OUR ANSWER TO THE AIRCONDITIONING QUESTION:
In this section we discuss the 2 air conditioners we have fitted to Vanishing Point. There have been quite a few enquiries as to what ones we selected and why, and how difficult/easy it has been to fit them. Later there are a couple of photo galleries with pics of the 2 systems separately.
The reasons we have gone with a couple of split system air-cons are pretty simple. VP is divided into zones by a passage door about halfway down the coach. This means the air-con for each area can be half the size of one required to do the whole area. In fact because of some weird circumstances the bigger one should actually be a little bigger than twice our small ones. As we are mostly in one zone at a time, it makes good sense to only cool/heat that zone as required. We have also gone for ordinary 240 volt splits as they are mass produced and quite cheap. If you were to purchase a couple the same as ours you should not pay any more than $1,300 for the pair. If they want more give us a yell and we will purchase on our Reece account.
There is also a “mini” zone in the driving cab. A thermal curtain will be fitted later at the area where the front walls of the slide out rooms are. Because the fins on the Onsen can be stopped in any position temperature modified air will be directed down at the curtain, from where it rolls quite nicely into the driving cab, keeping it as warm as toast or cool as cucumber, whatever is required. In this way, while traveling, we are only using energy to modify the area we need at the time (driving cab). If required, as soon as stopped, it is simply a matter of fin adjustment and opening the thermal curtain to allow the modified air into the rest of the living area.
The units selected are Onsen brand which are sold by Reece. They are the exclusive distributors in this country. We selected these because they were the most energy efficient we could find. Here is a link to the Onsen site that will show you the specs for the ones we selected http://www.reece.com.au/new/pdf/products/onsen-aircon-inverter.pdf The important thing for us was the current draw, which is bugger all once they have the room to temp. In fact we have tonged ours when running and found about a 2.5 amp draw is max once operating for a while.
This means, with some decent storage in Lithiums we can run one aircon all night if required. Of course we have 10 x 200 watt solar panels to top the batteries, blended with 240 amps at 24 volts from the Detroit alternator if required.
This will allow maximum charging at almost 200 amps, but the Lithiums will take that.
No generator will be carried. Noisy smelly things remind me of gollum !