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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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:28 pm

DO NOT put dry ice in your room/tent cooler..
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:46 pm

A: You'll die.

B: You don't need ice in the cooler.

C: It would be very expensive.

D: YOU'LL DIE!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by GreyCoyote » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:49 pm

snardy wrote:. And you would need to get "food grade" dry ice which has lower levels of CO2, rather than industrial dry ice. Correct?
Ummm... Dry ice is 100% CO2. If you want lower levels of CO2, you simply reduce the quantity of dry ice. :mrgreen:
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Re: cooling your tent or van (Solar Fans)

Post by Urban » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:38 pm

Dear Figjam,

After 4 years on the Playa, I am attempting to build your solar evaporative cooler. I swear when I saw this the first time, there was a solar pump (which I have located as well as a solar fan.

So is it totally independant and runs just on solar? (Solar afr and solar pump?. Is this true?. I don't have a spare battery to run a fan and since I am bringing an old VW bis, space & weight is a concern.

It looks like a wonderful plan and I can't to try it. Just once I want to sleep in on the playa and this might be the trick. I read all through your listiing, you have probably discussed this for a dozen years, but I seem to remember a solar fan.

Please let me know if I was dreaming. BTW Super fixed income for doing this for 50-60 bucks was/is real attractive!!

Thanks Papa

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:15 pm

I don't do solar.

This is the only solar fan that I think was mentioned, but it is a wonderful fan.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200514348

The solar pump from HF is just barely good enough under ideal conditions.

I don't think you can do a descent cooling set up for $60. 8)
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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:02 pm

I use two HF solar pumps.. They run off the battery with a step down to 6volts.. My little step voltage died over the winter.. Thought it was the end.. But had another one in the junk box.. The cooler is all wired and test run..
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Urban » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:42 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I don't do solar.

This is the only solar fan that I think was mentioned, but it is a wonderful fan.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200514348

The solar pump from HF is just barely good enough under ideal conditions.

I don't think you can do a descent cooling set up for $60. 8)
Figjam

Thanks for your continued fast and complete reply.
I was really hoping for a solar fan, a solar pump and a bucket set as shown in the posting. It just has to cool either the inside of my VW Bus or provide a cool breeze in a tent.

I have a solar panel that I use to charge a battery. It sounds as if I am going to have to find a deep cycle Cheap battery, hook up my solar panel to the battery to keep it charged, run a 12 v plug off of the battery and a solar pump (even though it may just provide drips) I was trying the avoid getting another deep cycle battery for juice, but I may have to do it if I want any cool.,The VW Bus becomes a hot meta box on the Playa or in Joshua Tree.
I am jokingly poor at pulling things like this together and being a little confused by a stroke always makes it a challenge. Your new garbage can size cooler looks great, but size and volume and cost are ceetainly prohibitive for me. So I will use what I have.

If yoy have any recommended fans I can hook up to a battery, solar panel combo (even though you don't do solar) that I can get from HF, I will take your recommendation.

Papa

PS I promise not to use dry ice!

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:23 pm

I never found an off the shelf fan that would move enough air.

This is what's in the bucket cooler at the top of this page.

http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Electronics ... B004XJLOG8
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Monkeystyle » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:45 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:
snardy wrote:. And you would need to get "food grade" dry ice which has lower levels of CO2, rather than industrial dry ice. Correct?
Ummm... Dry ice is 100% CO2. If you want lower levels of CO2, you simply reduce the quantity of dry ice. :mrgreen:
but don't worry, they will charge you twice as much for it because it's "food grade"

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Monkeystyle » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:50 pm

just wondering because Costco doesn't seem to have any on their website, what does a deep cycle marine battery cost in the states? I was thinking of buying one here before I head down but I would rather get one closer to Nevada. the starting price here is about $85.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:53 pm

Costco doesn't put their batteries on the website for some reason.

That was the price as far as I know.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:57 pm

Well, they are both heavy and toxic, which might run into shipping issues.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sfcraigd » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:14 pm

Jyman: I built virtually the same cooler, using an identical gray trash can. Can you share (1) how you get a good seal between your cooler and the side of the yurt, and (2) what you used for the top? Those are my final challenges.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:00 pm

If you contact someone who installs counter tops, the cut out for the sink will make a dandy top and they throw those away.

