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 ShreddinPB » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:31 pm

I wish it was the first time someone said that :(
I will make smaller holes!

I was thinking about making them with a hot thin knife so that maybe they spray out? fan out the water? Thats probably over kill

I'll just keep the batteries outside then, maybe run a switch inside lol
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:48 pm

The pump don't produce enough pressure to create a spray.

Do the holes and if they are a little small you can put a single hole on top of the hose opposite where the T is to allow better flow.

If you have the right balance of size and number of holes you won't need that.

You can change the design any way you want, but don't blame me if you don't get the same results I do. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sierraskies » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:57 pm

My Rubbermaid Slim Jim Cooler
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:45 am

Hi Figjam-

I did a little measuring tonight...

Previously I had cut a 33.5 x 13" piece of duracool pad; flat on a table. When joined into a tube it's diameter was too large for the bucket.

So I measured my tube with a piece of wire. Circumference was 37", 3.5" too much. I assume this is 'stretching' of the outside when rolled; as it is a pliable material.

Opened up the tube. re-cut to 30" in length. made into a new tube, fits perfectly!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:27 am

Keep it up guys and we'll drop the playa temp by 10 degrees! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby orion-nw » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:44 pm

FIGJAM...and my other fellow temperature hackers! Last year our FIGJAM-design bucket cooler allowed our hexayurt to stay remarkably pleasant throughout the day.

This year we retired the yurt (RIP*). Though it served us well, my lady and I have long eyed converting a bus as our playa-mobile (and year-round fiesta vehicle). This year we acquired a 14-passenger airport-shuttle style bus and are already deeply in love. We couldn't get it until much later in the year than we'd hoped, so it'll be low on accoutrements (with a bed, the built-in seats & luggage rack, and some swanky LED lighting) but it will be home.

Obviously this larger, less-insulated space demands a beefier cooling solution. So I decided to build the box cooler. Parts:
+ Suncast outdoor garden box (has a nice tall shape and a folding top lid for easy access to water/beer)
+ Pump from eBay (same one I used in the bucket)
+ PVC for the internal water channels
+ 3 air registers and Duracool wired to them
+ And of course the Endless Breeze, gifted by a lovely fellow burner

It'll all be wired into my 220ah golf cart battery system.

The only major hurdle was the box itself:
1. It's not watertight out of the box, so I caulked it up with some silicone caulk. Unfortunately the first batch from the local hardware store was expired ... the whole box at the store was expired! ... but I didn't realize this until after 2 days and noticing that the caulk hadn't cured. A couple of hours of scraping later... :evil:
2. The box itself has some "style" ... which means the internal edges aren't uniformly flat. It made for some very strategic PVC layout internally. It also meant the air registers didn't fit internally, so on the outside they went. I don't think it shouldn't hinder performance, but it forced me to double the layers of duracool since the registers couldn't help the duracool "stick out" far enough to live under the PVC. I suppose if anything the double-layers could help cooling.
Doing it again I would probably choose a more "box" looking box!

Unfortunately being in the PacNW (during the hottest most humid couple of weeks we've seen in a while), testing has been minimal. We'll have to do the temperature testing on the road to BRC. But doing a smoke test with the fan running showed lots of intake right through all three evap surfaces, even on the lowest setting. That Endless Breeze is amazing!!

Photos below (this is before installing the pump).

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Can't wait to try it out on-playa. If it's half as effective as the bucket cooler, we're gonna be blissed. FIGJAM... we are so thankful for your hard labors and dedication to this monster thread. Can't wait to meet you (and the rest of the folks in this thread) at Cooler-Con 2012!!

* Some of the yurt insulation panels are happily serving new lives as insulating window-blockers for the bus. :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:05 pm

Orion-nw

It looks great!

My concern is the vent position.

Thier main purpose is to keep the water channeled inward.

Run it for a day and see if it has any leaks to deal with. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby orion-nw » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:30 pm

FIGJAM wrote:My concern is the vent position.

Thier main purpose is to keep the water channeled inward.

Run it for a day and see if it has any leaks to deal with. 8)


Will do, for sure. I'm cautiously optimistic due to the thickness of the outer wall... but we'll see. The vents are also keeping the duracool pads secured, I think the fan would "puff" the pads out otherwise. I'll report back for sure.

Moving them internal would be a bit of a bitch for the reasons I described, but if needed... well, it's an excuse to bust out the dremel again. It really wouldn't be a difficult swap, I may not even have to de-wire & re-wire the duracool pads since they are wholly mounted to the registers.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:04 pm

The registers on the box I just finished are 12"X12".

When the pads are wet they do tend to billow, but as long as the edges stay put, they're fine. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Groovy » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:25 pm

Hi guys,

What are you using to fix the 4" septic line connector to the top of the bucket lid? I've tried Gorilla Glue and Epoxy and neither worked well. What exactly is this "goop"?
Now with the lid on the bucket, I used a 4 inch septic line connector gooped to the lid over the fan.


