cooling your tent or van

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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FIGJAM
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:07 am

The links for the "Dura-cool pads) have changed.

So here's a new one!

https://www.google.com/search?sourceid= ... a-cool+pad
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:26 am

POWER!!!

These designs are all 12 volt DC.

So any 12 volt DC source will run them.

The costco 115AH marine battery should run any of these designs 5 or 6 hours a day for the whole week without having to recharge.(price, $90)

I use a Deka 105AH AGM deep cycle battery. (price $240, but I get factory seconds for $140)

You can also go solar!

From what I've read, a 50 watt panel is what you'll need, but I don't have any practical experience with solar.

And finally, keep it simple!

This is an easy project, and although there is a lot of good technical information in this thread, you don't need all of it to build a cooler.

I'll be refering interested Burners to this page so that they won't have to start at the beginning! 8)

Big thanks to Yellowdog and everyony who has contributed to this monster thread!

Edit: The pad size for the first tube on the bucket cooler is 30"s, not 33"s! :oops:
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Krokodyle » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:33 am

I'm totally making the bucket cooler. Thanks for such clear instructions/photos/links! :D

Good to know that Costco has those batteries (just not advertised).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:50 am

Here are the pics of the unicooler and box cooler and how they get the air into the space. (This is before I put vents on the box to prevent leaking.)


Box outside the space with just the fan inside. (Pad on three sides)

Image

Image

If your walls are thick, it may interfere with your controls.

Unicooler against the inside wall with an intake hole.

Image

Image

I would have liked to make it wide enough to have 2 vents on the intake side, but I did'nt have the room.

It works fine for my small playapod. 8)
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:55 am

It was hot here today, so I did a test with the unicooler.

I like this flow!

Image

This was the air temp.

Image

The water was setting in the cooler all day, so it was pretty warm also.

I switched on the pump to soak the pad, then turned on the fan.

Image

If I had left the cooler running for another 20min., the water temp would have been much cooler, and probably dropped the temp another 5 to 10 degrees.

Humidity was 8%. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:56 am

I found that 33 1/2" was too long for my bucket. The 13" tube was too big around to fit inside my bucket so I had to cut off about 4 inches to make the tube fit inside. I was using the orange Homer bucket from Home Depot.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:58 am

Yep, the correct mesurement is 13"X30" for that pad. :oops:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:08 am

The temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (evaporation).

Unlike closed-cycle refrigeration, evaporation cooling requires a water source, and must continually consume water to operate.

If water is pouring out of the bottom of your pads. You are pumping too much water.
It’s evaporation cooling… Go look at a pump made for your home swamp cooler. The pump comes with a clip from the factory to pinch the hose and cut back water flow to the pads.
CFM + evaporation=cooling ….(more air flow) CFM + (larger pads)more Evaporation = larger space cooled. Just Pumping more water on the pad will not make it cooler.
Too much water flow = less cooling~( it just warms up the water).…..if the pad is too wet you wont get proper evaporation. The best is to evaporate all of the water before it returns to the pump. Wet pads with just drops or no water return to the water reserve will give the best cooling effect.
And no you will never see an insulated water reserve, on the one out in direct sun, on top of your house.
I like the bucket cooler…just add a clip on the water return to cut back the water flow. Compare the GPH for a large house cooler in relation to the CFM of the unit and don’t exceed that for pump size. A bucket cooler should only need a trickle of water on the pads.
CFM =Cubic Feet per Minute of air.
GPH =Gallon Per Hour of water.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:17 am

Mozy your science may be spot on, but the coolers don't have to be that fine tuned.

If there is a little extra water flow, the unit turns into a water chilled cooler and is just as affective.

The temp of the water in my units averages 58 degrees, and I like more flow rather than less.

Plus, it keeps the playa washed out of the pads. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:37 am

Yes... you are correct. Humidity is so low out there it will work fine. The post was more for people buying pumps. bigger is not better in this case. put the cooler in a sealed small kids tent for best dust control on the playa. People should know. Adjusting the water flow back can increase cooling effect.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:12 pm

Restriction to the flow of the pump in your case. Comes from the size of the holes in the drip ring. I bet if you measure the flow out of that ring. It will be much lower than the actual GPH of the pump. Easy to check.... Just time how long it takes to pump a gal of water out of the ring.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:26 pm

The coolers have NOT needed to be protected from the dust!

