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 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:45 am

You may need to sandwich the material between some plastic mesh or chicken wire to make it stand up in the bucket.
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Cinnabar
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Cinnabar » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:00 pm

Thanks Folks,
All very helpful. Will report back with lessons learned.
See ya in the cool dust.
Cinnabar

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KennyReff
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by KennyReff » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:21 am

What about skylights? Thanks so much for all the valuable info. Just about ready to ship everything from the east coast, but had one thought. Would adding a couple of small plexiglass skylights to the roof of my pentayurt be a bad idea? I would not make them too big, the plexiglass would be taped to the outside and i would be able to Velcro the cut out piece back on the inside when I wanted to block the light. The idea is to provide some natural light and rely less on battery powered lights. They could be in the roof or in a wall, but I'm thinking the roof would provide more light with a smaller window. Thoughts?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:58 am

Put a small one on the south side.

I wouldn't cut holes in the roof.
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Cinnabar
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Cinnabar » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:02 am

If you placed it on the N side, wouldn't you get the light without the sun directly entering your space? Like an artist's studio.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:03 am

It sometimes does rain!
A close-able window for natural light might be good. And if you're running a swampie, you must have a vent in your structure anyways for proper functioning. Vent should be on the opposite side of the swampie input, and high-up in the wall.

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Cinnabar
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Cinnabar » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:58 pm

One last thing, I think.
Figjam's instructions say he used 3/8" poly tubing. The inside dia on that is 1/4". I just received the1/4" T connectors and they look teeny. Just want to make sure enough volume of water can pass through the 1/4", while I still have time to order a larger size? Plan to assemble next week. Still awaiting delivery on pump & pad.

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:24 am

KennyReff wrote:What about skylights? ... Would adding a couple of small plexiglass skylights to the roof of my pentayurt be a bad idea? ... i would be able to Velcro the cut out piece back on the inside when I wanted to block the light. ...
  • As others said, no to the roof. Put in on a North wall.
  • Do watch out as your panels are your structure. Be cautious of size, and location close to an edge.
    * Similar to what some do for their doors, depending on size and location, consider having a matching frame of plywood. Plywood on the inside, bolt the plexi to the plywood through the panel; do tape the plexi edge to the wall against rain (and dust).
  • Do keep the piece to block the light. Well, actually, to block the heat!
    * Painter's tape can hinge it on one side, with a tab on the other side to secure it closed. Cheaper and quieter than Velcro, and it's always attached to the wall so it shouldn't get lost.
    * The kerf/gap from cutting out the hole will still let some light/heat through. You'll be surprised how much you can see with that light.
    * Note: depending on how you do your door, its kerf/gap will give you light/heat/dust issues with your door - research different ways to do the door.
  • Not as heat insulating, but easier, is to use a piece of Reflectix and painter's tape hinges.
    * Easy to make it larger to cover the entire opening and any frame.
    * If in the sun, the reflectix will let in significantly more heat than the piece of panel (warm, even hot to the touch; shiny on the inside too so it's low emittance, but it does conduct heat and will, if slowly, heat your interior).
  • Rather than a "skylight size", you'd be amazed how much usable light is provided by a 1" opening.
    * Lets "enough" light in while minimizing heat gain. Enough light for navigating and finding things; not enough for reading.
    * Can be a simple 1" hole in the wall covered by plexi/plastic outside, or a hole in the middle of a skylight cover.
    * A tiny piece of Reflectix tape-hinged makes a great cover for this.
    * Doubles as a peep hole, to take a quick look outside.
    * Provides interior light and a quick peek outside, while it minimizes having hung-over types inside screaming "the light, the light!"
  • Do make any holes in your panels before you go to the playa (MOOP, and breathing those fibres inside your yurt, or inside your bedding, etc.). And, as with the panel edges, tape seal their cut edges with aluminum foil tape.
So you want this on a North wall to minimize heat gain. But sometimes on the playa, it's cool or even cold, such that you'd welcome some free heat. If you also had a skylight sized one on the South in the sun (a la greenhouse) against the need for heat, most years it wouldn't be used, but if you needed it you would be glad you had it. As it's in the sun, block/insulate it with the cut-out panel piece.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by KennyReff » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:09 am

Thanks, all, and esp Canoe for the detailed response. All set now. I'm in DC and our camp organizes three full sized shipping containers for anyone in the mid-Atlantic region to use. Just loaded up yesterday and ready to burn!

