Summer is anticipated by everybody, and the prospect of long, warm days makes us all want to get out into the world and enjoy life. When the weather outside begins to heat up, though, maintaining a comfortable climate in your campervan can be difficult. While many high-end campers come with van air conditioners, there are a variety of other ways to keep your van cool.
While there are many different types of camper A/C units on the market, the most essential thing is that you pick one that meets the demands of your van. For example, if your motorhome already has a built-in air conditioner, it’s best to use that. However, campers also have the option to consider other options like a portable A/C or turbo vent.
Continue reading to learn more about the best air conditioners to use in a caravan, motorhome, or campervan, the benefits, and drawbacks of each option, as well as the top 15 air conditioners to buy if you intend to travel in your caravan this summer.
What Are the Different Types of Air Conditioners You Can Use in A Motorhome?
When it comes to travelling in the summer months, you want to make sure that you and all those who are travelling with you in your van have a place to escape the heat and rest in a cool space. Fortunately, most caravans and motorhomes come fully equipped with a personalised air conditioner already built into their system.
Nonetheless, if you acquire a motorhome without an air conditioner, are looking to upgrade your caravan’s A/C unit, or just simply improve the cold airflow in your campervan, there are a variety of options you can, fortunately, install yourself. These include rooftop air conditioners like a Truma roof-mounted A/C and turbo vents, as well as portable A/C units.
What Are the Best Air Conditioners for Caravans, Motorhomes and Campervans?
Truma roof-mounted air conditioners, turbo vents, and portable A/C units are all recommended by motorhome enthusiasts as the best air conditioners to keep your cool in your van throughout the summer months.
What Are Rooftop Air Conditioners?
Rooftop air conditioners are the best option to cool your van by far. Usually sold with your motorhome, these A/C units come built into your van’s system. Able to draw quite a lot of power, these air conditioning units can cool down your van in a matter of minutes while taking up limited space since it is also mounted on the rooftop of your vehicle.
Keep in mind that rooftop air conditioning is often positioned at the roof’s central skylight. Some caravans, however, have a skylight in an unusual place by design, or the roof isn’t strong enough to support the load, making roof-mounted air conditioning units impractical. This will necessitate the search for a different A/C solution.
What Are Truma Roof-Mounted Air Conditioners?
The most popular of the rooftop air conditioner brands is Truma. The Truma is a German-engineered air conditioner that achieves a pleasant motorhome interior with low noise by combining a great balance of cooling and humidity management. Truma also takes pleasure in offering an energy-efficient variant with a low-profile design.
Truma has been selling air conditioners in Europe and Australia since the late 1990s, with the considerably milder temperature of the continent in mind and is backed by more than 70 years of German engineering.
Truma’s models, on the whole, provide a good combination of cooling and humidity management for optimal comfort in an motorhome’s living area. This concentrates on humidity management while cooling the motorhome.
Pros and Cons of Using a Truma Roof-Mounted Air Conditioners in Your Motorhome
- Truma models provide exceptional cooling technology and output almost no noise. While you’ll be able to hear it running, you won’t have to strain or raise your voice to communicate while in your van. After all, Truma models are manufactured with an EPP foam core and shock absorber on the compressor to provide a quieter camping experience.
- Truma’s low-profile design is sleeker and more aerodynamic than other full-size A/C models. The device weighs only 73 pounds, which is quite light compared to full-size units seen on motorhomes. Their units also come in a variety of sizes, with the smallest being 26″ by 44″ and standing 10.4″ tall. As a result, you won’t have to worry about your motorhome being too tall and causing problems.
- Truma’s air conditioners also double as humidifiers. Humidity can damage your caravan depending on where you’re camping. Therefore, the Truma also acts as a dehumidifier, sucking moisture out of the air. This can prevent potential mould growth in hard-to-reach areas by reducing moisture in and around your motorhome.
