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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Eycheych
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:49 pm

Kind of a dumb question but I’ve googled and read through the entire thread and couldn’t find a good answer. Our camp will have a generator this year so I will be bringing a power strip with me. Is there a way to have the swamp cooler’s pump and fan connect to the power strip directly?
If so, what extra components do I need to have the red and black wire connect to some sort of socket? I couldn’t find this device - wasn’t sure if it’s even possible.... thank you.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:09 am

A wall wart that changes 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC and provides at least 3 amps.
About $6 at best buy.
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fresh
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by fresh » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:19 am

So i have had a dream of making this one trash can i had into a unicooler for a couple year now. Finally I tackled this task. Last night i got a huge part of it accomplished but looking for some advice for the final product. I have a fully functioning fan and water circulation going . Now since it will be in my bedroom which is a van, i am trying to figure how to bring in outside air and get the full potential of coolness. My original thought was to use my window insert i made 4 years ago for the bucket cooler, and use that duct inside the van and attach to the back of unicooler. (see pics) This is too small of a pipe to get maximum airflow. Could I add more holes in the back that would recirculate air in the van or would that create a humidity circle? I figure maybe not since there would be some intake from outside. Or do i take duct and mutate it for a larger square covering duracool pad? In this "where the f do i find this solution" it seems it might be over engineering. Also having the back side of cooler exposed to outside will not be an option. Would love any thoughts on this.
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fresh
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by fresh » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:28 am

Trying to get past eplaya bugs Not sure why it is dictating how it want to show image. Here is inside, Please ignore the crappy durapad, the big box was completely out of it yesterday so i recycled.
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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:40 pm

This may sound crazy, but I'm considering a 5k BTU window AC sewn directly into a tent this year.

While these things have air filters, I'm pretty sure they are not sufficient for out there. I am thinking about duct taping a furnace filter to the back of the unit as a way to offer additional filtering of the dust.

Ignoring any concerns regarding how to power such a thing, can anyone give me feedback on the likelihood of a furnace air filter used in this way to help keep out dust out of the unit?

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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:49 pm

A window AC unit circulates the air inside the cooled room. It does not draw outside air into the cooled room.

Not sure what you would be filtering in that application.

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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:58 pm

:shock: Wow, ok. I had assumed that these were drawing air in from outside. I did not realize they were conditioning air from inside. Okay, well that simplifies things a lot.

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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:01 pm

Easy thing to overlook as the bucket cooler is opposite - takes outside air in.

So are our car AC units that pull air into the cab unless you explicitly put it in recirculate.

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spacetime
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:06 pm

Token wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:01 pm
Easy thing to overlook as the bucket cooler is opposite - takes outside air in.

So are our car AC units that pull air into the cab unless you explicitly put it in recirculate.
Right, I also thought of the freestanding portable ac units and I believe those also pull air in from outside.

Anyway, not to be a turncoat or anything but I am going to try this actual AC unit out rather than investing the time and energy in the swamp cooler I've attended to over the past three years in a row.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Traveller in Time » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:28 pm

Presuming you have connection to the grid.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:08 pm

fresh: That box isn't big enough for an intake for that fan.

I had to go to a 20"x20" intake register in order to run my fan on high.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by vinny » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:18 pm

Hi,

I need some help. I came across the write up on http://theplayalabs.com for the swamp cooler and the solar setup. I purchased the equipment listed there. I bought the 12v 100mha battery from amazon, an inverter, a fan, and a pump. My thought was that I could wire up the fan and pump in a plug and turn the swamp cooler on and off with the switch on the inverter and but it kept setting off an alarm with an overload warning. So instead I tried connecting them directly to the battery. When I did that I broke something.

I had initially tested the fan with a standard 9v battery and it worked fine. However when I connected the wires from the fan directly to the 12v battery there was a little spark on the wires and the fan has now stopped working. The write up implies that I should be able to connect the fan and pump directly.

Before attempting this again with new equipment, I am looking for some advice. Do I need to add some resistance to circuit? Should I be able to connect the pump and fan directly to the battery?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:14 pm

vinny wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:18 pm
Hi,

I need some help.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Well, you gone done messed up with that "inverter" as it is not needed nor listed on the "shopping list".

