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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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:41 am

JLubbz wrote:
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
That page isn't showing me the current. Can't tell if it would work.
You don't need a fancy switching power supply. The cheap reliable ones should work fine.
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 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:10 am

druseph wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:17 pm
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?
To be clear,
  • The second bucket goes on the bottom, is the water reservoir, holds the pump, with a hole in the centre of its lid, which lets water drain down from the top bucket, and you can run the pump hose up it.
  • The top bucket is built like a standard bucket cooler, except it can have more holes lower down on the bucket as it will not have a water reservoir, and has a hole it its bottom centre for the water to drain out into the bottom bucket.
  • You may want a circle of weather stripping between the two buckets, to ensure its not sucking air into the top bucket's pad area through the bottom hole.
  • Your pump needs to be strong enough to pump the water from the bottom of the lower bucket up to the top of the upper bucket, where the water distribution ring is.
Any fans need to be pulling air from inside the roll of padding. They create the negative pressure (vacuum) that sucks air through the wetted pads, in turn drawing more air into the bucket. I don't know if you'd have enough space for mounting two fans.

The recommended "SHE" model of fan works fine. I don't know what you're expecting or what problem you're trying to solve by using two fans?

If you need "more fan",
  • Note that it's not just CFM: you need the pressure for drawing the air through the wetted pads.
  • You could try the GHE version of the recommended fan. In 2017, someone had a GHE fan or was going to get one, but I don't recall if they reported back how it worked.
  • Other than more noise and more amps required, the concern was a GHE may suck air through too fast, so it may dry out the pad in spots (letting hot dusty air through) or have insufficient dwell time for the air passing through the pad to be fully chilled.
  • 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.
The EHE uses more current (~3A) but doesn't offer more pressure than the SHE.
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 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:22 pm

See, that's a BIG power investment for only 50 more CFM, but it wouldn't suck my pads dry.

The trickle is plenty to keep the pad wet.
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm

Even with the pump coming from the bottom of a lower bucket?
My bucket is 14", and 25" to the ring with one stacked on top of another.
You said the 'little' pump will handle a 30" lift?

And the numbers show why the models using the Endless Breeze are efficient:
- 250 CFM, reported 1.2A to 1.3A
- 500 CFM, reported 1.5A to 2.25A
- 900 CFM, reported 2.3A to 3A
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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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:11 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 connected a wall wart to my fan rated at 0.25amps. The wall watt was rated for 0.5 amps and it smelt burnt after spinning for a bit - did I mess up my fan?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:18 pm

Not that way. That wall wart would supply up to 1/2 amp, but the fan will only draw what it needs.

And if you fan only draws .25 amps it's way too small for a cooler.
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adkisson
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by adkisson » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:11 am

My yurt has a 24x12” window.

Can I use that space as both an intake for the ducting connected to my cooler AND a separate exhaust duct running from the roof to outside, solar chimney style? I’m trying to minimize cuts in the structure.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:42 am

FIGJAM wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:18 pm
Not that way. That wall wart would supply up to 1/2 amp, but the fan will only draw what it needs.

And if you fan only draws .25 amps it's way too small for a cooler.
I think what happened is that we accidentally swapped the positive and negative wire and grid the fan. The fan is weak, we were just using it as a tester. Have a stronger fan we are installing which is arriving tomorrow... will see if that’ll work

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:24 am

If I get the polarity switch on my fan, it just doesn't turn.

Doesn't hurt it at all.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:24 am

adkisson wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:11 am
My yurt has a 24x12” window.

Can I use that space as both an intake for the ducting connected to my cooler AND a separate exhaust duct running from the roof to outside, solar chimney style? I’m trying to minimize cuts in the structure.
Yes
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"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

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Eycheych
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:34 am

FIGJAM wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:24 am
If I get the polarity switch on my fan, it just doesn't turn.

Doesn't hurt it at all.
That’s super strange. I was confused as first as well but at this point the fan definitely doesn’t work - it smelt like something had burnt... anyway. Installing the new fan today. Let’s see where this goes.

