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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bhearn
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by bhearn » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:33 pm

Canoe wrote:Looks Great!
I like!

The dry air will help a lot. More importantly, you've taken the steps to avoid passing hot dusty air.
(and depending on RH and temps, 7 could easily be the max obtainable when you measured)
You've covered the key details, and you understand the 'why', in case you have to mod it on the playa.

Remember, if the cooler is installed on the outside of your structure, only the seal lined in green matters. If you have a seal issue, you can trim the orange lined seal down so the green seal gets more sealing force. You only need to compress the weatherstripping, not load the PVC. :wink:

(only detail I can't see, is air sneaking past the fan-side sidewall and the ends of the pad; you can adjust that on playa if it's an issue)

newseal.JPG
I added a foam-rubber gasket to seal the cooler to the yurt once I got there, secured to the inside walls with velcro.

Back from Burning Man now. I was VERY happy with the cooler. Last Sunday my thermometer read 109 on the playa; air coming out of the cooler was 71. Still, you had to sit right in front of it to get the full effect. I don't have optimal ventilation for cooling the entire yurt, I think.

The power was adequate: 60w solar panel, 35ah battery. But I wouldn't have wanted to go with any less. Some nights I still needed to cool at 1 am.

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:55 pm

bhearn wrote:... Last Sunday my thermometer read 109 on the playa; air coming out of the cooler was 71. Still, you had to sit right in front of it to get the full effect. I don't have optimal ventilation for cooling the entire yurt, I think...
I'm not going to look at the chart on that.
You should not have had to sit in front of it. It should have been able to replace all of the air within the yurt.
What size of yurt?
Do you have a photo of your exhaust venting?
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:23 pm

Well, it was a nice hot playa this year, so a good test for all those coolers.

Tell the truth, how did they do?
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asr9754
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:33 am

It was hot and hot!
Swampie did well, noticeably used more water than previous years and did not keep my 14ft trailer as cool as before, granted I'm stretching the capability of the bucket cooler in a large space. I use a curtain around the bed to keep cool air in the nap zone and that still worked great...too great, I slept til noon twice!

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Leap
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Leap » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:04 am

My FIGJAM bucket was a fucking lifesaver. I need to re-do it to reduce gaps between the blue material and the bucket, which made it a little hard for it to cool off the whole tent (I suspect). We were able to nap and do adult things during the middle of the day as long as we were directly in front of it.

Thank you!

I may end up doing the bucket alternative I see here with the storage bin and the double barrel vans/vents.

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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:30 pm

I hate to say it but my swamp cooler was a terrible failure this year. It was a huge mistake to try and change my design in the last week to the newer "leave a gap" method. I expressed my frustration some about the variant designs and mixed information that adorns this thread now prior to the burn. I blame myself but also the fact that raw information and community-created project plans and enmeshed with discussion on ePlaya making threads like this one.

I realize it is possible to do this right, and I have had good experiences with my old swamp cooler in the past. But this year it went so terribly that I think I have a pretty solid case against the creation / use of a swamp cooler at this point--and instead using a manufactured air conditioner.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:43 pm

The "Gap" is not new.

If you go back to page 1 and ignore everything else, the design WILL reduce temp by 30 degrees in low humidity.

The only change is the smaller pump we now use because it's cheaper and easier to get.

You had such a huge amount of pad in there that I wonder if it reduced air flow. 8)
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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:14 pm

I had a thick-ass pad (or rather a doubled-up one) and it worked well. I probably needed more holes, but even so it was producing some nice cool air.

Perhaps mine worked fine because I used a fan with a very high static-pressure rating (Noctua SSO2 NF-A14 iPPC-3000) in order to maintain airflow through the pad. Maybe that helped, though I don't have the standard Delta to compare (maybe I'll run an experiment and see).

At times I felt kind of disappointed with the results, but the moment I left the tent I realized that it was just outrageously hot and that the tent was actually quite comfortable.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:48 pm

Pressure says 17.64.

