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 FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:20 pm

Check the humidity at the time you're testing and report back.

Make sure all the air has to pass through the wet pad and you're golden! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:22 pm

Pineapple wrote:I was thinking about adding a switch to these, but I just took a blind flier on this programmable timer switch. I'll set it to run starting at 7:30 am for 5 hours or whatever my water supply will allow.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320938562033?ss ... 1497.l2649



I was thinking the same. The switch says "4.4VA" as the consumption. Seems like a lot? Not an Electrical Engineer here, that's not the same as 4 amps is it?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:49 pm

RECAP!!!

The basic idea for the bucket cooler is just a smaller version of Yellowdog's cooler made from a rubbermade garbage can.

An evaporative cooler will reduce the tempature by 20 to 30 degrees.

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (WARNING! DO NOT SKIN A CAT, IT WONT HELP THIS PROJECT AND WILL IRRITATE YOUR PUSSY!!!)

All the ideas that people came up with on this thread are a perfect example of radical self relience! (Bravo!!!)

Get a 5 gallon bucket and lid.

Have your trained mice naw some holes in the bucket, or use a hole saw, or 50 caliber sniper rifle. (Honey badgers wont work, they don't give a shit!)

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Find some cooler pad.

I like duracool pads.

http://www.simsupply.com/Items/426741

If your area does'nt have them, find a national chain DIY hardwear store and see if they will order some for you.

This may save you shipping cost. I use home depot.

Cut the first pad 33 1/2x13 inches.

Roll this pad into a tube and silicone or hand stitch the seam.

This will give you a tube 13 inches tall.

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Because the bucket tapers out towards the top, you will not need to line the bucket with shade clothe.

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Cut a second piece of pad 24x13 inches and roll into a tight tube.

You wont need to seam this one.

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Sleeve this inside the first tube.

The reason for the double pad is to have a wide space to set the drip line on and adds more evap surface.

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1/2 inch Drip irrigation line works ok to soak your pads, but poly hose is more flexible and you can buy it by the foot.

I like the T connectors that fit inside the line. I cut the ends of the T shorter so I could keep the holes in the line close enough together so there wont be a dry strip on the pads.

This hose is 3/8 inch.

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The holes in the line need to be uniform for an even flow on the pad.

Drlling holes works, but I found that heating a piece of wire melts a nice, more uniform hole.

I used a piece of 10 gauge copper wire.

Heat the wire with a torch, or the burner on your stove, then press through the line.

Sliding the wire in and out till it cools will make a happy hole! (Don't even think about it Yggy, this is serious!)

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To pump the water through the line, buy a pump.

This is the solar pump.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powered-fountain-pump-66093.html

I like this pump instead because if it's cloudy, it will still let the cooler work.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBMERSIBLE-WATER-FOUNTAIN-PUMP-FOR-USE-W-12V-SOLAR-PANEL-OR-BATTERY-/400297468468?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3396a234

The 3/8 inch line fits this pump perfectly.

Nice even flow of water.

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When the lid is put on, the line will be pinched between the lid and the pad, so it wont move around.

FANS!

The key to a good cooler is a powerful fan.

CFM=cubic feet per minute.

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g36/c435/list/p1/Fans-12_Volt_Fans_by_CFM.html

I used this one.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8556/fan-533/Delta_120_x_38mm_High-Speed_Fan_-_19048_CFM_AFB1212SHE-CF00.html?tl=g36c435s1108&id=YnFfDVU7


It uses more power, but makes the bucket cooler very effective.

Calculate the cubic footage of the space to be cooled, then get a fan that will replace the air inside the space every 3 to 5 minutes.

I use a single fan cause it suits my design perfectly.

Cut a hole in the lid of the bucket to mount the fan.

I put mine on the bottom of the lid to keep the unit compact and to make ducting easier.

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Any 120mm fan will fit inside the top of the pad tube.

I spliced the wires from the fan to the wires from the pump. (both are 12volt)

Then ran the wire out through one of the holes in the side of the bucket.

Now with the lid on the bucket, I used a 4 inch septic line connector gooped to the lid over the fan.

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Now you can use 4 inch septic line to duct the air into the space to be cooled. You don't need to glue these piceces together.

