cooling your tent or van

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:24 pm

Cool- I hope it helps the sloshing.

I've been looking for a good straight-sided rectangular plastic box to do a unicooler but not much luck- all have sloped sides, I've found. I might do a 2 bucket system, but keeping both filled would be a bit of a hassle.

BTW, how these solar pumps hold up when they run out of water? I gather they would burn out.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:52 am

Work in Progress:

Image

Hoping to cool my 5x8 playa 'bedroom' with enough extra capacity to cool my whole 24' dome for short periods on high.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby momodumpling » Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:12 am

More Carrot Camp - Black Rock City Farmer's Market planning to build one of these to use inside a yurt as a cool room to keep our fruit and veg nice a crispy! We can't afford those big and fancy carbon-chewing refrigerated trucks!

What an excellent thread. Thanks FJ, we may be back with questions. But if not, come and visit us on the playa and we'll give you a cold n crunchy carrot or two :)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:23 am

melodiousdirge wrote:Work in Progress:

Image

Hoping to cool my 5x8 playa 'bedroom' with enough extra capacity to cool my whole 24' dome for short periods on high.



BLACK, REALLY!!!

If it's in the sun it will absorb heat like crazy.

It looks like you used partical board for the box.

Make sure it's coated inside and out with some kind of waterproof seal, like polyurathane, roof coating, or boat paint. 8)

It's tall.

Make sure the "head" of your pump (hight it will pump water) is enough to keep your pads wet.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:10 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
BLACK, REALLY!!!

If it's in the sun it will absorb heat like crazy.


It will not be in the sun, and I'm not finished painting it.

FIGJAM wrote:
It looks like you used partical board for the box.



It's Plywood

FIGJAM wrote:
Make sure it's coated inside and out with some kind of waterproof seal, like polyurathane, roof coating, or boat paint. 8)



It's fiberglassed inside where there is water and coated with truck bed liner everywhere else.

FIGJAM wrote:
It's tall.

Make sure the "head" of your pump (hight it will pump water) is enough to keep your pads wet.



Yes I know, even the pump you used in the Unicooler does not generate enough head. I found a perfect low wattage pump that claims to have 10ft head capability. We shall see.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:15 pm

Great work!!!

Carry on. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby strangeloop » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:15 pm

http://sport.woot.com/offers/goal-zero- ... wer-pack-1

Does anyone know if this little gadget would power a bucket cooler through the week with a solar panel attached? I brought a riding mower battery last year and it was complete overkill.

Thanks!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:45 pm

melodiousdirge wrote:... I found a perfect low wattage pump that claims to have 10ft head capability.

It might lift 10 feet, but at what rate. For a given pump, the higher the head, lower the flow rate. See if they publish the flow rate at your lift.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:51 pm

Canoe wrote:
melodiousdirge wrote:... I found a perfect low wattage pump that claims to have 10ft head capability.

It might lift 10 feet, but at what rate. For a given pump, the higher the head, lower the flow rate. See if they publish the flow rate at your lift.


They don't publish that info. It's ~1gpm at zero head, and my cooler is roughly 42" tall, or 1/3 of the max head for that pump. If it puts out even 1/2gpm at 1/3max head it will be way more than enough. That's of course if I believe that it will actually do 10 feet max head - seems like a lot for an impeller pump.

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... 7C45HLFIR2
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:17 pm

A little more style. Zero functionality added today :p

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby momodumpling » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:39 am

Nice styyyyle :)

SO, my camp plans to cool a 13' 10" diameter by 8' high cardboard yurt...I'm guessing it makes more sense to build a box swampy or a 30gallon trash can version with a nice powerful fan? But we can figure this out...what I do need to know is...

Does anyone have any advice re: condensation issues? We run a farmer's market on the playa and will be using the yurt primarily to keep the fruit and veg cool (it will be packed inside coolers with techni-ice), so will run the swampy during the hottest parts of each day. I'm worried about any condensation inside the yurt ruining the cardboard. Is the humidifying effect of the swampy intense enough to cause proper dripping, and can it be solved by ventilating the yurt more?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:35 am

Figure out the cubic footage of the space and try to get a fan that will completely exchange the air every 1 to 3 minutes.

The air needs to leave the space, through the vent, at the same rate that it's comeing in from the cooler.

This will prevent the codensation you're concerned about.

The box cooler with the pad on 3 sides should keep it pretty cool.

The trash can version uses an electric radiator fan.

They use a lot of power.

Hope this helps. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby garyt » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:41 am

melodiousdirge wrote:They don't publish that info. It's ~1gpm at zero head, and my cooler is roughly 42" tall, or 1/3 of the max head for that pump. If it puts out even 1/2gpm at 1/3max head it will be way more than enough. That's of course if I believe that it will actually do 10 feet max head - seems like a lot for an impeller pump.

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... 7C45HLFIR2


Could you get two of this pump and channel it into one tube to get better flowrate/lift? Will that work?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:07 am

garyt wrote:
melodiousdirge wrote:They don't publish that info. It's ~1gpm at zero head, and my cooler is roughly 42" tall, or 1/3 of the max head for that pump. If it puts out even 1/2gpm at 1/3max head it will be way more than enough. That's of course if I believe that it will actually do 10 feet max head - seems like a lot for an impeller pump.

