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 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:59 am

If you have some breeze blowing through the carport, set the bucket outside the door of the tent and zip the door closed around the pipe coming off the top of the cooler.

Unzip a window a little on the opposite wall from the door, and you will have one of the coolest tents on the playa!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:16 am

psychoalpha wrote:I'm afraid that this is probably a stupid question.

I like the first design of the three - with the bucket. But, since it needs to be outside, what's the best way to run it into a tent? I'm pretty sure I'm doing the tent-inside-the-carport system this year. Seems like I might need to look into a different system?


Good question,

Put the cooling unit inside the carport.. It only requires dryer air than the cooled area. If it's your tent and your going to keep it, here is an idea. Select a point on the tent you want for "cool" air in.. Draw a circle the size of a dryer hose.. Lay a bead of glue (Goop) 2 inches wide on the circle line. Then draw an (X) across the circle with another bead of glue.. Again two inches wide. Cut across the (x) only..You will be able to insert the dryer hose and tie around the hose and the pie cut on the tent..
Next you will need an exhaust port.. I would just just open one of the screens a little.. Others may have a better idea.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:44 pm

I would'nt cut holes in my tent.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby psychoalpha » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:49 pm

[quote]If you have some breeze blowing through the carport, set the bucket outside the door of the tent and zip the door closed around the pipe coming off the top of the cooler.

Unzip a window a little on the opposite wall from the door, and you will have one of the coolest tents on the playa![/quote]

AWESOME. You're my hero, dude! Thank you so much. Year number four and I'm FINALLY getting around to doing some prep work for personal comfort and self-care. :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:24 pm

This is the easiest way to duct the air into your tent.

I used GOOP to glue a 4" septic connector to the lid over the fan.

It's the perfect size.

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Some people cut a hole for the pump wire, I just ran it out through one of the side holes.

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When transporting, the wire gets wrapped around the connector so everything is portable and easy to carry.

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The other parts are not glued and just slip into place when you set up your cooler. (Ignore the metal tape.)

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The longer piece of the septic line is what extends into your tent.

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Something that I just thought of, if you don't want to have the cooler by the door of the tent, cut a hole at the corner of one of the mesh windows and zip the window closed around the pipe.

That way it won't screw with the integrity of the walls and you won't have to move it to use it! 8) 8) 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby tattoogoddess » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:52 pm

Woooo whoo! Plugged it in today. It works awesome! Have to make one small mod but it worked great!!! Thank you!!!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby esinar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:30 pm

FIGJAM wrote: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!)

Image


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.siliconsolar.com/replacement-12v-solar-pump-p-103.html

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 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/12959/fan-859/Delta_120_x_38mm_High-Speed_PWM_Fan_-_19048_CFM_AFB1212SHE.html?tl=g36c435s1108

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.

Image

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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!!


Just wanted to +1 / Like / Recommend / etc. this or just say, "F*ck, you're good!" Thanks for sharing FigJam's Swamp Cooler...life saver in the Playa heat! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby PL_FL » Thu May 02, 2013 9:50 am

Great thread, thanks! Fly-In-Virgin here, likely going solo, renting an SUV and drop-shipping stuff to a Reno Walmart/Home-Depot. I’ve done a lot of reading and prep work so I ‘think’ I’ll be ok. For cooling, I’m thinking the Reflectix stuff will work well on the windows. I’m doing plastic bins with supplies in the back, old fitted-sheets and plastic to cover all interior surfaces [dust], small tent with tarp over it, big stakes, sleeping-bag/inflatable-bed in the tent or in back of SUV, not sure yet. What I’m trying to do is avoid a huge clean up fee when I return the rental :) and of course, I’m trying to keep alive mid-day.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Boogie » Wed May 08, 2013 12:05 pm

FigJam-

I am building this and bought the fan you recommended. The fan comes with 4 wires attaching to a white clip; how do I determine which of these wires is positive and negative? I will be attaching it to a solar panel & battery set up.

Thank you.

Sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't find it.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 08, 2013 12:51 pm

If I recall correctly it's the 2 wires closest to the outside edge of the clip.

You can just cut the clip off and touch test 2 wires at a time to the battery.

Only one way will work, but you won't hurt it by testing. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby GreyCoyote » Wed May 08, 2013 2:52 pm

Just for grins I ran the numbers on FIGJAMs cooler. 2 gals in 5 hrs comes out to 3,500 btus of cooling. For an amp and a half of power that is impressive as all hell.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Wed May 08, 2013 3:08 pm

Boogie wrote:FigJam-

I am building this and bought the fan you recommended. The fan comes with 4 wires attaching to a white clip; how do I determine which of these wires is positive and negative? I will be attaching it to a solar panel & battery set up.

Thank you.

Sorry if this has already been asked, but I couldn't find it.

Boogie
just use the red and black wires. You wont use the other 2.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby maryanimal » Wed May 08, 2013 8:24 pm

I cut the first pad with the demensions and the pad is too big. it's 33 1/2 inches but it won't fit properly. I know I need to cut it to fit but why isn't mine fitting properly? Anyone else have this issue?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:45 pm

maryanimal wrote:I cut the first pad with the demensions and the pad is too big. it's 33 1/2 inches but it won't fit properly. I know I need to cut it to fit but why isn't mine fitting properly? Anyone else have this issue?

Yeah, I had the same problem. I cut about 3 inches off to make it about 30.5"
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby MikeGyver » Wed May 08, 2013 9:48 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If I recall correctly it's the 2 wires closest to the outside edge of the clip.

