Servicing the Trav-L-Cool unit.

Discussion in 'Top Tips & Tricks' started by Tootles, May 17, 2014.

  1. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Some of you may have one of these units stuck up in the roof, mostly on older vans. They were once fetted as the closest you could get to an air-con, without actually having one. In actual fact they are an evaporation unit, using the MHs own water tank to supply water, which cools the air being sucked into the van. The main advantages over a real air-con unit are weight, and the fact that they only draw around 6 amps at 12 volts. Any decent solar panel will provide enough battery power to run one.
    Having one stuck up on the roof of our Hymer, and finding that the water supply pump in the locker had been disconnected, I tried to find out some info, with a view to getting the thing up and running again. Information is very scarce, and apart from a Dutch sales document, and a shoddy PDF schematic, I could find nothing. So here goes.
    The unit cover mounted on the roof is secured with 6 stainless self tappers. Be careful as you take it off, because underneath is a water supply pipe. Three more screws remove a spinner plate, which is in direct drive from the air fan motor. Now another four self tappers removes the filter cover. This can be removed complete with the large conical foam filter. Ours was bunged up solid with dirt, and so a good wash in the sink, followed by a drip-dry outside, whilst I carried on.
    I found that the pump, mounted next to the fresh water tank, had been disconnected, and so, brave as anything, I re-connected, and waited for the flash. Nothing. :thumb:
    Back up onto the roof to check the pipework, before attempting to switch on. The foam filter sits in what I can only describe as a plastic copy of a car tyre cut in half. In the bottom of this 'bowl', is a return pipe. The feed pipe, which attaches to a sprinkler situated directly over the spinner plate, I laid in the bottom of the 'bowl'. Now back inside, and flicked the switch. The pump throbbed, the water gurgled..........Up on top quick, in case a deluge would leak into the van, but no, just a healthy trickle......However, the bowl was just filling, with no return water going out. Switched off at once, and worked out that as the return pipe to the tank must act on a syphon system, unscrewed the water connecting plug from the tank, found the right pipe, and gave it a long blow. More gurgling noises. Onto the roof, to find that the return pipe must have been blocked, as a load of gunge had settled into the bowl. Clean that out, and try again. This time, the water returned to the tank, success!. Time for a brew. :Smile:
    Re-located the foam filter, filter cowl, and spreader plate. The supply pipe was very old, so took the opportunity to replace it. Pipe onto sprinkler, cover on, back inside. Now for the test. Started the pump, selected 'cold', brought in the circulating fan, and waited. With a couple of minuets, the cool air was powering in. Within fifteen minuets, the inside temperature had dropped four degrees! Checked everywhere for leaks, nothing.
    People, for some reason, are 'scared' of these things. Well, the chance of water flooding into your van is not a merry thought. They are really easy to service. If anyone has one, I would be more then willing to talk them through a strip down and clean. Parts can be sourced from Cak-Tanks. I can only think that ours had been disconnected because of the blocked return pipe. :Doh: Dutch PDF doc and schematic on link below.
    Dave.

    http://www.freiko.nl/PDF/72836-nl.pdf
     

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  2. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Though presumably if the water comes from your ordinary water tank, it wouldn't really be potable after it's circulated? or what?
     
  3. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    nasty things they were too circulating various bugs round the water system of your van. think legionella and other similar water borne bacteria
     
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    My Hymer 660 (1987) Trave L Cool system has a separate water tank.

    I also have the original fitting/user/maintenence instructions.


    JJ :Cool:


     
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  5. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    ????? Sorry, cant find any cases of Legionnaires disease coming from one of these, however, you can catch it from your shower. Really trying to find out where these 'nasty bugs' are coming from.....Did you take them on holiday with you??

     
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  6. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Yes, the separate water tank is an option.
     
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  7. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    If any "nasty bugs" were to enter my beloved Hymer from the cooling system the local resident bugs would have 'em for brekky!


    JJ :Cool:
     
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  8. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Well JJ, you see, you spend the best part of an hour putting something together that you hope may benefit others who have a similar bit of kit, add some piccies, add a link for further info, post it, and then get a reaction from a member who dosent even have such a unit, knows nothing about them, squeaking on about 'nasty bugs' and 'Legionnaires Disease'
    The mind boggles. :Angry:
     
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  9. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    you seem to be under the impression that I have never owned a van with one fitted.....well how would you know??:Wink:

    as for nasty bugs, been there back in the 80s with everyone in the van getting poorly. evaporative coolers work well but they can come at a price if not regularly maintained

    thankyou for taking the time to research and providing a how to post on how to get an old system running but you and others need to know the risks involved and the necessity to sterilise it regularly. sorry if posting a warning offended, but there you go, down to you:thumb:
     
  10. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Sorry your sorry, but sorry, you didn't post a 'warning', just a load of rubbish about a disease you cant catch with just cold water. However, thank you for your most informative post, I totally forgot you controlled the forum.
    Next time your researching nasty bugs, just take a look at the effects of chlorine on such things. Chlorine is now added to all water, (something you probably never heard of back in the good old 80's). :thumb:
     
  11. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    .... and I'm sorry I asked the question now.

    I thought Legionnaires was a risk with all 'air conditioning' type thingies, but I was only thinking about drinking it.
     
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  13. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    No probs, glad you asked! We dont drink from the tank, however, my post was written from the engineering/repair prospect, and not from the water angle.
    Just out of interest, and to put peoples mind at rest, in case they too have the same unit, Trav-L-Cool still manufacture it, unchanged from ours, with full CE endorsement and certificate. They are sold in large numbers, both in France and The Low Countries. :Smile:
     
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