Caravan air conditioning: Truma Avent comfort review
The Young Tourers fit Truma's Aventa Comfort air conditioning unit to their tourer
Words and photography by Grace Thompson & Dan Arnold
Truma's top air-conditioning system, the Aventa Comfort, has been popular since launch. No doubt the amazing, hot UK summer in 2018 boosted sales.
Many who travel around warmer European countries in summer favour air conditioning systems. But, are they of any use in Britain? We decided to find out.
Hot summer nights in our caravan
We live almost full-time in our caravan, and we e×perienced the full force of last year's heatwave.
Sleepless nights and hot sweats made caravan-living uncomfortable. Even with all the van's windows and roof lights open.
By the end of summer, we'd decided enough was enough. We started looking into options for air-conditioning systems. Grace and I found various devices. AC systems we found included portable units right through to full roof-mounted systems.
Which caravan air conditioning unit?
The market for in-built and roof systems seemed dominated by two manufacturers. In the end for us, there was only one choice.
The Truma Aventa comfort was the system for us. Its slender design and promised performance were the attractions. It also had an added trick up its sleeve, but I'll come onto that one later.
At 33 kg, the Comfort is no featherweight, and by no means will it be suitable for everyone. A van with adequate payload, and a suitable towcar, is a must when considering your options.
This was no problem for us, with our upgraded MTPLM of 1900 kg, and a healthy payload on our Elddis Crusader Storm.
Who can fit the Truma Aventa comfort?
Fitting is a doddle. To find an approved dealer, go to Truma's website. You soon find a list of all the approved service dealers who can supply and fit your kit. Approved dealers either fit it at a workshop or, using mobile fitting, right on your driveway.
We wouldn't recommend fitting it yourself. You need a working knowledge of caravan electrics and good product knowledge are a must!
But, for a professional fitter, the whole process only takes a few hours.
Where can you fit the Aventa comfort?
One thing we loved is the Comfort can make use of existing openings in your caravan roof. This is usually is a 400×400 mm roof light or existing Omni-vent. These units remove the need for cutting more openings. Most caravans since the early 2000s have an useable vent.
This also means you can remove the system at a later date for transfer to another vehicle. And, you replace the AC unit with the standard (400×400 mm) vent you removed in the first place.
The Truma Aventa comfort's clever bit
Now, onto the technical figures.
Aventa comfort is a 240V only system. With no other power option, it's only useable on sites where mains electric is available. Caravanners keen on living off-grid need to consider this fact.
Don't confuse Truma's Aventa with other products in its range though. This AC units packs a punch.
Now, here comes the trump card, the Truma Aventa comfort comes equipped with a built-in heat pump.
This small addition makes the Comfort so much more useful. The heat pump means the unit can work both ways, it can cool and heat.
With 2.4kW cooling power and an impressive 1.7kW heating power, it's clear to see the unit's versatility. On more than one occasion, we've found the heat function a real saving grace.
We use it as a backup if we have with heating issues. Or, we run it as a quick boost whilst waiting for the Alde. The amount we've used the Aventa comfort's heating feature surprised us.
Of course, this isn't the unit's primary function. But as a secondary feature, we rate it. To see how the rest of the numbers stack up, see the panel:
- Power supply 230 V — 240 V, 50 Hz
- Power consumption Cooling: 4.2A Heating: 3.7A
- Start-up current 28 A (150ms)
- Cooling power 2.4 kW
- Heating power 1.7 kW (heat pump)
- Air volume flow max. 400 m³/h
- Usage limits +4 °C to 40 °C
- Weight 33 kg plus installation materials
- Dimensions (W × H x D)
- External: 660 x 248 x 1008 mm
- Internal: 523 × 46 × 670 mm
Back to cooling, the output of this unit in our opinion is brilliant.
Even with external temperatures well into the 30s, the Comfort makes an impact. It reduces the ambient vehicle temperature. Exact cooling times vary depending on external and internal temperatures.
But output from the sleek, roof-mounted diffuser is almost instantaneous. You control the temperature via a thermostat. Adjusting the temperature is easy with the supplied remote control.
Making use of the systems 'Auto' mode, takes temperature control to the next level. In this mode, it's as simple as setting the desired temperature and letting the Comfort do the rest.
It's easy to control the heating and cooling elements. With a little tweaking you can maintain the desired temperature when you need it.
As mentioned, the Comfort has four modes:
- Heating and cooling modes as you'd imagine. It's either heating or cooling to the desired temperature. '
- Auto' mode is available for simple, effortless climate control.
- The fourth is the recirculation mode. This mode is perfect for creating a bit of airflow and reducing condensation in the vehicle. It's a common problem during the winter.
What else is good about the Aventa comfort?
Other great features of the unit include the sleek dimmable LED lighting. It creates a modern yet minimalistic appearance. The diffuser comes in either cream or white with grey or brown inserts. The inserts make it ideal to complement the interior of almost every vehicle.
What's more, Truma made the Aventa comfort advanced too. You can integrate with Alde 3020 systems. This means you can use a single thermostatic control. One control for pure climate control of heating and cooling systems.
It's also iNet-capable. Truma's iNet system allows you to track and manage your vehicle's systems from your mobile device. It's perfect if you want to get the van cool on a hot day (or warm on a cold day) before your return.
Used more often than expected
Over the past six months, we have had the perfect opportunity to put the system through its paces. We've seen if it stands up to the rigours of modern caravanning life.
We used it more often than we expected. Also, we've found that, even during the night, the system can create a perfect sleeping temperature. That's the case when complemented by the vehicles heating system. For us, a steady 19 Degrees on sleep is what we need for a perfect night's sleep.
Is there anything we don't like? No. Our biggest criticism of the system is the Handset isn't backlit. That means making any alterations in the darkness requires you to switch a light on to see the controls.
This is something we'd love to see come from Truma in the coming future.
Another note is the noise.
Whilst this is a personal preference, and we find it suitable, many owners might feel that the noise of the system is too great. But the system's output performance, it should offset any potential noise disturbance.
We found the 'Sleep' function is excellent at keeping the noise levels low. The level is comparable to most conventional fans!
- Unrivalled heating and cooling control between temperatures from 16-31 degrees.
- Super silent 'Sleep mode' function to allow for quiet operation during the night.
- Sleek & low level appearance from inside and out.
- iNet Ready
- 33KG installation weight
- Handset could be backlit for night-time operation
By no means is the Aventa comfort the ideal solution for everyone.
At 33 kg and more than £1500 it's a serious investment in more ways than one.
But people who use their caravans or motorhomes often should consider air conditioning. As roof mount systems go, you will like the Truma Aventa comfort. It's super-versatile and flexible to use in all climates. And the potential integration with other Truma products, including iNet, is ideal.
For all weather caravanners, the Truma Aventa comfort be the breath of fresh air you've been looking for!