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How To Install an Ibis 3 Air Conditioner

Article by - Caravans Plus
Read Time: 11 mins

The instructions included with the Air Conditioner are fully included below, plus additional notes (shown in italics) made during an original installation, plus photos taken during the installation.

The time taken to install in approximately 2-3 hours with one person, however it is recommended to get assistance by one other person to lift the roof unit onto the roof unless you have a fork lift or similar lifting device.

The photos included show the removal of an existing roof hatch and installation using the same roof hole that was designed to suit an air conditioner, with roof strengthening and power cable already included in the original roof. It would be similar to replacing an old air conditioner.

The Aircommand Ibis 3 air conditioning unit was designed for installation on the roof of a caravan or recreational vehicle to provide reverse cycle heating and cooling. The unit is intended for vehicles with roofs that are from 25 to 85mm thick. The unit must be installed so that it is within +/- 5 degrees of the horizontal plane.

It is important that this installation manual is properly read and understood before installation. The unit must be installed by a qualified tradesperson. 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 Ibis 3 will be contained in 2 cartons. Unpack the carton when you are ready to install and check that the contents are as below:

Figure 18
Components List
Figure 18
Small Box Contents - Remote Control Not Shown


  • Checked that roof thickness is between 25 - 85mm. If roof is greater than 85mm thick you will need an Ibis 3 Thick roof adapter (Part No 8102007) from Aircommand. Note that this measurement must include any 'H-Frames' used.
    'H-Frame' is a steel or aluminium supporting frame that may be needed to strengthen the roof to support the extra weight. They are fixed above the existing roof with the ends extending to the edge of the roof. In many modern caravans or motorhomes strengthening may already be included within the existing roof cavity.
  • Confirmed that the unit will be within +/- 5 degrees of the horizontal plane.
  • Roof strength has been assessed.
  • Position of the unit has been assessed for clearance on the roof and ceiling.
  • The installation hole will not cut through any wiring in the roof.
  • Mains power or battery driven inverter power supply has been isolated.
  • Selected the correct sealant for your application.
  • Safe work method for lifting unit onto the roof top has been assessed.

    Installation must conform to local wiring regulations.
    DO NOT 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.


    The unit weighs approximately 46kg, ensure a two person lift or use a mechanical hoist to avoid the risk of injury.
    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/or personal injury.

    Aircommand will not be held responsible for issues arising from incorrect or improper installation methods.


    Mark out the position of the unit based on the following important requirements:

    Before cutting holes through the roof ensure that mains power or battery driven inverters are disconnected

  • The unit requires a 360 x 360mm square hole for installation.
  • The Ibis 3 should be placed as close as possible to the centre of the caravan or RV so that conditioned air can circulate evenly.
  • Ensure that the air outlets will not be blowing directly onto obstructions.
  • Consideration should be given to service access. Ensure that location of hatches, solar panels, antennas etc will not prevent access for service personnel.
  • The roof MUST be strong enough to support the weight of the unit (46kg). Contact your caravan manufacturer to confirm that this load can be supported by the roof.
  • EXTERNAL CLEARANCE. The path of the outside fan exhaust must be free. A gap of at least 50mm is required between the roof top unit and any obstructions.Figure 1

    External clearances diagram
    Figure 1 - Foot print of the roof top air conditioner over 360 x 360mm mounting hole. The area at the back (shown in cross hatch) must be kept free of obstructions.

  • INTERNAL CLEARANCE The inside plenum has a foot print of 535 x 535 mm centered around the installation hole. Figure 2
    Internal clearances diagram
    Figure 2- Inside plenum foot print.

  • The installation hole must be boxed up with material that is strong enough to withstand the compression from the hold down bolts. 20mm wide timber would be required at a minimum.

    Contact Aircommand if your installation differs significantly from that prescribed above.

    1a. Remove Old Air Conditioner

    Ensure power is disconnected completely from the Caravan or Motorhome during removal

  • Removal of all brands begins from the inside of your RV
  • Remove any screw covers, screws and mounting bolts.
  • 240V disconnection should only be done by a qualified electrician

    1b. Remove 360mm square hatch

    Ensure roof strengthening exists inside roof cavity, if not a 'H-Frame' may be required

    Remove Screws
    Above - Remove any screws that hold the existing hatch

    Remove Existing Seal
    Above - Using a sharp knife, break the existing silicone or chalking seal

    Hatch removed
    Above - Remove existing seal and clean with metho. Note the 240V wiring that was included in the ceiling, but is not yet connected to caravan circuit breaker

    1c. Cut installation hole - for new locations

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

  • Once the position of the unit has been determined cut out the 360 x 360 installation hole and boxed up.
  • Ensure that the main power supply for the unit has been led through and is available for connection.
  • The installation hole must be sealed from the ceiling space to prevent air conditioned air leaking into the ceiling cavity.

    2. Attach BLACK weather collar to roof

  • Locate the weather collar (Item #1).
  • The collar has one side marked "THIS SIDE UP". This top side will point to the sky. Figure 3

    Figure 3
    Figure 3 - Top side of weather collar showing THIS SIDE UP also has 4 grey foam strips around each bolt hole

  • The other side, the underside will be sealed onto the roof. Figure 4

    Figure 4
    Figure 4 - The underside of the weather collar

  • Select a suitable sealant for bonding the weather collar to the caravan roof. The collar is made from glass filled Nylon-6,6. Consult your specialist adhesive supplier about the correct sealant to use for your application. Follow all directions on the MSDS particularly those regarding PPE, safe use & disposal.
  • Apply the recommended sealant to the underside of the weather collar. Figure 5

    Figure 5
    Figure 5 - Recommended sealant path

  • Flip the weather collar over and firmly press the sealant side to the roof of the caravan.
  • Apply a circle of sealant around each of the four bolt holes. Figure 6a
  • Apply sealant to edge of the weather collar where it meets the roof sheet Figure 6b

    Figure 6
    Figure 6a - Sealant around bolt holes on the top side
    Seal roof sheet to weather collar
    Figure 6b - Seal outer edge of weather collar to roof sheeting

  • If the collar is a sloppy fit inside the hole, secure it in place with 2 corner screws, seal those screws. This makes it easier to centre the roof unit onto the fixed collar
  • The weather collar is now ready for the roof top unit.

