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 sfcraigd » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:46 pm

Jyman, thanks for your narrative and photos. Super helpful.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Joeln » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:17 am

I'll be building one shortly.
Thanks to all for the many tips, pics and links.
Many wrong steps can be avoided because you folks have tried so many variants.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Disco_Steve » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:51 am

Uh Oh!
So our initial cut of Duracool for our bucketcooler was 13"x30", however it was still rubbing against the bucket wall.
We cut it down a bit, as several people have claimed they've had to do in this thread.
However, now we're worried we cut it down a little TOO much! Its about an 1" from the bucket walls.
Are there detrimental from being the duracool tube being too small? Is it worth re-cutting a new piece?

>_> leaving in two weeks..I should probably get this project finished!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:33 am

The only problem would be the fan fitting inside the inner pad.

You can silicone a strip of pad back on and recut.

I've done this!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Admarz » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:37 am

First off, thank you Figjam for your original deign, and your constant updates and answers to our questions! I didn't have time to read all 97 pages of the thread, but I learned enough to tackle a bucket cooler on my own, and I may have one design tweak, one building technique and one mistake I made that may be helpful to others. Let me know what you think :)

1. Mistake- I tried the Aspen Pads, and they were a MESS!!! Going back to the original Duracool pads.

2. Building- I agree that a hot 10 gauge wire works best for making the holes, but instead of moving it in and out of the hole until it cools off, I cut a second piece of wire, then I melted a hole, and immediately removed the hot wire and replaced it with the cool one to seal the hole while I re-heated the original wire. Seemed to speed up the process considerably :)

3. Design- I found an ABS knock out toilet flange for $3.00 at the hardware store (cheaper than the regular kind) with an opening of 3 1/2", that has holes that match up exactly with the fan holes. I then used 1" 6/32 stainless steal machine screws, washers and wing nuts to hold it on the bucket cover. It makes a great seal, needs no glue and is SUPER strong. I added a hose clamp, and I'll run insulated ducting from the cooler to my canvas tent.

I recorded an 18 degree temperature drop at 79 degrees and 26% humidity here in the Bay Area. I think I should achieve a 25 degree drop on Playa… Fingers crossed :)

-Adam
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Admarz » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:41 pm

Oops, I meant to say an 18 degree drop at 88 degrees and 26 degrees humidity.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Papa Bear » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:48 pm

OK, my version of the box cooler is just about finished. I'm ready to attach the pad, and realized that I'm not sure whether it should be just one layer over each vent, or two?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:40 pm

One is fine.

It's all I use in anything but the bucket. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby conundrum » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:08 pm

My drip ring is a bit uneven- especially coming out of the T-adapter, it seems like the flow is too strong there and shoots past the holes. This is my pump. Overall, my ring is not 'full' - there are some some air spaces and some bubbles in the line, and if the ring is not perfectly flat it will drip more on one side. It's relatively good, but I can forsee a dry strip near the T or maybe somewhere else. Are my holes too big? Should I redo the ring?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:21 pm

After I put the T in the halo, I found a dry strip.. Used the drill press to add holes in the hard plastic
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:21 pm

The ring has to sit flat for an even flow.

One hole in the bottom of the tee should do it, or try smaller holes.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby benjamd » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:52 pm

Finally got our new cooler working.

I've done things a little differently than the standard Unicooler design. Moved the Endless Breeze fan inside the box to make it easier to transport in our little car, I also wired all the electronics into the inside of the EB case, there's a lot of room inside there and its pretty easy to open up. I also used some basic wire mesh to hold the evaporative material away from the outside edges to avoid leakage, this seems to be working pretty well. The mesh was cut and bent to shape and pushed into each of the vent areas, the evap pad was then push fit into place around it.

We also found a great way to reuse the lids from the old bucket cooler, we needed something that would let us attach the ducting to the 12" hole on the front of the box, turns out the lids from the 5 gallon buckets are the perfect size. So we can just transport a flat piece of Reflectix insulation, then roll it into a tube and tape it to the bucket lid. It then just push fits into the hole, perfect!

Since I've just recently got my CNC machine working too I cut pretty holes in the sides for the vent!

