Skip to Content

5 Best Evaporative Swamp Coolers for Your RV

5 Best Evaporative Swamp Coolers for Your RV

Are you looking for a way to cool your RV other than an air conditioner? Then, an RV evaporative swamp cooler may be the answer. This article explores what a swamp cooler does and its benefits. And we reveal if it’s actually better than a traditional air conditioning unit. 

Let’s get started by taking a closer look at what a swamp cooler is and how you can use it in an RV. Then check out six of the best RV evaporative swamp coolers on the market today. 

What Is a Swamp Cooler? 

A swamp cooler, also known as an evaporative cooler, passes outdoor air over water-saturated pads. The water in the pads then evaporates, reduces the air temperature by 15 to 40 degrees, and releases the air into your RV. Windows should be left open slightly when running a swamp cooler to allow the warm indoor air to escape and be replaced by the cool air.

How Swamp Coolers Work | Sylvane

Can You Use a Swamp Cooler in an RV? 

You can use a swamp cooler in an RV in dry climates. If you use one in humid climates, you’ll likely end up with condensation and humidity in your space and on the windows. Overall, an RV evaporative cooler is a perfect alternative to an air conditioner as it uses less power and still gets the job done. 

Do Evaporative Coolers Work Better Than A/C? 

RV swamp coolers are more far more energy-efficient than regular air conditioners, using 90 to 97% less electricity. But you do have to supply the swamp cooler with water constantly, so there’s more work involved. And since they work as evaporators, they work best in very hot and dry climates. For example, if you’re in a desert region, the swamp cooler is a good option than an air conditioner. This is because it will add moisture to the air. 

Air conditioners use a lot of power but have the added benefit of dehumidifying. In hot humid climates removing moisture from the air is essential for comfort.

Woman sitting in front of swamp cooler fan in RV.
When RVing in hot, dry climates, a swamp cooler can keep you cool and comfortable.

If you use a swamp cooler in humid climates, mold and mildew will likely grow since they add more moisture to the air. Therefore, using a swamp cooler in humid locations is not recommended. Instead, an air conditioner will be a better choice in a humid climate since it works to dry out the air.

Pro Tip: We uncovered all you need to know about an RV air conditioner in our Complete Guide to RV Air Conditioners.

What Are the Benefits of an RV Swamp Cooler? 

The main benefit of an RV swamp cooler is that it uses less electricity than an air conditioner. It can be an excellent option for boondocking or those running off solar power. Or, if you’re in a campground that charges for electricity, a swamp cooler is an alternative budget-friendly option. And overall, a swamp cooler costs less than an air conditioner. 

Man turning down temperature in RV
Keep your RV temperature down with an RV evaporative cooler.

What Are the Disadvantages of an RV Swamp Cooler? 

Disadvantages of an RV swamp cooler include maintenance and noise. The cooler requires the pad to be changed regularly and constantly filled with water. Unlike an air conditioner, you can’t just leave it and go without making sure it has enough water to operate properly. Some evaporative coolers also tend to be noisier than air conditioners as well when placed in your room.

5 Best Evaporative Swamp Coolers for Your RV

Is an RV swamp cooler suitable for you? Let’s look at six of the best options on the market for RV living. 

1. TurboKool Rooftop Swamp Cooler 

About: The TurboKool Rooftop Swamp Cooler operates with a solar panel or a 12-volt plug. It draws 2.2 amps to 4.6 amps and cools an RV up to 25 feet long. The unit uses advanced spin-cooling technology with a built-in reservoir. It’s easy to clean, and you spray water over the entire filter surface to ensure peak cooling and filtering.

The temperature reduction of the TurboKool is between 20 and 30 degrees. In addition, the spin-spray action washes dust, pollen, and impurities from the air and filter. It fits all standard 14-inch by 14-inch roof vent openings and weighs 16 pounds.

Our Favorite Feature: We like that the unit is a roof mount. You can also use it as an exhaust fan.

Turbokool Swamp Cooler unit installed on pop up camper product shot from website.
The TurboKool Swamp Cooler comes with a roof mount unit to keep you cool.

2. 3-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler, LifePlus Portable Air Cooler with Humidification Function

About: The 3-in-1 Evaporative Air Cooler has cooling technology, serves as a tower fan, and also has a humidifier and evaporative air cooler. It has a one-gallon water tank, and you can add water from the bottom or top.

STROHEAT 3 In 1 Evaporative Air Cooler, LifePlus...
  • 🐧[A Cooler Fan for 3 Purposes]- Our evaporative cooler is...
  • 🐧[Promote Air Circulation, Good for Health]- Does the hot air...
  • 🐧[3 Customized Modes & 3 Wind Speeds ]- The swamp cooler comes...

This RV swamp cooler has three modes: normal, sleeping, and cooling. You can adjust each mode to different wind speeds, and there is a timing function for up to seven hours. Additionally, the cooling fan is bladeless for safety and ease of cleaning. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Our Favorite Feature: We like that there is a visible water window so you can see the water level at any time. 

3. Evaporative Air Cooler, 3-in-1 Windowless Portable Air Conditioner

About: The Evaporative Air Cooler 3-in-1 Windowless Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent choice for RVs. It has natural cooling, and up to 70 degrees of vertical and horizontal oscillation to speed up air circulation. And it has two modes with three wind speeds: low, medium, and high.

Evaporative Air Cooler, 3-IN-1 Windowless Portable...
  • 【Enjoy coolness in every corner】If you have a large room,...
  • 【The best choice for hot & dry weather】 We all know that...
  • 【Can blend perfectly with house decor】 The white exterior and...

The linear design of this RV swamp cooler helps take up little space and has 360-degree wheels so you can slide it across the floor to any location. It has a 0.8-gallon water tank and an evaporative cooling media cartridge. 

Our Favorite Feature: We like the lower water tank with a soundproof panel. It helps block out some noise from the pump.

Portable evaporative cooler
Save electricity by using a portable RV evaporative cooler instead of an AC unit.

4. HESSAIRE 2,100 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler

About: The HESSAIRE 2,100 CFM Portable Evaporative Cooler can cool up to 750 square feet. It has a 7-gallon water tank and a garden hose hook-up. The RV evaporative cooler also has an LCD control panel with a remote control, locking caster wheels, and a washable filter. And it has three fan speeds, oscillating louvers, a 24-hour timer, and humidity controls. The cooler only weighs 25 pounds.  

Our Favorite Features: We like the 24-hour timer and the garden hose hook-up on this highly efficient portable evaporative cooler.

5. Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler, 40” Cooling Fan with 80° Oscillating

About: The Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler is a 40-inch cooling fan that oscillates 80 degrees. It has a detachable 1.06-gallon water tank and a full-coverage water cooling pad. The cooler comes with two reusable ice cubes to help get water into the air. The fan is bladeless with an extended wind wheel for larger air volume. It can cover up to 21.65 feet, making it perfect for a small camper or RV. 

Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler, 40” Cooling Fan...
  • Voice Control: Delivering comfort at your command; Alexa and...
  • Less Noise, Exceptional Rest: Enjoy a fresh, comfortable, and...
  • Cooling Gets Smarter: Forget about looking around for the...

Our Favorite Feature: We like the oscillating feature of the Dreo Evaporative Air Cooler. It makes the air flow wider and more effective.

Pro Tip: There are many different types of RVs and staying cool in each type can be challenging. We uncovered How Do You Stay Cool in a Camper Van?


Is an RV Swamp Cooler Worth It?

An RV swamp cooler is worth it if you’re mostly in dry climates. It’s the perfect alternative to an air conditioner and will save you on electricity or amp-hours. And since there are portable options, you can transport in and out of your RV easily. 

If you live in a humid climate, a small portable air conditioner might be a better option. Check out our top picks: What Are the Smallest Portable Air Conditioners for Tight Spaces?

Become A Mortons On The Move Insider

Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!

About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

About Us

Sharing is caring!

Steve H

Saturday 26th of August 2023

We have had a swamp cooler in our Colorado home for 46 years with no other cooling. But our summer humidity averages 10-30% (we know because we have a met station in the yard). This summer we have had 100+ degree days, with the indoor temps never above 75. If you change the pads every year and leave a door or window open, there should be no smell and no mold. However, Michigan is NOT the place for a swamp cooler!

Mortons on the Move

Thursday 31st of August 2023

It is amazing how well they work in the dry climates!

Mark Lawler

Monday 11th of July 2022

But the humidity! Grew up with swamp coolers as a kid in New Mexico, Michigan, and central California. The humidity, smells, etc., oh my!!! I just cannot see ever going back.

Amy H. Chu

Sunday 11th of June 2023

@Mark Lawler, Why would there be smells? Our Colorado cooler was the best lifesaver we ever had. The humidity would dry up every night, if there was some, and we'd so look forward to turning on the swamp cooler again by 11 am or so.