Road Trip

How about a portable AC for Fido? (MacGuyver would be proud!)

It happens to everyone, you’re driving down the road and you see that sign with a big arrow!  “Stop here to see the largest ball of twine in the world.”  How can you pass that up?  Of course, you have to stop.

Largest Twine

OH NO!!! As you pull up, you see a sign that says “no dogs allowed.”

But what about Quigley, Kosmo, and Kylie, our dogs?  It’s blistering hot outside, you can’t leave your motorhome running for the air conditioner, and there’s not an AC plug in site.  What’s a responsible dog owner to do?  We just can’t miss seeing that ball of twine!!

Have you thought about a portable 12-volt air conditioner that plugs right into a cigarette lighter?  It’s good for a few hours, just enough time to find that ball of twine, measure it, confirm it really is the largest in the world and, of course, take that all important selfie.

Thom’s always been very MacGuyver-esque (but he doesn’t like to talk about the mullet years), and he decided to give this a try after watching a You Tube video called “Homemade Air Conditioner DIY – The “5 Gallon Bucket Air Cooler!”.  And he’s always been the type to make it himself if he can.  So, off to Amazon we went to purchase any materials we needed.

Because Thom is a MacGuyver for the 21st century and because he prefers to make things when he can, we already had a battery box, a 5-gallon bucket, blue ice and even quite a bit of leftover styrofoam from all of those Amazon purchases we make (seriously, we’re addicted to Amazon).  So all we really needed was the 12-volt fan.

Necessary supplies:

  • 5-gallon bucket with the lid
  • 12-volt fan
  • zip ties
  • blue ice (frozen, of course)
  • battery box
  • left over packing foam from previous Amazon purchases
  • drill with a large drill bit to drill holes in the bucket
  • box knife for cutting a hole in the lid of the bucket

It’s really pretty easy and can be completed in less than a couple of hours depending on how handy you are.  Thom had it done in about an hour.

Here are the pieces laid out … you can see the red lid with the fan attached to it.  Thom cut a hole in the lid the same size as the fan and then attached the fan to the lid with some zip ties.


And another pic showing the top of the lid with the back of the fan,  you can see where he’s attached it to the lid with the zip ties.


And, of course, the rest of the pieces, and getting ready to close it up and hook it to the battery box.  The battery box is what makes it portable, but you can also use the cigarette lighter in your vehicle to hook it up.

So, when you run into that all important tourist attraction that you just can’t afford to miss or that quick trip to the grocery store, drug store or even a stop for a burger.  Think about this AC unit and how it could give you peace of mind and make that small window of time for your pets more comfortable.  Just be sure to keep your blue ice in your freezer, so it’s ready anytime you need it.

And, just a hint, we also close the shades, turn on some nice classical music and leave Quigley, Kosmo and Kylie with a food puzzle to work on while we’re out.  We have an enjoyable experience without worrying about them too much, (we always worry when we leave them alone) and they get to play with one of their favorite toys while staying cool.  Give it a try, we think you’ll be glad you did.

Stay safe out there and enjoy making memories!