All in all I'm pretty happy, haven't got a thermometer to test it, but here in Pasadena where the humidity is quite low already I'm finding it puts out more than enough cool air to make life pleasant.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:57 pm

Very nice work!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:23 am

Ah, these coolers will never work... Its 90 out here right now with 47 humidity.. That cooler I spent money on isn't cooling a damn thing.. Now I'll have to spend time tweeking on it.. So it will be a whole different cooler.. Damn Figjam what did you get me into.. See ya on the playa
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:36 am

It's a 5 year long prank!

1000s fooled!!! :roll:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:48 am

Lets see how many we can catch with this one.

Its a 100 degrees out.. I need to get stuff done..

So I take a sock out to the garden and 1/2 fill it with Perlite/therma rock.. Tie off the end, run water over it, let it sit for a few and put it in my straw hat..Off to work I go with a cool head...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Ano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:14 am

I use my Bucket cooler to cool our bedroom in the evenings now.

Last thing left is to troubleshoot the solar system and install this mechanical timer switch... and maybe re-do the duracool pad, because I used hand-me-down from a different design and I think it's not working as effectively as it could.
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wiring issue

Postby KTbiaz » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:57 pm

Thanks so much for this design FIGJAM! Built ours yesterday and it seems close to perfect…only issue seems to have arisen from the splicing….we went to splice the fan to the fountain pump and the fan had 3 wires: yellow, pink and black. The fountain pump had two: brown and blue….anyone know how these should link up? We did the black to brown and yellow and pink to the blue …fountain ran but fan didn't.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Ano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:00 pm

One of the wires from the fan is not needed, IIRC. One of the wires is simply to control the speed of the fan, if it is hooked up to a computer.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:40 pm

It will only spin when you find the right 2 wires and with the right polarity.

You can't hurt the fan doing this.

The pump will run no matter which way it's hooked up, but it will pump twice as much water when spinning the correct direction
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Ano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:41 pm

Fucking. Victory. I did it. I really did it.

Other than the part where I ran my pump dry for a minute or so (its okay! I think! Still pumps water...), I now have a functioning bucket cooler hooked up to a solar panel and controller. On wednesday, I'll have a switch to install to make everything that much better. I feel amazing.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:26 am

Ano wrote:Fucking. Victory. I did it. I really did it.

Other than the part where I ran my pump dry for a minute or so (its okay! I think! Still pumps water...), I now have a functioning bucket cooler hooked up to a solar panel and controller. On wednesday, I'll have a switch to install to make everything that much better. I feel amazing.


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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:27 am

Ano wrote:Fucking. Victory. I did it. I really did it.

Other than the part where I ran my pump dry for a minute or so (its okay! I think! Still pumps water...), I now have a functioning bucket cooler hooked up to a solar panel and controller. On wednesday, I'll have a switch to install to make everything that much better. I feel amazing.


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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Keisters » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:41 am

Hi all,

Is there a suitable AC alternative to the Endless Breeze fan?

Thanks so much,
Pkvenice
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:03 am

Sure.

If you have the power there are box fans at Walmart for about $15 that will kick ass.

I think they even have a mini box fan that's about the same size as the EB. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:51 pm

WallMart has put the fans up for the season.. Everything is about school supplies loot
I was in a store Sat. They were setup for hollow weiner. The whole f--'en place was black and orange..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby mikeprachar » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:41 pm

97 pages - yikes!

I've read enough to get building, but I am curious what happens if I do the "recirculate" trick and set the whole thing inside my H12 Yurt at BM? I do have a 20X20 vent with a furnace filter already. I haven't seen a solid answer in the 25+ pages I've read so far today.

If I locate it outside I'll need to unpack the yurt and cut a new vent/duct setup. It is possible, but it's a PITA and I'm running out of time with everything else that still needs to be done...
:D
Any experienced advice would be very welcome!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:55 pm

It could work.."But" You will loose most of your cooling avantage.

Swamp coolers use hot dry air.. As in outside your yurt.. Then exhaust the damp air from the yurt..

If you set it up inside your yurt.. The air will become damp.. There will be no positive pressure to push/exhaust air..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby mikeprachar » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:06 pm

Ok...

So if I duct it properly, will the 5gal. Bucket version with a 220 CFM fan be effective in a 12 x 12 yurt be effective or am I kidding myself?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:14 pm

Keisters wrote:Hi all,

Is there a suitable AC alternative to the Endless Breeze fan?

Thanks so much,
Pkvenice


That depends on what you mean. There are A/C units that mount in the standard 14"x14" overhead hatch opening, there are freestanding portable A/C units...
What do you want to cool?
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