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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oly14
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:56 pm

asr9754 wrote: 4) I used a pretty cheap 12V pump from ebay, rated about 60 GPH, and it wets the filter fabric just fine. But I can't run this pump dry, per the instructions. Kind of worrid about a campmate not filling it up and ruining my hard work. So I added a float switch (ebay), wired into the pump and jerry rigged it inside the inner Duracool pad about 1.5 inches above the floor.

Thanks all, I'm convinced I'll have the coolest spot at my camp due to this forum.
I built my bucket cooler with the Harbor Freight solar pump and I too am concerned about running it dry. Have others put float switches on theirs? $10 is a relatively small price to pay to ensure I don't burn my pump up early in the week.

I second the thanks to FIGJAM and others that have contributed to this simple, yet elegant, design.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:03 pm

RECAP!!!

The basic idea for the bucket cooler is just a smaller version of Yellowdog's cooler made from a rubbermade garbage can.

An evaporative cooler will reduce the tempature by 20 to 30 degrees.

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (WARNING! DO NOT SKIN A CAT, IT WONT HELP THIS PROJECT AND WILL IRRITATE YOUR PUSSY!!!)

All the ideas that people came up with on this thread are a perfect example of radical self relience! (Bravo!!!)

Get a 5 gallon bucket and lid.

Have your trained mice naw some holes in the bucket, or use a hole saw, or 50 caliber sniper rifle. (Honey badgers wont work, they don't give a shit!)

Image


Find some cooler pad.

I like duracool pads.

http://www.simsupply.com/Items/426741

If your area does'nt have them, find a national chain DIY hardwear store and see if they will order some for you.

This may save you shipping cost. I use home depot.

Cut the first pad 30x13 inches.

Roll this pad into a tube and silicone or hand stitch the seam.

This will give you a tube 13 inches tall.

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Because the bucket tapers out towards the top, you will not need to line the bucket with shade clothe.

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Cut a second piece of pad 24x13 inches and roll into a tight tube.

You wont need to seam this one.

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Sleeve this inside the first tube.

The reason for the double pad is to have a wide space to set the drip line on and adds more evap surface.

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1/2 inch Drip irrigation line works ok to soak your pads, but poly hose is more flexible and you can buy it by the foot.

I like the T connectors that fit inside the line. I cut the ends of the T shorter so I could keep the holes in the line close enough together so there wont be a dry strip on the pads.

This hose is 3/8 inch.

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The holes in the line need to be uniform for an even flow on the pad.

Drlling holes works, but I found that heating a piece of wire melts a nice, more uniform hole.

I used a piece of 10 gauge copper wire.

Heat the wire with a torch, or the burner on your stove, then press through the line.

Sliding the wire in and out till it cools will make a happy hole! (Don't even think about it Yggy, this is serious!)

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To pump the water through the line, buy a pump.

This is the solar pump.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powe ... 66093.html

I like this pump instead because if it's cloudy, it will still let the cooler work.

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https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

The 3/8 inch line fits this pump perfectly.

Nice even flow of water.

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When the lid is put on, the line will be pinched between the lid and the pad, so it wont move around.

FANS!

The key to a good cooler is a powerful fan.

CFM=cubic feet per minute.

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g36/c43 ... y_CFM.html

I used this one.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8556/ ... d=TMxuD2fh

It uses more power, but makes the bucket cooler very effective.

Calculate the cubic footage of the space to be cooled, then get a fan that will replace the air inside the space every 3 to 5 minutes.

I use a single fan cause it suits my design perfectly.

Cut a hole in the lid of the bucket to mount the fan.

I put mine on the bottom of the lid to keep the unit compact and to make ducting easier.

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Any 120mm fan will fit inside the top of the pad tube.

I spliced the wires from the fan to the wires from the pump. (both are 12volt)

Then ran the wire out through one of the holes in the side of the bucket.

Now with the lid on the bucket, I used a 4 inch septic line connector gooped to the lid over the fan.

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Now you can use 4 inch septic line to duct the air into the space to be cooled. You don't need to glue these piceces together.

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These parts are at the hardwear store.

Outside temp!

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Air temp coming from the cooler!

