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How to Install a Cormorant Air Conditioner

Article by - Caravans Plus
Read Time: 9 mins

The Aircommand CORMORANT air conditioning unit is designed for installation on the roof of a caravan or recreation vehicle to provide reverse cycle heating and cooling

  • The roof must be capable of supporting the weight of the unit (45kg)
  • The absolute minimum thickness of the roof must not be less than 25mm
  • Standard fittings will allow installation on a roof up to 85mm thick. Installations on thicker roofs will require custom ducting and hold down bolts
  • Trimming of the ductwork will be necessary if the roof thickness is less than 85mm

    It is important that this installation manual is properly read and understood before installation. The unit must be installed by a qualified service technician. Failure to properly install the unit or attempting to modify it in any way can be extremely hazardous and may result in property damage and personal injury.

    Aircommand will not be held responsible for problems relating to incorrect or improper installation methods.

    Packing list

    The components of your Cormorant Air Condtioner will be contained in 2 cartons. Unpack the cartons when you are ready to install and check that the contents are as below:

    Components list
    Components List


  • Ensure that the installation instructions have been properly read and understood
  • Installation must conform nationally to wiring regulations and in particular AS3001-2008
  • DONOT attempt to modify or add components to the installation procedure
  • This equipment must only be serviced by a licensed refrigeration mechanic
  • If your installation varies from the method outlined please contact Aircommand for specialty advice


    Before beginning, mark out the position of the unit considering the following important requirements:

  • The air conditioner should be situated as centrally as possible on the van, to ensure even air distribution.
  • The front of the unit MUST face the direction of travel; failure to follow this instruction will result in damage to the condenser fans.

    Figure 1
    Fig 1: CORMORANT Vent clearances

  • If the caravan is over 23' in length, or has an unusually high heat load (see General Operating Information section regarding expectations about insulation etc.), Aircommand would recommend 2 or more units to cool effectively.
  • When considering the installation position remember to check for clearance around the plenum inside the van.
  • Avoid an installation position where a bulkhead, cupboard or light fitting could interfere with the discharge air flow from the plenum.
  • It is important that the unit is never more than 5 degrees from the horizontal and the rear of the unit should never be higher than the front
  • Contact Aircommand if your installation differs significantly

    Figure 2
    Fig 2: The foot print of the rooftop unit, and the plenum, measured from the hole

  • The above outline on the left shows the minimum clearance required around the CORMORANT unit on the roof of the vehicle, distances shown are calculated from a 14" square hole (356 x 356mm)
  • The above outline on the right shows the minimum clearance required around the Plenum located on the ceiling inside the vehicle, distances shown are calculated from a 14" square hole (356 x 356mm)


  • The roof members MUST be strong enough to support the weight of the unit (up to 45kg) without any roof deflection that will cause "pooling" of water around the unit. Contact your caravan manufacturer to confirm the max load the roof is able to handle. If in any doubt consider the use of an external "H" frame.
  • If the roof does not have an existing hole one must be cut. Cut from the roof then use the roof hole as a guide to cut through the ceiling. Contact your caravan manufacturer for the best method to cut through the roof.

    WARNING - There may be electrical wiring located between the roof and ceiling. Ensure that power is properly disconnected at the supply (mains and/or battery). Failure to do so may result in personal injury or death

  • Longitudinals MUST be fixed securely to the transverse roof members to transfer load (see Fig 3).

    Figure 3
    Fig 3: Shows an ideal roof structure with strong longitudinals and a 14" hole boxed

  • The square hole in the roof (356 x 356mm, 14" x 14") MUST be boxed up with minimum 20mm square timber to provide a structure strong enough to withstand the compression of the installation bolts. This is also to ensure that air in not drawn from the roof cavity (Fig 3 & 4). Remember to leave access for wiring.

    TIP: Always use crawl boards across the roof to avoid damage

    Figure 4
    Fig 4: The roof cavity MUST be boxed with timber to provide a solid structure


  • Ensure that the roof is clean, dry and free from grease or oil.
  • Remove the paper backing from gasket and position over square hole. Second gasket to be located 250mm behind and parallel (Fig 5)
  • Gasket must be applied with self-adhesive side down. Note orientation of gasket to direction of travel (Fig 5). Press gasket down to ensure good adhesion.
  • Run a bead of silicone where the roof and the gasket meet, around the entire gasket perimeter, to ensure water cannot leak between the gasket and the roof surface. DO NOT apply silicone between the gasket and the air conditioner itself.

    Figure 5
    Fig 5: Shows the placement of the roof gasket over the hole. Note the positioning in relation to the front of the vehicle


  • Remove the air conditioner from the carton.
  • Position the unit over the gasket so that the corners of the square hole in the caravan roof line up with the corners of the square hole underneath the CORMORANT (Fig 6).

