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: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:07 pm

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:
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:08 pm

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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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:11 pm

ACE hardware will ship pads to any of thier stores for free, so that way you can save on shipping. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:30 am

RE: Float switch,
For me, after spending days and weeks researching, acquiring parts from all over the place, assembly, testing, and transport to the playa.....yes it's worth a few bucks to for a float switch to ensure a drunken campmate (or a drunken ME) doesn't run it dry and burn the thing out on day 1.

Ebay had a horizontal float switch $2-$3 incl shipping.

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Martiansky
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Martiansky » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:55 pm

image.jpg
I thought this was kinda funny!
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maryanimal
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by maryanimal » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:49 pm

I got my pump today and I'll get my fan next week! Yay! Now all I need is the battery! Can't wait to get it working! :D
Sometimes I'm confused by what I think is really obvious. But what I think is really obvious obviously isn't obvious.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:13 pm

unjonharley's personal swamp cooler step by step..

When your kid that rides that nice hard tail Harley comes over.. Snatch the dew rag off his head.. If he starts with a grumpy.. Bow up at him like your going to rip him a new one.. He still thinks the old man is the same bad ass of fifty years ago..
Little dose he know, a bad breath could knock him over.

So now with the drew rag in hand.. Put it on.. Wet a washrag and wet down the dew rag all over.. Then wet the wash rag again, fold it to a square and slap it on your head.. Turn it when the top of your head starts to warm.. Put your campaign hat on ( the one with the mesh).. Next wet a face towel and put it around your shoulders over your military T shirt.. These T's are wicking underwear.. They wick moister away from your body.. Then pull your bracers over the wet towel..

Your ready to sip some lemon aid on the patio.. With a Homer/Figjam swamp cooler blowing on you take a nap..

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:03 pm

When have to be outside on a day like today, (118) I soak my hat and shirt regularly and that allows me about an hours work before a resoak. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:12 pm

FIGJAM wrote:When have to be outside on a day like today, (118) I soak my hat and shirt regularly and that allows me about an hours work before a resoak. 8)

Finally you have admitted to being an old soak. It's a"step" in the right direction.
I can drag you (kicking and screaming) to a meeting..

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:18 pm

Unjon, I went to meetings for years till I found out I was a drunk and did'nt have the distiction of being an alcoholic.

I very seldom inbibe now.

I've still got a couple of coronas in the crisper from the last burn! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:26 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Unjon, I went to meetings for years till I found out I was a drunk and did'nt have the distiction of being an alcoholic.

I very seldom inbibe now.

I've still got a couple of coronas in the crisper from the last burn! :lol:
You wont hear this from a lot of people.. But I say "It happens that way often"..

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:02 pm

It finally got warm enough where I live to give my bucket cooler a decent test. I don't have access to a thermometer like FIGJAM's so I borrowed a thermocouple from work. When I got home this evening, it was 88 in my garage. I loaded a gallon of water into the bucket and turned it on. I let it run for about 5 minutes to give the pads a chance to get wet and tested the output air temperature, 77. Granted, 77 is better than 88 but I was expecting lower. Perhaps the humidity is too high, 50%, to get much good evaporative cooling. It's supposed to be warm all weekend, hopefully the humidity will drop for another pre-playa test.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:05 pm

Yeah, the lower the humidity, the better these coolers work. The Playa is super dry so these things will work really well.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:10 pm

This chart says it's working perfectly! 8)

The playa will be 5% to 8% humidity.

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:34 pm

Thanks. My brother told me to Google "evaporative cooling chart". Found the same thing, working as expected. :D

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dr.lobster » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:28 pm

Hey, Figjam.

I'm looking at using the bucket cooler this year, but had a couple questions:

1. You mentioned people had some problems with overextending the system and ducting. If I just plopped this thing inside my tent (just a small two-room thing), do you think that would take care of both those problems?

2. I know *nothing* about electronics. Based on the original design, you said you spliced the pump wire and the fan wire together. Is there a reason you can't just rely on the solar supply the pump came with? And, in your case, with the wires were spliced together, didn't the battery just power *both* the fan and the pump?

3. I've never ever bought a battery like the one you mentioned. Do you just wire the fan/pump line directly to the battery? Incorporate a switch?

I know these are dumb questions, but obviously I have no idea what I'm doing in that department.

Thanks for an awesome project!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:05 pm

The overextenting that you mentioned was that some burners were trying to cool to large a space with just the bucket.

It will do a great job on anything up to about 600 cubic feet.

The cooler has to set outside of the space being cooled in order for the science of evap cooling to work.

I don't use the HF solar panel/pump.

It works OK under perfect conditions, but sometimes conditions arn't perfect, and I want my cooler to work if I'm stuck inside during a 8 hour whiteout.

I use this one.