A couple questions regarding the pad;

1)
On the pads, does the first pad need to be siliconed together?
I’m not sure if our measurements are inaccurate but the outside pad is actually long enough that the pad overlaps a bit.

2)
The inner pad is a bit too short so there is a little bit of a gap. We can silicone a strip of pad into that gap but based on what I’m reading the goal is to have the pad as wet as possible. It doesn’t seem like silicone would allow the pad to get particularly wet that way?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:11 am

Trim the outer pad to the size of the bottom of the bucket (30"s I think) and anything will work to seam it into a tube.

Silicone, Staple, or loose stitch with fishing line or thread.

Doesn't matter on the inner pad as that is mainly to rest slightly higher than the outer pad to holed the dripline in place.

A slight gap on the inner pad will leave a place for the tube coming up from the pump.

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:42 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:11 am
Trim the outer pad to the size of the bottom of the bucket (30"s I think) and anything will work to seam it into a tube.

Silicone, Staple, or loose stitch with fishing line or thread.

Doesn't matter on the inner pad as that is mainly to rest slightly higher than the outer pad to holed the dripline in place.

A slight gap on the inner pad will leave a place for the tube coming up from the pump.

Image
Got it. How tight must the drainage hose be squeezed into the top of the pad?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by dewski » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:13 pm

Folks,

I'm 30% done my Unicooler with the usual components:
* 12V Everbreeze Fan
* Genuine Joe garbage can
* Recommended pad

I've picked up two 63 GPH (240L/H) pumps - is that enough to keep up with the larger fan? I suspect no so I've ordered a 3A bilge pump (can't get the Aquajet in time...) I'd likely only turn that larger pump on during peak times of the day and otherwise use the smaller pumps...

I'll do some testing but the window is closing on orders/pickups.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:34 pm

Eycheych wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:42 pm
FIGJAM wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:11 am
Trim the outer pad to the size of the bottom of the bucket (30"s I think) and anything will work to seam it into a tube.

Silicone, Staple, or loose stitch with fishing line or thread.

Doesn't matter on the inner pad as that is mainly to rest slightly higher than the outer pad to holed the dripline in place.

A slight gap on the inner pad will leave a place for the tube coming up from the pump.

Image
Got it. How tight must the drainage hose be squeezed into the top of the pad?
Sorry for asking all these questions, we’re in SF and humidity is about 80% at 62F so a bit difficult to test the effectively of this thing.


We basically have 2 questions:

1) we have about 2 inches from the hose halo to the top of the bucket; does our pad need to be higher

2) how many inches should we have on the top of the bucket down to the holes.

Here are 2 pictures with for guidance:

https://ibb.co/jjgcdK
https://ibb.co/ixmokz

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:43 pm

Looks like figjam answered my 2nd question last year:

“One row of 2" holes an inch apart just under the second ridge on the bucket is all you need.”

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:05 pm

The outer pad needs to be tall enough that the drip halo seals between the pad and lid.

This forces ALL incoming air to go THROUGH the wet pad.

Just tuck some extra pad under your tube till it's tall enough.

That way you won't have to redo the tube. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:30 pm

Eycheych wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:43 pm
Looks like figjam answered my 2nd question last year:
“One row of 2" holes an inch apart just under the second ridge on the bucket is all you need.”
But you need a gap between the inside wall of the bucket and the pad. I'm see the pad tight to the holes in your photo.
You don't want the airflow only going through the pad in line with the holes. The air needs to be able to flow along the inside wall so it goes through all of the pad. This also prevents the water running down the pad from leaking out the holes.

viewtopic.php?t=33842&p=1083480#p1083480
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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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:57 pm

Yup noted! Still work in progress. Didn’t want to cut the pad before I was sure about the height and width. We’re cutting down on it right now. Thank you!!!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Eycheych » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:16 pm

Alright here we are:
https://ibb.co/cr5R5z
https://ibb.co/edMcCe

We raised it with a bottom made of evap pad so the top of the hose touches the lid now and tightened the outer pad by cutting an inch off and sewing it together. I think we’re ready 8)
Thanks figjam and gang