    3. Position roof top unit

    Use approved methods to lift the unit - 46kg. We recommend 2 people for this step
  • Position the unit over the 360 x 360mm hole with the weather collar installed. Figure 7
  • Lower the unit so that it engages with the collar.

    Figure 7
    Figure 7 - Lower & engage unit

  • Move inside the caravan.
  • Note position of the electrical power supply entering the 360 x 360 hole. If the roof is thin (25- 30mm) you may have to put a notch in the duct & brace part in order to lead the cable through.

    4. Electrical supply

    This unit MUST be installed in accordance with AS/NZ 3001:2008 "Electrical installations - transportable structures & vehicles including their site supplies'. Ensure that power is properly disconnected at the supply (mains and/or battery). Failure to do so may result in personal injury or death. This connection can only be done by a suitably licensed electrical tradesperson.
  • From inside the caravan look up and locate the unit's connection point. Figure 8
  • Undo the 2 screws securing the connection box. Pull the box out to allow for easier access. Prepare cable, connect conductors to appropriate terminals. Tighten cable gland. Replace connection box and secure with both screws.

    Figure 8
    Figure 8a - Hard wire connection point
    Wire connection
    Figure 8b - Active wire is Red or Brown, Neutral wire is Black or Blue, Earth is Green or Green/Yellow

    5. Secure unit to roof

  • Assemble the M8 bolts, washers and hold down bars. (Item #3)
  • Raise the Duct and brace (Item #2) towards the installed unit.
  • Insert the M8 Bolt assembly through the corner holes. Figure 9
  • Engage the bolts into the unit.
  • Ensure that the hold down bars are aligned with their recess.
  • Tighten the 4 bolts evenly.
    Tighten the bolts to 12 - 14 Nm torque. Do not exceed 14 Nm.
    If required #8 x 3/4" pan head screws can be used to further secure the edges of the Duct and brace (Item #2) to the ceiling. Insert screws through the 2 holes on two of the sides.

    Figure 9
    Figure 9a- Assemble Bolt, washer & bar into duct & brace
    Tighten bolts
    Figure 9b- loosely fix bolts until the top unit is parallel with edge

    6. Connect return air duct

  • Reach up between the diagonal arms of the duct & brace. Grasp the white plastic collar on the end of the concertina duct.
  • Pull the collar downwards until it engages with the central duct. Figure 10
  • Pull until the collar snaps into place with the 4 catches on the diagonal arms.

    Figure 10
    Figure 10a - Engage central duct
    Connect duct
    Figure 10b - Concertina duct will pull down and simply push into the white clips

    7. Attach plenum assembly

  • Locate the Plenum assembly (Item #4) and remove the filter (Item #5). See Figure 16
  • Locate 4 of the M4 x 25 metal threads
  • Connect the control cable that leads from the plenum to the roof top unit. Ensure the plug mates with the socket and catch is engaged. Figure 11

    Figure 11
    Figure 11a - Connect control cable
    Connect harness
    Figure 11b - The harness cable stays connected to an automatic retrieval string

  • Raise the plenum assembly towards the roof top installation.
  • Engage a M4 x 25 metal thread into one of the 4 holes in the corner of the filter recess.
  • Raise the plenum and engage the screw into its mating hole on the diagonal arm of the brace. Figure 12
  • Repeat for 3 other threads.
  • Tighten screws until the plenum has been pulled up to the ceiling.

    Figure 12
    Figure 12a - Connect plenum cover to brace arms with 4 M4 x 20 metal threads

    In some installations the ceiling may be uneven and one or more sides of the plenum will require additional fixtures. Figure 13

    IF REQUIRED .....

  • Screw in #8 x 1/2" countersunk wood screws provided.
  • Tighten until gap is gone.
  • Install cover caps.

    Figure 13
    Figure 13 - Extra screws to close gap around plenum

    8. Install return air filter

  • Locate the return air filter. (Item #5).
  • Align the tabs on one side of the filter body with matching slots in the plenum. Insert the filter into the recess in the plenum. Figure 14

    Figure 14
    Figure 14 - Insert filter tabs into slots

  • Push the filter upwards until both catches engage and hold the filter in place. Figure 15

    Figure 15
    Figure 15 - Push upwards
    Inside view of fitted
    Figure 15b - The completed internal plenum with controls and air directors. Additional screws are optional or just fit the screw covers

    Your Installation Is Now Complete

    To remove the filter
    1. Push both tabs inwards
    2. Swing down

    Figure 16
    Figure 16 - Remove filter from plenum

    Air Conditioner fitted to the roof
    Above - The completed installation, cleanup roof and test unit.

    Was this helpful?


    • comment-avatar


      not sure if its normal but whenever the power supply is switched on the aircon starts by itself, this is a problem as I leave the power connected while it is stored in a shed and whenever there is a blackout and the power is restored the a/c starts is there a fix for this thanks

    • comment-avatar


      How does the H frame installation work? measurements etc

    • comment-avatar


      I want to make a H Frame out of Stainless steel can I get measurements for one or do I have to buy galvanized?

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