Carports are way better than tents. Discuss.

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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HughMungus
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Carports are way better than tents. Discuss.

Post by HughMungus » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:26 am

I just wanted to throw out a piece of advice that came to mind while reading other people's advice about tents. It's basically that if you can afford a carport and if you have the capability to transport one, they are much, much, much better than tents for Burning Man. They're relatively cheap, go up easily, provide excellent sun/rain/wind protection and some noise abatement, can be opened up when it's hot and closed up when it's cold, and on and on and on.

If cost and the ability to transport one are problems, consider teaming up with some other campers so that you have one to share. If you replace your tents with one, you can hang material inside to divide the space. If you bring one in addition to tents, you can put the tents under it for shade or next to it so that you have a warm, cozy tent at night but a nice, cool, public place to crash/hang out/sit during the day.

Hope this isn't too obvious.
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MikeVDS
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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:52 am

I mostly agree but carport does not always directly replace a tent. You could say domes are way better than tents too, and there are some tents which you can walk in and open up just like a carport.

I think most tents are there for a small private area and convenience. A carport doesn't really do that.

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StevenGoodman
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Post by StevenGoodman » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:11 pm

I can put my 10'x10' Springbar tent up in 15 minutes, by myself. Another few minutes to cover it with snow camo. Done. With the canopy on the front it is almost as big as a 10'x20' carport.

And it zips up tight.

Carports make great public areas, but seem lousy as a place to sleep?
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:10 pm

Carports are better than tents like trucks are better than bicycles.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Post by diane o'thirst » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:48 am

If you can get hold of that much Reflectix or woolen Army blankets to line one of those suckers, yes, I'd say carports are better than tents.

They're eminently decorate-able; you can hang tapestries, potlatch blankets and Indian bedspreads to section off more private areas, paint the tarps with Fusion spray, wrap the pipes in garlands and faerie lights, and guying them down doesn't require guyline illumination.

You can stand very much upright in them, even if you're an acromegale giant. You can hang mirrors (every camp should have a full-length mirror), lanterns, even use the walls as a shadow puppet theatre. Pretty much the only thing you can't do in them is...have open flame. Or even closed flame, near the tarp walls.

They're pretty easy to transport, too. If you have a midsize-or-larger pickup truck, or an SUV with a roofrack, you're more than good to go.

Even the industrial-strength Costco carport costs less than any tent of similar or even lesser proportions. 200 square feet for $1.10 a square foot? There's economy for you! I've heard of and seen many tensegrity tents wrecked by Playa conditions but I've never seen a disintegrated carport out there.
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Rob_
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Post by Rob_ » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:09 am

Last year (my first), I brought a 10'x20' Costco carport. I never did get around to setting this up, but intend to this year.

What is the best way to secure it to the ground? Guywired to rebar? FYI, last year I didn't set it up mostly due to procrastination/having too much fun, but I was worried about it not being a projectile after experiencing that Wednesday dust storm. I had 32 eight inch nails (4 for each leg), but wasn't sure that would do if that wind returned.

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Post by AntiM » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:15 am

We use tents under carports.

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Post by robotland » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:36 am

My pal Sparkzy suggests bringing smallish tents as gear dumps, which makes sense especially if you're travelling light...I myself have never brought a tent, preferring instead to just sleep in the car if what I want is low-noise low-dust nap or snooze time. Waking hours are for playing in GEODESICS! I prefer a 2V 9' radius "standard conduit dome" to a carport, although I freely acknowledge that the dome has some comparative shortcomings. This year, something "more elaborate"....
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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:47 am

Eight inch spikes are fine for a pup tent, but you might want to go bigger for something the size of a small house.

Search the eplaya for "stakes".
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Post by regionalchaos » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:34 pm

For securing car ports, in the past we have used 1/4 rebar about 3 foot long. We drive 18 inches into the ground, through one of the holes in the circle at the base of each leg. Then we tightly wrap cord around the rebar and the leg. Then we tightly wrap duct tape around the rebar and cord and the leg. So far so good.

