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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tatonka
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:24 am

unjonharley wrote:There are going to be a bunch of homer cooler around..
Yep just bought one , I have a 110 pump , what do you use to convert it so it will run on a batt?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:39 am

You could use an inverter but that would be pretty inefficient. You would get MUCH longer battery life by using a 12 volt pump and fan.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:55 am

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:37 am

thks guys :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:36 pm

Of the pumps I've tested, this is my favorite. 8)

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/dc-subm ... or-battery
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by fgcastle » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:40 pm

Question for figjam and others knowledgeable about the bucket swamp cooler:
I just got this pump:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002PBWIR0/ref ... 25410_item

It is very quiet and rated at .5amp (6w). I tested it at 12v, pumping up a 23 inch high, 1/4" id tube. It pumped 48 gallons per hour. Is that a sufficient water flow for the Home Depot bucket swamp cooler?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:41 pm

Yes. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:05 am

Electrical/Power question:

Can I hook up my 5-gal bucket cooler to a car battery?

My Deep Cycle battery is buried in storage out of town, but I want to test my new bucket cooler.
Can I clamp the cooler to my normal car battery to try it out? Or would the car battery fry it?

Notes: I used the Delta 1.6amp fan and a 12V pump 0.4 amp.

Thank you! I really don't want to fry all my hard work thus far, but my Deep Cycle is at the "inlaws" 5 hours away (luckily, it's on the way to BRC!).

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:14 am

12 volts DC is 12 volts DC no matter where it comes from, so yes you can test it with your cars battery or even a 12 volt charger.

I do it all the time. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:15 am

A car battery will be fine for testing. Just don't run the battery too low. Try not to run your cooler off a car battery for more than a couple hours. Car batteries don't like to be discharged very far. Deep cycle batteries don't mind it so much.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Pineapple » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:28 am

I forget if I ever posted back last year about my coolers.

I used 32 gallon sterilite tubs purchased from a big box store. They didn't have vertical sides, which wasn't ideal for some of the designs in this thread, but I built a PVC U that was inside the tub and several inches away from the edges, and they worked super well. The sterilite is nice because you can cut it with an exacto knife, drill it, etc.

I used the recommended endless breeze fan.

For a pump, I used this guy, which is still available.
http://www.lightobject.com/36Lmin-Mini- ... -P573.aspx

Before the playa, I characterized it in my lab and it was very efficient for an 18" water rise and pumped plenty of water to keep our hexayurts nice and comfy :) It basically drew the advertised 320 mA and pumped water quite well.

None of our 3 pumps burned out, but since they're so cheap I'd brought along a spare just in case.

I used standard $0.79 light switches from the hardware store to control these. The fan was mounted on one side of the tub, on the inside, with the light switch right next to it. Cut a hole large enough for fan and switch to be accessible from inside the yurt, and taped around the hole with yurt tape to seal it off. When we woke up and started to feel warm, we simply flipped the light switch and delicious cold air started blowing. Back to sleep for 6 hours :)

Here was my previous post:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... 94#p861194

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:46 am

Here's a way to save some money if they don't stock cooler pads in your area!

Any ACE hardware store will ship any items to another ACE store for free!!!

Thier online site does'nt show pads, but my local store has them and will ship them to any store.

https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q ... 4891210659

So take the my stores phone number to your local ACE and have the pads shipped to your store.

Your store may not know what your talking about, hence the phone number! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by misterdj » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:25 am

Can someone help determine what type of fan I should get for my cooler? My tent is 486 cubic feet. Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks,
Last edited by misterdj on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:30 am

Cubic feet might be more pertinent...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:50 am

misterdj wrote:Can someone help determine what type of fan I should get for my cooler? My tent is 486 cubic feet. Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks,
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8556/ ... d=TMxuD2fh
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dragonpilot » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:37 pm

It was mentioned earlier the need to have the bucket outside the space to be cooled. If I'm using a small ultra lite trailer like, say, an R-Pod, Egg, T@DA, or some other teardrop-type trailer...where's a good spot to run the outlet pipe to the inside? Are we talking sawing a hole in the side of the trailer? :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:42 pm

Im going to replace a window in the camper with a piece of metal from work with a hole punched in it. I have some edgeing material for the hole which will give the pipe a nice fit.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:52 pm

If the teardrop has a window, remove the screen and use it for a template to cut out a piece of heavy cardboard to replace the screen.

Then you can cut the hole for the inflow any size you need. 8)

Or you can do this.

http://www.outbackteardrop.com/body8.html
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:46 am

Just finished my bucket cooler tonight. Will have to test the temp in the daytime tomorrow.

My comments:
1) The blue duracool pad tends to slump when it gets wet. My cylinders shortened in the bucket and widened, causing contact w/ the sides of the bucket. Keep this in mind when cutting your pads. I would have make the pad a 1/2 bit taller and a bit narrower, or maybe very slightly tapered to fit into the contours of the bucket.

I didn't want to start over, so I fixed mine by pinching a bit of outer cylinder of duracool in several places with a few small binder clips (office supplies). The small pinches eliminated some of the excess slump and kept a gap between the pad and the bucket. Also I used a few leftover strips of Duracool to put at the bottom of the bucket to raise up the cyclinder slightly.

2) The water tube "halo" tried to fall down into between the two layers of Duracool. Fixed via zip tie.

