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View Full Version : Ukulele in a cooler.. good idea or so-so idea?



specialmike
08-04-2009, 07:16 AM
I'm planning to travel back home this week for two days (I'm in College), and I want to bring back my ukulele. Unfortunately, there's a water park on the way back called White Waters. My fiance and I are planning to go to the water park pretty much all day long on the way back from "home", so we are staying there from 9-5pm. The weather is supposed to be 88 high that day, which translates to about 150 F in my car... HOT HOT HOT! Which is... uhh, not good for any form of life.

So, If I got a big enough cooler for my tenor case to fit in, would you think it could survive the heat without damage? I wish I had a cheaper ukulele that sounded great to carry around and treat like.. well, less delicately(like a fluke or something), but I don't :(. Although I'm probably not going to take my ukulele back this trip, for future reference, where/how would you store your ukulele if you had to bring it along with you for extended periods of time (5+ hours) where the only safe place for storage is your car, or other mode of transportation(while the vehicle is turned off)?

I know I've made previous threads that question essentially the same thing, but it's all about care and convenience. I swear, after this post, I'm threading together "Ukulele Care in 100+ temperature." :)

Ebonyks
08-04-2009, 07:37 AM
I personally would talk to the staff of the waterpark to see if they can tuck your ukulele away in a corner somewhere. Many of them have lockers of somesort that you can rent as well, although it'd be rare to see one big enough for a tenor uke.

specialmike
08-04-2009, 07:41 AM
I personally would talk to the staff of the waterpark to see if they can tuck your ukulele away in a corner somewhere. Many of them have lockers of somesort that you can rent as well, although it'd be rare to see one big enough for a tenor uke.

yeah... no where near big enough. 13x17x23 inches..... so.. if I had a soprano worth storing... :)

Spooner
08-04-2009, 07:45 AM
That's an interesting conundrum.

One option that might work is to crack your windows some and have one of these blowing: http://www.coleman.com/coleman/ColemanCom/detail.asp?CategoryID=6000&product_id=830A352T

There are also lighter operated fans but you sure don't want to come back and find your battery dead.

Just a thought.

jazzuke
08-04-2009, 08:53 AM
If I had to...and would freak doing it:

I would leave it in the car, below the seats, to keep direct sunlight from shining on it. I'd cover with a white towel or blanket, and open the windows about an inch, to allow some air circulation...keep the car becoming too much like an oven.

I would not leave the instrument with the park folk...too easy to walk away ("I left my uke with Bob...".."He's gone for the day....").

Ukulele JJ
08-04-2009, 08:59 AM
I'd just put it in the trunk (assuming you have a trunk).

I'm no expert in thermodynamics, but I'm thinking that, if it's 88 degrees outside, the temperature inside the trunk won't get much higher than 88. The reason the passenger compartment of a car gets hotter than the ambient temperature is because of the greenhouse effect, isn't it? And that would be a non-issue in a windowless area such as the trunk, right?

JJ

PoisonDart
08-04-2009, 09:05 AM
trunks usually get pretty hot.

buy an old school plastic ukulele and take it in the park with you.

fill it up with some water and slosh it around while you're playing for an instant wah wah effect.

haolejohn
08-04-2009, 09:08 AM
When are you coming through marietta and where are u coming from? I don't live too far from there and I don't mind holding it for u if I am home. I'll be out of town until this friday. I'm going hiking with the wife but after that i wouldn't mind. You can also try contacting a local music shop like GC.

Ukulele JJ
08-04-2009, 09:32 AM
trunks usually get pretty hot.

Do they really?

I mean, how could a trunk (or any other enclosed, windowless box) get any hotter than the outside temperature? What would be the physics behind something like that, that would create the "extra" heat?

I'm not asking just to be a Tanizaki. I'm genuinely interested in the answer. :D

JJ

specialmike
08-04-2009, 09:42 AM
Do they really?

I mean, how could a trunk (or any other enclosed, windowless box) get any hotter than the outside temperature? What would be the physics behind something like that, that would create the "extra" heat?

JJ

Trunks are considerably cooler than the cabin inside the vehicle, but after prolonged lengths of time under the sun, the aluminum of the car will transfer the energy from the sun in the form of heat through the metal and will cause the air temperature to rise. A car's exterior can get pretty hot. Given enough time, the trunk can get just as hot as a cabin, if put under enough sun and heat. At least... so I've heard.

specialmike
08-04-2009, 09:45 AM
When are you coming through marietta and where are u coming from? I don't live too far from there and I don't mind holding it for u if I am home. I'll be out of town until this friday. I'm going hiking with the wife but after that i wouldn't mind. You can also try contacting a local music shop like GC.

Thanks for the offer. I couldn't bare that burden upon you however. Although I know you would take wonderful care of my ukulele, I couldn't keep you from 9am to 2-3-4-5-6 or 7pm. Depending on the weather thrusday, I wouldn't know how long I'll be staying. Besides, I'm going thrusday :(, while you're out of town.

thejumpingflea
08-04-2009, 09:47 AM
I'd just put it in the trunk (assuming you have a trunk).

I'm no expert in thermodynamics, but I'm thinking that, if it's 88 degrees outside, the temperature inside the trunk won't get much higher than 88. The reason the passenger compartment of a car gets hotter than the ambient temperature is because of the greenhouse effect, isn't it? And that would be a non-issue in a windowless area such as the trunk, right?

