Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cool the Back Seat! DIY Air Conditioning Extension Tube


We live in Central Texas where its currently still in the high 90°'s and it gets blazing hot in my car. I drive a 2013 Dodge Journey that doesn't have AC vents in the back seat. It takes a very long time to cool down back there and for a child, any amount of time is too long. My daughter has Sensory Processing Disorder and sitting in her booster with a sweaty bottom is one of her triggers.

I have been wanting to purchase a product that would help get the cold air to the backseat faster, and there are certainly some great products out there. However as a crafty (ahem. . . cheap. . . ) mom, I like to try to make my own, less expensive version of things. So the following is my tutorial for a quick and effective AC Extension Tube.

Shopping list:
vinyl flexible hose
3" diameter 20' vinyl flexible hose (Found at Home Depot for about $10)

1 1/4" diameter Curtain Clip Rings (you really only need the clip but I was improvising)

Roughly 2.5 yards fabric of your choice

16" of 3/4" elastic

Thread to match fabric

Measuring tape

curtain clips
Pencil

Scissors

Wire cutters

To begin:
Measure the length of tubing you need to get from your AC vent to your back seat. I went with 8 feet. Use the scissors to begin cutting the vinyl and the wire cutters to complete the cut.

For the fabric cover:
Lay your fabric out on a clean, flat surface. Use your pencil and measure tape to mark your fabric. You'll want about 12 inches of width to be able to wrap around the tube and the length should be about 4 inches longer than your tube.

I went along the fabric, marking out the 12" width along the entire length and then used my scissors to "connect the dots".

Once you have your very long rectangle of fabric cut out, fold it in half along the length and iron it with the design side facing each other. You can pin it along the length to make sewing easier.

Sew one long straight line with a 1/4"seam allowance. At each short end fold 1/4" over and then 1/2" over to create a double fold. Sew along this edge but leave a 1" opening to allow for the insertion of the elastic. Repeat for the other side.

Do not insert your elastic yet. Turn the entire sleeve right side out. Insert the vinyl tube into the sleeve.

Using a safety pin or a bodkin, insert the elastic into the opening you left at the end of the sleeve. I used about 8" of elastic in each end. Pull the elastic taut and sew it together. The elastic should be outside of the tube to protect from any jagged edges.


This next part is somewhat difficult to explain. Take your curtain rings and pry the S hook portion open enough to get the ring off. You don't need the ring portion, just the clip and S hook.

You are going to hook the S onto the elastic and clip the other part on the the vents. I used two hook clips placed about 3" apart. You'll have to refer to the picture for clarification.

I leave the back end of the tube in the back seat and let my daughter hold it so she can place the air where she likes.

Notes: While this works great for cold air, I wouldn't recommend that it be used for hot hair as the steel wire that reinforces the tubing could get to hot to touch. When I made my tube, I used aluminum dryer vent tubing but have since gone back for the vinyl for fear that the aluminum may get too warm.

We were parked in my driveway so no need to panic about the lack of seat belt.



17 comments:

  1. What a fun idea! (And I hear ya on the hot temps - it's 97 degrees here in FL right now - and it's midnight!!) Have a great weekend!

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  2. What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party!

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  3. What a great idea, especially for older cars! Happy FF!!

    Mollie

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  4. That's very clever, mmmmmmmm, your daughter must be really happy with her aircon tube and the fabric you used is so cute. Thank you so much for sharing with us on the Sweet Inspiration party Lauren

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  5. What a great idea! Love it, I always feel bad for my daughter who is still sitting backwards...poor thing! She's always so sweaty when we get her out of the car. Come on cooler temps! Stopping by from Best of Blogosphere.

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  6. So clever and easy to make. I think the back seat is hard to get air blowing at you unless you're in just the perfect spot. With this, it's like having you're own personal fan : Thanks for sharing with us at Family Joy Blog link up! Hope to see you again.

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  7. Hi Lauren,
    Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger's Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

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  8. Great idea! Thank you for sharing with us at the To grandma's house we go link party! Pinned!

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  9. Very clever, Mom! I live in Houston- so I feel ya! Here's to a cold front soon! Thanks for sharing on #overthemoon!

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  10. That picture could be my granddaughter and she is constantly saying she needs more air in the back seat! I should do this for her. She would be surprised!! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend.

    Linda

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  11. Lauren, what an absolutely brilliant idea! As someone who has ridden thousands of miles in the hot, stuffy backseat of a car, I thank you for this idea. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

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  12. That is a good idea, and I love how you have made it fun too! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

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  13. Such a fun and clever idea! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  14. Congrats, you're featured this week at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

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  15. Congrats, you're featured this week at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

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