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In this section we advise you, and provide assistance to others on various industry topics.

How important is the aircon in a caravan?

replies: 31
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02 Sep 2020 @ 20:39:02 pm
Rodrigo
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Hi guys maybe this was discussed already, but as I don't speak Afrikkans I may have missed it.

 

I'm new to the caravan world and looking for a used one to buy. There are so many options in the market and I'm a bit lost. I want to hear from the more experienced guys about the aircon: is it a must have or it is fine without it? Typically at night the temperature is good to sleep (in general) I think. I'm asking this because of my budget constraint.

What is your thought on this? Maybe I should buy a cheaper one without AC and fit it later? I'm looking at the Sprite Splash.

Tks. Rodrigo.

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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03 Sep 2020 @ 07:22:27 am
Chuck Norris
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It's not a must have, but a nice ๐Ÿ‘Œ ๐Ÿ’— to have.

I'm allergic to AC, so im not even used the car ๐Ÿš— one.

If it's necessary whe using the fan.

 

 

As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransies. (Parys - Frankryk)
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03 Sep 2020 @ 07:36:23 am
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Everyone's camping requirements are different......for me its a luxury {I don't have one}

WAARSKUWING:

Kampeer is aansteeklik en verslawend ๐Ÿ˜
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03 Sep 2020 @ 09:38:35 am
Swanie
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Luxury item Yes.


If you want one, look at the Quantum range they fit under the bed
You don't lose cupboard and nose cone space. I know that Van Biljoens in Pretoria is a supplier for them.


I myself Yes and it is a must for me.

Kom ons gaan kamp
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03 Sep 2020 @ 10:10:29 am
Douglas Green
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Largely depends on where and when you intend to go camping. We keep a compact oscillating fan/heater in our Splash to handle the hot/cold conditions.

One thing with the Splash though -  because the double bed headboard is close to the front window, that area gets very hot in summer and also very cold in winter. Camped at Mount Zebra one year with temp at -5 degrees - I had to sleep with a beanie and pillow over my head to keep my brain from freezing. That is why we bought the fan/heater.

Been there--done it. ( Talking about the bathroom )
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03 Sep 2020 @ 10:24:39 am
Lennie
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Rodrigo, we camped for many years in various caravans without an aircon. In my existing caravan I do have an aircon mounted on a rack at the rear of the caravan and find it  fantastic to have.

It is really only a nice to have but not a necessity.  My advice would be, buy the caravan and decide on an aircon at a later stage.

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03 Sep 2020 @ 10:56:17 am
Bostoe
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Not a necessity i agree buy your van go camping and then besluit if needed

Haak daai wa kamp bly koning
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03 Sep 2020 @ 10:57:43 am
Nabro
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I agree with Lennie, you can buy an aircon at a later stage if you feel the need. You can even use a portable aircon if it suits your needs. Don't let your caravan purchase be hampered by the lack of an aircon.

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03 Sep 2020 @ 11:53:00 am
Rodrigo
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Thank you very much guys. I'm looking at the Gypsey Regal Gold, despite being discontinued I really liked it. I'll rent one on the Sep 24th long weekend, let's see how it goes!

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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03 Sep 2020 @ 15:51:26 pm
Fred
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The arguments above are valid- all of them. 

Two other things else you should keep in mind: The amount of packing space in any caravan is limited and the weight of extras you can load is also limited.  It seems to me the loading capacity of caravans usually is round about 200 Kg and I can tell you, you very quickly reach that limit. The AC unit will claim part of this weight and part of the packing space. 

As I have said, camping in a caravan you tend to live outside.  We have had a few times when the weather was extremely hot, like 38º at 21:00 at Augrabies when an AC would have been very welcome.  However, this and a few other times were exceptions and I would not like to drag along something that I will only need very seldom.  What we experienced more often, was cold nights, but that is very easily handled with a small blow heater.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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03 Sep 2020 @ 17:11:16 pm
Martyn
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Thank you very much guys. I'm looking at the Gypsey Regal Gold, despite being discontinued I really liked it. I'll rent one on the Sep 24th long weekend, let's see how it goes!

