After coming from the Victorian High Country very quickly into Queensland, the heat hit us like a brick to the head. We’d come from jumpers and pants with the diesel heater on at times, to sleeping with nothing but underwear and a sheet on, and it hit our kids much harder than we expected, hence the Supercheap Car Fan purchase.
Now, don’t get us wrong; we’ve travelled Australia extensively, and never had too much of an issue with the heat, but the stark change was hard for our kids to get used to, and with only one Ryobi 18V fan available between the 4 of us, something had to be done.
Queensland seemed to have a very late start to the dry season this year too, with some humidity making the heat even more difficult, and whilst Sarah and I had discussed getting a 12V fan for our youngest son, who’s in the bottom bunk with minimal ventilation we hadn’t made a purchase.
Why the Supercheap Car fan?
When it comes to caravan fans, the obvious choice is Sirroco. They are proven, quiet, easy to clean, can be mounted and used in a myriad of ways and do the job, well.
Yes, they are expensive, and need to be permanently installed, and as much as I wanted to install one, I knew Cooper would inevitably put his foot through it in a moment of rage in one of his regular tantrums, and throwing that sort of money out just didn’t seem like a smart decision.
On top of this, he’s got really limited room to sit up, and we keep his toys and books up one end, which makes mounting a Sirroco fan really challenging.
My miser solution then, was to purchase a cheap fan that was semi portable, and see how it went.
The first one was damaged
After finding the car fan in Supercheap Auto for $30, and muttering about how expensive it was, and wondering if they’d match BCF who were selling them for less, I decided it was a small price to pay given how difficult it is with kids who are uncomfortable at night, and made the buy.
At camp, I excitedly unpacked it, and plugged it into the back of the Dmax, only to hear a horrible rumbling noise that would come and go. It was clearly rubbing somewhere inside the fan housing, as squeezing the back of the fan made it come and go, but I couldn’t get it to stop on a permanent basis.
Disappointed, I returned it to Supercheap Auto, who were helpful and offered a refund, or replacement. I took the latter.
The second one wasn’t much better
These are pretty flimsy in terms of construction, and I guess given the price difference to a Sirroco fan I shouldn’t be too surprised.
What I was surprised by though, was the noise level of these fans even when they aren’t rubbing. With some ambient background noise they aren’t too bad (like when driving in a car), but turn it on when you are camping in the middle of the bush with no one else around, and it sounds like a plane taking off.
Now, I might be exaggerating a bit, but they are noisy, and whilst we can sleep in the camper with it on, I try and turn it off before we go to sleep, as its so loud you cannot hear anything else going on outside of the camper, and that means anyone could come and play silly buggers with our stuff, whilst we sleep, and I don’t like that.
Would we recommend these?
We’ve only had this fan for a few months, so its hard to comment on longevity, but I suppose for the price, it works, and I’m not overly unimpressed with it.
The noise is annoying, but it clips on nicely, does its job and saved our bacon by keeping one of our little monsters cool when it was unpleasantly warm to go to sleep, and you can’t ask for more than that.
If you want a quality 12V caravan fan, get a sirocco, and we’ll probably end up with one down the track, once our youngest reduces the frequency of his upsets!
Do you run a 12V fan? Are you happy with it?