Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
NappyHeadedHo
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Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:29 pm

hello everyone! i've magically secured 2 tickets, and assuming all goes well, will be popping my burner cherry this year! I'm planning to build a H12 (8ft) Hexayurt with a swamp cooler. My boyfriend will be helping me, but I've never built anything more difficult that a Ferris Wheel made of K'nex, so I'm looking for some advice.

My first question is how big of a swamp cooler (or how many) I will need to cool my yurt.
I've apparently forgotten how to do high school math, but from what I've read, the H12 is about 850 cubic feet - please correct me if I am wrong!
Going off of this, my cooler would need a fan with at least 425 cfm for cool air every 2 minutes or 284 cfm for every 3 minutes.

So I'm wondering if it would be better to build two coolers from 5 gal buckets with 200cfm each or maybe build one bigger one (from a cooler or trash can perhaps) with a single 300cfm (or 400cfm) fan?

Again, I barely understand what I'm talking about, so if I sound silly or don't make sense, call me out! :lol:

I'm trying to burn on a budget, so I also need to take cost into account.
And if anyone can provide some info about running off of a 12v battery vs solar panel, that would be cool too.
I've been researching all over the forums, but there's so much info all over the place, I'm feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Edit: I did find this topic to be helpful viewtopic.php?f=280&t=73806 but any additional advice would be awesome!

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby lucky420 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:11 pm

have used an h12 the last 7 burns. 2016 we built 6 foot walls with a 5 ft door which was really nice because stooping gets old.

Last year was my first year building and using a figjam cooler. We did the standard 5 gal bucket cooler. With 6 ft walls all around we couldve used a bigger or maybe 2 coolers but we are local (reno) and acclimated to the elevation/heat/desert.

About 3 years ago when i first considered building the cooler my son (who goes with me) said "oh sure mom, so you can hibernate in the yurt.?" he had a really good point and it wasnt until this last year that we built and brought it. my daughter was the main user of the cooler and her bed was right by the blower hole. it wasnt that effective but helped her a little.

Ive found just finding a shady spot outside, laying down on a blanket or hell even right on the playa with water/cold beer and if a slight breeze is blowing (which is usually most of time) we cooled off quite easily.

and to power the cooler, we used a 110/115 marine battery.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:32 pm

Yeah, many of those well shaded structures like Yurts or even just tents or a chair under sufficiently ventilated shade (e.g. monkeyhut or carport) can be quite pleasant without any additional cooling. Plus, you won't get so used to the coolness that going back outside won't be too tough.

Maybe just build a standard bucket cooler just in case and use that to supplement.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby EGAZ » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:10 pm

In your link there is another link. Scroll down to the 'UniCooler' part of the thread.
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Jeremy757jones » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:46 am

im going with 2 buckets instead of one big cooler because I need the room while I'm traveling. I can put a bucket inside a bucket and put the cooler together when I get there. But if cargo space is not an issue the bigger the cooler the better. More surface area is more cooling.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:52 pm

BBadger wrote:Yeah, many of those well shaded structures like Yurts or even just tents or a chair under sufficiently ventilated shade (e.g. monkeyhut or carport) can be quite pleasant without any additional cooling. Plus, you won't get so used to the coolness that going back outside won't be too tough.

Maybe just build a standard bucket cooler just in case and use that to supplement.


thank you! this gives me comfort!
I'm used to living in a house that isn't insulated very well, therefore it can get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, so I don't need anything too too fancy.

Based on your advice I'll probably just build one cooler from a 5 gal, and hope that it works out.

Worst case scenario, I have a good friend that I'm camping with who is building 2 of the standard coolers to cool his tent...so if it comes down to it, i'll steal one of his buckets and just make him stay in our yurt (in the H12 - there should be room for 4 people to sleep, right?)

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:57 pm

Jeremy757jones wrote:im going with 2 buckets instead of one big cooler because I need the room while I'm traveling. I can put a bucket inside a bucket and put the cooler together when I get there. But if cargo space is not an issue the bigger the cooler the better. More surface area is more cooling.


based on the way you responded, i don't know if you realized the Ginge was OP. I've decided that I'm just gonna build one standard bucket for our yurt, and if we're miserable I'll steal one of your buckets and make you and Savvy sleep with us. The yurt seems likes its gonna be way bigger inside than we imagined...it can probably sleep 4 with no problem. We can just cut an extra hole that can fit the tube from the bucket, and leave it plugged up with insulation unless we need it. Maybe?