I have just sold a Regal which was fitted with AC when I bought it and it is a luxury but depending where and when you camp, a necessity. We have just bought a Raven and will fit an AC as we wish to be comfortable when camping.

 

There can be only two feet in a footer
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03 Sep 2020 @ 17:37:57 pm
Fred
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Whether a specific model is current or obsolete should not be a factor at all.  Caravans are not like cars where the value diminishes when a new model comes onto the market.  If you sell your van, you are in the second hand market where, with caravans they are judged by what you get and the condition.  Just about every unit on the second hand market is discontinued as caravan makers tend to come out with new, slightly altered models so frequently. People tend to buy caravans for their practical value and not as a status symbol, (although you probably find that sometimes too).  Some of the early 1980 vans for instance, are sold for good prices when they hit the market if their condition is still good, which with specifically those models, they usually are.

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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03 Sep 2020 @ 20:50:59 pm
Rodrigo
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I have just sold a Regal which was fitted with AC when I bought it and it is a luxury but depending where and when you camp, a necessity. We have just bought a Raven and will fit an AC as we wish to be comfortable when camping.

 

Thanks Martyn. Did you enjoy your Regal? Recommends it? The bad and the good?

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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03 Sep 2020 @ 20:52:03 pm
Rodrigo
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Whether a specific model is current or obsolete should not be a factor at all.  Caravans are not like cars where the value diminishes when a new model comes onto the market.  If you sell your van, you are in the second hand market where, with caravans they are judged by what you get and the condition.  Just about every unit on the second hand market is discontinued as caravan makers tend to come out with new, slightly altered models so frequently. People tend to buy caravans for their practical value and not as a status symbol, (although you probably find that sometimes too).  Some of the early 1980 vans for instance, are sold for good prices when they hit the market if their condition is still good, which with specifically those models, they usually are.

Thaks Fred, I really appreciate your feedback. I'm really enjoying this Forum, it is a real community in which one wants to help. Cheers.

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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04 Sep 2020 @ 09:02:31 am
Diddo
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I would try without first.

We have never had an aircon while camping and honestly don`t miss it.

(Maybe we would have missed it if we had one)

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04 Sep 2020 @ 09:14:43 am
Fred
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An AC or not is a personal choice, but not mine.  To me it goes against the grain of camping.  A while ago there were a couple at Shingwedzi in a Maja camping next to us.  They did not erect a tent.  When they came back in the afternoon after a game drive, they entered the caravan, closed the door and switched on the AC while most campers were sitting outside savoring the Bushveld.   I pitied them because they missed such a large part of the camping experience.  I think they liked the idea of camping, but not the actual camping. It seemed to us they regarded  the caravan as a mobile apartment giving them almost home like luxury as they did not really have the attitude of campers. I do not imply that this is the attitude of all campers with luxury caravans- far from it, but I do think a little bit of "roughing" is part of the camping experience.

 

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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04 Sep 2020 @ 10:20:15 am
Rodrigo
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Thank you very much guys for your valuable input.

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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05 Sep 2020 @ 14:53:12 pm
Proffie
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Most of us started caravanning many years ago when aircons for caravans did not exist, unless you were a handy kind of person building/altering one to fit your van.

So we all started out and camped without an aircon.

As one gets to retirement and spend a lot of time caravanning, like us who live in our van 7 to 8 months in a year, an aircon makes sense as a luxury, obviously for the warmer months.

As everyone have said, it is a personal choice, but not a necessity.

Fortunately it is something you can retrofit once the need and the finances for it meet up.

Jesus saves all who do the will of the Father Matt 7:21-23
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05 Sep 2020 @ 15:17:21 pm
Martyn
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Thanks Martyn. Did you enjoy your Regal? Recommends it? The bad and the good?

Rodrigo, The Regal is a lovely van with stacks of space and sleeps 4 inside easily, you could probably sleep another 4 in the big tent on strechers.
It is not the biggest caravan but proved a little too large for the wife and I to move around, hence the decision to sell and go smaller.

