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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fernley1
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by fernley1 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:55 am

Thanks Figjam, thats what I thought, but wanted to ask the expert.
like I said, my bucket is about 1 inch higher then the orange one you used, my is blue by the way(Lowes).
Thanks again and hope to meet you this year.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:25 am

5&H next to Elliot.

Hard to miss. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by andyburner » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:59 am

Great post Figjam, just a few questions. How would you vent this into a tent, without dust entering the tent space. is it a case of running the duct tube through a gap at bottom of zip door - then try to tape up and stop dust entering. is it also necessary to vent out from the tent? or would you custom cut a hole in tent wall for duct and seal it well ?

Im thinking of using your design or buying a similar set up and using it with a springbar or similar tent. But, i definitely do my sleeping in the daylight hours - so it is very important for me to be comfortable in midday heat on the playa. Its only my 2nd burn, and the first time in a tent. I will also be creating a shade above from Aluminet or similar.

Out of interest , do you use your swamp cooler for a tent, vehicle or hexayurt ?

thanks very much !

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:15 am

Most tent "doors" have a double zipper, so the easiest way to duct the air into a tent is to set the bucket by the door and close the zippers around the duct. I use 4" septic pipe instead of something flexy.

Or you could cut a hole in the mesh at the corner of a window and zip that closed around the duct.

You have to have an exit vent so that there is a complete air exchange every 1 to 3 minutes, usually by opening a window in the tent.

If you practice, you can get a balance with a slight positive pressure that will keep the dust out. 8)
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:28 pm

Oh, and none of the above! 8)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Ano » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:01 pm

Figjam, you have the best set up I have ever seen. You're an infrastructure and comfort beast, my friend.

I'll be building some kind of cooler for my tent-under-carport this year. Really excited about it, especially the part where I hopefully won't be waking up feeling like I'm cooking myself. Also, because I'll get to learn new things! Hooray!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by andyburner » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:45 am

thanks Figjam

im flying in from UK, then gonna buy tent, shade structure, bike and store an re-use every year. i dont really have the facilities/tools to build / do a test run. can you recommend a supplier that i can buy a cooler similar to your design that would work very well with a Springbar 4-man tent ?

I need to be able to buy the cooler and deep cycle battery and take to the playa...


thanks !! :)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:34 pm

Building another bucket cooler, so this is a fan update.

120mmx120mmx38mm 12 volt dc 190cfm 1.60 amps.

Comes with blue, black, yellow, and green wires plugged into a connector that has a black and red wire coming from it.

If you cut the connector off, the yellow is the positive and the black is the negative.

Without cutting the connector off, I stripped the red and black wires and touch tested them to my battery. (black to negative, red to positive)

Got full turbo right away!!! 8)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:17 pm

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juliek123
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diy solar air conditioner

Post by juliek123 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:05 am

"Fan her head!" the Red Queen anxiously interrupted. "She'll be feverish after so much thinking."

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FIGJAM
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Re: diy solar air conditioner

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:24 am

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by puretone » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:31 am

To the OP:
Hey, I tried the .50 caliber method with my Desert Eagle handgun...you lie!!!! It didn't make any of the holes that you suggested!I In fact, I ended up with no holes at all...spent a good 45 minutes looking for the bucket in question because the summabitch disappeared altogether after the second shot fired at it.
I guess I'll go the alternative route and train some mice. Did it take you long to train said mices to do as told?
:-)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:45 am

YMMV!!!!

Feed em crack!!!!!!!! :twisted:
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Canoe
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Re: diy solar air conditioner

Post by Canoe » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:50 am

juliek123 wrote:
Needs ice.
- Expensive on playa.
- If the ice isn't within a container (like the jug in the video), you'll end up with hot humid air inside.
Only recirculates the inside air, cooling as long as the ice lasts, and without filtering dust.

A DIY swamp-cooler at Figjam's link, will blow air into your shelter that is:
  • fresh,
  • cool,
  • some humidity,
  • dust-free!!!
while replacing the shelter's stale hot dusty air.

No ice needed, just potable water.