I need a new (atleast to me) tent, and possibly a structure to put it under. If I build a new structure it will be a 2v dome of thick pvc. I already have a 22 or 23' diameter geodesic. But I don't know if it will be for a central camp space or a private space.
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Post by bdeywoo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:16 am

[quote="AntiM"]We use tents under carports.[/quote]
US TOO!

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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:15 pm

To secure ours last year, we tied a rope to the <b>soffits</b> at the top of each leg. This made a rope "garland" that was then stretched down to a rebar hammered into the ground and formed a V.

Secure down the legs at ground-level and there's a chance the roof will lift off in a high wind, if you have a carport that doesn't lock together. Such as the ones from Sam's Club. The Costco carport snaps together and is overall sturdier, so it's less of an issue with that one; but we had the Sam's Club ones because Robert thought he'd save money.

It turned out good, and nobody had trouble stepping through the V's all week.
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Post by diane o'thirst » Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:29 pm

I was just over at my local Costco a couple days ago. They have the canopy again. Fully enclosed, 10x20, not white. Pipes are cocoa brown, tarps are mocha coloured. Will blend nicely with the Playa and you could probably decorate the pipes to look like saplings. I'm thinking maybe willows or apple trees...

Best yet, the price came down! $165. I said, "Give me a month, I need to buy a ticket and clean out a closet."
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Post by skygod » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:16 am

!0' x 10' Costco Carport, bought 3 years ago for around 80 bucks, works great! Tent underneath. The carport comes with zippered walls. Rebar pounded straight in to the ground and duct taped to the legs withstands the strongest wind, and no guy lines to trip over. You can vary it's height from 5 ft tall to 10' ft. Folds down to a package 6' x 1' x 1' and fits in a wheeled bag.
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Post by AntiM » Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:17 am

And for those of us who are guy line proponents, an "X" configuration between the legs keeps them out of the way. Just be sure to add a tensioner so you don't have to repound your rebar. All our guys have been hand-spliced thanks to mylarry's expertise with rope, so no knots to fuss with either.

Hey, that all sounds dirty!

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:11 am

You may be able to use your carport when you get home, too.

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Post by mojo » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:08 am

Instead of regular guy lines, we use the ratcheting tie downs that also secure the load when travellling - easy to tighten when needed and easy to see. (Therefore avoiding the clothesline effect)

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Post by MrMullen » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:50 pm

Rob_ wrote:Last year (my first), I brought a 10'x20' Costco carport. I never did get around to setting this up, but intend to this year.

What is the best way to secure it to the ground? Guywired to rebar? FYI, last year I didn't set it up mostly due to procrastination/having too much fun, but I was worried about it not being a projectile after experiencing that Wednesday dust storm. I had 32 eight inch nails (4 for each leg), but wasn't sure that would do if that wind returned.
Here is my recommendation since I have helped set up and used a number of Costco carports at Burningman.

You need two tie downs for each corner and at least one tie down for each long section. It would be best to have two tie downs straps for each corner and a single tie down strap for each post in between. That would at least require 10 tie down straps or at most 12 tie down straps. Without these, you Costco car port will fly away.

You must use at least 18 inch rebar or other suitable Playa stakes. Anything less is too little and will get pulled out. It's best to use 24 inch if possible.

I would highly recommend the yellow straps with hooks on the end that have ratchets in them so you take the slack out of the line. Very handy in a strong wind storm.

During and after a wind storm, you must check the condition of your Costco Carport. The lines will get a little slack and you will probably have to re-plant some of your stakes.

You will also need glow or lights for your straps at night so no one trips. Also cover your rebar so no one gets get rebar foot.

Complete your rebaring and strapping when you setup, not just before or during a wind storm.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:10 pm

Image

I went and dug out one of our guys. Basically a homemade ratchet strap sized to our carport. One end is permanently spliced, and the other end knotted into the slider. Or whatever that surplus metal rope thingy is called. I think we have eight, one for each leg, you have to remember to slide the rope on before you put on the roof and raise the carport. The spliced end goes on the rebar (I think, I'm not allowed to help with the heavy stuff most of the time). Our rebar is welded into giant "T"s. I call them Buffy Bars because they look like vampire impalers. If the tiedown loosens, you just pull on the slider.

