WHAT YOU NEED:
Battery Operated Misting Fan ($19.99)
USB car charger ($8.99)
Water + (ice optional)
TOTAL COST: $47.36 (not including shipping). *Found also at Walmart with this price.
When I decided to move back to Alabama after living in Denver for four years, I started considering what route I was going to take back to the south. I planned everything out. 1700 miles. My girlfriend agreed to drive back with me as well. Life is good.
And then my the AC in my car broke, 2 weeks before the trip.
I tried simple fixes – replacing fuses, watching youtube videos, etc. Didn’t work. Paying an AC repair shop to fix a 2000 Camry probably worth for a car worth around $500 didn’t make sense. I decided to make a shoddy misting system that would do the job of cooling the car in the high heat / low humidity places we would drive through (evaporative cooling) and then switch to a high power fan-only strategy as we got into the higher humidity areas. One of my roommates said I HAD to post this online. So here we go:
Please note that this differs slightly from my approach as I accidentally bought an aquarium pump that was not USB and I had to purchase an inverter to use it. However I am sure that the USB pump will do just fine. See below for the finer details!
- Get required materials (see above)
- Begin by taking one of your barbed connectors. Get a knife/dremel and shave down the barbed ends of the connector. Insert the shaved end of the connector into the vinyl tubing.
- Go ahead and insert the shaved end of the connector into the water inlet of the misting fan. A note of caution – for whatever orientation you decide to place the fan in your car, you need to be sure that the water inlet is always pointed towards the top. Otherwise it will leak due to gravity.
- Insert the clear vinyl tubing into the outlet of the pump. Take your pump, and put it inside the cooler.
5. Because I wanted to screw the lid on my cooler so water doesn’t swish around while driving, I forced the pump through the lid first, then the tubing through the lid, then attached the tubing to the pump.
6. Hang up the cooler somewhere in your car. You want to put it at the highest elevation possible. Using the hangers already on the half-gallon cooler, I hung it snug on the rear coat hanger of the car. On my Camry, I have to say it fit quite nicely.
7. Take your misting fan with the tubing and place it on a fitting place in your car where it will help keep you cool while driving. I hung it on the passenger side visor. Be sure and hang it in place that doesn’t obstruct any of your mirrors in your car. That would be a bad idea to block any of your mirrors.
8. With the charged battery in the fan, turn it on and stay cool! When it runs out of water, turn on the pump (either switch or plug in USB) and fill the tank up with water and then unplug it, or it will overflow.
- Unfortunately, the fan has an absurdly small tank for water. Maybe 10 minutes of misting and then you need to refill it.
- This method of cooling (evaporative cooling) will only work in places that are hot and dry. It won’t feel too good in hot and humid places like Alabama.