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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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby EGAZ » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:27 pm

Ah, I missed that pic. Then one can use flanges, nuts, bolts for penetrations. Do it right an you don't even need to cut a lid. Work through the discharge opening. The lid, if needed to be cut, can be sealed with magnetic or velcro strips.
No longer a Birgin. This years prep will be much, much easier and shorter.
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kast
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kast » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:09 pm

mattcamp: I think I get it - rather than dripping into the pad, the water would be dripping down toward the tapered side, leaving the dry spots. Thanks for the explanation.

EGAZ: Yes, Figjam had recommended the fresh water tanks as the 'perfect container' for the Unicooler. barasingha followed up on page 109 with an E-Bay link to the aforementioned water tanks: viewtopic.php?p=1082465#p1082465

21-Gallon: 39" x 8" x 16"
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RV-camper-trail ... 51c7bb0e88

25-Gallon: 33.5" x 10" x 17"
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-25-Gallon-F ... 2536603516

Also, thanks for your input on the construction! I'm not sure if I understood correctly about creating the whole thing through the discharge opening, which I might be incorrectly assuming is the 1.5" diameter circular opening. The pump and tubing wouldn't fit through this?

FIGJAM: Thanks for the input on construction as well. Is there a size you'd recommend for the fresh water tank Unicooler? Assuming I plan to vent all 3 walls. Your original Unicooler design lists 17" x 30" x 9", which seems more like the 25-Gallon version.

I will post photos of the entire build process once it's up and running.

Matt-ish
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Matt-ish » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:23 am

I'm about 85% of the way through my bucket cooler build. I'm looking to cool an older 30ft class A RV, so I have used a combination of tips from this thread and other sources to do a 32gal trash can cooler.

A few pictures of the build so far:



Rather than have the cooling pad up against the side of the bin I've used two layers of mesh with a pad in between to make a cylindrical filter, as the air flow should be unrestricted through the above water level pad I've used just one layer of thicker duracool. The bottom of the inner mesh is folded out at a 90 degree angle so that it drops in central to the bottom of the bin and aligns with the fan/lid.

The mesh is topped with a pool noodle to act as a gasket to the fan/lid, there is also a small section of plastic sheet from the noodle down past the pad to ensure 100% airflow through the filter past the dripper ring.

I've gone for a bilge pump and a 12" radiator fan, which running at full speed (after initial spike) pull 85W total. Per spec sheet (if believed) the pump is 600gph and the fan 2000cfm. I went for standard dc motors so that I can use a PWM motor controller on both pump and fan, giving individual speed control and associated power savings and easy tuning. A lot (maybe all?) of the computer style fans use PWM internally so wont play nicely with a second PWM controller.

I've got some 12" flexi duct and will run a short length of that to a board in a window at the front of the vehicle, at the rear I have an extraction fan in the bedroom roof vent (or just open one of the other windows/vents at the rear).

I hope this should give me good results, if all else fails I can run the genset and AC - but if I can get by on solar alone that would be nice :)

Typically after being really hot and dry for weeks here in central valley CA, its slightly cooler and humid here this weekend. Initial testing only gave me a 15F drop, but the humidity was just below 50% so not that surprising.

Now my question for you wonderful life engineers. I have gone for a 2" hole spacing around the ring, but I'm not sure if I should have made this 1". I do seem to get good pad coverage with pump at full speed, but I would like to cut the pump speed down to save on power, so the 1" spaced holes may be better?

I will get the rest of the wiring done today so I can test it with the PWM controllers, I guess if I still get good pad water coverage with a slower pump speed I don't need to pull the dripper ring off again :)

Thanks to everyone that has contributed :)

Have a great day.
Matt

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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby EGAZ » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:38 pm

Your build looks good! I built the same thing. :) Yea, add more holes for 1" spacing on the header tube. Then you can slow the pump down. Another thing you can try first is to flip the header tube so the holes point up. The water will follow the inside of the pool noodle and might help with dispersion. (Ice machines use this method)

I did this on mine by cutting a hole for the fan in two cake pans, (one 15" pan one 10" pan), sandwiching them together to create a round, inverted trough. (like the pool noodle) I searched all over looking for the right size bunt cake pan but couldn't find one large enough. So I bought some cheapy cake pans and made one. I'm waiting for the humidity to drop next week so I can test it. Its' been all wired up and ready for a couple of weeks but its monsoon season in Phx, so we get rain.

Be aware once you set the pump speed at home you may need to tweak it on deck due to the dryer conditions. It will evap more water out there. ;)

Two pans pop riveted & siliconed together. One inside the other. I run two pumps so I have two header rings.
IMAG2042.jpg


Filpped into proper position.
IMAG2043.jpg


One big cartridge. Double stacked media tube in a cage, two pumps, PCV bottom plate, and styrofoam ring, all slide into the trash can.
IMAG2037.jpg
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No longer a Birgin. This years prep will be much, much easier and shorter.
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :wink:

Matt-ish
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Matt-ish » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:18 pm

That's a nice build EGAZ, it must perform well with that media type and being double stacked. I could fit another layer around mine, and I already have the second pad cut to size, but I'm going to try it as is first :)

I went ahead and pulled the top end apart again and drilled the new holes, as expected the pump can run slower with the same coverage. I was trying to be lazy and not pull it apart again, but it was for the best.