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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:23 pm

My Grey Water Evap worked like a champ. I took a shower every day, two a couple of times. Used approx 70gals of water from the RMC all week and evaped it all. I never took a temp reading but the air leaving the evap was well below body temp when 105'F at the time.
IMAG2066a.jpg
I did fail on my genny fuel calcs. Was about ten gals short, fortunately I was gifted the ten gals as people were leaving. :mrgreen:
IMAG2065a.jpg

At the risk of being deleted I did a cleanup of building the bucket cooler How To. FJ has reviewed it. It has links to the original 130+ page thread and links to a few other key pages. It has links for all the parts available. Give it a look if you don't want to read through the original.
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:52 pm

Leap wrote:... I need to re-do it to reduce gaps between the blue material and the bucket, which made it a little hard for it to cool off the whole tent (I suspect). ...
I may end up doing the bucket alternative I see here with the storage bin and the double barrel vans/vents.
Are people trying to give me a stroke!
The gap is needed!!! It is an essential requirement.
If the gap is insufficient, then you're limiting the cooling potential and may be drying out portions of the pad and thereby mixing in some hot dusty air into the air you've cleaned & cooled.

Post some photos and we'll [strike]slap[/strike] critique your implementation.

If you need more airflow/volume for the size of your structure, go to one of the Quiet Breeze designs; amazing fan.
BBadger wrote:I had a thick-ass pad (or rather a doubled-up one) and it worked well. I probably needed more holes, but even so it was producing some nice cool air.
Perhaps mine worked fine because I used a fan with a very high static-pressure rating (Noctua SSO2 NF-A14 iPPC-3000) ...
If it has the usual number of holes of the original size, or smaller holes not under 1" diameter providing the same total hole area, then you are fine.

I love those fans for my computers. But that one only has 10,52 mm of static pressure. You're a little low on static pressure, so you'll be a little low on sucking airflow through the pad...

How about posting photos so we can see if there are any deficiencies in pad installation, gap, etc.?
Since you're an old hand and should know better, we won't slap you hard unless you pay extra.
The original recommended fan is the first one here (SHE):
  • AFB1212SHE-CF00 190 cfm, 17.74 mm H2O, 1.6 A, 55.5 dBA, 4100 rpm
  • AFB1212GHE-CF00 240 cfm, 27.48 mm H2O (22), 3.24 A (2.45), 66 dBA, 5200 rpm
So the GHE looks like figjam's original SHE, but on steroids: more pressure, more cfm, more noise and - more amps.
We're waiting to hear back on how the GHE works. As in, is it too much airflow for the pump to keep the pad wet. Noise, etc..
spacetime wrote:I hate to say it but my swamp cooler was a terrible failure this year. It was a huge mistake to try and change my design in the last week to the newer "leave a gap" method. ... I think I have a pretty solid case against the creation / use of a swamp cooler at this point--and instead using a manufactured air conditioner.
Figjam has already explained about gap and "newer".

Actually, you make the case for what we keep saying over and over and over again. Don't vary from Figjam's designs if you need/want cooling, unless you really know what you're doing. (Or want something to play with.) If you need/want to vary, then ask. Photos help a lot.
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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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Canoe wrote:I love those fans for my computers. But that one only has 10,52 mm of static pressure. You're a little low on static pressure, so you'll be a little low on sucking airflow through the pad...

How about posting photos so we can see if there are any deficiencies in pad installation, gap, etc.?
Since you're an old hand and should know better, we won't slap you hard unless you pay extra.
The original recommended fan is the first one here (SHE):
  • AFB1212SHE-CF00 190 cfm, 17.74 mm H2O, 1.6 A, 55.5 dBA, 4100 rpm
  • AFB1212GHE-CF00 240 cfm, 27.48 mm H2O (22), 3.24 A (2.45), 66 dBA, 5200 rpm
So the GHE looks like figjam's original SHE, but on steroids: more pressure, more cfm, more noise and - more amps.
Ack, you're right, those are much better. I must've been looking at the wrong ratings at the time. I'll switch over for next time.
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:08 pm