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:02 pm

eldergeekaz wrote:In your link there is another link. Scroll down to the 'UniCooler' part of the thread.


I actually did see that, but it seems a little too big for my taste...so I guess I was looking for something inbetween?

7 gal of water for 8 hrs of cool seems like a lot of extra water to pack...I guess at this point I am worried about the amount of water i would need to bring for 2 people for a week on top of everything else we need to pack to come from VA. I'm worried I won't have enough space in our vehicle for all of that water - but then again I am a virgin so I really have no idea what its like out there on the Playa.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:03 pm

lucky420 wrote:have used an h12 the last 7 burns. 2016 we built 6 foot walls with a 5 ft door which was really nice because stooping gets old.

Last year was my first year building and using a figjam cooler. We did the standard 5 gal bucket cooler. With 6 ft walls all around we couldve used a bigger or maybe 2 coolers but we are local (reno) and acclimated to the elevation/heat/desert.

About 3 years ago when i first considered building the cooler my son (who goes with me) said "oh sure mom, so you can hibernate in the yurt.?" he had a really good point and it wasnt until this last year that we built and brought it. my daughter was the main user of the cooler and her bed was right by the blower hole. it wasnt that effective but helped her a little.

Ive found just finding a shady spot outside, laying down on a blanket or hell even right on the playa with water/cold beer and if a slight breeze is blowing (which is usually most of time) we cooled off quite easily.

and to power the cooler, we used a 110/115 marine battery.


how cool did it get in your yurt with the standard bucket and 6ft walls?
I'll be happy with 80-85F if it comes down to that.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby BBadger » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:30 pm

I think you'll probably achieve that with just the insulation and shade. without the cooler. It's really quite pleasant in the shade, even without active cooling.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby lucky420 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:21 am

I doubt you'd need to run your cooler for a long time. We also used clean ice melt in the bucket cooler which made the air flow a bit cooler too. Yurts can get stuffy, we always had a couple of Windows cut into ours (on opposite walls for a nice cross breeze).

It really is nice in the shade. It's dry heat so it's not oppressive and muggy at all...
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Token » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:17 pm

For your first burn, you sure are trying to build allot. These are big projects and will be imposing if you don't "make" all the time.

Keep in mind the following:

_A Hudson Sprayer is very good at cooling and can be used for showers and general hygiene.
_A damp bed-sheet wrapped around you cools like a walk-in freezer.
_Shade is way more important than an insulated walled structure with climate control. - not obvious but trust me, you will not want to be in your yurt for much more than sleeping.

It might be more effective to get ready-made items your first year.

A "Costco Carport" - proven, durable, easy to assemble and break down, effective.
A tent under a carport - proven, easy to assemble and break down, effective.

I'd go the car-port route with a tent, then invest all your mojo into the bucket cooler for your first year.

If you make it to year 2, then go hexayurt after you have had opportunity to test drive some on the Playa.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Ratty » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:40 pm

Yes! What Token said! Buy a costco carport and put a tent under it. It's much easier to set up, transport and to store. I can put mine up in a windstorm or in the rain if necessary. With proper tie downs it won't fail you. The yurt can wait till next time. You can sleep anywhere with or without a bucket cooler. Keep it simple. Everything is harder to do out there.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby lucky420 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:09 pm

I started my first year with a yurt. I like to have shelter where I can stand up, have a table, plastic drawers, etc

I do live in Reno so storage and transport is easy
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby asr9754 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:32 pm

If you build the swampie to spec exactly and seal it up tight, 1 5-gal bucket cooler will be good for a yurt. Been there, done that. A well-constructed cooler is worth 5 poorly built ones.
You *must* have a little window in the yurt for it to work properly as the hot air has to escape.
The Figjam bucket cooler is a fantastic forum that walks you thru the process. Just read it a few times before you start building.

