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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streetartsquirrel
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by streetartsquirrel » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:35 pm

Got my bucket cooler working nearly identcal to figjam's original design but I'm still confused on placement.

Went camping this week and brought the cooler along. I set it up inside the tent and it helped keep the tent cool but ive seen many references to keep the cooler outside.

I have a 6 person coleman tent that will be surrounded by a 10x20 car port canopy (so a tent within a tent). Where should the cooler go?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:39 pm

The cooler goes outside the space being cooled. You want the cooler to suck in hot dry air from outside the space being cooled. Pipe the cool air into the space and have a way to vent the hot air out of the space.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:47 pm

If it is identical, then set it outside the door to the tent, and zip the door closed around the septic pipe.

Open a window a little on the side opposite the door.

Super cool. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Ano » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:03 pm

streetartsquirrel wrote:Got my bucket cooler working nearly identcal to figjam's original design but I'm still confused on placement.

Went camping this week and brought the cooler along. I set it up inside the tent and it helped keep the tent cool but ive seen many references to keep the cooler outside.

I have a 6 person coleman tent that will be surrounded by a 10x20 car port canopy (so a tent within a tent). Where should the cooler go?
This does work, just nowhere near as well - sticking it inside the space, that is.

I have the same setup, basically. Cooler goes in the carport, and flows in to my tent.

It'll work fine with it inside the tent, but the real magic happens when it can bring in air from outside.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by streetartsquirrel » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:12 pm

Ano wrote:
streetartsquirrel wrote:Got my bucket cooler working nearly identcal to figjam's original design but I'm still confused on placement.

Went camping this week and brought the cooler along. I set it up inside the tent and it helped keep the tent cool but ive seen many references to keep the cooler outside.

I have a 6 person coleman tent that will be surrounded by a 10x20 car port canopy (so a tent within a tent). Where should the cooler go?
This does work, just nowhere near as well - sticking it inside the space, that is.

I have the same setup, basically. Cooler goes in the carport, and flows in to my tent.

It'll work fine with it inside the tent, but the real magic happens when it can bring in air from outside.

thanks all.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by AntiM » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:20 pm

Always outside the tent. That is why they are built with a snorkel.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Trailer Park Gypsy » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:55 pm

Hi :D I'm making a unicooler from the Genuine Joe. I notice the bucket cooler has a double layer of pad but the unicooler doesn't. Would it help if the pad was double in the uni? Or hurt?
Also, I cut holes in both sides of the Genuine Joe at the top and put pads there as well as the big opening in the back. I plan to put the bucket outside and the fan inside. Is this a huge mistake?? Or innovation at its best? I gotta know :D

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by audiofrog » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:24 pm

I'm sorry if this has been asked already, but I can't seem to find it and I've looked at this thread for hours. And thanks FIGJAM +everyone else for providing these awesome instructions. I've already learned a lot.

If building the uni cooler or box cooler with the hexayurt, where do you place the swamp cooler (sorry I now this has been asked a million times already)? Do you cut an opening on your hexayurt the dimensions of the Endless Breeze fan frame and place it Half in/Half out, sort of like a wall AC unit? If the EB's dimensions are 3.8 x 14.5 x 15.2 inches, would you cut a whole in your wall 14.5x 15.2 and slide just the Endless breeze in?

Inside the Hexayurt:
-Endless Breeze with controls

Outside the hexayurt:
-Unicooler enclosure with intake vent facing outside. Sits on ground
-Box cooler enclosure with 3 intake valves all outside. Sits on ground

A few more q's:
-The lid of the cooler enclosure: does this need to be very well sealed or just covered up? I imagine you will have to open this part up quite a bit to refill water.
-should you cut a window on the opposite wall of the hexayurt for ventilation or on the coned roof?


This is my first burn, so thanks!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:09 pm

As long as you're drawing dry outside air through the wet pad and blowing that cool moist air into your yurt/tent/van with an exhaust port somewhere else in your yurt/tent/van, the cooler will work. How you mount that makes no difference. Half in, half out, sitting on the ground, on a table. Just do it the easiest way for you. Just make sure the intake is sealed to the outside air.

Unlike most house AC systems that cool down the existing air inside the structure, A swamp or bucket cooler REPLACES the air in your structure with cool new air. That's why you need a vent to let the old air out. Vents are best up high because hot air rises and that will help get that hot air out faster.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm

Trailer Park Gypsy wrote:Hi :D I'm making a unicooler from the Genuine Joe. I notice the bucket cooler has a double layer of pad but the unicooler doesn't. Would it help if the pad was double in the uni? Or hurt?
Also, I cut holes in both sides of the Genuine Joe at the top and put pads there as well as the big opening in the back. I plan to put the bucket outside and the fan inside. Is this a huge mistake?? Or innovation at its best? I gotta know :D
What you've done is make a narrow box cooler.

It will be fine. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:54 pm

adiofrog, it's important that the lid seals so the fan can't suck air through anything but wet pad.

Make the hole in the wall roomy so that you aren't struggling with the switches, like 2"s on top, bottom, and sides won't hurt a thing as long as the cooler is flush against the outer wall. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by arroyo » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:34 pm

Thank you for all the help. I've never done a project anything like this before. Heck, before this, I was afraid to even touch a car battery. I am bringing a large Soulpad 5000 tent (16 ft across, 10 ft center pole), and I plan to duct this into it with the fan on medium.

23 gal trash can (returned my genuine joe because I didn't like the walls) with 14x14 air grille. Using a float pump to stop the pump if it runs out of water. Goop and brackets support the fan and grill.