What you did is connect 12V DC devices to the inverter that produces 120V AC.

That particular fan and pump are 12V DC devices. Kind of stuff that can work direct with a 12V battery, as the design specifies. NO INVERTER!

Best guess is you fried the fan and created a short inside it. Possibly fried the pump as well so test it out by connecting to the 12V battery.

Put the inverter aside as it is not used for the swamp cooler. Get a replacement fan for sure, possibly a pump if you test confirms.

Happy Cooling.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:21 pm

"Accept no imitations!!!" :roll:
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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:41 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:21 pm
"Accept no imitations!!!" :roll:
Be proud, bitter is no sexy. ;)

JLubbz
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by JLubbz » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:13 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:09 am
A wall wart that changes 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC and provides at least 3 amps.
About $6 at best buy.
I want to have the option to plug in as well. Would this work?
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nippon-Power ... t/42349866

asr9754
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by asr9754 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:22 pm

Cousin Vinny,
you can wire the fan and pump direct to the battery terminals, you don't need an inverter for the swamp cooler.
If all you did was put the fan wires on the battery, and it fried, something is broken and you should return the fan under warranty because that should have worked. If you put the fan wires into the inverter first, you probably fried the fan then and just finished the job when you tried the battery.

Does the pump work if you put the red and black wires onto your battery?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by vinny » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:34 pm

I did plug it all into the inverter first. I have replacement parts on the way. I will not plug them into the inverter this time. Thanks for the feedback I really appreciate it! After last year's heat, I really really want this swamp cooler to work!
asr9754 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:22 pm
Cousin Vinny,
you can wire the fan and pump direct to the battery terminals, you don't need an inverter for the swamp cooler.
If all you did was put the fan wires on the battery, and it fried, something is broken and you should return the fan under warranty because that should have worked. If you put the fan wires into the inverter first, you probably fried the fan then and just finished the job when you tried the battery.

Does the pump work if you put the red and black wires onto your battery?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Strata » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:39 am

Folks have had trouble with generators being stolen on-playa-- has anyone had their swamp cooler battery stolen? Or do you keep it in the tent and run the 12v wires out to the swamp cooler?

I would hate to go to all the trouble and then have my battery disappear. :-/ The rope or plastic handles on these batteries don't seem like they'd lend themselves well to being secured somehow.
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Popeye
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Popeye » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:53 pm

Some marine battery boxes have a place for a padlock or you could drill one. You could run a bike lock through the padlock and attach to your car, a rebar stake etc.
Not bank vault secure but better than nothing.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:47 pm

Upside down tote over it and nobody will be the wiser.
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tatonka
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:16 am

Was just building my baffle box for the small yamaha generator I just bought. The box is built and was going to put a vent that has a filter on each side . One for entry one for exit , just going to use the gen for a hour or so once a day .for charging e-bike batts .
Was thinking it would be hot in the box , the gen has a 12 volt port and was thinking I could move the swamp cooler into the entry side of the box and the gen could power the cooler .
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Popeye
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Popeye » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:47 am

The 12v is unregulated. You run the risk of burning out the fan and pump. If you use the generators 12v add a voltage regulatir to the circuit or just use a battery charger.
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tatonka
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by tatonka » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:16 pm

Popeye wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:47 am
The 12v is unregulated. You run the risk of burning out the fan and pump. If you use the generators 12v add a voltage regulatir to the circuit or just use a battery charger.
thanks will run it off the deep cycle batt I used :) may not use it , doesnt really line up well
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adkisson
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by adkisson » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:37 pm

Exhaust venting of the yurt seems essential to the process. Can someone give me exact instructions on how to create this ideal ceiling vent? Is that flexible ducting that runs from a circular hole in the roof to a circular hole in the wall?

Anyone have a link or plan for the ideal circular filter to go on both ends?
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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:27 pm

No it is not.

It is a simple duct that allows you to put a hole lower in the wall but ventilate from the apex of the roof.

So the lower part of the duct goes via hole through the wall.

The upper top of the duct just sits inside of the yurt and sucks air as high in the ceiling as it can. You just tape it there and it doesn’t go through anything.

A simpler alternative is to just put a hole in the apex of the yurt and not have a duct at all. The downside is if it rains. Unlikely this year.