You can just cut the clip off and touch test 2 wires at a time to the battery.

Only one way will work, but you won't hurt it by testing. 8)


For good measure, two ways will work one will just blow backwards. Make sure you have it the right direction before mounting it. Ive done this wrong before wiring an electric fan to cars radiators.
But as TT120 said it should be the red and black wires, red being power and black ground for forward blowing


maryanimal wrote:I cut the first pad with the demensions and the pad is too big. it's 33 1/2 inches but it won't fit properly. I know I need to cut it to fit but why isn't mine fitting properly? Anyone else have this issue?


Im pretty sure there is a standard but its possible your bucket is a different diameter than normal.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 08, 2013 10:06 pm

The correct outer tube pad size is 30"x13.5".

The fan I use will not run backwards and will only function when connected correctly. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby maryanimal » Wed May 08, 2013 10:54 pm

Thanks for the info Tom and everyone! xo
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed May 08, 2013 11:03 pm

Hey figjam was thinking about this earlier , the battery, does it need to be incased in anything or can it just sit on the playa ground?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby MikeGyver » Thu May 09, 2013 1:43 am

tattoogoddess wrote:Hey figjam was thinking about this earlier , the battery, does it need to be incased in anything or can it just sit on the playa ground?


I'm not the expert but I set mine on a 2x4 and kept it inside my tent, so it was off the ground, and I never had any problems.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:54 am

Modern batteries do not have the issue of discharging into the ground. It'll be fine sitting right on the Playa.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Boogie » Thu May 09, 2013 8:50 am

Thank you all for your replies!

I'll test it to figure it out.

FYI - There is no red and black - they are all black with the same white printed stripe.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Thu May 09, 2013 9:25 am

Here is a pic of the pinout on your PWM fan. Just use the +12 and the ground wires. Tape off the other 2. The wire colors can vary.

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby maryanimal » Thu May 09, 2013 1:45 pm

Started working on my cooler last night. I'm going to HD in a bit! going to buy more parts!! yay!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby maryanimal » Fri May 10, 2013 7:56 pm

ok, I don't have anything hot enough to use the copper wire method of making the holes in the tubing. I'm going to have to drill the holes. :?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 10, 2013 9:03 pm

You should be able to use your stove or a lighter. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby maryanimal » Fri May 10, 2013 10:07 pm

I tried the lighter and that and it didn't work the first time (but I'm going to try it again), and my stove is electric. It'll work out! I'm just getting all jazzed about getting it together! :wink: :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ArtemisiaLYG » Sat May 11, 2013 5:15 pm

I've assembled the bucket version of the evaporative cooler, using the same suggested fan and pump. We're going to be using a generator to power this, so I spliced the wires to worth with a 12v 1800mAH AC Adapter. However, I've run into a few hiccups:

1) Using the measurements for the cooling pad listed on instructions, the bucket leaks through the air holes in the sides. I've had to trim the cooling pads, but are there any other suggestions to fix this issue?

2) The pump isn't powerful enough to circulate the water all the way around the top ring of the pump. The last 3 inches of the top loop don't receive any water circulation. I've made sure to keep the holes uniform and about 1" apart. It's the same pump recommended in the instructions.

I'm a complete newbie to projects like this and wiring, so I'm not sure what to do about the pump. Do I need a more powerful AC adapter? What would I need to make it power the fan and pump at full strength? I don't know how to convert watts to mAH, or really anything about electrical stuff. Any help or advice would be sooo much appreciated.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Sat May 11, 2013 7:39 pm

ArtemisiaLYG wrote:I've assembled the bucket version of the evaporative cooler, using the same suggested fan and pump. We're going to be using a generator to power this, so I spliced the wires to worth with a 12v 1800mAH AC Adapter. However, I've run into a few hiccups:

1) Using the measurements for the cooling pad listed on instructions, the bucket leaks through the air holes in the sides. I've had to trim the cooling pads, but are there any other suggestions to fix this issue?

Cut the pad to 30" X 13.5". It should just fit inside the bucket without touching the walls. Wherever it touches the inside of the bucket there is a potential to leak there.

ArtemisiaLYG wrote:2) The pump isn't powerful enough to circulate the water all the way around the top ring of the pump. The last 3 inches of the top loop don't receive any water circulation. I've made sure to keep the holes uniform and about 1" apart. It's the same pump recommended in the instructions.

How big are the holes you drilled in the tube? If they're too big, the water wont make it all the way around the circle.
Something else to check would be polarity of the pump and power pack. Make sure it's hooked up positive to positive and negative to negative.
It's a 12 volt pump right?
1800 mAh is 1.8 Ah so that should be enough for the pump

ArtemisiaLYG wrote:I'm a complete newbie to projects like this and wiring, so I'm not sure what to do about the pump. Do I need a more powerful AC adapter? What would I need to make it power the fan and pump at full strength? I don't know how to convert watts to mAH, or really anything about electrical stuff. Any help or advice would be sooo much appreciated.

There are ohm's law calculators on the internet that will give you the numbers you want (watts, mAh, volts, ect.).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat May 11, 2013 8:24 pm

The issue with the pump sounds like it's running backwards.

The pump will run no matter which way you hook up the wires, but one way will pump twice as much water. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ArtemisiaLYG » Sat May 11, 2013 10:28 pm

Thanks! I got it working now. Although now I have another question. I have a Yurt and can't cut a hole in it. Does the bucket of the cooler have to be outside of the yurt? Will it still be effective inside it? I'm testing it inside my apartment right now and it seems to be blowing cool air just fine.
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