Three Playa-Tested©)'( models detailed (proven track record on-playa).
They're DIY, easy to build, rather in-expensive parts, and hand-holding is available upon request... (see the thread)
4.669
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That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
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Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ConnieH » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:40 pm

Wow - I'm so happy to see this thread still going strong!! Hi Figgy :) We're on to a new adventure this year, handing the yurt down and bought a small travel trailer. I'm thinking up the best way to run the bucket cooler vent through jalousie windows (or building a new box cooler), and we're replacing the broken roof vent with a new one that includes an exhaust fan to pull out hot air.

So my question is, would it be best to locate the bucket cooler vent lower in the trailer, or higher (cold sinks, right?)? We have a couple different options with windows at mid-level and one up near the roof. See photo attached - the two windows on the left are above the bed, where I'd want the cool air coming in.

And another question - should the exhaust fan match the speed of the cooler fan, or be slower? (or faster?) My thinking would be slower to give the cold air time to sink in and push up the hot, or would the same speed get the air exchanging faster? (or would it be too fast?).

Connie
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:08 pm

Exhaust vent up high means that when you turn your cooler on, the hottest air is exhausted first.

Cooler's air coming into the trailer down low means that it's mixing less with higher/hotter air that's getting exhausted, so the cooling is somewhat more efficient. But for that size of trailer, not a big deal, even if you've got the incoming cooler's air way up high (just takes a bit longer to cool down when you turn the cooler on). So if you have a convenient choice, make it down low; if not, and it's high, don't worry about it.

DO NOT have an exhaust fan running at the same time as the cooler:
  • You do not need an exhaust fan for the cooler to work, and to work well.
  • It will not work better with an exhaust fan. It will almost always work worse.
    • It's hard to balance the cooler's air flow with an exhaust fan's flow. While the cooler is running: if an exhaust fan is too slow, it impedes the operation of the cooler; if it's too fast, as it is impossible to perfectly seal the shelter, it will be drawing in outside hot dry dusty air through any sealing imperfections. If you insist upon using an exhaust fan (you feel the need to expend the extra power?), you want the cooler's fan moving slightly more air than the exhaust fan. Good luck with that.
    • With variable VDC/speed motor drives and pressure sensors, you can have have the speeds of the cooler and exhaust fans co-originated to balance the push-pull air flow, but again, an exhaust fan is unnecessary, and good luck obtaining a correct balance.
  • An exhaust fan can mess up the following. One of the really nice and special benefits of these coolers is that their incoming cooled/dust-filtered/humid air pushes out the hot air inside the shelter (also why you need an exhaust vent). Because of this, it creates a slightly positive air pressure inside the shelter. This means that in addition to the inside air exhausting through the exhaust vent you provide/leave-open, it also leaks some air out through any additional imperfectly sealed/closed vents, windows or doors (or air leaks in the walls or floors of the shelter/trailer). That leaking air prevents hot dry dusty outside air from leaking into the trailer through those sources, while the cooler is running! Of course all bets are off during a really big blow outside, as the strong wind pressure is much higher than the exhaust & leaking pressure.
  • An exhaust fan is nice for those occasions where the cooler is not running and outside conditions are such that you want to augment or create a cross breeze.
Do design a playa-safe exhaust for your trailer.
4.669
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:54 pm

I rigged a bucket cooler to a similar trailer last year with great results. My suggested tips:
Use a window closest to your sleeping area. Take out the window screen. Cut a piece of foiled-foam insulation (like what you use for a yurt) to fit snug into the window frame, then tape over the edges to stop MOOP particles.
Trace the outflow duct pipe of your bucket cooler onto the foam, cut out this circle to make a port-hole for the cold air duct. KEEP THE CIRCLE! You can stick it back in the opening when the cooler is not in use to seal it off.
Get something to lift the lift the bucket cooler off the ground and get it closer to the height of the window. A lawn chair or barstool might work, or hammer together a quick table. As others have noted, if the bucket cooler has a looooooong outflow duct, it loses coldness. Better to get the bucket closer so you can minimize the length of duct. Then I strapped the whole rig to the bumper to keep it standing in the wind

It took a trial run to figure out the best height for the bucket and port-hole, but once it was made, it took only 5 minutes to set up on Playa. The roof vent was enough to exhaust hot air. No fan needed up there.

