Air conditioning

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  • I need some sort of air conditioning for the back of my van. It's an ex-home office van that was used to transport high-security prisoners, and it's got a reinforced steel bulkhead behind the front seats. I need to take this out, but at the moment it is useful. There is a slit that's probably a foot high, and I want to push air from the front into the back. I'm thinking of using the fan from the Berlingo radiator connected to a second battery. Has anybody tried something like this?

    There is a small roof fan connected to the ignition, but it's pretty useless.

  • I use a rollback sunroof for ventilation, a 1m square hole in the roof lets a lot of hot air out. Passive is better than active, running a radiator fan all day uses a lot of power, otherwise use a small 12 volt computer fan blowing air over crushed ice from the supermarket is so ghetto, but effective.

  • I have a mahoosive roof rack above mine, and over part of it a long ski box and the sunroof came from a Twingo which is way smaller than a Scudo., just saying, whether it is the right solution for you is up for debate, but it is easier to find 500 reasons to not do something than to just do it.

    It is the standard mod for all my homes and will continue to be so for ever I even have a full spare sunroof ready to go in the barn for the next conversion.

  • Just a thought, if you swap out the feet on the roof bars you should be able to raise the roof box up.
    This should give you enough room for a tilt and slide sunroof.

    Other option if you have about 30cm by 30cm is a rotating roof cone, this allows the hot air to be sucked out of the vehicle.


  • 1m Languid, I'd love a hole that big!

    We are going for 2 large turbo vents on the roof (cheap 2nd hand off eBay), they have the option to either suck air in or blow it out. We will put one blowing in at the front and one blowing out at the back which will hopefully circulate the air.

    As has been said if you could raise the roof box a little or failing that put some vents high up on the sides and a vent/vents in the floor to draw up the cooler air from below the vehicle.

  • I think the topbox would mess up any solar panel apart from the one I want to put at the front.
    Someone suggested a sunroof under the box, and that might be a good idea. I'd need to move the box forward, but that's no problem as there are screw fixings to allow this.

  • I think the topbox would mess up any solar panel apart from the one I want to put at the front.
    Someone suggested a sunroof under the box, and that might be a good idea. I'd need to move the box forward, but that's no problem as there are screw fixings to allow this.

    The alternative would be a 12v extractor fan and a flexible bendy solar panel fitted to the top box youd still be able to fit your sunroof.You could fit a fiamma roof skylight like fitted to motorhomes caravans they come in various sizes.Theyre not hugely expensive either.

  • Having slept in a small van i personally would keep the bulkhead. If you dont then youll probably find the windscreen and side windows dripping with condensation - no good if you are looking for stealth. Plus to block out the light you are going to want some sort of curtain, again not as stealth as the standard bulkhead.
    As regards your wifi repeater ( i think in another thread) if you get one you will need to enter the security credentials for each ap you use in the web gui of the repeater. A better soultion eould be to use an external usb wireless adapter and position this outside the van. Plug this into your laptop and you are good to go.

  • Is a roof vent really necessary? I have a couple from a caravan I could fit in my LDV, but have never felt the need for that amount of fresh air, however I do appreciate not getting wet from the roof leaks which could come from a roof vent. Living in Ireland getting too hot isn't usually a problem, but getting too wet is.

  • I have got a roof fan, but it's noisy, and doesn't seem to be very good. It's got a large centre, and a lot of blades. Also, it just fits under the roof box, with about half an inch of clearance between the top of the cowl and the bottom of the box. If I can find a fan with a smaller centre, and fewer blades, that might improve ventilation slightly.

    Everything I do seems to cost over £200, so I'm having to plan the improvements. The sunroof quotes start at £500, so I think that is out.

  • You need a small fan to run continuously, especially when you are sleeping. Its not just about ventilation its also condensation. A radiator fan will drain the battery, its too heavy.

    My van drip with condensation in the winter so I have to park it in the sun with the doors open as much as I can to try and dry it out

  • The problem is worst when there is not wind and I am parked. I'm taken with the idea of using computer fans, and I'll try that. I'll post the results.

    On a slightly different tack,computer fans are really good for fitting behind bunk and wardrobe vents,they use very little power and keep air moving through the storage space and stop damp and mildew in cooler weather.

    If you dont have room on the roof for a fan you could fit exit vents elsewhere like in the floor and use inline bilge vent fan like Seaflo make and some flexible hose.Theyre primarily for venting bilges,engine rooms galleys etc but they can be used for virtually any small space ventilation requirement.

  • I picked up a 12volt bathroom extractor/ventilation kit (sold in B&Q or Wicks.) I Think they sell for around 40squigds. I paid £3 for it. Still in packaging and unopened. It has the 12v fan, a length of hose ducting and the external air vent cover. It even has a light built into it. These are designed to fix to the bathroom cieling and go through the roof space to the outside…BQs0F6-b:20160729223930:s

  • I hgad a look at the existing stuff yesterday. The floor heater outlet looks easy to adapt. The hose seems to run in a bit of trunking to the middle of the van, and then it turns 90 degree to get to the engine compartment. It should be easy to sort out a new inlet rather than coming from the heater. If it works, I'll see if I can fit a T-piece to put another outlet on the other side.

    I took the cover off the roof fan as well, and I can see why it isn't very efficient. There are a couple of narrow slots under the cowl, and that is the sole route for the airflow.The fan has got a massive central unit that covers most of the hole, and there are about a dozen small blades on the circumferance. I think I'll remove all of that, and clean up the inside of the cowl. If I can mount 3 or 4 computer fans in a frame. then I'll use those to generate airflow. That should give more ventilation when they aren't running as well.

    I stripped a scrap computer box, and found a couple of useful fans in there. The cpu fan id branded Intel, and is larger than usual, and the case fan is by FoxCon. Both of these a 0.02amp, and look to be good quality. They have both got motherboard connectors, so I will have to replace those, but I've probably got some in-line connectors somewhere that I can use.

  • I just hard solder them in, saves on hassle and expense, Put a bit of old fuel tube a couple of inches over each end of the inline solder joint to make sure they don't crack with flexing. Always run the wire in a van as if you are going to enter the Paris Dakar rally, cos if it can chafe on something, it will.

  • Well I'm making slow progress. McDonalds gave me the cap off an old ketchup bag, and I cut off the outer ring. I've now gotthe perfect cap for the washer bottle. The central plug fits perfectly, and the top is nice and wide to stop it falling in. Now I need to make a battery platform. That's not as easy as it sounds, and I thiunk I'm going to cut up an old tyre to make a couple of pads as a base.

    I'll post some pics if I do it.