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:34 am

Thanks for the advice/help!
Canoe wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:10 am

To be clear,
  • The second bucket goes on the bottom, is the water reservoir, holds the pump, with a hole in the centre of its lid, which lets water drain down from the top bucket, and you can run the pump hose up it.
  • The top bucket is built like a standard bucket cooler, except it can have more holes lower down on the bucket as it will not have a water reservoir, and has a hole it its bottom centre for the water to drain out into the bottom bucket.
  • You may want a circle of weather stripping between the two buckets, to ensure its not sucking air into the top bucket's pad area through the bottom hole.
  • Your pump needs to be strong enough to pump the water from the bottom of the lower bucket up to the top of the upper bucket, where the water distribution ring is.
Any fans need to be pulling air from inside the roll of padding. They create the negative pressure (vacuum) that sucks air through the wetted pads, in turn drawing more air into the bucket. I don't know if you'd have enough space for mounting two fans.

The recommended "SHE" model of fan works fine. I don't know what you're expecting or what problem you're trying to solve by using two fans?

If you need "more fan",
  • Note that it's not just CFM: you need the pressure for drawing the air through the wetted pads.
  • You could try the GHE version of the recommended fan. In 2017, someone had a GHE fan or was going to get one, but I don't recall if they reported back how it worked.
  • Other than more noise and more amps required, the concern was a GHE may suck air through too fast, so it may dry out the pad in spots (letting hot dusty air through) or have insufficient dwell time for the air passing through the pad to be fully chilled.
My reason for wanting "more fan" was to make sure I could cool the small 10' uhaul effectively. I know its roughly 378 cubic feet on the inside, and based on my math it seemed a buck cooler's fan was just powerful enough to cool it. I know a unicooler would probably have worked better, but I already had all the materials around to make extra bucket coolers, so I figured I'd experiment a bit with the last one.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:25 pm

The bucket as designed will replace all the air in that space every 2 minutes.

If the pad stays wet and ALL the air has to pass through that pad. it should be fine with a single cooler.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:20 pm

druseph wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:34 am
My reason for wanting "more fan" was to make sure I could cool the small 10' box truck effectively. I know its roughly 378 cubic feet on the inside, and based on my math it seemed a buck cooler's fan was just powerful enough to cool it. I know a unicooler would probably have worked better, but I already had all the materials around to make extra bucket coolers, so I figured I'd experiment a bit with the last one.
  • They can get a lot of heat through their roof, so a lot of heat gain.
  • Expensive, but reflectix would work well for the roof. If you go there, use the red Stucco Tape. BUT, you've got a swamp cooler, so you don't need to bother, it would just be cooler.
  • Remember that the fan has to push the chilled air through any ducting and up into the box. If the fan is at the height of the floor of the box, there's no lifting. (As in, too much lift height and airflow drops)
  • When you shut the swampcooler off, the chilled air will flow out of the box, and yes, sucking hot playa air back in through the exhaust. (Even flowing back out through the swampcooler as it's lower than the box?)
    * Simply have something to plug the end of your duct when you turn the swampcooler off.
    * Same for the exhaust. Plug the exhaust when you have the swampcooler off when you go out exploring BRC, so you don't come back to a box full of playa dust.
  • Also, don't direct the chilled air up into the space to mix with the air volume like you would with an air conditioner. With a swamp cooler, direct its chilled air out along the floor, so it displaces the hot air above it.
  • Swampcooler chilled spaces need an exhaust. Have the exhaust up near the roof of the box, then the incoming chilled air will be exhausting the hottest air.
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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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sunrise_giraffe » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:08 am

For a variety of reasons, I built two 5 gallon bucket coolers instead of a unicooler. I’m planning to use them with a tent that’s around 700 cubic feet. Will they “add” together to provide enough airflow or should I expect this to be inadequate for the volume of space I’m looking to cool?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:38 am

Should be fine.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by martin luther Reformer » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:45 pm

LA AREA BURNERS: I have a large roll of leftover Duracool padding from making my swamp cooler-- nary a small pad remains in any the local stores, so I had to buy the whole thing. I'd be happy to sell you some of mine for a couple of bucks just to recoup a bit of the cost. Message me for details.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by worldjoe » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:42 pm

3 years after building my first Figjam bucket cooler and I finally used it on playa. Weather this year did not reach 90 degrees. I had tried them out at various events and was always disappointed in their ability to be anything other than a spot cooler. But I wanted to try on a hexayurt, on playa - as that was what they were designed for.

