Our Shade Enclosure (Help us make it usable!)

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Miss Coolette
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Our Shade Enclosure (Help us make it usable!)

Post by Miss Coolette » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:03 am

We got some advice from some friends of ours that they had $20 shade enclosures @ OSH and in fact they do. It has been setup in the backyard of one of group, and we have a few questions as to just how sturdy it will be in the playa winds and conditions. We have not setup it's 2-3 additional side tarps, as at the moment that would be too much to setup on it's current location on the deck, and it isn't tied down with the additional side ropes. However, even with all of that, it doesn't seem like it will be enough to feel "really good" about it's structural stability.

It will most likely be directly attached to a dome (that will be stable) and perhaps another similar shade tent, and we've thought about running rebar down the vertical sections of the support poles. Any further ideas, comments criticism? Any/all help would be most appreciated.

For completeness, the ground is going to be either a carpet, or a tarp with a carpet on top of it, and an air mattress.

Pictures are here:
http://img484.imageshack.us/img484/5392/img1167ar7.jpg
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/4928/img1165ip4.jpg

Thanks!
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Dato
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Post by Dato » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:13 am

The problem with the easy ups is that the struts themselves bend very easily. A few months ago, we had one of those fly into our car at a music festival in the desert because the struts not only bent, but actualy ripped apart.

The rebar may help, but I think the best thing to do is to have plenty of ropes going at 45 degree angles from the corners of the structure to rebar, maybe 6 feet away. Helped A LOT with the PVC structure I've used for the last couple of years.

I think it may survive it you tie it down enough so it can't move around. Once it starts dancing around, it will break.

Good luck!

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Nickel
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Post by Nickel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:15 am

[quote="Dato"]
The rebar may help, but I think the best thing to do is to have plenty of ropes going at 45 degree angles from the corners of the structure to rebar, maybe 6 feet away. Helped A LOT with the PVC structure I've used for the last couple of years.

Good luck![/quote]

Good to know. I was going to tie it down, and tie tarps over it etc etc but I'll just make sure that this is done in excess (somewhat anyway) so that even if it bends a little, it will be so tied down it will barely notice.
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blyslv
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Post by blyslv » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:16 am

Use some of your vehicles as wind breaks and anchors.
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Dork
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Post by Dork » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:37 am

I'd check the costs on some larger PVC big enough to fit around the existing uprights. The corners will still be a weak point but the ropes running from them to the ground will help that. Definitely attach it firmly to a vehicle or more substantial shade structure. Hell, if you can just park cars on either side of it and run ropes from the corners to the roof and wheels of both cars. That should hold it steady and add a little morning/night shade if parked to the West and East.

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Burp!
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Post by Burp! » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:37 am

We've used these off and on over the years and in general they have made it through some big winds. We usually have the legs go over rebar pounded into the playa and then tie them down to prevent lift. However if the winds are really big like in 2000, you can kiss those things good bye. Our 15'x30' geodome caved in that year. Just make sure that it is tied down well

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Hoolie
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Post by Hoolie » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:50 am

My girlfriend bought something similar last year. After setting it up, I was thinking "no way." I ended up reinforcing it as described by others above. I slid a PVC pipe over the entire length of each leg to keep them from buckling (which they surely would have). Then I pounded rebar halfway into the ground and placed each leg over them. Next, I secured the structure down with guylines running diagonally from each corner and tied-off to rebar stakes in the ground. It held up quite nicely.

Also, you probably want some "walls" on that thing since just a roof doesn't provide much shade throughout the day, and sometimes the shade is totally out from under the structure itself. But I would use some kind of shade net that would let the wind filter through so as not to put too much stress on the structure.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:02 pm

I have used one of those from 01 to 05. Last year the joints started to crack but it held. Put a rebar in the ground and up inside each leg. This keeps ot from trying to walk. If you can handle a little wind. Only use the sides needed to keep yourself comfy. BUT the one you have pictured cost about $80. The other $20 kind will be gone in the wind.
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blyslv
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Post by blyslv » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:05 pm

Hoolie wrote: But I would use some kind of shade net that would let the wind filter through so as not to put too much stress on the structure.
ITYM "camo netting". Doubled up it provides luxurious shade while letting the wind play. It comes in a variety of designer colours. Order fast to get your delivery before you depart.
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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:51 pm

blyslv wrote:Use some of your vehicles as wind breaks and anchors.
Second that.
Get a couple pieces of EMT, bridge two tall vehicles (like SUVs) with it, and attach the roof of the shade structure to them.

Bottom line: you got what you paid for.
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Post by Nickel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:55 pm

[quote="diane o'thirst"][quote="blyslv"]Use some of your vehicles as wind breaks and anchors.[/quote]

Second that.
Get a couple pieces of EMT, bridge two tall vehicles (like SUVs) with it, and attach the roof of the shade structure to them.

Bottom line: you got what you paid for.[/quote]

I know that it isn't an amazing structure, but I know that for less than the next cheapest $60+ I can make it a lot nicer, with 4 walls, etc etc.

Thank you all for all your help so far, I know that it will help us not be one of the crumpled tent folks out on the playa!
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Rusted Iron
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camo netting

Post by Rusted Iron » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:39 pm

I'm having a hard time finding camo netting, this year. We need a 20x20' piece, but no luck so far. I've tried several surplus stores and Google.

Any clues where to look?

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Post by trilobyte » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:54 pm

The picture doesn't seem very encouraging to me. A campmate had a similar structure last year, until about Monday afternoon when the poles buckled (side as well as one of the tops). At that point we had to drop the structure so broken pieces didn't hurt someone, and he camped under our structure.

