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 Talynt » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:26 pm

Figjam, I've been following this thread since the day you posted it... I think you might win the ePlaya!

Quick question now, there are 72 freaking pages! I've read the last 20, and I have a slightly unique question.

our camp is renting a very large generator, so I actually will have a 10 amp (ish) 120v AC plug running right to my camp. Thats on my 150 foot 10 gauge extension cord... However I haven't seen many posts that reference how we can change things when we're not limited by power.
For example, I see a lot of these DC computer fans that are rated at ~120 CFM... Is that really putting out more air/pressure/something then a cheap, say, $30 bathroom fan at 100 cfm? Just the size alone, really?

I'm eating into my budget pretty quick, so I'm hoping that going AC will actually SAVE me money on solar powered fountain pumps etc... Got any tips for what I should replace for equal/better performance at the same or lower price point?

thanks! Even a link to the relevant posts would be nice, I can't figure out the proper search term :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:00 am

For 120 VAC instead of 12 VDC, you've got both a fan and a pump. You could probably source something in 120 VAC, but FIGJAM's done a lot to find, test and prove components that work well. And, if you go 120 VAC, you're now dealing with potentially lethal electricity when wiring up your swamp cooler and its water.

In this post
viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&p=955293&hilit=wires+together#p955267
FIGJAM recommends and links to a 12 VOLT DC POWER SUPPLY PLUG 3 AMP WEARNES WALL WART 3A

12 VOLT DC POWER SUPPLY PLUG 3 AMP WEARNES WALL WART 3A.JPG


He linked to that one for someone asking about a particular fan that draws 1.25A, so if your swamp-cooler was going to use a fan that draws more amps (say an Endless Breeze on high, for 2.3A to 2.9A depending on who is providing the number), you might want a 4 amp wall-wart just to be sure you have room.

The current draw is so low for the recommended components, that a wall wart is sufficient to convert from 120 VAC to 12 VDC. This way you:
  • get to use the recommended swamp-cooler components - you know they will do the job properly and reliably on-playa,
  • avoid any concerns from 120 VAC power,
  • in future, should you go to battery or solar power, you just delete the wall-wart - no need to buy another fan & pump that run on 12 VDC, or rewire your swamp-cooler.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Talynt » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:04 am

you're right that 120vac is more dangerous, but what I was referencing was using off the shelf components with minimal wiring (I'm pretty adept at a soldering iron and an arduino, just looking to simplify) to replace the "lack of power work-arounds" that most people have questions regarding.

For example, does a small computer case fan at 130 cfm REALLY put out more airflow (airflow, pressure, power, etc) then a full-on ceiling mounted bathroom fan at, say, 110 cfm? I mean, that just doesn't seem probable... And it'd be SIMPLE to wire up!

And for a pump, wouldn't it make more sense to use a high-flow aquarium pump, or fountain pump, that runs on AC instead of trying to hunt down that out of stock harbor freight solar powered pump that barely works in perfectly direct sunlight etc etc?

I'm all ears, just seems like the parts could be pretty different if you take the power scarcity out of the equation

EDIT: The fans I'm talking about are like this one:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Air-King-High-Performance-90-CFM-Ceiling-Exhaust-Bath-Fan-BFQ90/203163628?N=c4kqZ1z0yi0zZbwo5qZbwo5oZbwo5nZ1z0yi0zZ12l0#.UfYiqGRgY-M
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:57 am

You are both right! 8)

The designs were made to run off 12 volt DC because that's what most people would have access to.

I tried to find cash and carry for all the parts, but just could'nt and still have something that would work.

If you have unlimited house current it gets real easy.

HF has a lot of 110 AC submersable fountain pumps on their shelfs.

http://www.harborfreight.com/158-gph-miniature-submersible-fountain-pump-68396.html

With that power available I would built the box cooler with an off the shelf fan.

I don't see any CFM stats on these but they should be fine.

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=12+Box+Fans&adid=22222222220206102322&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=e&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=25793229013&wl4=&veh=sem
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:59 pm

Damn it Fig,

Have a homer bucket all cuts made.

Little water pump.. Can convert 12v to 7v to run the solar pump..

Fan, Short on money and with what I have.. 12v 1.2 watt fan.. 7 inches.. 7to6 inch reducer. 6 inch flex dryer hose..

wiring, all

It all fits the bucket good.. Now get off ass and do it..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:02 pm

See you soon! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:22 pm

I have the harbor freight solar pump and I'd like to connect it to my deep cycle battery. That being said the solar pump is 7v and the battery is 12v so I bought a voltage reducer. Do you happen to know which of the wires in the power cord of the pump is positive and which is negative? One is blue and the other is brown.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:25 pm

Conduit wrote:I have the harbor freight solar pump and I'd like to connect it to my deep cycle battery. That being said the solar pump is 7v and the battery is 12v so I bought a voltage reducer. Do you happen to know which of the wires in the power cord of the pump is positive and which is negative? One is blue and the other is brown.


I would just touch the wire to power for a second. Which way will start the pump.
Have not hook mine up yet..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:34 pm

unjonharley wrote:
Conduit wrote:I have the harbor freight solar pump and I'd like to connect it to my deep cycle battery. That being said the solar pump is 7v and the battery is 12v so I bought a voltage reducer. Do you happen to know which of the wires in the power cord of the pump is positive and which is negative? One is blue and the other is brown.


