Transporting large poles

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Transporting large poles

Post by kikastrophe » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:21 am

Hey guys, wasn't sure if I should put this here or in the transportation area. I have a flat top shade structure:

This structure is 10 feet tall to accommodate the taller tents in my small group. I originally planned to cut the poles in half this year since 10 feet poles are a nightmare to carry around in my little civic, but we're questioning if the top will buckle under the strain of the balls and tarps.

In light of that, how are people getting their larger pieces of their camp to the playa? I'm looking for personal anecdotes of how they did the thing.

Right now my options are:
* run the poles from edge of my trunk through to my front window laying down all the seats which sucks up half of my car
* figure out how to get the poles on top of the car, on some kind of rack?
* rent some kind of small utility trailer to pull behind the civic (if such a thing exists)

Any other ideas or practical solutions people have?

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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by Token » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:47 pm

That’s a huge ask of a Honda Civic.

When folks lug stuff 10’ or longer ... pickup trucks with a lumber rack sure come in handy.

How far are you driving ?

A Civic is not good at towing anything. Don’t even think that.

As a 14’ give or take length car, even a sturdy roof-rack would be sketchy. Too much of your field of vision would be blocked. Not to mention the pipe flex and vibrations at high speed.

If I had no other choice, like making friends with someone with a pu-truck or sharing box-truck space with others ... roof-rack is it, but over-engineered to the max with extra stiffeners, crazy tie-downs - for the wind effects, etc.

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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by Popeye » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:08 pm

Cutting conduit to length and a shade shelter coupling works well. Don't use EMT couplings.
You don't have to cut them to 5', You could cut to the longest dimension that fits easily in your car, say 7' and 3' etc. Figure out your tallest tent and cut to fit that. I'll bet somewhere around 7 or 8 foot would work.
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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:25 pm

While there are some great answers here, I'm going to go the opposite direction: roof rack, red flag in back. Of course you have to keep the bundle together, no escapees or someone on the road could be injured.

I have brought 20' pvc for my monkey hut, Tied to the front bumper, roof rack and back bumper.

With straight poles, like 10' EMT and a roof rack, that can be a base to pile more stuff on top, like bikes laying flat, duffels, etc. I have moved my roof rack onto rental cars, using the rental vehicle-specific fit clips.

Of course, YMMV!
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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by Token » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:54 pm

Hahaha, yeah, I’ve seen folks slam on their brakes and a conduit spear flys of the roof rack.

Exactly why the invented conduit and pipe carriers.


Alas, they come in lumber-rack and van sizes.

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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by BBadger » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:11 pm

I started using carports over monkey huts because the poles were only 6'6" long and could fit inside my vehicle, instead of 10ft... but that was using a Subaru Outback. I've got friends who have transported them in Toyota Priuses, but not a Honda Civic; a Honda Civic is way too small.

Maybe see if those with taller tents can transport in part of a carport instead of the 10-ft poles? They have shorter poles and an angled roof that'll fit a large tent. You can buy just the canopy fittings for poles that have the same roof-like angle (like these).

On another note, that pipe carrier Token linked to is nice! Gonna wishlist that so I don't forget it.
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Re: Transporting large poles

Post by son_of_mars » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:23 am

I've been thinking about how I'm going to handle transport of the 10' sections of my EMT structure, driving a Subaru outback wagon. One thought was a DIY version of the tubing carrier Token posted, built using 4" ABS with a screw off clean out plug on one end, and u-bolts to attach it to the factory roof rack. I figure I can fit 8-9 sections of 1" EMT within each 10' ABS section, and mounting 2 to the factory roof rack seems doable. This seems like a safe/safe solution to me, anyone tried this? Feedback on it?

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