HexaYurts

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Elderberry
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Post by Elderberry » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:48 pm

This will be the third year for ours too. We'll be pulling it out tomorrow and doing exactly what you do...we pull off all the lose tape, scrape/wash off as much of the residue as possible, along with the playa dust. Then do any repairs necessary using foil tape. Then we wrap it back up and off to the playa it goes.

Actually, I'm more concerned with how the core material holds up each year and when/if it will just start falling apart or disintegrating. Hopefully it won't be on the playa during a wind storm.

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burner von braun
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Post by burner von braun » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:37 pm

Hey all, got a question about yurt doors. I had intended to build a clever door with wood trim pieces and a latch and all, but I'm running out of time, so I'm having to cut back. (say no more, right?)

So then..what is the basic preferred method to keep the door shut in place in addition to a good friction fit?

Thanks for the help, and in case this is my last post before I hit the road, thank you to all you eplayans out there, its been fun, entertaining, and helpful, but not nearly as much fun as we're gonna have about a week from now! WooHoo!

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Post by mikep_95133 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:47 am

[quote="burner von braun"]Hey all, got a question about yurt doors. I had intended to build a clever door with wood trim pieces and a latch and all, but I'm running out of time, so I'm having to cut back. (say no more, right?)

So then..what is the basic preferred method to keep the door shut in place in addition to a good friction fit?

Thanks for the help, and in case this is my last post before I hit the road, thank you to all you eplayans out there, its been fun, entertaining, and helpful, but not nearly as much fun as we're gonna have about a week from now! WooHoo![/quote]

For BM2009, I made sure our door lined up well enough so the zippers on each side would engage. Those zippers would seal the door up nicely and made for a great security. But it takes excellent alignment of the yurt in order for the door to come out that way. So I shifter over to just covering the door gaps so the alignment is not so critical. I use a pad made from canvas that has Refelctix inside of it. That hold out the light and dust well.

Here are 3 ideas:
I assume you have tape around the door opening? Maybe make a tape hinge that holds a piece of flap to the yurt wall, that can be moved over the door gaps to give a better seal.

Also you could put tape handles onto the door so it's easier to press fit it into the door opening, if your door is a tight fit.

Tape overlapping pieces of almost any material to the perimeter of your door so when you put it into place, it overlaps the entire door gap. Tape handles would be needed so you have a way to actually grip the door.

All of this said, I don't know how tall your door is. Door height can change the available methods for sealing the entrance.

Mike

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kman
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Post by kman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:09 pm

burner von braun wrote:Hey all, got a question about yurt doors. I had intended to build a clever door with wood trim pieces and a latch and all, but I'm running out of time, so I'm having to cut back. (say no more, right?)

So then..what is the basic preferred method to keep the door shut in place in addition to a good friction fit?

Thanks for the help, and in case this is my last post before I hit the road, thank you to all you eplayans out there, its been fun, entertaining, and helpful, but not nearly as much fun as we're gonna have about a week from now! WooHoo!
We used a short (~1") piece of wood dowel inside a piece of PVC pipe to act as a rotating hinge. Attached to each side of the dowel is a shortish (~1') piece if 1x2. This gives a pair of "arms" that close on each side. It rotates freely, and yet can be screwed on super tight since the pipe and dowel protects the fragile door from excess squeeze. The hinged arm goes into the door itself and is stopped by a simple block of wood (one on each side of the wall) that is mounted onto the wall, just bolted right through the wall. This results in a simple lever hinge that can easily be opened from inside or outside of the yurt.

I wish I had a picture, but fknsellers came up with the concept and made them, and the yurts were shipped off before we had a chance to see them in place. (We tested on some scrap insulation material, so we know the concept is fine)

ru1
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Looking for a hexayurt

Post by ru1 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:54 pm

I realise this is a long shot on such short notice but I would love to get myself a nice cozy hexayurt this Monday, issue is I am flying in on Saturday so no way to arrange all the materials.

Would anyone be willing/able to bring materials for an extra hexayurt if I were to cover the costs?