BBadger wrote:
The original recommended fan is the first one here (SHE):
  • AFB1212SHE-CF00 190 cfm, 17.74 mm H2O, 1.6 A, 55.5 dBA, 4100 rpm
  • AFB1212GHE-CF00 240 cfm, 27.48 mm H2O (22), 3.24 A (2.45), 66 dBA, 5200 rpm
So the GHE looks like figjam's original SHE, but on steroids: more pressure, more cfm, more noise and - more amps.
Ack, you're right, those are much better. I must've been looking at the wrong ratings at the time. I'll switch over for next time.
Remember: "We're waiting to hear back on how the GHE works. As in, is it too much airflow for the pump to keep the pad wet. Noise, etc.."
And do post photos in case there's something else limiting things.

p.s. Get than fan into your computer. Really nice for moving the air out of your computer. Allows you to seal the case and only allow air in where you need it or direct it to, so you can manage the airflow through the case (avoid airflow short circuits).
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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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:12 pm

I don't think there is a problem with the 240 cfm fan.

Most of the time my cooler is more of a water chiller unit than an evap due to the flow to the pad.

It's just that the trade off in power (double) for 60 extra cfm isn't worth it to me. 8)
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:43 pm

I don't think there would be an issue with that 240 CFM, but as the pad is restricting flow and there's over a 55% increase in static pressure, the air through the pad might be too much. I'd like to see confirmation of how/what it did.

But I sure wouldn't move to it, especially with the Endless Breeze (I've posted Cool Breeze and Quiet Breeze a few times - my bad) has (depending on who is measuring the A):
  • low 250 CFM at 1 to 1.5 A (fluke 1.29 A),
  • mid 500 CFM at 1.5 to 2.25 A (fluke 1.85 A),
  • high 900 CFM at 2.29 to 3 A (fluke 2.29 A).
I have the grill off of mine on one side and it's even quieter.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:56 pm

Canoe wrote:p.s. Get than fan into your computer. Really nice for moving the air out of your computer. Allows you to seal the case and only allow air in where you need it or direct it to, so you can manage the airflow through the case (avoid airflow short circuits).
Definitely a great fan, but I'll have to see how to mount its 140mm frame into my case. I've got a 200mm fan in front, and 120mm fans around, but no mounts for 140mm.
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legionvr6
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by legionvr6 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:42 pm

Rather happy with the results of my little bucket cooler. Thanks figjam!!! I was able to cool my tent to an acceptable temp when getting ready to head out (not cool enough to sleep but at least not turning into a pool of sweat) and I was able to run the cool air pipe under a fitted sheet on my air bed to comfortably sleep in a bubble of cold air at any time of the day no matter how hot it was outside.

I'm planning to build the UniCooler next year so I can cool the whole Kodiak so we can escape the heat if needed as I could sit several chairs without removing my air bed. Any thoughts on ducting it into a kodiak? the door zipper's meet at the bottom corner of the door so it would have to come in at the bottom. I can just run the pipe in but that would leave gaps and tape didn't stick to the tent well


I tend to over research and prep way in advance. hence why I'm asking now. Just want to get the idea's rolling around in my head

princevalium
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by princevalium » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:41 pm

Our swamp coolers died three years in a row, the fans burned out every time. It happened again this year on the second day on two separate coolers. I brought a spare fan and fixed one of them, then that replacement fan also died a day later when I was repeatedly turning the cooler off and on while enlarging the holes in the water hose one by one.

After returning from BM I looked into it and I think I finally figured out the problem. The first time it happened I thought water got to the fan, but it also happened with waterproof fans in the following years.

Long story short, it seems that the pump I am using produces an inductive kickback voltage spike whenever the power is turned off, a well-known issue with inductors. The solution was to add a capacitor to absorb the spike.