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:40 am

I bought some new batteries for my playa transpo, and I think they will be perfect for anyone building a cooler.

My 105AH AGMs are heavy and pricey.

For the coolers, these are cheaper and lighter, but are NOT AGMs.

Everstart 24DC 12 volt deep cycle from wally world weigh 53 pounds, 101AH, and only cost $80!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ChuckLohre » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:43 pm

Swamp Cooler Success! Got my 80 watt 10" fan in today and had purchased a bildge pump earlier. And I got a dimmer switch for reducing the pump flow. Everything working great. Started test at 9 pm at 50% pump power. Reduced it to 25% of it's 3.5 amps capacity. The fan will need to be full power. It a nice flow but not too strong. Two battery monitors on the battery and I'm getting 12.2 volts and an OK light from another and it's 9:30 pm.
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Roundabout
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Roundabout » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:42 pm

If you started with a full charge on your battery and are down 12.2 volts after only 30 minutes, your system is pulling too many amps to last very long. jmo
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Dasein » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:12 am

Anyone have recommendations about how to properly store a large deep cycle 12V battery on playa? I assume we want to keep it out of direct sunlight, and ideally off of the playa, yeah?

I'm going to be in a tent, so I could place the battery in the tent with us.... or I can try to macgyver something last minute .. I don't think we are going to have a shade structure over the tent this year, so any thoughts?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dragonpilot » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:09 pm

Dasein wrote:Anyone have recommendations about how to properly store a large deep cycle 12V battery on playa? I assume we want to keep it out of direct sunlight, and ideally off of the playa, yeah?

I'm going to be in a tent, so I could place the battery in the tent with us.... or I can try to macgyver something last minute .. I don't think we are going to have a shade structure over the tent this year, so any thoughts?
I store my 12V battery in a plastic bin with the lid loosely closed to allow for some ventilation. Worked OK for 3 years.
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Roundabout
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Roundabout » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:17 pm

Dasein wrote:Anyone have recommendations about how to properly store a large deep cycle 12V battery on playa? I assume we want to keep it out of direct sunlight, and ideally off of the playa, yeah?

I'm going to be in a tent, so I could place the battery in the tent with us.... or I can try to macgyver something last minute .. I don't think we are going to have a shade structure over the tent this year, so any thoughts?
Buy a battery box. It makes the battery much easier to carry and protects it from dust. They are about $7 at the W box store. No problem with it being on the playa, but do keep it out of the sun.
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Che
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Che » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:49 am

What's your power source??? If it's solar how did you connect your pump to the solar panel?

Can't find any air pumps that are battery operated

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by cassiepea » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:34 am

This is probably a silly question... I am about done constructing my box cooler but currently have no way of testing it since a friend is bringing an extra deep cycle to the playa for me (we're flying). I haven't cut off the cigarette lighter adapter from the endless breeze yet nor have I done anything with the wires on the pump... my question(s): can I use a battery like this to test the pump/flow and fan at home?
If so, I just want to cut off the adapter from the fan and splice together the positive from the fan and the pump, and the negatives from each, and hook them up to the battery, right?

Understanding power/electricity continues to elude me past a certain point. So excited to finally get this thing running/tested!

