As our campervan build progresses, we’re getting to some of the fun stuff. As part of our new Ford Transit van build we are opting to put in an air conditioner, something we did not add to our previous Dodge Sprinter van. We chose to partner with Dometic for some of the elements of our build, including the air conditioner here, and I’d like to thank Dometic for supplying the Brisk II rooftop air conditioner for us and sponsoring this post. Their support helps us keep the van, the blog and the YouTube channel running and for that we are very thankful.
Review: Dometic Brisk II Air Conditioner in a campervan
We’ll talk about why we went for AC, how we designed for it, and how we installed it. Finally we’ll talk about how well it works.
What you get with Dometic Brisk II
The Dometic Brisk II comes in two parts; the AC unit that sits on top of the van, and the inside portions; a control and wiring panel and the shroud or finishing cover.
Why we added AC
Why did we opt for AC? We live in Calgary Canada and most of the summer the temperature is pretty moderate or even cool, especially in the Rocky Mountains. But we do travel to California quite a bit and wanted to have an option to drive this down there, and use it for camping in the California heat too.
How to power your Dometic AC unit
One note on this device: for most users, you’ll need to know you’ll want to have shore power installed on your van or RV to power the air conditioning. While there are some solar/battery builds where you could run this off grid, it’s a power suck. For us, that meant adding shore power to the build so we could use it without draining the rest of the system including our Renogy solar panels and batteries.
Installing Dometic Brisk II rooftop air conditioner
Let’s talk about the installation. Right off the bat here I want to point out we are not professionals. We are what you would call weekend warriors at this stuff, so while we’ll show you what our experience as do it yourselfers has been like, please don’t take this as professional advice. While we can and did install this air conditioner in our van, cutting a hole in the roof and taking on a project like this isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty of qualified professionals you can get to do this for you.
The most intimidating part of this project is cutting that hole in the roof. You’ll need to measure precisely, and also ensure you have some structure inside to support it, which was one of the first projects we tackled early in the van build.
Your next big job will be getting it on the roof. Hubby Roger was able to lift it up a ladder by himself with a spotter. It’s not super heavy but it is big and awkward.
With the hole cut and the inside braced, it’s a matter of fitting the AC unit over the hole. It’s got pads that will help seal the opening, and, rather surprisingly, the instructions don’t call for any sealant, butyl tape or caulking.
On the inside, you can carefully help the unit find its space by carefully finessing the fit.
Then there’s a second component with the electrical connections and controls. You’ll connect those and wire it to your power source then you’ll use the supplied bolts to pinch together the main unit to the inside metal frame or interior panel. We left ours at that stage for a few days as it rained, just to check that everything was good and it wouldn’t leak without sealant—and it was! With a good fit we added the inside cover or shroud, and the control knobs and had a clean, very finished look!
Dometic Brisk II specs & features
When we were shopping for an AC unit, we found that the ones from Dometic have a great reputation, which was one of the reasons we were keen to partner with them.
The Brisk air conditioners are relatively lightweight thanks to a foam housing or internal structure, and promise better airflow due to large openings that help the air circulate and get cooled better.
Dometic also says The Brisk II is incredibly robust, components such as its carbon steel base have proven their durability by coming through vibration tests lasting for 30 hours and more!
Brisk II Heating function
The optional heater function is ideal for use on cool evenings, with a multi-speed blower for users to adjust according to their cooling or heating needs. It’s not going to get hot, but it’s supposed to be enough to take the edge off a cold morning. (We haven’t yet tested this feature.)
Is Dometic Brisk II noisy?
Finally, Dometic says it’s taken great care to reduce operating noise: with the motor, compressor and evaporator bracketed together for vibration-free, quiet operation. Long copper lines and dual rubber bushings are also responsible for minimizing noise and vibration. Allowing you to enjoy comfortable temperatures in peace and quiet!
Controlling the Air Conditioning
Controls and louvers on the inside allow you to adjust the airflow and temperature easily. There’s no remote control with this model, so you’ll need to make adjustments on the unit itself.
Overall review: Dometic Brisk II campervan air conditioner
Overall we’re really happy with this air conditioner. All things considered it was easy to install, even for our first time. It it powerful, but light and has all the controls we need and all the cooling properties we want for this Rocky Mountain and California Desert cruiser. Check out Dometic’s website for more info on the Brisk II.
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