If you're interested you can find the full details in this thread over on the electronics stack exchange site: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/q/327788/54491
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:21 pm

princevalium wrote:Our swamp coolers died three years in a row, the fans burned out every time...
Which fans were you using?
Which pump(s) were you using?
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.

princevalium
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by princevalium » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 am

Canoe wrote:Which fans were you using?
Which pump(s) were you using?
Those details are in the linked stackexchange post:

Pump: http://a.co/00VLVBT
Fan: http://a.co/jbdxHZR (IP67 rated) and http://a.co/fmIrgjN (not IP67 rated but higher CFM)

These parts work great once the inductor issue is fixed.

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dragonpilot
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dragonpilot » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:53 pm

I just went back to the OP to make sure I still had everything right...and confirmed that my cooler is exactly like the original. It didn't work well at all this year and has shown marginal performance in previous years. I don't know why I bother bringing and using it. I have a very small trailer with 1.5-2" insulation...less square footage than most tents...and it has a built in vent overhead. Wish I could have found Figjam to come over and show me what's wrong with my cooler. Oh well...I survived...just meant I had to drink more cold beers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:21 pm

Sorry to hear that.

Wish I could have been there to help. :(
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Mozy F Bonz
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Mozy F Bonz » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:54 pm

Amateurs.
IMG_0459.PNG
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_B ... rm_of_1977
Who do you think had to put a bunch of those swamp coolers back up on the roofs?
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Mozy F Bonz
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Mozy F Bonz » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:45 am

Common questions asked on a swamp cooler service call.

What do you mean there's an adjustment screw to find tune the cooling on the swamp cooler?

What do you mean there was a clamp that came with the new pump I put in?

What do you mean standing here spraying it with a garden hose is not going to help the cooling of my cooler?

How come I have the same cooler same house size but my cooler won't cool my house but my neighbors feels like an air-conditioner?

What do you mean more water on the cooler pads does not equal more evaporation and cooling?

Hope this helps. I know burners hate being told what they're doing wrong.
I tried to wait to see if you guys figured it out on your own.
~

asr9754
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:51 am

Dragon, if you indeed built it to spec with the correct fan (check the *exact* model number) and pump, and are still not getting good performance, here's some troubleshooting:

blue pad cylinder should not touch the inside of the bucket. There should be a gap. The pad slouches when wet, so if you have a gap when dry, that doesn't mean you have a gap when wet. Double check, and add a chicken wire "girdle' around the blue cylinder to support the blue pad if needed.

The lid should fit on snug and should just barely pinch the drip-hose to make a good seal. Adjust the height of the blue cylinder, adjust drip ring and lid, Put lid on carefully so as not to crush the blue pad or create gaps. The drip ring should not slide down between the 2 layers of blue pad. If is does, that's bad.

Drip hose gets clogged. Test your drip hose to make sure all the holes are flowing well. Shake out your blue pad over a trashcan to get rid of lint. Enlarge drip holes if needed.

Blue pad should be evenly wet all the way around, top to bottom. Run the pump for several minutes, then open up the cooler and check. Pad should all be evenly wet, inside and out. If you have dry spots, you have problems. Adjust drip ring and holes.

On playa: you're letting the water run too low. Refill. The duct line is too long or kinked. Put swampie as close to your window as possible to shorten the length of duct needed. Paint the duct white or silver so the sun doesn't cook it (or wrap in foil).

Your overhead vent in the trailer should be cracked open.

My swampie cools a whole trailer moderately b/c I tightened up all the little gaps and made sure it's in peak condition.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Mozy F Bonz » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:05 pm

I'm sorry I wouldn't of posted this in here if it wasn't real information.

I left a line out of that last post.
All of these service calls and hundreds more were fixed with that clamp.

The One of the flaws in this bucket design is your flowing too much water over these cooler pads. It should only be a trickle or a drip barely keeping the pad wet not a full flow stream of water running down it. When you take a flat cooler pad and your roll it up into a cylinder you're losing surface area when you run to much water down that pad you're losing more surface area. When you wrap a cage around that cooler pad to try to keep it from not touching the bucket they're losing more surface area. When the humidity starts going up you have to find tune these coolers so they work at an optimal range.
Large coolers on top of houses only have small drips of water running down into the pad not a big full stream of water.