Yes I would recommend it if it suits your needs.

The cons I would say are the side panels that were fixed to the roof of the main tent, that I have had removed on the Raven's tent today. It makes the tent awkward to erect.

There can be only two feet in a footer
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05 Sep 2020 @ 15:35:04 pm
Jan Meyer
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I have an aircon in our caravan and would never again go without one. Now we go camping and not care about the weather if it's to hot or cold. In December we can sleep at night and in the cold weather of the Cape it's comfortable in the caravan at night.

We enjoy the outdoors and camping and some luxceries that go with it. 

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06 Sep 2020 @ 06:53:36 am
Rodrigo
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Rodrigo, The Regal is a lovely van with stacks of space and sleeps 4 inside easily, you could probably sleep another 4 in the big tent on strechers.
It is not the biggest caravan but proved a little too large for the wife and I to move around, hence the decision to sell and go smaller.

Yes I would recommend it if it suits your needs.

The cons I would say are the side panels that were fixed to the roof of the main tent, that I have had removed on the Raven's tent today. It makes the tent awkward to erect.

Hi Martin it does fit me needs with the wife and 2 kids. I’m new to the caravan world so I’ll still evaluating what works for me. The Regal is a great candidate but I also looking at the Sprite Splash. I’m renting a Regal at the end of the month to experience that.

thanks.

 

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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06 Sep 2020 @ 07:53:26 am
Zack
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I have an aircon in our caravan and would never again go without one. Now we go camping and not care about the weather if it's to hot or cold. In December we can sleep at night and in the cold weather of the Cape it's comfortable in the caravan at night.

We enjoy the outdoors and camping and some luxceries that go with it. 

For me too.  An AC is not a luxury like in the old days.  I will not buy a caravan without one.

I wonder how many people who make a statement that an AC is not important will use their car AC in summer?  WHY?  To me it is the same.  To add an aircon later will cost you an arm and a leg.  Buy one with an AC if you can if you finances allow it and save money.  Rather shop around a bit long and get the right caravan for the right price with all the luxury add ons.  If you want to upgrade your caravan in 5 year you will sell it faster if it have all the luxuries like aircon, movers,ext

Be a good person, but don't waste time to prove it
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06 Sep 2020 @ 09:06:55 am
REAList
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Bear in mind that caravan parks all have limited power.

You will find that their circuit breakers all trip on very low amps.

Choose an aircon which pulls low amps.

I have a Sensation with the aircon mounted under my bed (and the outlets under the mattress) and find its cooling lacks when the temperatures soar. Its output is also not enough for the m3 of the inside. Needless to say this model was discontinued and probably bought at a discount by the manufacturer. And chinese off course.

An outlet against the ceiling is a must.

When the outside temps go to freezing the heater output is also very welcome. This happened to us on the first night out with our new caravan.

Never choose a noisy aircon as it is a nuisance to everybody. My wife dislikes the noise it makes and will not let me run it through the night.

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06 Sep 2020 @ 10:11:45 am
Fred
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The sound of the aircon is a factor I haven't thought about, but then again, I haven't thought about aircon in a caravan a lot anyway.  I often had to stay in hotels for official purposes in the past and often the hotels had split unit aircons.  I just could not sleep with the noise of the aircon and often had to endure a stuffy hot room because of that.  How noisy or silent is caravan aircons really- can guys with experience enlighten us?

Het is beter rijk te leven dan rijk te sterven
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06 Sep 2020 @ 16:03:15 pm
Jan Meyer
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Fred, twice my neighbours in camping sites made me attend on water under my outdoor unit when we used the aircon in the winter.  When I told them it's the aircon in heating mode they said they did not hear the unit running. 

With new technology the aircons are much quieter but it could be a problem for people and luckely I had no complains yet. Maybe because my outdoor unit is mounted on rubbers.

 

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06 Sep 2020 @ 20:35:44 pm
JohanMarais
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We have a 2011 Regal and it a fantastic caravan with lots of packing space, but then it is just the two of us. An aircon was already fitted when we bought the van a few years ago and I am very glad of that.