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Leap
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Leap » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:39 am

cassiepea wrote: can I use a battery....!
I use a 12 ah battery just like this to test. Make sure it is fully charged.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ruebear » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:07 pm

Hey everyone, would someone have pictures of the splicing? I'm really confused and maybe overthinking it but I want to make sure I build this correctly and avoid blowing anything out. I understand that the fan and pump are spliced together but how do you splice that connection to the wire extension that goes to the battery terminals?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:31 pm

cassiepea, You can use your car battery for testing if need be.

ruebear, Here are a few links. Either way will work.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... t-connect/



This drawing is not showing a fuse that should be in the red wire from the batt.
And any switches one may desire.
Connection to the batt can be alligator clips or Ring-connector.
evapwiring-FJ.jpg
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:52 pm

Twist the reds together and shrink tube.

Twist the blacks together and shrink tube.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ruebear » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:58 pm

Thank you eldergeekaz and figjam! I was under the impression all three red and black wires couldn't be tied together which is why I was confused. thank you both :D

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by explore » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:20 am

Does this type of cooler need to be drawing air from outside? or why can't it be placed inside your tent/hexayurt to keep the water cooler and easier to access? Thank you. :D

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:56 am

The cooler needs hot/dry air to work.

If you put it inside the space, it will build up the humidity until there is NO cooling at all.
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explore
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by explore » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:59 am

Ok, thank you for the quick reply. If I had a small vent in the roof of my yurt wouldn't that allow a little air and moisture to escape so the humidity doesn't build up? Or alternatively, could you then reverse the process and pull air in from outside while keeping the bucket inside? Like in this example?
I don't know anything but just been thinking about a way to keep the bucket in the yurt.
Thank you very much,
John

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:41 am

I haven't tested it this way, but here is an idea.

Make sure the pad is about an inch from the sides of the bucket, so that the air can flow freely around it.

Instead of drilling multiple holes for the air intake, cut one 4" hole.

Run some 4" pipe or dryer vent hose from that hole to a 4" hole in your yurt wall.

Again, I haven't tested this!!!

Good luck. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:07 pm

Ducting fresh air into the space, to a bucket cooler will work provided your duct is large enough to keep air flow restriction to minimum. These little prop fans do not like a lot of duct work. So if you go this way go two sizes bigger than your fan for the outside air duct. And a vent up high somewhere.

The difference between regular A/C and evaporative cooling is:
  • Evap cooling requires complete 'air change' to work properly.
    Normal A/C needs air 're circulation' through the A/C unit.
    Evap cooling adds moisture.
    Normal A/C removes moisture.
May I ask why you want the bucket in your yurt? :| Not sure what benefit you would gain.
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by explore » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:39 am

Thanks for your reply. the bucket seems to make more sense to be in my yurt for a few reasons. 1. Inside the yurt will be cooler than the outside temp therefore the water in the bucket will be cooler, therefore making the air cooler, 2. I can add ice easily to the water to make it cooler (and the ice wont melt as much if the bucket is inside) 3. It will be much easier to fill up the bucket with water when it gets low not having to go outside the yurt.

Thanks again! :D

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:20 am

The temp of the water will be about 58 degrees no matter where you put the cooler.

And if you put that totally unnecessary ice in it, it will melt just as fast because of the air moving through the cooler. :roll:
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cassiepea
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by cassiepea » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:01 am

Thank you so much eldergeekaz, I was getting some conflicting info about that.

In looking for alligator clips with a long enough cord to run from my car battery to somewhere I can set up the cooler (we live in NYC so this would have to be done on the street), this is what I'm coming up with - cut off the female socket and attach wires for pump and fan... can anyone tell me if this looks like it can handle the sustained load on the playa? Or suggest an alternative?
eldergeekaz wrote:cassiepea, You can use your car battery for testing if need be.

ruebear, Here are a few links. Either way will work.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... t-connect/



This drawing is not showing a fuse that should be in the red wire from the batt.
And any switches one may desire.
Connection to the batt can be alligator clips or Ring-connector.
evapwiring-FJ.jpg

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