I'll only need them until Saturday, you get to keep them after then! It's basically a free hexayurt for next year! :)

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kman
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Re: Looking for a hexayurt

Post by kman » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:11 pm

ru1 wrote:I realise this is a long shot on such short notice but I would love to get myself a nice cozy hexayurt this Monday, issue is I am flying in on Saturday so no way to arrange all the materials.

Would anyone be willing/able to bring materials for an extra hexayurt if I were to cover the costs?

I'll only need them until Saturday, you get to keep them after then! It's basically a free hexayurt for next year! :)
Taping and cutting has to be done off the playa to prevent moop. It's more prepwork than just showing up with an armful of raw materials, perhaps unless you have an enclosed cargo van to work in.

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Post by lucky420 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:16 pm

if your renting/driving a box truck or cargo van (picking up in Reno) you could arrange to buy & pick up from home depot ahead of time. But getting the right kind of tape may be a problem, not sure if they have any in stock anywhere in reno. From what i've read most of us have had to order the tape.

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Post by ru1 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:42 pm

hmm... guess I'd probably want a ready made one then, even longer shot.

alternatively would need to look into renting a cargo van and doing a pick up monday morning.

or just get a tent! :)

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Post by bauhaus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:47 am

how important is taping the edges? I didn't realize until after i had taped the triangles together that the edges should have been taped.

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Post by slvrnmph » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:49 am

Very important. It keeps the core material from disintegrating and becoming moop on the playa.
( \_/)
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Post by bauhaus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:58 am

so if my math is right the 240yards of tape included taping the edges + full assembly correct?

I will tape the remaining exposed edges.

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Air Exchange

Post by big baby jesus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:57 am

Hey Friends,
I'm wondering about air-exchange. Do they get stuffy? I'm planning on filtered vents, but I'm wondering about the mechanics involved. Do you open them in the morning and cover them later? How long, and when do you run your A/C if you have one? I saw a solar powered attic vent and thought that might be good, but does it just draw in hot air and warm up the Hexi?

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Transport in RV

Post by kalimoxto » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:43 pm

Anyone ever transport one of these suckers in an RV? We've got ours entirely built, tested and ready to go. Just trying to figure out how we are going to get it down there.

Wondering if it is possible to fit inside a 28 foot CA RV or strap to the outside? We are taking the standard 8x4 model.

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Re: Air Exchange

Post by kman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:37 pm

big baby jesus wrote:Hey Friends,
I'm wondering about air-exchange. Do they get stuffy? I'm planning on filtered vents, but I'm wondering about the mechanics involved. Do you open them in the morning and cover them later? How long, and when do you run your A/C if you have one? I saw a solar powered attic vent and thought that might be good, but does it just draw in hot air and warm up the Hexi?
Yes, they get stuffy. Filtered vents help, but only so much, and the more vents you have the less effective the insulation is.

I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness.

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.

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Re: Transport in RV

Post by kman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:38 pm

kalimoxto wrote:Anyone ever transport one of these suckers in an RV? We've got ours entirely built, tested and ready to go. Just trying to figure out how we are going to get it down there.

Wondering if it is possible to fit inside a 28 foot CA RV or strap to the outside? We are taking the standard 8x4 model.
Lay a thin sheet of plywood on top to protect the foam from damage, and just use tie-straps to strap the sucker down.

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Re: Air Exchange

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:42 pm

kman wrote:
big baby jesus wrote:Hey Friends,
I'm wondering about air-exchange. Do they get stuffy? I'm planning on filtered vents, but I'm wondering about the mechanics involved. Do you open them in the morning and cover them later? How long, and when do you run your A/C if you have one? I saw a solar powered attic vent and thought that might be good, but does it just draw in hot air and warm up the Hexi?
Yes, they get stuffy. Filtered vents help, but only so much, and the more vents you have the less effective the insulation is.

I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness.

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.



Didnt you mean SC? :lol:
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Re: Air Exchange

Post by kman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:07 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
kman wrote:
big baby jesus wrote:Hey Friends,
I'm wondering about air-exchange. Do they get stuffy? I'm planning on filtered vents, but I'm wondering about the mechanics involved. Do you open them in the morning and cover them later? How long, and when do you run your A/C if you have one? I saw a solar powered attic vent and thought that might be good, but does it just draw in hot air and warm up the Hexi?
Yes, they get stuffy. Filtered vents help, but only so much, and the more vents you have the less effective the insulation is.