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These parts are at the hardwear store.

Outside temp!

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Air temp coming from the cooler!

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Water temp inside the bucket!

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This cooler uses 2 gallon of water every 5 hours.

It uses about 1.45amps per hour.

My 105AH deep cycle battery will run this cooler for 47 hours before needing to be recharged.

So running 4 or 5 hours a day, it will let you nap in the hottest part of the day, all week without recharging the battery.

If you need more cooling than this, build the box cooler.

You will need to vent the air out of the space for circulation.

HAPPY NAPPING!!!
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Re: Re:

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Last year people tried to make the bucket cooler do more than it was ment to do, with moderate success.

The main problems seemed to be a powerful enough fan and how to duct the air into the space.

My box cooler worked great and I never use anything but the low speed on the fan.

Build this one wider for more air intake!!!






NOW INTRODUCING THE UNICOOLER!!!!!!!


No duct work needed!!!

Build a box 17wx30hx9d.

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If you cant build a simple box, try to find something waterproof with roughly the same dementions or this.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001PMI25M/bestprice2010a-20

If you can find something that does'nt have tapered sides it will work better.

Cut a hole for the vent cover. ($11.00)

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Cut a hole for the fan. (Endless breeze fan $60-$80)

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I used 100% clear silicone caulk to stick these to the box.

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The vent louvers are facing down and into the box to keep the water channeled toward the inside.

I got some angle trim and siliconed pieces to the inside of the box to act as a pad retainer.

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This is the pump.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBMERSIBLE-WATER-FOUNTAIN-PUMP-FOR-USE-W-12V-SOLAR-PANEL-OR-BATTERY-/400297468468?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3396a234

Image

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I had to cut the 90s shorter to get the straight pieces closer together, but you can stagger the holes in a single piece to get the same effect.

The pvc just lays on the top edge of the pads.

Then I went to the bin (16489-j "junk" subheading A "awsume") and found some handles.

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8)

Then make an air tight lid.(figure it out)

Finished cooler looks like this.

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I call it the universal cooler cause you just shove the pad side against any opening in a tent, bus, travel trailer, yurt, or playpod and it will cool up to 3000 cubic feet of space. You can even set it on a table outside for use.

Add some foam stickon wheather stripping for a good seal around a window.

Fill it with 7gals. of water for 8hrs. of cooling. So once a day depending on how much you use it.

105ah battery will run this all week on low.

You may have to recharge if you use medium or high speed on the fan.

I'm confident that this will cool even a school bus without useing a genny and its a lot quieter than an air conditioner.

As always I'll try to answer any questions you may have.

(This cooler can be made more affective by widening the body enough to accept 2 vent registers. It will get more air flow and have more evap surface!)


HERE'S TO A MORE COMFORTABLE BURN!!!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:28 am

This is the box cooler made of wood instead of FRP.

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After the box is glued and screwed, I used regular painters caulk on the interior joints before putting a heavy coat of the Henrys elastomer roof coating on the whole thing to seal it inside and out.

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To install the intake panels, I ran a heavy bead of 100% silicone caulk on the registers and screwed them in place.

Make sure these are all the same distance from the top as they will support the pvc for the water, and to get an even flow you'll want them the same height.

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When I installed the pads, I added some wire to secure the pads to the registers.

14 gauge copper or bailing wire will work for this.

It will make sure that ALL the air has to pass through the wet pads.

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The wire goes through the pad at the corners of the registers and bends up on the outside of the cooler.

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The lid is hinged on the side away from the fan for easy filling.

I added some weather stripping (siliconed) for a good seal, and a small chain so the lid would'nt tweek the small hinges.

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Once the endless breeze fan and the pump get here I can finish this cooler.

It will hold 12 gals of water and there's room for a case of beer in the bottom.

It will use about 3/4s of a gallon of water per hour on the low fan speed.

It will cool a space up to 3000 cubic feet on high.

Power needed will be...

12 volt DC

1.5amps on low speed (250cfm)

1.92amps on medium speed (500cfm)

2.82amps on high speed! (900 cfm= to 10mph breeze)


Hope this helps you enjoy your BURNNNNNNNNNNN!!!


