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lapeer20m 03-09-2004 01:30 PM

I don't have A/C on my skoolie. With the hot tub, trying to make cold air is counter productive.

Instead, i use fans in the summer. I can't believe how wimpy most electric fans are (12 or 120 volt). In my skoolie, i use electric radiator cooling fans from small cars. They're super cheap at the junk yard. 10 - 20 bucks. They're very reliable, not too noisy, and move an unbeliavable amount of air.

My skoolie is painted black. Black paint and the hot summer sun makes for a less than desirable combination. Even when the temp is 90 (that's about the hottest it gets here in MI) life in my skoolie isn't that bad with the 12v colling fans running.

I'm not sure how much energy they utilize, but i can leave one fan running for several hours using my very limited battery bank. If a rheostat were installed to control fan speed, energy consumption would be much less.

My skoolie engine is running most of the time i'm using the bus, so energy consumption isn't a big deal for me.

Steve 03-09-2004 05:36 PM

I don't have AC either, this summer I am going to try using a really fine humidifier that has it's water tank filled with ice. I have two freezers on the bus that I can use to store lots of a ice.

EldoMike 03-09-2004 06:04 PM

Just remember humidifiers only work where it is dry...if you live in a humid area it'll not work so well...


"Hot Humid Delta"

Steve 03-09-2004 06:30 PM

Does anyone have experience with swamp coolers, do they take less energy than ac units?

busone 03-09-2004 10:17 PM

I grew up in Colorado and the summers were hot and dry. My parents house had a swamp cooler. It worked really well as long as the humidity stayed under 30%. They are also cheap to run, they consist of a small water pump and a blower motor. It also filled the house with fresh air constantly so that part was really nice. For some reason a few years ago the air around denver has gotten more moist and there would more and more days where it just would not work so they got air conditioning. The A/C works with all weather conditions but their electric bill more than doubled in the summer. I would think a swamp cooler would work ok in a bus as long as you are in a dry envirnment and of couse you will need lots of water. You could probably buy a small unit designed for an apartment and convert it to work on your bus. I would still have an A/C unit when I am traveling in humid areas. I did a google search and found a good info site about them.

lapeer20m 03-10-2004 08:14 AM

I live in the humid state of michigan. 70, 80, or even 100 percent humidity is normal here in the summer. More water in the air is a bad idea.

Using freezers inside your skoolie to make ice........

wouldn't that be counterproductive? It has to take more heat energy to make ice than you can take away by melting it? For instance, an air conditioner set in the middle of a room would cause a room to heat up. It gives off more btu's of heat than it does of cold. An a/c unit only works to cool a room because the heat it produces is vented to the outside.

Freezers and refrigerators also give off more heat btu's then they create.

soused moose 03-10-2004 12:37 PM

I thought about it for awhile ...putting an RV style of Roof-mounted Air Conditioner on our bus . But decided against it .

With all the stuff I have up there right now...I'd rather use the space an air conditioner would take up with the solar water heater I'm building.

We'll put a Household style of air condition in instead.

I'm going to pop out the back window ( on the door) and build some kind of setup where we'll slide an air conditioner into it.

It will cost us a lot less to use an Household Style of AC over an RV they're easy and cheap to replace if they break.

Steve 03-10-2004 04:00 PM


Originally Posted by soused moose
I'm going to pop out the back window ( on the door) and build some kind of setup where we'll slide an air conditioner into it.

That reminds me that I have never posted pictures of my door inserts. I have two inserts for my rear door. One is a screen, and the other is plywood with a hole cut out of it for the airconditioner. Which ever one I am not using stores away easily in the bathroom.

The inserts work by being placed into the rear door opening against the door jam on the inside. Then there are four wingnut type locks that with a little twist lock it in place. For driving down the road these don't interefere with the rear door so there isn't a problem using them and the rear door at the same time. I'll take some pictures sometime soon.

soused moose 03-10-2004 05:25 PM

Steve , How'd you take the rear window out...any pointers ?

Thanks a Lot,

Michael & Millie

Steve 03-10-2004 06:47 PM

Michael & Millie,

That's the beauty of it. I didn't take out any of the windows. Click on these pictures for a larger view.

Here is the rear door.

This is what the door jam looks like.

This is the door with the screen inserted into the jam.

This is the door with the plywood insert for the a/c unit.

Each of the inserts can be left in while driving because they still allow the rear door to work. When you get your site just open the rear door and enjoy the breeze, or put up the plywood insert and slide in the air conditioner.

soused moose 03-10-2004 07:40 PM

Wow...pretty Cool setup Steve :D


soused moose 03-10-2004 07:43 PM

Meant to ask previously you live in your bus Steve?

Steve 03-10-2004 07:55 PM

No I don't; my school bus is just a "hobby". :D

lapeer20m 03-11-2004 10:16 PM

if i had a dollar for every time someone asks me if i live in my bus........

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