- Another benefit of rooftop air conditioners is that they do not consume valuable interior living space. As a result, they are also the most typical type of mobile air conditioner due to their ease of installation. Additionally, some say that mounting it on the roof enhances efficiency since cold air tends to descend.
- While Truma’s air conditioning models are made to be as compact as possible, they still manage to increase your vehicle’s height. This can sometimes pose a problem if you are travelling through any tight spaces where there may be a minimum height to fit through. When travelling with a roof-top air conditioner, it is always best to know how tall your motorhome is in order to avoid any unwanted mishaps.
- One should also take note that a Truma rooftop air conditioner will replace your skylight and uses roof space. While the rooftop space isn’t so much the issue, you will lose your natural light and ability to open your skylight.
- The installation is one of the most significant disadvantages of the Truma rooftop air conditioner. Be prepared that Don’t be fooled: installing a rooftop air conditioner will take more than 30 minutes. Therefore, you should plan on spending at least a half-day or more on the installation, so do it during the off-season when you have lots of time.
What Are Turbo Vents?
On normal, warm spring days in the UK, and sometimes even summer days, the temperature inside your motorhome can range to temperatures that can become uncomfortable. As a result, rather than opting for a portable or built-in air conditioner, one may also consider a turbo vent.
While this option will not allow for a motorised cool airflow, it does allow for a more natural, less expensive option to cool your campervan.
Turbo vents feature a fan that rotates in both directions, allowing you to better manage the temperature of your van by drawing air out when cooking or allowing fresh air into the camper. The knobs on the vent make it simple to modify these settings. The translucent aperture cowl of the vent also allows some light in.
Fiamma is the most popular turbo vent maker. Fiamma also makes awnings for caravans and motorhomes, as well as various camper and motorhome accessories.
Pros and Cons of Using Turbo Vents
- When comparing rooftop air conditioning equipment to turbo vents, turbo vents are unquestionably easier to handle and install. As a result, installing turbo vents is not only simple but also inexpensive and feasible.
- A turbo roof vent also has no electrical components because it is powered entirely by the wind. This eliminates the need for a certified electrician to come to your house and install the turbo vent on your motorhome.
- Turbo vents also have the benefit of being very effective. If you’re camping in a high-wind region, these vents will perform an excellent job of removing any heated air from your motorhome.
- Turbo vents are visible on your campervans roof, but they don’t take up much space.
- Another advantage of turbo vents is that they are simple and inexpensive to use, especially when travelling. Turbo vents do not contribute to your electricity bill in the long term because they are entirely driven by wind. As a result, you will have sufficient roof ventilation throughout the day without having to worry about your electricity consumption.
- Since turbo vents rely heavily on the wind to function, they are only useful in high-wind environments. Winds are unreliable, which is a key flaw with this component. This implies that if you are camping in a location where there isn’t enough breeze, your campervans internal temperature could become hotter than you anticipated.
- The more the turbine roof vent is utilised, the faster it deteriorates. As a result, if you ignore the turbine for an extended period of time, it will begin to creak and moan.
- Although these roof vents are inexpensive to maintain, you must remember that they must be serviced on a regular basis. Turbo vents, like any other equipment with moving components, wear down over time, necessitating yearly repair.
Can You Use Portable Air Conditioners in Your Caravan?
Portable air conditioners can also be used effectively in a caravan while travelling. Portable air conditioners are a convenient and economical way to combat the heat while on the road. However, because each device has distinct features and settings, choosing the right portable air conditioner is crucial.
After all, you don’t want to buy a cheap portable air conditioner that can’t chill all of your motorhome’s rooms, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort by buying the wrong one.
The best portable motorhome air conditioners should keep your camper more comfortable by precisely directing cool air where you need it. However, some portable air conditioners, on the other hand, can also act as a dehumidifier, which is a useful feature for travellers visiting humid areas.
