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 » Thu May 23, 2013 5:01 pm

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 24, 2013 3:11 pm

Picture trails tells me my pics in this thread have been viewed 1.23 million times! :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Fri May 24, 2013 3:25 pm

There are going to be a bunch of homer cooler around..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Thu May 30, 2013 1:07 pm

Am planing to run the cooler bucket through the overhead A/C vents in the van.
This morning I turned the fan on to see if it works.. Bad idea.. Playa dust storm in the van.. Loved it..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby tatonka » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:24 am

unjonharley wrote:There are going to be a bunch of homer cooler around..


Yep just bought one , I have a 110 pump , what do you use to convert it so it will run on a batt?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:39 am

You could use an inverter but that would be pretty inefficient. You would get MUCH longer battery life by using a 12 volt pump and fan.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:55 am

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby tatonka » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:37 am

thks guys :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:36 pm

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby fgcastle » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:40 pm

Question for figjam and others knowledgeable about the bucket swamp cooler:
I just got this pump:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002PBWIR0/ref=pe_309540_26725410_item

It is very quiet and rated at .5amp (6w). I tested it at 12v, pumping up a 23 inch high, 1/4" id tube. It pumped 48 gallons per hour. Is that a sufficient water flow for the Home Depot bucket swamp cooler?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:41 pm

Yes. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:05 am

Electrical/Power question:

Can I hook up my 5-gal bucket cooler to a car battery?

My Deep Cycle battery is buried in storage out of town, but I want to test my new bucket cooler.
Can I clamp the cooler to my normal car battery to try it out? Or would the car battery fry it?

Notes: I used the Delta 1.6amp fan and a 12V pump 0.4 amp.

Thank you! I really don't want to fry all my hard work thus far, but my Deep Cycle is at the "inlaws" 5 hours away (luckily, it's on the way to BRC!).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:14 am

12 volts DC is 12 volts DC no matter where it comes from, so yes you can test it with your cars battery or even a 12 volt charger.

I do it all the time. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:15 am

A car battery will be fine for testing. Just don't run the battery too low. Try not to run your cooler off a car battery for more than a couple hours. Car batteries don't like to be discharged very far. Deep cycle batteries don't mind it so much.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Pineapple » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:28 am

I forget if I ever posted back last year about my coolers.

I used 32 gallon sterilite tubs purchased from a big box store. They didn't have vertical sides, which wasn't ideal for some of the designs in this thread, but I built a PVC U that was inside the tub and several inches away from the edges, and they worked super well. The sterilite is nice because you can cut it with an exacto knife, drill it, etc.

I used the recommended endless breeze fan.

For a pump, I used this guy, which is still available.
http://www.lightobject.com/36Lmin-Mini- ... -P573.aspx

Before the playa, I characterized it in my lab and it was very efficient for an 18" water rise and pumped plenty of water to keep our hexayurts nice and comfy :) It basically drew the advertised 320 mA and pumped water quite well.

None of our 3 pumps burned out, but since they're so cheap I'd brought along a spare just in case.

I used standard $0.79 light switches from the hardware store to control these. The fan was mounted on one side of the tub, on the inside, with the light switch right next to it. Cut a hole large enough for fan and switch to be accessible from inside the yurt, and taped around the hole with yurt tape to seal it off. When we woke up and started to feel warm, we simply flipped the light switch and delicious cold air started blowing. Back to sleep for 6 hours :)

Here was my previous post:
viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&p=861194#p861194
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:46 am

Here's a way to save some money if they don't stock cooler pads in your area!

Any ACE hardware store will ship any items to another ACE store for free!!!

Thier online site does'nt show pads, but my local store has them and will ship them to any store.

https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&q=ace+hardware&fb=1&gl=us&hq=ace+hardware&hnear=0x872bb6f168df69c1:0x702c0500cea34b0,Apache+Junction,+AZ&ei=X6K0UZ6tH8X2qQGK0IEw&ved=0CKkBELYD&iwloc=cids:7383270444891210659

So take the my stores phone number to your local ACE and have the pads shipped to your store.

Your store may not know what your talking about, hence the phone number! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby misterdj » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:25 am

Can someone help determine what type of fan I should get for my cooler? My tent is 486 cubic feet. Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks,
Last edited by misterdj on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:30 am

Cubic feet might be more pertinent...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:50 am

misterdj wrote:Can someone help determine what type of fan I should get for my cooler? My tent is 486 cubic feet. Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks,


http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8556/fan-533/Delta_120_x_38mm_High-Speed_Fan_-_19048_CFM_AFB1212SHE-CF00.html?tl=g36c435s1108&id=TMxuD2fh
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:37 pm

It was mentioned earlier the need to have the bucket outside the space to be cooled. If I'm using a small ultra lite trailer like, say, an R-Pod, Egg, T@DA, or some other teardrop-type trailer...where's a good spot to run the outlet pipe to the inside? Are we talking sawing a hole in the side of the trailer? :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby tatonka » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:42 pm

Im going to replace a window in the camper with a piece of metal from work with a hole punched in it. I have some edgeing material for the hole which will give the pipe a nice fit.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:52 pm

If the teardrop has a window, remove the screen and use it for a template to cut out a piece of heavy cardboard to replace the screen.