I would just touch the wire to power for a second. Which way will start the pump.
Have not hook mine up yet..



I did that and it works either way. I'm going to have an electrician buddy test it this weekend and I'll report back. The reducer needs to be connected to the positive leg.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:42 pm

Put the pump in the bucket with a gallon of water and do the touch test again.

One way will pump twice as much water and it will be obvious. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:01 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Put the pump in the bucket with a gallon of water and do the touch test again.

One way will pump twice as much water and it will be obvious. 8)



Thank you good sir! I'll let you guys know how it goes...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:06 pm

my voltage step down has a pole switch.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:11 pm

unjonharley wrote:my voltage step down has a pole switch.



Are you flirting with me?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby theox » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:41 am

i've got mine built! looks great and i'm figuring out the venting-into-camper-van part now... one question - how do the pads do in the dust? i'll be out there all week and am wondering if i should bring some extra pads to switch out if the first ones get clogged. because it'll be on the outside of my van there'll be no hiding little swampie from the dust :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:05 am

So far the water seems to keep the dust flushed out of the pads very well and settles to a layer at the bottom of the cooler. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:26 pm

For some reason HD did not let me order pad.. Lowes did.. they will be here Monday..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:45 pm

Did thet charge for shipping?

Ace will ship store to store for free. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:52 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Did thet charge for shipping?

Ace will ship store to store for free. 8)


yup, payed the shipping.. Was done messing around.. just did it. Now Lowes has added a day on delivery by a second e mail.. Got the pusher trailer set up.. Batteries on Thurs...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:31 pm

Can't wait to see the pusher. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby psyki » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:53 pm

I tried building this at the last minute 2 years ago (my last burn) and it didn't work so well, I went with solar powered everything and while I don't believe I was low on power, I think the problem was either the cooling pads I got, or how I had them positioned.

This year I have done everything by the book, got the correct duracool pads, 115ah costco battery, nice 190cfm fan, and a pump that will do 100gph. But just today it hit me... I had been putting the pads in the bucket tight against the edge so the air would be forced through the pads. Today I just read (on page 62?) that you want the pads NOT touching the bucket, but forming a gasket at the lid. This actually makes a lot of sense as it should force air evenly through the pads instead of just through where they would touch the holes. This was not at all clear in the OP. But now I am concerned I already cut my pads too short.

I have a bit of scrap though, could I just cut out a ring and lay it on top of my pads to seal against the lid? Or better yet, glue a ring to the bottom of the lid?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:24 pm

It will be easier to add pad to the bottom of the tube if you have to.

The drip line creates the gasket.

There's a complete recap of the designs on page 66. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:43 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Can't wait to see the pusher. 8)


It's so simple it will be an mad max anti :roll: climax..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:50 pm

Oh crap, I didn't realize the pump is 7v...how long is it going to last connected to the 12v battery before the pump blows up?? I bought the exact pump listed on the page 62 recap.
Also, what size holes are cut into the side of the homer bucket?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:38 pm

Just use the pump with the solar panel that came with it or there is still time to get this one.

http://compare.ebay.com/like/400519392411?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

I think the holes are 2", but it's not that critical as long as the surface area of all the holes are about twice that of the duct. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby oly14 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:54 pm

Conduit wrote:I have the harbor freight solar pump and I'd like to connect it to my deep cycle battery. That being said the solar pump is 7v and the battery is 12v so I bought a voltage reducer. Do you happen to know which of the wires in the power cord of the pump is positive and which is negative? One is blue and the other is brown.


Brown is positive, blue is negative. I put my meter on the solar panel and then looked though the connector at the wires.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Dusmir » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:28 pm

I think it's funny when you go to amazon and look up the cooler pads, at the bottom where it says "people who bought this also bought..." and it's cpu fans, fountain pumps, and battery operated led and el wire. It's like a burning man shopping cart.

Great thread Figjam, I actually read all 73 pages! Good work. Some need to pay a little more attention to voltages and instructions, but they'll learn when they let the smoke out.

D.C. is for batteries, A.C. is for gennys putting out household 110volt, Red is positive, black is negative, a 7 volt motor WILL run on 12 volts for about 1/2 a second, you can't run 2 amps worth of motors on a $19.95 autozone solar battery charger, check the specs BEFORE you click 'buy it now,' etc., etc. :roll: And most important, if you don't know what you are doing, following the instructions to the letter will get you a cooler that works! If you don't, you're gonna be hot...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby theox » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:20 am

thanks for the response about the pad life in the dust, fig. i'm almost ready to roll but had siliconed my 4 inch septic line connector to the lid a few days ago and it just popped off. what do you use to "goop" yours on so it stays put? and do you apply it once you've got the fan attached (i don't want to take the fan off but will if the goop gets messy).
thanks. stoked about the "window" i built to run swampie into our camper van. so will post pics :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby fgcastle » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:46 am

theox wrote:fig. i'm almost ready to roll but had siliconed my 4 inch septic line connector to the lid a few days ago and it just popped off. what do you use to "goop" yours on so it stays put? and do you apply it once you've got the fan attached (i don't want to take the fan off but will if the goop gets messy).


I am sure Fig has a smarter way, but here is what I did. Attached a 5" to 4" reducer with angle brackets and then siliconed around the bottom seal.
swamp cooler top connector.JPG
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby theox » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:49 am

looks solid! maybe i'll throw some angle brackets on there... thx
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:18 pm

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