I brought 3 bucket coolers: 1 that I built, 1 that a friend built and 1 that I picked up on craigslist from a fellow burner. I can tell you that none of them worked to cool a 6 foot stretch yurt. I can say without a doubt in my mind that the bucket design is lackluster. Is there an ideal state that you can get to where the bucket design works well? Almost certainly. But as we all know from the endless back and forth on this thread that the writeup is less engineering and more architectural. Simple problems like variances in bucket widths & heights in regional home depot locations means that an instruction like "Cut the first pad 30x13 inches." is not sufficient. Which is why people end up with pads too narrow or worse, touching the side walls and leaking water out the bucket. A quick google search shows that the current Homer bucket is 14.5 inches tall. Which is why my first duracool pad was wasted when, after cutting, I found that the instructions did not match my bucket size and my pad did not touch the top of the bucket. Which is another error prone aspect, pads tend to sag over time which means even if you cut it correctly the first time eventually your pad will no longer reach the top of your bucket which provides a much easier path for air to travel - avoiding water completely.

On the bright side I also built one based on the unicooler design using a slim trash can. Image
That design highlights some of the most ridiculous aspects of the bucket design. In particular the fact that the unicooler has a significantly smaller pad size (my version has just 1 11x14 pad) compared to the bucket cooler shows you that the bucket design can too easily suffer from dry spots. I'm covering more than half the surface area with the same water pump in my unicooler as compare to the bucket. That leaves far less room to screw up the hole spacing in your circular hose, or angle of the holes. Or air bubbles causing the water to not make it the full 30 inches around. The endless breeze fan provides SOO much air power that even without a somewhat functioning swamp cooler it can feel pretty amazing blowing across your body with just light misting. The tiny CPU fans in the swamp coolers are completely worthless if the cooling function is not operating at full speed.

In my opinion, the unicooler design is better documented and less prone to failure even by the best of engineers. The smaller pad size and significantly larger fan give users more leeway in implementation - something the writeup already requires. I went with the trash can design because water proofing a wooden box sounded hard, something this forum seemed to echo.

Normally I'd try to contribute an attempt to better document a working bucket based swamp cooler. But I don't think I can, I have made many variances and the best cooling I got in very low humidity was under 15 degrees difference.

I think the best part of Figjam's contributions, for me, is the knowledge I learned in trying. The Figjam unicooler that I built will return to playa next year, but the bucket coolers will not. My friend was sweating in the yurt while trying to nap mid day; while I pulled a blanket on because it was getting too cool with my unicooler.
Joseph Elwell.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Token » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:58 pm

worldjoe wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:42 pm

I think the best part of Figjam's contributions, for me, is the knowledge I learned in trying.
Welcome to

Image

It is awful tempting to get great value from a small investment. That’s the illusion of this fun device.

One must live with its shortcomings or go insane in the process.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:05 pm

The bucket was never meant for a yurt and the unicooler was designed for yurts or bigger BECAUSE the bucket wasn't.

The pad has a "grain" that, when cut the right direction, doesn't sag. :roll:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Ano » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:04 pm

After five years of service, my original Cooler Bucket, built in 2013, lives on. It still works like a dream. I only went for the weekend this year for a variety of reasons, but my cooler bucket continues to be the best thing I ever did.

I think it may be time for me to upgrade it a bit, though. Thinking of a new fan, only because my campmate built a new bucket with a new higher-cfm fan, and it seems to work much better than mine. I feel like mine is already magic, but more concentrated magic...

Just chiming in with some general adoration, though, because these buckets are magic.

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