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Old 06-11-2014, 09:32 AM   #1
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12v air conditioner vs Danhard

Hi there,
We're finalizing our Build with Sportsmobile West and I just found this site. We've ordered the Danhard air conditioner (the wifey does not do hot very well). But I've read some disturbing things about the noise the Danhard makes. Anyone use the cheaper 12v with success?

I'd appreciate any advice.

Thanks,
Frank
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:17 AM   #2
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

I think the Danhard is all 110 but SMB offers the ProAir which is 12 and can be used while driving.IIRC the Danhard would require a heavy duty alternator powering a heavy amp inverter (or gen) to work while driving. The ProAir is similar to the Starcool III in that it works off 12vDC while driving and 110vAC while plugged into shore power. I don't know how well the ProAir works off shore power. If it's similar to the Starcool, my guess would be that the cooling ability doesn't match the better cooling that the Danhard puts out. But it might do better than the Starcool and you'd have to find out what those who have them actually say. The problem is there are several factors to what cool is to each person. It also matters how well insulated the van is, the size, window coverage and the climate you're in. Noise is also something that is subjective to each person.
Myself I rarely camp where shore power is avalible so it doesn't matter to me but driving in hot weather is something I do daily and I wouldn't be W/O a secondary cooling system on a van. YMMV. What Ford offered on my 06 compared to the newer models might also be different today.

I've been told both the Danhard and ProAir are similar in noise with the ProAir being a little quieter but have never heard either in action. The people to ask (other than owners) would be SMB of Texas as they seem to be the ones who spearhead the A/C's and development.

If you do decide on the ProAir I hope you post back with how it works. I'm sure there are many who would like to hear how well it operates. One thing I would like to know is if the ProAir while on shore power is completely separated from the house and vehicle battery system. It's a problem for me (IMO) and after a full day of shore power cooling, the Starcool begins to pull down the house battery. I can start the shore charger but the battery temps are monitored and kick off the charger if the batteries get too hot. I use the A/C when it's hot outside so I usually end up with a depleted house battery system in 100+ weather. Not the best thing heading into the night hours. I'm working with SMB on a converter that supplies all the 12vDC stuff while on shore power that leaves my house battery system isolated.

Good luck on your build Frank.

Dave
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

Thanks for the reply,
I guess this begs the question: does the Danhard only run when parked? It's cooling while parked that wife is worried about.

Frank
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

Parked? As long as you're plugged into shore power or it's being fed by generator or inverter. Just running off an inverter would deplete the house battery system rather quickly. You might be able to run it a couple of hours depending on how large the battery sytem is.

Don't know if the fans on the bottom would be subject to turbulance while driving creating an isue. Maybe somebody with a Danhard will chime in. Seems one member tried this out but I don't recall how it worked. But generally speaking the Danhard units are made as a non-driving shore power A/C unit. SMB has been able to power a roof mounted unit via the inverter and a higher amp alternator in the Sprinters.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

I had the 12V Pro Air system in my SMB. Was never that impressed with its performance, but better than just the dash AC I guess. My SMB had a LOT of glass (windows) so that really added to the heat load of my van.

The 12V Pro Air is tied into the van AC system, so there's no way to run it independently from the van AC system. There is a rear evaporator and fan which provides the cool air. Since its more or less a glorified fan, the only added noise is the fan itself.


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Old 06-12-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
I had the 12V Pro Air system in my SMB. Was never that impressed with its performance, but better than just the dash AC I guess. My SMB had a LOT of glass (windows) so that really added to the heat load of my van.

The 12V Pro Air is tied into the van AC system, so there's no way to run it independently from the van AC system. There is a rear evaporator and fan which provides the cool air. Since its more or less a glorified fan, the only added noise is the fan itself.


Herb
Proair is the BEST!!!!!!
Maybe you got the wrong unit for your needs or your unit is not hooked up right, I don't see any units that tie into the vans AC .....

Mine has a separate compressor, evaporator, and condenser
http://proairllc.com/industries/vans?product_id=247 and http://proairllc.com/units/condensers?product_id=213 and its own separate engine driven compressor it works so good (32000BTU/CFMs and heat)I don't use the sprinters OEM AC

They do make dual powered 12v/110 units, that work while driving or plugged into 110,
http://proairllc.com/industries/ambulances

They also make a unit that's works on 4 Batteries http://proairllc.com/units/evaporators?product_id=412
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #7
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

I also agonized over the AC question before placing my 4x4 van order since the Starcool option is no longer available. (My understanding is that they stopped manufacturing it.)

Here's what I learned. It's EITHER the Pro Air AC option that only works while the engine is running OR the Danhard AC that only works when you have a shore line.

Since I intend to travel with the wife and a grandkid or two, having AC in the back while driving was a higher priority. I also will not likely be having a shore line available most of the time. I'll just avoid really hot & humid destinations during the summer. (I still think that leaves me a lot of places to visit.)

My van has just begun it's interior build so I asked SMB to respond to some of the comments in this thread. Here's their reply: "ProAir does have a 12V/110V system that is designed primarily for ambulances. We do not install it on the vans because it is so big and it requires a ton of power. Most likely k9sprinter had that system installed by one of our other facilities because we have not done one here. I would assume it was done on a Sprinter. The one we install here is a 12V one that will only work off the engine." I would add, or you can select the Danhard/shore line option.

Believe me I wish there was a better option. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:14 AM   #8
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallt65
I also agonized over the AC question before placing my 4x4 van order since the Starcool option is no longer available. (My understanding is that they stopped manufacturing it.)

Here's what I learned. It's EITHER the Pro Air AC option that only works while the engine is running OR the Danhard AC that only works when you have a shore line.

Since I intend to travel with the wife and a grandkid or two, having AC in the back while driving was a higher priority. I also will not likely be having a shore line available most of the time. I'll just avoid really hot & humid destinations during the summer. (I still think that leaves me a lot of places to visit.)

My van has just begun it's interior build so I asked SMB to respond to some of the comments in this thread. Here's their reply: "ProAir does have a 12V/110V system that is designed primarily for ambulances. We do not install it on the vans because it is so big and it requires a ton of power. Most likely k9sprinter had that system installed by one of our other facilities because we have not done one here. I would assume it was done on a Sprinter. The one we install here is a 12V one that will only work off the engine." I would add, or you can select the Danhard/shore line option.

Believe me I wish there was a better option. I hope this helps.
there is a another option ... take your business to another conversion company
I thought the reason in getting a SPORTSMOBILE .. was to have it built YOUR WAY, with the equipment YOU want and need.... (and....... they know EXACTLY which Sportsmobile did my built)
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

I'm sorry for trying to be helpful. No offense was meant.

Apparently there are more brilliant options available...elsewhere
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
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Re: 12v air conditioner vs Danhard

So it looks like the ProAir unit doesn't have a compressor and relies on the van compressor.

Now my Danhard Starcool system was tied into the van's AC with T pieces (which it is not now, thankfully) but my question is where is the Danhard compressor? I know where the eval, condenser etc are.
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