Then you can cut the hole for the inflow any size you need. 8)

Or you can do this.

http://www.outbackteardrop.com/body8.html
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:46 am

Just finished my bucket cooler tonight. Will have to test the temp in the daytime tomorrow.

My comments:
1) The blue duracool pad tends to slump when it gets wet. My cylinders shortened in the bucket and widened, causing contact w/ the sides of the bucket. Keep this in mind when cutting your pads. I would have make the pad a 1/2 bit taller and a bit narrower, or maybe very slightly tapered to fit into the contours of the bucket.

I didn't want to start over, so I fixed mine by pinching a bit of outer cylinder of duracool in several places with a few small binder clips (office supplies). The small pinches eliminated some of the excess slump and kept a gap between the pad and the bucket. Also I used a few leftover strips of Duracool to put at the bottom of the bucket to raise up the cyclinder slightly.

2) The water tube "halo" tried to fall down into between the two layers of Duracool. Fixed via zip tie.

3) I used 2 rows of large holes in the bucket, because I thought it would increase evap area. The problem is I limited the water holding capacity by doing so and also, since the bucket is tapered, I increased the drippage due to the pad touching the bucket. This issue mostly resolved by #1 above, but I wish I had'nt cut holes so far down now. Or I may make another bucket, depending how my test goes.

4) I used a pretty cheap 12V pump from ebay, rated about 60 GPH, and it wets the filter fabric just fine. But I can't run this pump dry, per the instructions. Kind of worrid about a campmate not filling it up and ruining my hard work. So I added a float switch (ebay), wired into the pump and jerry rigged it inside the inner Duracool pad about 1.5 inches above the floor. When water drops to this level, the switch will turn off.

5) I need a flexible duct to run this into my trailer. The 4" PVC vent does not fit standard 4"dryer duct. The 4" Pvc fit my fan and the duracool cylinder perfectly, but I had to shop online for a specialty 5" flexible duct and it fits great over the 4" Schedule 80 coupling.

Thanks all, I'm convinced I'll have the coolest spot at my camp due to this forum.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:51 am

The wat I did it the halo can't fall or shift anywhere. 8)

The inner sleeve and halo act as a seal that forces all the air through the damp pad.

Look closely and you'll see that the pad is not touching the sides of the bucket.

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:03 am

Maybe this has been discussed in the 65 page post that this topic has grown to but here it goes anyway: have any of you experimented with running a tube from the spigot of your ice chest? I'm thinking the cold melted water dripping into the bucket may super charge the cooler and blast much colder air than normal. What do you think?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:09 am

These work so well that the effect would be minimal. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Conduit » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:23 am

Ok, food for thought. I'm going to start mine this weekend and was looking for a way to contribute to this wonderful tool. I have a tent inside a Costco carport, am I wasting my time building the cooler if it's not going into a hexayurt or a van (something with insulation) thanks guys in advance!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby asr9754 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:30 am

Yep, Fig, that's exactly what mine looks like dry, but when the pump turns on the blue pad gets wet and vibrates slightly due to the pump and fan, the the pad sags just a little, so the halo tried to fall in between the two layers of pad. Easily fixed with zip ties though, I just zipped the halo to the top of the blue pad since the pad is porous I could push zip ties right thur it. Now it can't slide down.

A great thread, thanks so much.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:53 am

jryanmcmanus wrote:Ok, food for thought. I'm going to start mine this weekend and was looking for a way to contribute to this wonderful tool. I have a tent inside a Costco carport, am I wasting my time building the cooler if it's not going into a hexayurt or a van (something with insulation) thanks guys in advance!



The original idea was so people could get some extra zzzzzz's even with the sun shinning on thier tent.

The complete exchange of air in the space evey 1 to 3 minutes means that it does'nt matter whether the space is insulated or not.

A shaded tent with the cooler is ideal! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:59 am

In the 60s we lived in AZ.. In the poorest built house there.. One swamp cooler cooled a large house.. If your taking you in air from a car port and into yurt your going to be cool.. Or if you want sit around the carport in mid day.. Turn to coolr onto your lounge area.. It will be much cooler then a fan only..
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