If your trailer has a curtain hanging across the sleeping area, you can pull it closed and get even nicer temps in the sleeping area.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ConnieH » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:58 pm

Thanks Canoe - I appreciate the reply - great information!! So sounds like just cracking that exhaust vent when we turn the cooler on is all we need to do. Sweet!

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:03 pm

Watch out for leaving that vent open.
As in, if you're away from the trailer, close it tight. You don't want to return to your trailer and find it minus the vent and full of dust.
While sleeping: I taped a furnace filter over mine on the inside, with the crank handle poking through, to minimize dust (and rain) that came up while I slept. Gave me a fighting chance if the wind came up while I slept.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:05 pm

Important, or you'll be wondering what's up. (can't push enough air up that high with good air flow)
asr9754 wrote:... Get something to lift the lift the bucket cooler off the ground and get it closer to the height of the window. A lawn chair or barstool might work, or hammer together a quick table. As others have noted, if the bucket cooler has a looooooong outflow duct, it loses coldness. Better to get the bucket closer so you can minimize the length of duct. Then I strapped the whole rig to the bumper to keep it standing in the wind...
And do go looking for RV on playa advice (google eplaya, "RV" is too small for eplaya search), like taping or covering unused windows and skylights to keep heat out, cover window/frames on the outside, etc.. Big difference, otherwise your trailer's a solar oven. You could bake a lot of cookies to gift. Just saying.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Blompson
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Blompson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:16 pm

Is it possible to set one of these up to run directly off of solar power without getting batteries involved? I'm thinking of using the solar pump for water flow and hooking a salvaged cpu fan up to a small cheap 12v panel like this one. Is it possible to run the fan straight off of a small panel like this? What I want to do is build a swamp cooler that I can run whenever I have direct sunlight without having to deal with a deep cycle battery. I'll invest in one someday, but now is not the time.

As you have possibly gathered from this post I know very little about electricity and power. I could use some help with this concept and its implementation. If this all seems doable with the parts I've got in mind, the next step is ordering the components and putting it all together (the fun part!)

By the way, this thread is awesome. Thanks, figjam!
History does not repeat itself, though it often rhymes.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:05 pm

If your little panel can generate 2 amps at 12 volts it might work.

Red flag on the salvaged pcu fan unless it puts out 190 cfm.

Less than 150 cfm will be a disappointment. 8)
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Blompson
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Blompson » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Noted re: both. A friend of mine does a lot of pc overclocking stuff and I bet I could score a strong used fan off of him. Thanks for the info.
History does not repeat itself, though it often rhymes.

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:20 pm

It's not just a strong fan (CFM), but speed and pressure. Look back through the thread for the specs.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Monkeystyle
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Re: diy solar air conditioner

Post by Monkeystyle » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:09 pm

Canoe wrote:
juliek123 wrote:
Needs ice.
- Expensive on playa.
- If the ice isn't within a container (like the jug in the video), you'll end up with hot humid air inside.
Only recirculates the inside air, cooling as long as the ice lasts, and without filtering dust.

A DIY swamp-cooler at Figjam's link, will blow air into your shelter that is:
  • fresh,
  • cool,
  • some humidity,
  • dust-free!!!
while replacing the shelter's stale hot dusty air.

No ice needed, just potable water.

Three Playa-Tested©)'( models detailed (proven track record on-playa).
They're DIY, easy to build, rather in-expensive parts, and hand-holding is available upon request... (see the thread)
what if we put a little dry ice into it? good or bad idea?

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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:13 pm

chunk of ice would be cool.. But just not worth the time and money

You do not want to be breathing the gas off dry ice..

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:26 pm

It will kill you, period!!!
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Monkeystyle
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Monkeystyle » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:27 pm

well... that seems counter productive then..... :?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:29 pm

Depends on what you're trying to accomplish. :lol:
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Monkeystyle
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Monkeystyle » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:01 pm

haha fair. guess it depends how miserable the hot weather makes me...

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