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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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:16 am

check your email!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:18 am

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!)

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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 33 1/2x13 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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http://www.siliconsolar.com/replacement ... p-103.html

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 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/12959 ... 6c435s1108

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!!
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:52 am

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.

http://www.siliconsolar.com/replacement ... p-103.html

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I had to cut the 90s shorter to get the straight pieces closer together, but you can stagger the holes in a single piece to get the same effect.

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 questios you may have.


HERE'S TO A MORE COMFORTABLE BURN!!!
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:54 am

YURT ALERT!!!

Ok you dont have to have a yurt, but I liked saying it. Swamp cooler 2.0.

Image

I made the box out of some left over material from my tube surround. I dont remember what its called, but its water proof and light. Fiber glass or plastic panels will work if their thick enough, but if you are patient, look in the thrift stores for a plastic or lexan display case with roughly the same dementions. 15x15x24in. Then you wont have to build a box.

Image

The endless breeze fan is awsome. I thought I had a problem with it, but it turns out that I reversed the connection which made the fan run backwards, so it wasnt pushing much air. Now I can feel the breeze from 10ft away when its on low(1.18 amps 250cfm) medium 500cfm 1.68 amps, and high is 900cfm at 2.50 amps. Great for a 12 volt fan. The cheepest price new that I found was $60. Mine was a display and I got it for $25.

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1/2in. pvc and three 90s and a cap.

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The feed line was a little small till I put a short piece of pvc in the 90. with a little sillycone, its perfect. No need to glue the other pvc parts together.

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By folding the pad instead of cutting individual pieces, It gets a snugger fit. The piece of strap keeps the pad snug at the front of the cooler. This is needed because if your fan is real strong, it will try to vacume your pad away from the sides. The pad retains its shape real well, so folding the inside corners is perfect.
The black tape is there because I got a little high on the sides with my holes and you want all the air to be drawn through damp pad.


Image

Im waiting for the little bit stronger pump so I can test, but it should work fine...........FIGJAM........Oh .....check rv places to locate this fan. I sillyconed all the joints on the box exept the lid and this unit holds 6 gal. of water. Theres room for a case of pbr in the bottom. I have to check, but I think the water temp when running is close to 40 degrees. Unite dry wieght 13 pounds.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:56 am

The pumps just arrived! I installed one on the new cooler and I cant think of any way it could be more suited to this purpose.

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It uses .23amps and has a built in filter. Cost $14.95. Heres a pic of the pad to give an idea of how porse it is.

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If you want your controls to be inside your structure cut the box with an extention where you will attatch the fan. this is how I set mine up.

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I didnt need an extention. I tried it without the shade clothe first. When I had just the pump on there was minor leaking untill I turned the fan on low and the leaking stopped. If I sand the holes it may stop that entirely as any little snag tends to direct a small leak. And now the best part.....

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The cooler on low (1.4 amps with the pump) is setting on the desk in the background and is about 4ft. away, but I couldnt get a good pic of the temp with the cooler in the shot. But damn AM I EVER HAPPY HAPPY WITH THIS THING...............FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGJAM!
Last edited by FIGJAM on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:00 am

Page 33 recap. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Asherbeez » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:01 am

FIGJAM wrote:Page 33 recap. 8)
Good call!

Just need my power source and I'm ready to roll, or cool, as it were
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:05 am

People are getting to page 9 and giving up! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Asherbeez » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:12 am

:lol: So I've noticed! It can be a bit daunting if you're just starting, though I must say, the edit to your first post makes the reading of the first half of the thread less important. The only benefit to that is seeking out small details that aren't covered in your step by step overview.

As for my power source, I found a truck battery in my folk's garage. Fingers crossed that it can still hold a charge. If not, I'll have to do some charging of another kind :roll:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by strangeloop » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:38 pm

My swamp cooler is up and running thanks to figjam and this thread. You all are amazing!

If you all can take a look and see if there any potential missteps. The fan is blowing out strong air. All I need now is some insulated 6" ducting for the tent. It's not as pretty as some of the others in the thread, but let's hope it works!

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I plan on buying a battery when I arrive in Reno (flying in). I have a solar panel. My only real concern is hooking the panel to the battery to help it keep a charge. It came with this little gadget. Is this the preferred method for connecting everything?

