When we decided to spend late Spring/Early Summer in Sedona Arizona, little did we realize that temps would reach 115 degrees. Arizona experienced some of the most hottest days in a row ever and broke all kinds of heat records. Which is why we wanted to pass along how we kept our RV cool during the Summer using a Swamp Cooler.
What is a swamp cooler you ask? Good question since we didn’t know what one was either. It’s actually called a Evaporative Cooler. And they are a game changer.
In low-humidity areas, evaporating water into the air provides a natural and energy-efficient means of cooling. Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, rely on this principle, cooling outdoor air by passing it over water-saturated pads, causing the water to evaporate into it. The 15°- to 40°F-cooler air is then directed into the home, and pushes warmer air out through windows. In our case, we open up the door of our Airstream and open up the back window.
So how does this work for RV’s? As we all know RV Air Conditioners take a whole lot of amperage and watts. Where we turn on the AC in extreme heat conditions they can run almost all day. If you are boondocking, this creates a huge issue with Generators and buying Gasoline to run your Generator. On average our AC will bring down the temps 15-20 degrees. But on days that it’s over 100 degrees. (and this summer 2021, sure has been the normal out West) you are really putting a lot of stress on your AC. Thus, the Swamp Cooler.
Our Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler runs in the morning and at night. We only run the air in the late afternoon. The specs on this are quite amazing. Can cool up to 500 sq ft. We are at 180 sq ft. Air temps will blow out at 73-77 degrees on a day that is 100 outside. We were able to cool down our Airstream Argosy to 80 degrees when temps outside were 100. That is a huge difference. And that is just using the Hessaire Swamp Cooler.
Now for the good news: This Swamp Cooler easily runs on Solar. With using only 1 amp and 120 watts the Hessaire barely uses any power. It actually runs on a low voltage fountain pump found at most garden sections at Home Depot or Lowes. This is NOT rocket science technology. The pump, pumps water up and then down the mesh backing (that can be removed and cleaned) while at the same time the fan blows out this cool air that the water creates.
Pump must be primed per instructions prior to use. Your cooler must be positioned in front of an open window or door if it is to operate effectively. IMPORTANT: Always ensure that there is another open window or door through which the air can exhaust from the room. That’s pretty much it. We ran this on solar for 6 hours a day while temps outside reached 100 degrees.
Some key specs:
1,300 CFM of cool airflow covering up to 500 sq ft. Weighing in at just 16 lbs. with easy to lift handle and wheels allows it to be moved anywhere with ease. High efficiency 0.7A motor allows it to operate on vehicles with 115V power supply for tailgating, camping cooling.
2-speed fan allows maximum cooling on HI and comfort and quiet on LOW.
A quick turn of the knob, and the Hessaire is in operation, getting you cooled off quickly with the following settings:
Low Fan Only: Use the fan without the pump and evaporative cooling on low to circulate air.
High Fan Only: Circulate air on high without the pump and evaporative cooling.
Low Fan w/ Pump On: Use the fan on low with evaporative cooling.
Pump On: Turn the pump on to pre-wet the pads.
PRO’S – Works very well in low humidity environments. It does cool and will save you a lot of money IF you are paying for electricity in a RV Park or running a Generator all day. At .17 a KWH that can be as high as 80.00 bucks a month for AC. Great for high heat nights. Very lightweight when caring it around (no water inside)
CON’S – You constantly have to add water to the 4 gallon capacity tank. And the hotter it is, the more water it uses. You can hook up a garden hose to it and have it trickle in as needed. But if you leave your RV, you have a potential water catastrophe with a garden hose ON and a plastic piece regulating the water in the Swam Cooler.
Would we recommend this: YES. In very low humidity states like Arizona, Southern California, Southern Utah. It works great. Especially at night. But someone will be on water duty.
Would you consider a Swamp Cooler for your RV?