Things To Consider When Installing An Air Conditioner On A Caravan

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Do you spend most of your time in your caravan traveling around? Then you would know how hot it can be when traveling in the Australian summer. The best way to avoid hot and uncomfortable caravan travel is to install an air conditioner.

Since you would be spending a lot of time in a caravan when on the road and camping overnight, you thus want your caravan to be as comfortable as possible. And if you are traveling in your caravan during the summer months, then having the best caravan air conditioner is a no-brainer.

However, air conditioners are not cheap, and thus you need to be clear on the factors mentioned below to consider purchasing an air conditioner for your caravan.

Location of air conditioner

Here are the three places where you can install the air conditioner in your caravan.

Rooftop air conditioner

These are made to fit the opening in the roof of your caravan. The main advantage of selecting a rooftop air conditioner is that it does not take up much of your living space. It is also easy to mount the air conditioner. If your caravan suits the roof type style of air conditioner, this is the most popular kind of conditioner you can choose.

When you place the air conditioner on the roof, it offers efficient cooling as the cold air drops down. It does also affect wind resistance. Rooftop air conditioners fit into the van’s pre-existing hole, and these are designed to stop the water from entering the van. They also cope with the vibration that is generated in a moving caravan.

Built-in caravan air conditioners

The built-in caravan air conditioners are perfect for a pop-top caravan, camper vans, and camper trailers that come with a single skin roof. In these types of caravans, if you install a rooftop air conditioner, it will add weight to the roof, which will affect the lifting mechanism of the air conditioner.

The built-in air conditioners have a split system or a duct unit, and these are mounted on a cupboard in the caravan or under a bunk or a bench. The built-in caravan is quieter than the roof-mounted ones. The under-bunk ducted built-in air conditioner takes up no space in the caravan, and these are perfect for the smaller caravans that have less room.

Weight of air conditioner

While buying the air conditioner for your caravan, you need to check both its weight and also its power consumption. The weight and the size of the air conditioner is also an essential factor to consider. Every additional kg will affect the weight of the overall caravan and the caravan handling and fuel consumption. The ideal weight of the air conditioner for your caravan should be around 4kgs. There will generally be a max weight your caravan can be, so be sure to add up the weight of other appliances such as caravan fridges, tv, washing machines and awnings to ensure your total weight is legal.

The overall weight of the caravan

There are two suitable varieties of air conditioners that can be installed in caravans. If the caravan is 5 meters in length, then a 2-2.5 KW of an air conditioner is sufficient for utmost cooling. For vehicles that are over 7 meters need a 3kw or air conditioner. The size should also be decided based on your budget. However, it is essential to remember that this will not offer adequate air conditioning if your unit is too small. You may want to check with your installer to guide you on the right size of air conditioner that can fit your caravan.

The building of H frame to support roof air conditioner

Most AC units in caravans come in a complete kit with the necessary components required for the installation and working of the AC. However, there are some additional accessories that you may have to look for when you place the order.

H-frames for the roof of your caravan is installed to offer more support and strength to your rooftop air conditioner. If your caravan does not have an existing H Frame then you will need to have one fabricated. Consider a lightweight aluminium frame as this will keep your overall van weight down and still provide the required strength. The team at in Brisbane can help you out.

Using a portable air conditioner

Many use portable air conditioners for their caravan. There is no reason why the portable air coolers will not work. We mostly use these types in the offices.

Portable air conditioners for your caravans come with an adjustable frame, and these are the cheapest kind of air conditioners that you may want to use in your caravans. However, the problem with them is that they take a lot of space and are not energy-efficient. They are also bulky and need ducting to be pushed out of the open window, reducing their efficiency.


If you buy a quality air conditioner for your caravan, then this will come with a complete fitting and instruction manual along with the unit. However, it is always advised that you hire a qualified professional to do the installation for you. There are some air conditioners with a split system model, and they need refrigerant lines. You thus need to hire a licensed air conditioning technician for installation.



Andy Sullivan

Andy Sullivan

A lover of all things outdoors, Andy is an experience camper having traveled the east cost of Australia multiple times and countless trips throughout New Zealand.

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