Image

Thanks again!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:57 pm

Good job!

Couple of things.

I would shorten the loop so that it's more centered on top of the pad and drill a couple of holes in the connector so you don't get a dry strip on the pad. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by strangeloop » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:07 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Good job!

Couple of things.

I would shorten the loop so that it's more centered on top of the pad and drill a couple of holes in the connector so you don't get a dry strip on the pad. 8)
Good Call. Will do. Thanks a million.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:49 pm

Two questions (today).
Please forgive if I missed these in the prior posts.

One.
If the pump and fan draw, lets say, 1.5 amps from 12 VDC, how do you calculate how many hours of service you'll get from a single full charge of a battery sized at X Amp Hours.

Two.
If you had a choice between:
* a fan running slower for a longer period of time, or
* a fan running faster, for a shorter period of time,
each using up the same number of amp hours, would one cool more than the other?
As in, if you have a variable speed fan, is there a maximum CFM above which there is no point, a minimum CFM below which there is no point, and a mid CFM that appears ideal for the bucket version with that rate of water pump?

Tanks,
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:09 pm

My battery is 105ah.

I can run my cooler for 35 hours before I need to recharge, so at 5hrs a day, it will last all week.

That 35hrs will take it down to 50% charge, which is what is recomended for the battery to have a long and happy life.

Divide your AH by 2, then divide that figure by 1.5, and that is the number of hours you can opperate till recharge.

You want your fan to put out as much air as possible.

The faster the air moves, the more evap= more cooling.

So if you have the power, use as much fan as you can afford.

If it's so strong that it starts to suck water off the pad, build a bigger cooler. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by The CO » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:01 am

Figjam, I took my swampy to our camp work party & meet & greet yesterday to show it off & inspire a few folk....

Looks like M*A*S*H will have 3-6 of these babies this year.

Go Contraptioneers!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:05 am

Spread the word!

It's coooooool. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:13 am

I do have a slight problem with the word "Swampy".

http://www.swampy.net/

You could build one hellava cooler for what they charge!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:39 am

\
I'm going to want a cool cooler for the exit run.. Gets damn hot.. Running an A/C would take a bunch of gas.. (unless your the Fig with lots of "gas")..

Sides, My A/C is the old type and can no longer be recharged.. Going to take the pump out of the engine compartment.. Might give me a mile per gallon or so..

I have a battery that charges off the van.. It's isolated to take a charge and not feed back the to van battery..

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:41 am

unjonharley wrote:\
I'm going to want a cool cooler for the exit run.. Gets damn hot.. Running an A/C would take a bunch of gas.. (unless your the Fig with lots of "gas")..Sides, My A/C is the old type and can no longer be recharged.. Going to take the pump out of the engine compartment.. Might give me a mile per gallon or so..I have a battery that charges off the van.. It's isolated to take a charge and not feed back the to van battery..
With the bucket strapped to the outside of the van with duck-tape I guess. I like this.
Strap it to the top for entry Gate line for all to see. I bet you'll see a lot of people rigging theirs on the spot. At the speeds you're traveling, they could sit their on the hood (in front of the passenger of course).

FIGJAM wrote:... down to 50% charge, ... The faster the air moves, the more evap= more cooling...
Thanks!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by porkmuffin » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:38 pm

I'm doing this basic setup...I found 200mm fans that push 166 cfm at 0.7 A. It was only $15 at Fry's and had the 3 wire setup out of the box. I'm going to be powering this guy with a 105 AH deep cycle, and I also have this charging panel:



My question about all this is, can I hook up the fan and solar panel to the battery at the same time and get full output from the fan and trickle charge the battery? Or will I always need to stop the fan when I want to charge?

I'm trying to make a system that needs minimum maintenance (without buying $400 batteries) for the week and provides positive pressure in the hexayurts pretty much all the time. I figure I'll run the batteries down in roughly 2.5 days with this system (I'm using a solar pump to only stay on in the daylight for cooling - just have to check water twice a day there) to 50% capacity and then would recharge in roughly 4 hours from a charger running off a generator.