I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness.

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.
Didnt you mean SC? :lol:
My SC will be C-ing the fuck outta my A. ;)

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Re: Air Exchange

Post by big baby jesus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:51 pm

"I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness"

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.

Figgy,
I was thinking the same regarding running it while you sleep. Do you let your genny run at night and then turn it off in the morning?

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Re: Air Exchange

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Aug 26, 2010 6:03 am

big baby jesus wrote:"I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness"

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.

Figgy,
I was thinking the same regarding running it while you sleep. Do you let your genny run at night and then turn it off in the morning?

Im running everything off of 2 deep cycle batteries, but my trike uses most of the power.

I may have to run the genny 4 to 6 hours a couple of DAYS during the week.
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Re: Air Exchange

Post by kman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:13 am

FIGJAM wrote:
big baby jesus wrote:"I plan to run my AC only when I sleep. I may run a fan inside periodically if I'm home for any other extended time period, to help relieve the stuffiness"

Solar attic vents would help get rid of the hotter air, but (a) they're really expensive! and (b) they tend to be heavy. The lower-speed ones will barely help, and they're likely to be a big source of dust incursion.

Figgy,
I was thinking the same regarding running it while you sleep. Do you let your genny run at night and then turn it off in the morning?

Im running everything off of 2 deep cycle batteries, but my trike uses most of the power.

I may have to run the genny 4 to 6 hours a couple of DAYS during the week.
Of course, the swamp coolers we're using have a lot lower power draw than true air conditioning units. Someone with actual AC will need to run a genny; transportable battery banks can't put out that kind of juice.

I wish I was clever enough to come up with a timer mechanism (or thermostat) that would kick the swamp cooler on automatically when it starts warming up in the morning...

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big baby jesus
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Post by big baby jesus » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:13 am

Fellow Hexies,
Last year was my first burn and this year I have a better understanding of what to expect. I tend to go "all-in" on things and as my lovely and patient wife pointed out, "Doesn't buying everything on earth (genny, a/c unit) sort-of defeat the whole concept of Burning Man?" I've got my materials (foam and tape) and I'll build my yurt in the next day or so. If I didn't have the genny-a/c unit, will it be tolerable? I think back on last year with my shitty, sand filled tent and know that this will be an improvement, but I'm also questioning if I bought into something in a half-assed manner. Any thoughts or encouragement would be appreciated.

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Post by lucky420 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:58 am

this is my first burn and i am going hexayurt. Mine won't have an ac/swamp cooler, although i did buy a battery operated fan. Just the bare bones yurt. My cuts aren't all that straight so it will be the ugly bare bones yurt. The reason i went with the yurt was because of the fact that it will stay darker longer (in the a.m.) and the ground temp (once it is shaded) should cool the yurt. Maybe next year i will get fancier with it...

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kman
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Post by kman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:42 pm

big baby jesus wrote:Fellow Hexies,
Last year was my first burn and this year I have a better understanding of what to expect. I tend to go "all-in" on things and as my lovely and patient wife pointed out, "Doesn't buying everything on earth (genny, a/c unit) sort-of defeat the whole concept of Burning Man?" I've got my materials (foam and tape) and I'll build my yurt in the next day or so. If I didn't have the genny-a/c unit, will it be tolerable? I think back on last year with my shitty, sand filled tent and know that this will be an improvement, but I'm also questioning if I bought into something in a half-assed manner. Any thoughts or encouragement would be appreciated.
While I get her point, I think a hexayurt with a genny and an AC is still more in tune with the concept of burning man than an RV... which almost always has a genny and an AC on board.

Of course, there's no one forcing you to bring everything with you the first time out...

As I understand it, a hexayurt, even in it's basic form, is still an improvement over a tent. Or an RV with busted AC.

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big baby jesus
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Post by big baby jesus » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:47 am

Kman- I think I'm going to just go with what I've got and not rush things. What do people do for lighting? I have some LED lanterns that run on AA's I was going to use. They don't put out much light, but a little goes a long way in the dark.