Pros and Cons of Using a Portable Air Conditioners When Travelling in a Motorhome
- Portable air conditioners do not require installation. This implies you won’t need to hire an air conditioning contractor to set up your system. When you get to your location, simply unload your belongings, connect the electrical outlet, and turn on your air conditioner. This eliminates the need for a specialist to drill into your motorhome’s walls or roof to install the A/C system.
- The best thing about portable air conditioners is how easy they are to transport. As a result, you can keep it beside your bed at night and effortlessly move it to the living room the next day. As a result, these portable devices are ideal for travel. After all, you can put it anywhere you choose.
- Another benefit of portable air conditioners is that they can be hidden or stored when they are not in use. If you think your air conditioner is harming the appearance of your motorhome, just move it to a less apparent location.
- The first and most serious disadvantage of utilising a portable air conditioner is that these units can produce a lot of noise. Therefore, if you are easily annoyed by noise, they may not be the best option for you.
- Indoor condensation from portable air conditioners is collected in a drip tray. As a result, certain versions must be positioned near a window with a hose to allow moisture to escape. This restricts their placement options, and drip tray variants require regular emptying to prevent water from leaking onto the floor.
- A portable air conditioner is sometimes more costly than a fixed air conditioner. However, because these units will not be exposed to the weather, they will last longer and provide a better return on investment.
- It’s also worth noting that, as compared to rooftop air conditioning devices, portable A/C systems take longer to chill an area.
Things to Consider Before Installing a Built-In Air Conditioner into Your Caravan or Motorhome
The Weight of The Air Conditioner
When purchasing an air conditioner for your caravan, be sure to consider both the weight and the power usage. After all, every extra kilogram affects the total weight of the caravan, as well as its handling and fuel consumption.
The Location of The Air Conditioner
The roof or integrated into the wall are the two best places to install an air conditioner in your motorhome.
The biggest benefit of choosing a rooftop air conditioner is that it takes up very little room in your home. Built-in air conditioners, on the other hand, have a split system or a duct unit and are therefore positioned on a caravan cabinet or beneath a bunk or a bench.
Will I Need to Build an H Frame to Support My Rooftop Air Conditioner?
Most mobile air conditioning units come as a full kit with all of the essential components for installation and operation. However, while placing your order, you may need to seek some additional accessories.
H-frames for your caravan’s roof are added to provide your rooftop air conditioner extra support and strength. If your air conditioning unit does not come complete with an H-frame for installation, it is recommended you pick one up at your local motorhome dealership in order to ensure your new unit stays secure and attached to the roof of your motorhome.
Top 15 Best Air Conditioners for Caravans, Motorhomes and Campervans
The Truma Aventa RV Rooftop Air Conditioner
The Truma Aventa Compact Air Conditioner offers a lightweight rooftop air conditioner for your caravan that generates a booming 2200 watts of cooling force. Even with modest temperature variations between indoors and outdoors, the air is cleansed and dehumidified to guarantee a comfortable interior condition.
Overall, this product is a true all-rounder, since it is suitable for a wide range of applications, including pop-top roof caravans, huge motor homes, and even full-height caravans. You can also adapt this air conditioner to your existing roof aperture or add its exterior compact foot to your selected rooftop applications in the smallest amount of space.
The Fiamma Turbo Vent
The Fiamma Turbo Vent refreshes the air inside your car in seconds due to the 12V DC variable speed motor with 10 blades and a unique electrical circuit that allows for a hassle-free, quick change of rotation.
The Fiamma Turbo Vent, which comes equipped with Polar Control, controls the ingoing and outgoing air of the fan based on the inside temperature of your caravan or motorhome. Thus, in turn, saving you up to 50% on power.
The Dometic Brisk II Rooftop RV Air Conditioner
One of the best air conditioners to install in your motorhome is the Dometic Brisk II. This rooftop air conditioner works just effectively as a ducted or ductless air conditioning system.
The lightweight and resilient build of the Dometic Brisk II makes it suitable for all types of road conditions. The Dometic air conditioner is also built to be as quiet and vibration-free as possible.
