Cool The Air In Anything Inexpensively


    Verne SimonsWriterErin SimonsPhotographer

    It’s been said that putting air conditioning in a flattie makes about as much sense as putting makeup on a goat. Why? Well, it somehow just doesn’t fit even if the system literally could be made to fit and function. It just ain’t right. If it’s hot, then it’s time to man (or woman) up as a Jeeper and take the top off, lose the doors, and fold that easy-to-tilt windshield down. Done, right? Well, maybe. What if it’s really, really hot out? What if the evil sun is blaring down on you and trying to burn you into a raisin? Even we will admit that at some point it may make sense to seek some shade and a cooler spot. Our flattie already has a bikini top that allows the windshield to fold down, but the ride in it is still sometimes a bit warm. So does this mean we are going to do a tech article on swapping an A/C system into a flattie? Well, not just yet, and we won’t rule that out entirely for the future, but don’t hold your breath. We do have another idea that should make a hot summer ride in a flattie, or any open-top Jeep, that much more enjoyable. The best part is it is much cheaper and easier than adding a real A/C system to a Jeep that doesn’t have it. It’s not quite an air conditioner, but it will condition the air to some extent. Check it out.

    For some wonderful reason, when a mist of water evaporates, it cools the air a little. Our plan was to exploit this cooling effect in a cheap attempt at getting a little cooler while Jeeping. With a trip to the local home improvement center for a few items we were headed down one road to a slightly cooler ride. Once there, we grabbed a $13.00 personal mister (there was an electric one for $20.00), a few feet of 1⁄4-inch flexible tubing, a few mister nozzles, a bag of zip ties, and a few odds and ends intended to be used for garden drip systems. Total spent? We were out the door for under $35.00.

    The personal mister came with one mist nozzle screwed into the top of the pump mechanism. We cut up one of the flexible nozzle extensions we got at the store and swapped out the mister nozzle for a small barbed fitting so we can attach hoses and add more mister nozzles around the Jeep.

    We added a small zip tie like a miniature hose clamp to keep the tubing tight and leak resistant on the brass barbed fittings and mister nozzles.

    Next, we figured out where we wanted to mount the personal mister in the Jeep. We decided on this location where the driver can easily pump the mister and turn the valve on and off.

    At first we started with two mister nozzles hanging down in front from the A-pillar of the rollcage. It worked, but maybe too well. With the nozzles aimed at our faces, the water coated our sunglasses (and our waterproof camera) with water and obscured our vision (and this photo). For safety reasons we generally like being able to see while driving (let alone while taking pictures).

    Finally, we lowered the nozzles to the A-pillar spreader bar at the base of the windshield and added two mister nozzles for a total of four. This seemed to be the best location for the misters, but four mister nozzles is probably overkill. One in the center of the A-pillar spreader would probably be more than needed, or at most, one per passenger. You only need to turn the system on for a second or two at a time. However, if you live where it is really humid, this system may just add to your misery rather than cool you down.