3) I used 2 rows of large holes in the bucket, because I thought it would increase evap area. The problem is I limited the water holding capacity by doing so and also, since the bucket is tapered, I increased the drippage due to the pad touching the bucket. This issue mostly resolved by #1 above, but I wish I had'nt cut holes so far down now. Or I may make another bucket, depending how my test goes.

4) I used a pretty cheap 12V pump from ebay, rated about 60 GPH, and it wets the filter fabric just fine. But I can't run this pump dry, per the instructions. Kind of worrid about a campmate not filling it up and ruining my hard work. So I added a float switch (ebay), wired into the pump and jerry rigged it inside the inner Duracool pad about 1.5 inches above the floor. When water drops to this level, the switch will turn off.

5) I need a flexible duct to run this into my trailer. The 4" PVC vent does not fit standard 4"dryer duct. The 4" Pvc fit my fan and the duracool cylinder perfectly, but I had to shop online for a specialty 5" flexible duct and it fits great over the 4" Schedule 80 coupling.

Thanks all, I'm convinced I'll have the coolest spot at my camp due to this forum.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:51 am

The wat I did it the halo can't fall or shift anywhere. 8)

The inner sleeve and halo act as a seal that forces all the air through the damp pad.

Look closely and you'll see that the pad is not touching the sides of the bucket.

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Conduit » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 am

Maybe this has been discussed in the 65 page post that this topic has grown to but here it goes anyway: have any of you experimented with running a tube from the spigot of your ice chest? I'm thinking the cold melted water dripping into the bucket may super charge the cooler and blast much colder air than normal. What do you think?

Ryan

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:09 am

These work so well that the effect would be minimal. 8)
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Conduit
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Conduit » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:23 am

Ok, food for thought. I'm going to start mine this weekend and was looking for a way to contribute to this wonderful tool. I have a tent inside a Costco carport, am I wasting my time building the cooler if it's not going into a hexayurt or a van (something with insulation) thanks guys in advance!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:30 am

Yep, Fig, that's exactly what mine looks like dry, but when the pump turns on the blue pad gets wet and vibrates slightly due to the pump and fan, the the pad sags just a little, so the halo tried to fall in between the two layers of pad. Easily fixed with zip ties though, I just zipped the halo to the top of the blue pad since the pad is porous I could push zip ties right thur it. Now it can't slide down.

A great thread, thanks so much.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:53 am

jryanmcmanus wrote:Ok, food for thought. I'm going to start mine this weekend and was looking for a way to contribute to this wonderful tool. I have a tent inside a Costco carport, am I wasting my time building the cooler if it's not going into a hexayurt or a van (something with insulation) thanks guys in advance!

The original idea was so people could get some extra zzzzzz's even with the sun shinning on thier tent.

The complete exchange of air in the space evey 1 to 3 minutes means that it does'nt matter whether the space is insulated or not.

A shaded tent with the cooler is ideal! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:59 am

In the 60s we lived in AZ.. In the poorest built house there.. One swamp cooler cooled a large house.. If your taking you in air from a car port and into yurt your going to be cool.. Or if you want sit around the carport in mid day.. Turn to coolr onto your lounge area.. It will be much cooler then a fan only..

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:56 pm

asr9754 wrote: 4) I used a pretty cheap 12V pump from ebay, rated about 60 GPH, and it wets the filter fabric just fine. But I can't run this pump dry, per the instructions. Kind of worrid about a campmate not filling it up and ruining my hard work. So I added a float switch (ebay), wired into the pump and jerry rigged it inside the inner Duracool pad about 1.5 inches above the floor.

Thanks all, I'm convinced I'll have the coolest spot at my camp due to this forum.
I built my bucket cooler with the Harbor Freight solar pump and I too am concerned about running it dry. Have others put float switches on theirs? $10 is a relatively small price to pay to ensure I don't burn my pump up early in the week.

I second the thanks to FIGJAM and others that have contributed to this simple, yet elegant, design.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:03 pm

RECAP!!!

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

Image

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

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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.

Image

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

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!!!
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:04 pm

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

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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 is the pump.

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 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.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:05 pm

This is the box cooler made of wood instead of FRP.

Image

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After the box is glued and screwed, I used regular painters caulk on the interior joints before putting a heavy coat of the Henrys elastomer roof coating on the whole thing to seal it inside and out.

Image

To install the intake panels, I ran a heavy bead of 100% silicone caulk on the registers and screwed them in place.

Make sure these are all the same distance from the top as they will support the pvc for the water, and to get an even flow you'll want them the same height.

Image

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When I installed the pads, I added some wire to secure the pads to the registers.

14 gauge copper or bailing wire will work for this.

It will make sure that ALL the air has to pass through the wet pads.

Image

The wire goes through the pad at the corners of the registers and bends up on the outside of the cooler.

Image

The lid is hinged on the side away from the fan for easy filling.

I added some weather stripping (siliconed) for a good seal, and a small chain so the lid would'nt tweek the small hinges.

Image

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Once the endless breeze fan and the pump get here I can finish this cooler.

This is my favorite pump.

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

It will hold 12 gals of water and there's room for a case of beer in the bottom.

It will use about 3/4s of a gallon of water per hour on the low fan speed.

It will cool a space up to 3000 cubic feet on high.

Power needed will be...

12 volt DC

1.5amps on low speed (250cfm)

1.92amps on medium speed (500cfm)

2.82amps on high speed! (900 cfm= to 10mph breeze)


Hope this helps you enjoy your BURNNNNNNNNNNN!!! 8)
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