Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default AC/Heating Unit, Worth it?

    So I am considering something that may seem drastic in terms of fixing up a van. But I am very interested in making my van as self sustainable as possible for my next month/two month trip. I want to take my mid driver side window out and replace it with a 3/4 piece of plywood. With that I will have an ac/heater hooked to an external battery powered by high wattage inverter. I will seal and paint the wood as well as I possibly can.

    My question is do you guys think its worth it, has it been done, any problems with a ac unit sticking out the side of a van??

  2. #2

    Default It depends, then again, it probably doesn't

    Quote Originally Posted by 95 Econoline View Post
    So I am considering something that may seem drastic in terms of fixing up a van. But I am very interested in making my van as self sustainable as possible for my next month/two month trip. I want to take my mid driver side window out and replace it with a 3/4 piece of plywood. With that I will have an ac/heater hooked to an external battery powered by high wattage inverter. I will seal and paint the wood as well as I possibly can.

    My question is do you guys think its worth it, has it been done, any problems with a ac unit sticking out the side of a van??
    Hi 95Econoline,

    The clearance issue is one of configuration/design/fabrication by you. I'd say as long as an appendage doesn't protrude more than the wing mirror on the driver's side door, you should be fine.

    But I doubt it matters: An A/C unit is a very power-hungry beast. I very seriously doubt you can run an A/C compressor for very long absent a huge battery capacity. And in an un-insulated van, the A/C will be working pretty hard to keep things cool inside. Ditto a combo unit's heating coil and blower.

    If it's A/C while boondock camping you're after, probably better to look at a mini-generator. There are a number of 2,000 watt capacity units out there. You've got to be careful to account for the surge capacity, as an A/C compressor draws a heavy surge upon start up, well in excess of it's requirements to run once started. The genset and fuel supply would be far, far easier to deal with than a multi-battery bank and related cabling.

    You are pondering a unit to run while parked/camping, away from a plug-in household power supply, right?

    Foy

  3. #3

    Default

    The last road trip I took lasted a month. I started in mid April in the northern US and finished mid May in the south. So what I'm really trying to say is I experienced very cold weather ranging to very warm weather. I slept in store parking lots (Wal-Mart, Safe-Way) so yes, I was away from any plug in.

    My next trip out west will be longer and I plan on sleeping in store parking lots again and also camping if I find free parks. I'm currently looking for a setup to combat the very cold and very hot for any future trip.

    I'm considering one of these as well. (Check ebay link)
    http://cgi.ebay.com/WIND-DANCE-2-SPE...3%3A1|294%3A50

    It would be much cheaper but really wouldn't "cool" the van any. I would just have to get a small electric heater and use an inverter that could support it for the cold.

    The reason I want to find a more climate controlled setup is because some days during the trip I didnt feel like driving and just wanting to hangout wherever I ended up from the night before. It either got too hot or too cold to hang around a couple times.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Boondocking Gear is Big Business

    This article was written with RV'ers in mind, but it might give you some ideas of more resources for your own travel rig build-out. And this article from Paul, provides more information about electrical gear that might be helpful to you.

    Mark

  5. #5

    Default

    Those articles were helpful, but I'm looking for someone who has placed an external AC/heater in a conversion van or camper. If no one has done it I may just have to experiment a little and try it out?

  6. #6

    Default Keep in touch....

    I don't know anybody who has done such a thing. It may very well be impossible without a large bank of batteries. I really can't imagine any way a household style air conditioning unit can run off of a battery for anything longer than a few minutes.

    If you find this has been done, I'd love to hear about it.

    Foy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default agreed

    My thoughts on this are very much the same as Foy's. I simply don't know how you would draw enough power to do this successfully. I think you'd have to move to some sort of generator power, and even there, you'd need a pretty large one to get the juice you'd need for it to work properly.

Similar Threads

  1. Week trip from Philly to Ft. Worth (and back)
    By karenj2 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-22-2009, 08:09 PM
  2. Dallas/Fort Worth to Marfa
    By TravelingAg in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-11-2007, 05:51 PM
  3. Ft. Worth > Anaheim & San Diego > Grand Canyon > FW - Family Trip
    By dina_cpa in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-12-2007, 08:34 AM
  4. need help on traffic statis ( San Diego to Forte Worth)
    By tommy619 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-22-2006, 08:21 AM
  5. A/C UNIT in my Cabover...how?
    By sincitychains in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-23-2006, 10:34 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES