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Old 05-27-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Hello all,

I'm considering purchasing an older used Sportsmobile and this forum looks like a great resource. There seem to be many knowledgeable and helpful posters here. I have a few questions and will post under different posts. Here's the first...

Will the older StarCool A/Cs plugged into shore power work okay in the stifling heat and humidity that is summer in Central Florida or will I need to get a model with ceiling AC?
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Don't expect to be frozen out. The Starcool usually cuts off about 15 degrees compared to outside. That said, I've never used it in high humidity so I can't say how well it will de-humidify the inside of the van. Having your van parked out of the sun makes a huge difference as well as how well it's insulated. Old SMB's lack the better insulation that is used today. Also another member showed me that if you crank it on right away in the morning while it's cool, it works much better. Trying to cool down a hot van that's sitting in the sun is a loosing battle.
Other tricks like insulating the PH canvas when it's up work well.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

You could always run the van's A/C for 10 minutes or so to provide some initial cool-down assistance.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Thank you. Do you know if the StarCool is an evaporative (aka swamp) cooler? Those don't work well in humidity.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

No, it's a standard AC. I'd make sure it runs off 110vAC correctly. The compressor is very expensive. Also some models work in conjunction with the Ford air and some run only off shore power. You'll need a 30 amp hookup to work.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Depending on the age of the van you are looking at, be prepared to replace some of the parts of the Starcool. I have a 1998 SMB Ford and just replaced both auxilliary fans. One was seized, the other was on it's way to seizing. Price was about $80 each. I also proactively replaced the relays in the 110v box as well as the capacitor, including adding a "hard start" capacitor (Supco) to give it an extra boost when starting. Total price for those parts was around $50.

I wonder if the compressor is a standard AC compressor? It doesn't look like anything special. I would think it could be picked up at a refrigeration dealer.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

SMB replaced mine in 2012. I don't know where they got it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:26 AM   #8
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
SMB replaced mine in 2012. I don't know where they got it.
Any chance they put a part number or other description on the invoice? If so, I'd love to have that info. I was thinking about replacing my compressor proactively, but I couldn't find any markings at all on it to give the parts dealer something to work with. He said I could bring it in and he'd look at it, but I don't want to pull it and all the lines until I have a replacement.

By the way, I got the electrical parts at my local United Refrigeration dealer. I think they are nationwide. My local dealer is usually really helpful.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

I don't know, they paid for it. I'd suggest e-mailing Peter Deltoro at SMBW. I also had a rock get stuck in the fan a few years back and they replaced it as well.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: StarCool A/C in high humidity?

Thank you for the info. If the Star Cool is a standard a/c and not evaporative it should work fine. I'd mainly want to run it on humid nights while plugged in. If it runs off shore power, would a Honda 2000w generator also work to keep these running?
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