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There seem to be two schools of thought about aircon -
1. If you have it you miss out on acclimatisation to local conditions and could become ill etc.
2. If you don't have it you acclimatise better.
I don't have it and find the heat knackering sometimes, haven't actually fallen over, but have been mildly miffed when an aircon'd landcruiser pulls up and out steps some chick like she's just flown in from Paris while I'm sagging in the 40 degree temps....and I'm supposed to be the one doing the right thing. Not to mention all the dust from open windows.
Re: getting ill if you use AC; I doubt that's scientifically valid. I haven't noticed large numbers of sick expatriates in their air-conditioned cars in the UAE. I think there is a more credible argument against sleeping in super-cooled bedrooms in hot climates.
True, if you don't have AC you acclimatise more quickly to outside conditions but you also feel hot and uncomfortable more often too.
Having said that, a warm breeze with the windows down in the desert is fantastic. You can save your AC for the traffic jams and hight speed tarmac.
Don't forget, too, the AC saps your engine power so switch it off if you need to, i.e. if you are stuck in sand.
And if you don't like dust from open windows - avoid dusty places.
Pretty much agree with Stephano.I use mine all the time during the week whilst at work,etc.But in the desert at weekends its off with the windows down.It plays havoc with my 'Senior Navigators'hair but I bought her a cap!
By the way,if you've got a Landy LWB,forget about AC anyway unless you buy a non stock version as the LRAC is pretty useless.
Definitely -not- if you are thinking of anything serious.
1. It dehydrates cab air (and therefore occupants) and can cause heatstroke (having had to treat a family we met in Morocco with advanced heatstroke four years ago I can vouch that it really *does* cause serious harm, we almost had to put a drip into the driver)
2. As Sam said it lowers engine power and increases engine wear and fuel consumption.
Mind you on short 'fun' trips it does make the cab comfortable. I was out in the desert yesterday and it was well over 45 degrees, we had a/c on in the vehicle when standing still, running on tarmac or on firm pistes. When we got to serious stuff we turned it off. Its a liability.
As for Land Rover LWB aircon problems, Ive had no such experiences. My One Ten a/c is fine, though I dont use it much.
I can`t see the problem, if your vehicle has it, its a bonus, if you dont want to use it fine, if your spending long hours in the cab on a hot day, it certainly makes a difference, a nice cool cab does cut down on fatigue. By all means if your in the desert jumping in and out all the time, or worried about over heating, or the power it use`s you can always switch it off.
But for the long transits etc where you are sitting in the cab for hours on end a bit of extra comfort goes a long way.
Go to Australia and see how many new 4x4s are sold without A/C, not very many. For every hour most people spend in the desert they spend a lot more time on the open road, why not have a bit of comfort.
BTW our 110 does`nt have aircon, but our next one will.
"I can`t see the problem, if your vehicle has it, its a bonus, if you dont want to use it fine, .... a nice cool cab does cut down on fatigue.
I hardly ever used it in cool season Sahara but when I did it was a treat (if it had not leaked out in the meantime - run it for a bit once a month I am advised....).
Acclimatising is not really an issue in cars. Like Stefano says aircon-related illness occurs in sealed envionments like planes and offices.
Open windows are most pleasant but not so handy when your the back car in a dusty convoy or trying to enjoy Mantiovani on the highway at 115kph, driving into the noonday sun. And open windows undermine your mpg too, though I believe the effect of air-con on mpg is much exagerrated (they used to say the same about autos too). Never noticed a difference on big-engined Toyotas or even a Discovery in Aust (where I did a test one day for as long as I could bear it).
In summer I suspect what you might use in extra fuel you will save on drinking water.
Why would 'serious' desert preclude aircon? Does it preclude power steering too?
IMO, for the Sahara, if you have it it will be a bonus at times when you just need to cool down fast and cant waste water, but you will use it much less than you think - I never ran mine on anything less than the lowest setting. With no a/c you'll survive.
I'd agree that if your vehicle has A/C fitted, you have the otion of using it or not.
However, when we've travelled with other vehicles with A/C, we have noticed that it's used almost all the time when it's hot. While we do occasionally envy that comfort, we also notice that the occupants prefer to view the sights from inside their vehicles, rather than get out into (what for them is) a blast of hot air. Plus they get into the habit of driving with the windows closed.
As they say, if you've got 'em, you'll smoke 'em...
<< Why would 'serious' desert preclude aircon? Does it preclude power steering too? >>
I am unwilling to take a component into a long desert trip that will dehydrate driver and passengers and therefore increase consumption of fuel and water.
By 'serious' desert I mean 100km or so of road and then hundreds of km of desert, which is what I tend to do most of at the moment. If the figures were reversed Id want a/c, no question, for the tarmac.
Equally, if Im just out for a weekend potter, Ill use it right now - the Sahara's a bit hot this week, and that's just June.
Im lucky. I have one car with, and one car without, so I can compare. If I had the one with, Id use it for tarmac and daily drives, plus trundles in easy areas. If without, I wouldn't miss it.
Power steering. Personal view; I am a Luddite by nature (I work in IT and therefore do not trust technology!). Its just more to go wrong. Not only that, Ive used cars both with and without and as far as Im concerned the vehicles with power steering arent that much easier to drive so Ill give it a miss.
But thats just based on personal opinion. I cant really defend it!
[This message has been edited by Runner (edited 23 June 2004).]
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