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Post by kman » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:11 pm

big baby jesus wrote:Kman- I think I'm going to just go with what I've got and not rush things. What do people do for lighting? I have some LED lanterns that run on AA's I was going to use. They don't put out much light, but a little goes a long way in the dark.
Solar Christmas lights, for one, and an LED Coleman lantern for more lighting.

Also, I have some 12v CFL's that work from my deep cycle marine battery, when I really want to light things up.

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Post by Key Man » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:46 pm

My wife and I were EXTREMELY happy with our new hexayurt this year. It was well worth the modest expense and less modest prep time. We had the "standard" 8 foot version and it was totally comfortable. Never hot in the daytime, and just slightly cool at night. A few observations...

The door is indeed a weak link. For next year I think I'll beef up the door panel with some kind of frame and do a more robust door that swings open from the side, rather than the "doggie style" door.

It was interesting how just a few minutes of cooking on the camp stove warmed the yurt, even with both windows open. At times we ran one of the burners briefly to warm up at night. I've read that if you're stranded in your car in a cold place, a candle provides about 60 watts of heat and is safe, if a window is cracked open. It seems that a couple of lit candles (safely placed) might be enough to raise the temp by several degrees at night, and would also be a nice "night light". (Hexayurts are pitch black inside at night!)

We have a mid size solar system; in the daytime we often used it to run a small 60 watt swamp cooler. With the yurt door open and the cooler running there was always a nice cool breeze flowing through the yurt, and it was amazingly comfortable, even in the hottest part of the day.

Even after doing a dry run at a local park (with K Man's help - thank you) I was a bit anxious about assembling my yurt on site for the first time. I had visions of some little wind gust scattering yurt panels across the playa, and felt bashful about rounding up helpers. In the end, it was easier than I expected and though it was a bit breezy Wednesday morning, the winds were not a problem at all. An upside of my paranoia was that I went out of my way to prefab as many details as I could. This included pre-taping the 4x8 wall panel pairs and roof cone pairs on the inside, and prepping the 12 PVC tie downs with the tape flaps and lengths of rope. A couple of neighbors helped, and on-playa assembly went quickly, with no problems.

K Man tipped my off to the inexpensive tarpaulins sold by Harbor Freight. The silver ones are 11 mils thick and are a good value. Taping the tarp to the inside of the yurt really helped to reduce dust entry.

The big orange 16" ground stakes from Home Depot (Gardening Dept.) are really strong and work great. This year was not very windy but when moderate gusts came along, there was not the slightest hint of motion inside the yurt. In fact, with the door closed, there was no way of knowing whether it was windy or still out.

Loved the yurt!

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Post by kman » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:43 pm

Glad things went well for you, Keyman! Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up on the playa.

Some lessons learned this year:

Rain is hard on yurts. Those who arrived later in the week didn't get the fun experience, but for those who had their yurts up during the early entry construction time, there were fairly massive rain storms, accompanied by huge winds. Rain manages to work it's way into the yurts in a couple of ways:

1) The floor is the weak link. The 6" bifilament tape sticks like crazy to the walls, but much less well to tarp material, especially when water is trying to pour in. Every one of our yurts had water coming in underneath the floor, and there was a frantic period of moving stuff to the center of the floor and putting rags along the edges to soak up the leaks. Much playa entered in this manner. We'll have to do some serious investigation next year.

2) The connection between the roof and the walls. Generally, people do one big final tape run all the way around the yurts. So you have flat tape sticking to the vertical walls, which then folds over to the angled roof. At the corners, you necessarily have dimples and folds in the tape. Water can mange to sneak in through there. Extra tape on the inside is highly recommended, but even that is no guarantee. We'll definitely be having a meeting on the issue during planning meetings for next year.

Doors are most definitely a weak point. During the massive winds that accompanied the rains, the winds managed to actually lift a fully-anchored yurt (6 points of tape anchors roped down to secure rebar staples) and move it nearly a foot, actually going over one of the rebar anchors. The yurt buckled a bit on the door wall, allowing the structure to flex as the wind lifted it.

