Evaporative Cooling in the desert. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-31-2018, 08:04 PM   #1
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Evaporative Cooling in the desert.

Hi guys! I'm a travel nurse and am aiming myself at the Mojave. Plan is to spend at least 9-10 months out there including a large chunk of the Summer. Would like to boondock on my days off (4 out of 7 days of the week). Lots of houses out there have evaporative cooling and I'd like to do something similar in my 5.0 TA. I've read about the Turbo Kools but don't want to have to replace my air conditioner. Anyone ever used / built an evaporative cooler for their Escape? I'm thinking of building something with computer fans so I can run it directly off of 12v. Would prefer passively keeping the wick wet vs having a water pump. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:27 PM   #2
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They have 12v cooler fans, I had one of these in a toy hauler w/o air conditioning, it lasted about 6 hours before refilling, enough to allow you some sleep- http://www.kooleraire.com
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
They have 12v cooler fans, I had one of these in a toy hauler w/o air conditioning, it lasted about 6 hours before refilling, enough to allow you some sleep- Portable Cooler Air Conditioner 12 volt by KoolerAire $39.95

Thanks! That seems like the cheapest option by far!
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:58 PM   #4
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This seems to work by melting ice and blowing the cooling air around. For the high temps in the Mojave desert this just does not seem too effective. Home Depot sells room size evaps, we had one that we stuck the exhaust next to the screen door, and it sorta worked. It was very humid when we ran it. If we could have controlled the exhaust air it would have worked much better.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:48 PM   #5
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Ice-chest air coolers and evaporative coolers (also known as "swamp coolers") are significantly different. An evaporative cooler does not use ice, and does not even depend on the water being cold; it works on the principle that the evaporation of water takes energy, and so cools the air... but that means they only work in relatively dry air.

There have been evaporative coolers for RVs, such as the Turbo Kool - they even came as apparently standard equipment in the old U-Haul Campers (moulded fiberglass travel trailers made for rental use) - but for an RV I've only seen the ceiling-mounted style. The portable units seem to be ice chest rigs, not evaporative coolers.
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:20 AM   #6
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Jay,
My 1st thought was to just use an evaporator panel (canvas, burlap,..) with the bottom in a water-filled tray, fastened to a window screen, to let the prevailing wind blow though, instead of a fan. Assist could be with the MaxxFan on exhaust mode. (Yes, Winds: that's why there are so many wind-power farms there.) That's how Death Valley Scotty cooled Scotty's Castle.

2nd thought was, NO. Those winds move a lot of dust, dirt, and sand.


I've camped and explored in the the northern Mojave Desert (north of I-15, to the Tehachapi and Sierra Nevada mt. ranges) for 60 years. From May to October, you can have 100F temperatures from 11:00 am to nightfall at any time. An evaporative cooler will typically maintain 80 temps. So, boondocking is possible if you can accept the conditions. For respite from the heat and winds, expect to be hooked up to power, so you can close the windows and rely on A/C. In our Escape 17, the A/C can maintain 75-78F when it's a dry 110 outside. We do take the following steps: parking with the door side facing south and the awning partially extended (shade), with straps at the awning corners secured to ground anchors (wind precaution). That provides shade for the refrigerator-side of the trailer, with only the back of the trailer in direct sun.
Generally in the summer, we go up into the mountains. To escape summer heat, we will be at 6000-7000 feet elev. to find 80 temps. (At 9000 ft. it's a nice 70-75).
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