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Old 04-16-2017, 09:14 AM   #1
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Question A/C + swamp cooler?

Hey Folks,

I've done some reading on the forum about swamp coolers. There have been some reports from satisfied users of this one: http://www.turbokool.com/

Our rear air on our 345 moho is on permanent strike. Our front air still works. I'm thinking we won't replace the rear air because we never have enough power available to run them both at once because we don't want to run the generator in a campground where we're using shore power for one of the units. I have always been puzzled by this set-up and have heard that some brave souls have rewired so as to be able to use both units at once on shore power, but that seems too much to hope for in our situation, partly because we want to do more boondocking.

But we'd like to do something for boondocking. And when on shore power or generator with the one a/c running, sometimes it's still too hot.

The turbokool works on solar and adds moisture to the environment in the coach.

The front a/c obviously removes moisture from the environment in the coach.

Two questions that may interest you:

1) Is it insane to imagine that we'd run both at once, one on shore power and one on solar and get a good result, with the contrary moisture strategies?

2) And has anyone had any bad experiences with the turbokool just running on its own? I noticed that bkahler was leery of putting moisture into the metal tubes we love so much, but in very dry climates it sounds like heaven to me. Have you noticed a problem with this?

Thanks in advance, Airstream sages,

Jenniflow
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:19 AM   #2
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Typically, 'swamp coolers' or evaporative cooling systems are commonly found in the desert regions of the US that have very low humidity. I think that operating both an evaporative cooler AND a compressor driven A/C unit would be counterproductive in your attempt to cool the interior of your coach.

OTOH, you could use the A/C unit in high humidity environments and the swamp cooler in low humidity ambient conditions with good success.....just not both at the same time.
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Thumbs up what the left hand is doing

Hey Lew,

So, yes, it does sound crazy, I just had to ask.

And then I thought, well maybe it would be a fun experiment to partition the front of the coach from the back (since we are doing modifications anyway) and see whether we could actually get two different environments cool for two different reasons. "It's crazy, but it just might work!"

If I try it, I"ll report.

Thanks!

Jenniflow
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:25 AM   #4
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Smile response from Turbokool

Hey folks,

So I did ask the people at Turbokool about this question and a second one. See below. The response surprised me:
"The last RV we had was a 5th wheel which came with an A/C.
We left it on the RV and added a TurboKOOL. There were a few days when it
was extremely HOT and I did run both of them successfully! You just have to
remember to leave a window cracked an inch or 2 in the direction you want the air to flow.

The filter is very good and we've had a lot of customers going to Burning Man. I would, however, suggest that you bring an extra filter with you just in case. Yes, that playa dust is thick and nasty. You can clean the filter by soaking it in apple cider vinegar if there's a lot of calcium buildup, or just wash it if it's just dirty ..."
When I asked her about a comment she'd made about leaving a window cracked open, she said this:
"When you operate an evaporative cooler you always have to
keep a window open an inch or two. The air is pulled in from the outside
via the motor/fan, and then is pushed into your RV. You need the window
cracked so that the air flows out and the process keeps on going. The cool
moist air being pushed into your RV is what cools you, but is not moist enough to have any moisture build up on the walls etc.

Here is the link from our website for our Installation Manual that comes with each unit. It will
probably answer a lot more of your questions. http://www.turbokool.com/InstructionManual2013.pdf
Having to leave a window open at Burning Man is a pretty big issue because of the dust. We'd have to decide about that.

If we do use the Turbokool in the rear, we'll probably look for a way to better partition the rear from the front in case we plan to use both. And since we're considering redesigning the interior to allow us to have a walk-around bed, we'll probably find a good way to do that. The flimsy door we have, that doesn't reach to the curved ceiling, and that doesn't really make it to the carpet, isn't that effective.

We'd try it first without much extra redesign effort, just to see how it goes running Turbokool and a/c simultaneously.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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Water Coolers

My experience in AZ using a water cooler in a house is that one may feel more comfortable, but metal items, curtain hooks, etc. tend to corrode more. I prefer the dehumidifying nature of A/Cs. Just one more consideration.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:40 AM   #6
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How much water does this use?
From a Google search on the matter:
"Most water use estimates range from 3 to 15 gallons / 11 to 57 litres per hour, with averages between 7 and 11 gallons / 26.5 and 40 litres. But the amount of water an evaporative cooler will use varies depending on three major factors: 1. The combination of heat and humidity at any given time."
That doesn't sound like it would work for boondocking.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:30 PM   #7
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AC vs swamp cooler

We have a 24 ft. 1976 Argosy that has the original AC and a very light weight turbo cool swamp cooler I installed in the rear roof vent. We never use them together for the reasons already noted but when boondocking in a not too hot but dry area the swamp cooler operates off battery power and doesn't use up a lot of our solar provided free power. Another plus is the swamp cooler has hot air exhaust out or cooler powered vent air in options without using any more battery power than a regular vent does and water usage is minimal. Win, Win, Vic Orvis
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:44 PM   #8
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Question How much water does Turbokool use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fth View Post
How much water does this use?
From a Google search on the matter:
"Most water use estimates range from 3 to 15 gallons / 11 to 57 litres per hour, with averages between 7 and 11 gallons / 26.5 and 40 litres. But the amount of water an evaporative cooler will use varies depending on three major factors: 1. The combination of heat and humidity at any given time."
That doesn't sound like it would work for boondocking.
Excellent point fth. I have to admit, I didn't suspect it would take that much.

It was less of a concern to me because we can carry a lot of water and we will probably not be boondocking for long periods of time and we can's sleep when we're hot.

And Jetdream,
  • Was the kind of unit you were using pumping this much water through it?
  • Did you have it cooling the whole house or just a couple of rooms?
  • And did you have to crack a window to use it? I wonder if that helps limit the moisture build-up.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:54 PM   #9
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Question Very light weight turbo cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Orvis View Post
We have a 24 ft. 1976 Argosy that has the original AC and a very light weight turbo cool swamp cooler I installed in the rear roof vent. We never use them together for the reasons already noted but when boondocking in a not too hot but dry area the swamp cooler operates off battery power and doesn't use up a lot of our solar provided free power. Another plus is the swamp cooler has hot air exhaust out or cooler powered vent air in options without using any more battery power than a regular vent does and water usage is minimal. Win, Win, Vic Orvis
Hey Vic,
So you replaced your vent fan with no regrets, it sounds like? I love the Fan-tastic Vents which is what we have.

Turbokool's model is designed for a standard 14 x 14 vent fan opening. I was thinking I'd put it in the rear a/c space but I guess that's substantially larger. Has anyone tried doing that? More trouble than it's worth? But I'd like to get rid of the extra weight of the rear a/c.

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