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 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:14 am

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:46 am

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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https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

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=TMxuD2fh

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 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:57 am

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.






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.

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

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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.


HERE'S TO A MORE COMFORTABLE BURN!!!

That being said, scroll down to garyt's design on this page.

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&start=1590

By making it wider, he can take full advantage of the endless breeze fan on high.

The unicoolerI designed tended to restict air flow due to not enough intake area.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:02 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.

This is my favorite pump.

https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains

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: Re:

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:07 am

The links for the "Dura-cool pads) have changed.

So here's a new one!

https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4PRFB_enUS492US492&q=dura-cool+pad
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:26 am

POWER!!!

These designs are all 12 volt DC.

So any 12 volt DC source will run them.

The costco 115AH marine battery should run any of these designs 5 or 6 hours a day for the whole week without having to recharge.(price, $90)

I use a Deka 105AH AGM deep cycle battery. (price $240, but I get factory seconds for $140)

You can also go solar!

From what I've read, a 50 watt panel is what you'll need, but I don't have any practical experience with solar.

And finally, keep it simple!

This is an easy project, and although there is a lot of good technical information in this thread, you don't need all of it to build a cooler.

I'll be refering interested Burners to this page so that they won't have to start at the beginning! 8)

Big thanks to Yellowdog and everyony who has contributed to this monster thread!

Edit: The pad size for the first tube on the bucket cooler is 30"s, not 33"s! :oops:
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Krokodyle » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:33 am

I'm totally making the bucket cooler. Thanks for such clear instructions/photos/links! :D

Good to know that Costco has those batteries (just not advertised).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:50 am

Here are the pics of the unicooler and box cooler and how they get the air into the space. (This is before I put vents on the box to prevent leaking.)


Box outside the space with just the fan inside. (Pad on three sides)

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If your walls are thick, it may interfere with your controls.

Unicooler against the inside wall with an intake hole.

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I would have liked to make it wide enough to have 2 vents on the intake side, but I did'nt have the room.

It works fine for my small playapod. 8)
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Re: Re:

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:55 am

It was hot here today, so I did a test with the unicooler.

I like this flow!

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This was the air temp.

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The water was setting in the cooler all day, so it was pretty warm also.

I switched on the pump to soak the pad, then turned on the fan.

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If I had left the cooler running for another 20min., the water temp would have been much cooler, and probably dropped the temp another 5 to 10 degrees.

Humidity was 8%. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:56 am

I found that 33 1/2" was too long for my bucket. The 13" tube was too big around to fit inside my bucket so I had to cut off about 4 inches to make the tube fit inside. I was using the orange Homer bucket from Home Depot.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:58 am

Yep, the correct mesurement is 13"X30" for that pad. :oops:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:08 pm

The temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (evaporation).

Unlike closed-cycle refrigeration, evaporation cooling requires a water source, and must continually consume water to operate.

If water is pouring out of the bottom of your pads. You are pumping too much water.
It’s evaporation cooling… Go look at a pump made for your home swamp cooler. The pump comes with a clip from the factory to pinch the hose and cut back water flow to the pads.
CFM + evaporation=cooling ….(more air flow) CFM + (larger pads)more Evaporation = larger space cooled. Just Pumping more water on the pad will not make it cooler.
Too much water flow = less cooling~( it just warms up the water).…..if the pad is too wet you wont get proper evaporation. The best is to evaporate all of the water before it returns to the pump. Wet pads with just drops or no water return to the water reserve will give the best cooling effect.
And no you will never see an insulated water reserve, on the one out in direct sun, on top of your house.
I like the bucket cooler…just add a clip on the water return to cut back the water flow. Compare the GPH for a large house cooler in relation to the CFM of the unit and don’t exceed that for pump size. A bucket cooler should only need a trickle of water on the pads.
CFM =Cubic Feet per Minute of air.
GPH =Gallon Per Hour of water.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:17 pm

Mozy your science may be spot on, but the coolers don't have to be that fine tuned.

