Keeping Cool In Your Campervan

It’s Getting Hot In Here: Keeping Cool In Your Campervan This Summer

It is starting to get warm across the country as we creep closer to summer. Keeping cool in your campervan in the summer can sometimes be difficult. It is a balance of staying cool while also conserving battery power. Luckily we have some answers for many situations. Let’s take a took at our roof mounted air conditioners and air vents and tips for maximizing their efficiency.

High Efficiency Roof Air Conditioner without Heat Pump

Keeping Cool In Your Campervan

To begin, it is important to note the air conditioner is not meant to create an igloo in the van as you may in your house. Rather, the air conditioner is meant to take the uncomfortable edge off by providing a level of control over the interior humidity. The air conditioner does well at removing humidity from the van, but is not meant to facilitate a 30° swing from the outside ambient temperature. 

If your van is using AGM batteries, you will need to plug into shore power. The air conditioner can run off lithium Battery system for an average of 6 hours at a 10 degree variance of outside temperature. Weather conditions and use of other features inside the van directly impact length of time the AC will run off Lithium.

Dometic DC Powered Air Conditioner

Keeping Cool In Your Campervan

This air conditioner requires a Lithium battery system. It can run off Lithium battery system for an average of 12 hours at a 10 degree various of outside temperature. Weather conditions and use of other features inside the van directly impact length of time the AC will run off Lithium.

Tips for getting the most from these air conditioning units:

  • Van users will often set thermostats to the lowest possible setting in hopes of getting the van in the mid-60s. The air conditioner should be operating like a house air conditioner, turning on and off as it runs. If it is running non-stop, without turning off, you are probably demanding too much of the unit. In cases of extreme humidity and heat, even the discussed considerations and efficiencies may not get the interior of the van to a desired temperature.
  • To attempt to quickly cool your van, try turning on your van and let the Ford factory air conditioner system run initially. This will allow the conditioner to maintain the temperature reached, as opposed to doing the initial cooling work as well. This can take a heavy load off the Vandoit electrical system. 
  • Always avoid parking on pavement when possible. The reflective heat from underneath can make it difficult to maintain the internal temperature of the vehicle. Parking on grass, dirt, or gravel is always preferred when possible. 
  • Park in the shade whenever possible. 
  • Keep thermal curtains up when possible. Infrared heat will heat up objects by approximately 120%. This means the objects the infrared is touching will start to give off heat, which is how the inside of a vehicle can get hotter than the outside ambient temperature. Keeping the thermal curtains on and considering a front cabin window tint will help cut down considerably on infrared heat.
  • The passenger slide door accounts for approximately 40% of the exterior wall of the van. The rear doors account for 99% of the exterior rear wall. Managing the opening and closing of all doors is crucial to maintaining the internal temperature of the vehicle. Opening the doors, even for a brief moment, allows all the cool air to leave the vehicle. 

MaxxFan Deluxe Complete Ventilation System

The MaxxFan Deluxe is the only complete ventilation system that incorporates a vent, fan, and rain shield in a single ALL IN ONE unit. High powered 10 speed intake and exhaust fan. With the lid closed, the Maxxfan will still operate to circulate air inside your van. The air vents can run off both the AGM power system and the lithium power system. The air vent will obviously not cool the van as much as an air conditioner, but it can be a great option for less extreme heat. The vents also use less power than the air conditioners.

Tips for getting the most out of your air vent:

  • Dual air vents can be installed to maximize air flow. Having one set blowing out and one set pulling air in helps circulate more air flow in the van.
  • To attempt to quickly cool your van, try turning on your van and let the Ford factory air conditioner system run initially. This can help get the temperature down and if the night will be cool, it can help keep the van cool. Then you can run the air vent to get air moving in the van.
  • Park in the shade whenever possible. 
  • Keep thermal curtains up when possible. Infrared heat will heat up objects by approximately 120%. This means the objects the infrared is touching will start to give off heat, which is how the inside of a vehicle can get hotter than the outside ambient temperature. Keeping the thermal curtains on and considering a front cabin window tint will help cut down considerably on infrared heat.
  • The passenger slide door accounts for approximately 40% of the exterior wall of the van. The rear doors account for 99% of the exterior rear wall. Managing the opening and closing of all doors is crucial to maintaining the internal temperature of the vehicle. Opening the doors, even for a brief moment, allows all the cool air to leave the vehicle. 

Get Out This Summer And Stay Cool

Camping in the summer doesn’t have to be miserable. Using these tips can help make you comfortable. Summer is a great time to get out and see our beautiful country. Happy camping!

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