As for solar+battery power there are lots of other forum topics on that. Nutshell: You need a 12V deep cycle battery, 12V solar panel, charge controller, and some cables and clamps to connect everything.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby NappyHeadedHo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:02 pm

Ratty wrote:Yes! What Token said! Buy a costco carport and put a tent under it. It's much easier to set up, transport and to store. I can put mine up in a windstorm or in the rain if necessary. With proper tie downs it won't fail you. The yurt can wait till next time. You can sleep anywhere with or without a bucket cooler. Keep it simple. Everything is harder to do out there.
Token wrote:For your first burn, you sure are trying to build allot. These are big projects and will be imposing if you don't "make" all the time.

Keep in mind the following:

_A Hudson Sprayer is very good at cooling and can be used for showers and general hygiene.
_A damp bed-sheet wrapped around you cools like a walk-in freezer.
_Shade is way more important than an insulated walled structure with climate control. - not obvious but trust me, you will not want to be in your yurt for much more than sleeping.

It might be more effective to get ready-made items your first year.

A "Costco Carport" - proven, durable, easy to assemble and break down, effective.
A tent under a carport - proven, easy to assemble and break down, effective.

I'd go the car-port route with a tent, then invest all your mojo into the bucket cooler for your first year.

If you make it to year 2, then go hexayurt after you have had opportunity to test drive some on the Playa.


I really appreciate both of your comments, and I have looked into buying just a carport to throw over my tent....but I happened to get a pretty decent tax return this year..and with the amount of time I have to prepare, I feel that we're capable of building the yurt. I've already purchased over $100 worth of tape (2 - 3" rolls and 2 - 6" rolls of the bi-directional filament "strapping" tape) with the ability to buy more if needed (plus I plan on buying some foil tape), on top of researching for hours and hours and hours. We're gonna try the H12 with Camp Danger hinges. I anticipate ordering the panels this coming weekend - I've looked at local hardware stores and none seem to have the foil covered (Thermax, Rmax, etc) in stock.....Anyway...those should be ordered this weekend, so I'm planning on beginning construction by next week.

I've determined I'm going to build one standard bucket cooler to attach to the yurt, and closer to the date, I'll build a second if funds allow, just in case.

We already have a bunch of camo netting, and have planned on also building some kind of PVC structure as a "front porch" and throwing the camo over for shade.

Good to know about damp bed-sheet, and I'm also going to look into a Hudson Sprayer - haven't heard of that one yet.

Again, thanks so much for the advice!

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Token » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:26 am

Sounds like you have it under control.

Remember though, no one can really do justice to a description what a humid swamp cooler yurt smells like on day 6 of the unwashed :)

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Jeremy757jones » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:57 pm

Token wrote:Sounds like you have it under control.

Remember though, no one can really do justice to a description what a humid swamp cooler yurt smells like on day 6 of the unwashed :)


She is used to smellin funky

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby DeanisGatsby » Sat May 06, 2017 9:56 pm

I highly recommend the ShiftPod instead of a hexayurt. Easier to store, transport, more expensive but worth it. ShiftPod.com. No affiliation with the company, just a satisfied burner customer. I have 6 which replaced 3 yurts and couldn't be happier.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby theglampguru » Thu May 11, 2017 8:14 am

Hey I did small review and how to video for the shiftpod. Might help.


GG

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby spacetime » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:58 pm

I started w a small tent and shade structure, then a tent and storage tent and shade and finally a yurt which we are planning to bring out again this year.

We also use a figjam cooler on our 4 foot wall yurt. It runs off a marine battery and solar to keep that charged.

Both the cooler and the yurt require some skill to build, transport and maintain out there. It is ambitious for a first burn, but if you do a ton of prep you may do great.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Meat Hunter » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:37 pm

That is a very nice tent. Simple tent to erect and simple to take down.

All of my deer hunting blinds have pop-out sides just like that tent. There have been times down here in Mississippi when I have had a strong gust of wind pop the sides in and the whole blind fall on top of me.

With the very strong winds that we often have on the playa, it would not surprise me if the sides on that tent were not popping in quite often and the tent continuously collapsing.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby radbone » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:56 pm

NappyHeadedHo wrote:I've already purchased over $100 worth of tape (2 - 3" rolls and 2 - 6" rolls of the bi-directional filament "strapping" tape) with the ability to buy more if needed (plus I plan on buying some foil tape), on top of researching for hours and hours and hours. We're gonna try the H12 with Camp Danger hinges. I anticipate ordering the panels this coming weekend - I've looked at local hardware stores and none seem to have the foil covered (Thermax, Rmax, etc) in stock.....Anyway...those should be ordered this weekend, so I'm planning on beginning construction by next week.