Some of the ideas listed above sound good, though, and could work out for you. Good luck!

~Trilo~

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:26 pm

Some of the shade structures are like killing a nat with a sledge hammer. Single campers spend days building a supper dome. Other come out with hammer nail 4x6 and four days building just to watch the burn from a outside ring street. I suggest you figure out how much time your going to spend at camp. Are you going to to just sleep there? Are you going to live there 24 7? Or what in between?
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Post by Nickel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:57 pm

[quote="unjonharley"]Some of the shade structures are like killing a nat with a sledge hammer. Single campers spend days building a supper dome. Other come out with hammer nail 4x6 and four days building just to watch the burn from a outside ring street. I suggest you figure out how much time your going to spend at camp. Are you going to to just sleep there? Are you going to live there 24 7? Or what in between?[/quote]

We'll be there all week, and most likely just sleep there. We've got a pretty good group, and some domes etc etc to "fall back on" and other pieces of the camp, We are just doing our best so that the area we sleep in doesn't fly away or crumble down on top of us (too much)

I am most definatley going to use the PVC idea, I love it, and I'll tie down everything extensivley and I've got anough tent stakes (12") to do some good securing, and we can use rebar for more if needed.
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diane o'thirst
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Re: camo netting

Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:50 pm

Rusted Iron wrote:I'm having a hard time finding camo netting, this year. We need a 20x20' piece, but no luck so far. I've tried several surplus stores and Google.

Any clues where to look?
Try Aluminet.

http://www.cloudtops.com/greenhouse_sha ... uminet.htm

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Post by EspressoDude » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:09 pm

Aluminet is great stuff. go for the 70% shade factor ($.20~.25 sqft)

Our Espressocamp tent is covered with it.

GothicArch greenhouses also has it available, but is in short supply this time of year

You can also use standard shade clothe, but it is warmer and cheaper ($0.10 sq ft)
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Post by ibdave » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:06 pm

http://majorsurplusnsurvival.com/

I was at Mozy's house Saturday and he got his camo net from these guys...
Looked ok..
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Post by Ivy » Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:16 pm

Their store is 15 minutes from where I live and I've gotten great stuff from them before. I buy my work boots there. They're good peeps.And they always have some awesome random surplus military vehicles for sale in the parking lot.

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Post by AntiM » Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:34 am

Majorsurplus ships fast too. We got camo net from them and used it in the front yard over our EZ-up frame for our Fourth of July gun cleaning party. We have two nets now because we decided to double the netting in some areas for deeper shade. It will be hung between the two carports and raised in the middle with the EZ-up frame; the frame is heavy-duty and will be secured between/to the carports.

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Post by blyslv » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:23 am

Ivy! I'm bringing my BandJacket, just 'cuz.

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Post by Nickel » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:46 am

[quote="blyslv"]Ivy! I'm bringing my BandJacket, just 'cuz.

I'm a lucky boy![/quote]

I was going to bring mine, but I'm moving up to SF just after BM so it's in a box! Dammit all to hell.
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karr
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Post by karr » Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:32 am

AntiM wrote:Majorsurplus ships fast too. We got camo net from them and used it in the front yard over our EZ-up frame for our Fourth of July gun cleaning party. We have two nets now because we decided to double the netting in some areas for deeper shade. It will be hung between the two carports and raised in the middle with the EZ-up frame; the frame is heavy-duty and will be secured between/to the carports.
I've got a question regarding Camo Net and Aluminet that's been discussed here...

I'm going to have a minivan on one side of my shade structure/tent area. On the otherside of the minivan, will be another tent. Unless other camp members park around my tent, I'll only have one vehicle shielding my setup from wind. I used a similar setup last year with a non-suv and my structure was fine...granted, the main winds my structure was only exposed to were those Tuesday through mid-Sunday.

I'm looking into either Aluminet or Camo Net to put over my shade structure to provide better shade.

Below is a graphic of how I am expecting my setup to be:

Minivan on one side. Yellow lines are guylines which will attach to candy cane rebar. The legs will have rebar running on the outside of them that will be tied on with zip ties and then duct taped. The shade structure is 10 x 10 and the tent is 7 x 7. Any ideas on how I can add Camo Net or Aluminet on this setup??? Or suggestions on how to reconfigure?

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reply to Karr

Post by Rusted Iron » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:00 pm

You might consider sticking something between your shade tent and your van. If if it is well tied down, the wind can still cause it vibrate or shake; striking the van is likely.

I'd also recommend wrapping three sides of the shade tent in either camo netting, burlap or another semi-open cloth. It will let a breeze go through, but should cut down on the tendancy for the whole thing to rise.

Iron-e

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karr
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Re: reply to Karr

Post by karr » Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:54 pm

Rusted Iron wrote:You might consider sticking something between your shade tent and your van. If if it is well tied down, the wind can still cause it vibrate or shake; striking the van is likely.

I'd also recommend wrapping three sides of the shade tent in either camo netting, burlap or another semi-open cloth. It will let a breeze go through, but should cut down on the tendancy for the whole thing to rise.

Iron-e
Any ideas on what I can stick between the van and tent? I'm looking into camo netting but haven't the slightest clue on how to approach this.

I found 10' x 20' camo netting and am thinking about getting 2 of them that size. The 20 foot side would be attached over two sides of the shade structure on the frame and then attached to candy cane rebar?? The second 10 x 20 would then go on the third side and fourth side. I'm looking to only bring it out from the sides by about 3 feet and still use the van on that side.

I'm still new at this. Any ideas are highly welcomed. :)
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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:17 am

I put blankets on the van to keep tarps from rubing the paint.
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