We have never had a problem with electricity in parks, always sufficient.

Enjoy your camping!!

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07 Sep 2020 @ 12:49:56 pm
Leon
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We never used one during camping.  Then we bought a Classique but I did not like to loose the pack space in the nose of the caravan. 

So we decided to buy the 9000btu portable  aircon.  This worked fine for us as we only took it with when we know we will be using it like during Dec month or so.  The rest of the time we used in in the house.

Now with the Maia it came as standard and to be honest in the 4 years we have the Maia we maybe have used it 6 times.  We are not big on using aircons.

Remember there are various option on the aircon instalations:

  1. Split unit type. (Mostly used)
  2. Under counter or bed mounted type. 
  3. The portable type.
  4. Window mounted type.

The split unit one you tend to loose some storage space depending on how the unit is mounted.  Try not to mount the compressor close to your sleeping pillow. Most of the time you want to use it when you are takking a nap or sleeping at night.

Under bed type works fine but again you sit with some noise at 'n time you want it to be quiet. Napping or sleeping

The portable type works great.  There are great ways to install in the caravan.  I placed it in the tent and the cold air was blown through the window into the caravan and I just tucked the hot air hose under the tent skirt.

The window mounted type are still used.  Yes that square box fitted in a office or house window is still available.  "Carrier" provides them.  With this one you make a stand similar to that of a "Roadhouse Tray" that hooks on the window sill and you then just seal off the  window gap around it with see through perspex.  This way you only take it along when really needed. The window unit weights about 28 kg depending on the size BTU aircon you buy.

 

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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08 Sep 2020 @ 09:41:39 am
Rodrigo
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We have a 2011 Regal and it a fantastic caravan with lots of packing space, but then it is just the two of us. An aircon was already fitted when we bought the van a few years ago and I am very glad of that.

We have never had a problem with electricity in parks, always sufficient.

Enjoy your camping!!

hi Johan thanks for the comments. It if is too big you can buy a smaller one and sells yours to me :)

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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08 Sep 2020 @ 09:43:04 am
Rodrigo
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Hi Leon yes this is the type of thing you learn as you experience it. I rented another caravan (with AC) and I'll see how it goes when I travel at the end of the month.

Cheers.

Brazilian Camping in South Africa
Sprite Splash
Everest 2.2L 4x2
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09 Sep 2020 @ 06:17:29 am
Relaxed Camper
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๐Ÿ˜‰

WAARSKUWING:

Kampeer is aansteeklik en verslawend ๐Ÿ˜
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09 Sep 2020 @ 06:29:47 am
JohanMarais
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Rodrigo, there is no way that we will sell the caravan!

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11 Sep 2020 @ 11:53:47 am
Gunther
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Hi Rodrigo, I started camping in a 3 room tentco tent, in Oct 2013 we went and camped in the KNP at the Letaba rest camp, it got very hot and I would sit and watch all the other campers in the caravans, the set up of the tents and the speed at what they could get packing up, so when I got back I started looking for a caravan, there are 5 of us in the family, and that's where I had to look at what suited us best, also had to look at the budget, I was lucky to find a 3 month old Gypsy regal which I purchased in August 2014, it came with all the tents and ground sheets and a whole lot of extras, it just never had a aircon unit, we went camping all over in the new van and when it got hot it was best to be outside and not in the van, the Gypsy regal accommodates us 5 very well as I took a stretcher and extended the legs and put it over the second double bed and one of the kids would then sleep on top, in Jan 2015 we camped at Berg n Dal rest camp in the KNP and it was very hot as I couldn't find a spot with enough shade, so I have eventually put in a split aircon unit in the van, it was a little pricey but at the end of the day worthwhile, if you can get a van that already has one I would say take it, now that the kids are a little bigger I have now been lucky to find a original Gypsy Regal add a room tent which we will be using on the next trip, The Gypsy Regal is a very nice van with lots of packing space, hope you find the one you want happy camping   

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