Any help with the above question re: trickle charging while using is greatly appreciated!

porky

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:52 pm

You did'nt say what fan you bought, but I bet it's a nxst.

It's not a decent fan for this project, testing shows it's not strong enough.

With a yurt you will only need the cooler in the hottest part of the day, so how long each day are you planning to run?

Costco has a 115 ah deep cycle for $80 that will run the cooler all week for 5 hours a day.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by porkmuffin » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:23 pm

Yeah, I was more interested in the positive pressure 24 hours a day for dust prevention...any cooling is bonus in my book. The yurts already keep it cool themselves until midday.

You're right about the model. I might mount one up anyway and try a side by side with a closer to 200 cfm small fan...I was just turned off by their amperage and the need to order online. I would prefer to just pick it up, you know. Running out of time! Hehe...that's part of the fun of any project...the looming deadline!

I figure worst case we get a stronger fan (and new lid, big whoop) and only turn it on when we are sleeping. Any thoughts on the trickle charging question I had about extending the battery life a little each day?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:50 pm

porkmuffin wrote: Any thoughts on the trickle charging question I had about extending the battery life a little each day?

One of these math heads around here could figure that out for use.. Sounds like a good idea to me

I was looking at one of those 5watt chargers for the small sound system..
Was using two 1watt solor panels tied together into 4.5volt battery pack to power a disc player.. Changed that to a 8ah 12v battery gel cell pack.. So I figure the 8ah batt could run a boom box amp and Ipod with the 5watt charger to keep up..

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:44 pm

porkmuffin wrote:Yeah, I was more interested in the positive pressure 24 hours a day for dust prevention...any cooling is bonus in my book. The yurts already keep it cool themselves until midday.

You're right about the model. I might mount one up anyway and try a side by side with a closer to 200 cfm small fan...I was just turned off by their amperage and the need to order online. I would prefer to just pick it up, you know. Running out of time! Hehe...that's part of the fun of any project...the looming deadline!

I figure worst case we get a stronger fan (and new lid, big whoop) and only turn it on when we are sleeping. Any thoughts on the trickle charging question I had about extending the battery life a little each day?
It is pretty cool at night and can get cold, 38 degrees last year, so I don't think you want it running at night.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by porkmuffin » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:47 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone...and I forgot to throw my hat in the ring on the HUGE THANKS to FIGJAM for inspiring this journey! :)

I suppose I'll go for just the standard 4" fan with higher CFM for the drawing and cooling power. I suppose it gets pretty lonely around camp at night anyway, and not so windy generally, so night time dust particulate should be better than the daylight hours.

So I understand the 3/4 wire issue with the fans and from what I can tell as long as you are using an adapter from 3 to 4 on your model, you should be ok (and if you don't hook the tach line to power and fry the diode!). Does that sound about right? Thinking about this model at the moment:

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/13560 ... 1109#blank

It seems to be really high CFM for the power draw...will sit a little deeper, too. Any thoughts on that before I order later tonight for delivery this week?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:42 pm

That fan looks good, but the specs don't tell how much pressure it creates.

We have been recomending this fan.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8547/ ... 6c435s1108

The pressure and high rpm make this a very effective fan. 8)
Last edited by FIGJAM on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:56 pm

FIGJAM wrote:We have been recomending this fan.
But do they have it in blue?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:57 pm

Any point in worrying about a true Deep-cycle battery versus a Marine battery which is a cross between a Starting and Deep-cycle battery?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:06 pm

I think it just depends on how big the marine battery is.

They are not a true deep cycle battery, but they are supposed to be duel purpose for starting and acceseries.

True deep cycle batts have thicker plates, mine weigh almost 70 pounds.

Google the brand and go to the spec page, learn all you can about your battery.

I figured out what I wanted my battery to do, then did the research to make sure it would.

A little radical self relience guys. 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

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Canoe
Posts: 3735
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:22 pm

FIGJAM wrote:... True deep cycle batts have thicker plates, mine weigh almost 70 pounds...
Thanks!
Just asking what matters.

Found this link:
http://www.templetons.com/brad/burn/burn-power.html
Also others. Saw that some point out that they found the Deep Cycle battery (and a charger) at the store, but not Costco online.
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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