In regards to the bi-directional filament tape, although the 6" wide rolls are nice, the yurts can mostly be done with the 3" if your considering buying more tape, highly recommended to have a few spare rolls. Home Depot/Lowes typically has the 1" thick Rmax with one side with reflective surface in stock. I would recommend to start taping your foam insulation board edges as soon as you get the boards and the foil tape (I ordered the 2" foil tape from Amazon). This process keeps your boards from falling apart (no MOOP), but takes forever to finish.

We'll be taking our H12 (8') yurt to BM for the third time. Surprisingly has held up through the abuse as long as you repair and patch the foam boards. I've found the foil tape is good for patching (scrapes, punctures, cracks). The filament tape will dry out and fall off, but it serves it's purpose for each trip.

Good luck!

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby truemetal » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:23 pm

DeanisGatsby wrote:I highly recommend the ShiftPod instead of a hexayurt. Easier to store, transport, more expensive but worth it. ShiftPod.com. No affiliation with the company, just a satisfied burner customer. I have 6 which replaced 3 yurts and couldn't be happier.

So what would be the recommended sizing for a swamp cooler for a shiftpod? The shiftpod's volume supposedly 800+ cubic feet. I have two computer fans 200 cfm each, so according to the guides I've read so far they should provide sufficient air flow.

The question is though - if I use the standard bucket, will the evaporative surface be sufficient? And would not it run out of water too fast? The other alternative I am considering is using a storage box (like shown in some other guides) - but then perhaps it would be a total overkill?

By the way, what about the size of the air duct? 4" duct definitely seems to be easier to handle than 6", but then it has the "cut" area of airflow twice smaller than the combined area of two fans. Is it going to matter much?

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby EGAZ » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:22 pm

Go with the storage bin since you have the fans. (hold about 6gals) Fab the media into an oval tube instead of a round tube. Leave space between the walls and the media.

IMAG1983-a.jpg


IMAG1757a.jpg


The duct size for the fan is actually 5", though 6" works fine. One for each fan or if have access to duct fittings you can get a 'register box' to go over both fans, (rectangle, 6" x 12 or 14") to round duct, 8"dia. This keeps the proper air flow. 4" is too much restriction. Flex or semi rigid duct to the ShiftPod. People always try to change the duct size which is the worst thing you can do to an evap cooler. Always error on the side of bigger than smaller when it comes to moving air. Be sure to have a 6"-8" vent in the pod too.

This pic is missing the register box and uses two 5" semi rigid dryer ducts.

IMAG1749a.jpg
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby truemetal » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:42 am

EGAZ wrote:Go with the storage bin since you have the fans. (hold about 6gals) Fab the media into an oval tube instead of a round tube. Leave space between the walls and the media.

Awesome - thanks! How do you prevent the "dry" air from flowing between the pads and the lid (instead of going through the pads) ? Or the weight of the lid (with all the stuff on top of it) is pressing the hose into the soft pads, thus creating a seal?

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby EGAZ » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:15 am

I cut the media tall enough, so when the header tubing lays on top, its 'just over' the top edge of the bin. The tee-shirt sleeve on the tubing also billows when water is running through it, so it seals too. Be aware things sag as they are wet and run all week. There are a number of ways to seal the lid. Glue an oval of foam strip to the lid so it just slides on the inside of the media as its dropped into place.
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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby Luigi » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:34 pm

Three years ago I built a six foot stretch - big enough for two twin beds and my clothes. Cooled it with the fig jam 5 gallon bucket cooler run on a deep cell battery and small solar panel. Has two 10x20" windows covered with furnace filters. I do cover it and the van with a flat top shade. I can set it up by myself and it really is great in a dust storm. Check out this site:

http://www.appropedia.org/Hexayurt_playa

Six foot stretch built with 2" Rmax. Bomber and easy to transport, folds up to a 4X8X2 package. I tow a small trailer with my VW vanagon.

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Re: Building my first Yurt & Swamp Cooler - Need Advice!

Postby DeanisGatsby » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:56 pm

I have no swamp cooler expertise (or even competence). Sorry.
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