Our doors were vertical, with taped hinges. They worked reasonably well, for the most part, but some of the more creatively-shaped doors (like mine) were harder on the hinge than more generic and straight doors. Mine was barely hanging on by a small section of the full-length tape seam by the time we left late Sunday night. I'll probably replace the full panel (and it's 2' extension) for next year.

The 6' wall height rocks. Adding the extra 2' to the bottoms of the panels really made a difference in the amount of interior space.

We'll be investigating ways to reinforce the door walls as well, for next year. (aren't you all glad you missed the storms that vanguard teams got to live through? Monday's double rainbow was sensational, though!)

Obviously, rain storms, let alone wind and rain storms combined, at the severity level that we had, are a rare occurrence. So maybe much of this is not worth fussing over. But I'd rather be over-prepared than under, because you just never know what's going to happen one year to the next...

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lucky420
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Post by lucky420 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:02 pm

we arrived monday at noon but didn't put the yurt up until tues morn. So we missed the rain, but good info to know. Loved the yurt, didn't move in the wind (slight flexing) and we decorated the inside with groovy tapestries and started a sharpie pen cartoon art roof panel. The only thing that bothered me was after coming in stooping thru the door, I would tend to stray stooped over for a while, even while in the middle of the yurt :lol:

Did anyone think their yurt amplified the outside sounds like the art cars, or the big sound camps?

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Post by ConnieH » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:12 pm

Key Man wrote: It was interesting how just a few minutes of cooking on the camp stove warmed the yurt, even with both windows open. At times we ran one of the burners briefly to warm up at night.
You cooked IN your yurt? I'm not sure that's entirely safe, but glad it worked out for you!

After spending the first two nights in our backup tent (which I'm glad I decided to pack last minute, Friday & Saturday were windy and rainy, not conducive to yurt setup), I was soooo happy to get our yurt set up on Sunday. Then the rain Monday...ugh...kMan is right, hexayurts don't do well in rain. One of my tie downs broke loose and the yurt lifted 4" in a wind gust - scared the crap out of me. We used a canvas tarp and edged the bottom of the yurt with 3/4" foam pipe insulation - that worked fairly well with only minor gaps that dust could come through, but some rain ran under the insulation and we had small puddles inside for a day. But once the rain stopped and things dried out all was good again. I really liked the canvas tarp, quiet and not sticky like plastic.

We stayed warm at night, it was always a shocker walking outside in the early morning and realizing just how cold it was out there!

Some friends in our camp built a hexayurt at the last minute and didn't have time to order bifilament tape, so they used 3" Gorilla tape. Worked well with no problems, but they didn't set up until after the rains so hard to say what the rain would have done to Gorilla tape.

Sorry I didn't get down your way to see your 6 foot yurt kman...I didn't stray much from camp this year.

Did anyone see the yurt village on 4:00 & D/E? It was a little creepy, about 30-40 hexayurts all exactly the same, futuristic Stepfordwive-ish :lol: Fit the Metropolis theme well!

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Post by mikep_95133 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:49 am

Hi Connie,

I did see that yurt city. I spoke to the guys there. 38-40 yurts he told me. I think he said they were 1.5 or 2 inch foam boards. All exactly the same. Yeesh.

There were a few yurts that lifted up and moved. Please look at my blog for how I did my anchoring. Zero movement in any direction because of the design. Easy to add to a standard yurt. The wind barely moved anything even with the huge shade structure attached to the yurt via the center pole.

My roof rack that you and Cowboy inspired worked very very well!! It carried a couple hundred pounds of stuff!

My yurt did fine starting when we set it up Saturday. My pole was used to primarily support the 16 x 20 shade structure above it. Which doubled as a rain structure ;). I did add brass hooks to the pole to hold our Camelbaks, hats,many flashlights, and a coat & vest. I used dry playa piled up around the perimeter to keep the rain out after some leaked under the one wall. It's absorbent but also turns into a sticky clay that worked ok for sealing out the water. My floor tarp is just nailed flat to the ground. We did throw a tarp over a couple of walls to help deflect some of the rain, but it actually gathered the water after it shed it. So it was not that helpful.

Mike

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