Foam rubber makes a good seal for those because it allows for that taper and will compress to fit.
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danyal711
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by danyal711 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:30 pm

I've read differing opinions on size of holes and # of holes. Does anyone have some feedback on what the optimal setup is? It looks like the holes in Figjam's are 3"? Is 1 row of 3" better or two rows of 2"?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:13 pm

They're 2.5" about 1" apart, and allow plenty of air.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:29 am

Fig how do you keep your pads from sagging?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:49 am

I tried to make the outer pad exactly the diameter of the bottom of the bucket.

Having the second inner layer of pad has kept it stiff enough not to sag.

If I was going to try something else, I would put a plastic or wire mesh tube between the inner and outer pads. 8)
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keves
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by keves » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:57 am

Almost done building our cooler! :)
It is using the Delta fan and that famous Ebay pump. In addition has a float switch and a relay that switches power to the small pump (visible outside the cooler) when the water level drops.
That pump is connected to a secondary water reservoir, so that it refills the bucket when necessary (or at least we hope... :)). Wiring is a bit messy but so it goes - we'll get it better next year :wink:


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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:00 am

Your pads are touching the holes!!!!!!!!!!

It's gonna leak!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by keves » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:01 am

We didn't see it leaking when we tested it. We'll test again and if it leaks we'll put something to space them out - should be okay, right?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:04 am

So fig I built my cooler which cost me about 47 bucks for everything and I'm seeing about a 15 degree difference with a thermometer. Will it work better in dry conditions when things are like 90% humidity like it is in florida lol. I know they work buy putting moisture into the air right?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Fan C » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:09 am

danyal711 wrote:I've read differing opinions on size of holes and # of holes. Does anyone have some feedback on what the optimal setup is? It looks like the holes in Figjam's are 3"? Is 1 row of 3" better or two rows of 2"?
As long it'll feed your fan it doesn't really matter how you make the holes. As long as you leave enough material to remain bucket shaped the more airflow the better.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:25 pm

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Ano » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:42 pm

Lets say... I wanted to wire up a switch to this guy, so that he auto-shuts off after a few hours. And, ideally, I don't want the switch to cost me any power, because I'm cheap with my power.

So I look on Amazon, and I find this mechanical 6 hour timer:

So, I have my battery wired to a solar charger, which is wired to a solar panel, and the whole setup is connected to my pump and fan. I would want to place the switch inbetween the solar charger and the pump/fan, correct?... and then, hypothetically, I set the switch for X amount of hours, and after X hours, the whole system shuts off, not requiring any input from me beyond turning the switch on?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DeeL2003 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:02 pm

are the duracool pads the way to go or the aspens?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:08 pm

@ keeves,

You're cooler might be having a problem that I had, the halo of clear drip tube is falling down between the 2 cylinders of blue pad. Not sure if it's happening to you, but this prevented mine from performing well, because the pad didn't get wet uniformly and the top inch of pad didn't get wet at all, and the bucket lid couldn't form a tight seal against the drip tube. If you're not getting cold air: poke the blue pad thru all the bucket holes and see if they are wet to the touch. They should all be wet and saturated. If not, your drip tube is not effectively wetting the pad.

Test the seal by putting a few drops of paint or anything colored and wet on your drip tube halo, then put the lid on your bucket. Take lid off. The ink/paint should leave a mark on the inner surface of the lid--that's how you know you're getting a good seal.

I fixed mine by running a few zip ties around the halo tube to keep it perched on the top edge of the blue pad, where it belongs. Problem solved: Tight seal and saturated blue pads. Good luck!

As for blue pad leakage, yes putting a spacer or a ring of chicken wire should help. That worked for me to keep the pad from sagging and touching the sides of bucket.

(PS--if you're getting good results, just disregard! My problems might not be happening to your cooler)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:05 pm

for me the chart reads 70 degrees @30%.. My reading is 65 degrees w/29%.. Guess that is as good as it gets.. have it running my work bench in the garage with a fan pushing air out under a door.. Today I need it in the van.. It can keep running while i'm in the store..
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keves
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by keves » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:21 pm

@ asr9754, thanks for the detailed feedback! I recall the pads seemed uniformly wet when we did the first test, but things moved around since and we should test it again.
We'll do it sometime this week. Thanks again! :D

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by olegnyc » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:05 pm

Figjam, thank you so much for helping so many of us!

You mentioned it would be less effective to aim the fan into the bucket than to suck air out of the bucket and I'm assuming that is because negative pressure helps with evaporation. But how much of a difference do you think it makes?

Thanks!
Oleg

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