If there is a little extra water flow, the unit turns into a water chilled cooler and is just as affective.

The temp of the water in my units averages 58 degrees, and I like more flow rather than less.

Plus, it keeps the playa washed out of the pads. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:37 pm

Yes... you are correct. Humidity is so low out there it will work fine. The post was more for people buying pumps. bigger is not better in this case. put the cooler in a sealed small kids tent for best dust control on the playa. People should know. Adjusting the water flow back can increase cooling effect.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:12 pm

Restriction to the flow of the pump in your case. Comes from the size of the holes in the drip ring. I bet if you measure the flow out of that ring. It will be much lower than the actual GPH of the pump. Easy to check.... Just time how long it takes to pump a gal of water out of the ring.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:26 pm

The coolers have NOT needed to be protected from the dust!

They wash the dust from the air coming into the space to a surprising degree.

I run mine during dust storms to stay cool.

The dust settles in a layer at the bottom of the cooler and has never affected how well it works.

Stop trying to scare the noobs! :P
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Znobyzom » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:32 pm

not knocking your bucket. I like it.
Oh yeah.... I forgot people don't like real info here.
typical for ego-playa.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:36 pm

Not at all.

Thank you for the info.

I just want people to understand that they don't NEED to know all the details in order to build a functioning cooler.

I don't know how this computer works, but I can ask it questions and it "magicly" gives me answers.

Samey same. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:42 pm

I went to HD yesterday looking for the Duracool pad. They didn't have any, but it was in their system. I suppose I could have them order it for me, but I also found it online. YOu think that's the best bet?

Also, it probably doesn't matter, but whenever I see this product (HD website, Amazon, etc.) it has horrible reviews. Maybe that's b/c it works for our purpose but not the originally intended?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:43 pm

Is it really 107.9 where you are right now? I'm assuming that's an old pic. Otherwise you must be living on the sun. Or in a tanning salon :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:48 pm

It's a seasonal item, so it's not stocked in the winter months.

When it warms up, it will be easier to find.

I've had great results with these pads or I would'nt recomend them.

Been using them for 20 yrs. 8)

Those are all reposts from the originals.

It's 68 degrees right now. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:58 pm

Whew, I was going to suggest moving if it was 108 in February!

I'm in the process of building my monkey hut. As soon as I have that figured out (shouldn't take long, just need to put it together a few times) I'm going to work on this cooler. My bro-n-law is skeptical, but it looks pretty sweet to me!

Thanks
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Well, almost 140,000 views on this thread and the pictures have been viewd 600,000 times.

I'm guessing there were a couple of thousand coolers on the playa last year. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Earthwalker » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:29 pm

And that alone makes me VERY confident that this will be a good use of my time and money. Most people haven't spent much time in the desert. But living in SoCal, while I haven't "lived" in it, I've hiked in it, camped in it, spent a ton of time in it. And if you aren't prepared, it will freakin eat you alive. When I first moved here I was dumb enough to go on hikes with no water...in July....in the desert area out east. NOT smart. I'm bringing water+water+water,. shade, and this cooler. I'm gonna be the most chilled person possible :)

thanks sir
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Krokodyle » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:23 pm

Earthwalker wrote:I'm gonna be the most chilled person possible :)


Image

So like this, only not water? :wink:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:56 am

Nascar driver suit huh? Now how to make a cargo cult suit??????????????
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Shaolinskunk » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:36 am

FIGJAM wrote:Well, almost 140,000 views on this thread and the pictures have been viewd 600,000 times.

I'm guessing there were a couple of thousand coolers on the playa last year. 8)


I just finished mine! I used a 20 gallon brute trash can and 3 computer fans...love it! Thanks :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:16 pm

Pictures please! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby aresvalles » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:38 pm

missprism wrote:lovely! what kind of box is that?

Its an old water tank for an RV my father had lyin around.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby GreyCoyote » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:52 pm

This is one of the best DIY threads ever. Kudos to those responsible.
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