Mini Split condenser unit IN van?!

I’m exploring the idea of a mini split in my van, with the condenser unit in my garage (under my bed) and would like some feedback, or maybe ideas, for doing so. Granted, it would take up a lot of space, but I’m wondering if it would be functionally feasible to keep the condenser unit inside, build an insulated box around it that leaves at least six inches (definitely small, but not functional??) of air space on all sides, and if it had the air discharge aimed at a van wall that would have a vent to the outside, could this work? I imagine there may be some loss in efficiencies (?), but I wonder if there may be those totally opposed to this setup, and for what functional reasons?

Greetings & Welcome!

Well, I see 2 problems:

A) How are you planning to power it? Solar & Batteries are impractical.
B) They produce water runoff, that would need to be handled.


"Wherever I may roam, I always take my home." ~ Van_Dweller

Thanks for the welcome and reply!

While I will have solar, 600+ amp hours, and a 3000 watt inverter, I also have a shore power hook up.

I haven’t entirely figured out what to do with the water run off, although I have taken it into consideration, thinking diverting through the floor as a starting point.

I think my biggest concern at this point is airflow, specifically what I can get away with as a minimum, just to know it is feasible.


The garage would need to be ventilated enough to equalize it with the outside air. The outside side of A/C’s put out a ton of heat and moisture, that must be dissipated. This is why the condenser unit is typically located outside. Accumulated heat and moisture is not only bad for your vehicle, but will also severely lower the performance of the A/C unit.

Personally, I would mount a window shaker inside, within a box with appropriate clearance, vented to the outside with a lovered grate covering it, and sloped enough so that gravity will run the drainage outside. It’s not uncommon to see these mounted at floor level under a kitchen cabinet, or in an upper cabinet like a microwave.

I’m not real sure how the split style works, but I can tell you that ones I prefer offer fresh air from outside, recirculated air from inside, a combination of both, and a intake/exhaust fan only mode. I don’t think the splits allow for this, because no air is passed between the two units, only refrigerant.


"Wherever I may roam, I always take my home." ~ Van_Dweller

The splits are definitely nice for housing, but I don’t see what the advantages would be over one of the roof top units that are all in one combined on top of the van. Wouldn’t you still need to install something outside?

Well, I’d rather have more solar on the roof, they too heat and cool, they are quiet, half the price, comparably efficient, and while some have made them work placing the outdoor unit inside, I’m leaning more toward mounting it outside on the driver side door right now.

Makes sense. I’m always torn on adding more solar, too much and you can’t use the roof for anything else and we don’t typically need more than we have now. We use our roof for other things quite often, gear, kayaks, etc.

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