo when cab aircon first became available. An auxiliary aircon on a cheaper model may be a suitable answer but those I've heard about seem to be habitation units, where I've gained the impression they can only be used when pitched and stationary. Is this the case or are they usable whilst travelling, or are only certain models usable whilst travelling? We think we can live without aircon whilst pitched, but I guess that becomes a standard part of the package?
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by meanchris on Sun May 01, 2016 3:38 pm

As far as I'm aware, because aircon is necessarily power hungry at around 1-3kW, you wont find 12V aircon and it must be used on EHU (I'll be humbled and surprised if someone corrects me on this).

The cab aircon is driven from an engine powered compressor so, while costing a few horsepower (@ 746W/hp), it's small potatoes for a running engine.

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 5:06 pm

I've been browsing the after market aircon manufacturer's webpages and Dometic say that their roof mounted units can be run on 12V with the fitting of an additional option kit. It doesn't say they can be used whilst mobile, just that they can be run on 12 volt. Whilst running on 12 volt whilst stationary and without hook up would, I assume, quickly deplete the battery, I also assume that if the engine is running and the alternator charging then the battery would be constantly replenished, as it would also be on hook up.
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 5:30 pm

I've also spotted a 2006 Nuevo ES on Autotrader on the previous chassis which states it has cab aircon. My understanding was that cabair wasn't available on Boxers 'til the X250 model became available in 2007. So is it possible that this '06 Pug had aircon?
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by meanchris on Sun May 01, 2016 5:35 pm

Let's assume a 1200W input unit (for simplicity).

At 12V DC that's 100 amps being drawn from the battery(s)

Even if you have 3x110 Ah batteries (as we did in our Broads boat) that's a helluva drain on the batteries, and the cabling has to be pretty hefty to accommodate that sort of current.

Aircon works just like a fridge, except that a fridge only has to cool a fixed amount of air (and beer) and is then sealed tight and insulated to prevent that cooled air absorbing heat from the surroundings again.

Aircon has to cool much higher volumes of air and has to do it continuously while the van is absorbing heat from its surroundings over a huge surface area.

I personally think that it's a no go-er from a 12V supply as it's too impractical.

I also think that it's pointless to run high wattage 230V appliances from 12V -> 2/3kW Inverter for the same reasons.
I suspect that the 12V aircon will actually be running from an inverter sited near to the batteries, to avoid the heavy cable required to supply current to an actual 12V aircon (if there IS such a thing).

Regarding using the alternator to replenish the battery, yes it's theoretically possible, but you'd require a decent sized alternator, say around 120A output, and to have the engine running almost continuously to avoid draining the battery(s) very rapidly.

There may well be people willing to implement all this for a price, but I think it's a waste of money.

You can quite easily buy a roof vent mounted aircon unit, (I nearly bought one off ebay) but I'd expect to be using it via EHU, which is straightforward, not from 12V which is IMHO impractical.

Someone may know better, (that's not unusual here). hugegrins
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 5:51 pm

Dometic say this on their web pages:


  • 230volts AC stationary operation

  • Using DC-Kit-2 or DC-Kit-3 also for mobile operation (12 volts DC)

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by meanchris on Sun May 01, 2016 5:53 pm

Thanks Andy - I'll have a look and see how utterly impractical how they do it. up! hugegrins
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by meanchris on Sun May 01, 2016 6:20 pm

I had a look at the DC-1 DC-2 DC-3 kits Andy, to me they look, erm, optimistically specified let's say, as do the aircon units themselves. The wattages and currents advertised don't appear to me to add up.

I'd be very interested to see what other people think of this:

Cooling capacity 1000W

Heating capacity 800W

230V AC

Current consumption 2.9-3.5A

Regardless, to my mind that's totally impractical for use in a motorhome without a very hefty battery bank at 12V.

I'll stick my neck out and say that I'm confident that you wouldn't be able to run any decent capacity aircon unit all day on a hot day without either an enormous battery bank or by using EHU or a generator, or running the engine all day fitted with an oversized alternator.