Thanks,
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:58 pm

http://eclecticproducts.com/all_purpose.htm

There's also E6000 that works about the same.
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Cooler-Con 2012

Postby sjs » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:15 pm

Reminder: Cooler-Con at 5:00pm on Tuesday at Camp Bioluminati (we are the "Pimp Yr Bike" folks). Our actual camp location is on the 5:30 road between Alyssum and the Esplanade... basically near the "p" in "Center Camp" on this map:
Image
(click the image for more detail)


So, as noted on PlayaEvents and in your What Where When book:

Bring your swamp cooler or come to learn! Meet the fabulous people from the epic eplaya thread! Fix, troubleshoot, and invent!


Bring your own battery if you can, but still come if you can't (we can share).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:40 pm

Thanks for the reminder!!!

It's in my plans and I hope we get a good crowd. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sjs » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:11 pm

Maybe we should also have a "Pimp Yr Cooler" session.

Nothing says chill like metallic paint and a doll head.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:18 pm

sjs wrote:Maybe we should also have a "Pimp Yr Cooler" session.

Nothing says chill like metallic paint and a doll head.



Science can only do so much.

So pimping your unit is the ONLY way to make it cooooooooooooooooooooler! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby garyt » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:43 pm

Hopefully I will remember this cooler con. I never seem to be able to show up for whatever I planned. I'll be on playa in 3 days, hope to see some of you in the dust soon! :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:21 pm

Sierra - how much water does that thing hold? I have the same design and I calculated 4 gallons. This is like half the original Uniucooler™ design right? Will we be filling this thing up every 2 hours?

Got back into town from work. Starting to build the cooler today.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:47 pm

4 gallons will last at least 5 hours.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kipchoge » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:20 pm

thanks for the great thread!

I'm thinking about going to the junkyard to salvage an electric radiator fan and an electric fuel pump. Do you think these would do the trick for the box cooler?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:28 pm

Those pumps and fans use a lot of power due to dependance on the car running.

These designs are made to be power conserving so you can run them all week.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:30 pm

kip - the radiator fan will no doubt use a lot of Amps. Yes it WILL work, but it will waste power. You won't get that many hours of use if you draw the amps from a fuel pump and radiator fan. They are 12 volt, but high in amps.

You would probably be better off using a box fan on 120volt power with an AC powered pump on an inverter rather than car parts.

Are you thinking of building a 12volt or 120volt system? It's too late to get a coolbreeze ordered unless you somehow find one locally. That's the best 12 volt fan. It uses 1-3 amps vs 8-20amps of a radiator fan. Who knows what a random fuel pump uses. Probably more than the pumps we've been talking about.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:35 pm

Cabelas have the fan if you live close to one.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kipchoge » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:45 pm

thanks for the replies!

I guess I'm not too worried about the power consumption, since I live off-grid and am just going to be bringing my panels and batteries with me to the playa and have pretty low overall power needs. More concerned about not buying new stuff and making as much as I can from salvaged parts. I do love efficiency though, so I might try to limit the fan current and put the pump on a switch with a top reservoir. I found this cool electronic DIY "float" switch http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to- ... itch-with/, but I can't figure out how to give it an operation "window" so it pumps a whole bunch and then turns off. Maybe a timer makes more sense!

I think I'll pick up a fan and report back on it's energy consumption.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:32 am

Currently trying to de-charge my deep cycle (115ah) because I read it will take 10-20 cycles to be at maximum efficiency. I've got the coolbreeze fan set on #1 speed with a multimeter attached. Going on 6 and a half hours and the voltage is at about 12.31 or 65% ish. I'll test the other setting this week as well and see how long it lasts.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:28 am

Some burners are concerned about dust in the coolers.

It has'nt been an issue in the past, but if it makes you feel better, buy and extra dura cool pad and cover the outside of your intakes with it.

It will filter enough dust without restricting the air flow.

Then you also have backup pads if you need them. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:33 am

I purchased the fan you recommended, but the diameter appears to be about 4 1/2" ... larger than 4" tubes or ducts. Does your 4" lines block the outer part of the fan?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:17 am

You want to put a 4" septic CONNECTOR on the lid first and it will look like this....


Image

8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:49 am

gjenkins wrote:I purchased the fan you recommended, but the diameter appears to be about 4 1/2" ... larger than 4" tubes or ducts. Does your 4" lines block the outer part of the fan?

I used a 4" toilet adapter from home depot.
The mounting holes on it are the exact same size as the mounting holes on the 120mm fan.. so I just mounted the fan on the bottom side of the lid and the 4" toilet mount on the top.. perfect
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:31 pm

Alright got my box cooler built and all parts ready. Looks really awesome and pics promised soon!..got a question regarding the battery powering. I got the deep cycle Kirkland battery from Costco.

I noticed some of you putting a switch between your pump / fan line and the battery.

When you flip the switch OFF, wouldn't the battery still drain if you leave the terminals connected?
I don't see the point in having a switch if I still have to go outside my yurt to re-connect battery terminals for each use anyway.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:54 pm

If the pump and fan are switched off there won't be anything drawing power from the battery.

Think of it like your sink.

If the tap is turned off are you using any water? 8)

My battery stays connected all week.
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