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Old 01-04-2009, 09:41 AM   #1
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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portable swamp cooler

There is a vintage portable swamp cooler by Sunbeam for sale on ebay. That got me thinking about if a small portable swamp cooler would be useful when boondocking for a few days. A search found some new small units by New Air for about $100. I would not expect a small swamp to do the job of my roof AC but hope it would cool things down a bit on hot summer days with no shore power. I have a new 200 amp battery and a Honda 2000 inverter generator. I could run the swamp into an inverter an run off 12v or power up my generator. I asked New Air for amps/ watts specs. I can also close off the back end of my Tradewind with the folding door. Any thoughts or recommendations?

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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I have thought about this too. I think it should work well for us no humid states. I have one on a stand that I used in the door of my shop. portable type. It works well. Last summer I tried it in the back window of the airstream and it cooled it right down. Now this one was a little bigger than a small portable about 2.5 x3 ft. on a stand with wheels. that small pump can't take much to work You could even change it to one of those pond pumps that work of dc.

I think it's a great idea.


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Old 01-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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swamp coolers

Swamp coolers will cause a musty smell in the Airstream trailer, "AND" promote the growth of mold.

Others have been there and done that, unfortunately.

Dry state or no, the problems with swamp coolers still occured in the Airstreams.

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Old 01-04-2009, 11:37 AM   #4
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In the 70`s I lived in a mobile home in Alburquerque,swamp cooler was all we used,it was a big roof mounted system,cooled down a 60 ' trailer with not problem,and no mildew,also all the houses being built then had swamp coolers. Dave
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Reno , Nevada
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I have not found the 'fan with a tank' type coolers to be very effective. I have run one off battery via inverter as they only take present about the same load as a furnace. They do circulate the air and, at the Salem I'Rally, did help by doing that. I figure the cooler helped inside temps by maybe 4 or 5 degrees.

Rich has one of the 12v roof types and is quite happy with it in the Eastern Sierra forests (he is a wilderness steward for the NFS). Water from a creek and powered by a portable solar panel. ($600 cooler and $600 solar last I checked prices)

Figure that you are going to need about a gallon of water per hour and 50 watts or more electrical for a swamp cooler. The electrical is continuous as a contrast to the furnace cycling so its impact on battery power is more severe. Of course, it is most needed when the sun is doing its thing so a 100 watt Solar panel could keep it going. maybe.

The mobile home type swamp coolers use third or half horse blower motors plus the water pump (500+ watts) and can run through several thousand gallons of water per month. They can provide excellent cooling for 5,000 cubic feet as in a typical single wide. (an Airstream is a bit under 1500 cubic feet with less insulation and larger surface to the volume for comparison)
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