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Old 02-25-2004, 11:28 AM   #1
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Lightbulb I got an idea!

We travel with two or three dogs and must, at times, leave them in the car while we eat, gas up, etc. - never long but long enough in the SW to heat things up if we aren't careful - we are!!! I have always wondered about a solar powered fan for the sunroof of my tow vehicle in order to keep the vehicle cool while parked. I hate leaving the windows down so low that arms can reach in and undo door locks... Our German Shepherd is getting too old to be biting all those errant arms for much longer .

Then, I realized that Fantastic Fans have a thermostat... Hmmm, maybe a 12 volt cigarette lighter powered FF that would fit into the sunroof opening, assuring that your car could stay cool, your pets secure, and you worry free. You'd close the sunroof against the fan housing thereby locking it in place... Open the side windows a crack and, whallah! Cool car!

Anybody seen anything like this? If so, where? I'm game to give it a try! If not, anybody know a fabricator that might build one to my specs?

Adios everybody,

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Old 02-25-2004, 11:42 AM   #2
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I know that the Mazda 626 in the 90s had a system like this built in. The sunroof was a solar panel and it would run the squirrel cage fan in the dash to pull in outside air when the interior go over a certain temp. Their marketing was to the southern owner who wanted to get into a car that was less than 140 degrees.

One better would be to house the fan in a panel that fits into the folded down seat. Pushes the air into the trunk, where there is already a outlet for the air to exit the car. Park, flip the rear seat down, and power up the fan. Then you could use it without having a sunroof.
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Old 02-25-2004, 03:09 PM   #3
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I've seen a few solar powered fans for exactly that, except they fit between the window and door frame (you roll the window up to secure them in place).

I don't remember where I saw them, but I know they're out there.


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Old 02-25-2004, 07:52 PM   #4
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Unhappy portable fans and water!

I have used portable plug in 12 volt fans and a water bucket in cooler parts of the country with success.

Here in Florida.....it's just too hot to leave animals except during a couple of winter months....jem
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Old 04-30-2004, 11:20 AM   #5
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www.wdrake.com has the solar powered car fan #14339 $29.99. silver suz
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Old 04-30-2004, 06:42 PM   #6
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xray

be kind to your pets and just leave the vehicle running with the ac on. or leave them at home!

lock the doors and use your second key. the couple gallons of gas you use a month for this would cost little or nothing compared to the loss of a pet.

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Old 04-30-2004, 06:59 PM   #7
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John,

If you only knew to what extent we care for our pooches... You have no idea. We would never do anything to risk the lives of any of our dogs.

Thanks for the advice. Sounds like you care about yours too.

Best,

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Old 04-30-2004, 07:09 PM   #8
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X,

When we grab something, we typically brought Penny (65lb Shep mix) into the camper and open the roof vents, windows and set out a nice cool bowl of water as we went in for a bite and locked her in the Bambi.

Now with the Safari and Fantastic Fans, we'll still do that, but also have the Fantastic Vents both on. This will keep the pooch cooler and happy.

No need to keep them in the car.

If you go into the CCD for lunch on the way, open the sunroof, leave the windows open a bit or a little more than a bit and keep your eye on them from the inside of the CCD front window as you grab a bite. We've done this too...just remember to bring them some cool water to lap up and they'll stay cool and happy!

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Old 05-03-2004, 09:56 AM   #9
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Just remember It's really hard to do this in the south. It's just too hot and many pets (and a few kids) die each year in cars, trailers etc, with windows cracked open, while the adults just run in for something for a few minuters. I've heard 15 minutes is all it takes to build up to lethal heat. So what's ok in one part of the country may not work in another (south and west.). I'd like to know what pet owners in the deep south do??? silver suz (we don't bring ours in the car).
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:58 AM   #10
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We fire up the gen set and leave the AC on
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:14 AM   #11
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Suz,

I ordered the Autovent Fan today to try.

BTW, the Touareg has a "rest" feature that lets you run heat for 20 - 30 minutes after you leave it. It is designed to keep it warm in the winter while running into the grocery, etc. (keeps our pooches toasty, too) but it works for circulating unheated air (residual A/C) in the summer too. It shuts off automatically if it senses excess battery drain or after the programmed time expires.

Thanks for the headsup and remember, we always keep one eye on the car when we are leaving the dogs inside while we pay for gas, etc.

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Old 05-03-2004, 03:04 PM   #12
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I also wonder what to do with the dogs when we're travelling during the hot part of the year. After our experiences last year I think we'll mostly be leaving them home with the petsitters. The eastern half of the state just gets too hot for them and their furry coats, and they are used to our relatively cool mountain weather. They were miserable last year on our trip to Sisters, OR. It was just too hot! We actually cut the trip short and left early.

I have also wondered if it would be possible to install a fantastic fan in the van, and how much difference it would make. I figured it would need it's own battery to prevent running down the main battery, and then you'd have to find a way to charge it too, so I finally dropped that idea. Might as well just go buy a motorhome and run the AC like NewKid!

It's hard though, on a hot day you can't hardly find anyplace cool to go with the dogs. It can be pretty miserable for everyone. I don't know how you folks in hot climates do it. But this summer I think I'll just relax and know the kids are safe at home with our very reliable sitters.
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:31 PM   #13
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Stephanie,

Adding a fantastic fan to the van is not as bad an Idea as you think. They make a model with a remote thermostat that allows you to open and close as well as adjust the fan speed from the front seat. We have one like that in the rear of the MH and it is nice. The speed it infinitely adjustable or you can let the fan control it based on temp.

The real issue in your van is the solar gain from the glass. A good window tint (If legal in your state) will amaze you on how much heat it will eliminate.

Traveling in the east, without AC, I would suggest that the puppies stay at home, but in your own back yard all that may be needed is some additional cooling via a fan. Adding a second battery to the Van is not that hard and then you could also hook it into the interior light so if you are loading/unloading at night you need not worry about killing the starting battery.
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Old 05-26-2004, 07:50 AM   #14
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Autovent a bust

I received and tried the Autovent from www.wdrake.com.

It was sent back immediately. It was virtually useless as the fan output was so small you could barely tell it was on (truly).

Thanks, tho! Appreciate the ideas.

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