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I recently did an outdoor show this month (June) & the heat was unbearable. Luckily I took a change of clothes before the show started, but I still found myself dripping from the humidity & heat.

When I got back home I had an idea of adding a portable air conditioning unit to my tent. I have a 2000 watt portable generator that could handle an 8000 BTU unit.

I can't be the first with this idea. Has any one had any luck running a portable AC?

Thanks in advance


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I'm not a fan of fans. They just move air around. I used to joke that I'd like to have a small portable air conditioner in my booth and freezer strips hanging in the entrance to my booth. I wouldn't expect the air conditioner to cool the booth down. However, a few degrees difference would feel a lot cooler to people coming into my booth. There are plenty of shows where I could use it and plenty where I couldn't. I would be ok with that.

Btw, don't ask to friend me. I'm not adding any friends just to answer private messages. I have no time for that. In fact, I have less time now than when I was doing art fairs. I'm getting caught up on cleaning, organizing, online sales, and making new pieces. Plus, I don't really know anything. I fake it a lot. The only way to glean info is to talk to your neighbor at an art fair. Ask them and observe what other people are doing. Otherwise, do a search for what you want here. Any question any of you think of has been answered over and over in past threads.

Just an update to my post..

I discussed the subject with a friend that does shows at the Miami Boat show. He told me that the show makes portable AC units available to rent during shows.

I found a used portable AC unit, 8000 BTU. I contacted the seller and offered to buy the unit if my Honda 2000 watt generator could handle it. The generator can handle the AC with no problem. For $130 it's a no brainer. Now I have to wait till next summer to use it. I don't intend to use it to cool the entire booth - just myself.

I've seen the solution to this in the past. An artist I saw years ago had a Trimline/Crafthut style tent with the three panel front side with the clear vinyl. They had built a zip in door frame with a light weight door. Think of the door as a light screen door with clear vinyl. They used a portable roll-around AC unit that attached to a cutout in their backwall. The cold air hose from the AC had a velcroed flange that attached to the tarp. The entire booth was cooled that way.

I used the same method for some cold weather shows I did where the temps were in the low 30's, except I used a Mr. Heater Buddy propane heater and a clear sectioned tarp for the front of the booth. It does inhibit looky-loos a bit from coming in but you don't freeze your butt off. It does put the onus on you to make the booth as well lighted and attractive as possible to overcome the reluctance to go inside a closed off area.

Another thing you might be able to do at a lot of shows is to extend an enclosed area behind your booth about 4-5 deep. With a small doorway to the back room, an AC will easily keep that small volume cooled down.


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