junglesmacks wrote:The more I look at this, the more in awe I am. I want this. Do you remember the dimensions of the panels?
Also.. if you were just snapping the panels in the door channels, you would still have a good amount of gap around the edges and especially around the top since it makes about a 6" radius 90 degree turn at the top. How did you seal it in on the sides and top?
If the swamp cooler is doing nothing but blowing in, how were you blowing exhaust out?
Unfortunately, I don't remember the exact dimensions of the panels. I went to the budget location I was renting from on my way to home depot with a tape measure and took a few numbers down. The channel that the door slides in is made up of two parts, the actual track that the door's casters roll in, and then the sheet metal groove that the track is set back into. There was about an inch from the track to the beginning of the grove. Those two inches (one one each side) gave enough tolerance that popping in one side at a time and using the track and groove to hold things in worked.
I had prefabbed the panels in advance of getting the truck, but once I picked up the rental and took it back to my brother's place to load up I did a test run of setting it up. There were some last minute adjustments made with a circular saw and belt sander in order to make it fit well. When it was said and done, I was working with about 1/4" of tolerance up the sides, but when the cooler was in place and weighted down with water it kept the panel pushed tight against the track. The top of the panel extended about 3 inches up into the sheet metal housing where the roll up door is stored. To seal the bottom, all I did was place a thin stip of old towels across the bottom of the truck floor and rested the panel on top.
You can't see in the above pictures because they are blocked by the braches, but there were 4" circular vents in each top corner of panel. Just a round hole that I dropped an HVAC 4" plastic grille cover into that had some foam AC filter material jammed into to keep the dust out. Also, the positive pressure from the cooler would force the dust out as well. It was quite dust free in there all week.
For this year I am going to make some changes. Probably a side by side panel system with the cooler on the left and a full sized door on the right. The small door that I did last year worked well, but wasn't as comfortable to more in and out of as I would have liked. But I since I more or less designed that panel on the fly (I had flown out to the bay area with my swamp cooler design sketched out and the fan, pump and pads preordered to my brother) and working out of an unfamiliar workshop, that was the best I could do in a short period of time.
Thanks for all the kind words everyone! I was very happy with how that turned out. Last year was our second burn and after 2011 I promised myself that I would design something that we could live in that was comfortable and allowed for all day sleeping, but didn't cost $4000 or more to rent.