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  1. #1
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Another RV increased cooling project:

    Oh brother have I ever got E mails and PMs from folks over getting more cooling outta their RVs air conditioning when I mentioned I'm in the A/C biz.

    I've been using the voltage booster I've mentioned, it helps (though one overloaded and caught fire), but we NEED even more cooling so:

    Don't know if you know the difference between air conditioning and swamp coolers.
    But A/C uses freon and a compressor, and the swamp cooler uses the evaporation of water to cool and draws a lot less power to operate.

    When Wet bulb and dry bulb temps approach each other swamp coolers don't work so great.
    But in most Southwest USA desert areas, they work OK most the time.

    Also, several RV swamp coolers have been on the market since the 1960's.
    Most of them worked really crummy or not at all.
    Poor design. Gave a very bad reputation to RV swamp coolers.

    But an old guy that lived in Las Vegas, had a brainstrom and built an RV swamp cooler that worked very well.
    It wasn't the drip down the shaved wood excellsior pad set-up, but a unique misting into a element system that was spectacular.
    Damn it work'd and cooled great.

    But:
    He passed away,, his company folded and that was that.
    So:
    All the other RV swamp coolers on the marker were Rube Goldberg junk. They just don't work. I've checked them all out and they were disappointing.

    We were in Page, Arizona at Lake Powell last month.

    I saw an old jasper with a camper with inviting graphics and a demo RV swamp cooler on the roof that he was peddeling.
    I check'd it out and it was cooling fantastic. I mean supurb. I opened the back door of his camper in the 113 deg. F heat and was hit by a blast of cool air.

    He & his wife had eventually bought the rights and molds to the old, good working method swamp cooler after the original inventor passed away, and it's finally back in production.

    Brother did it ever cool, and it worked quietly, and off the vehicles battery or optional solar panel.

    Why we need it:

    We camp all the time in the Southwest USA..
    Most campgrounds are only 30 AMPs electrical service to most campsites so that limits us to only run one air conditioner in usually 105 to 112 deg F summer heat.

    The RV parks voltage drops to brown out conditions, thus the A/C in everyones RV's barely cools.
    (Park rules prohibit running the generator, and running the generator burns about 12 to 17 gals of fuel a day).

    It's not enough. Our RV heats up too hot, and so do our neighbors & friends.
    So, we're going to install this unique swamp cooler to supplement the RV's A/C. It hardly draws any power, and with it's 12V DC system, doesn't effect the main park power.

    It draws just a few amps off the 12v DC batteries and may perhaps be a welcome improvement.

    If ya dry camp it's really excellent.

    So I'll snap some pix, and give a RTA report of the results.
    They ain't cheap, but their application is unique to our problem.

    What the heck, I'll give anything that looks promising a shot.
    Last edited by RoadTrippers A & R; 08-19-2007 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Fouling up Marks forum with cusswords.

  2. #2
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    It arrived in the box today.

    I opened up, busted it out, and studied the instructions, made sure all the parts are included.

    Very good quality. Stout condition. Clever design. But expensive.
    I can see why the new owners of the company, a married couple, invested their savings to resurect this company and are making a go of it.

    The pictures in the instructions could be better, but I'll post good color pix.

    We're heading out to Parker, Arizona to camp on the beach through Labor day, and will commense the installation and testing.

    Remember one thing all swamp coolers have in common; some days they all don't work. But one thing they don't have in common is some work better than others.

    The big fad here in the West are the old style, small tear drop travel trailers that sleep 2.
    I think a swamp cooler that runs on 12v might just be perfect for such a RV.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I am looking forward to reading the report

    Swamp cooler on a mobile vehicle -- is something I never really expected to find. I use one to cool my garage and attic in Las Vegas. Very nice to step in a cool car when the air temperature outside is 116+

    Mark

  4. #4
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    Day one:
    I'm camped next to a group of retired firefighters, and they wanted in on this project as soon as they saw what I was up too.
    So it's a beer drinking, public watering trough group project.

