A little on the warm side

A little on the warm side in Orlando today!


Time for a swamp cooler… I did many summers in Miami, and my swamp cooler kept me comfortable 24/7, and used under 2a @ 12vdc. The indirect type like mine uses a radiator for the heat exchanger, just like a compressor air conditioner does. It will also lower the humidity by about half.

Swamp coolers are actually –MUCH– more effective & efficient than air conditioners if used correctly, just not quite as handy since the portable ones need to refilled with water every few days. Home units are usually hooked up to a water source, so no manual refilling is necessary.

Swamp coolers do work differently though, and only work well if used properly. An air conditioner will try to cool the air in the room, which is slow, hard, and energy inefficient. In contrast, a swamp cooler works by replacing the air in the room with cooler air, which is fast, easy, and energy efficient. You just need an open window on the opposite end of the vehicle, or other end of the house, so the hotter air can be exhausted outside.

The newer thermo-electric (Peltier powered) heat pumps don’t require water filling, and can keep you comfortable at any temperature above freezing. Heat pumps in general don’t work well below freezing and require an additional heat source. They will typically heat/cool up/down by about 40°F - 50°F and only use about 5a @ 12vdc. They were selling these at the big RV show in Quartzsite for $100, or they would be pretty simple to DIY for under $50.

Ice fans may not be able to cool your whole rig, but they can certainly cool you, and are simple and easy. Freeze a gallon jug of water, and stick a fan in front of it blowing towards you. The ice will last for many hours, and can be refrozen when not in use.

There are both powered and non powered heating/cooling blankets, clothes, & seat cushions. There’s also non powered wearable evaporative cooling clothing accessories of many types.

People conquered both air cooling & personal cooling in ancient times, long before electricity, or the mechanical/industrial revolutions. Quite often forgotten history holds the answers to many of our modern day problems, and when combined with some more modern tech, modern day air conditioners are a huge energy hog boondoggle, and much more energy efficient and effective options are available, much cheaper, and more reliable too.


"Failures are merely a learning oportunity." ~ Rubber Tramp

Super interesting,
What would I google to see pics of these options? Heat pump and swamp cooler? Also my home pool has a modern heat pump for heating the water. I have never, but I know it can be run in reverse to cool the water. Can the “Peltier Power” heat pumps do this as well?


Yes, the Peltier heat pumps will both heat and cool. The only down side, is just like other heat pumps, they can’t keep up below about freezing.

My peltier heat pump was purchased at the Big RV Show & Swap Meet in Quartzsite AZ a couple of years ago. It doesn’t have a brand on it, and I suspect that the fellow selling them might have been making them. I haven’t seen any commercially available ones lately, but it should be simple enough to DIY one.

I DIY’d my indirect swamp cooler to the dimensions I needed for it to fit where I wanted it. There are many video’s on how to make them on YouTube. Basically there are 2 different types, direct & indirect. The indirect one uses a radiator for a heat exchanger, so it will work even in high humidity areas, vs. the direct type which works best in low humidity areas. Since I spend a lot of time in humid areas, mine is an indirect type.

The peltier heat pump works like the indirect swamp cooler, except instead of using evaporation to cool the water in the reservoir, it uses peltier chip(s?) to heat/cool the water in the reservoir.

Both of these worked great in my extended high roof van, but my bus is over 3x the square footage, and requires both running to keep it cool in extremely hot weather, but at a total of less than 7 amps @ 12vdc to run both, that is totally acceptable for me. We also all have heating/cooling blankets on our beds, and heating/cooling seat cushions for our favorite seats. With the blankets it’s rare to run our climate control overnight, unless it’s below freezing.


"Tough people last longer tough times." ~ Easy Livin

thanks. Great response