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Water temp inside the bucket!

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This cooler uses 2 gallon of water every 5 hours.

It uses about 1.45amps per hour.

My 105AH deep cycle battery will run this cooler for 47 hours before needing to be recharged.

So running 4 or 5 hours a day, it will let you nap in the hottest part of the day, all week without recharging the battery.

If you need more cooling than this, build the box cooler.

You will need to vent the air out of the space for circulation.

HAPPY NAPPING!!!
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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FIGJAM
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:04 pm

Last year people tried to make the bucket cooler do more than it was ment to do, with moderate success.

The main problems seemed to be a powerful enough fan and how to duct the air into the space.

My box cooler worked great and I never use anything but the low speed on the fan.






NOW INTRODUCING THE UNICOOLER!!!!!!!


No duct work needed!!!

Build a box 17wx30hx9d.

Image

If you cant build a simple box, try to find something waterproof with roughly the same dementions or this.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... ce2010a-20

If you can find something that does'nt have tapered sides it will work better.

Cut a hole for the vent cover. ($11.00)

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Cut a hole for the fan. (Endless breeze fan $60-$80)

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I used 100% clear silicone caulk to stick these to the box.

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The vent louvers are facing down and into the box to keep the water channeled toward the inside.

I got some angle trim and siliconed pieces to the inside of the box to act as a pad retainer.

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This is the pump.

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

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The pvc just lays on the top edge of the pads.

Then I went to the bin (16489-j "junk" subheading A "awsume") and found some handles.

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8)

Then make an air tight lid.(figure it out)

Finished cooler looks like this.

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I call it the universal cooler cause you just shove the pad side against any opening in a tent, bus, travel trailer, yurt, or playpod and it will cool up to 3000 cubic feet of space. You can even set it on a table outside for use.

Add some foam stickon wheather stripping for a good seal around a window.

Fill it with 7gals. of water for 8hrs. of cooling. So once a day depending on how much you use it.

105ah battery will run this all week on low.

You may have to recharge if you use medium or high speed on the fan.

I'm confident that this will cool even a school bus without useing a genny and its a lot quieter than an air conditioner.

As always I'll try to answer any questions you may have.


HERE'S TO A MORE COMFORTABLE BURN!!!

That being said, scroll down to garyt's design on this page.

http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... start=1590

By making it wider, he can take full advantage of the endless breeze fan on high.

The unicoolerI designed tended to restict air flow due to not enough intake area.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:05 pm

This is the box cooler made of wood instead of FRP.

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After the box is glued and screwed, I used regular painters caulk on the interior joints before putting a heavy coat of the Henrys elastomer roof coating on the whole thing to seal it inside and out.

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To install the intake panels, I ran a heavy bead of 100% silicone caulk on the registers and screwed them in place.

Make sure these are all the same distance from the top as they will support the pvc for the water, and to get an even flow you'll want them the same height.

Image

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When I installed the pads, I added some wire to secure the pads to the registers.

14 gauge copper or bailing wire will work for this.

It will make sure that ALL the air has to pass through the wet pads.

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The wire goes through the pad at the corners of the registers and bends up on the outside of the cooler.

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The lid is hinged on the side away from the fan for easy filling.

I added some weather stripping (siliconed) for a good seal, and a small chain so the lid would'nt tweek the small hinges.

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Once the endless breeze fan and the pump get here I can finish this cooler.

This is my favorite pump.

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

It will hold 12 gals of water and there's room for a case of beer in the bottom.

It will use about 3/4s of a gallon of water per hour on the low fan speed.

It will cool a space up to 3000 cubic feet on high.

Power needed will be...

12 volt DC

1.5amps on low speed (250cfm)

1.92amps on medium speed (500cfm)

2.82amps on high speed! (900 cfm= to 10mph breeze)


Hope this helps you enjoy your BURNNNNNNNNNNN!!! 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

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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)

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

Unicooler against the inside wall with an intake hole.

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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: 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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asr9754
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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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So the theme this year is like a giant camp out in the desert? With people bringing lots of shit from all over? uh.. -Marscrumbs

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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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unjonharley
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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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unjonharley
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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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FIGJAM
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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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oly14
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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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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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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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