I really do hope this helps.
~

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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:20 pm

I think the heat rendered even good cooler spec designs not helpful enough. It was really hot this year.

That said I think there is a reasonable case to be made for bringing out complete 5000 BTU air conditioners and doing the building portion in the solar space. Solar is cheaper and better than ever.

I'm looking at how solar and battery costs and build requirements can eliminate plumbing (or water) for both coolers and AC. There is still plenty of skill building around wiring, but I suspect ice blocks and swamp coolers may become a backup plan to solid solar setups in the future.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dragonpilot » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:27 pm

asr9754 wrote:Dragon, if you indeed built it to spec with the correct fan (check the *exact* model number) and pump, and are still not getting good performance, here's some troubleshooting:

blue pad cylinder should not touch the inside of the bucket. There should be a gap. The pad slouches when wet, so if you have a gap when dry, that doesn't mean you have a gap when wet. Double check, and add a chicken wire "girdle' around the blue cylinder to support the blue pad if needed.

The lid should fit on snug and should just barely pinch the drip-hose to make a good seal. Adjust the height of the blue cylinder, adjust drip ring and lid, Put lid on carefully so as not to crush the blue pad or create gaps. The drip ring should not slide down between the 2 layers of blue pad. If is does, that's bad.

Drip hose gets clogged. Test your drip hose to make sure all the holes are flowing well. Shake out your blue pad over a trashcan to get rid of lint. Enlarge drip holes if needed.

Blue pad should be evenly wet all the way around, top to bottom. Run the pump for several minutes, then open up the cooler and check. Pad should all be evenly wet, inside and out. If you have dry spots, you have problems. Adjust drip ring and holes.

On playa: you're letting the water run too low. Refill. The duct line is too long or kinked. Put swampie as close to your window as possible to shorten the length of duct needed. Paint the duct white or silver so the sun doesn't cook it (or wrap in foil).

Your overhead vent in the trailer should be cracked open.

My swampie cools a whole trailer moderately b/c I tightened up all the little gaps and made sure it's in peak condition.
Tips! Got the chicken wire cage, lid is tight, drip ring drips slowly, plenty of water...never got too low, exact same fan as in OP, pump works great...
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:38 pm

Mozy F Bonz wrote:Common questions asked on a swamp cooler service call.
...
Hope this helps. I know burners hate being told what they're doing wrong.
I tried to wait to see if you guys figured it out on your own.
Unfortunately, unless they post photos, it's pretty hard to guess where things went wrong.
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 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:48 pm

Mozy F Bonz wrote:The One of the flaws in this bucket design is your flowing too much water over these cooler pads. It should only be a trickle or a drip barely keeping the pad wet not a full flow stream of water running down it. When you take a flat cooler pad and your roll it up into a cylinder you're losing surface area when you run to much water down that pad you're losing more surface area. When you wrap a cage around that cooler pad to try to keep it from not touching the bucket they're losing more surface area. When the humidity starts going up you have to find tune these coolers so they work at an optimal range.
Large coolers on top of houses only have small drips of water running down into the pad not a big full stream of water.
I really do hope this helps.
The water flow of these DIY coolers is nowhere near what one gets from household lines.
The flow specified is required:
- To flush the pad of playa dust.
- Without sufficient water flow to keep the pad replenished with water, one gets dry spots in the pad, and can pass uncooled dusty air through the pad.
The blue pads have many fine fibres that results in huge water-to-air surface area. That's why substituting another pad type often results in poor performance. Don't be mislead by the foot print of the pad area.
Rolling into the bucket size as designed has little impact on air-flow paths nor water-air surface area. Scrunching the pad in anyway (some caged attempts) to get it to fit without touching the bucket sides can result in reduce flow paths and reduced surface area. Photos give this away.
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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