Figjam, thank you.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by mattcamp » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:02 am

arroyo wrote: 23 gal trash can (returned my genuine joe because I didn't like the walls) with 14x14 air grille. Using a float pump to stop the pump if it runs out of water. Goop and brackets support the fan and grill.
Can I ask where you got the trash can from?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:28 am

Have you tested it yet?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sparr » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:13 am

No Home Depot within 100 miles of Chicago carries cooling pads or submersible pumps or 12V fans :/ I'm going to order from Amazon and try to make a bucket cooler, rather than the box-shaped coolers that seem more popular lately, mostly because I've already got plenty of buckets. I notice the newer designs all have air filters. I'm thinking of wrapping the outside of my holes with an air filter material, to keep dust out of my cooling pad. Has anyone tried that? How did it work?

Also, to everyone asking about inside-vs-outside... A swamp cooler cools the most when the incoming air is dry. If you run it in a sealed yurt then it will cool for a while, until the air is cool and humid, then work much less well as the water stops evaporating due to the humidity. Putting it outside allows it to always have a supply of [warmer] dry air to work with. If you put it inside, you'll need some other way to get some dry air into your yurt, which could be another filtered fan/vent. There are discussions in various places about how often the air inside the yurt needs to be replaced for optimal cooling.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:28 am

I don't put air filters on ANY of my coolers!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by arroyo » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:48 am

mattcamp wrote:
arroyo wrote: 23 gal trash can (returned my genuine joe because I didn't like the walls) with 14x14 air grille. Using a float pump to stop the pump if it runs out of water. Goop and brackets support the fan and grill.
Can I ask where you got the trash can from?


I haven't tested it too much, but it seems to drip just fine, wet the pad fine, and shutoff when it runs low on water. Seems good to me.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:16 am

I was more concerned with the air flow.

Compared to mine, your fan is mounted backwards!!! :shock:

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sparr » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:00 am

Re backwards fans...

If you plug a DC fan in backwards, it will spin backwards. This will move *some* air, but not nearly as much or as efficiently as the correct direction. It's possible the person with a backwards fan also has backwards wiring.

If you observe the fan blades starting to spin, they should "scoop" the air, the opposite of what might appear to be the aerodynamic direction.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by mattcamp » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:18 am

FIGJAM wrote:
mattcamp wrote:I have a question regarding the tubing and adapters....

I'm helping my camp-mates build 10 Unicoolers this year so I need to work out what tubing works best when used with the small ebay pumps (http://www.ebay.com/itm/171785417432).

As far as I can tell the pump needs a tube with a 1/4" ID... what adapters do you use to connect this to the PVC tube in the top of the Unicooler, and where do you source them from?
1/4" poly tube is a very snug fit.

I like 1/2" pvc that is made for hot water lines as it is more compact.

There is a couple of ways to do this with or without connections.

I don't use connectors as I found that different sized tube fits snuggly into each other, like this..........

Image
I've just been doing some measurements and either I've got a different pump or I'm a bit confused...

http://i.imgur.com/epXS7SR.jpg

My pump's outlet is 0.333 inches, or approx 8.4mm (I'm in the UK). I'm using 8mm ID clear PVC tubing on my bucket cooler which works fine, but I'm unsure how to adapt this for the unicooler.

The white PVC tube in most of the Unicooler pictures appears to be more like 1" OD or thereabouts... You mentioned you use 1/2" PVC tube, but there's no way that 1/2" tubing will fit on my pump, it'll be far too loose.

Are you doing something like Pump -> 1/4" tube -> 1/2" Tube -> 1" PVC tube with holes in it?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:45 am

The pvc in the pic is 1/2" hpvc (hot water).

I know the smaller poly is 1/4".

Take a piece of the pvc with you to the store and find the tube that fits snuggly into that, then do it again for the tube that fits your pump.

It was my way of making reducers without running to the store. :lol:

Take the pump with you too!

When I took that pic, I went out to the shop and tested the 1/4" on that same pump and it fit.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lucky420 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:46 am

Im so excited!!! just bought my deeeeep cycle battery, have all the other thing and will be attending a build a figjam cooler at the Morris on Saturday...........

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:48 am

I made it to the Morris????????? :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by rideincircles » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:02 pm

To anyone who has not bought a bucket cooler pump yet, its probably too late to order from China. It could get here in time but that's uncertain. I ordered about 20 things the past few months and 2 never made it and it can take 4 weeks to get here.

With that said, here is the same pump selling out of California for a few dollars more.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-quiet-Min ... 1c4c92c86b

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lucky420 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:03 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I made it to the Morris????????? :shock:
You did sweetie, you did!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:39 pm

I'd love to know how many participate in the build! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lucky420 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:03 pm

He's got over 50 signed up. I have 1/2 a figjam cooler, and I think i could really put the rest together on my own but....
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lucky420 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:57 pm

FB page says 66 people attending now!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:37 pm

Well that calls for a RECAP then!!!!!!!!!!
FIGJAM wrote:
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.

Image

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

Image

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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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Image

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!)

Image

Image

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

This pump works very well for how cheap it is....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Quiet-Min ... 3cd9bd0e15

There are U.S. shippers for a couple of dollars more.

I like this pump instead because it's been working for five years.

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

Image

The 3/8 inch line fits this pump perfectly.

Nice even flow of water.

Image

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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.

Image

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.

Image

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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.

Image

These parts are at the hardwear store.

Outside temp!

Image

Air temp coming from the cooler!

Image

Water temp inside the bucket!

Image

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!!!
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:38 pm

FIGJAM wrote: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)

Image

Image

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

Image

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

Image

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.

Image

Image

This cheap pump works well and ships faster if you find a U.S. dealer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-Quiet-Min ... 3cd9bd0e15

This is the pump I use.

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

Image

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.

Image

8)

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

Finished cooler looks like this.

Image

Image

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 5hr. a day, 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.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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