They wash the dust from the air coming into the space to a surprising degree.

I run mine during dust storms to stay cool.

The dust settles in a layer at the bottom of the cooler and has never affected how well it works.

Stop trying to scare the noobs! :P
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:32 pm

not knocking your bucket. I like it.
Oh yeah.... I forgot people don't like real info here.
typical for ego-playa.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:36 pm

Not at all.

Thank you for the info.

I just want people to understand that they don't NEED to know all the details in order to build a functioning cooler.

I don't know how this computer works, but I can ask it questions and it "magicly" gives me answers.

Samey same. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:42 pm

I went to HD yesterday looking for the Duracool pad. They didn't have any, but it was in their system. I suppose I could have them order it for me, but I also found it online. YOu think that's the best bet?

Also, it probably doesn't matter, but whenever I see this product (HD website, Amazon, etc.) it has horrible reviews. Maybe that's b/c it works for our purpose but not the originally intended?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:43 pm

Is it really 107.9 where you are right now? I'm assuming that's an old pic. Otherwise you must be living on the sun. Or in a tanning salon :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:48 pm

It's a seasonal item, so it's not stocked in the winter months.

When it warms up, it will be easier to find.

I've had great results with these pads or I would'nt recomend them.

Been using them for 20 yrs. 8)

Those are all reposts from the originals.

It's 68 degrees right now. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:58 pm

Whew, I was going to suggest moving if it was 108 in February!

I'm in the process of building my monkey hut. As soon as I have that figured out (shouldn't take long, just need to put it together a few times) I'm going to work on this cooler. My bro-n-law is skeptical, but it looks pretty sweet to me!

Thanks
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:04 pm

Well, almost 140,000 views on this thread and the pictures have been viewd 600,000 times.

I'm guessing there were a couple of thousand coolers on the playa last year. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:29 pm

And that alone makes me VERY confident that this will be a good use of my time and money. Most people haven't spent much time in the desert. But living in SoCal, while I haven't "lived" in it, I've hiked in it, camped in it, spent a ton of time in it. And if you aren't prepared, it will freakin eat you alive. When I first moved here I was dumb enough to go on hikes with no water...in July....in the desert area out east. NOT smart. I'm bringing water+water+water,. shade, and this cooler. I'm gonna be the most chilled person possible :)

thanks sir
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Krokodyle » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:23 pm

Earthwalker wrote:I'm gonna be the most chilled person possible :)
Image

So like this, only not water? :wink:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:56 am

Nascar driver suit huh? Now how to make a cargo cult suit??????????????

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Shaolinskunk » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:36 am

FIGJAM wrote:Well, almost 140,000 views on this thread and the pictures have been viewd 600,000 times.

I'm guessing there were a couple of thousand coolers on the playa last year. 8)
I just finished mine! I used a 20 gallon brute trash can and 3 computer fans...love it! Thanks :D

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:16 am

Pictures please! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by aresvalles » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:38 pm

missprism wrote:lovely! what kind of box is that?
Its an old water tank for an RV my father had lyin around.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by GreyCoyote » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:52 pm

This is one of the best DIY threads ever. Kudos to those responsible.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Shaolinskunk » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:11 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Pictures please! 8)
I have them on my phone...I guess I need to upload them to my computer to attach? Sorry haha I've never posted a pic on a forum!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Shaolinskunk » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:49 am

PicMonkeyCollage.jpg
8)

here it is! the fans are from frozenpcu and draw .40 amps each while moving 110 cfm each. The holes just happen to lineup perfect with 4" flanges so i screwed them right on... i have 10 2" holes for intake but need to add a few more. I got my pump from greenlivingforu its only 5w / 70 gph but works well. It was in the mid 80's in my sunroom when we tested the output temperature. The pic on the bottom right is a piece of paper being sucked up against the intake holes. Im pretty pleased with it so far..... thanks fig! you are kinda good-
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:09 pm

It looks great!!! 8)

Now, how are you going to duct it into the area you want to cool? :?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Shaolinskunk » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:39 pm

I have 90 degree elbows and also tried dryer vent hoses...they seem to flow ok. I only put the intake holes on one side to try to minimize the ducting needed.

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