    I ran the water from a tee fitting under the sink along a Grey water vent then out the roof.
    The 12v electrical came from a close-by light fixture.

    The only part I needed was some all thread from the hardware store in town. A few securing bolts were a few inches too short.

    It is a steamy day. Not anyway near North Carolina or Florida steamy, but still steamy.
    The unit cools just OK in this humidity, but the only relief it'll give us is a bit more cooling to the kids back bunks, and the bathroom/changing area that fills up with my daughter and her GF's all getting ready at the same time will be a bit cooler too.

    It'll knock some of the heat outta the trailer when it sits in storage and the trailer is a oven. That'll be nice. And it'll probably help at the dunes when we dry camp in the almost zero humidity Death Valley weather.

    As far as supplimenting the A/C in rest of the trailer, I can only give that take on a dry day.
    So,, put the checkbook away.

    MacBook here at the Colorado river loads like an old Comodore 64 with early stone-age dial up Compuserve, so Pix will have to wait.

    Nothing exciting.
    It will help us, but it ain't the silver bullet relief we're all looking for.

    So I'll be back when we return home with pix and more takes of the install.

    Another impression is this unit is too expensive. Way over-priced.
    But, I can see it can have unique applications, in unique situations.
    Glad I did it. We'll get some good use outta it over the years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default How would that help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross & Alice View Post
    It'll knock some of the heat outta the trailer when it sits in storage and the trailer is a oven.
    I don't get this part. I think you mentioned that you are in the A/C business and so, as you know, an evaporative cooler only cools when the flowing water functions as the heat exchangor. You won't be able to have the swamp cooler functioning when it is storage, unless it is connected to power. Or, as we have done, parked our rigs in weather-controlled warehouses.... ($$$$$)
    As far as supplimenting the A/C in rest of the trailer, I can only give that take on a dry day.
    Oh, boy -- this is an "apples and oranges" issue. You will be defeating the efforts of the gas-based air conditioner if you run the swamp cooler when you are running an air conditioner cooler....

    A swamp cooler is most effective when it pushes hot air out. This is accomplished by cracking a window 1/2" and let the air inside the trailer be pushed out by the force of the evaportive cooled air. You can check on the efficiency of the opening by holding a piece of paper up to the window -- if the out-rushing air traps it in place -- the opening is ideal

    On the other hand, an air conditioner works the best when it sucks out the hotter air (in a closed & artificially dry environment). Which is another reason why running an air conditioner and a swamp cooler makes no sense. The swamp cooler is trying to increase the humidity of the air (a byproduct of the manual heat exchange) and an air conditioner is trying to strip out the water and cool the air in the process
    Nothing exciting.
    It will help us, but it ain't the silver bullet relief we're all looking for.
    Yeah, too bad -- but you really got to figure which cooling job you are trying to do.

    Just my two cents....

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-25-2007 at 10:08 AM.

  6. #6
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    We have a solar cell that keeps the trailers batteries charged, the unit is 12V.
    We have a water supply 'bib" next to the rv storage spot.

    So leaving the unit on will give us relief when we arrive to use it.
    It takes the main A/C all nite to cool the trailer down.
    It's a long, hot miserable nite too.
    This swamper should easily remedy that & help prevent de-lamination of the walls and counter-tops from the brutally, usually dry, hot summers in storage too.

    The rear room of the trailer is seperate from the main trailer - with our in-the-wall slider doors it can be isolated and just use the Swamper.
    Not enough 120 volts to our beachfront sites to run two A/C's. So people run a swamper in the bed room, the main A/C in the living area.

    That's our plan too. It will work well for that application.
    Except during the Arizona August moonsoons.

    Swamp coolers work off water evaporating off the media, not from cold water spraying on the media. Humid days = less evaporation thus less cooling.
    This unit has misting to the media, allowing the water to atomize and evaporate far faster than the old excellsior pad/drip method.

