Practical Motorhome spent half a day at AWS-accredited Out & About Motorhome and Caravan Services in south Lincolnshire, to see how a Sinclair air-con is fitted.
1. Technicians make sure there is enough space to fit the unit on the roof. As there is no suitable rooflight aperture to use, a hole has to be cut. Plenty of space is left around the air-con to allow for good airflow.
2. They then transfer the location to the ‘van interior, ensuring nothing gets in the way. They must consider structural supports and hidden cabling, and ensure the unit does not prevent any door from opening.
3. Careful measuring and marking are vital before the hole is cut to accommodate the unit. Out & About spends 30 minutes perfecting dimensions and position.
4. The measurements and positioning of the unit are then triple-checked, before any drilling and cutting begin.
5 David drills corner holes for the aperture he’ll cut. Mark and drill guide holes in from the edge or the bigger drill will cross them.
6. Using a jigsaw, he carefully cuts between drill holes. He’s not applying any pressure, just letting the saw do the work for him.
7. Cable is close to RCD. It’s a sealed unit, so a spur with master switch and fuse are fitted. A piece of trunking hides the cable.
8. Roof panel contains different densities of polystyrene. Replacing one section with a piece of wood prevents the panel ‘crimping’ when the unit is bolted up tightly.
9. The next stage involves the section of planed wood being carefully bonded in place.
10. Chris cleans down the roof, to ensure there will be good adhesion by the Soudal combined sealant and adhesive.
11. The adhesive is then carefully applied to the metal collar, and will go off in about 20 minutes at a temperature of 20ºC.
12. The next step in the procedure is to bond and clamp the metal frame for the unit into the correct position.
13. The unit is now in position and will be pulled level when the securing bolts have been tightened up.
14. Inside, Chris attaches the internal steel frame and bolts the unit in place; you can also see the orange power lead, which is waiting to be connected.
15. All bolted down. Chris will now fit the spacers, which vary depending on the thickness of the roof panel.
16. The interior section, with electronics, filters, baffles and vents, is screwed in place and the power lead is then connected.
17. This stage requires two pairs of hands! The control wires are attached and the control panel/fascia lifted into position.
18. All done! The new unit looks great on the outside, too.
The fitted Sinclair air-con unit looks great inside and out, and functions perfectly first time.
Out & About has definitely gone the extra mile to do a professional job here – one of the benefits of using an NCC AWS-accredited outfit.
“We simply practise what we preach,” David explains. “If I wouldn’t do it in my ‘van, I wouldn’t do it in yours.”
The owner of this model will certainly appreciate that!
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Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of Practical Motorhome, provides the information in this article in good faith and makes no representation as to its completeness of accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of the advice to their circumstances. Individuals should take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risk of electrocution when dealing with electrical products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future not its employees or agents shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information.
Plenty of space is left around the air-con to allow for good airflow