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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:32 pm

Oh, and filter is meh. Don’t see a big need as the duct and airflow will keep most of the dust out.

If a big nasty dust storm hits, you should just plug it completely and turn off the bucket cooler. It will just mud-up anyway.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by druseph » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:17 pm

Hello guys!

New to the forums, tried to find the answers online and on the forums but could not so here I am! I apologize in advanced if this in the wrong place or should have been its own post.

I've got my normal figjam bucket coolers built (Thanks Figjam! :D ) and they appear to all be in working order.
Now that I have that out of the way, I have been fiddling with a modded version "frakenstein-ed" from various ideas on the forums and online.

Bascially, a second bucket goes on top of the first, holds the pump, and acts as a reservoir (an idea I had read on these forums); the bucket on top can then have more holes cut into it for more air intake. I also plan to add two fans on the lid instead of one, but this is where I run into issues:

Do the two fans need to be pulling air from the middle (empty space) of the cooler? And if so, do I need to run some sort of ducting that connects the airflow of the two fans and routes the suction into the center area? Or does none of this matter and I can just slap two fans on two, put a duct over top of them to coverage the airflow, and then treat it like a normal bucket cooler?

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:26 am

fresh wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:19 am
... Now since it will be in my bedroom which is a van, i am trying to figure how to bring in outside air and get the full potential of coolness. My original thought was to use my window insert i made 4 years ago for the bucket cooler, and use that duct inside the van and attach to the back of unicooler. (see pics) This is too small of a pipe to get maximum airflow. Could I add more holes in the back that would recirculate air in the van or would that create a humidity circle? I figure maybe not since there would be some intake from outside. Or do i take duct and mutate it for a larger square covering duracool pad? In this "where the f do i find this solution" it seems it might be over engineering. Also having the back side of cooler exposed to outside will not be an option. Would love any thoughts on this.
  • No extra holes for recirculating the air in the van. In fact, let no van air into the box. The fan will be creating negative pressure inside the box, which is what sucks outside air into the box. Any holes or faults will short circuit the van air into the box.
  • Which leads to: it looks like your fan may be blocking the lid from closing all the way. You'll need to fix that so no van air can get in via the lid. Possibly by not changing anything other than adding weather stripping to seal the lid. You can tape the lid shut to seal it; painters tape should work fine; open to add water.
  • You need to duct from your window insert to the intake grill on your box. If the duct is smaller, it can impede airflow. This duct will be under vacuum sucking air in. It can collapse, so it needs to have some structure to it to resist this. For example, a wind-sock would not work. A bit of kluge, but you can use multiple aluminum ducts, as seen inside your van in photo.
  • Note that if you have more pad, you can upgrade from unicooler to box cooler by installing the pad further inside the box. See this example viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&start=3990#p1144171
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:36 am

highwing wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:24 pm
... I also put some black pre-filter on the holes out to the side. The center column goes all the way up and is *slightly* compressed by the lid to make it a tight fit and the tube is slightly pushed into the middle of the two pads, helping the seal a bit as well. Ended up using a bit of AC ducting that screws into that white flange at the top. It's a good seal.. can pick up the whole thing once it's tightened in. Glued a bit of plastic on the top of the pump and added a float valve there that will turn off both the fan and the pump when the water gets too low.

So.. before I learn something really obvious once I'm there and am cursing at myself!.. anything about this design that seems like it's going to be a problem? I'm only cooling one of the smaller canvas tents (200ft^3 total).
  • Using all blue-pad, no requirement for any pre-filter. Dust gets washed off the pad.
    Looked again: I'd lose the pre-filter. Or be prepared to do that on the playa.
  • Make sure you do the airflow test as Figjam described.
  • Some people have issues with Aspen pad swelling & clogging or falling apart. YRMV
  • You might have a seal problem at the top. Considering putting a ring of weather stripping on the underside of the lid, pressing down onto the pad? Similar/opposite to viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&start=3990#p1144171
    If you don't go with weatherstripping and have an issue on-playa, tape a ring of tape to the underside of the lid, so it forms a flange that sticks down to the outside of your pad roll, so the vacuum inside the pad ring sucks the tape against the pad for an airflow seal.
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