Shelter Systems Playadomes - Are they dust & heat traps?

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Shelter Systems Playadomes - Are they dust & heat traps?

Post by camp-photon » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:13 am


I am looking at a 31'x11' as daytime chill space and thinking that it may be a dust and heat trap. Seems like sun gets in but gets out slowly and that the dust will filter in through the overlapping flaps.

I understand that you can open both sides and get a cross breeze and set up some kind of inner layer with a parachute to catch the filtering dust.

How many Burning Mans can one of these take?

Do they hold up in windstorms well?

I would appreciate hearing from anyone with experience on these.

Shelter Systems Playadomes playa-dome sheltersystems

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Post by LEVLHED » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:06 pm

I've got a 14' that I'm taking out this year whether it likes it or not.
I'll let you know what it's like in October.

It can't be any worse than any other tent?
Tape up the windward flaps w/all-weather duct tape as suggested on their site.
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Post by Mr.? » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:27 pm

This is a subject I've looked into, but unfortunately I don't have an answer for you. I built a 32' dome and I'm currently working covering for it. I've decided to use a white poly tarp for the cover and I intend to have the five sections of cover go from the top (center all the way to the bottom) completely covering the dome. I'll leave the bottom 2 feet loose so if I need to raise them up and open the top to create a breeze I will have that option.
My guess is that the direct sun will warm the inside of the dome to an unbearable temperature during the day time regardless of venting. My solution is to create over head shade for the dome it self. This is not an easy task for a 16' tall 32' diameter dome... It's not cheap either!
Just like a tent if you manage to keep the direct sunlight off it, the temperature won't rise as fast or get as hot... I hope?
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Post by Boijoy » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:33 pm

I have one of these. I think its the 3rd from the smallest? ANYwho, it holds up to the wind very well. If you are using it to escape a dust storm it's good because dust storms are always cooler. You will get some dust thru the doors & from underneith, but not much. It's deff. better than being out in the storm. It is hot during the day when the sun is out though. We used a fan w/ a mister attached to the front of it & it stayed fairly cool. ????
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Post by SpacemanSpliff » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:33 pm

I had an 18' last year, and it worked quite well. I suggest a shadecloth, which they included with mine, but with that, it wasn't outrageously hot except in the middle of the day (but what isn't?). It keeps dust out well, at least with a tarp and carpet floor, but by the end of the week, the inside will still have plenty of dust in it. But again, what won't? And windstorms were no problem with some rebar stakes.
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heat tips

Post by apollometeor » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:44 am

you can get IR (infared or heat) netting from military surplus stores. its not cheap but it does dramaticly reduce the radiant energy that the dome will absorb. for a breeze get an attic vent, one of those metal spheres with slits in the side that spins, put it on top and it will vent the hot air from the top and draw in cooler air at the botom
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Post by Absolut Jeenyus » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:39 pm

DIY $30 Air Conditioner ... nditioner/

Or you can just drop a bill on something like this. They sell these at Target, Walmart etc...

They have smaller and cheaper ones too. I've seen them all over craigslist. I have seen people use these on the playa, seem to work fairly well... Given you have a power supply.

Of course you could always just rough it. We don't need no stinkin' AC anyways.
-AJ )'(

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PVC struts don't ......

Post by Greenltdistrict » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:54 pm

...seem to hold up too well. Last year (2008) I saw MANY PVC strutted domes literally collapse under the ferociousness of the wind storms...we considered Shelter Systems our first year...but after a lot of research (talking to people, reading post here, etc..) we came to the conclusion that the metal dome was a better investment ( 32' x 16', 3v). So we wound up building ours from scratch and in total the price worked out to about which the same amount that Tara's Dome was charging for their dome of roughly the same dimensions. While it required a little more work (a small amount of storage space, a suitable covering, carpet for the floor, and a material lifter (a manual one person fork lift $140 for the week at United equipment rentals) )it's strength and long term durablility made up for it. To cover it we managed to get our hands on several large strips of billboard vinyl, which we grommeted and fastened to the dome overlapping (lets air through to release stress on the struts and venilate). You can buy it (EXSPENSIVE!) or you can hustle and get yourself some old bill boards check this thread

To make the inside nice we had our design team get some nice fabric and sew little loop on the back so that when we tied them around the struts from the inside the fabric hung down covering up the struts giving a really nice homey bedouin feel to our dome. Again it IS more work than the complete Shelter system but if you want solid durablity and don't mind putting in the extra work to make it nice I'd strongly suggest looking into a metal dome to get you started

Have fun whatever you decide!

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