Sadly due to moving house I won't make it to the playa this year, so next year will have to be my first. I will however get a chance to test this out properly next week at another hot and dry location.

Thanks again 8)

legionvr6
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby legionvr6 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:46 am

Any suggestions on a cheap hose option? I finished my bucket cooler. I just need a hose to run into the back door of my kodiak. I picked up foil dusct hose but realized that it will probably rip almost instantly

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JohnEBGud
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby JohnEBGud » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:06 pm

I'm using white plastic dryer vent hose. Has survived two burns so far. Going for three. :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby legionvr6 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:42 pm


asr9754
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:54 pm

What'd you use for a coupler on top of the bucket lid? There are 4" and 5" types of duct--make sure you get the right one to fit your parts. There's a more sturdy product called "semi-rigid duct", it's bendable but much more sturdy than the spring-loaded flimsy duct. The semi-rigid has worked great for my bucket cooler. Can find it in box stores and some online.

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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby EGAZ » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:18 pm

Semi rigid duct. It can be shaped as needed with your fingers. Search for 'dryer wall flange' for the connectors.
No longer a Birgin. This years prep will be much, much easier and shorter.
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :wink:

legionvr6
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby legionvr6 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:32 pm

I used a plastic 4" throttle plate adapter. Thanks for the input. I skipped the semi flex hose thinking they were to stiff and would be annoying to work with. I'll take a peak at home depo when I go to return the foil one

zedd
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby zedd » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:26 am

Is there a premade/buyable alternative to the swamp cooler or unicooler which throws hot air outside the tent?

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Traveller in Time
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Traveller in Time » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:14 pm

    Hand powered fan (This requires some handy user action!)
    Battery powered fan
    Generator powered fans
    Add some fine distributed water for extra cooling. (This may require some user intervention!)
    Generator powered air conditioner unit
    Bring a truckload of ice to the playa, open the cargo doors to cool your tent just outside.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby zedd » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:01 pm

My camp already has power (up to 2-3 amps per tent) - Does anyone have any idea of fans which blow up to 200CFM and a submersible pump which can directly be connected to AC? getting the converter seems like a very round about process.

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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby BBadger » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:58 pm

Holy shit, are you really that helpless? Fucking search Amazon or Google like anyone else would.
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legionvr6
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby legionvr6 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:18 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone thats given me input over the course of my build. finally calling it finished
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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby spacetime » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Fixing up my cooler for its third year with a new pump and such.

I used light tubing before and it wasn't very uniform on the drip I think this might have been why I had some leaks in the past.

Anyway, I'm replacing the drip tube. Is it right That the T splitter, he supposed to have a hole drilled directly into the bottom and that is the beginning of spacing?

Is it still correct that the spacing is supposed to be 3/4 of an inch?

Edit: looks like the measurements begin where the T is cut off and the tube begins? I'm confused about how to measure spacing from where the T starts.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby BBadger » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:55 pm

I don't think this is really a precision process here. Just drill your holes at an appropriate spacing like 1" or 3/4" or whatever. I'd probably start them in the bare tubing after the T-connector ends, and not damage the T-connector in any way with drilling.

Basically you're just spacing it out so that they all drip at relatively the same rate or so depending on how well your pump can keep pressure.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby spacetime » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:03 pm

Got it. Thanks. I couldn't wait for a reply, but this is what I ended up doing. 3/4" this time.

RedFoxxx
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby RedFoxxx » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:43 pm

Hi,

I know this will be repetitive and probably annoy the Know-It-Alls... AND I have some questions. I am traveling to the burn on a few days and all my things are on a container from the east coast.

I have a 13ft soulpad (4000 ease), with a DIY inner tent (basically will be cooling half the space). I've looked at all the a/c options and am want to make a DIY swamp cooler, but would have to purchase most items in Reno and make it onsite or in Reno.

I have never made one, I am not the most technically skilled, BUT I know I can handle FigJams design - with a bit of support from the Know-it-Alls please... There are so many posts and different options of things..

What tips can you provide me to make it as simple and efficient AND cool as possible? What Fan, Pump, cooling, pad, tools, etc?

If I don't have or cannot locate the right saw to cut the bucket holes, what is the next best way to do it?

Thank you.

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Traveller in Time
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Traveller in Time » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:51 pm

knife?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Popeye » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:09 pm

The holes do not have to be round. Use a knife, easier if it is hot, and cut squares, moons or Christmas trees. No knife? Use a soldering iron.
The proven fans and pumps are listed in this thread. If you go to Amazon and look for a fan you can look under "Other customers also bought" to see what other people have bought. This may include tubing and tees. Good luck
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:50 pm

With exception to the pump, fan, and pad (all of which are listed in the first thread), most of the parts (bucket, tubing, connectors) can be had at regular stores that have hardware sections, or at a hardware store (e.g. Home Depot). The remainder can be bought on Amazon. So buy your 12V pond pump or solar pump, fan, and pad online and bring them to Reno to assemble.