With the X configuration between the legs, there are no ropes underfoot to trip over. You just have to remember to enter in the middle or on the ends. No problem because we hang art over the exposed Xs. When the carports are in a clamshell configuration, only the side with the legs gets the Xs, the backside against the wall slopes straight down from each leg.

We cap our rebar with the orange construction mushrooms.

Our carports are now "clamshells", we only put on the four legs down one side. Makes them far more aerodynamic, the tents fit under, and we face two carports together and shade the open area between. We do have foot high legs along the bottom back, made from curved trampoline tubes. We also nail down the feet so they don't dig into the playa.

We actually have real ratchet straps, lots of them, but mylarry prefers to use them for the trailer load and doesn't want them covered in slippery playa dust.

Image

The carport on the left is in clamshell mode. We put both of them down now and have a better middle shade design now.

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Post by diane o'thirst » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:08 pm

Clamshell configuration rocks. One person can set it up in a half-hour, less if they've done it before.

Personally I'm going to have mine standing up on all eights because I have an 8.5' werewolf puppet to wrangle. We don't need a grouchy, head-achey werewolf lurching out of her den to greet visitors...
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Did Costco change their carports this year?

Post by tracsman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:19 am

I'm in Seattle and the Costco I recently went to here had a new style of carport, it was nearly identical as in the past but it had little popped up venty thingies on the top of the roof frame that looked like they would be playa scoops in a dust storm. Anybody notice those in your local Costco or is it a Seattle thing? I want the plain 'ol kind. Need to buy a second as the camp is expanding! :D

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Post by Teo del Fuego » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:07 pm

nope, just saw the same darn thing today at the Boulder Costco and I wondered about how that ridge vent would hold up in a dust storm. Its funny how after Burning Man you cant just go into a megastore, hardware or building supply store and get what ya need and leave. I almost habitually make detours to check out PVC, tarps, christmas lights, etc.

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Post by ibdave » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:02 pm

the new style costco carport have the wind relief For the most part I think it's a great design change.
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:40 pm

No Costco anywhere near here. (I believe that the nearest one is in Illinois!) Probably just as well, I don't need to spend any more time looking at stuff I can't afford to spend my money on. :?

B.

(Although I really DO need to have a shade structure if I bring the tent next time... need to think about it.)
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gyre
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Post by gyre » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:28 pm

They want a lot of money to join costco.
I can't figure out any way to save enough to make up for that.
Plus they don't have one in town.
It's a very long drive.
Same issue with sams.
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Post by mdmf007 » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:16 am

Gyre -

The way to make up for the cost of the Costco membership is to have a friend who already is a member buy it for you.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:04 am

Or just go with them and shop on their membership. Consumerism as a bonding exercise.

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Ron
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Post by Ron » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:13 am

Here's another tip for setting up those Costco barns: use a tape measure and make sure that you barn makes a true rectangle before staking the poles down. Check the lenght of both long sides and make sure they are equal, and then do the same with the shorrt sides. This little step improves their ability to ride out wind storms significantly, assuming that they are properly tied down...

Ron

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:15 am

Do members get a discount when they buy another membership?
I've gone with friends to sams but I don't seem to know anyone who's a member at costco.
They want close to $100 here to join and it's a long drive too.
Most people I know consider it a sucker bet.
They do have a great price on the coleman flashlight/lantern 11 watt fluorescent but I would have to buy 40 to justify joining.

Most of the cheaper carports I have seen let too much light and heat in.
If you have to cover these things to get shade, why not start out with something that has the right material to begin with?
The cheaper kits like shelter systems aren't much more expensive.
Does costco have some that aren't white translucent now?
Those become ovens.
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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:08 am

The $100 is the executive membership. I tried that and it wasn't cost-effective, so I downgraded to the Business membership using my Sagittarius Moon DBA. Don't need Executive anyway.

Business and Gold Star is only $50. Ask your employer if they're a member and/or see if they offer membership as a bennie. If not, go with a friend and get a Gold Star.

My membership ding breaks even over the year because I get all my milk there. I save about a dollar a half-gallon a week so it pays for itself within five months. I also get most of my non-perishable food and some equipment for camp there annually.
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