8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:43 am

captain mcguiver wrote:I was thinking the same. The switch says "4.4VA" as the consumption. Seems like a lot? Not an Electrical Engineer here, that's not the same as 4 amps is it?


VA = Volt Amps
Literally, the Voltage times the Amps.
This is usually the same as Wattage, or Power.

V=IR (voltage = current x resistance; or I = V/R; or R = V/I)
P=VI (power = voltage x current; I = P/V is handy to know the current for a device when they only publish the power)

DC:12v.
Power consumption : 4.4VA.
current consumption without load : 0.015mA.
SWITCHING CURRENT DC : 16A/24V DC.


If those number are correct, the clock draws 0.015mA, very low, just to keep track of the time. The power usage is the VA, or 0.015 x 12 VDC = 0.18 mW.

When it switches the load on, the switch needs current to do its work, so it will draw some additional current. This appears to be the published Power Consumption of 4.4VA. Here we use the I=P/V, for I = 4.4/12 = .366 A or 366mA.

If you've got up to a 24VDC fan drawing up to 16A, then you're within the published limits.

So the 12 VDC fans & pumps recommended here are within the limits, and when switched on, the current used against the battery will be the current of the fan & pump, plus the 366mA.

What I don't know, is what the voltage of the deep-cycle battery goes to as it gets used up, and if the clock/switch circuits will keep functioning if the supply voltage drops below 12 VDC. If there was a clock/switch that ran on 5VDC, you could power it from a voltage regulator running on the 12 VDC battery and this would not be an issue.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:16 pm

You COULD use a separate battery for the clock itself. Like one of my small 7aH 12v scooter batteries- Isolate it from the system, or is the tied into the power you are switching :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:04 pm

captain mcguiver wrote:You COULD use a separate battery for the clock itself. ...

If the clock/switch VCC is separate from the Switched VCC.
I haven't checked to see if this is a high-side electronic switch, low-side switch electronic switch or a relay.

Checked.
Four blades.
Two labelled power. Hoping the published specs are good and it runs off of 12 VDC.
The other two blades are labeled for both VDC and VAC, so it's likely a relay, so it should be able to go anywhere in the circuit you want a timed switch.
Too bad they don't provide an internal schematic.

So if you provide a 12 VDC source for the clock/switch that has enough power for the number of times and duration it will be turned on, you should be good to go, with the deep-cycle battery and its loads running through the switch.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:14 am

FIGJAM wrote:This cooler uses 2 gallon of water every 5 hours.


Damn. That's like...almost one of these every five hours. You'd need to haul a fair bit of water out to the Playa to run this thing, even just in the mornings. A daunting logistical challenge if you're ride sharing and not bringing your own large vehicle.

I don't suppose that estimate changes when we're talking about a two person tent versus a van?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:33 am

The only way to reduce the water consumtion is to use a smaller fan.

If your tent isn't shaded that's a bad idea.

Of course if you are ride sharing you wouldn't may not have room for the cooler anyway.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:01 am

FIGJAM wrote:The only way to reduce the water consumtion is to use a smaller fan.

If your tent isn't shaded that's a bad idea.

Of course if you are ride sharing you wouldn't may not have room for the cooler anyway.


How about if the tent's protected with radiant barrier insulation?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:26 am

With all the testing we've done, you don't realy want to change the design of the bucket cooler.

The intent was to give people some extra sleep when it gets hot in the mourning.

5 hours extra sleep if you've been up all night is a treasure during an active week.

So you need 16 gallons of water to feed the cooler for the week.

Clean ice melt will cut that in half, if not more! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:49 pm

FIGJAM wrote:With all the testing we've done, you don't realy want to change the design of the bucket cooler.

The intent was to give people some extra sleep when it gets hot in the mourning.

5 hours extra sleep if you've been up all night is a treasure during an active week.

So you need 16 gallons of water to feed the cooler for the week.

Clean ice melt will cut that in half, if not more! 8)


Alright. So you figure 7.5 gallons (2.5 gallons x 3) of water plus ice purchased on site would do the trick for 7 mornings? That might be more feasible.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Get creative.