Since you need to wire all this shit up, go on Amazon and purchase some Wago Lever nuts, some wire, and a wire strippers. Then you can just strip your wires and use the lever nuts to do all your wire connections without soldering.

I don't know how you're powering any of this, so buy the appropriate power sources and converters for your system.

If you want to cut holes with a drill, get a hole saw. You can buy them online or at any hardware section of a store. Or yeah, just use a knife. You can even be creative with your hole patterning if you desire.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:09 pm

It's a moopy project.... Bits of plastic and blue pad fluff flying about. you could build everything at home except the actual bucket. The parts are pretty small; get a new bucket in Reno and you're all set. Sent you a PM too. Sharp boxcutter will cut the bucket, if done carefully.

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Traveller in Time
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Traveller in Time » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:48 pm

Using one blade of scissors can make perfect, be it small, circular holes.
Dreaming a temporary world improving the default world



Not expressing yourself but embracing all other expressions is The Challenge




...I can make anything I can imagine . . . I just can't make _some_ things happen



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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby EGAZ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:25 pm

Not good for timing this time but theseHot Knives would do it too. And other art projects.
No longer a Birgin. This years prep will be much, much easier and shorter.
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :wink:

mohnjeyers
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby mohnjeyers » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:44 am

Hey there,
Just wanted to share my project with you all. Mine has ended up more expensive than planned, perhaps to the point that I should have just bought a used commercially built swamp cooler. Oh well, it was fun to make. :D

I used this trash can:

This fan:


+ 2 sheets of Dura Cool cut to size. Mounted with a grate, mostly for aesthetics.
+ clear acrylic top, w/ sealant with foam door strips/velcro.

I cut the clear acrylic, cut a square hole for the dura cool, and a round hole for the fan...

The pump I bought isn't powerful enough, so I bought a different one, and it's shipping soon... Hopefully I can get it working before TTITD!
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pterodactyl
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby pterodactyl » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:51 am

After reading the original posts and pages upon pages of comments new and old, I still have a few questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with. I wish I started this project earlier, but I only have a couple of days before we need to pack the truck so I'm starting to get anxious.

Second year burner, but first year being in charge of the hexayurt (and cooling it).

Our H12 hexayurt has a rectangular hole in one of the side panels for a window AC unit. We used an AC last year (but upon plugging in realized it was out of freon), but this year we don't want to consume that much power from the camp generator so we're looking to build a swamp cooler. The plan is to just go with the 5gal bucket method.

The problem is that the hole for the AC unit is already there and we don't have the plug for it (the yurt was purchased from the original owner who no longer has it). There is one other small circular hole on another side panel at the highest possible point.

I have been reading that you could either put plastic wrap of some sort over the hole and tape/velcro it shut, or that you can use those rectangular furnace filters to have a vent.

This is probably a dumb question, but if I'm going to build a swamp cooler would I want that big hole sealed shut or would it be okay if it was open/filtered?

Second set of questions: Is there any reason not to just put the swamp cooler directly inside the yurt? Is there any efficiency loss if it's outside? If it's outside would you want to cover it in aluminet?

Questions on pump: Would either of these work? Which would be more ideal? Pump 1 or Pump 2?

As for the fan, I plan on getting this.

Lastly, questions on wiring (where I feel most lost). Assuming I can plug all of this into a regular three prong outlet (run by generator if that matters), do I simply splice an extension cord and attach the wires from both of these devices to the same extension cord? I've read about needing to convert power in some posts and I'm a little confused as to when you need to do that.

Thanks in advance for any help!

asr9754
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:10 am

You can't put the swamp cooler inside the yurt.
It doesn't work that way, not going to explain the whole physics thing again but the device HAS to sit outside the structure and cool air ducted into a hole in the wall.
You also need an exhaust-vent in the structure so your existing hole in the yurt could be used for that purpose. Go get a small piece of Rmax from home despot, cut it to fit the existing hole, and tape it in place with a flap. So you can open it or close it. There are better fans--check your message inbox

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Traveller in Time
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Traveller in Time » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:09 pm

@pterodactyl

If your generator produces 12V DC it is an option to connect all on one extension cord.
Most likely the generator will provide some 110V AC and you will need converters.
Keep the swamp cooler in the shade and use the lower inlet in your yurt.

Hurry, you will need to test the cooler setup before hitting the road.

The idea is to be more rather then less Self Reliant. Just bring a new commercial AC unit as backup.
Dreaming a temporary world improving the default world



Not expressing yourself but embracing all other expressions is The Challenge




...I can make anything I can imagine . . . I just can't make _some_ things happen



Have some Free will


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