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Old 06-08-2016, 01:09 PM   #1
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TurboKool (Swamp Cooler) Experience Wanted

I live in the high desert of California, a perfect area for cooling with swamp coolers, in fact our house is cooled with just 1 large swamp cooler as are most of the houses in this town. We do a lot of boon docking/dry camping and of course that means no A/C unless we want to run a generator. I'm considering installing a TurboKool swamp cooler on our Jayco. They need only water and 4 amps of 12VDC on high, I believe they only need around 1.5 amps on low. Low enough power demands that they can easily be ran off a modest solar/battery setup. We were lucky enough to get one of the '06 floor plans with a 60 gallon freshwater tank and I can also buy an auxiliary tank just for the cooler. This would allow us to go several days, even in high temperatures, without running a generator as long as we were in the low humidity areas of the Southwest.

I would most likely install it above the kitchen around 8 feet forward of the A/C. My biggest difficulty honestly will be routing a water line up to the roof.

Anyhow, my main question is if any of you desert Southwest coast folks on here has installed or used a Turbokool and how it worked for you.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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I'm not sure but wouldn't a swamp cooler add a lot of humidity inside the trailer?
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:15 PM   #3
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I'm not sure but wouldn't a swamp cooler add a lot of humidity inside the trailer?
desert. Ambient humidity 14 percent or so. Swamp coolers work on the principle of cooling by evaporation.

They are useless in the humid tropics.
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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I'm glad you posted this. I think that is a smart idea. I spent some time on their website to learn how they work. On another site it mentioned that you could run your swamp cooler on a medium sized solar panel and not worry about running out of power, otherwise it will run for 3 days on a 12volt deep cycle battery. They cost a lot of money but I think if your boon docking in a dry climate it's a worthwhile investment.
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:47 PM   #5
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I'm glad you posted this. I think that is a smart idea. I spent some time on their website to learn how they work. On another site it mentioned that you could run your swamp cooler on a medium sized solar panel and not worry about running out of power, otherwise it will run for 3 days on a 12volt deep cycle battery. They cost a lot of money but I think if your boon docking in a dry climate it's a worthwhile investment.
Swamp coolers do use a fair amount of water which may be a problem when boon docking.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:21 PM   #6
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Swamp coolers do use a fair amount of water which may be a problem when boon docking.
That is one of the concerns I have. But with a 60 gallon FW tank and some extra water jugs I think we would be okay for a long weekend. As far as humidity in the trailer goes, as I stated we use swamp for our house. Usually if it is <5% outside the humidity in the house will still be below 25%. It can cause issues like swelling doors, but it's actually helpful for wood furniture to keep it from drying out in the extreme dry air. We have no issues with mildew living here, I've only had mold in a bathroom once and that was because it had no vent and we weren't opening the window while showering in the winter, otherwise everything is bone dry here.

Thanks for the input and comments so far.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:26 PM   #7
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Op-Let me know if you pull the trigger on the swamp cooler and how it works out.Most of my camping is Boondocking also done in the high desert south of Bishop, California.I have generators but my issue is quite times when I have to shut them down.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:54 PM   #8
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Op-Let me know if you pull the trigger on the swamp cooler and how it works out.Most of my camping is Boondocking also done in the high desert south of Bishop, California.I have generators but my issue is quite times when I have to shut them down.
I will definitely let you know by updating this thread. We do most of our camping between Diaz and June Lake on 395. Usually north of Sherwin Summit during the summer, and further south when it's cooler as we camp year round. Would be nice to boondock for free in places like the Alabama Hills when it's warmer, right now it's just too hot which forces us to go further north for more elevation to avoid full hookups or running a generator. Will most likely be next spring if we decide to go for it.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #9
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Does the interior of your camper run with 14% or is the location you are in? It seems like TTs can retain humidity easily.

Does the ambient temperature affect how well the swamp cooler will function? When I had one here in CO we piped it in from the tap.

Looks like a good idea though.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:54 PM   #10
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Does the interior of your camper run with 14% or is the location you are in? It seems like TTs can retain humidity easily.

Does the ambient temperature affect how well the swamp cooler will function? When I had one here in CO we piped it in from the tap.

Looks like a good idea though.
The humidity isn't really "trapped" as there is always air moving. Swamp coolers, as you may be aware, work by exchanging large volumes of air. You always want to have a window or vent cracked in the room you are cooling. For example, our home has "up ducts" in the ceilings of the bedrooms. This allows air to come in through the swamp cooler, pick up humidity and drop around 30F in temperature, and then blow to the room you are cooling, the air then goes into the attic and out the gable vents. This also cools the attic as well further reducing temps in the house. The air is constantly being exchanged, for example the blower on my cooler at home moves 6500 CFM, so you are exchanging all the air in the house quite often.

So for a TT you may have the TurboKool in the middle of the camper and if you want to cool the bedroom and bunk house you crack windows and each end of the camper to direct airflow those directions. A swamp cooler will not work without correct air exchange and you will end up with a hot humid house or TT in the case of the TurboKool. Plus on a large cooler on a house you will pressurize your entire house causing your doors and windows to whistle as air tries to escape
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