Take an extra 5 gal bucket to the big bar camps and see if you can harvest their melt water. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:27 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Get creative.

Take an extra 5 gal bucket to the big bar camps and see if you can harvest their melt water. 8)


True. Never thought of grey water.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:57 pm

I did not say grey water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clean melt water ain't the same.

All the info is in the thread.

Get to reading! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Schtev » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:15 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I did not say grey water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clean melt water ain't the same.

All the info is in the thread.

Get to reading! :lol:


I know exactly what you meant. I just wasn't aware that melt water could not be called grey water. No need to get excited.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:21 pm

I got excited because grey water in a cooler can make you very sick and I might feel just a tiny bit responcible. 8)

Some people even wanted to use the cooler instead of an evap pond!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:27 pm

Hi Figjam-

A little progress...

Essentially I'm going to do a mini box cooler. 24" high, 18" wide, 15" deep. 3 vents, two 12x14 and one 16x14. It can hold 7 gallons of water.
I got these acrylic sheets, going to TAP plastics tomorrow- they charge 50 cents a cut.... thanks for posting the cooler in plywood, I might do it like that.

OK to have box cooler outside with fan in my yurt? I gather it doesn't make much of a diff if outside box is shaded...

Pumps came last week, these are the ones-
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-DC-Solar-Po ... 5895162ae6

I did a flow test-
At 20" head 1 gallon took 50 seconds.
At 26" head 1 gallon took 54 seconds.
At 32" head 1 gallon took 58 seconds.

So ~ 60GPH. Will that be enough?

Model of box cooler below. Thanks- Kent
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:39 pm

I found that Lowes had a wider selection of registers.

The dimentions on the wood box are 24"X18"X18".

I picked the 12"X12".

This allows for 12 gallons of water per fill, or room for a case of beer if you want to fill more often.

Set it up so the side of the cooler fits flush with the outside wall with just the fan sticking through the wall.

Shade will help a little, but not really needed.

60gal. per hour should be enough if you make sure the pvc is level for even flow.

Test test test. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:20 am

Finished and tested the wood box cooler today.

I turned the fan to keep it close to the top of the cooler so the switch is on the side.

The other switch is for the pump.

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Even with 30% humidity here today, I got a 26 degree temp drop!!!

The playa runs 2% to 6% so it will work even better!

Image

Image


8) 8) 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:29 pm

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:54 pm

I've got the second one on my bucket cooler!

I think they changed some of the wireing, so you may have to touch test to find which wires work.

Only 2 will work and I never hurt the fan no matter how I tested the wires. 8)
Last edited by FIGJAM on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:57 pm

[quote="FIGJAM"]I've got the second one on my bucket cooler! 8)[/quote]
Great, i like the lower amp requirement ... 1.25. I am sponging electricity from friends, and that helps.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:00 pm

Another Question ... they have a bank of batteries and a solar panel. They are going to supply me with a 120v AC connection through an extension chord, so it is inverted. I would have to reconvert to DC. Isn't all of that innefficient? Should I get some wire and tap straight into the batteries 12volt?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:11 pm

How far will the cooler be from the battery bank?

16 gauge wire will run the cooler.

Or plug in a battery charger and and connect to that, but it is a waste of power. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:14 pm

it is looking like 25~39 ft :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:28 pm

Bury the wire a couple of inches so people don't trip and yank your connections loose. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby bl00zt00n » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:43 am

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I just wanted to give a heads up that I bought a http://www.goldengadgets.com/400lph-dc-power-submersible-fountain-pond-water-pump.html water pump and it doesn't seem to be working so great due to faulty workmanship. I had to loosen the faceplate to get the impeller to turn, which indicates the shaft isn't lined up or there's an issue with the housing. It does work if I keep it somewhat loose, bang it and jiggle it (and that's a big "that's what she said" ;-) ) , but I don't want to deal with that on the playa. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and spend the extra $20 or so for http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400313156590 that's in Figjam's original design.

Just wanted to get the info out there....
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:29 am

[quote="FIGJAM"]Bury the wire a couple of inches so people don't trip and yank your connections loose. 8)[/quote]
Or sweep it under a dust dune ...
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