With a nominal capacity of 13,500 BTU/hour, the Dometic B57915 is an air-only type. It’s also worth noting that it’s Dometic’s smallest rooftop air conditioning unit. Overall, when it comes to cooling a motorhome, the Dometic Brisk II will make a significant impact and keep you cool throughout your travels.
The Furrion RV Rooftop Air Conditioner
With the Furrion Chill Rooftop Air Conditioner, you can cool down your motorhome quicker than other rooftop air conditioning models. This rooftop air conditioner was developed with energy economy in mind and can run on the same electricity as other smaller BTU devices.
The Furrion Chill 15.5K BTU unit offers significant cooling capacity with minimal energy consumption, thanks to its rated power amperage of only 15.4 amps. The Furrion Chill has also been designed to resist the worst road conditions.
In addition to industry-leading cooling capabilities, the Furrion Chill has two fans that work together to minimise and manage workload. As a result, the unit runs more silently than single-fan versions, guaranteeing optimal performance and comfort.
The Chimney Turbo Vent 160
The Fiamma Turbo 160 Vent enhances ventilation in your motorhome. Due to the outer cover and rubber seal, this vent is also completely quiet. It also has a lovely, aerodynamic look and its waterproof construction ensures that rain does not enter the structure.
The Fiamma Turbo 160 is composed of UV-resistant plastic and includes a centre support arm that can be adjusted. A huge 10-blade fan with a 12V DC variable speed motor is also included in the Turbo-Vent and Turbo-Vent Premium motorized models. As a result, it instantly modifies and refreshes the air inside your vehicle.
The Coleman-Mach 15 RV Rooftop Air Conditioner
The Coleman Mach 15 Plus Air Conditioner is the most powerful rooftop air conditioner for motorhomes available. It’s a safe bet for ducted systems because of the high airflow and cooling output available on the market.
The Coleman-Mach series is also the most popular mobile A/C unit on the market due to its durability and sheer cooling capability. With a cooling output of 14,800 BTUs, you’ll stay cool no matter what the weather outside your motorhome is like.
Coleman also ensures effectiveness. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to afford such indulgences as heating and cooling bills rise. Therefore, Coleman’s energy-efficient air conditioners can help you save money on your power costs.
The LamiNox Mistralvan 2240
The LamiNox Mistralvan 2240 is a portable fan that doesn’t require any complicated setup; with a two-box design, you can just hang it out the window for excellent cold/hot air circulation. This device actually lowers the temperature inside your caravan by 6 to 7 degrees, making it ideal for individuals who want to hit the road in the spring.
The LamiNox Mistralvan 2240 works with some clever technology, simply swapping the cold air from outside your trailer with the heated and humid air inside. This delivers a fairly basic temperature exchange, making it the more natural option on this list, eliminating any artificial odours that certain ceiling fans produce.
The Fiamma Turbo Kit 2009
The Fiamma Turbo Device is a one-of-a-kind ventilation kit that transforms your roof light into a fan. It has a 24cm fan and two telescopic hangers that can be adjusted from 36 to 48cm.
This device is perfect for saving space because it can be quickly attached to the ceiling window of your camper van using two convenient brackets. This makes it excellent for use in a variety of vehicles or if you plan on taking many vans on extended vacations.
This device is also one of the most adaptable on the list. Therefore, it is ideal if you don’t have access to a roof or if you don’t want to block the natural light that enters your trailer.
The Nomadic Cooling 3000
The Nomadic Cooling 3000 is a specially designed, battery-operated air conditioner for motorhomes and vans. The Nomadic Cooling 3000 fits over a regular 1414-inch roof opening and, like other DC air conditioners, operates without the use of a large, wasteful inverter.
This A/C model’s power usage is outstanding, but in temperatures exceeding 100°F, note that it will spike up to 120 amps. However, the 11,830 BTU unit is very lightweight, weighing only 61 pounds and producing only 60 decibels of noise, making it an excellent travelling A/C unit.