I used to assist with the design, and now maintain and repair large inverters for melting large tonnages of metals, up to about 8000kW, and I personally don't think that 12V-230V inverters are the answer to mobile power requirements, unless one is either very wealthy or desperate, there just not enough energy stored in a reasonably sized 12V battery to make it practical in my view. (maybe on a narrow boat or motor cruiser
with room for a large battery bank and the ability to run the engine unobtrusively for longish periods).

By all means expect to run aircon fro EHU, that's not a major problem. up!
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 6:21 pm

Anyone know about the possibility of an '06 Boxer having cabair, or is the dealer posting rubbish? Unheard of I know.

As to running aircon off an EHU, I'm not wanting to cool the van while pitched only while moving.
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by daisy mae on Sun May 01, 2016 6:51 pm

Have taken two Bearded  Collies in my MH  , and I don`t have or want air conditioning, will travel when it is cooler most of the time, if not,  Heiki 2 blinds are closed as well as the side blinds, fan on cool in the cab, , both cab windows open, get a cool breeze in the back,  van remains cool. there is always a bowl of water near the fridge. have had no issues and dogs were fine.
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 7:14 pm

You must have a greater tolerance of heat than we do. 

Opening a window just seems to create an blast of air (often warm air) which is uncomfortable and doesn't cool plus it lets in a lot of exterior noise. 

There's no way we could have our dogs unrestrained as their high spirits might cause an accident and the thought of them cannoning about a vehicle in an emergency stop, or worse, doesn't bear thinking about.
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by meanchris on Sun May 01, 2016 7:15 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:Anyone know about the possibility of an '06 Boxer having cabair, or is the dealer posting rubbish? Unheard of I know.

As to running aircon off an EHU, I'm not wanting to cool the van while pitched only while moving.

If you can get a van with cab aircon, then maybe it would be possible to use some flexible ducting, like the usual AS warm air ducting, to take cool air from the cab footwell back to where you keep the dogs?

If you do manage to find an X244 with aftermarket or factory aircon, that would be interesting, I wouldn't mind having it fitted if not too expensive.

There's some leeway when you consider the cost of the Dometic hab aircon units. (the Dometic under seat unit looks quite tempting too, though a bit bulky)
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 7:26 pm

We had cabair in our Transit based Innovation and whilst it didn't exactly give the interior an icy chill on hot days, it certainly reduced the temperature throughout the van, even up the back where the beardies were in their custom-made Barjo metal crate. 

I'm still suspicious of that '06 X244 Nuevo as my understanding was that it wasn't possible to have cabair on that model and that was one of the big improvements offered by the X250.
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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Sun May 01, 2016 8:10 pm

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by willy eckerslike on Sun May 01, 2016 10:05 pm

Andy, we had an 04 Ducato base van conversion which I thought was just a different badge to the pug. It had factory fitted cab aircon. I have to say the cooling was better than the heating !

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by inspiredron on Fri May 06, 2016 11:12 pm

I had cab aircon on a 2001 Fiat Ducato 2.8 JTD. It was good but the design was such that under certain conditions it would drop condensation onto the rubber mats on the passenger side of the cab. It went back several times under warranty and was improved but never cured. It was a nuisance but the amount was not significant on a rubber mat. On carpet it would be enough to cause rot and corrosion. It may have been solved on the later models (2004?) which had twin headlamps.

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by groundhog on Tue May 10, 2016 7:31 pm

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Re: After Market Aircon

Post by steamdrivenandy on Tue May 10, 2016 7:43 pm

This one is advertised http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/used-motorhomes/auto-sleepers/nuevo/2006-auto-sleeper-nuevo-4-berth-2-2-peugeot-turbo-diesel-17-10-compact-motorhome-bradford-mfpa-2c929a7a5162b235015169e317cb4749/makemodel/make/auto-sleepers/berth/4 but the dealer hasn't answered my question as to whether it really does have cabair. Trouble is when that happens you don't know whether the dealership just ignores email enquiries or is telling porkies and won't respond to someone who sounds as if they know a bit about vans. Never been fond of that dealership anyway, even when we lived over in North Yorkshire.
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