JJ

I know that my trunk (I drive a dark blue 88 Volvo) is usually very cool even in big heat. I have never seen (or felt rather?) it get hotter than the outside.

Ukeffect
08-04-2009, 09:56 AM
I found the perfect thing for you !! I know these keep the heat from building up...so I think it should protect your uke some.
http://www.amazon.com/Trillium-Worldwide-TWI-7001-Solar-Powered-Ventilator/dp/B0007LXTN2/ref=pd_sbs_auto_1

RonS
08-04-2009, 10:01 AM
Interesting idea...

I've kept coolers in the trunk of my car on hot summer days to keep drinks cool and it worked well into the evening.

A ukulele in a cooler in a trunk... Hmm...

Do you have some time to experiment before you leave? Place a thermometer in a cooler then place the cooler in the trunk and see what happens. Maybe even add a few ice packs as long as you can figure a way that no moisture will touch the uke.

Let us know how it works.

Captain_Lovehandles
08-04-2009, 11:17 AM
Mike, I was at the GC on Hwy. 41 near White Water last Friday. John is right. Take it in and explain to them. They'll be happy to hold it. Call them in advance, maybe.

PattyD
08-04-2009, 11:55 AM
Put cooler in trunk

Fill cooler with ice

Leave top off cooler

Put uke in trunk.

Close trunk.

Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed areas of skin and have fun.


Car trunks are insulated to a degree and this should act somewhat like an old fashioned ice box. If you wanted to cary it further you could tent the uke and cooler under a quilt or blanket to hold the cool air into a smaller area. And park in the shade!

No Talent
08-04-2009, 02:36 PM
I have an Ohana sk-10s that ocasionalyy sells for $40. I ship it in my luggage all the time but I loosen the strings first.

Gaby
08-04-2009, 03:32 PM
I run a music store with repair workshop in the tropics, and my advice is: do not leave your uke in the car - anywhere. You'd be surprised how hot a case gets even on an overcast day.

Also, with ice in a cooler, if the water starts to evaporate (hard to predict), the humidity could affect your uke. If you were going the cooler way, I would use those sealed ice packs.

The storage option is really the way to go in my opinion.

deach
08-05-2009, 03:49 AM
....

I'm not asking just to be a Tanizaki. I'm genuinely interested in the answer. :D

JJ
lol .

Ukeffect
08-05-2009, 04:10 AM
I'm not asking just to be a Tanizaki. I'm genuinely interested in the answer. :D

JJ

Oooo...Ooooo...did we just get another "person" verb?!!?

flyingace
08-05-2009, 05:36 AM
I say talk to the management at the park, find out if there is a larger locker you can store an instrument that locks. I'm certain that you are not the first people to visit them with something like this. Otherwise, I'd say plan to stay the night, get a hotel room, put your stuff there and go have fun without worry!

DON'T LEAVE ANY INSTRUMENT IN A CAR EVER NO MATTER WHAT THE SEASON OR WEATHER!

Ukulele JJ
08-05-2009, 09:08 AM
On an only marginally-related note:

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that "Ukulele in a Cooler" would make a great name for a bluegrass tune?

JJ

specialmike
08-05-2009, 05:08 PM
-Thanks to all of you who have replied. For future reference, I'm totally going to drop it off GC and perhaps some other area. As for leaving the ukulele in the vehicle, I will conduct an experiment and let you know how it goes.

Uncle-Taco
08-05-2009, 05:13 PM
On an only marginally-related note:

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that "Ukulele in a Cooler" would make a great name for a bluegrass tune?

JJ

Yeah, it would!
I also think it would make a good You Tube video channel. :D

mailman
08-06-2009, 04:41 AM
I don't know the physics of it, but I know that the cargo area of my mail truck gets HOT!

It's just a big, white, aluminum box with no windows and two open wing vents. Not as hot as in the cab, but hotter than the outdoors, it seems to me....

Uke Republic
08-06-2009, 04:56 AM
A Neoprene uke suit needs to be made for times like this. I'm always going to waterparks and pools with my ukulele and of course thats just a risk for water damage. Plus neoprene makes most things look a little sexier.

Lori
08-06-2009, 04:57 AM
If there is a hotel nearby, you could check the uke with the bellman for the day. Just make sure they have a room they can lock it up in. One time we left our bags at a hotel while site seeing, and when we came back they were still sitting in the lobby. Nothing disappeared, and I guess people are pretty honest in Switzerland, but I was a bit surprised.

–Lori

Rick Turner
08-06-2009, 09:10 AM
Many people have conducted the experiment of leaving instruments in a car...cabin or trunk...on a hot day. Many luthiers have benefited from these experiments in the past, and I'm sure many will in the future. I can't tell you how many bridge reglues I used to do in the summer in Southern California. It's nice work, too. The owners come in just devastated and ready to plunk down good cash for what is usually fairly easy work. Job security for my brethren and sistren in the the lutherie trade is what I call it.

Cars are essentially passive solar collectors, by the way. Any time you get into your parked car and it's warmer inside than out, you've had some time of
solar gain. The trunk may not heat up quite as fast as the cab, but try putting a recording thermometer in there for a while rather than just saying that you can't believe that the inside of a car can heat up more than the outside. It can, it has, and it will.