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/dc-subm ... or-battery

My fan and pump are both connected to my battery, and yes you can connect both direct to the battery, or add switches if you want to. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks for all the info, Figgy. I read this thread a long time ago, but now that I'll be moving to San Francisco, I can actually build one of these things. Pump ordered, gonna see if i can scavenge a fan off of one of my old computers if it pushes enough air. My tent is a 10x14 Kodiak, which is about 900 cubic feet, so we'll see how well it does. May have to step up the output for next bman if this doesnt quite cut it.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:09 pm

Make sure you direct the air flow across your sleeping area in case the bucket won't cool that whole space. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:13 pm

Will do. I'll probably bring some collapsible ducting so I can get creative with placement if I need to.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dr.lobster » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:14 pm

Thanks, FigJam.

And my "duh" about the bucket needing to be outside to work. Clearly not thinking straight :)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:29 pm

What if I drill a #10 hole in the top.. Use that size wire with a cork on the inside end.. Run the wire tho the hole and mark it when the bucket is empty.. Mark the wire when X amount water is in the bucket.. I know this a real low tech water level measure, but sure you can deal with simple

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:16 pm

unjonharley wrote:What if I drill a #10 hole in the top.. Use that size wire with a cork on the inside end.. Run the wire tho the hole and mark it when the bucket is empty.. Mark the wire when X amount water is in the bucket.. I know this a real low tech water level measure, but sure you can deal with simple
Or just give the bucket a shake... Even lower tech ;)
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:19 pm

If you can lift it with your pinky, put some water in it! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:43 pm

Fig -- Have you tried the 252 CFM Delta fan? http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8147/ ... g36c15s562

Given my large tent, I'm thinking whether that's a good option. Issues I see are that it is 4 amps versus 1.25 for the 190 CFM fan, and it is 11 dBA louder than the 190 CFM Delta.

Have you found noise to be an issue with the 190 CFM Delta? Do you think the extra 11 dBA would be an issue? I would think 66 dBA is getting pretty loud if it's right next to your tent with a pipe pointing at your bed. Also, it is more than 3x the amp requirements and only a 25% increase in CFM, so maybe not worth it? Whatchoo think?
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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:49 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If you can lift it with your pinky, put some water in it! :lol:
Ya'all are trying to get me to make an effort. wont happen sept fur scratchin

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:14 pm

does the cooler have to be in the sun to work? Can it be shaded and still work?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:37 pm

Mac, you've found the hitch! :lol:

That fan is a power hog for what it does.

When I think of going any bigger than the 190 cfm it's unicooler time!!!

That fan puts out 250 cfm on low speed for 1.16 amps and you have the option of useing the higher speeds.

Make the cooler twice as wide or you won't have enough intake for the higher speeds.

My playapod is only 288 cubic feet, so all I need is low speed. 8)


Tatonka, It works fine in the shade.

Mine is actually inside the playapod with the cooler pushed against a hatch for the intake.

Image


Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:22 pm

What are your thoughts about putting the Endless Breeze fan on top of a bucket? Perhaps the bucket won't provide enough airflow to maximize the use of the Endless Breeze on high, but on low/medium it would be better than the case fan for similar amps (approx). This would allow me to upgrade if the bucket solution doesn't quite cut it without buying a new fan (and I won't have wasted my money on a now semi-useless case fan). I imagine the EB is also more durable than the case fan.

The EB is likely too big for the bucket, but I imagine I could make a workable adapter of some sort and cut out all but the outer 2 inches of the lid to make a big opening. Guess I'd have to do the same for the ducting off of the fan... I wonder if I could use a conical piece of vinyl as ducting from the large fan into my tent. The cone shape would be 10" in diameter to attach to the fan, and would cone down to 4" so i could attach it to regular ducting. It would inflate when the fan was on, and would all store flat for transport.... Edit: As I think about it, an issue with the soft ducting would be kinking when it bends, which would be no good. Probably would want a hard adapter of some sort, maybe like this: http://www.amazon.com/Duct-Reducer-Duct ... B00B79OCFC


Am I making this too hard, and I should just use something bigger than a bucket? Spose the size of the container doesnt matter too much in some ways, given that you can store stuff in it during transport, no?

Thoughts?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MacGlenver » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:58 pm

Oh, looks like the EB is actually 14" in diameter, so my adapter would adjust accordingly. Imagine I may have to fashion a hard adapter myself rather than buying a ducting or PVC adapter, as I'm finding their kinda big and fairly expensive.

I can't find the CFM for this model, but it's 10" in diameter and amp performance seems very good from one reviewer (0.53 on high). Spose it could be less than the case fan though if it's a crappy fan (for $20 it may be). http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RP73002-B ... dp_product

I imagine you did a fair amount of research on larger fans (6 inches, etc) and decided that the case fan was the best bang for the buck/amps?
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