    Lots of people here in the RV park use swampers for isolated RV cooling, but they have the big, bulky drip galvanized stationary box style that isn't suited for transport on highways. They have to dis-assemble the whole set-up and pack it in the back of the truck if they travel.

    This RV style unit is excellent for travel to dry southwest areas.

    We camp in Death Valley 8 to 10 times every year.

    Our generator screams murder & sux vast amounts of fuel when we run the A/C in Death Valley.
    I believe this swamp unit will solve that issue in that beautiful, dry climate.

    Our neighbors kept running their generator last nite to run a second A/C = stinky diesel fumes to the campgound and noise. Security has asked them to leave.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-25-2007 at 06:02 PM. Reason: format for clarity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default clarifcations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross & Alice View Post
    This swamper should easily remedy that & help prevent de-lamination of the walls and counter-tops from the brutally, usually dry, hot summers in storage too.
    I agree that this could be a help -- but I would also worry that the swamper will add too much humidity and you will get mildew because of the lack of air flow (closed trailer)
    Swamp coolers work off water evaporating off the media, not from cold water spraying on the media.
    Yes, I know -- that was an attempt at an illustrative form of speech.
    This unit has misting to the media, allowing the water to atomize and evaporate far faster than the old excellsior pad/drip method.
    I acknowledge that this seems like a far more efficient system. I use the excelsior pad/blower motor version in our truck garage.
    This RV style unit is excellent for travel to dry southwest areas.
    OK -- but I still think you are fighting both ends of the cooling strategy against the middle. In a swamp cooler the cooling occurs at the point of water evaporation (as you have stipulated above) and the thus-cooled and moisture-laden air is then distributed in the RV. The problem is that with the traditional gas-fired A/C unit the cooling occurs when the moisture is stripped from the hot air and condensed into water vapor that is ejected outside. So your A/C unit will be working against the incoming moist air of the swamper (I know you can somehow keep these zones separate )-- but I still wonder about this!

    Mark

  8. #8
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default Getting More Out of your Camper/RV Air Conditioning

    It was 119 Deg f. in Earp, California yesterday.

    We're RV camped here next to the Colorado River.
    We're surrounded by 580 other families in their RV's at our campground alone.
    The Las Paz Sheriffs told us they estimate over 12.000 camp'd vehicles along the Colorado River From Lake Mead to the Mexican border.

    Most campsites only offer 30 AMPs power supply to your RV.
    That's usually fine in mild weather, but as everyones RV is drawing more voltage to run their campers air conditioning, you drop from 120 volts to as low as 90 volts.

    This is called a brown-out.
    90 volts isn't enough to run your RV air conditioning.
    It won't blow as much air, and the air won't be that cool either.
    Also, it'll eventually burn out your RV compressor.

    So, a solution:
    RV voltage boosters.
    As the voltage drops as a result of everyone feeding off the same electrical supply, the AMPs climb to huge numbers.
    Ya need lots of volts in this situation, not AMPS.
    The voltage booster has a transformer inside that will convert those excess amps back to volts.
    It's not a snake oil machine, they really work.

    Some campgrounds the voltage drops so low, forget it, their is no solution other than the campground operators coughing up the money for the power company to bring in more powerful transformers.


    RV voltage boosters, available in both 30 and 50 AMP.
    Pic by R&A for RTA. (note: lock cable).

    The booster is simple.
    One just plugs it into the RV hookup electrical, then plug your RV into the booster.
    If this interests you, many RV supply stores sell them, or you can find one of many built through a Google search.
    We suggest the "auto change-over style."


    Our campground dropped to 94 volts yesterday at 3:10 PM, and we had 121 volts at our kitchen outlets, A/C working excellent.

    Get a cable lock, Voltage Boosters are precious in the RV community, and easy to re-sell.

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