    TIP: Have one person inside the vehicle looking through the hole while the other is on the roof adjusting the position of the unit

    Figure 6
    Fig 6: Position the CORMORANT over the roof gasket and set it down gently

  • DO NOT slide the unit on the roof, this may damage the gasket and result in leaks
  • Four M8 mounting holes on the chassis underneath the air conditioner will line up with the corners of the square roof hole (Fig 7).

    Figure 7
    Fig 7: Shows the view from under the roof Position the CORMORANT so the 4 mounting holes (circled) line up with the corners


  • Screw spigot onto underside of unitwith the 4 screws provided (this step can also be done before the unit is positioned on the roof but take care not to damage while fitting)
  • The spigot will only fit one way, be careful to ensure spigot is positioned correctly (Fig 8) and avoid affixing back to front

    Figure 8
    Fig 8: Shows positioning of Spigot to be attached to underside of unit. Ensure spigot is mounted the correct way, screw holes will not line up if attached back to front


    WARNING - Ensure that power is properly disconnected at the supply (mains and/or battery). Failure to do so may result in damage to the unit and personal injury or death.

  • This unit MUST be installed in accordance with State and National Wiring regulations and in particular AS3001 - 2008
  • Connect power supply to lead from unit
  • Note: Brown = Active, Blue = Neutral, Yellow/Green = Earth


    Measure the roof thickness and consult the table below to check if adjustments to the duct length are required.
    Failure to cut the duct properly can result in an incorrect seal which will adversely affect the units performance

    Roof Thickness Chart
    Roof Thickness Cart


  • Thread a hold down bar onto the M8 bolt and push the bolt almost all the way into the hole in each corner of the brace (Fig 9)

    Figure 9
    Fig 9: Insert the four M8 bolts and hold down bars into the corners of the brace

  • Leave a 10mm gap between the hold down bar and the recess in the plastic brace. This will allow for easier engagement with the four corresponding threaded holes in the unit.
  • Turn the assembly over and add the extension duct to the top of the assembly (Fig 10).
  • Take care to avoid tearing or ripping the duct apart.
  • When attaching the duct to the unit take care to ensure it forms a tight, unbroken seal that doesn't allow discharge air to escape.

    Figure 10
    Fig 10: Fit the extension duct onto the brace assembly ensuring a tight, sealed fit


  • Raise the brace assembly and slip the extension duct over the outside diameter of the spigot underneath the rooftop unit. (Fig 11 & 12).

    Figure 11
    Fig 11: Raise the duct assembly up to the roof hole, ensuring the paper extension duct work forms a tight fit around the spigot underneath the unit.

  • When attaching the duct to the unit take care to ensure it forms a tight, unbroken seal that doesn't allow discharge air to escape.
  • Engage and tighten the four M8 bolts with the threaded inserts in the rooftop unit.
  • Recommended tightening torque of the bolts is 7 N.m (5.2 lb-ft). As a rough guide the bolts should be tightened so that the unit compresses the roof seal gasket to approximately half its height.
  • As the bolts are tightened ensure that the hold down bars slot into their recesses in the brace (Fig 12).

    Figure 12
    Fig 12: Then engage the four M8 bolts, taking care to ensure the hold down bars slot into their recesses


  • Connect the main cover of the plenum to the duct by attaching the blue suspension cord to the lug on the inside of the cover (Fig 13).
  • This will allow you to use two hands to connect the control cable (see Fig 14).

    Figure 13
    Fig 13: Shows the positioning of the lug inside the plenum cover.

    Figure 14
    Fig 14: Attaching the suspension cord will allow two hands free to plug in the control cable and affix the plenum

  • Connect the key pad control cables together (see below). Be sure that the plug joins the corresponding wire colours together (yellow to yellow, red to red etc.)

    Failure to properly plug the control cables together correctly will result in loss of power to display


  • Secure the main plenum cover to the duct assembly with the 4 screws provided (Fig 15).

    TIP: It is important that these screws are not over tightened otherwise the plenum may crack.

    Figure 15
    Fig 15: Secure the main plenum cover to the duct assembly with the four screws provided

  • Remove the filter elements by pulling them out of the plenum, and use the six self-tapping counter sunk screws to secure the covers edges to the caravan ceiling (Fig 16). In some instances a very small pilot hole may need to be drilled to guide the screws into place.
  • Replace the return air filters by sliding them into the plenum until they click into place

    Figure 16
    Fig 16: Remove the plenum filters and use the six self-tapping screws to secure the plenum over to the ceiling of the caravan. Be sure not to over tighten.

    Your Installation Is Now Complete

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    • comment-avatar


      The inside measurement of the hole is not 356mm, it has to be an absolute minimum of 360mm, otherwise the brace will not fit. It is a snug fit at 360. You could make it 361 just to play it safe. Make sure the square hole is actually square ie. all corners must be right angle 90 deg. If you are out just slightly the brace will deform trying to fit it up.

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