The Dometic Penguin II
The Dometic Penguin II is a roof-mounted system designed for use in ducted and non-ducted recreational vehicles. Reviews claim that this air conditioning system is fairly priced and simple to install, despite some quality control difficulties.
Overall, the Dometic Brisk II is an excellent choice for cooling any compact motorhome without breaking the bank since it generates 13,500 BTUs of cooling air, enough to cool a big motorhome in mild weather. It’s also one of the lightest models available, at only 77 pounds, making installation a breeze.
The Dometic Brisk II RV Rooftop Air Conditioner
One of the greatest 15,000-BTU air conditioners for your motorhome is the Dometic Brisk II. This air conditioner works effectively as both a ducted or ductless air conditioning system. The lightweight and resilient build of the Dometic Brisk II also makes it suitable for all types of road conditions.
Despite the fact that this air conditioner was developed with sound in mind, the Dometic Brisk II nevertheless makes a lot of noise. The high CFM is most likely to blame.
Another disadvantage of the Dometic Brisk II is that it lacks a control unit. As a result, you’ll have to purchase it separately if you’re installing it as a ductless system.
The SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner
One of the best portable air conditioners on the market is the Serenelife portable air conditioner, which is tiny and lightweight. It will also give hours of comfort and relaxation, particularly if it is summer and your motorhome is simply too hot or humid.
The Serenelife portable air conditioner also has a BTU rating of 12000, which is adequate to cool a 450-square-foot van. A window mount kit, simple setup guide, exhaust hose, and remote control are also included with the portable air conditioner so you can regulate it from anywhere in your caravan.
The noise level of the Serenelife portable air conditioner is also approximately 56 decibels, so it shouldn’t bother you in any way.
The Honeywell 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
If you need a cooling device for your caravan, the Honeywell 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent choice. This air conditioner has a cooling area of up to 550 square feet. The Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner is also simple to maintain thanks to its handy dust filter design.
This model also comes with a remote that allows you to personalize your A/C settings. For example, if you’re hot, you can use the remote to adjust the fan speed.
Zero Breeze Mark II
It’s reasonable to say that the Zero Breeze Mark II is one of the Best Air Conditioners on the market today since it keeps you cool no matter where you are, even if you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
A minuscule compressor powers the Mark II air conditioner, which can cool up to 40 square feet. The Zero Breeze also has the ability to reduce the temperature of your environment by 30 degrees, providing you with enough power to effectively tackle the heat.
You can also carry this air conditioner with you everywhere you go since it comes with a battery or can be connected to an outlet. It also weighs less than 20 pounds and has a speed condenser that keeps it from being excessively loud.
The Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner
The Emerson Quiet Kool portable air conditioner provides adjustable spot cooling and heating. This device can not only chill your motorhome, but it can also provide extra warmth on cold evenings. The Emerson Quiet Kool can also be readily installed and used anywhere thanks to the accompanying window venting kit.
The Emerson Quiet Kool portable air conditioner also works as a dehumidifier thanks to auto evaporation technology, which reduces undesirable moisture in the air without the need for drainage. A remote control, a 24-hour on/off timer, and sleep mode are among the useful features. Plus, the Emerson Quiet Kool comes with a 2-year guarantee for added peace of mind.
Overall, motorhome enthusiasts recommend Truma roof-mounted air conditioners, turbo vents, and portable A/C units as the best air conditioners for keeping cool in your van during the summer months. While there are many various types of motorhome air conditioning units available on the market, when choosing one for your adventures, the most important thing is that you choose one that fits your van’s needs.
If your motorhome has a built-in air conditioner, for example, it’s better to utilise it than struggle with a portable one. Campers might, however, explore alternate choices such as a portable air conditioner or a turbo vent to amplify the amount of cool air circulating or replace the rooftop system entirely.
When travelling to less hot and humid places, turbo vents can also be a fantastic, eco-friendly, and cost-effective solution to keeping the inside of your van cool.
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