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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Mini Swamp Cooler (Arctic Air) - Legit?

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Carl n Susan

Carmichael, CA

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Posted: 06/20/21 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We tried one last night for the first time in 85 degree temps. Is is just ok. It does produce cold air but it really needs more airflow. We are in a dry climate so there was no noticeably increase in humidity.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 06/20/21 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want a swamp cooler for use in dry places, buy a real one. Not this one.


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 06/20/21 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought that real swamp coolers were mounted on the roof in dry climates with all removed moisture being vented to the outside and cold from evaporation being vented in???????????
bumpy





wopachop

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Posted: 06/20/21 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Small swamp coolers work great to blow on you. Hard to cool a trailer with them. I would focus on making your AC work better. Search youtube and you will find some mods.

Some ACs have the plastic shroud that restricts air flow. You can cut out portions of that plastic so the AC can vent off its hot air easier.

Another option is forming a temporary shade over the AC unit.

Use a box fan inside the trailer. Put a wet towel in front of the fan and it will cool the air slightly like a swamp cooler. You can buy the blue swamp cooler material at home D. I made my own 5gal bucket swamp cooler a few years ago. Worked on. Not enough air to cool the trailer. But the cool air blowing onto your body feels nice.

Is your AC ducted? If yes, you can screw computer fans in front of the ducts to help pull air through. I did that and liked the results. Helped to blow the cold air down to where i sit which happened to be below a duct.

EMD360

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Posted: 06/21/21 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We used a 12 volt version in AZ overnight. Tiny fan with an ice tank. It helped blowing directly on us for really hot evenings. Usually gets cooler later at night. Kind of a toy I guess but thought every little bit helped. Also have a 12 volt endless breeze fan. More expensive but way more powerful.


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MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 06/22/21 08:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used an aluminum skin NASHUA 33' pull trailer as an alternator rebuilding site in the Antelope Valley of California, which is pure desert and commonly exceeds 105F three months of the year. Summer humidity averages 15% - 20%

I mounted a rooftop swamp cooler powered by a garden hose and commercial power.

In order to maximize cooling, I had to provide free and easy egress (outlet) for the airflow. Multiple open windows at both ends of the trailer.

The 120 vac motor drew 105 watts running.

12 hours of operation consumed over thirty gallons of water.

There was no ducting. The air blew directly downward from the roof.

Walking under the blast of air was not comfortable. There was a thirty degree drop in temperature and the stiff airflow would have been horribly disruptive to me in a travel trailer.

Yet the inlet was at the center of the rig. At both ends of the trailer, air temperature exceeded 85F. Remember, this is for a 105F ambient temperature.

Bottom line for me: Lots of energy and water needed. But in that dry clime, the swamp cooler vastly outperformed a new Coleman 13.5 BTU roof air. Personally, I would never try this using batteries and a water tank. And a four-foot cube is no laughing matter.

When temperatures reached 115F, the temperature drop in the cooler became more pronounced. This was because the relative humidity dipped to 10% or even single digits. Energy use remained the same, but water consumption increased noticeably.

Hope this helps.

MrWizard

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Posted: 06/22/21 04:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Swamp coolers do add moisture to the air, Not remove it, that's why they work in dry climates, chill water systems used in commercial installations, isolate the cooling air from excess humidity, the water is circulated through the system instead of freon, then cooled in huge open ventilated structures to remove the heat, I'm not an A/C specialist and that's the best description I can give, there are residential versions based on the chill water system, the function much like a heat pump, but no Freon , and no added humidity, some friends had a swamp cooler system removed and the chill system installed,


Bumpyroad wrote:

I thought that real swamp coolers were mounted on the roof in dry climates with all removed moisture being vented to the outside and cold from evaporation being vented in???????????
bumpy



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wa8yxm

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Posted: 06/22/21 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumpyroad wrote:

I thought that real swamp coolers were mounted on the roof in dry climates with all removed moisture being vented to the outside and cold from evaporation being vented in???????????
bumpy


I have seen exactly one of those.
Yes. those are better because they can cool the air, heat transfer and send the moisture packing outside.

I had one that was both a swamp (Evaporative) cooler, Heater and Humidifier when I started RVing... Used it in the desert it would drop over 10 degrees in the bedroom of my dark colored rig. It also improved the roof air because it raised the humidity and the air was dry enough to cause me medical issues (Which is Mighty Dry I'll tell you)

It did not work as well in michigan but in MI I was more likely to need the heater so that worked. till it died not then I fixed it a time or two (Thing was not rugged enough for Motor home travel) and finally I could not fix it any more.

That was a big box though The little "Artic-Air" 50 dollar or there abouts thing uses a sponge (Wicks the water up) in a water tray with a pair of ice trays. as the ice melts it provides additional cooling and refills the tray.. It does help in my "Personal space" but if makes 1degree in my bedroom i'd be surprised. Room is about 960 Cubic feet (10x12 8 foot ceiling) .


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JIMNLIN

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Posted: 06/24/21 06:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have grandkids....lots of nieces and nephews and great nieces/nephews that live in and around Salt Lake City. Some have houses with swamp coolers. I'm always blown away at the rows of new housing with swamp coolers sitting on the roof ridges.
I'm not from MO but if I'm interested in a product with a low price and I want to try it ....I'll do my own testing. At that price I would do it.
Results will vary with dry vs normal climates and how well your unit is insulated.
Another one size doesn't fit all topic.


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4x4van

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Posted: 06/25/21 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The tiny one that the OP refers to will do next to nothing for an RV. It is somewhat useful for sitting on a desk blowing directly on you while you are working, but that's about it (yes, I have one). It has the water tank on top (not the bottom) and utilizes a small "fogger" nozzle (no "wicking") to help keep the pads moist (after pre-wetting them), but is nowhere near the same as the water drenched pads used on an actual evaporative (swamp) cooler (which is what I use to cool my house). I got my "Arctic Air" as an open-box unit at Home Depot for $30; IMHO it is worth about $15-$20 on a good day, but certainly not $40.[emoticon]

I do notice that the ads are now correctly calling the unit a "cooler"; rather than an "air conditioner". They likely got into some trouble for that earlier false advertising.

* This post was last edited 06/28/21 04:27pm by 4x4van *   View edit history


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