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... 7C45HLFIR2


Could you get two of this pump and channel it into one tube to get better flowrate/lift? Will that work?


Depends on the pump - it would be better to run separate tubes for each pump. I'm sure if their published info is accurate it will be more than enough to keep the pad wet.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:27 am

garyt wrote:
melodiousdirge wrote:They don't publish that info. It's ~1gpm at zero head, and my cooler is roughly 42" tall, or 1/3 of the max head for that pump. If it puts out even 1/2gpm at 1/3max head it will be way more than enough. That's of course if I believe that it will actually do 10 feet max head - seems like a lot for an impeller pump.

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... 7C45HLFIR2


Could you get two of this pump and channel it into one tube to get better flowrate/lift? Will that work?


Or, if you were trying to get more lift you could put the second pump halfway up. Problem is then you're relying on two pumps to work 100% of the time - if one fails, the whole thing doesn't work.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby momodumpling » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:18 pm

Thanks Figgy! Will keep posting our progress here :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby garyt » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:15 am

melodiousdirge wrote:Or, if you were trying to get more lift you could put the second pump halfway up. Problem is then you're relying on two pumps to work 100% of the time - if one fails, the whole thing doesn't work.


Had similar thoughts. Please let us know when the pump arrives and how it works!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:53 am

garyt wrote:
melodiousdirge wrote:Or, if you were trying to get more lift you could put the second pump halfway up. Problem is then you're relying on two pumps to work 100% of the time - if one fails, the whole thing doesn't work.


Had similar thoughts. Please let us know when the pump arrives and how it works!


Will do. I have some reservations about their published specs - 3.6litres (1 gal) per minute seems awfully ambitious for a 1/4" outlet at ~3W
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:58 am

60gph is great, IF it will deliver that much to the top of your cooler. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Mojojita » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:41 pm

Figgy,

One of my minions wants to ask you a couple swamp cooler questions. Would you PM me your e-mail addy? He is not eplaya enabled.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby mollycrack » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:46 pm

I love, love, love this and can totally build one, but I am confused about the power. Do you have a video or something online that can show me how to hook up the fan/pump to a battery?

I was thinking of getting a AA battery fan, but the power would obviously be diminished.

Thanks!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:38 pm

The wires are usually red and black.

The red goes to the + and the black goes to the -.

Alligator clips would be the easiest way to do this.

If the wire are a different color, just touch test them to the battery till the fan works, then mark those wires.

The pump will work no matter which way the wires are connected, but when connected correctly, it will pump 2x as much water. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby garyt » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:45 pm

Send you a PM, Figjam and then realize it would be better here. Im still a little confused with the material used to build the box for the unicooler. I went to home depot and couldn't find it. May have overlooked. Is there a name to it?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:56 pm

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. $31.29 for a 4x8 sheet. 8)

http://www.homedepot.com/Lumber-Composites-Paneling-Fiberglass-Reinforced-Plastic/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbqk5/h_d2/Navigation?catalogId=10053&Nu=P_PARENT_ID&langId=-1&storeId=10051&currentPLP=true&omni=c_Fiberglass-Reinforced%20Plastic&searchNav=true#/?c=1&12l0=12l0

Get some composit molding for the inside corners and I used Goop to glue it together, plus 100% silicone caulk after it was stuck together just to be sure it woul'nt leak. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:22 pm

FYI, the unicooler demensions were designed for my playapod.

If your space will allow it, make it shaped more like an old style suitcase. (squater and wider)

That way you will double the size of the intake and pad surface.

Just put 2 louvered registers side by side.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ridingnitro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:46 am

FIGJAM....this thread is awesome, good work!

I do have a question, so my plan is to build the box cooler and use it to cool a 16' box truck (a rental)
The idea is to cut a 2.5' tall piece of plywood to span the width of the door, with a hole towards one side to mount the cooler. Then the door would be closed down onto the wood to create a seal. The issue I am running into is how to vent the truck. Since it is a rental, I can't just cut a hole on the other side of the truck. I was thinking about cutting a vent with some sort of ait filter in the plywood strip on the opposite side of where the box cooler will be. So both the intake of the cooler and the vent will be on the same side of the vehicle. Do you think that would be sufficient? If not, any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:15 am

Yes.

Just cut the ply so that it leaves a 4" gap so the air cuircullates in a U shape through the truck. 8)

That's a pretty large space, so bring enough power to run the cooler on medium or high.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:28 am

FIGJAM wrote:Just cut the ply so that it leaves a 4" gap so the air cuircullates in a U shape through the truck.

If you make that a six inch round hole, and run a (flex?) duct from that hole up to near the top of the inside, it will be exhausting the hottest air.
The coolest air will be settling down where you are sleeping.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:45 am

I think he has a pull down door on that van, so he's filling a 2.5' gap at the bottom of the door.

No way to vent at the top.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:34 am

momodumpling wrote:Thanks Figgy! Will keep posting our progress here :)



Did some research and found that a simple evaporative fridge can keep your veggies fresh for 20 days!!!

Look at salution 1.

http://www.provident-living-today.com/Alternative-Refrigeration.html

The burlap in the water resivour on top will wick to the top edge, then gravity will continue to pull the water to soak the burlap down the sides.

With this you may not need a cooler, but just a fan to keep the air circulating in the yurt. 8)
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